• News

    Participatory budgeting begins at Queens College

    Participatory budgeting first began in 1989 in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Citizens voted on projects proposed by other residents. Projects with the most votes received funding. Since then, the practice was exported across the world from Spain to the United States. Starting this semester, participatory budgeting will begin at Queens College after students requested it. Participatory budgeting is democratic as a community creates ideas as projects. It chooses popular ideas and enacts it with available resources. Melissa Appleton, project manager at the Participatory Budgeting Project, said the organization she is with would help the process if any questions come up. “Participatory Budgeting Process is pleased to provide technical assistance to Participatory…

  • News

    Participatory budgeting may come to Queens College

    Queens College students may soon decide how to spend part of student government’s budget through participatory budgeting. But what is participatory budgeting? “Basically, it’s a direct democratic process with assemblies that diagnose problems, identify problems [and] come up with proposals that address them,” Alexander Kolokotronis, a senior and member of Students Organization for Democratic Alternatives, said. “Eventually, they decide which of the proposals they want to move forward with; so you implement and monitor them.” Participatory budgeting began in 1989 in Porto Alegre, Brazil, where citizens voted on projects proposed by other residents. Since then, it expanded to other cities throughout the world. SODA, founded in April 2014, brought up the issue of participatory budgeting…

  • Op-Eds

    The sweet taste of the sugar ban

    On Sept. 13, 2012, The New York City Board of Health passed the controversial ban on sale of sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces in selected sale venues. Not surprisingly, the beverage industry has promised a legal challenge. How do New Yorkers feel about it?  Nearly 60 percent of New Yorkers responding to a New York Times poll in August did not favor the ban, with some worried about the soda ban starting a slippery slope of regulation. A thoroughly unscientific survey (by show of hands) of around 60 nutrition and exercise science students on the first day of classes found that they largely shared the opinions of their fellow…