From the Desk of the BCSG President: On Looking Back and Moving On 

By: Avygayl Zucker  |  May 10, 2024

By Avygayl Zucker

Dear friends, peers, and fellow graduates,

Somehow, it’s the end of the year and for the seniors, that means leaving all of this behind.

What is “all of this,” you may ask.

Well… all of this is Yeshiva University. 

Whether you’re staying to go to a YU grad school, moving to a different state or even country, job searching, or taking a year off… you’re leaving the bubble.

In this bubble, we became people. We struggled with classes and relationships; we gained responsibilities and experiences. School has been bitter-sweet and we’ve been in it our entire lives, but now, many of us are going on to places completely different. Though I am really excited to expand my horizons and see what else I can do beyond the classroom, it’s also scary leaving behind something that I feel I did well in, something that I put so much effort and time into. From elementary school to the horrors of middle school, from high school to Israel – where independence felt so near – and then to college; after school, school, and nothing but school, there’s suddenly a clean break.

No going back.

Maybe you’re thinking that this is a bit dramatic, that change happens all the time and this is just another instance. Maybe you’re right. But, for some reason it feels bigger to me. We’ve all grown into ourselves here and whatever your experience was in Yeshiva University, it’s made you who you are. On that front, I owe all my schooling a debt of gratitude for pushing and shoving and making me struggle.

I feel this in an especially strong way with regards to my experience on Student Council and the friendships I’ve fostered there.

Being the president of a council that had not existed before was at first daunting… Prior to BCSG, each college on the Beren campus had its own student government and presidents. Budgets had to be debated before every event, there was no legislature, and the constitution was completely and totally different. When I assumed a role in this newfound system, I didn’t know what I was doing or what I was even supposed to be doing. 

Turns out, there is no “supposed to.” In the real world, fake it till you make it is more than a mantra, and in the surprisingly wise paraphrased words of Hannah Montanah, life actually is what you make of it. So, make of it we did.

The freshmen didn’t know that BCSG wasn’t a thing before and a lot of seniors still think that Stern and Syms have their own councils. Despite that – or maybe in spite of that – we created something incredible. From a brand new document, we implemented a governing body that touched everyone and impacted all aspects of the school. Despite the lack of any prior precedent, my role as BCSG President gave me the chance to cultivate a team of leaders who went on to enhance the YU student experience. Through this role I learned so much about delegation, teamwork, and even the operations of a vast institution. 

We put so much of ourselves into this year.

And it almost seems silly because it’s not like I was president of the United States and the Legislature was Congress; it’s not like anyone outside of YU knows who we are (and many people inside YU don’t either). Still, I feel that I along with the rest of the BCSG – my friends and I – really implemented something brand new and brought it to life. It’s sad to let something like that go.

After hours of writing amendments, debating budgets, and negotiating with other councils; after late night zoom meetings with deans, and hard work that fell through the cracks; after frustrating encounters and head butting with university bureaucracy; after arguing over fonts and yelling with other councils about cross-campus politics; and after amazing accomplishments and making real changes, the team has to say goodbye.

I know there’s a life lesson somewhere in here. Maybe it’s: change is always hard. Or how letting go to move on to new things will always feel like a loss but is actually just an opportunity to do something even greater with your experiences. And it must be true because just like all the other experiences I’ve had in YU and on Student Council, being the president has taught me tremendous lessons that I will take with me wherever I go.

While leaving YU feels like leaving a part of myself behind, I know we’re leaving everything in even better hands. I know that the next student council will only improve on what we’ve begun to set into motion, and hopefully, it will get better and better every subsequent year. Students don’t always know the effort that goes into things on a student council level – from chagigot to swag to approving club events – but I hope they leave feeling like they had a good experience. I hope we all do because, in truth, we’re lucky. We’ve had the opportunity to learn how to actively be leaders, we’ve made decisions, both good and bad, we’ve lobbied and stood together and screamed and cried. And now, we’ve made it through to the end.

Seniors, graduates – my family – we’ve come to the end of a chapter. Endings and changes and saying goodbye is sad and tough, but it’s inevitable. Hopefully, each of us can take all of the experiences we’ve had at Yeshiva University, remember them, and implement them in the rest of our lives.

I know not everybody cares about Student Council and that I’m talking about it like it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread (or cheese; sliced cheese is the best). But maybe that’s because it did indeed give every single one of us the chance to do more with our time at YU. So, thank you for electing me and allowing me to be your president. Thank you for asking questions, for arguing, and for pushing back and helping make changes. Thank you for telling us what you needed. To those of you who aren’t graduating, don’t stop pushing back and advocating for yourself; join BCSG and implement the changes you want to see.


Avygayl Zucker

BCSG President 2023-2024