NYPIRG on Campus
The New York Public Interest Research Group’s unique mission is to give students an array of extracurricular activities and opportunities to participate in important public policy discussions, through which they can learn a wide range of valuable skills, contributing to a well-rounded educational experience.
Students working with professional NYPIRG staff help lead projects and campaigns on a variety of urgent issues. This hands-on approach teaches students skills that make them more active members of their community, enhances their academic experience, and prepares them for successful entry into the workforce.
Students across the state at NYPIRG’s campus chapters, including NYPIRG’s Student Board of Directors, have made tangible contributions on the issues of civic engagement, higher education funding, consumer rights, environmental protection, mass transit, and homelessness. Since 1973, NYPIRG has provided a unique service of supplementary learning and provided countless students with an enriching and rewarding experience.
Reports & Features
NYPIRG Student Profile
Haris Khan, Queensborough Community College
"I grew up as a sort of third culture kid, that's what we called ourselves in school," says Haris Khan, a Queensborough Community College (QCC) student and member of NYPIRG's Student Board of Directors. Haris grew up in several countries while his family traveled the world for his father's work as a Pakistani embassy staff member. Along the way, he picked up four languages and is in the middle of learning a fifth. One year into his residency in New York City, Haris says, "This is the first time I have felt a real sense of place, belonging. All the countries my family lived in while I grew up, they are just a subway stop away."
Haris joined NYPIRG when he heard about a trip to Albany to lobby for an end to the destructive New York SUNY 2020 program. "The equality of opportunity is the point of the CUNY system. Our current governor doesn't understand that," he says. Since then he has become a tireless advocate for voter registration, often volunteering to coordinate tables at QCC, where he is entering his second year. "I think a lot of Americans take for granted their voting rights. Meanwhile, in Flushing where I live, people just want a seat at the table. We need automatic voter registration and voting holidays. We should celebrate our democracy, not fear it. When people feel left out, they can turn on the system as well."
Like many New Yorkers, Haris sees the city as a land of staggering possibility, and he continues to take advantage of opportunities to grow as an activist. He currently serves as an intern with his local Assembly Member, and he has been involved in efforts to support minority candidates for public office. At QCC, Haris was successful in his own recent diversity campaign. "Using the skills I built with NYPIRG, I was able to bring Halal and vegan food to the campus cafeteria. Before, many Muslim students would skip lunch, simply because they didn't have an option." When asked about this latest victory, Haris smiled, saying, "This is the greatest city, state, on earth. But we can be even greater, if everyone is included."