By Arianny Reyes
Last December, faculty and students were introduced to a statue in memorial of first Chief Justice John Jay in the Kroll Atrium to remind students about Jay’s legacy and as a means to recognize his achievements.
“As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of our College’s founding, it is fitting that we have on campus a life-size statue of our namesake John Jay,” said Chief of Communications Officer Rama Sudhakar. “The location is fitting as its standing in the large atrium where you enter the college, on the steps where students and other members of our community gather, so it becomes part of our daily lives on campus,” she added.
Despite the school’s best intentions, its location has created controversy amongst students. On one hand, some students claim the statue fails to create a positive impact. On the other hand, other students believe it is in the wrong place.
Rabel Polanco, a junior at John Jay says, “The location of the statue does not give it enough attribute. It doesn’t look professional.”
The five foot, 10 inch bronze statue cost $125,000 and was funded through a combination of private donations and rental income from private events held on campus, according to Sudhakar. It was sculptured by Ivan Schwartz at Studio EIS, in Brooklyn, who has done works such as the Signers’ Hall Gallery at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.
Students like Manuel Castillo have suggested other locations for the statue such as the Jay Walk, or the entrance of the New Building. Castillo, a sophomore, also concern about the administration’s use of money.
Castillo claims that buying the statue was a poor use of money, which could have been used to help students with financial struggles or organizations in school that help students with financial difficulties such as the Petrie Student Emergency Fund. “They don’t understand what a modern day student goes through. They struggle with bills and have to be near broke to receive help,” said Castillo.
Petrie, located in the New Building, Room L.68.00, helps students with Metrocards, food vouchers, housing assistance, medical care and much more that could be a burden in the students’ academic success. For more information you can visit www.jjay.cuny.edu or go to the Counseling Department.
Despite negative claims and disagreement on the statue’s location, Criminal Justice student, Allison Gristki says, “It shows the significance of the school and what it stands for, justice and peace.”