Campus Life News

Life is not always so simple and innocent.  You are responsible for your own destiny, no matter your circumstances.  Taking charge of your life is something that senior business administration major Morgan Barcus has been doing for virtually his entire life. 

Growing up in Bronx, NY, he has lived in public housing for most of his life.  Morgan described seeing things he should not have seen as a child.  

Morgan simply stated his living situation as, “The housing project I live in is not the best, but is not the worst.”

The environment he and his childhood friends lived in encompassed drug addictions, poverty and lack of education.  Some of his friends from New York City have been to jail, passed away or have children.

Morgan reflected on what his mother has routinely told him throughout his life, “Be better than me, be somebody.” 

These are words that Morgan does not take lightly and have become an inspiration to him.  Everyday at SUNY Oswego he knows he has to stay focused on his studies, but at the same time have experiences outside of the classroom. 

From the very start of his freshmen year, Morgan has been involved on campus.  He has performed dances for Black Student Union, Latino Student Union, Caribbean Student Association, and African Student Organization.  He has met some great friends from those organizations, who eventually became his mentors.  He was inspired by their resilience, good work ethic, and ability to handle any conflict.

Through those experiences Morgan has become a vibrant member of the campus community, even earning the role as vice president of the African Student Organization.  At The Point, the collaborative learning center on campus, he has worked extensively with Maggie Rivera.  She is the student involvement coordinator and also his mentor.  He has been an assistant for ALANA, a student leadership program promoting multicultural environment at SUNY Oswego, in particular for the highly attended fashion show.  Due to his involvement and exceptional work ethic associated with ALANA he was able to secure employment as a marketing assistant for Artswego.

Morgan’s travels took him off campus in the summer of 2015.  He studied in Paris for one month, but was able to travel to Belgium and Germany while in Europe. When Morgan was not in the classroom he loved sightseeing and learning a new culture.  He used a metro card, explored and ate everything.  With much enthusiasm, he considers that time the most amazing experience of his life. 

With a big grin Morgan said, “I used my bad French to learn French and get around.  I was living in the very French moment.”

He thought his biggest moment in life was when he went to Europe, but another opportunity knocked on his door.   On January 21, 2017, he was able to attend the Women’s March in Washington, DC.  At first he was unable to travel to Washington until he was contacted about a free seat being available on the bus leaving from campus.  Morgan attended the event with one of his good friends, Iana Cathey, who is deeply passionate about human rights.  He was also interested in the march, because he was raised by strong women who “always made things happen,” and for the betterment of any misrepresented or victimized group.

As he reflected on his time at the Women’s March, he could not help declare, “God was really working so I could get on the bus.  The whole trip was a life changing moment.”  He paused, “Life has been hard, but good.  I saw amazing women from all races, and beliefs coming together for one moment.  There were also men, gays, Muslims and marginal groups standing together.”

Besides living in the present as a college student, Morgan has a long list of aspirations.  He wants to be a co-creator of a television show, and be a creative director on someone’s album.  He explains that God gave him a gift and that he wants to share his ideas with the world.  Morgan also has interests in marketing, branding and public relations campaigning, so he could help someone increase their fan base.  If that was not enough, he is interested in stocks, and starting a magazine for Millennials written by Millennials. 

“I am doing this for all the black boys, black girls, hood girls, I am doing it for everyone.  I am doing this for all my friends who couldn’t be here,” Morgan said with fortitude.

In his next breath, Morgan reflected on his time at SUNY Oswego.  It has been a unique experience and a blessing for him.

“There are kids here (SUNY Oswego) from not the best backgrounds.  They have their own creativity and style.  They have a flavor about them you can never duplicate, replicate or remake.  There are those who don’t expect much from these students.  They have been through the toughest circumstances in life and are underestimated in the classroom, because they don’t participate much.  These students are the ones who are going to make and build things that did not exist before.  They are going to arise and change the world.”

As Morgan adds to his resume his list of work experiences, international and domestic education and volunteer involvement there are six little words that he lives by:  Be better than me, be somebody.



- Kelly V. Perkins