WTF, Columbia: The White Board
Written by Bwog Staff
In our continuing coverage on shitty things the university does to make life much more complicated than it should be, Bwog was anonymously forwarded the following email from a member of the Student Wellness Project. Here, we get the hilarious and devastating tale of an innocuous white board, unjustly damaged. If you have a story email firstname.lastname@example.org or use our anonymous form.
TL;DR: SWP member paid for a white board out of pocket when the budget wouldn’t cover it. The board was to be used to community events by SWP. They took effort to find storage space, only to hear it was mysteriously moved out of the storage space and, worse, damaged. The SGO offered to store it for them and repair it–under the condition that it become a communal board to be used by anyone in the offices. Now, in full:
“…now that we are all synchronized, I’ll just explain what’s been going on for the past semester, but I just want to start with an apology for my participation in what has been a confusing chain of events and emails. Thanks for getting us in sync.
In any case, the whole premise of getting the board was that we would need a storage space before we would get one. Our advisor, ****, who was extremely helpful in supporting and refining the initiative, therefore worked hard to get us a board and then a space. In email and in person, he then said he found a space for us in the cage area down the hall but that he could not find a public board for us to use/share, so I went ahead and ordered one. As SWP has a $300 budget, I paid $750 out of pocket, which may be why I seem combative (but really don’t meant to be!) My thoughts were that it would be worth it in the long run, so recent events make me feel a bit upset at my essential throwing away of the money (I don’t know if I feel comfortable applying for JCCC reimbursement until we prove that we are spending student fees productively, and unfortunately, due largely to my business with other initiative and in part due to these frequent logistical issues, we haven’t).
Anyway, a couple weeks ago, **** emailed me saying that the board was “kicked out of our space,” though I’m not sure by whom. At this time, he also said that the board was heavily damaged, which is unfortunate because I thought we had a secure storage space. When I followed-up about how it got damaged and asked if we could reach a temporary storage agreement with the SGO because we could possibly greatly benefit from having the board in our SIC next year, I received no reply but was emailed by ******** with the same set of options: store it with SGO or figure out something on your own. Now, I realize no one on this email thread did anything wrong and you are all trying to help, so my complaints are directed at no one specifically, but basically I was told 1) buy your own board since there is no communal board but we’ll keep it safe, then 2) sorry we actually haven’t been keeping your board safe and it was actually destroyed in a public hallway for the past few weeks, 3) we will fix the damage that resulted if you let us share the board. It’s a bit frustrating, and I was hoping that maybe we could make the board communal just till next year when swp would then fix it (we realized last night after wheeling it down that it’s not functional) and use it for planning within our SIC and launch it out from there. No one has replied to me after making this suggestion, and a new person emails me each time I do, so I’m guessing it’s a no, haha.
Ultimately, we can make the board permanently communal, but I am a bit frustrated with this process, and obviously don’t have many other options. I think the board would benefit the space, so I am happy to help and consider this my first alumni donation or something, haha, but I hope you see my confusion and frustration, as well.
As a final note, I am really sorry for what has seemingly become a big issue. I was only asking about the temporary communal storage option, but I realize that it is not. I also appreciate everything you all do and am sorry for making it more complicated! While I would like everyone to read through this email (sorry it’s so long) just to sync up and possibly determine what went so wrong in our coordination this time, I really appreciate everyone I worked with for going out of their way to help us with the board and just want to note that it seems to be more of a comedy of errors among a bunch of people working to improve student life.”
Nothingness turned to something-ness via Shutterstock