Oct

3

ESC Only Gives Updates

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Ooooh mysterious conspiracies and secrets.

Every Tuesday Bwog brings you a recap of the previous night’s Engineering Student Council (ECS) meeting. Bureau Chief Finn Klauber recounts this week’s ESC meeting which covered a range of topics, from increasing student-faculty interaction to the scheduling of midterms.  

Seeing how Engineering Student Council blocked off an entire discussion section for a ~private~ discussion—which is the third occasion in the past three weeks where ESC discussed a topic privately—this week’s recap of ESC will be in the form of extended updates.

President Aida Lu

  • President Lu met with Dean Brovman, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Student Affairs and Global Programs within SEAS, and discussed a variety of ways to increase student-faculty interaction within SEAS. The brunt of the conversation concerned a proposal for “faculty chats,” which would occur twice or three times a semester. The chats would take the form of question-and-answer periods with a panel of two to three faculty, followed by a reception.
  • The SEAS Dean’s Travel Fund, which funds student groups’ travel to engineering-specific conferences and competitions, increased to $17,000 due to matching contributions from the Dean’s Office and ESC.
  • ESC is hoping to facilitate student interest in SEAS Study Abroad, “which [Dean] Brovman likes to call ‘STAB,'” by reiterating that, as President Lu put it, “study abroad for SEAS students is possible.”

VP Policy, Zoha Qamar

  • VP Qamar met with Ixchel Rosal, Associate Vice President for Student Life, who has become the campus point person for DACA and DACA-covered students. University Life is making various efforts, including offers of counseling and pro bono legal work, to service the needs of the about-30 DACA students at Columbia University.
  • A little of the internal workings of the Racial and Ethnic Diversity Task Force, newly initiated, was revealed yesterday. The Task Force is divided into four groups: an “awareness” video project, campus conversation “packets” distributed around Columbia, a discussion group “think tank” for student-led responses to bias incidents, and a compendium of “stories from students to create a faculty toolkit.”
  • VP Qamar is interested in bringing “wellness machines” to Columbia. These machines, akin to vending machines, would distribute “Plan B [and] other items.” Such machines are already in use at peer institutions, and VP Qamar will be discussing their use with advocates from Stanford and UC Davis. Nevertheless, attaining such machines took at least two years for each school, so expect slow progress.

University Senator, Izzet Kebudi

  • There is currently a draft proposal in the University Senate outlining that midterms ought to be scheduled in the first week of school. Furthermore, Senator Kebudi is planning to arrange a meeting with Dean Kachani to discuss the resolution from last year proposing some much-needed reforms to finals scheduling.

First Generation and Low Income Representative, Carolina Garcia

  • Representative Garcia is following through on discussion from earlier in the year to augment the Academic Success Program to include more students. The program currently holds about 100 students total, and is divided into a New York-based group and a non-New York group. She is planning to meet with Deans Kachani, Brovman, and Morrison to widen the program to accommodate interested students.

Miscellania

  • The Quality of Life survey should be coming out in the near future. According to Senator Kebudi, he “want[s] to put Shake Shack into the list of incentives for doing the survey.” Well, I’ll certainly be completing it.
  • The first edition of ESC Communications’ SEAS Flash series had 1,288 views, 441 minutes viewed, and 170 “full” views. That’s “double the minutes that anyone has viewed the ESC livestream.”

Image via  Antje Naumann

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