Nov

21

ESC Channels The Spirit Of Thanksgiving By Holding A Short And Non-Contentious Meeting

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When Thanksgiving break comes quicker than the 1 train

Despite the short nature of this weeks ESC meeting and the fast approaching Thanksgiving break, Bureau Chief Finn Klauber does not disappoint with his report on this weeks happenings of the engineering community.

President Aida Lu

President Lu met with both Dean Brovman, SEAS Associate Dean for Undergraduate Student Affairs, and Scott Wright, Vice President for Campus Services. The discussion with Dean Brovman consisted of updates to the SEAS faculty tech talks, improvements to the SEAS study abroad experience, and concerns raised at last week’s meeting regarding Engineeers Without Borders’ funding issues. The discussion with Scott Wright, on the other hand, mostly related to Lerner updates. The Lerner space changes, which were discussed in the last few meetings of both CCSC and ESC, are continuing with renovations of Lerner elevators. Already, one elevator has been shut down for these renovations, which will continue for the next year at least; the elevators are being gutted entirely and modernized in succession. Furthermore, Wright is already investigating the implementation of a dishwasher in Ferris via an ongoing study. Finally, Summer projects for Columbia will include renovations of Woodbridge and Hartley, with the addition of disability access to Wallach and Hartley.

Vice President Policy Zoha Qamar

Although VP Qamar was absent yesterday, various council members took over for her updates. Regarding the Academic Success Program, Qamar met with Dean Morrison, SEAS Vice Dean of Undergraduate Programs. They determined that writing a proposal to expand ASP is the next best step. This proposal will outline the current objectives of ASP, what ASP’s future holds, student testimony, and pricing. VP Qamar also met with Dean Brovman regarding Global Programs and SEAS study abroad, who was enthusiastic about ESC’s “mock study abroad” pamphlets which outline how a SEAS student can organize their class schedule and requirements to study abroad at specific institutions.

VP Student Life Ben Barton

VP Barton discussed the first meeting of the new University Life Events Council—a new and well-funded body which is supposed to create new events and traditions for the “entire Columbia community.” They hope to maintain four large events per year. At the last meeting, specifically, they drafted mock ideas for new events.

University Senator Izzet Kebudi

Senator Kebudi also discussed the changes in Lerner, renovations which are supposed to begin imminently. The LGBT and student of colour spaces are almost ready, but instituting more changes would create a “domino effect.” Specifically, because they do not want to eliminate any reservable student space during construction, they plan to convert the Lerner computer room into reservable space to offset the elimination of the East and West Ramp Lounges. The computer lab, however, has to be moved into the AV tech room, where the air ventilation is less than ideal. A team of architects and engineers are currently working on this problem. When they finish—hopefully by April—the room switches can finally take effect.

Miscellanious Updates:

  • ESC is hoping to run a “TedX type of event” with about six presenters. This would be a short event, with a headliner, a professor, and then students or student groups. At the moment, however, it’s still just an idea.
  • Overheard during meeting: “When people heard [Got] FU’d they thought ‘got fucked up.'”
  • The Academic Freedom Resolution, which has been bouncing around the University Senate for about a year in one form or another, is delayed once again. It makes us wonder how hard it really is to plainly state Columbia’s policy regarding academic freedom.
  • The 2019 Class Council held a meeting with a 1968 alumnus, who recounted an old Columbia tradition from the 50’s and 60’s that the Junior class may try to bring back in a lesser form. Back in the day, the SEAS Junior class would spend the five weeks after school ended out in the woods, living and camping together. This was called “Camp Columbia.” Honestly, it sounds really fun.
  • Dean Brovman was interested in ESC’s input regarding future faculty tech talk ideas. Suggestions from ESC included: the 3d printing of food and soft materials, AI, modernization of healthcare, nano materials, 3d animation, digital health, cryptocurrency, organic electronics, and the use of nanoparticles to fight autoimmune diseases.

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