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Apr

25

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summer! so close but so far

Spunky young GSSC Bureau Chief Zoe Sottile brings you the latest and greatest from General Studies Student Council. As always, GSSC meets at 8:15 pm on Tuesday nights in the Satow Room.

This was the last GSSC General Body of the year! Lots of updates, lots of co-sponsorship requests, so little time. And, as usual, there was food.

Dean Rosen-Metsch

New GS Dean Lisa Rosen-Metsch made it a goal to attend GSSC once a month; last night’s meeting marked her fourth such visit. She gave shout-outs to GSSC’s success with the gala and encouraged students to take the Student Well-Being Survey.

Dean Rosen-Metsch spoke mostly about her efforts to improve GS’s financial aid and food security last night. She described financial aid as her “highest budget priority” and mentioned the setting aside of a budget next year specifically dedicated to alleviating student food insecurity. When a student asked what her highest priority was for improving student aid, she named GS’s endowment. She stated a desire to “ensure the financial viability of GS going forward” as well as ultimately “meet the full financial need of students”. GS is unique among the undergraduate colleges in that it doesn’t need to hire its own professors. Thus, essentially all of the profits of the endowment go towards increasing financial aid.

Dean Rosen-Metsch also mentioned her dedication to social justice issues, specifically naming the college’s partnership with the Center for Justice. The center is looking to create more educational opportunities for people who were formerly incarcerated; several GS deans are teaching or working at the center on that project and others.

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Apr

18

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img April 18, 20182:22 pmimg 0 Comments

GSSC had cookies, guys. And they gave me one.

Newly crowned GSSC Bureau Chief Zöe Sottile swung by the Satow Room to cover this week’s meeting of General Studies Student Council. If you want to watch the drama and discourse yourself, check out GSSC at 8 pm on Tuesday nights. 

General! Studies! Student! Council! This is the week of elections, so get out there and rock the vote. Voting closes on Thursday; election results should be out by 5 pm then, with the exception of Senate elections which take longer because they require the input of the Premedical Association. Democracy makes the dream happen.

VP Campus Life: The Fun Stuff

GS Gala is this week! They still need volunteers to help set up the decor – GS students should’ve gotten an email soliciting volunteers, so respond if you want to help make Gala as beautiful as possible.

Campus Life moved to allocate $1,546.30 from the Campus Life Budget to the Senior Gift, since the senior class is larger than expected, requiring additional funding. The motion was approved.

Aaaaand there’s an upcoming event co-hosted by Barnard called We’d Like To Hang Again on April 20th (blaze it) from 1 to 5 pm. Campus Life moved to allocate $300 from its own budget for the event, so that they can rent tables and chairs in case it rains and people don’t want to sit on the wet grass. How considerate, Campus Life.

Keep reading and there’ll be a fight

Apr

11

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img April 11, 20181:13 pmimg 0 Comments

don’t worry, this image also triggers high school flashbacks of wearing business casual and shouting at other sweaty sixteen-year old virgins

It’s election season, and intrepid young GS bureau chief Zoe Sottile is bringing you the latest and greatest from GSSC’s candidates debate last night.

First of all, GSSC both had pizza and saved me a seat for the debates. Y’all, GSSC is truly the best. Each candidate had two minute to present their platform and then five minutes to respond to questions from the full and lively audience or the livestream.

VP Communications

We first heard from the three candidates for VP Communications, Karl Sully Guerrier GS ’20, Sitara Herur-Halbert GS ’19, and Biao Huan Foo GS ’20. Nicole Rogers, the current VP Comms, asked what the candidates’ plans were to actually engage students over the school year and if they had any previous website or coding experience. None of the candidates had any tech experience, which may present a problem for the Communications committee going forward. Guerrier focused in his responses on reaching out to students who feel “out of the loop”, suggesting that he set up tables in the lounge to reach out to students. In one of the spicier moments of the debate, Herur-Halbert, the current GSSC Social Media Representative, called Guerrier out for not reading her platform and made her own suggestions for having club events displayed on the TV in the GS lounge, as well as making display boards in the lounge and Lewisohn. She also proposed expanding the tech team that supports Communications as well as starting two weekly video series called Weekly Skim and Dear PrezBo. Foo discussed the possibility of a design competition for online visuals to get students more involved. When questioned about past difficulties in recruiting students to provide tech support for GSSC, Foo suggested that recruitment go beyond GS and include students from other schools.

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Mar

29

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img March 29, 20187:01 pmimg 0 Comments

These could be yours at the first-year GS end of year celebration.

Bwog is back with weekly GSSC coverage! Staff writer Zoe Sottile went to check out the happenings at General Studies Student Council. 

This week drew a large audience at GSSC and with good reason: new dean Lisa Rosen-Metsch visited to give some updates and answer questions; the elections commission brought forward a few new candidates for its positions; and treasurer Eric Lunzer, who used to be an executive chef, catered a whole meal for everyone. You guys. GSSC is the best.

Rocking Out With Rosen-Metsch

This was Dean Rosen-Metsch’s third time visiting GSSC; she intends to come to one meeting every month. She discussed her pride in GS’s 463 student veterans – which is more than the entire rest of the Ivy League has combined. She also emphasized the importance of Columbia’s mental health initiatives, which are currently being spearheaded by Deantini. Here she brought up her own background in public health. Currently, she’s still continuing some of her own research on HIV / AIDS, and has brought on four GS students to help her.

She also discussed food insecurity, calling it “a symptom of financial distress and morally reprehensible for our students.” While she presented no immediate plan to solve the problem, she is working with Dean Hartford and Dean Rodgers to gather more data.

She addressed the feedback she’s heard from students before, which mostly concerns undergraduate research, building community across the four colleges, and global experiences. She’s working on trying to help GS students get involved in research early on, partnering more with the other undergraduate schools, and is very excited about the new dual-degree program with Trinity College in Dublin that starts next year. She currently co-chairs a committee on instruction with CC and is going to the next Barnard faculty meeting to introduce herself, decisions that she hopes will help build communication between the administrations of the different colleges.

Questions from the audience after the jump

Mar

7

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img March 07, 20182:40 pmimg 2 Comments

A possible look at the upcoming GS Donuts Celebration.

For a brief change in pace, staff writer Zöe Sottile made her way to the Satow Room at 8:00 pm for General Studies Student Council. 

This week, GSSC’s main priorities were evaluating nominees for a few representative positions as well as the upcoming GS Gala. As someone who has previously covered ESC meetings, I was surprised by how many differences in how GSSC and ESC are run. GSSC felt significantly more relaxed – the meeting started twenty minutes after it nominally began, and there were many more members of the audience than at ESC.

Meet The Nominees

GSSC dedicated the first part of its meeting to hearing from the nominees for a couple student representative positions. Rachel Bartlett made her case for Veteran Representative. She’s a first-year in GS who has been in the Marine Corps for eight years and is passionate about community outreach and development.

Both Amy Faskus and Dan Burkhardt are nominees for GSSC’s new election commission. Since this is a new internal committee, it’s unclear what exactly the commission will look like and these nominees will likely have significant power to shape and guide the new elections process. Amy is a senior theater major who discussed her previous leadership experience in clubs. Dan is a senior studying information science who has facilitated the elections for MilVets for the past two years.

Finally, Irene Ku is a nominee for the new position of Dual-BA representative. Irene is in her final ear of the dual degree program with City University of Hong Kong. Her main concern is that dual-degree programs, who arrive as juniors, don’t feel like they get enough career development and information about job opportunities. She wants to host events with dual degree alumni to help alleviate this problem.

updates from GSSC after the jump

Jan

31

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img January 31, 20187:00 pmimg 0 Comments

gssc to get swoll?

As per usual, Bwog brings you a summary of last night’s General Studies Student Council (GSSC) meeting. Highlights include an upcoming fitness challenge and important initiative updates. 

General Studies Student Council kept the second meeting of the semester short and sweet (about 30 minutes). As a reminder, GSSC meetings happen each week on Tuesday evening, and are streamed live on the GSSC Facebook page.

The council announced the upcoming GSSC Fitness Challenge, which will be underway soon. The challenge will consist of three separate phases. Phase 1 will emphasize a variety of exercises to do at home (body weight exercises, etc), and will include several instruction videos. Pawel Maslag, GSSC member, promised to complete weekly challenges (including doing one push-up for every like on the instructional videos). Phase 2 will involve collaboration with other groups on campus, and will include matching up workout buddies at Dodge, and mock workout plans. Phase 3 will feature a day of challenges on campus, including jumping jack and push-up challenges, as well as a fun run.

Click here for more announcements from the council

Jan

24

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img January 24, 201810:50 amimg 0 Comments

An accurate representation of this meeting’s snacks.

Diverting from her usual Bwog fare of oddly-relatable shitposts, Deputy Editor Jenny Zhu stepped in this week to cover GSSC’s (General Studies Student Council) first meeting of the new semester. 

This week’s GSSC meeting opened with a feast of fresh fruit offerings, courtesy of the newly-appointed GS Dean, Lisa Rosen-Metsch. Dean Rosen-Metsch, who introduced herself to GSSC in December, came to speak more about her upcoming goals, talked with students in the audience prior to the meeting’s beginning, and brought snacks. Yep, we stan Dean Rosen-Metsch.

Rosen-Metsch Rocks

Rosen-Metsch took the mic to discuss her background as a GS alumna, a chair in the School of Public Health, a member of the Committee on Instruction, and now, the 9th dean of the General Studies as of January 1. Referencing her first official email sent to the Columbia community, she spent a moment recounting the sad passing of GS/JTS alumna Hannah Weiss, as well as the deaths of two other Columbia students.

After the floor opened up to questions, she first spoke on her accessibility to students, which she named as her top goal as a new dean (yay!) – she planned on meeting this goal by attending more events, allowing students to sign up for lunch meetings, and even eventually accommodating individual meetings requested via email. Beyond accessibility, her other priorities included financial aid, food insecurity, and social justice.

She also responded to questions about cyberbullying and GS integration in Columbia. To the former, she stated that she would hope to be briefed extensively about the extent of the problem first, and to the latter, she referenced her own past as a GS alumna as a basis for working on creating more GS inclusivity in the larger Columbia community.

Everything’s New

With the new year also came the introduction of a slew of new GSSC members and projects. GSSC first re-introduced the newly-appointed members from last semester (Students with Disabilities Representative Matt Linsky, Health and Wellness Representative Olivia Hartzell, and Equity and Inclusion Chair Jeffrey Panosian). The council also was introduced to new captioner Ricky and new JTS Representative Zach.

Beyond new council members, however, GSSC also recently got a new website! Built from scratch over the winter break, the new website is ready to be unveiled, once CUIT gives GSSC the approval to go live with the domain.

Other Updates

Upcoming events included a mystery Valentine’s Day event, which would include activities for GS to mingle, “especially the single ones.” GSSC also discussed the upcoming Glass House Rocks on February 1, which needed GSSC volunteers to both help set up and to solicit updated club information from performing arts groups at the event.

Dec

6

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img December 06, 201711:44 amimg 0 Comments

what better place to show off your favorite holiday sweater than at tomorrow’s holiday sweater party?

Bwog’s GSSC (General Studies Student Council) Bureau Chief, Alex Tang, brings us a recap of last night’s meeting, the last one of the semester!

This week’s eventful GSSC meeting, the last one of the semester, included a visit by the new incoming dean of GS, updates on the reorganization of the GSSC elections process, and speeches by new council nominees.

The meeting began with a presentation and Q&A with the new dean of the School of General Studies, Lisa Rosen-Metsch, who will take over Dean Awn’s role in January. The incoming dean arrived early, greeting council members and meeting attendees. Introducing herself as an alumna of the GS Jewish Theological Seminary Joint Program, Rosen-Metsch will be the first GS dean who is also a GS graduate. Trained as a sociologist, Rosen-Metsch worked at the Mailman School of Public Health, focusing on the social determinants of health, specifically on issues such as HIV prevention and substance use prevention. Rosen-Metsch highlighted the unique identity of GS, with “no other school like it in the Ivy League or in the world,” and emphasized her desire to maintain a close relationship with GSSC.

When asked about what she sees as being the biggest challenges that GS faces, Rosen-Metsch mentioned the limited availability of financial aid for GS students, as well as affordable housing and food insecurity. During her first semester as dean, Rosen-Metsch plans to meet as many students and faculty as possible. Rosen-Metsch encouraged GSSC to share student concerns with her as often as possible, noting that the student council is a place for the dean to present initiatives and to get genuine student feedback.

Read about the new elections process and meet the new council members!

Nov

29

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img November 29, 201711:50 amimg 0 Comments

ceremony of sparkly lights thanks to our student councils

Happy Wednesday! Bwog’s GSSC (General Studies Student Council) Bureau Chief, Alex Tang, is back with updates on last night’s council meeting.

This week’s GSSC meeting was one of a nitty-gritty, technical nature, focusing mostly on structural and financial matters regarding the council.

To start, GS President Sam Demezieux introduced the plan for the four Columbia undergraduate student councils (GSSC, CCSC, ESC, and Barnard SGA) to form a four-school fund. Since there are certain events that all four schools share (including Tree Lighting and Glass House Rocks), creating a common fund would make logistics much easier. Allocations for funds would be set up in the beginning of the term, saving discussion time during student council meetings. At the earliest, the four-school fund would be implemented by the coming spring semester.

VP of Policy, Raisa Flor, introduced and passed two bylaw amendments to the current GSSC constitution. Firstly, the removal of any associate of the GSSC must now require a majority vote by the executive board (rather than at the sole discretion of the committee chief). The GSSC policy committee will also add a health/wellness position, due to the immediate importance of the issue at Columbia.

Click here for GSSC’s plan to revamp its elections process, as well as other updates

Nov

15

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img November 15, 20172:30 pmimg 0 Comments

so many things to look forward to, such as tree-lighting season!

Now that we’re two months deep into the semester, and with Thanksgiving coming up next week, many of us are sleep-deprived, swamped in work, and losing steam. Luckily, for the officers and the attendees (including yours truly), last night’s General Studies Student Council meeting was short and sweet. Bwog’s GSSC Bureau Chief, Alex Tang, brings us updates for upcoming initiatives, events, and food giveaways.

To start off the meeting, GSSC’s Students with Disabilities Representative, Jonathan Criswell, introduced the council to the new Students with Disabilities Survey. The survey will be sent out to the GSSC community, and is aimed at pinpointing any “financial issues, issues of accessibility, issues of morale and discrimination, and any potential issues” that affect GSSC’s population of students with disabilities. The council briefly reviewed the survey, and certain members suggested semantic changes in the language of the survey. After further review, the survey will be sent out to the GS student body, and all respondents will be entered into a raffle for a $50 gift card.

Under the guidance of Julia Hewitt, the Family and Working Students Representative, GSSC is also working on a survey for students with families. This shorter survey (also with a $50 gift card raffle) is aimed at granting GSSC a better understanding of the demographics and circumstances of the population.

Finally, the council approved funding for the First Year Dinner, which will happen on Friday, December 1 from 6-8pm at Amity Hall. The event is intended for first-year students to reconnect after their first semester at Columbia. GSSC will work with Amity Hall to make the dinner open to all students 18 and over.

Click here for fun events with free food!

Nov

1

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Tonight, Bwog’s GSSC Bureau Chief Alex Tang brings us updates from last night’s GSSC (General Studies Student Council) meeting, featuring attendees in costumes and lots of free candy. 

Last night, GSSC held a festive Halloween-themed town hall meeting, which included GSSC officers and some audience members in Halloween costumes. The lively cast of characters at this meeting included Superman, Catwoman, and Wednesday Addams.

The meeting ended with a costume contest. Check the GSSC Facebook page to vote on the best pair, funniest, and scariest costume categories. Voting closes on Monday.

The meeting itself was relatively short, with only a few announcements.

Click here for said announcements

Oct

25

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img October 25, 201711:30 amimg 0 Comments

what we think next week’s GSSC meeting will look like

Today, Bwog’s General Studies Student Council (GSSC) Bureau Chief, Alex Tang, brings us updates from last night’s GSSC meeting. Read about GSSC’s latest initiatives, concerning an upcoming Halloween costume party, transparency within the council, and the rights of students with disabilities on campus.

Halloween is happening on a Tuesday this year, which doesn’t sound too lit until you find out that you can party with GSSC! GSSC is hosting a Town Hall meeting next week in an effort to allow the General Studies student body to interact with the council. Free snacks and candy (including lots of international brands) will be provided. Come dressed in your costume, as the meeting will include a costume contest, with categories for the scariest, funniest, and best costume pair. GSSC plans to splurge quite a bit during this event, so do show up! As a GSSC council-member quipped, “What better event to go big than Halloween?”

During the meeting this week, GS Student Services and Academic Representative Yona Kornsgold introduced a resolution aimed at achieving greater transparency for GSSC within the GS community. Kornsgold acknowledged that GSSC has done a great job promoting transparency so far, through its live-streaming of weekly meetings and its creation of a policy tracker, which tracks the status of current and upcoming GSSC policies and initiatives.

Read more about transparency and other updates

Oct

18

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img October 18, 201711:30 amimg 1 Comments

it’s that time of the year again!

Happy Wednesday! Bwog’s GSSC Bureau Chief, Alex Tang, is back with updates from yesterday’s meeting. This week, GSSC specifically acknowledged the fact that we’re all in the midst of midterms season. In the words of GS VP of Policy Raisa Flor, “remember to take care of yourselves during midterms week. Eat, drink, get enough sleep, and don’t be too hard on yourself.”

Today is Columbia’s annual Giving Day! The bulk of the General Studies meeting was focused on publicizing Giving Day and the various events that are happening on and off campus. Prizes (such as Flex points) will be given away throughout the day for specific challenges. Here are some ways GS students can enter to win prizes today:

  • Post a photo of yourself and/or your pet in Columbia blue. Use #ColumbiaGivingDay and be sure to call out GS. The winner will be posted by CAA on Twitter/Facebook when announced.
  • Show us the next generation of Columbians – Post a photo of your baby or child (nieces, nephews, grandkids, or friends are fine too!) wearing Columbia gear. Use #ColumbiaGivingDay and be sure to call out GS.
  • Send a Snapchat to @columbiagiving calling out GS. The winner will be posted by CAA on Twitter/Facebook when announced.

Furthermore, the Giving Day Celebration, hosted by GS, is taking place today between 5:30-7:30pm at the Penn/Columbia Club on 44th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues. Get your tickets here, and show up to meet fellow alumni and students and to grab some free refreshments.

GSSC President Sam Demezieux started the meeting by reviewing the purpose of Giving Day, characterizing it as an “opportunity for the Columbia community to come together in friendly competition” to see “who can raise the most funds for student initiatives.” Demezieux went on to state that a significant part of the funds raised by GS on Giving Day would go towards student scholarships, a large priority for the school. The president encouraged alumni and friends of GS to donate, while at the same time stating that students are not explicitly expected to donate.

Read the other talking points from yesterday’s meeting here

Oct

11

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img October 11, 201710:39 amimg 0 Comments

Guastavino’s looks bougie enough for this bwogger

Each Wednesday, Bwog’s GSSC Bureau Chief, Alex Tang, gives us a brief summary of the previous GSSC meeting. This week, GSSC approved the venue for the 2018 Spring Gala and introduced a new initiative for GS first-years.

This week, the General Studies Student Council (GSSC) hosted a relatively short meeting, focusing mainly on updates for upcoming events or initiatives. The meeting took place at 8:15 in Lerner 5, during the protests against right-wing speaker Tommy Robinson. As a result, this week’s meeting was different in that it was punctuated periodically by the rallying cries and cheers from just a few floors down. Yet, every speaker spoke slightly louder than usual, and the meeting proceeded smoothly.

The bulk of the meeting was spent on selecting the venue for the annual Spring Gala. VP of Campus Life Dennis Zhao introduced his favorite contender, Guastavino’s in East Midtown. Guastavino’s has a much larger capacity than previous gala venues, and Zhao mentioned that up to seven hundred students might be able to attend this year’s gala at Guastavino’s, more than in previous years. The Spring Gala has been criticized in previous years for its limited capacity, as not all GS students were able to attend the galas. Senior Class President Roya Hegdahl, who attended her freshman Spring Gala at Guastavino’s, noted that the venue was incredibly spacious and well-organized, allowing for a natural flow of events. More importantly, hosting the Spring Gala at Guastavino’s would mean cheaper gala tickets for attendees, as well as the extra benefits of hors d’oeuvres and a larger “beverage” selection. GSSC unanimously approved Guastavino’s as the 2018 Spring Gala venue.

Read about GS’s new first-year initiative

Oct

4

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img October 04, 201710:56 amimg 0 Comments

the Welcome Back Party venue looks pretty glamorous tbh

Today is Wednesday, which means that Bwog’s General Studies Student Council (GSSC) Bureau Chief Alex Tang is here with a summary of yesterday’s meeting. If you’re interested in what goes on in General Studies and can’t make it to the weekly GSSC meetings, check back weekly for convenient updates!

GSSC held a fairly short meeting last night. Members of the council took turns giving updates about various events and initiatives related to the School of General Studies.

Most importantly, the annual GSSC-hosted Welcome Back Party is coming up tomorrow, Thursday, from 7-9pm at the Hudson Terrace, a rooftop lounge in Midtown. The Welcome Back Party is one of the biggest events that GSSC hosts each year, and is a major highlight for many GS students. A limited number of tickets are still available, so check the link above if you’re in GS and want to turn up tomorrow!

In anticipation of Homecoming, the annual Columbia Homecoming Banner Showdown is happening next week, on Thursday October 12 from 12-4pm on the Lerner Ramps. Each of Columbia’s four undergraduate schools (CC, SEAS, Barnard, and GS) will be given empty canvasses on which to propose their own version of the Homecoming banner. The banners will be posted during the pep rally, and the best banner will be voted upon by the student body. VP of Campus Life Dennis Zhao encouraged as many GS students to attend as possible. Zhao noted that other schools have been talking smack about GS, quoting that GS students are “too old” and lack the “steady hands” to make artwork. Let’s show all the haters wrong!

Here are the other updates covered during the GSSC meeting:

  • The Faculty Mentorship Program website is now live, and can be accessed here. The program is open to all juniors and seniors in CC and GS, who will be able to choose certain faculty members as personal mentors. Through the program, each faculty member will act as “an experienced ally who can provide personal and individual guidance and support on academic, professional, and social issues, helping their mentees not only achieve but also identify or clarify their goals.”
  • GSSC will be hosting monthly awareness panels geared towards different student populations within GS. In October, there will be a Dual BA/Joint Programs Students Panel. In November, in partnership with GS Alliance, GSSC will host a Transgender Students Panel.
  • There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Food Bank at Columbia today at 4:30pm at the Food Bank in Lerner. The School of General Studies played a big role in actualizing the food bank, and GSSC would like to invite any interested students to check out the ceremony.
  • Community Impact works with high schoolers in the community around Columbia, and is currently looking for GS volunteers who can dedicate an hour per week to show students what it’s like to be a college student. Contact the council for more information.

We saw several new faces at the meeting as well, as the council heard (and approved) the nominations for two previously vacant positions. GSSC’s two new council members are:

  • Lou Abramowicz (Senior Class VP): A student from the Dual BA program at Sciences Po, Abramowicz is excited to coordinate GS’s most cherished events and traditions.
  • Eren Villa (Social Chair): Villa emphasized his interest in the role as coming out of a “love for the community,” rather than as a means of gaining “social capital.”

Senator Ramond Curtis also introduced two new legislative assistants and three new administrative assistants, who will help him interface with the Columbia administration. The role of the legislative assistants, Patrick and Moth, will be to do research, draft memorandums for the University Senate, and to advocate for direct policy changes. The administrative assistants, Daniel, Alejandro, and Christopher, will meet with administrators and draft official emails. All five assistants will be working associate non-voting positions, but will be active members of the board.

Hudson Terrace via pinterest

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