Search Results for: gssc

Sep

19

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Pictured: Possibly one GS student?

In the second exciting meeting of the General Studies Student Council, Acting Dean of Students Ivonne Rojas dropped by as a guest speaker for a Q&A, followed by the interview and appointment of nominees to the council! Brand spanking new GS bureau chief Andrew Chee brings you the exhilarating run down of all the nominees!

Q&A with Dean Rojas

In her second ever GSSC meeting, Dean Rojas gave a quick run through of her unbridled love for GS, summarizing her past as an admissions officer and student advisor, while also overseeing the dual BA program with Science Po and Trinity College. Her near future plans as Acting Dean include working on food insecurity and mental health, as well as emphasizing the success of the grad school coaching program. Clearly, she is all about supporting students while they are here in undergrad and after they graduate as well!

The Q&A revolved completely around the topic of food insecurity and what Student Life was doing to address it. Dean Rojas and Assistant Dean Sean Trulby stated that, in addition to existing initiatives, new ideas being discussed included attempts to make food insecurity programs more accessible – how could the school make students more comfortable in asking for help? Other goals floating around included expanding vouchers to even more restaurants and grocery stores, and an emergency stipend for immediate funds for unexpected emergencies and situations.

Updates, candidates, and more after the jump!

Sep

12

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img September 12, 201811:00 amimg 0 Comments

Maybe the real gavel was the student democracy we found along the way.

School’s back, and so is GSSC! Sweet baby Bwogger Michael Colton swung by the Satow Room last night at 8:15 pm for this year’s first meeting of General Studies Student Council.

The General Studies Student Council convened last night, September 11, for their first meeting of the academic year. Appointments for general council roles have yet to be made, so last night’s proceedings saw only the 5/9 executive board members of the council — this figure later became 7/9 thanks to the late (and UNEXCUSED) arrivals of Chief of Policy Olivia Hartzell and Chief of Communications Max Waldroop — engaging in votes and discussions. President Raisa Flor assured me that attendance would improve at next week’s meeting of the full council, but the two men seated behind me arguing about urinal etiquette and somehow chewing black beans and rice loudly provided me all the company that I needed throughout the meeting.

Weekly Update and Recruitment

VP of Communications Sitara Herur-Halbert was the first of our lovely board members to give remarks. She noted that the GSSC recently increased its contribution towards the cause of university-wide student organizations in an effort to afford General Studiers more opportunities to engage with extracurricular groups and events. The annual Mel’s Orientation event — attended by GS first years and OLs (talk about partying with your icons!) — was said to have “gone well,” so congratulations to all that were there. On the matter of recruitment, VP Herur-Halbert noted the group’s need for graphic and web designers in order to aid with the GSSC website and other digital outreach initiatives; if you or a friend has experience or interest in such a position, contact General Studies Student Council on Facebook or visit their webpage at gssc.gs.columbia.edu for more information!

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Sep

9

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This could be you (and GSSC)!

While Bwog loves weird short posts, investigative features, and everything in between, our favorite content involves doing our civic duty. We cover meetings of all four of Columbia’s undergraduate student councils: Columbia College Student Council (CCSC), Engineering Student Council (ESC), Barnard’s Student Government Association (SGA), and General Studies Student Council (GSSC). For each council, we have a Bureau Chief, responsible for attending every meeting, listening to all the deliberations, the arguments, and the occasional impeachments, and writing a recap post about that meeting the next day. These Bureau Chiefs keep all of campus in the loop about what their student councils are doing, enabling students to support or protest their leaders accordingly.

This semester, we’re looking for a new GSSC Bureau Chief. GSSC is perhaps the most chill of Columbia’s student councils; their meetings tend to center more on planning parties and initiatives for low-income students than intense debates on student government’s role in the Israel-Palestine conflict. Also, they often serve food at their meetings. If you’re free on Tuesday evenings after 9 pm and you want to make cool friends in General Studies, then this is the job for you!

If you’re interested in the position, come to our open meeting tonight (9 to 10 pm in Lerner 510) and talk to us about it. Or, if you can’t make the meeting, email editors@bwog.com telling us who you are and why you want to cover GSSC.

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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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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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

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