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img October 17, 201810:59 amimg 0 Comments

Pictured are two GS students conversing about post-midterm fun

Tonight’s meeting was straightforward, as the council focused on fun upcoming events after midterms! GSSC Bureau Chief Andrew Chee sacrifices his Butler time to bring you this delicious recap.

Stephanie Jennings, a senior health specialist at Columbia Health Services, was tonight’s guest speaker, opening up a conversation about what students would like to see more of in the Columbia health insurance plans.

Students noted that they particularly desired :

  • Affordability, with regards to co-pay, medication, and premiums
  • Reliability
  • Partial coverage for out of network doctors
  • A larger network for out of state providers
  • A more affordable dental plan
  • Greater transparency regarding insurance policy benefits, termination, and fees
  • Additional option plans with lower premiums and higher out of pocket costs

If you have any comments or suggestions for the Columbia health insurance plan for future semesters, you can reach out to Stephanie at

GSSC President Updates

GSSC has two open positions: Senior Class Treasurer and Community Services and Sustainability Rep. Apply if it seems like it is up your alley!

Upcoming Events

  • Midterms Snack Attacks are still going on this week. Today and tomorrow (October 17 and 18), head over to the GS lounge for breakfast and lunch at 9:30 am and 12:30 pm, respectively.
  • The JTS Shabbat dinner is happening this Friday, October 19 at 8:15 pm in the GS lounge and will have kosher/Persian food. For this event, make sure you RSVP on the Google Form provided on the Facebook event.
  • The Homecoming Pep Rally will also occur on Friday, October 19 on Butler lawn at 1 to 3 pm. Lazy Halloween will be on November 1 at Mel’s at 7 pm.
  • Basketball Mania is on October 25. Prizes include $50k for a half-court shot, $10k for a three-pointer, and Columbia laundry bags. GSSC is looking for a GS student to partner up with the women’s basketball players for the three-pointer shot. You are eligible if you have not played basketball competitively in the last five years, so contact Sondra Woodruff at if you are interested!
  • Senior Class events
    • Oktoberfest on the 27th 1:30 to 4:30 pm in front of East Campus Plaza.
    • First Year Senior Year Lunch is on November 2nd in the GS Lounge.
    • Lerner Pubs

That’s all from GSSC this week! Check out these exciting events and unwind during the stressful midterms period!

Photo via Columbia Program of General Studies



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img October 10, 201811:36 amimg 0 Comments

Too busy to stop by General Studies Student Council? No worries, resident Bwogger Andrew Chee skipped out on soup dumplings to bring you the rundown of the major topics discussed tonight.


An amendment to the bylaws was proposed to replace the impeachment process for appointed members of the council. As it currently stands, the impeachment process was a fairly public spectacle that generated a great deal of drama and hard feelings. Thus, the council successfully voted to revamp the process, implementing a six-week process consisting of the superior officer first meeting with the member, and then the full student council meeting with the member if the issues are not rectified. Finally, if no improvements are evident, the council can convene to privately impeach said member via unanimous vote.


Newly elected Alumni Affairs Rep Jessica Kim will be meeting the alumni relations team on Friday to throw some ideas about to engage alumni for Giving Day. Additionally, the Monthly Owl is still looking for submissions for upcoming events! If your organization has an upcoming event that you would like to promote, feel free to check the Weekly Raisa for the link to submit your event.

Campus Life

Many events finally have a date and time! The pep rally will be on October 19 at Butler lawn from 1 to 4 pm and will have free t-shirts, a marching band, and more. Next, the Shabbat dinner will take place later on the same day, October 19, in the GS lounge at 8:15 pm, and it will be open to all General Studies students. Lastly, the Lazy Halloween party at Mel’s has been scheduled for November 1 (time TBA) and it sounds like it’s gonna be a blast! GSSC is renting out Mel’s for the night, and there will be an unlimited hot food and milkshake bar, and a drink ticket. Entrance tickets for the event will $5, and subsidized tickets will be available as well. A motion for $6600 to be allocated toward Lazy Halloween (for the cost of renting the venue and providing the aforementioned goodies) was approved.

stouts are the best beer change my mind

Senior Class President

Senior Class President Stephen Ballew announced a senior class event: Oktoberfest! Oktoberfest will take place on the 27th in the plaza in front of East Campus from 1:30 to 4:30 pm. Additionally, GS seniors will be allowed to bring a +1 for this event and other events, in an effort to improve turnout at senior events. Stephen made a motion to allocate $230 toward senior class Oktoberfest steins from the senior class budget, which was approved. The steins will be given out to the first 100 students at Oktoberfest, so start lining up!

Keep reading to hear from the Senator and Committee Chairs!



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img October 03, 201811:27 amimg 0 Comments

not cute

Newly flu-immune GSSC Bureau Chief Andrew Chee brings you the key highlights from tonight’s General Studies Student Council meeting. If you want to experience the action front and center, be sure to stop by the Jed Satow Room in Lerner every Tuesday at 8:15pm.

President Raisa Flor delivered some updates regarding the Alumni Affairs team, the upcoming Giving Day, and the Silent Auction. GS hired 4 people recently solely to improve alumni affairs and connect undergraduate students with alumni more effectively.  Giving Day is an event in which students are challenged to give back to the school, culminating in a series of competitions, where students’ donations will be matched by the trustees upon reaching a certain number of gifts. Giving Day is set for October 24, so keep your eyes peeled for further information as the date approaches. In addition, GSSC will be allocating funds toward the Food Pantry for the Silent Auction, as well as two tickets to the GS Gala. The Silent Auction is an event taking place on October 10 in Lerner 555 from 6 to 9pm, which aims to raise awareness of and combat the stigma associated with food insecurity. For anyone wishing to donate items or services (e.g. DJing, personal training sessions), make sure you email or send them a message on Facebook.

Committing to Carbon Neutrality

Meredith, BC/JTS’21 and Ariana, CC’21 came in to speak about their campaign for Columbia to commit to carbon neutrality in its sustainability plan, as well as to garner support from the student council and student body at large. They believe that a commitment to a pledge will serve as a positive example for students to emulate in order to be more green, and that the university will make back its financial investments in sustainability in the long run. Although Columbia will not be a leader in this sector, as many other universities have already made or completed formal commitments to carbon neutrality, it “hopes to align with New York City’s goal of 80% reduction by 2050 and a short term goal of 35% reduction by 2020”, the latter of which they are about to reach. As the largest property owner in New York City, Columbia can however be a leader within the city, and collaboration with the state would be likely and an effective move. As Columbia would need to release its data regarding its own carbon usage and emissions before further steps could be taken, the ball is now in their court as Meredith and Ariana ramp up the pressure on them and gather support from the general student body. Moving into the discussion, Meredith and Ariana stated that they plan to involve alumni as much as possible and avoid any and all potential financial repercussions for students in the form of tuition increases. Furthermore, a member of audience stepped up to state that, “[As a private sector energy consultant], 2030 is a very aggressive date, but very doable.” Let’s hope Columbia makes the right decision as world leaders and protects the environment.

But where are the mashed potatoes?



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img September 26, 201811:10 amimg 0 Comments

Actual photograph of Raisa bringing down the hammer/gavel

Our gallant and fearless GSSC Bureau Chief Andrew Chee braved the torrential downpour to give y’all the rundown of breaking news from the General Studies Student Council! Let’s just pretend that it was not drizzling lightly by the time he walked over to Lerner. Tonight’s highlights include a Q&A with GS Dean Lisa Rosen-Metsch, GS ’90, and additional nominees to the council.

GSSC kept it healthy today with fruits and fresh veggies for the meeting. President Raisa Flor, GS ’19, had to bust out the gavel just to get everyone away from the food and right into business.

Q&A With the Dean 

Our lovely GS Lisa Rosen-Metsch dropped by for a Q&A session about updates since she became Dean in January, as well as plans for the future. As a quick refresher, Dean Rosen-Metsch is an alumna of General Studies, majoring in sociology in the first dual degree program of the dual BA/Jewish Theological Seminary. She is now a sociologist who has done work with public health, most notably regarding the HIV/AID epidemic, and she was the chair of the department of sociomedical sciences at Mailman, where she currently serves as a professor.

For this fall semester, Dean Rosen-Metsch noted that we have 710 new GS students, including 118 veterans, 117 in the Postbac Premed program, 4 students from the Trinity College Dublin/GS dual BA program, as well as students from a multitude of various backgrounds, such as ballet dancers, writers, athletes, models, teachers, musicians, designers, journalists, engineers, entrepreneurs, investment bankers, real estate agents, and workers in construction, hospitality, government, and nonprofits. Just to give a sense of the achievements of the incoming class of GS students, Dean Rosen-Metsch mentioned one new student, an Olympian who won the US National Championship for show jumping in 2012 and competed in London as youngest ever member of US Olympic Equestrian team! Excited to see you all on campus and welcome!

Tell me more about horses

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