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Sep

11

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Fave for soaking up the alc inside

Fave for soaking up the alc inside

In the days of yore, the only food you could scarf down after a night of debauchery was (1) halal, (2) Koronet’s, or (3) Roti Roll, the holy trinity of grease-filled comfort food. As of this month, we can add a fourth destination for those stumbling home from a night out: JJ’s Place, revamped, revitalized, and now open from 12 pm to 10 am, every day of the week. This change is accompanied by several implications for the beleaguered, and unfailingly cheerful, staff of JJ’s Place. Namely: they will have to clean up the puke of freshmen (and juvenile upperclassmen). How much will they have to take, and will their smiles turn upside down?

B-of-the-E Assumptions

  • Assume 85% of Columbia freshmen were unbelievably uncool in high school, to the extent that they (compensate and) start off the school year by going out every weekend and drinking to excess. This number goes down to 65% within a month of each semester’s start, reaches a nadir of 30% during midterms and finals, and otherwise fluctuates throughout each semester.
    • Of the remaining 15% of students, assume 5% drink to excess once a semester, when in a pit of despair.

We sure do suck

May

1

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Hey look, it’s an SGA meeting!

CCSC barely managed to cling to a quorum but still got hectic. For the last time this academic year, Monday marionette Nadra Rahman reports from the Satow Room. Read on for details on a new International Students Rep and travel fund for CC students.

The final meeting of CCSC was unexpectedly empty and blissfully, only an hour over schdule. Throughout, the meeting teetered dangerously on the edge of losing quorum, to the point that visits to the bathroom had to obtain approval lest they meant a vote couldn’t occur. Even so, CCSC worked its way through multiple proposals for constitutional amendments and yes, paper plate awards.

Unethical Patagonias: A Note On F@CU

Before beginning the meeting, several members of CCSC spoke about F@CU (pronounced Fac You), the hours-long funding extravaganza in which the four student councils divide the money collected from student life fees amongst the five governing boards, after removing their own internal expenses.

VP Finance Anuj Sharma made the point that CC students, had paid disproportionately more than students of other schools, as usual—though in the coming year, CCSC will be given more flexibility in how they would spend the money. VP Campus Life Nathan Rosin was even more emphatic: according to him, CCSC puts most of its money in F@CU, while other councils retain more money for internal spending (which includes money for class councils, Campus Life, and Communications). This allows other councils to put on more events, but disadvantages the rest of student life, so Rosin voiced his desire that other groups would meet CCSC in their F@CU contributions. In his statements, Sharma also referred to “clear differences in the ethical practices of councils.” When prompted to elaborate, he said that Barnard’s SGA had spent $2,000 on Patagonias for board members. There is too much stereotype confirmation here to really say more on the topic.

International students, rejoice!

Apr

24

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If you've ever been to a State of the Sandwich Address, tell us how it was

If you’ve ever been to a State of the Sandwich Address, tell us how it was

Another Sunday night, another four hour meeting. If you couldn’t make it to CCSC last night (and who can blame you), here are the pertinent details from the slogfest, courtesy of Monday meme Nadra Rahman.

Every spring we look forward to un-tarped lawns, eau de mulch in the air, and…constitutional review? This year, CCSC’s constitutional review was informed by concerns surrounding appropriate representation, resulting in the creation of four new representative positions (and the abolition of two) and a heated discussion over the ballot initiative process. Here’s the Constitution to read along, and keep in mind the various discussions on Columbia University Apartheid Divest (CUAD) this semester (four links).

The New Positions

A note: the newly-elected Sandwich Ambassador and Inclusion and Equity Rep will serve out their terms. The election for the new positions will take place next spring, during regular CCSC elections.

Goodbye Sandwich Ambassador, hello Financial Security & First Generation Rep. There were multiple proposals for reforming the Sandwich Ambassador on the table—the first renamed the position entirely and geared it towards addressing broader financial and food security concerns, and this was the one that passed. The second proposal combined this with aspects of community engagement at the core of the position, while also allowing the Sandbassador to use a different, more serious title when interacting with outside businesses; the third mostly retained the current job description but also added the use-name and some (brief) language on financial security, and the fourth was much the same but suggested changing the name altogether, to one of a series of proposed new names.

There were outbursts galore

Apr

19

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The eye of the Columbia Elections Board: all-seeing, all-knowing

The eye of the Columbia Elections Board: all-seeing, all-knowing

It’s that time of the year again…election season. Supplement the endless Facebook posts and professionally-shot posters with this edition of Night In the Life, the tale of a profoundly competent and selfless CCSC candidate. 

9:34 pm
Messaging my hookup from last week to endorse me on Facebook—gotta work those connections.

9:42 pm
Blocking them after they refuse. I don’t care enough about my partner’s enjoyment? I exert painful pressure?? Roleplaying as Roaree and an excitable fan was too extreme??? Life is too short to waste on the rabble; I’m out.

10:15 pm
Scrolling through my notifications and commenting on every endorsement: “omg this means so much <3 i hope everyone else thinks i’m as capable as you do!” and “really hoping to make strides in making this a safer, more inclusive campus served by a truly accountable, transparent, and representative body.” And hey, while I’m doing this social media thing, why not add everyone who liked my JJ’s meme a few months ago? Low standards for humor and fries should correspond to low standards for student government.

But the night is still young

Apr

17

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In true Founding Fathers style

In true Founding Fathers style

Constitutional review: a dirty but necessary businesses. Get in the thick of it alongside Satow Room reporter Nadra Rahman and a few dedicated visitors from CUAD. 

The Columbia College Student Council (CCSC) was knee-high in constitutional review last night, debating the elimination of current positions, the creation of new of new ones, and in general, a complete reordering of CCSC as we know it.

But first—Columbia University Apartheid Divest returned (again), this time to invite Council members to a Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions 101 event. Before they did so, they took the time to bash CCSC (again) for their conduct and vote regarding CUAD’s proposed ballot initiative. Nadine Talaat (CC ‘17) put it this way: “You can’t pretend to be apolitical, so the only thing I think you can do is gauge the opinions of students [by coming to this event].”

After this interlude, the Council proceeded to consider a long, interwoven series of proposed constitutional amendments, made complicated by the fact that some contradicted or involved others. Voting will be next week, but the debate was not subdued. If you want to follow along, you can read the current constitution here.

What big changes are in store?

Apr

10

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Last week was four (4) hours, but last night they bounced back

Last night’s CCSC meeting was a merciful two hours, but a bit disjointed. Here are the latest deets from the Satow Room, courtesy of Bureau Chief Nadra Rahman. 

The Columbia College Student Council (CCSC) had two things on its plate last night: the General Studies Student Council (GSSC) resolution on providing GS students with swipe access to CC/SEAS residential halls, and constitutional review. These matters were preceded, however, by a visit from Columbia University Apartheid Divest (CUAD) in response to the Council’s recent vote on the group’s proposed ballot initiative.

The Return of CUAD
Last week’s CCSC meeting centered on the proposal to add the question “Do you support Columbia University Apartheid Divest’s campaign as part of the Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement?” to the ballot for the upcoming elections. Speakers mostly concentrated on concerns about marginalization, safety, and divisiveness as they debated the issue, speaking less to the proposed subject of the meeting: the question’s language and adherence to the mission of CCSC. In the end, council members (controversially) voted down the motion to add the question to the ballot. CUAD released a statement in response to the decision, available in full here.

More CUAD and swipe action after the jump

Apr

5

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Saint Luke the Evangelist is the patron saint of artists, physicians, surgeons, students and butchers, who seem pretty much all and the same

Saint Luke the Evangelist is the patron saint of artists, physicians, surgeons, students and butchers. All and the same?

We hate a lot of things at Columbia, but we admit we love surviving self-inflicted doom. Here’s a genuine shout-out to the institution that literally, but dispassionately, gives us life, especially on Bacchanal Day.  Although it has to be said: like most great love stories, the love here is unrequited.

St. Luke’s, you’re a gem: an unassuming fortress of brick and glass that has housed the vomit, blood, and neuroses of Columbians since time immemorial. (Or really, since 1896.) Through it all, you’ve been impassive, a little aloof. There is no judgement here, only cool medical attention. Yes, the nerdy, excitable, newly-liberated, and newly-intoxicated students in your emergency room are beneath you, but to be fair, everything is—so we don’t take it personally, but admire you from afar.

We appreciate your tough love

Apr

3

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Hottest club in town, after Ref

Hottest club in town, after Ref

Bwogger Nadra Rahman reports from a tense and stuffy Satow Room on overflow rooms, fascist symbols, anti-Semitism, “democracy and discourse,” a “painfully white” student council, and more, as CUAD pushes to include a question on the ballot for the upcoming student council elections.  

Last night’s meeting of the Columbia College Student Council (CCSC) was the most packed since, well, the last time that Israel was mentioned. Most of the students who came—from organizations like Columbia University Apartheid Divest (CUAD), Aryeh, J Street, Students Supporting Israel (SSI), Columbia Divest for Climate Justice (CDCJ), and still more groups—could not fit into the room and were either funnelled into overflow rooms to hear the livestream, or turned away. Chaos reigned for the first half hour of the meeting, with VP Nathan Rosin doing the bulk of the bouncing for the precariously crammed Satow Room.

The impetus for all this was CUAD’s proposal to include a referendum in the ballot for the upcoming general elections, which would read as follows: “Do you support Columbia University Apartheid Divest’s campaign as part of the Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement?” Though the Israel-Palestine issue consistently draws impassioned crowds to CCSC meetings, the intention of last night’s meeting was to vote not on the content of the issue, but on the language of the question and whether it deserved inclusion on the ballot.

And it lasted four hours

Mar

27

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Ready for the lawns to be unveiled whenever you are, captain.

You can catch Nadra Rahman in the Satow Room on any given Sunday night, observing the tumult and angst that characterize a good CCSC meeting.

The Columbia College Student Council (CCSC) had two items on its agenda at its meeting last night: discussing a proposal by black, Latinx, and indigenous constituency groups for reallocating representatives on the Activities Board at Columbia (ABC); and self-flagellation.

“Vocal Representation” in ABC
Members of the Black Students’ Organization, PorColombia, and the African Students’ Association came to CCSC to ask for endorsement of a proposal for ABC—which requests the “Black and Latino Cultural Chair” position be divided into three separate and individual “Black,” “Latinx,” and “Indigenous” representative positions. At the meeting, the emissaries cited a broad need for “authentic representation” that would improve the “channel of understanding” between ABC and student groups. The proposal will be voted on at an upcoming ABC town hall, so the groups behind the proposal are trying to raise as much awareness as possible.

More ABC luv after the jump

Mar

6

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We are so lucky to have a student council who works so hard.

CCSC still found ways to get riled up despite the prospect of a short meeting right before Spring Break. Nadra Rahman reports from the Satow Room, in admiration of their energy.

Though last night’s Columbia College Student Council (CCSC) meeting had only one major item—to approve candidates for the Columbia Elections Board (CEB)—it certainly was not short. Members grappled with the risk and consequences of bias in the four applicants.

Who’s Biased? Why Bias? The Election Board Debate
In a shift from previous years, the four CEB candidates were voted on by the different student councils, with each council receiving the anonymized interview responses of the applicants alongside the interview committee’s recommendation (or lack thereof). This time, one candidate was GS and three were CC; the interview committee ratings ranged from “strong recommendation” to “recommendation with reservations.” When asked how many candidates should be approved, President Nicole Allicock replied that CEB was so understaffed that appointments should be maximized, not minimized.

Where does the controversy begin though

Feb

27

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The sea of chairs is coming in handy

The sea of chairs is coming in handy

For once, reporters weren’t the only audience members in the room—join Bwogger Nadra Rahman in the Satow Room, where CCSC got a little heated last night. 

Last night’s meeting of the Columbia College Student Council (CCSC) was “the most populated student council meeting” seen by USenator Jay Rappaport in two years—for once, the audience seats were packed. The audience was mostly motivated by the proposal that CCSC co-sponsor Israeli Apartheid Week at Columbia (described by its organizers as “a week of programming meant to educate about Palestine, its history and struggles, as well as how it intersects with other indigenous struggles around the world”). The audience, which included members of Columbia/Barnard Hillel and Aryeh, were against any CCSC involvement in the controversial event series. The other main event of the night was the brief question and answer session with Deantini and Dean Kromm, which addressed the usual themes: student wellness and space.

“Zionists are Racist” or “Complete Content Neutrality”?
Columbia University Apartheid Divest (CUAD) had asked CCSC to cosponsor Israeli Apartheid Week, which is to take place from Monday, February 27 to Friday, March 3. This cosponsorship could be nominal only or financial ($10-30) and could be for the entire week or a single event.

How did they vote?

Feb

25

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Jerome Greene Hall, meeting place of the University Senate

Jerome Greene Hall, as usual, was the place to be yesterday afternoon. The place was packed with both senators and literary references, which was the perfect mix for Bwogger Nadra Rahman. 

February’s University Senate session was brief, centering mostly on faculty initiatives and concerns. While the Student Affairs Committee (SAC) updated the Senate on student space and mental health initiatives, no new proposals were introduced on their end. The star of the event had to be the letter written by Faculty Affairs Committee (FAC) co-Chairs Robert Pollack and Letty Moss-Salentijn, in response to PrezBo’s email on President Trump’s refugee and immigration policy.

“We Know No One at Columbia Who Is Not Upset”
PrezBo’s letter, sent on 1:00 am on January 29, positions the University as a defender of core American values, and in particular, of students affected by the so-called Muslim Ban: “It is also true that the University, as an institution in the society, must step forward to object when policies and state action conflict with its fundamental values, and especially when they bespeak purposes and a mentality that are at odds with our basic mission.” He added, “We have learned that generalized fears of threats to our security do not justify exceptions to our founding ideals.”

In response to these sentiments, Pollack and Moss-Salentijn crafted a letter “from the heart,” which was endorsed unanimously by FAC last month. The letter begins with references to 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 (of course), but eventually meanders to the thesis, which is that faculty members need space to assuage their anxieties and to express themselves in this uncertain political climate:

What’s up with this letter, huh

Feb

20

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From the outside looking in

From the outside looking in

Monday mornings bring CCSC swarming—over issues of transparency, accountability, and passionate quotes. CCSC Bureau Chief Nadra Rahman reports.

In last night’s meeting of the Columbia College Student Council (CCSC): deliberations over Joint Council Co-Sponsorships and Grant Opportunities (JCCC) funding, spontaneous and spirited debates over transparency, and the unyielding force of VP Finance Anuj Sharma.

To Close Or Not To Close? That Is The Question
Last night’s meeting would have been relatively brief, if not for an unanticipated furor over the motion to close the meeting for the final discussion and vote over JCCC grants. On one side: defenders of transparency and accountability. On the other: people who value consistency and space for honesty.

At the start of the meeting, VP Finance Anuj Sharma announced that he would motion to close the meeting after the first JCCC presentation. When a hapless reporter asked why, when these discussions had previously been open, the room erupted into discussion, with USenator Sean Ryan leading the charge for open meetings. He was concerned about the constitutionality of the action and the sudden shift in rules, stating they should “always err on the side of keeping our meetings open.” Sharma countered by saying it had been a mistake to not close meetings earlier, especially since this would be in keeping with JCCC meeting procedure. He stressed the importance of being able to speak honestly and candidly about funding decisions, which would be difficult in front of an audience and furthermore, dismissed any constitutional issues. After this first round of debate, members still voted to close the meeting; the vote was close.

But things got even more heated

Feb

13

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Check out the class of 2020 t-shirts, designed by first-year Grant Pace!

Monday maven Nadra Rahman checked out last night’s CCSC meeting. Here she is, reporting from the Satow Room on food insecurity measures, fresh (Council) meat, and laser tag, despite being removed from the room twice for closed votes.

The bulk of Sunday night’s meeting of the Columbia College Student Council (CCSC) focused on selecting new representatives for the Class of 2019, Academic Affairs, and the Class of 2017. However, food insecurity and mental health remained persistent themes through the night, as they have been through the semester, with funding for the CU Food Bank on the table.

Food Bank
The first business of the night was funding the CU Food Bank (previously known as the GSSC Food Bank), a student-funded and -organized initiative meant to address food insecurity on campus. The CU Food Bank had requested reimbursement from CCSC for serving any Columbia College student, along with help in promoting the services of the Food Bank via listservs and social media. Though Council members agreed on the importance of the Food Bank, there was discussion over the administration’s lack of presence in the arena. Was focusing on stop-gaps like the student-run Food Bank a good tactic, when the issue should ultimately be addressed by the school itself?

One-liners, votes, and new reps after the jump

Feb

1

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The scene before it all filled up

The scene before it all filled up

Bwogger, prospective SusDev major, and proud Wien resident Nadra Rahman ventured into IAB on Tuesday night to attend a panel titled “Challenges and Opportunities of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.” The panel, consisting of three top-level UN employees, was part of the series of events celebrating SIPA’s 70th anniversary.

Since September 2015, the UN has been coordinating a massive, concerted effort to publicize and implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)—a set of targets and indicators for global development that address physical well-being, resource use, economic security, gender equality, climate action, and conflict resolution, among other aspects of development. Every member country is meant to play a part in achieving these goals by 2030, but the UN faces a dilemma: it doesn’t have the power to enforce compliance. And so, “accountability” became the word of the night as Cristina Gallach (Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information), Tegegnework Gettu (Associate Administrator, UN Development Programme), and Navid Hanif (Director of the Office of ECOSOC Support and Coordination, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs) discussed the challenges and opportunities of the SDGs.

(All, by the way, are SIPA alumni.)

It’s a rocky road ahead, but keep your spirits up

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