ccsc Archive



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img October 08, 201510:33 amimg 0 Comments

The bagels are kind, cheerful, and want you to pass your midterms

The bagels are kind, cheerful, and want you to pass your midterms

Yes, those incredible rumors you heard are true: there are free bagels on campus! Right now! If you drop everything and run over to Carman, there might still be some poppy-seed ones left!

Every year around this time, CCSC hosts Bagelpalooza, a celebration of the most important values of any college experience: talking to new people, the struggle to pull yourself out of bed in the mornings, and free food. They bring the bagels to various Columbia residence halls on different mornings during the fall semester. (You can check out the Facebook event here.) The schedule is as follows:

Thursday, Oct. 8 – Carman
Thursday, Oct. 15 – John Jay
Wednesday, Oct. 28 – Schapiro
Monday, Nov. 9 – EC/Wien
Tuesday, Nov. 24 – McBain
Monday, Dec. 7 – Broadway/Hogan

Today, the bagels will be at Carman until noon. Bagels are advertised to come with free coffee and smiles from your favorite CCSC members.

Happy bagel via Shutterstock



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img October 05, 20151:03 pmimg 0 Comments

In the passage from summer to fall, we are plagued by cold weather and CCSC logistical concerns

In the passage from summer to fall, we are plagued by cold weather and CCSC logistical concerns

Ch-ch-changes abound for CCSC and its bylaws…and there’s a dose of classic obliviousness too. Expert Joe Milholland reports back from the jungle of bureaucracy that is student government. 

Along with grammatical changes and lengthy discussions on how long they should allow discussions to run, the Columbia College Student Council made some notable changes to its by-laws on Sunday night – although they will not vote to approve all these revisions until their next meeting.

  • The CCSC president is now only required to send out one email a month, instead of one a week.
  • The Elections Board is now officially funded by CCSC. The by-laws also state the council has to fund the Academic Awards Committee—a rule that lead to confusion at the meeting. Among the council, the only person who had heard anything about the Academic Awards Committee was the VP of Policy Vivek Ramakrishan, who was approached by someone who claimed to be a representative of the committee at the activities fair. This representative said he shared the table with CCSC. According to Ramakrishan, VP of Communications Grayson Warrick, who was previously the Academic Affairs Rep (but was not at Sunday’s meeting), had never heard of the committee. VP of Finance Sameer Mishra is looking into this committee.

More zany happenings after the jump!



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img September 30, 20159:08 pmimg 1 Comments

Meet this year's student council!

Meet this year’s student council!

Elections for CC and SEAS first-year class councils, CCSC Inclusion and Equity Representative, and CCSC Class of 2018 Representative took place earlier this week, and the winners have been announced. See the official fall 2015 election results in handy PDF form below. Congratulations to the winners!

2019 CCSC President & Vice President
Josh Schenk and Sophie Broadbent of Pantone 292

2019 CCSC Representatives
Katie Cooke of The Surprise Party
Sam Safari of Pantone 292
Adam Resheff of The Surprise Party

CCSC Inclusion and Equity Representative
Ewoma Ogbaudu

2018 CCSC Representative
Nathan Rosin

2019 ESC President
Arjun Mangla of The Fu Fighters

2019 ESC Vice President
Onur Calikusu of As Easy as A-B-SEAS

2019 ESC Representatives
Aida Lu of The Fu Fighters
Anthony Gutierrez of Draw



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img September 28, 20151:01 pmimg 1 Comments

Your survey answers will let the halls of Columbia ring with light and music!

Your survey answers will let the halls of Columbia ring with light and music!

You’ll be glad to know what the most recent CCSC meeting was about, since Bacchanal remains the one thing that keeps you up at night, as you ponder over equality and fairness. Joe Milholland brings you the deets about that and more!

Sunday night, the Columbia College Student Council decided to send out a poll to the student body about student preferences for Bacchanal this year, a poll which will include questions about possible ticket prices. The council will do this in co-ordination with the Bacchanal Committee. While the council already made decisions about Bacchanal last school year, they hope the poll will give them an idea of whether their decisions match student preferences.

VP of Finance Sameer Mishra and VP of Communications Grayson Warrick presented the idea to the council. According to Warrick, the poll will include questions on ticket pricing, what amount of money students would be willing to pay for tickets, the location of Bacchanal, and the Lion Tamers.

Much of the council’s debate came over questions about ticket pricing. Mishra and Warrick plan for the poll to ask if students want to pay for tickets in exchange for more stuff at Bacchanal – such as, potentially, free t-shirts, a higher-costing performer, or more year-round Bacchanal programming. Mishra promised that the poll would state what extras would be available for each increase in ticket pricing.

More updates after the jump!



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img September 28, 201511:03 amimg 0 Comments

Do your research before voting! btw bwog always asks the tough questions

Do your research before voting! btw bwog always asks the tough questions

Cast your ballot for First Year Columbia College Student Council (CCSC)/Engineering School Council, CCSC 2018 Representative, and CCSC Inclusion and Equity Representative! Voting opened today at 10 am and will end on Wednesday, September 30 at 5 pm. You’ve seen all the posters and strange videos, and based on the strength of that alone, have enough information to make a fair and unbiased decision—but definitely check out all of the candidates’ platforms first.

Your Future Class President via Shutterstock



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img September 22, 20155:02 pmimg 6 Comments

Voting happens here

Voting happens here!!!

Are you ready? Get your voting hat on (what? You don’t have a voting hat? Bwog’s is a snazzy bowler cap) because this year’s First Year Columbia student government candidate list has been released! Here are the lists of candidates for First Year CCSC and ESC Elections, in addition to the candidates for the CCSC Class of 2019 Class Representative and CCSC Inclusion and Equity Representative.

Check out these party names after the jump!



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img September 21, 20153:31 pmimg 0 Comments

Swipes addresses food insecurity.

Swipes addresses food insecurity

As part of an initiative to address food insecurity on campus, CCSC, administrators, FLIP, and other partners have worked together to launch Swipes, a mobile app meant to make meal-sharing easier. The app connects students who need to access dining halls with students who are nearby and can swipe them in, in a setup similar to Uber. You can currently download it for iOS and Android, or learn more about the program.

The other prongs of the initiative include an Emergency Meal Fund and revamped financial aid.

Fun n aesthetically pleasing graphic via Swipes Facebook Page



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img September 14, 201511:33 amimg 0 Comments

CCSC on a Sunday on the fifth floor of Lerner

CCSC on a Sunday on the fifth floor of Lerner

School’s back in its full swing, so our trusty representatives on CCSC got back into their Sunday night groove last night to kickoff their first meeting of the 2015-2016 academic year. Be sure to catch each meeting’s review on the following Monday morning right here on Bwog! 

At the end of the Columbia College Student Council’s first meeting of the school year, Ben Makansi, the new president, said at the end of the first meeting of the year that he was “not oblivious” to the fact that not everyone on the council had supported his campaign when he ran under the Freedom, Liberty, and Freedom Party along with his VP of Policy, Vivek Ramakrishnan.

“We honestly don’t care,” Makansi said, emphasizing he was willing to work with anyone on the council regardless of whether they had supported him.

In addition to a few logistical concerns, the council devoted its first meeting to presentations by each of the executive board VPs on what they hope to accomplish this year. Ramakrishnan wants the policy committee to go department-by-department to expand the number of classes worth 4-credits instead of 3, as well as continue work on combating food insecurity and securing thicker toilet paper.

VP of Finance Sammer Mishra seeks to ensure spending on certain areas – such as senior week and facilities and securities fees – remains sustainable. He also wants to expand the list of approved vendors for clubs and give every student a digital subscription to the New York Times.

VP of Communications Grayson Warrick wants to revamp CCSC’s (currently defunct) website, expand the council’s social media presence, and do student polling. He’s also hoping to renovate the space the Communications Committee uses.

VP of Campus Life Kelly Echavarria was at Passport to Columbia during the meeting, so she will not give her presentation until next week.

Updates to CCSC & more after the jump!



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img September 10, 201511:35 amimg 4 Comments

Emergency Meal Fund

These meal vouchers will be part of the Emergency Meal Fund

Yesterday, CCSC, in collaboration with ESC, GSSC, FLIP, and the administration, as well as a team of independent app designers, took strides to fix the issue of food insecurity on campus by announcing several new programs. Columbia College’s student council, along with those from Engineering and General Studies, unveiled the Emergency Meal Fund, a student-provided bank of guest meal swipes available for emergency situations. In an exclusive interview, Bwog was also informed of a partnership with Swipes, an unaffiliated app run by a team of four Columbia undergrads, which will use location services to match students with meals to give and the students who need them.

These initiatives won’t increase the total amount of food available to Columbia as a whole, but hope to mitigate food insecurity through improved food distribution. We sat down with CCSC President Ben Makansi and Vice President of Policy Viv Ramakrishnan to discuss the purpose and development of Swipes and the Emergency Meal Fund.

These programs should be able to provide short term relief for low-income students. Swipes, if properly advertised and used, could be a more efficient analog to CU Meal Share, increasing the student body’s ability as a whole to share swipes. And the emergency meal fund, if it raises enough guest swipes, will be able to provide for up to 830 students’ emergency situations per semester. But while this is a victory, these initiatives will not assist low-income students with more chronic food insecurity.

Students without sure access to meals each day are dramatically disadvantaged at Columbia. In the short term, unbalanced or insufficient meals will hinder ability in the workspace and the classroom. Columbia’s Get Balanced! Guide for Healthier Eating states, “What we choose to put into our bodies will greatly influence the way we feel, our mood and energy levels, how we perform mentally in school and work.” In the long term, food availability and habits can contribute to lifelong diseases and conditions.

Those who want free access to Columbia’s dining halls currently have to wait for and rely on the charity of other students. For many, this process is stressful, embarrassing, or shameful. Meal sharing also reduces the agency of low-income students when it comes to where, when, and with whom to eat, which often comes into conflict with the busy schedules Columbia’s atmosphere creates for its students. While the Emergency Meal Fund will, a few times per semester, allow students to avoid the in-person meal sharing process, swipe access as a whole will still depend on others, just as it did last semester.

Find out more about the future of Swipes and the EMF next.



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img September 09, 20158:50 pmimg 0 Comments

Earlier tonight, CCSC announced a plan to address food insecurity at Columbia—an issue brought to the forefront by last year’s CCSC and FLIP.  The plan involves a mobile app called Swipes that will connect students who need access to dining halls to students with available swipes.  The app will be available for download “soon.”

CCSC’s plan also involves the Emergency Meal Fund (EMF), which will provide CC, SEAS, and GS students with up to 6 meals per semester (“no questions asked”).  These meals are provided by a bank of donated guest meals from any CC, SEAS, or GS student, up to a total of 5,000 per semester.

While Swipes works in real-time and has no limit, EMF promises to be more reliable and anonymous.

Update, 9:28 p.m. While CCSC sent out the email announcing this event, the ESC and GSSC also passed this plan and are partners in implementing it.

Read the full email after the jump.



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img May 04, 201511:15 amimg 3 Comments

Bring on the paaaaarty!

Bring on the paaaaarty!

Luckily, we still have a Spring 2016 Bacchanal to look forward to next year. But what does that mean in practice? Our Monday man Joe Milholland brings you the answers. 

This Sunday night, the Columbia College Student Council approved the final changes to the ABC resolution that will change how Bacchanal is managed next year. The proposal, which makes the four undergrad student council VPs of finance oversee Bacchanal’s budget, has changed so that the VPs have to approve Financial Transaction Forms from the Bacchanal Committee. Additionally, around the date of F@CU, the VPs and the Bacchanal Committee will decide the allocation of funds for Bacchanal in certain areas, such as fundraising costs or facilities & securities. Finally, tickets for Bacchanal will be free, and students will be notified of the ticket release dates at least a month in advance.

CCSC also gave out its end-of-the year paper plate awards! Here they are (I won’t include the honorable mentions because nobody’s that much of a CCSC nerd):

The recipients after the jump!



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img April 27, 201511:28 amimg 0 Comments

And that's why we have constitutional review fun, folks

And that’s why we have constitutional review fun, folks

We know you’ve waited all week to know how CCSC’s Constitutional Review went down, and you loyal constituents now have the answers at your fingertips. Joe Milholland gets a  big-ol’ Hancock for this CCSC recap.

On Sunday night, the Columbia College Student Council voted on constitutional changes. They made the following decisions:

  1. They unanimously approved an impeachment process whereby a council member is automatically up for impeachment if they have 3 general body absences or 6 overall absences. In that case, the VP of Comms would start the impeachment process. A council member is automatically impeached if they have 4 general body absences of 7 overall absences. An appeals board made up of 5 randomly chosen council members who are not the VP of Communications can overrule an impeachment through a 3/5ths majority if the impeachment was based on faulty attendance data or if the impeached council member had extremely extenuating circumstances for their impeachment. Finally, if a council member has two absences, two other council members can bring impeachment proceedings against them. The proceedings would go forward on the next CCSC general body meeting.
  2. The council did not approve any changes to the Sandbassador. However, they approved the creation of an Inclusion and Equity Representative, a new position on CCSC that would focus on issues students face based on “marginalized identities.”
  3. The council voted not to cut down on the number of representatives in class councils.
  4. The council voted to change the duties of the pre-professional rep to focus more on a broader variety of post-graduation opportunities for students. However, the name of the position is unchanged.
  5. The council voted to give some guidelines in the constitution as to the role of appointed council members.
  6. The council voted against changing the council terms from one academic year to one calendar year.
  7. The council voted to allow the executive board to decide whether they want liaisons to other councils. The Communications Committee will in charge of appointing the liaisons.
  8. The council voted against changing the date of constitutional review.

Several of these decisions involved extensive debate amongst council members. VP of Policy Sejal Singh supported the Inclusion and Equity Rep, saying that she wants to keep its responsibilities vague and that the SGA Inclusion and Equity Rep has worked well. Class of 2015 Rep cited the Blue and White article on gender representation in CCSC as an argument against cutting down the number of class reps. Usenator Ramis Wadood brought up that if the dates of council terms were changed, members of CCSC would have to resign their positions in order to become senators.

Suprise, they also talked about things besides the Constitution



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img April 26, 201511:44 amimg 29 Comments

Illustration by Leila Mgaloblishvili, CC '16

Illustration by Leila Mgaloblishvili, CC ’16

As ever, honoring our dearest Mother Magazine, Bwog presents Blue and White contributor Mariam Elnozahy’s, BC ’16, investigation into CCSC’s demographic misrepresentation.

The Columbia College Student Council (CCSC) is elected by the student body (or the 40 percent who vote) every April. Its 25 members are tasked with representing Columbia College students. They are often invited to closed University functions and meet regularly with administrators to discuss policy changes, the campus climate, and the school community. At the end of every year, the council oversees the allocation of every student’s activity fee to student groups and uses part of the allocation to put on events. CCSC, in short, structurally possesses power and influence. The granting of this power is justified through the collective ritual of elections, which purports to involve all students at Columbia.

When students vote in council elections, they hope to vote for the candidate who best represents them: demographically, ideologically, and with regard to pertinent issues. Skewed demographics prevent the council from representing students adequately in terms of ideology or issues. CCSC’s demographics and Columbia’s demographics have not mirrored each other in recent years. But this year, the disconnect is more stark than ever, and the clearest gap between council demographics and the student body at large is gender. (For the purposes of this piece, the terms “men” and “women” refer to cisgender men and women.)

On April 1st 2015, as this issue went to press, the incoming CCSC executive board was elected. It was 80 percent male (and 100 percent Greek). This is a new trend: if we look at demographics from the past decade, we see that CCSC has, generally speaking, historically been constituted nearly equally of women and men. But the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 classes’ demographic makeup looks different. Columbia College women, who constitute 51 per cent of the student population, made up a little bit more than a third of the 2014-2015 CCSC membership. While they represent 44 percent of the 2015-2016 CCSC, in neither year did CCSC have a single female class president. In 2014-2015, there was no female at-large representative; in 2015-2016, there is just one.

“Confidence and fear”

An important part of the equation is who actually runs in the first place. At an Elections Board information session for the upcoming CCSC and Engineering Student Council (ESC) elections in March, of the 28 individuals in the room, only two prospective female candidates who were new to council came to find out how to get involved. In between bites of the free pizza and cozy banter amongst the individuals in the room (who mostly seemed to know each other already), prospective candidates (all male) inquired about the “perks” of being on Council and the privileges given to those who are elected. Neither of the female prospective candidates asked questions.

According to University Senator Jared Odessky, CC ’15, who has been involved with council for four years, “Confidence and fear play a big role in who decides to run or not run.” His choice of words is telling: a 2014 article in The Atlantic, “The Confidence Gap,” surveys social scientific literature of past decade to locate trend in literature women are less likely to sign up for opportunities than men, who are less likely to doubt themselves. While less likely to independently put themselves out there, women will take on those same responsibilities when asked.

When the time to run came this Spring, 16 women and 28 men ran. What had happened to the 28 to 2 men-to-women ratio of the interest meeting? Odessky observed that there’s “definitely a tokenization factor” in CCSC party formation. Rather than women independently deciding to run for class council or executive board and then forming a party, he said, “Often the people at the helm of a class council party will be white men who have the confidence to run at the head.” They then proceed to “select a vice president who diversifies their ticket,” he says. Odessky ran as president, with a female vice president, his freshman year. For the 2015-2016 academic year, this was only true of one of three classes; for 2014-2015, it was true of nobody. In both years, all of the class presidents were men.

Odessky says that these men “usually try to incorporate at least two women on their ballot.” These women are overwhelmingly class representatives (which constitute 54 percent of positions), rather than president or vice president. The trend prevailed this year: only one of the five candidates for class president was a woman, while nine of the twelve candidates for class representative were women. Correspondingly, out of all the eight candidates for at-large representative positions (which do not run under parties), two were women.

Click here to read more after the jump!



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img April 24, 20151:30 pmimg 0 Comments

What's for dinner?

What’s for dinner?

Recent months have brought low-income students’ straits to the attention of the greater campus and administration. Bwog Editor in Chief Taylor Grasdalen reports on the issue of food accessibility and what Columbia University students are doing to fix it.

Two weeks ago, the Columbia First-Generation Low-Income Partnership (FLIP) launched a campaign to promote their “Microfund,” intended to assist Columbia students with the costs of meeting relatively everyday needs. The “microgrants” indeed start small: a meal ($10), cold medicine ($15), and psychiatric care copay ($20); larger donations can afford students a week of groceries ($50), their cap and gown ($55), winter clothing ($100), or a visit to the emergency room ($250). As of today, $3,560 has been raised — surpassing the original $2,500 goal — and will begin to be granted on the basis of applications come fall 2015.

FLIP was founded only this past fall 2014, the product of many cross-University students’ shared concerns about the status and understanding — or lack thereof — they received from Columbia. Toni Airaksinen, BC ’18, and Maureen Lei, CC ’15 (though a junior graduating a year early), tell me that there exist “significant constituencies of low-income and first-generation students” presently underserved by the University. Not only is there a vastly “assumed financial ability,” but plenty of “assumed privilege.” These assumptions tax those FLIP seeks to represent, and this has played out popularly on their Columbia University Class Confessions Facebook page, where students submit anonymous confessions detailing their financial and social burdens.

“This isn’t normal,” Maureen says. She and Toni break down just how not-normal Columbia is with its (assumed) commonplace wealth and attitudes: most people in the United States are not of this stratum, do not have hundreds of dollars to spend on clothes and coffees and dinner, do not have a few thousand to spend on “travel.” Toni relays a story about one friend this fall who refused to believe that Toni couldn’t afford to take a quick vacation to Washington, D.C.; the friendship deteriorated with the onslaught of socioeconomic division between them. Maureen, unlike Toni, is not considered a low-income student and is not the first in her family to attend college, but relates instead to the cultural isolation many students feel, an isolation she sees as intersecting with FLIP and its goals. She is the daughter of Chinese parents, whom she describes as “social climbers,” highly educated yet thoroughly traditional; Maureen’s first language is not English, and she shares anecdotes about growing up with non-western eating utensils and not knowing “the difference between a cheeseburger and a hamburger.”

After the jump: where culture and cost collide, speaking with Sejal Singh and the dining halls.



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img April 20, 201511:19 amimg 1 Comments

Lotta documents to go through

Lotta documents to go through

Huzzah huzzah to constitutional review! Review of last night’s constitutional review brought to you by Joe Milholland. 

It’s constitutional review season at the Columbia College Student Council! Groups of council members have been reviewing their constitution, and they presented some of the major areas of review on Sunday night. However, the council only gave input on issues with the constitution. They will vote on specific changes at a later date.

How Many Class Reps? – The council extensively discussed a proposal brought up last academic year to reduce the number of class representatives on each class council, thus reducing the size of the council from 30 to 34 students. Their reasoning behind this before were studies that showed smaller groups were more efficient.

CCSC President Peter Bailinson said that the council opposed the measure last year because it said nothing about increasing the efficiency of the council in other ways.

VP of Campus Life Andrew Ren was in favor of the proposal because it would allow the general body to vote on things more quickly and the reduction would not mean any group in Columbia College would lose representation.

Class of 2015 President Kareem Carryl mentioned that senior year class duties can be “taxing,” but he emphasized he wouldn’t want the senior class to be disproportionately represented on the council.

Much of the talk on the council was over the role of the appointed council, with several council members speaking favorably of the efforts of appointed council members.

Class of 2016 Rep Sameer Mishra raised concerns that fewer class council members on committees would mean that committee work and class council work would start conflicting due to a lack of communication. VP of Policy Sejal Singh brought up the idea of making requirements for regular attendance at committees for those who do volunteer.

Keep following the bolded breaks

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