#ccsc
CCSC: What Are Those Student Reps For?
Transparency

Transparency

CCSC this week was all about transparency.  So we present to you this article in the most transparent way, with as little commentary as possible.  It was written by CCSC correspondent Joe Milholland. 

At Sunday night’s Columbia College Student Council meeting, the council had a discussion about student representatives on academic committees, particularly the Committee on Instruction and the Committee on the Core. Currently, these committees are not transparent.

Vice President of Policy Bob Sun asked the council about “what we can do as a council” to ensure that students have a voice in these committees. Sun said that last year the committees tried to work to make their agendas more “public” and their student reps more “empowered,” but this year it seems that such reforms have diminished and become “opaque.” CCSC’s rules on how student representatives should do their jobs are unclear. The council wants the representatives to do more, but since they cannot impeach them, they have no formal way of making them do more.

Someday my rep will come.

CCSC: Reacting to Bacchanal’s Bacchanal
CCSC is like the dudes on the stage, yo

CCSC is like the dudes on the stage, yo

Bacchanal is coming up and nobody gives a shit about anything else, not even CCSC.  That in mind they had a relatively easy-going meeting and talked about some interesting stuff.  Resident “chill dude” Joe Milholland got a piece of the action.

The April 6 2014 meeting of CCSC featured an extensive discussions among council members about whether or not to sign a statement to the student body, written by Dean Martinez and other administrators, talking about proper behaviour during Bacchanal. Apparently, the situation at Bacchanal has been getting worse for the past couple years. There were almost double the amount incidents as Bacchanal 2012, most of which dealt with students disrespecting staff. Incidents at Bacchanal last year that President Chen noted:

  • “Racial slurs” and other abusive language to workers at hospitality desks.
  • Extensive vandalism to Carman, including its ceiling tiles and exit signs
  • Dining Hall, which has never had problems with Bacchanal before, reported that students were “vomiting, they were cursing at staff, they were eating food and putting it back on serving trays”
  • There were 20 CAVAs
  • Students were found passed out in “basements, fountains, lawns”
  • Complaints from people around the neighbourhood

absolutely awesome concerns about Bacchanal

The People Have Spoken: Elections Results

democrat_vs_republican_on_white[1]

the debates earlier this week, kinda

After a fierce few days of campaigning, riveting debates, and more Facebook notifications than you’d like, student government elections results are in, courtesy of the Columbia Elections Board.

Here’s the link to the full elections results with percentages of the vote included. We’ve pasted the winners below.

Most notably, TAP won most of the CCSC E-Board, Wadood and Ross will enter the University Senate, and the LCUI and sandwich ambassador ballot initiatives passed.

Voter turnout increased 25% from last year, and the candidate turnout increased by 35%. However, the ESC’s voter turnout percentages were much lower than last year, presumably because the E-Board went uncontested. For all you haters out there, elections results may be contested for the next 24 hours.

CCSC

CCSC Executive Board President & VP Policy

  • Peter Bailinson and Sejal Singh (TAP)

CCSC Executive Board VP Finance

  • Michael Li (Insight)

CCSC Executive Board VP Communications

  • Abby Porter (TAP)

CCSC Executive Board VP Campus Life

  • Andrew Ren (TAP)

CCSC University Senator

  • Ramis Wadood

CCSC Academic Affairs Representative

  • Grayson Warrick

More CCSC, ESC, and GSSC below the jump.

Spring 2014 Elections: Who’s Running?
Democracy. Love to hate it, am I right?

Democracy. Love to hate it, am I right?

Confused about the immense number of people running for the upcoming elections for CCSC, ESC, and University Senate? So were we.

So we decided to e-mail all of them. All candidates were asked to respond to the three following questions:

  1. What do you/your party bring to the table?
  2. What issues are most important to you?
  3. Have you been involved in campus politics before? How?

Here are their responses, presented to you typos and all.

CCSC Executive Board

Start here!

CCSC Executive Board Debates
Yes CCSC plz fix this asap

Yes CCSC plz fix this asap

Have you seen the CCSC flyers everywhere? Do you have no idea what they mean? Bwog sent student government enthusiast Joseph Milholland to take copious notes in your ever so conspicuous absence.

Opening Remarks

  • Insight, Loxley Bennett’s Party, chose a unique theme for each member they were running for. Bennett chose collaboration, Mandeep Singh (running for VP Policy)  chose advocacy, Michael Li (running for VP Finance) chose empowerment, Sheila Alexander (running for VP Communications) chose “accessibility leading to transparency,” and Sarah Yee (running for VP Campus Life) chose vibrancy.
  • Peter Bailinson, running for president under his party TAP, emphasized that he wanted to give Columbia students the “resources and opportunities they need to succeed.” While Sejal Singh (running for VP Policy) and Liam Bland (running for VP Finance) only introduced themselves,  Andrew Ren (running for VP Campus Life) said TAP used to stand for “The After Party” and Abby Porter (running for VP Communications) said TAP meant “Tapping into ya’ll, tapping into the student body and really being able to provide direct links between students and administrators.”
  • Mary Joseph (running for VP Campus Life without a party) emphasized innovation and collaboration.

Presidents

  • The first question for the presidential candidates was why they were the best person to lead. Bailinson cited his “track record” working on space management and gender-neutral bathrooms, as well as his willingness to tackle “big initiatives.” Bennett also argued that he had experience and mentioned starting the alumni-affairs representative and the undergraduate CUIT Advisory Board. He said he wants to have “value-based collaboration.”
  • The second question was what needs the most improvement on CCSC. Bennett cited collaboration again and wanted E-board members to meet with at least one student group per week. Bailinson wanted a “change of culture in CCSC” by “sitting down with every member of CCSC at the beginning of the semester.” He also said he wanted CCSC to “transition to an e-mail culture.” At this point, Bailinson let Abby Porter speak about creating a public Google Document available to be seen by the entire university about what CCSC is working on.

Policy, finance, and campus life, oh my!

Let’s Talk About Debates Baby
Much confidence

Much confidence

Sweaty young adults and power struggle are main components of any Sunday brunch so head on over to Lerner this afternoon after that yummy omelette to watch the CCSC and ESC debates. Everyone loves a good debate and these are sure to be party. Here are the following times and locations for the various groups:

  • CCSC Executive Board: 3:30-4:15 in Satow Lerner
  • CCSC University Senate: 4:15-5 in Satow Lerner
  • CCSC Class of 2015: 5-5:45 in Satow Lerner
  • CCSC Class of 2016: 6-6:45 in 569 Lerner
  • CCSC Class of 2017: 6:45-7:30 in 569 Lerner
  • CCSC At Large Reps: 7:30-8:15 in 569 Lerner
  • ESC Candidate Forum 8:30-9:30 in 569 Lerner

There will also be free pizza and refreshments. While it’s too late to submit questions, you should still check out the debates to see the candidates and their ideas beyond their expensive photo shoots and business casual attire. For more info, see the Facebook Event page.

Pondering hands via Shutterstock

And The Candidates Are Announced

Columbia Elections Board just released the official candidates for CCSC, ESC, and GSSC. We hope you’re as excited as we are.

Despite the changes to E-Board elections, only one person is not running in a full party for the CCSC Executive Board. Joseph faces two complete parties, whereas the ESC E-Board is uncontested. 2017, understandably, has the most candidates, whereas many positions in GSSC are uncontested or left without candidates. As for University Senate, CCSC has 6 candidates, ESC has 3, and GSSC has 6 as well.

Our favorite party name officially goes to “Wolf Pack.”

Yesterday's CCSC E-Board candidates photoshoot

Yesterday’s CCSC E-Board candidates photoshoot

CCSC Executive Board

Insight

  • Loxley Bennett, President
  • Mandeep Singh, VP Policy
  • Michael Li, VP Finance
  • Sheila Alexander, VP Communications
  • Sarah Yee, VP Campus Life

TAP

  • Peter Bailinson, President
  • Sejal Singh, VP Policy
  • Liam Bland, VP Finance
  • Abby Porter, VP Communications
  • Andrew Ren, VP Campus Life

No party affiliation

  • Mary Joseph, VP Campus Life

Jump for the rest

CCSC: Referendums And Keys
Don't take them for granted

Don’t take them for granted

Following the referendum last week on election protocol CCSC is getting ready for the second half of the semester and the elections for next year’s council.  Some conversation were had on the controversial lockout policy as well as Deanitini’s wishes for freshman-senior mentorship.  Read on for clear-and-concise coverage of this week’s meeting from our correspondent Joe Milholland. 

This week’s CCSC meeting opened with President Chen addressing the recent special election. Newly elected class of 2016 representative Sarah Yee did not attend her first meeting because she was “defending Columbia’s honor” at a fencing tournament. As for the E-board elections, President Chen acknowledged that, while the vast majority of those who did vote voted in favor of the referendum, the referendum election got only an 18% turnout. “It was midterms” and “it’s not a super sexy topic” said President Chen on the low voter turnout. The council first voted to vote on the changes to the E-board elections, and then they voted on the changes to the E-board elections. The council passed the E-board election changes with no opposing votes and one abstention, from Loxley Bennett.

Of his abstention, Student Services Representative Loxley Bennett said “I just didn’t feel like it was very ethical to make this change so close [to the election]. I felt like there’s no way that self-interest didn’t play into it. So, I didn’t vote against it because I do agree with it, I just didn’t want to be part of the process because it just doesn’t feel right. I didn’t feel right, but it is a good move, and I’m really glad that it passed. I definitely didn’t want to stop it from being passed.”

Read on for deantini, hartley, and other stuff

Yee Grabs CCSC Rep Spot
Sarah Yee, CC '16, wins with 44% of the vote.

Sarah Yee, CC ’16, wins with 44% of the vote.

Voting ended at 5 pm today, and the Columbia Elections Board has just announced that Sarah Yee has beaten out the other four candidates for Ben Kornick’s old representative seat in CCSC with 44% of the vote. In a rather well-publicized election, Yee ran against Ankeet Ball, Christopher Wang, Radhika Gupta, and Sameer Mishra.

Meanwhile, the referendum text was voted on by less than 30% of CC students, but 91% of those who voted were in favor of adding the following to the elections by-laws:

Executive Board candidates running for President must belong to a party with a candidate running for Vice President for Policy, and vice versa. These two positions will be voted on together as a ticket. The Vice President for Campus Life, Vice President for Finance, and Vice President for Communications will be voted on individually, and candidates may run for these positions without a party.

According to the press release, “the referendum will not necessarily go into effect unless CCSC takes further action, according to the CCSC Constitution Article VII.” The referendum essentially would have allowed most of the E-Board to run independently. There’s something to be said for underdogs, accountability, and encouraging new students to run, but there’s also something to be said about a more unified and cohesive E-Board. Only 18% of Columbia College students thought there was anything worth saying at all.

Yee, a sophomore majoring in Political Science, was previously in an unelected position on the Campus Life Committee. She’s currently a Chipotle Student Brand Manager and seeks to increase job and networking opportunities, work more frequently with student groups, and increase awareness of the Sexual Assault Coalition.

Read Yee’s statement after the jump

CCSC: You Can’t Finish Certain Majors With Just 4 Classes
The question is, where is the person?  Quietly dying under an enormous workload, of course.

The question is, where is the person? Quietly dying under an enormous workload, of course.

With election season coming up and midterms finally coming to obliterate our petty souls make us waste our time in Butler, it looks like CCSC is looking at how we’re doing.  Conversations about CSA were had in depth and it turns out that our workload is the same as MIT’s and CalTech’s. Yay liberal arts! Thankfully, we have masterful coverage from mister Joe Milholland. 

This week’s Columbia College Student Council meeting began with a presentation from Dean of Advising Monique Rinere and several other student advisors about a report on the progress the CSA has made in the last four years. CSA has 32 advisors and 11 advisors with PhDs. The ratio of advisees to advisors has gone from 430:1 at CSA’s inception to 240:1 in 2013. Percentage approval ratings of the CSA in all categories have increased from 2011-2013 in a survey. The category “CSA meets my academic advising needs” increased the most in the period from 73% to 81%, although it still remains comparatively low. The CSA takes on 23,000 appointments in 10 months and around 100 appointments a day (the number varies depending on the time of year).

The CSA’s future plan is Academic Resources in Support of Excellence (ARISE). Its goals are tutoring, academic skill-building, and advising for research and other scholarly activities. CSA has started some tutoring and has done two workshops about research, but much of ARISE lies in the future. They also want to connect more with first generation students (including students whose parents obtained a degree after they were born), who comprise about 15% of the student population. Other goals for CSA include increasing advisor retention, reducing advisee to advisor ratios, and increasing the number of science advisors.

Questions from the council, lack of personal connections, complex bureaucracy.

Elections Are Up, Folks!

Well everybody, it’s voting time!  We just got the email that elections are up at 10 am this morning. The referendum will still require the President and VP of Policy to run together, but VP for Campus Life, VP for Finance, and VP for Communications will be voted on separately. At least 30% of the student body of Columbia College has to vote in the referendum for it to be binding.

Also, if you’re in CC and a sophomore, you can chose from five candidates to fill Kornick’s old seat. All of the info you need is on the “voter center” website, and they even made a handy-dandy Facebook event page so you can show others how patriotic you are. We were talking about elections and democracy, right?

CCSC: Hosting Public Forum On Election Changes
Your student council

Your student council

The Columbia College Student Council is hosting a public forum on changes to CCSC election practices tomorrow, Friday, February 28 from 3:15pm to 4:00pm in the Satow Room of Lerner Hall. There are rumors of free cookies and beverages if you come hang out with them. They intend to discuss Alumni Affairs Representative Daniel Liss’s resolution to allow students to vote separately for the offices of Vice Presidents for Campus Life, Finance, and Communications, while past elections have only allowed for their collective election.

Go listen to what the CCSC has to say — Alexandra Svokos, Bwog’s Former Editor-in-Chief, will be speaking! Speakers also include Sidd Bhatt (President, Engineering Student Council), Daphne Chen (President, Columbia College Student Council), and Alex Smyk (Former Publisher, Columbia Spectator), all to be moderated by Daniel Liss.

If you’d like to submit any topics for discussion, you can do that here, too.

They want to hear from YOU! via Shutterstock.

Candidates Released for Upcoming Special Election
"My Vote" lolz

Is this how you vote??

Boy oh boy. Yesterday evening, the Columbia Elections Board posted the official ballot items for the Spring 2014 Special Election, including the list of candidates running to occupy the seat left vacant after Ben Kornick’s resignation.  You can find the list of candidates below.

The board is also including a referendum on the ballot to allow students to run for VP positions without a party, an initiative of Daniel Liss, CC ’16.  Should this measure pass, only the President and VP of Policy would be elected as a ticket.

Here’s the list of CCSC 2016 Class Representative Candidates

CCSC: Elections Raise A Lot Of Questions
A warning that CCSC should not take lightly.

A warning that CCSC should not take lightly.

This week CCSC explored its own election history, looking into the nature of political parties and their relationship to the E-board.  Other questions that have been raised by resignation of sophomore council member Ben Kornick were addressed.  There was also discussion on the new internship credit policy as well as UEM booking policy. The conversation was certainly complicated but thankfully we have our capable CCSC correspondent Joseph Milholland to tell us what’s up. 

A heated, complex discussion broke out on the February 23 meeting of CCSC about Executive Board election changes. The council eventually settled on holding a referendum for all students on whether they want to allow students to run for a position on the executive board without a party during the same election in which the class of 2016 will vote on a replacement for Ben Kornick.

Prompted by a Spectator opinion article written by the paper’s editorial board, Alumni Affairs at-large representative Daniel Liss researched the history of political parties at Columbia and how CCSC’s constitution can be changed. He brought a resolution to the council to allow E-board candidates to run without a party. When the rule for political parties was established, the E-board roles were less well defined. There was a general agreement among the council that this was an issue they needed to tackle, but there was disagreement over whether the President and VP of policy should have to run together, since the VP of policy is tasked with carry out the president’s policy vision and becomes president if the president resigns.

more on elections and other stuff after the jump

And the Winner Is…Direct Election
Votin'

Votes votes votes

Ben Kornick’s spot as CCSC 2016 representative was up for the grabs Sunday night, when Daphne Chen announced Kornick’s resignation from his position for “personal reasons.” CCSC just released a statement announcing that the elections to fill the vacancy will be direct, and that interested candidates can register here.

A major issue in the recent deliberations between Daphne Chen and the Class of 2016 council members was choosing between the speed of an indirect election and grander ideals for direct representation. A member noted that indirect elections would have allowed the new representative the longest time in office (we’re already a month into classes) and would have arguably made it easier on the Elections Board to manage its workload, with general elections coming up at the end of March and beginning of April. Members generally regard direct elections as the best option, but a bit impractical. Last semester’s announcement that Cleo Abram’s University Senate seat would filled by indirect election caused a bit of an uproar; the CCSC backpedaled to make election direct, and Marc Heinrich eventually won. So good call, CCSC.

Read the full statement, if you want.

voting on things via Shutterstock