gssc Archive



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img November 25, 20153:02 pmimg 0 Comments

If this isn't GSSC's snack attack then Bwog will be disappointed

If this isn’t GSSC’s snack attack then Bwog will be disappointed

GSSC is in the holiday season this week. Between GSSC giving things away and providing snacks for finals, student government liaison Joe Milholland could barely keep up with the holiday cheer.

On Tuesday night, the General Studies Student Council (GSSC) spent much of their time at their weekly general body meeting discussing two topics related to products they want to buy for GS students, both ones they will give away and ones they will sell.

For stuff they’re giving away for free, the council debated a proposal, spearheaded by the VP of finance, to spend $3500 on several items, including GSSC coffee mugs/tumblers. Since the funds for this stuff comes from leftover money in the budget for this semester, GSSC President Elizabeth Heyman, while acknowledging give-aways are necessary to get people to come to events, encouraged GSSC’s money to be spent on more “substantive, meaningful programming” to ensure that all the money in a budget is spent.

What about the second spending plan?



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img November 18, 201511:01 amimg 0 Comments

It's a little early for April Fool's, isn't it?

It’s a little early for April Fool’s, isn’t it?

GS students are, despite their relatively greater age and “maturity,” college students just like the rest of us. They like to have fun, cause some amiable mischief, and create an all around friendly environment. That’s why Bwog student government liaison Joe Milholland was witness to a fun prank from them this week as well as discussion about Barnard, appeals, and the gym.

On Tuesday night, the General Studies Student Council (GSSC) appointed Michael Neier, formerly the Senior Class VP, to be the council’s VP of Policy. Neier was the only person running for the position (a GSSC search committee recommended him). In a speech, he emphasized his past work in policy-related areas in student governments, and he said wanted to implement a system whereby GS students could recommend initiatives to GSSC online.

After Neier gave his speech, he went outside so the council could vote in private, and GSSC had an extended conversation on how to trick Neier into thinking they were voting against him. The Satow Room, where GSSC meetings are held, has glass windows, so Neier could see who was raising their hands for what, and the council eventually settled on having one council member vote against him first, then having everyone else vote for him (usually, votes in favor are first and votes against come second, so it would look to Neier that most council members voted against him. He did not seem convinced by this trick).

So how was the prank concluded?



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img November 11, 201511:01 amimg 1 Comments

It turns out nothing can get done without a projector.

It turns out nothing can get done without a projector.

GSSC deals with a lot of issues during the year, including food insecurity, funding proposals, and student entertainment. But if the heart of GSSC doesn’t function, everything grinds to a halt. That’s why Bureau Chief Joe Milholland is covering GSSC’s plans to get a new projector, as well as other, less immediate, matters discussed this week.

At Tuesday night’s General Studies Student Council meeting, GSSC President Elizabeth Heyman announced to the council that GS’s projector was broken. The projector broke shortly after the council loaned it out to MilVets, although Heyman couldn’t say for sure if MilVets was responsible for the broken projector. Heyman suggested the council vote to spend money on a new projector, since, according to VP of Finance Dalitso Nkhoma, it costs $400 an hour to rent out a projector from CUIT.

This proposal lead to a brief projector-related discussion, including discussing how to rent out the GSSC projector to student groups (it happens around twice a semester for free, although it was suggested the council charge $200-300). Eventually, the council voted to spend no more than $500 for a new projector and projector stand.

Is a projector the only thing GSSC talked about this week? Keep reading to find out



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img October 28, 201511:05 amimg 0 Comments

Will the GS rooftop party look like this? Can we go?

Will the GS rooftop party look like this? Can we go?

What happens when GSCC meets in Roone Auditorium, instead of the Satow Room? A whole lotta updates. Bwog’s got you covered on the run-down, thanks to staffer Joe Milholland’s council reportage.

The General Studies Student Council’s abbreviated meeting last night took place in the Roone Auditorium (the Satow Room, where they usually hold meetings, was hosting a different event that night). After convincing people from facilities that they would re-arrange the room after the meeting ended (they did so), the council members were able to conduct the their meeting relatively normally–a meeting that was composed almost entirely of updates. Here they are, for your bullet point pleasure:

  • Foremost of these updates, GSSC President Elizabeth Heyman announced that the Food Insecurity Partnership–a group of people from FLIP, Swipes, and all 4 undergraduate councils–is “becoming solidified” over the next couple of weeks.
  • The group adjudication proposal that Heyman talked to the council about last week is still being discussed, due to issues governing boards have with the current documents.
  • The Finance Committee allocated $14,000 from the President’s and Provost’s Student Initative Fund, mostly to arts groups because
  • The Communications Committee will send out the Monthly Owl on the first Wednesday of every month, and the committee is working on updating GSSC’s website (the current website lists an incorrect meeting time and features last year’s council members).
  • Basketball Mania is being held the same day as GSSC’s rooftop party, but that’s okay, according to VP of Campus Life Jade Le-Cascarino, because not all GS students attend the rooftop party (GSCC is selling only 450 tickets to the party this semester).
  • Alumni Affairs Rep Hannah Germond announced some plans from the Senior Week Committee. The committee is hoping to hold a “class” ball, a more relaxed event with art and food, and an on-campus barbecue.
  • Social Chair Kim Rebetti is planning an Ugly Sweater party for GSers in December, potentially at the Harlem Tavern.
  • Community Service Rep Tyler Bechard announced that, starting November 2nd and ending November 24th, GS will hold a food drive, in “friendly competition” with Barnard (he reached out to representatives from other schools, but they didn’t respond). The food drive will have locations around campus and online.
  • Although next Tuesday falls during break, Heyman will be holding a G-chat meeting with council members to get updates on the rooftop party.

Yuppies having fun on a roof via Shutterstock



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img October 21, 20153:03 pmimg 0 Comments

Maybe more people would read The Owl if actual owls were involved?

Maybe more people would read The Owl if actual owls were involved?

How often do you keep up with GSSC’s The Owl? According to GSSC, you probably don’t read it at all. That’s okay, though, since Bwog has our own campus political pundit, Joe Milholland, who can tell you all about GSSC’s activities.

“Basically, no one reads The Owl,” said General Studies Student Council President Elizabeth Heyman on Tuesday night at the council’s general body meeting. Although Heyman admitted the council has no hard numbers on how many people read the emails GSSC sends out, she laid out changes to how GGSC will promote itself.

The Owl – the weekly updates GSSC sends out to update students on what they’re doing and highlight various aspects of the council – will now go out monthly in a format Heyman describes as more like a “newsletter.” The council will also send out what is informally referred to right now as the “Weekly Liz” (the name will likely change), which is an update of coming events and what the council’s working on in a brief manner with links to more information.

Keep reading to find out what GS spent money on this week



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img October 14, 20151:05 pmimg 0 Comments

Get your voice heard with the GSSC divestment poll, due sometime "before Thanksgiving"

Get your voice heard with the GSSC divestment poll, due sometime “before Thanksgiving”

In the wake of some massive political events, Bwog is here to recount what happened in our own local politics; student council connoisseur Joe Milholland covers GS fundraising, fossil fuel divestment, homecoming, and Bacchanal. 

“Unequivocally, GS’s number one challenge is financial aid,” GS’s University Senator Katherine Celentano said at Tuesday night’s General Studies Student Council meeting. However, Celentano noted some reasons for optimism – fundraising is up, scholarships are up, alumni interaction is up. One way to keep this “momentum” increasing, Celentano said, was through Giving Day, the donation competition on October 21.

“Last year, GS destroyed all the other schools,” Celentano said about Giving Day. She has a multi-part plan for GS to win at Giving Day this year. First, she wants GS students to sign up to Columbia Social – an app intended mostly for alumni – and try to score as many points as possible. The app allows students to contribute to GS’s ranking in Giving Day without giving money through methods such as connecting through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Find out about the marvelous prizes GS is offering



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img October 07, 20151:02 pmimg 0 Comments

Lack of funding didn't stop Teddy Roosevelt from charging up San Juan Hill

Lack of funding didn’t stop Teddy Roosevelt from charging up San Juan Hill


Student government extraordinaire Joe Milholland is back again this week, covering the General Studies Student Council meeting, featuring the Roosevelt Institute, food insecurity, budget changes, and more.

On Tuesday night, the General Studies Student Council. tabled a co-sponsorship proposal to fund $200 to the Roosevelt Institute and requested the group seek funding from the Joint Council Co-sponsorship Committee (JCCC).

The president of the Roosevelt Institute came to the meeting to request the money to fund the travel expenses for the GS members taking a trip to DC. These travel expenses – including transport to and from DC, transport within DC, and food – had already been covered for CC and SEAS students earlier this semester by the Student Governing Board, which then recommended the group seek a co-sponsorship from GSSC to fund the expenses from GS (SGB hasn’t yet made an official response).

The Roosevelt received 51 applications for the trip, of which 10 were from GS students, and accepted 37 people, of whom 5 were GS students.

Read more about funding the Roosevelt Institute and other GSSC initiatives



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img October 01, 201510:31 amimg 0 Comments

Somewhere in these buildings, GSSC meetings are happening

Somewhere in these buildings, GSSC meetings are happening

The GSSC is getting started on making things happen, with elections of new appointees to important positions.  Bureau Chief Joe Milholland reports on this, and other happenings in the sphere of student government.

At the General Studies Student Council on its Tuesday meeting, the council heard from the candidates for its appointed positions. The chosen candidates, announced on Wednesday, are as follows:

Chief Communications Representative: Claudia Lobenthal

Social Media: Tonya Vander

Comptroller: Yilin Sun

Academic Affairs Representative: Ramond Curtis Jr.

Community Service Representative: Tyler Bechard

First Year Class President: Anthony Salamone Jr.

More GS news after the jump



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img September 16, 20152:03 pmimg 0 Comments


All Student Councils should have a Seal of Approval

Getting back to the grind may be slow-going for you, but our Rep Councils are ready to hit the ground running. GSSC had a packed agenda this week, starting off the semester with the creation of two new Council positions. Bwog’s Student Government Specialist, Joe Milholland, reports on the findings that led to the new rep positions. 

On Tuesday night, the General Studies Student Council approved two new voting positions for its council: a Multicultural Affairs Representative and a Student Wellness Representative. The Student Wellness Representative was approved for only a one-year pilot program.

More on these reps after the jump.



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img April 29, 20153:03 pmimg 0 Comments

Drop that class!

Drop that class!

The school year is drawing to a close, and Bureau Chief Joseph Milholland is back to bring you news on the latest resolutions from General Studies Student Council.

The General Studies Student Council gave updates on two resolutions on Tuesday night. Comptroller (and the next VP of Finance) Dalitso Nkhoma had the council approve some changes to the Bacchanal resolution, which puts the committee’s financial decisions in the hands of the four undergrad VPs of finance. The changes ensure that students will not be charged for tickets to Bacchanal and that students will be informed of ticket sales at least a month before the sales begin. Student councils will continue to work on this resolution.

VP of Policy Elizabeth Heyman also had updates on the add/drop resolution, which proposes pushing back the add/drop date to the fifth week of classes for GSSC students. Dean Awn is trying to join the resolution with CCSC’s resolution for changes in the add/drop date. Deans from Columbia College want their academic calender to match GS’s academic calender, so they are pressuring CCSC to merge their resolution with GSSC’s resolution. Becasue GS students pay by credit, they want to move their change of program date from two weeks into the semester to five weeks. If the resolution goes forward along with the CCSC resolution, the last date to withdraw from classes for GS students would also likely be pushed back; however, GSSC is still waiting on what the CC deans have to say about this.


  • GSSC President Peter Nason said that Lerner admins were “receptive” to the council’s input on changes to the first-floor computer lab from last week.
  • According to Usenator Katherin Celentano, some people have signed up to do research on gyms at peer instiutions for the current project to do renovations and improvements at Dodge Gym.
  • VP of Communications Donna Askari hopes to have GSSC’s new website finished this week.

Dumb puns via Shutterstock



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img April 22, 20154:29 pmimg 0 Comments

old computer

Out with the computer lab, in with a study lounge!

Bureau chief and campus politics connoisseur Joseph Milholland is back again this week to bring you the latest from last night’s General Studies Student Council meeting.

The administrators who run Lerner Hall want to turn the computer lab on the first floor (near TIC) into a study lounge, according to General Studies Student Council president Peter Nason, who asked his council for input at the Tuesday night general body meeting. The lab, which receives less computer use than Lerner’s 3rd floor lounge, would still have its printers, but its Macs would be taken away.

The idea received a mixed reception from the council members. Several council members commented on the difficulties of using a print station without Columbia computers nearby and asked for some computers to remain, but Nason seemed skeptical the administration would want to keep some computers.

Usenator Katherine Celentano and others mentioned seeing the lab crowded in the past. In response, Nason said that CUIT had accumulated data that showed both Lerner computer labs were being under-used. The data also showed that the first floor lab was being used to print, whereas the third floor lab was being used for longer work.

Nason meets with the Lerner Advisory Committee on Friday, where this issue will be discussed more.

Celentano also gave several University Senate updates, particularly the senate’s work on the Dodge Gym and family policy. While mentioning that the “supporter list keeps growing” for the gym changes, Celentano mentioned that she needs research on functional fitness equipment and gyms at peer institutions. As for family policy, Celentano is looking for a research over the summer. While not a formal internship, Celentano said she was happy to give out a title and letter of recommendation for the job.

Other Updates:

  • VP of Policy Elizabeth Heyman is looking into whether shuttling undergrads to JFK during finals would be a good idea. The buses can hold 38 people, and at $20 per person, they break even. The buses would be open to all four undergrad schools; however, GSSC is still trying to assess the demand for it.
  • Lerner Hall is also going to renovate the Cafe 212 area to make it “more of a student center,” according to Nason.
  • VP of Finance Ian Hewitt had a F@CU pre-meeting in order to, in Hewitt’s words, “brace for impact when it happens.”

A computer fit for a GS-er via Shutterstock



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img April 15, 20156:08 pmimg 3 Comments

We need teamwork, people

GSSC is joining the group

At their Tuesday night general body meeting, the General Studies Student Council debated ABC’s proposal to turn the Bacchanal Committee into a group under the auspices of the VPs of Finance from the four undergraduate student councils, the same proposal that was debated last week at CCSC. GSSC President Peter Nason said that the proposal made the Bacchanal a “de-facto seventh line-item” in governing board allocations. Neither ESC nor SGA voted on this proposal this week.

Nason justified the proposal by saying that the Bacchanal Committee had been a “headache” before, so it was right to reform it. He also suggested that if the proposal didn’t work next year, the Bacchanal Committee could be run completely under the student councils, like Glass House Rocks.

The council approved the proposal with three changes. First, the Bacchanal Committee has to get 3/4ths approval of the four VPs (CCSC made the same revision). Second, the VPs of Finance have 48 hours to approve expenditure requests or significant changes by the Bacchanal Committee (CCSC voted for a 24 hour limit, and Nason suggested this discrepancy could be worked out at a later date).

The third alteration was to make it explicit in the proposal that the Bacchanal Committee had to get approval for decisions on “revenue sources and ticketing.” The council debated this change for a while, with Usenator Katherine Sotano arguing that language that was too broad in the proposal could cause the Bacchanal Committee to make ticketing changes that would hurt GSSC, and Nason arguing that changing the proposal too much could make ABC or the Bacchanal Committee to pull out. However, most of this argument dealt with adding a possible fifth bullet point on the list of the Bacchanal Committee’s duties, and an alteration instead of the first bullet point seemed to satisfy both council members.

The proposal will be negotiated further among the four councils, although they want to have a finished proposal before F@CU (the end-of-year allocations to the six governing boards).


  • GS won money for its student council because of its high participation in the Quality of Life Survey. If GSSC can get the money this semester, they are considering using it to fund snack attacks and using the money saved on snack attacks to fund a Shabbat dinner in the GS lounge.
  • Sotano’s initiative to improve the Dodge Gym is trying to get functional fitness equipment (a type of fitness equipment, not merely ones that work).
  • VP of Policy Elizabeth Heyman is making a survey to find out when it is best to have shuttles to JFK during finals.



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img April 08, 20155:04 pmimg 0 Comments

~In list format~

~In list format~

This week, seasoned student politics report Joseph Milholland brings you a few quick updates from last night’s GSSC meeting.

The General Studies Student Council didn’t tackle any big topic in their general body meetings (although they did have their usual, behind-closed-doors executive session), so this GSSC news for this week is just a bunch of updates. Here they are:

  • Usenator Katherine Sotano is trying to collect supporters of renovations to the Dodge Gym.
  • VP of Finance Ian Hewitt is preparing for F@CU and making a finance spreadsheet.
  • VP of Policy Elizabeth Heyman is meeting with the Office of Disability Service (ODS) later in the week.
  • GSSC President Peter Nason has some updates on proposals recently passed. The proposal to extend the add/drop period to the fifth week of school is in the hands of Dean Hartford, who is reaching out to other departments. The Service Corp proposal (a special recognition at graduation for veterans of the military) is in the hands of Dean Uiloa. The increase in student life fee proposal is also with GS deans.
  • The council voted to spend up to $1,600 on the senior class gifts, business card holders.
  • The council also voted to spend $3,000 on a first-year class reunion at BoSchwo.
  • Alumni Affairs Rep Erin Giventer is working to bring together the alumni groups from GS and the School of the Arts. Both GS and SoA have many students involved in the arts.

The name of this stock photo is “Cropped image of businessman preparing checklist at office desk”…how specific via Shutterstock



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img April 03, 20152:00 pmimg 3 Comments

Bwog, and a line of genial business people, welcome you GSSC!

Bwog, and a line of genial business people, welcome you GSSC!

In a week of momentous political decisions, we here at Bwog would like to announce one of our own. Columbia political animal and our special correspondent Joe Milholland proudly presents our first in what will be continuing coverage of GSSC. 

On Tuesday night at the General Studies Student Council meeting, Gilbert Garisco, a member of the Spectator editorial board, came to the council to ask for help in finding General Studies students for a conversation about the school. Garisco wants GS students from as many backgrounds as possible – he mentioned veterans, students with families, and LGBTQ students – to talk about their GS experience.

Garisco said he is “interested in the silent majority” of GS students who don’t usually have their voice heard. Garisco believes there is a common thread of opinion among GS students that isn’t r typically expressed. Although he is a member of Spec, Garisco’s goal is “not an expose,” and he said the end result “could be a general observation.”

After Garisco spoke, VP of Finance Ian Hewitt went over GSSC’s current budget situation. The council has spent about 98% of its revenue and has $7,163 left. However, Hewitt noted that there are some sources of revenue coming up this semester ($28,000 from TIC for Gala, $6,000 from Senior Cruise, and at least $5,000 from the first year dance). Hewitt also predicts that the further expenses for Gala will cost $34,970 and that they council will spend $9,000 for finals snack attack this semester.

The council also voted in a support of the resolution to extend GS’s add-drop period to the fifth week of the semester. The resolution will be presented at the next E-board-deans meeting.

Other Updates:

  • GSSC was not looped into the sophomore formal this year because of the “Debaclennal” (GSSC President Peter Nason’s term for the Bacchanal controversy). However, GSSC does want to tackle more 4-council, class-specific events.
  • Mike Small, who taught English to orphans in Syria recently, wants GSSC (and the rest of the undergrad councils) to make care packages for the children he taught.
  • The council is looking for entertainment acts for the Gala.
  • The council increased the budget for a Passover event on April 8 by $150, although they debated whether the GS lounge would be the best place for it. The council also declined to fund $75 of $100 to an event with Bill Nye and an expected audience of 800 people since funding it would only have given recognition to the council at the event rather than making the event possible.

Carefully curated business people via Shutterstock



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img March 24, 20151:09 pmimg 1 Comments

With Ted Cruz’s confirmation that he’s running in 2016, it’s clear that elections are on the brain. Columbia is clearly following the Texas Senator’s lead with the release of the official candidate list for CCSC, ESC, and GSSC elections.

View the list below to see who’s running.

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