gssc Archive



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img February 10, 20161:03 pmimg 0 Comments

It is time that makes us human

It is time that makes us human

Last night’s GSSC meeting proved to be a quick in-and-out, and Bwog neophyte Romane Thomas was on hand to witness the historic occasion. But don’t be fooled! Issues of substance were still discussed.

On Tuesday night the General Studies Student Council (GSSC) broke a record for shortest meeting ever. Although the session only lasted 25 minutes, the audience was updated on most of the undergoing projects and policies.

After congratulating the Campus Life Pole for their successful Lunar New Year celebration, the council voted on an initiative to cosponsor a GS Six Flags trip, allowing the event to rent buses for the 50 people attending. VP of Finance Dalitso Nkhoma commented that the event was unfortunately sold out, but that perhaps more open slots would be available next year. The council also agreed to cosponsor a mental health conference, as part of Mental Health Week, which is unfolding from February 15 to February 22.

VP of Campus Life Jade Le-Cascarino encouraged the council to spread the word about the Singles Mingle event happening on February 11th from 8 pm to 10 pm at Amity Hall. GSSC has approved a budget of $1,600 for the event, which includes 150 drink tickets. Student Body President Elizabeth Heyman stated that this was everyone’s chance to “party like you are forever alone.”

Reminders and updates after the jump!



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img February 03, 20161:32 pmimg 0 Comments

We are so excited to be mentored!!

We are so excited about being mentored!!

Intrepid new Bwoggers Romane Thomas and Jennifer Nugent ventured into the depths of bureaucracy at the latest GSSC meeting, where branded staplers, website updates, and breathless anticipation for Valentine’s Day were in abundance. Here’s their report.

After a Student Council retreat last Saturday and last week’s forum/town hall meeting, the General Studies Student Council (GSSC) progressed on a number of projects and channeled the initiatives discussed into new projects.

New mentorship program

Before the official start of the meeting, an upperclassman in the audience presented his project for a new mentorship program for GS students. Beyond academic and administrative help, the mentor (a third- or fourth-year) would introduce the mentee (a first-year) to their social circle, major, and extracurricular activities, with the aim of helping the mentee integrate into the GS community. Students would be paired up based on major and background. More information on signing up should be available soon.

Constitution Amended

A motion was made by Veteran Students Rep Michael Neier to amend the Student Council Constitution; he wanted to move the representatives of niche populations at GS (including the International Students Rep and Veteran Students Rep, among others) from the Campus Life pole to the Policy pole. University Senator Katharine Celentano pointed out that this was a logical change due to the need to hear the voice of all GS students regarding policy. A divided Student Council passed the motion.

More updates (especially on that website) after the jump!



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img January 27, 201612:01 pmimg 1 Comments

Scrap the singles event--use the student leader directory to find your someone special

Scrap the singles event–use the student leader directory to find your someone special

GSSC got interactive at their last assembly, and Bureau Chief/Wednesday Wastrel Joe Milholland was on hand to witness the outpouring of ideas. Directories only slightly less creepy than, visiting Buddhist monks, and “GS Singles Mingle” (perhaps the most highly anticipated social event of the semester, as of now) await!

A searchable directory of student leaders and changers to peer advisors were the two major topics brought up at the General Studies Student Council (GSSC) town hall on Tuesday night.

Eschewing the usual format of their weekly meetings, GSSC invited GS student groups to bring questions and concerns to their general body meeting.

Student Leader Directory

First up was Erin Giventer, who first had a question from a peer advising team, asking if it was possible to have a searchable database of student leaders from GS clubs with information on the various positions within the club. Giventer said it could potentially be created by either someone on GSSC or through a paid work-study job.

The goal of such a database, Giventer said, would be so that students with specific goals (she brought up the idea of regular potluck dinner) could find groups on campus they could work with towards those goals.

Directories don’t just exist for stalking



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img January 20, 201611:07 amimg 0 Comments

bwoggie bwogster

This gala has us peeking out of our warm covers in the hopes of companionship and alcohol

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these student government officials from the swift completion of their appointed rounds. That means GSSC was meeting as soon as school restarted, planning out this next semester. Student government bureau chief Joe Milholland reports on what, exactly, these plans consist of.

The first day of classes at Columbia in 2016 was also the same day as the General Studies Student Council’s first general body meeting of the semester, and, during it, the council told of its new and ongoing projects and plans.

Open Forum – GSSC President Elizabeth Heyman announced that the GSSC’s meeting next week (Tuesday, January 26 at 8:15pm) will be an open forum/town hall for GS students to bring their issues and concerns to the council. Heyman has specifically invited the heads of GS student groups, but all GS students are welcome.

Read more about other things going in GSSC this semester



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img December 09, 201511:02 amimg 0 Comments

I really hope they're not offering penguin at this gala...

I really hope they’re not offering penguin at this gala…

GS has its ups and downs. But nobody can deny that their parties and celebrations are anything less than awesome. Student government expert Joe Milholland tells where the GS gala will be and what it will be like.

On Tuesday night, the General Studies Student Council (GSSC) voted in their general body meeting to hold their annual gala in the spring at Cipriani, an event space on 42nd street recommended by the Campus Life Committee.

The council made the decision to choose Cipriani rather than Pier Sixty, an event space that had previously held a GS gala, after a presentation on the two spaces by Social Chair Kim Rebetti. The council noted that Cipriani holds several advantages over Pier Sixty: the DJ fee and coat check is included in its cost, it is available on Saturdays, and the high-quality of the area means the council would not have to spend as much time decorating it. Cipriani also features a buffet-style arrangement with food from all seven continents, including Antarctica.

What did GSSC do besides choose a venue for their gala?



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img December 02, 201511:02 amimg 0 Comments

Dramatized photo of GSSC's sessions

Dramatized photo of GSSC’s sessions

Everybody knows preparation is at the heart of success. Taking this aphorism to heart, GSSC divided itself into five categories which wrote down what they wanted to accomplish next semester. Student council specialist Joe Milholland reports on their hopes for the next semester, as well as some other updates.

At the General Studies Student Council (GSSC) general body meeting on Tuesday night, Associate Directors for Student Life Sean Trulby and Jawal Cipriani showed up to direct GSSC’s “council development” – essentially a workshop where the council reflected on this semester and came up with things to do for next semester.

Specifically, during this workshop, Trulby and Cipriani had council members write down on large sheets of papers what they wanted to accomplish next semester (along with their reflections on this semester). They divided this task into five categories, the council’s four committees (Campus Life, Communications, Policy, and Finance) and the council overall.

What, exactly, are those aspirations?



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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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