Last night, in the Faculty House’s fancy Skyline Dining Room, representatives of the 89 activist, political, religious, and identity-explorative student groups represented by the Student Governing Board met came together dinner to induct new groups, create an advisory council for the University Chaplain’s Office, and debate whether or not they should merge with the Activities Board at Columbia, which represents 150 other student groups.
The SGB was created in the aftermath of 1968, as a forum for students to discuss the administration. Comprised of representatives from the four undergraduate schools, it is dedicated to preserving to free speech, and promoting politics, humanitarianism, religion, spirituality, activism, by representing student groups with these affiliations.
First on the evening’s agenda was a presentation from the Columbia’s Office of Civic Action and Engagement, the administrative office that advises SGB. A representative encouraged the groups in attendance to use My Groups, a social network Columbia designed that enables people to check out all the different student groups at Columbia, join different groups, and view a calendar with all student groups’ activities (right now ‘Upcoming Events’ only lists the next 20 SSDP meetings).
After this, representatives from the 10 groups hoping to win SGB recognition were given two minutes to make their case to the audience. The SGB executive board had already voted whether or not to recommend recognition for each group, but that decision could be overturned if 2/3 of SGB groups disagreed with the board. As it turns out, none of the recommendations were overturned.