#singles
CCSC: Student Initiatives, Housing, and Unpaid Bills

"I'll be your cuddle buddy"

Senior Satow Correspondents Sarah Ngu and Maren Killackey report from this week’s CCSC meeting. They recap a student-run wellness initiative, financial aid communication and reform, the possibility of junior regroup during housing, a vegan composter, and brownstones for general lottery.

Student Wellness Project

Karishma Habbu, the Student Services Rep, and Wilfred Chan,  yourCCSC.com webmaster, unveiled the Student Wellness Project to CCSC. Chan and a number of students met soon after the death of Tina Bu to discuss how to best address long-standing wellness issues on campus. “Wellness is basically you at your best… It is marked by balanced quality of life and a sense of well-being,” Chan told CCSC at Sunday’s meeting, listing all the dimensions of wellness (mental, physical, financial, spiritual, social, etc). He continued, “A lot of students tend to take [wellness] for granted,” accepting it as a reality of life at a tough school like Columbia. But wellness, as the SWP aims to emphasize, should instead be thought of as a fundamental right.

They have already met with Dean Valentini, Dean Shollenberger, Dean Martinez and Dr. Richard Eichler (the director of Columbia Psychological Services) and have been personally recruiting interested students; it’s open for anyone to join in. The Project’s long-term aim is to provide a bridge between students and resources available to them, and further to improve these resources.

A few goals that are currently underway:

  • Student-run wellness website that centralizes resources and encourages discussion
  • Student-led committee that publishes an annual report on Columbia’s community wellness
  • Improved wellness training programs for NSOP and ResLife
  • Peer-to-peer mentoring
  • Puppy therapy!

The SWP meets every Tuesday at 10pm in 522 Kent. Contact Wilfred or Karishma for more information on SWP and how to join in. The Student Wellness Project is involved with the CU Student Forum, a growing gathering of individual students who want to address major issues on campus like lacking student space.

Financial Aid

750 students were unable to register for classes this semester because they had a $1,000 unpaid balance for tuition payment—this is a standard Columbia policy. The Financial Aid office sent multiple e-mails notifying students of the outstanding bill, but most ignored them. A Council member countered, saying that when he tried to rectify the situation he was redirected to three different offices, none of whom really knew what was going on. Some students said that although they received the email they didn’t know it meant that they couldn’t register.

Student Development Affairs and Financial Aid are partnering with the councils to submit the Financial Aid Office to a systematic review process similar to that conducted of CSA last semester. It would include discussions, surveys and focus groups.

Housing

Junior Re-group

Council voiced near unanimous support for an option that would allow Juniors to regroup at the end of suite selection and double up to take remaining suites. It remains to be seen if administration will implement such a policy.

Composting

The long-awaited composter, destined for installation in the basement of Ruggles, will be up and running sometime next year. Only vegetable waste —no dairy, meat, or oil—can be used. The composter will first be opened up to dining halls, then to campus groups, and after a few weeks, to individuals.

Brownstones

The brownstones that Columbia just acquired will not be opened up for general lottery. Located on 113th St. between Broadway and Riverside, the former nunnery will be re-designed to create singles and doubles for 70 people. KevSho previously stated that these would be Student Affairs confirms that these will be reserved for new Living Learning special interest housing.

Harmony Hall Solves All Your Problems

This evening, mere hours before lottery numbers are due to be posted online tomorrow, Columbia Undergraduate Housing threw us for another loop: there’s a new dorm!

Cozily-named Harmony Hall will be available for the 2009-2010 room selection process and offers eight floors of freshly renovated off-campus-esque housing. Harmony is located at 544 W. 110th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam and contains 76 singles and 7 doubles, allowing 90 lucky guinea pigs in total to grace Harmony’s hallways next year.

There are 8-12 rooms per floor, which are arranged corridor-style. Harmony residents will also find a full-sized fridge, sink and stove on each floor, and (of course) a flat-screen TV in their common rooms. There’s a laundry room and bicycle storage rack in the basement, and only two RA rooms, allowing for many opportunities to wash dirty clothes and do some hardcore RA-free partying, every Columbian’s favorite combination.

Saturday Room Hopping – A Tree Grows in Claremont

Bwog announces the return of Thursday Room Hopping — now on a new day!

jessica

Jessica’s room in Claremont is probably the best place on campus to sit pretzel-style on the ground with some milk and cookies for a read-aloud.

The artistic senior spent the week of down-time before school began bringing the outdoors inside of her spacious single.

birdClouds float and birds soar on her light green walls.

tree

A tree, lovingly cut out of cardboard, sheds some of its leaves as if a squirrel had just disrupted some branches.

“New York can feel like a harsh, overcivilized place,” she said. “I wanted to make it feel like I could have a picnic in my room.”

jessica2

The room has a beach-house feel to it — Claremont’s signature wood floors, the art on the walls, the beige throw-rug, the white canopy over her soft white bed. Books sit not on a shelf, but in a wicker basket on the
light switchfloor, and a mug hangs delicately by its handle from a hook on the wall.

She has adorned her walls with art — even the light switch has something to say.

-SEV

Have a tricked-out dorm, or wish to volunteer a friend/foe’s room? E-mail bwgossip@columbia.edu, and we’ll send a correspondent to scrutinize your living space for next week’s edition of room hopping!

Bwog Personals: You Don’t Have to be Alone on Valentine’s Edition

Already depressed about tomorrow? Bwog has personals that might rescue your self-esteem. If you think that you’re a match for either of these two, tell us at bwgossip@columbia.edu.  If we agree, we’ll shell out $5 for a date. And remember: if you become a Personal, there’s an even better chance we can help make your dreams come true!  Send us an electronic message at any hour of the day.

 

Girl for Guy Woman for ?

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The Belle Jar: Notes on a Single

You’ll never know who she is, but you’ll read her anyway. Send questions, propositions, and fan mail to bwogsex@gmail.com. Welcome to the Belle Jar.

belle jar

Singles Awareness Day (February 14) approaches and already, I overheard someone bitching about lacking a date. Problems like this are often best dealt with by reminding the offender about Darfur or telling them that they’re fat, but this time I actually stopped and considered the person’s complaint. It got me thinking about singlehood, and how it manifests itself differently in all of us. What follows is not a celebration of that diversity so much as a guide to how to be a good single person; how to wear your solitude—sorry, “freedom”—well.

The Whiner:

You know this person. In fact, you probably know 50 of these people or 49 plus vous. He or she won’t go to Hot Jazz without a date, is bitter about relationships without being entertaining, and will insist on buying a full body pillow and naming it after an unrequited love (who was probably less of a sexual being than the pillow). This person has clearly forgotten that they were born alone and will probably die alone. Try reminding them of that and if they cry, let them cry alone.

This will sound harsh, but indulging this person’s belief that they can’t be complete without another person is a betrayal of their friendship. You can’t grow a backbone for someone else, but pointedly ignoring their spinelessness is the next best thing. Comfort them and run the risk of conversing with a person—probably decent and intelligent most of the time—who speaks with more whine than words. Screech back at them and maybe they’ll realize they sound like a creep.

I fully support the idea that anyone who constantly complains about being single should be penalized with another month of singledom. This generally happens anyway because the more you complain about being single, the more unattractive you become. (more…)