1. wow.

    this is really fucked up.

  2. CC observer

    the esc has no defense. the referendum technically "failed" because of low voter turnout. guess what. the elections were underadvertised and one might argue that it was intentional. also, the ESC should consider that the reason students don't vote in the first place is because the ESC sucks and does shitty things like turn down a referendum that received 67% support in an election that happened to fail because they let it fail. either way this is unacceptable and an insult to the 22% of the SEAS kids who voted for direct elections. we always joke about ESC being fascists but it's really true.

  3. esc

    for all the bitching about esc's lack of democracy, notice everyone prefers its policies and achievements over those of ccsc.

  4. the truth

    Referendum requirements:

    1) 50% of all students vote

    2) 66.7% of those voters vote for popular elections

    Since less than 50% of the student body voted there was no way that the referendum could pass.

    The ESC did a lot to get the word out about voting. If you cared so much about the outcome of the referendum vote, you would have been well served to do all that you could as well.

  5. the Man

    To CC Observer --

    Yes, the referendum failed because the voter turnout was not high enough. Yet you protest, arguing that the 22% that voted should have their will imposed on the rest of the school. Have you taken CC? Can you say Tyranny of the MINORITY? (read Hume)

    Clearly 78% of the SEAS student body did not care enought to vote one way or the other, therefore that same 78% should not be affected by the feelings of a small minority. Its called democracy.

  6. hume

    No, it's called a fascist democracy. Did anyone stop to think why 78% of the SEAS student body doesn't give a shit about their elected officials?

    And if you're talking about the tyranny of the minority I don't see the difference between that and an eboard that is internally elected.

  7. The Woman

    The ESC has not had a turnout of 50%, ever. The executive board set unrealistic expectations they knew could not be met.

    Regardless, who cares about the thoughts of non-voters with regard to the elections process? Asking only the voters makes MORE sense than asking the entire public.

    Secondly, assumming that 78% of SEAS does not want direct elections is a disgustingly false conclusion. That is like saying all amputees who didn't walk up the big hill to cast a vote against Sadaam are in favor of him.

    I didn't even know elections were going on ... I would have voted.

  8. the Man

    I'm saying that 78% of the students didn't care enough to vote. Period. On ANYTHING. Hypothetically, 100% of the 22% could come out and vote one way. Should that be interpreted as a mandate by the students on the actions of a council? What if the other 78% is unanimously opposite that of the 22%?

    I'm not implying that the 78% is against changing the system. I am saying that the 22% is not representative of the student body.

    Analogy: lets elect Pat Robertson as the next President of the United States by only polling in Texas and Alabama and Mississsippi. Would that be fair to the other 78% of the country? No.

    In the elections of Spring 2004, the ESC General Student Body Elections saw participation of nearly 80%.

  9. dear Man

    what the hell are you talking about?

    voter turnout for the ESC General Student Body Elections was 54%.


    Stop making shit up.

  10. The Man Responds

    That's when Adam Goldberg did elections. Both years he ran them, turnout was over 50%. But every year before, and clearly every year after, is under 35%. 54% was an all time record and yet the requirement for a referendum is the all time record? That's absurd.

    The Spectator ran a poll against the entire student body which found results similar to the voting referendum. The results will be published shortly.

  11. Lano

    Not what the Spec said this morning...

    What's the average turnout in a CC election? Most engineers (including myself) don't understand the system and can't be bothered to vote, even if we were well-informed.

    For all Goldberg's yelling about democracy (with which I completely agree), it's not like ESC matters at ALL. If this had even the smallest impact on our lives, me and the rest of SEAS would be out in droves. I abstained from every vote except the referendum.

  12. Re: Lano

    4 years ago, the ESC used to do things. They brought liberal arts minors to engineers, extended the hours of the gym past 6pm, re-wrote the senior housing system. But now, the council can barely keep people from resigning and has trouble putting together a study break. Only 4 people ran in contested positions this year. There is no accountability whatsoever, and it is time to flush the toilet and start again where the students have the right to choose.

  13. clarification

    Since my browser (and maybe that of others) didnt displayt the link well, I'm reposting the web address that "dear Man" gave to the spec article that shows that ESC HAS had a voter turn out greater than 50% (in opposition to what The Woman decided to make up)




    Also, if you're so annoyed about the elections remaining internal, try coming to one of the weekly ESC meetings, so you can actually fully learn both sides of the situation.

  14. Re: Clarification

    Maybe I would if you would stop closing the meetings about elections to the public ...

  15. insight

    i would just like to point out that Adam obtained high voter turnouts with unorthodox methods which call democracy into question in and of itself. he used to call friends and have them vote for specific people, which in and of itself is corrupt as he could see the turnout, while also simultaneously making himself appear ambivalent. no one disagrees that the ESC should have public elections, however no one should turn their back on the guidelines they set as that allows for chaos.

  16. what?

    The difference between 54% and 30% is a few hundred students. If Goldberg manipulated the votes of hundreds of people, as you claim, he must be really really good at keeping the conspiracy a secret.

    You are very sharp, "insight." Keep up the good work.

  17. da da da

    i have never met a SEAS kid (non-council member) who supports internal elections.

    another point: i'm pretty sure the 17% of students who voted against direct elections are on ESC. i can't be bothered to do the math but i'd bet that the number would work out to be the size the ESC council and i'm pretty sure most people on ESC voted against the referendum.

  18. who is "the truth"?

    Who's actually opposed to students electing their own leaders? That's an awfully illiberal belief in this day an age, unless you're on ESC or something.

  19. Erf

    Several points:

    -I hear a lot of people complaining about ESC, and nobody stepping up to do anything about it. Ever consider running?

    -The elections *were* advertised. You've gotten at least six emails about it from four different sources (ESC Prez, your class prez, JSAC and Galil). Posters were put up, the Spec covered it, etc. etc.

    -The main reason this years' elections aren't as visible as last year's are because fewer people ran. The more people run, the more visibility there is for the elections.

    -I can't blame people for calling the ESC useless. That's partly because they don't publicize a lot of what they do. Apparantly, ESC just got us 100 pages of print quota rollover, working wireless in Lerner, and got the administration to begin removing social security numbers from our ID cards. Previously, they got gyms in ESC, new lighting in Schapiro, JJs open till 4am. If I didn't have friends on council, I wouldn't know any of this.

  20. re: Lano

    While the flyers did include CCSC, the success with the printer quota is mainly attributed to this year's ESC President and Student Services Representative. Ask Lisa Hogarty if you want more information.

  21. the truth

    interested in reading about what the esc has done, check: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/esc/initiatives.html

    • RA

      While the ESC's checklist of projects is charming and orderly, it's interesting to note that CCSC has been actively involved (if not primarily involved) in lobbying for almost all of these changes. Time for a merger?

  22. referendum

    If people really want this to happen... propose another referendum for next year...?

  23. the truth

    First of all, assuming that an entire body of people (in this case the ESC) feels the same way on a contentious issue (in this case popular elections) is both presumptuous and unreasonable.

    Second of all, the 17% of voters who voted against popular elections equates to 76 people - far greater than the 27 that sit on council, and even greater than the number of council members who supported internal elections.

    Third of all, if students would check their e-mail and perhaps even (*gasp*) read what's in those e-mails they would have known about elections, contested positions, and the referendum. Additionally, the ESC put up posters, sent Facebook messages, and told people in person about elections.

    Fourth of all, if you have never met a SEAS kid who supports internal elections then why 1) 76 people vote for internal elections, 2) 71 people abstain from the referendum vote, and 3) 922 people not vote?

    Fifth of all, what you refer to as tyranny of the minority (internal elections) is actually a republican system of government. With the exception of the four E-Board members who vote in elections, every member of the ESC is an elected representative. Furthermore, those four E-Board members are elected by those elected representatives.

    Sixth of all, there are many avenues available to SEAS students to give their elected representatives feedback and comments, including ones on internal vs. popular elections.

    Seventh of all, a referendum vote is, by mandate of the ESC constitution, final. Setting a 50% minimum voter turnout and a 66.7% minimum vote in favor of popular elections equates to 33.3% of the student body voting for popular elections. If 33.3% of the student body doesn't care enough to come out and vote for popular elections, then there's no reason to violate the ESC constitution and change the current system.

    Eigth of all, joint efforts by the ESC and CCSC are still efforts! Discounting the hard work of dedicated council members because they worked with someone else on a particular initiative is unfair and, simply put, stupid.

    You can keep bickering about what happened this year, or focus on instituting this change next year by getting the student body to care about it more than they did this year.

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