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Promises, Promises

debateThe debate among e-board candidates Tracy Chung, Michelle Diamond, and Natali Segovia took place Monday night in Carman lounge, redolent with the scent of JJ’s chicken fingers. All parties presented initially campaigns centered around a rhetorical motif of sorts. Chung’s Rebel CC campaign spoke first, with the theme of “rebelling against the status quo and bureaucratization of a body that should be a true representation of student activities.” Segovia’s Voice spoke to themes of “diversity,” consistently hitting upon the diversity of experience and backgrounds of the ticket members. The party even tied advising reform into diversity: “We all have diverse interests that can be better served by the advising system.” One Columbia, the most polished of the three parties, wanted a stronger and more connected Columbia, with each member introducing themselves by saying, “My name is ____, and I want to build a stronger community by…” The ideas were not earth-shatteringly different (though neither of the other two parties introduced environmental issues) but the tableau was hard to ignore.
After the jump, the major promises made by each ticket:


  • an online database of group information and events “on par with Spec or Bwog”
  • “Rehaul” pre-professional advising with centralized information and an alumni database
  • developing a long-term financing plan for governing board funds
  • Lerner 6 as “last frontier” in terms of expanding space for student groups
  • making CCSC less intimidating to outsiders
  • informal town hall meetings


  • doubling number of advisors
  • “running our own campaign”and staying out of campaign drama
  • making sure CCSC becomes an open and transparent organization
  • satellite office of Health Service to provide holistic health care
  • greater focus on clarifying funding process to individual groups
  • better relations with student groups and constant communication with those groups


  • reducing student-advisor ratio by half
  • online community calendar
  • posting events on flat screens in Lerner, along with playing CTV and WKCR in Lerner
  • combine FYSAC and JSAAC
  • environmentally responsible planning
  • bimonthly column in Spec and meetings to discuss ideas casually

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  • no no no no no says:

    @no no no no no We don’t want “town hall” meetings, we don’t want the ccsc to be less closed to outsiders, we don’t want online community calendars, we don’t want diversity. We want events. We also want t-shirts to commemorate those events.

  • I heart T-shirts says:

    @I heart T-shirts …as long as they’re witty. Or keychains. I’d give my vote to any party promising keychains for my non-existant keys.

  • details... says:

    @details... As someone at the debate, I feel you really didn’t capture most of the more amusing moments in the debate. My personal favorite moment was a converation to the effect of this:

    -One Columbia: All charges made against us last night were officially cleared after the elections board investigated.
    -Voice: We tried to stay out of this mess of alleging rules violations. We have run a completly clean campaign
    -Rebel: Huh? But David Coates was the one who told us about our third allegation!

    Bwog, why don’t you call them out on their last second conspiracy to confuse the results of the election? Clearly this collusion between the two parties to fling mud is worth mentioning.

  • Paul Soto says:

    @Paul Soto There was no collusion; I myself saw it on the Bwog, and I wasn’t at my own computer, we were reading Bwog on Dave Coates’ computer, so I told Dave to please e-mail that snippet to my own e-mail address because he was in his GMAIL already so our party could file the rules violation.

    I take full responsibility for that, Bwog commenter.

  • Um... says:

    @Um... Stating that, “”My name is ____, and I want to build a stronger community by…” was hardly a “polished” way to go about starting a debate.

    In fact, while listening, I wasn’t sure if I was at an AA meeting, or watching a 6th Grade Science Fair Presentation.

    Each of these groups, and especially One Columbia, is so carried away with the idea that we (the Working Class Proles) actually care about meeting with advisors etc, that listening to them actually makes me giggle.

    I want concerts and other free events on campus. Free tshirts also. Not some spastic personal advisor who follows me around all day.

    I should’ve run for CCSC.

    I would’ve run under the AIDS ticket, just for a laugh.

  • could barely hear says:

    @could barely hear one columbia was definitely the most solid. and, did anyone else notice that they were the only ones who actually had the sense to speak up, stand up, make sure the room could hear them? the other candidates, tracy in particular, mumbled so softly and sat so casually – i could barely hear her platform.

    1. yea says:

      @yea as much as one columbia looked like the kids who had prepped way too much for the 6th grad science fair, the other groups were that shy kid who probably had a good project but you couldn’t hear him so he just got third place.

      could they have found a room that had doors that were any more irritating? any time someone opened a door it was like 30 seconds where i didn’t hear a single thing.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous I found the facial expressions from One most amusing…a lot of prominently raised and arched eyebrows, haughty smirks, and rude looks when Rebel and Voice were presenting…what’s better though…nonchalant looks or discourteous ones?

  • nah says:

    @nah i didn’t think they weren’t looking haughty. maybe a little excited and flushed. but one columb seemed like decent people.

  • TRACY says:

    @TRACY is hotter.

  • Is is just me.... says:

    @Is is just me.... or are “doubling the number of counselors” and “reducing the student to advisor ratio by half” exactly the same thing?

    1. not necessarily says:

      @not necessarily it could mean we just get rid of half the students here.

  • nope says:

    @nope it’s just you

  • The one says:

    @The one substantive proposal by Voice, a “satellite office of Health Service to provide holistic health care,” is ridiculous. So we have a bunch of bureaucrat-speak BS and one ludicrous idea–this is an outsider ticket?

    1. agreed says:

      @agreed on the crazy/fake promises. who pays to hire that many more advisors? where are you going to put them? who pays for “holistic health care” staff and where are you putting them? it’s just goofy. i would vote if i got promised t-shirts and water bottles instead.

  • dont you understand? says:

    @dont you understand? It’s not about the student body, but the student leaders. This is resume embellishment 101.

    Student governments have little or no power to change administrative policy. And they rightfully shouldn’t. Any organization that allows 18-22 year olds free reign over major decisions, especially ones with major dollars attached to them, is doomed to failure.

    1. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous I do understand.
      However, I also know, from personal experience, that the voice of the CCSC is taken into heavy consideration. Too many people take for granted the countless hours that Council members put into at least intiating the beginning of a policy change, or making sure that the adminstration follows up with it. I’m not saying that council members don’t get benefits, but that is not the matter. I am just fed up with all the cynics out there who try to undermine the efforts of council members.
      Heck, I, for one, am doing what I’m doing on council because I actually want to see through changes that are beneficial to us students.
      So the next time anyone wants to say anything about the student council, think about this: what have you done for this school that gives you the right to question the motives of other students who are working, essentially, for your benefit?

      1. Nice try says:

        @Nice try The “well, what have you done” argument generally stopped being accepted some time early in middle school. Those on the council put themselves in a position (indeed, for all you know, they were voted for by their future and sometimes detractors) to affect change. When tangible change isn’t realized, they should expect to hear about it from the student body.

        What makes me even sicker than all the bullshit campaigning is the “woe is me” attitude these primadonnas adopt as soon as they start having to produce. Pointing to the “long hours” of prep work doesn’t really phase a student body whose constituent members spend hours and hours every day studying or participating in other activities.

        It isn’t cynical to criticize the council, Anonymous. It’s cynical for council members to run on these “campus unity” platforms and then spend the duration of their term trying to get another advisor hired, or trying to increase funding for SGB groups. So until student council has affected real, positive change, it can expect to hear complaints. Welcome to politics.

        1. I agree/disagree says:

          @I agree/disagree Whining about the hard work that it takes to be on council is unacceptable. So on that point, you are right on. If you are elected, you have a duty to this school and if you can’t take criticism you should be doing something else. Criticism only makes you work harder

          HOWEVER, I am confused about your reasoning on another point. You say constituents “spend hours every day studying or participating in other activitiies.” Then you disparage council members for getting more advisors and funding? But isn’t lobbying for both of these to help improve constituents’ academic and extracurricular life?

          1. Again says:

            @Again Perhaps I misspoke. I didn’t mean to say that these weren’t “good” goals. I meant to say that these achievements (or attempts at achievement) fell short of the vaunted goals for which these groups were elected. It takes more than advisors and SGB funding to create “one Columbia,” as it were.

          2. .... says:

            @.... Good points. The clarification is helpful. But it should be noted that they are pushing for more than advisors and SGB funding; those are just the aspects of the campaign that have made the headline this year. And it is sad though that sometimes the headlines dominate everything.

            And back to the first post, “When tangible change isn’t realized, they should expect to hear about it from the student body”… That’s very true. But the records show, if you look into it, that they have been pushing on advising and other reforms and have the momentum to get the job done more effectively than the other tickets. Coming in cold turkey, they will have a steep learning curve to get over. And by the time they surmount that learning curve, they will have been able to get much less done. Even for an experienced leader of a humongous student group, Flaxman had to spend a lot of time getting into the swing of things.

            None of this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t criticise. You should yell “faster! faster! faster!” as much as you as a voter want. That will make them work harder.

  • Question says:

    @Question Is there some kind of quorum requirement? Most people I know plan not to vote…granted I obviously don’t know the majority of CC students, but what happens if only, say, 100 people turn out to vote? Do the rest of us just have to live with it because there were no acceptable candidates?

    Also, #11, they are not necessarily the same thing.

  • ok this is bullshit says:

    @ok this is bullshit do you know why attempts to make ccsc “more transparent” keep failing? no one cares about ccsc.

    -Lerner Bulletin Board
    -CCSC Blog w

    CCSC has no direct bearing on our life. They’re primary objective has been to interface with the administration and bitch and moan to them. They’re usually good at this, though there’s not always a lot to show for it.

    Parties and stuff tend to fall on the shoulders of the class councils, who all operate independently. If CC08 has a great idea, only the 08’s are really going to benefit from it.

    Ever wonder why Columbia College Days is such a worthless event while E-Weeks is huge? ESC is closer to its students and has the backing of a very involved school. When was the last time Quigley sent you a good luck on midterms email?

    Columbia College is a bait and switch scam. They told us it was supposed to be a small close-knit college in a large university. We got none of that. SEAS definitely did. So did Barnard. Maybe that’s why we give them so much shit- we’re just jealous.

  • i agree says:

    @i agree if you’re going to whine about what council can’t do, then do something about it. run yourself. vote. take some sort of active participation besides anonymously posting on bwog. just shut up already. and yes, some non-ccsc people do actually care about the outcome of this election.

  • clarification... says:

    @clarification... “they have been pushing on advising” refers to the group you mentioned in the last post, one party…

    “They will have a steep learning curve”….. they is in reference to the “other tickets”

  • Bethmann-Hollweg says:

    @Bethmann-Hollweg I don’t understand what the obsession with advising reform is.

    I’m a third year student, and have only met with my advisor[s] a few times over the course of my years here.

    And to be honest, I have no interest in meeting with any of them again. This is not because they’re not intelligent (I actually got on with them quite well), but because it’s essentially useless.

    Somehow, I was able to figure out what requirements I needed for graduation without someone reading me the information easily accessible online. I also never sought help from a Columbia employee in discussing my feelings of teen angst and depression, and nor should I ever hope to do so.

    All this banging on about advising reform from CCSC kids drive me bananas (b-a-n-a-n-a-s). They’re probably the most self-important, and yet ultimately pointless, collection of humans I’ve ever encountered.

    Columbia needs to get backs to its roots.

    This is King’s College, ladies – not some spastic republic run the masses. Let a proper monarchy sort it out.

    1. Edmund Burke says:

      @Edmund Burke hear, hear, hollweg. a good bayoneting is what these ruffians need. ah, for the halcyon days of 1968 when the cavalry ascended the heights of low…

  • ugh says:

    @ugh student council is NOT community service. get off your high horse and admit you’re doing it because you love the feeling of power. if you really only cared about helping people, you’d be working at a homeless shelter, not displaying yourself to be worshipped by the student body.

  • If I had says:

    @If I had $1000 for every promise any candidate has kept over my entire time at Columbia…I would be dirt poor. Oh wait…

  • ok wow says:

    @ok wow what is with this insane hatred for student council? grow up! and chill out

  • Student Council H8r says:

    @Student Council H8r My biggest problem with the councils is twofold. First they make all these vague sweeping promises, usually with a few specific plans to bring them to fruition. This is utterly ridiculous. Most of the time they campaign on “Big” issues that they have no control over.

    1) Students have campaigned on “off-campus flexlife” for over a decade now. Wayne Ting even forced Student Affairs to have a survey in 2004, and then ran on the issue. This DESPITE knowing that the administration had no intention of making the ID system flex-capable for 4 FUCKING YEARS.

    2) The darling issue of the last 2 years has been Financial Aid Reform. Newsflash everyone- student council can’t effect change on that topic. They can only politely demand that Columbia make it a fundraising priority. And if you didn’t think the university already had done so, you’re an idiot. They know they eventually have to match the other Ivys’ programs. The council really couldn’t claim victory this fall, they really weren’t a factor in Columbia’s decision to eliminate a few loans.

    3) Diversity- this is such a fluff special interest pandering issue that I want to puke. I’m sure the OMA does lots of lovely things. But couldn’t the IRC fill those roles already? Seriously, the same person who sent IRC emails in 03-04 started sending OMA emails instead. Good job expanding the bureaucracy!

    4) Programming- this is where the councils utterly fail in having a broader vision. Most ‘community-building’ programs tend to be very small in scale. I like Diamond’s proposal to have breakfast and buses on College Walk before football games. Free food is always a draw. However, the last major SUCCESSFUL programming initiative was Harrison’s coup d’etat with Glass House Rocks.

    People need to realize that CCSC basically functions as an administrative advocate. They’re very good at getting small changes, like the pass-fail grade disclosure option, the free grad school testing program, etc. However councils, particularly CCSC, tends to get lost in the details and miss the big picture.

    Oh, and they never respond to my emailed suggestions. FUCKERS.

  • H8r says:

    @H8r that last part of getting stuck on the small things is my second complaint.

  • H8r says:

    @H8r 5) Advising reform- we can rattle our sabers all we want. The administration will do what it wants, when it wants. FYSAAC was new a few years ago. So they’ll finally assign 4 year advisors in 3 years. REVOLUTIONARY IDEA! WHy is COlumbia so far behind the curve in everything?

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