Club Crib Sheet: Part 2

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The activities fair may be over, but you’ve still got a while to find your niche in Columbia’s extracurricular scene. To help you sift through the alphabet soup, our series of club crib sheets continues with groups that hand out money and groups that may eventually make lots of money.

cash registerGoverning Boards and Councils (a.k.a. The Man)

Activities Board at Columbia (ABC) – This oversight organization funds publications, cultural groups, competition groups–basically everything SGB doesn’t pay for. Every club competes to have its friends on the board of representatives in hopes of upping their allocations.

Engineering Student Council (ESC) – ESC may be elected undemocratically—the executive board, which composes a much larger percentage of the total student body than any of the other councils, selects the president–but they do come up with the most wonderful web applications.

Student Government Association – Barnard College’s student council, this year headed by Sarah Besnoff. SGA mostly stays on the west side of Broadway, but frequently cosponsors events with the other undergraduate councils.

General Studies Student Council (GSSC) – Now with a cute owl logo and a website that’s at least helpful and up to date, GSSC is one of the more constituency-conscious councils out there. Bwog can only hope current president Brody Berg will be as entertaining as ex-leader Nico Cunningham.

Student Council, Columbia College (CCSC) – With President George Krebs in office, this promises to be an entertaining year for CCSC—show up for meetings at 8PM on Sundays in Satow, and bring popcorn. For all you aspiring campus politicos, keep your eyes out for information about freshman elections, starting soon.

Student Governing Board – The SGB, which funds political and religious groups, was created in 1968 when students demanded a more student-run governing body that would safeguard the freedoms of speech and religion. In the wake of the Minutemen scuffle, it was moved from the nurturing arms of the University Chaplain to the bureaucreatic (but better funded!) office of Student Development and Activities. Some cried censorship, but so far complaining has been minimal, and the body’s finances may be better managed.

Bacchanal Events – Bacchanal used to be a bigger deal than it is now, with a declining budget and leadership in slight disarray. But they’ll still pull off a week of free entertainment in the spring, and hopefully a concert good enough to make up for having given up on getting one for this fall.

Ferris Reel Film Society – Three-dollar just-out-of-theaters-but-not-yet-in-movie-stores film screenings? Heck yes! Thank goodness for the good folks at Ferris Reel for making it unnecessary to even leave campus on a Friday night.

Academic Competition

Chess Club – Did you know that in high school you can letter in chess? Well at college, you won’t use it to waive your gym requirement, but playing a grandmaster has got to be at least as good.

Columbia International Relations Council and Association (CIRCA) – This isn’t a new group, just a spiffy new acronym for a decidedly high-schoolish old group: CIRCA has shed its Model United Nations moniker in order to sound more official on its officers’ resumes accommodate a wider range of activities, including speakers and cultural events. Which also means that its annual conferences will no longer have the awesome acronym-derived taglines of Seamonkey and C-Money. They’ll still be fielding a competitive traveling team as well as running crisis simulation and high school Model U.N. conferences.

Mock Trial Team – Mock Trial gets the largest budget of any ABC group, bar none. This is supposedly because they are very good and do very well, although their most noteworthy achievement of recent years was a second-place finish at nationals in 2004.

Model Congress – Pretty self-explanatory: they pretend to be legislators in pretend sessions of congress with pretend debates and everything (although presumably the issues are real).

Parliamentary Debate Team – This form of debate—basically Lincoln-Douglas to you high school debater kids—is potentially more fun than either Policy, Mock Trial, and Quiz Bowl, because you don’t need actual facts, just rhetorical firepower. The weekend tournaments at schools up and down the East Coast can be a blast, if you survive all the hot air.

Quiz Bowl – The trained Columbia Quiz Bowler is a wonder to behold. The B&W has firsthand experience, having been trounced in intramurals by buzzer-happy pros endowed with a trove of random minutiae. Geeky? Yes. Strangely fantastic? Yes, that too.


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  1. Waaaait...  

    Shouldn't Nico Cunningham have graduated already? He's in one of my classes.

  2. actually...  

    Bacchanal's budget is increasing not decreasing they have over a 100k

  3. parliamentary  

    parliamentary debate means exactly that -- American PARLIAMENTARY. the style of debate that the team does is definitely NOT Lincoln-Douglas.

  4. Nico  

    I be majrin in sosioalgy and kant grajueight on thyme.

  5. Errors  

    The SGB info is off. SGB is also the governing board for Activist groups, and after seeing that no governing board was taking care of non-CI service groups, took them on as well. The SGB in moving from Earl Hall demanded the creation of an independent office in Student Affairs to avoid SDA's bureaucracy, and lo - the Office of Student Group Advising was created, with large input from SGB in the process.

  6. stop quoting wu-tang  

    it's old.

  7. I wish  

    I had club crib sheets when I was a freshman. Yay lydia!

  8. Another Alum

    As usual, no love for club sports? Massive budget, massive participation, and better results than varsity sports and BWOG snubs them?

  9. hmm  

    how do you sign up to join quiz bowl if you missed the activities fair?

  10. Master Debater  

    Parli debate may be fun, but not as fun as a Philo debate.

    Come debate "Resolved: Natural Selection is over - we won" this thursday

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