CCSC: Not the Manhattan Project, Manhattanville!
Written by Bwog Staff
They motion to vote, we Bwog. Another Sunday evening of CCSC.
A sunburned CCSC gathered in Satow last night for their penultimate meeting of the year to discuss the Big Issues: smoking, Manhattanville, meal plans. The meeting started off with a round of applause for, in Kreb’s diplomatic words, “a few of the people in this room” who were nominated to next year’s CCSC.
El Presidente then announced that the meeting would include talks from two reps on Manhattanville as well as a discussion with Scott Wright, VP of Student Services. CCSC welcomed Victoria Benitez and LaVerna Fountain to discus the current state of the Manhattanville project, which Krebs assured confused CCSC-ers was not in fact “not the Manhattan project”, but just harmless old Manhattanville. The reps fielded questions from the council on topics ranging from displacement and Floridita to graduate school housing.
Fountain explained that the Manhattanville project is currently “not even at the beginning” of its projected 30-year construction time frame and explained that some answers to all the council’s questions did not exist yet. Benitez, who has been a resident of West Harlem for 50 years, did her part to assure the council that “we won’t be closing anyone’s favorite grocery store”. The reps explained that 132 apartments, and roughly 300 people, will be displaced, and moved to “equal or better” housing, one of PrezBo’s provisions from 2007. Fountain acknowledged the problem of secondary displacement for those living outside the 17 acres allotted to Manhattanville and promised more information to come on the topic. Despite his best efforts “not to sound like a community activist”, Adil Ahmed raised the issue of the environmental impact of a massive construction project on a mostly industrial neighborhood. Fountain and Benitez made sure we didn’t worry about that: there’s a 2,000 page Environmental Impact Statement online in case anyone’s curious.
All in all, the Manhattanville reps didn’t tell us a whole lot we didn’t know already, but did drive home the point that the project is still very much in its planning stage, and change to the structuring and execution of the project can still be made. Fountain and Benitez then gave the floor to Scott Wright, who was, in Krebs’ words, “another weekend warrior” willing to spend his Sunday night in the Satow Room. Wright addressed the proposed smoking ban on campus and called it more of a “recommendation” than anything else. He announced that the policy would not change unless there was a good deal of support for it among student and administrators.
Wright then addressed dining and reassured us that “we are not in favor of mandatory meal plans” for upperclassmen. He also discussed the option of turning Ferris Booth into an all-you-care-to-eat dining hall. Ferris would retain most of its food except for “all those bottled beverages and stuff like Crumbs cupcakes”, which would probably be moved to another dining location. Since off-campus Flex absorbs so much money, Ferris would most likely be turned into a lunch-only facility if it were not made into a dining hall due to lack of funds. There was some good news for living and eating on-campus, though: Café East will be expanded over the summer to include sushi, Wien bathrooms will be fully renovated, and there will be improvements in EC and Broadway. “I don’t think anything is more important than those renovations in Wien,” Wright admitted, “although John Jay bathrooms are close second.” Wien: marginally less miserable next year?