The weekly ESC meeting never fails to provide all sorts of drama. Bwog’s Drama Junkie Sean Zimmermann was on hand last night to lap it up.
Good Samaritan policies, smoking rules, wifi in class rooms, and dining services changes were among the major topics discussed at this evening’s ESC meeting, the last of which triggering one of the more heated discussions in ESC this year.
Administrators are discussing a new idea to make the entire campus within the gates completely smoke-free, with six designated smoking areas around the campus perimeter. As of now, smoking is prohibited in all buildings and within 50 feet of the entrances, though the policy is generally not enforced unless someone complains.
Residential Life Dean-In-Residence Cristen Kromm spoke at the meeting. Kromm explained to ESC that there have been no recent policy changes, as they have not instructed RAs to step up policy enforcement. When 2009 Class President Kim Manis asked about implementing a good Samaritan rule for CAVA calls, Kromm said that she reads every incident report, and there is usually another reason for public safety to write-up the hosts of a party, other then the CAVAed student. When pressed further, she said that students shouldn’t fear calling CAVA, and said that if students do feel frightened, then ResLife needs to “overhaul the system.” She declared that “there is no war on fun,” and that she “firmly believes [they] have an educational process in place.”
When asked about room inspections during fire drills, Kromm explained that the inspections are just to check that everyone exist the building, and not to check for contraband Housing violations are only reported if the infraction is in plain view. Kromm also said “in an ideal world, residents should talk to each other… I would love to get Public Safety out of front line responding.” She stressed that Columbia is “her home too” and encouraged students to contact her directly if they had any concerns.
The CCSC liaison reported that the administration is considering implementing a gender blind housing policy that would make co-ed doubles possible, though they would not be available to first-year students.
In response to concerns about a professor movement to block Wi-Fi in classrooms, President Peter Valeiras said that any plan to stop Wi-Fi in classrooms wouldn’t be implemented for a long time, he “hopes,” and that any plan would require senate authorization. Additionally, the council explained that the university has been reluctant to require login to access the Wi-Fi, because the university does not want to give logins to university guests.
Student Services Liaison Emma Lebwohl presented a new idea from dining services that would restructure dining plans into a weekly quota system, with meals expiring at the end of the week like print quotas. New freshmen meal plans would also force students to purchase plans with more meals and fewer dining dollars. To compensate for the loss in dining dollars, dining services with convert Ferris Booth into a second dining hall, which would be open all day. Most food in Ferris would still be made to order, but sushi and other expensive options in Ferris would be moved into Café 212. According to the student services liaison, dining services believes that making Ferris a swipe, and keeping the quality constant, will not cause Ferris to be overrun and John Jay to be abandoned. Both proposals received a strongly negative response from the members of the council, who said that forcing students to use more meals would not cause them to eat more if they don’t like the food.
Lastly, Café 212 will be remodeled this summer to increase efficiency, and President Valeiras is working on increasing the print quota for second semester seniors, to help accommodate seniors writing theses.