SGA Talks Tampons, Science, and Student-Teacher Relationships
Written by Bwog Staff
Nikhita Mahtani reports.
Monday’s SGA meeting began with pleas for volunteers for Founder’s Day. Soon after, the new First Year VP, Rachel Ferrari – apparently a “big listener” and “not very shy” — introduced herself.
The meeting continued with updates from Katie Pallilo, Barnard ‘10 and SGA president. Katie addressed her meeting with Carol Katzman from Information Technologies, who is investing in a 6-month recruiting program to revamp Barnard’s “Academic Technologies” — SmartBoards, anyone? Commencement is still to be in Levien Gym, but suggestions have been made to look into other venues, such as Baker Field or Lehman.
Because Columbia’s administration works so well already, Dean Taylor, the new Chief of Staff, will add yet another layer of bureaucracy to Barnard College by serving as a link between President Spar and the student body. Katie, the eternal optimist, tempered her criticism of another barrier between you and your tuition money by lavishing great praise on the new Dean. That’ll be another friendly face you won’t see until Founder’s Day.
Apparently those Purell bottles aren’t doing their job: a new Community Health Assistants Initiative will assign a “flu buddy” to help people with cope with the swine, and bring them food so that they don’t contaminate other folks. Bwog wonders what will happen to the poor flu buddies, and who will be their flu buddies at a later time, but this was not discussed.
What was discussed, however, was the Barnard Science requirement. There will be a town forum at a later date to discuss the pros and cons; the SGA would also like Science majors to attend, as while you’re voicing your concerns, it’s still “disrespectful to invite the Science department and then say we don’t want to take their classes.” Zeest Haider, BC ‘10, added that the event needs more diverse speakers, since the faculty already knows all the issues – they just need “more faces to say the same things that the faculty already knows.” Bwog is confused about this, but chose not to argue.
Barnard landlines are now to be removed from all dorms, but whether they “are just going to come into rooms and take the landlines away” à la 1984 is still unknown. The SGA budget was passed, with more money given to student groups, and less therefore given to co-sponsorships. Emily Kenison, University Senator, talked about how Columbia’s endowment has decreased by 16% — but “since we are a poor college anyway, the recession does not affect us that much!”
Kenison also discussed the Commission on the Status of Women, which deals with issues like faculty pregnancy and tenure (as “most faculty members frown on female professors getting pregnant more than once or twice”), as well as romantic relationships between faculty and students. Common questions on this topic include serious debates like: “Is text messaging okay?” and “Is there a line between flirting with your TA to get a good grade and actually going on into something more?”
Some suggested a new ‘eat and go bar’ at Hewitt and more workers at the sandwich bar at lunchtime, recession be damned. Finally, a member pointed out that Columbia bests Barnard in at least one aspect of stuent life — there are no feminine hygiene disposal systems in most Barnard dorms. Members proved what strong, beautiful women they are and demanded dispensers in all academic buildings. The meeting ended with suggestions for speakers at SGA meetings. Since Bwog can’t volunteer, it will make one suggestion: James Franco.