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ESC: Cafe 212 Imposes Limits, Bureaucracy Comes to Student Groups

saladBwog’s Sean Zimmerman reports from ESC’s first meeting.

“We’re pretty sexy, so I’d like to spread that sexiness around.” Varun Gulati’s personal goal for ESC was one of many discussed at the first Engineering Student Council meeting, in which council members congregated in Lerner Cinema to discuss the coming year.  A new year brings new concerns, so never fear: Senator Rajat Roy clarified that “NROTC will not be an issue this year.”

Council members got personal while discussing dining changes; in reference to Cafe 212’s new policy that students can no longer build custom salads, Rajat bemoaned that he “wants the ability to customize [his] salad.”  Council members suspected that Dining Services’ trademark thrift came into play — perhaps some students would often fill their salads with expensive items and pay the same price as students who ordered more basic salads.

Additionally, VP Policy Kelly Chen said that Scott Wright, VP of Student and Administrative Services, has announced that both Ferris and JJ’s will most likely be converted to dining halls starting next year. Dining services has been losing money as more students use Flex to purchase food off-campus. Your chicken wings are safe: according to Chen, under the new plan meals at the dining halls would be cheaper ($10/meal) and the food quality at Ferris and JJ’s would not decrease.

Chen also announced that the bookstore will provide the ISBN of required books on their website, so, as Chen said, “you can buy them somewhere else.”

VP Student Life Chris Elizondo explained a new Columbia policy where all clubs that want to create t-shirts using student life funds must submit the shirt design two months in advance if the design uses the Columbia name or icon. This presents a problem for many groups and events — most notably Homecoming — as there is no way to determine who Columbia will play two months in advance. Additionally, the criteria for determining whether shirts are “appropriate” enough to clear purchasing (which plans to forward the designs to some legal division within Columbia), has not yet been set. 

Not only are your t-shirts less funny, but Secretary Heidi Ahmed announced that new Senate campaigning rules require students to take down all of their campaign fliers before voting begins, meaning that all candidates must keep a record of the locations for all of their posters.  ESC elections just became that much more inefficient.

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  • I am says:

    @I am I am so disillusioned with student council right now it is not even funny. Honestly, can we have a referendum to just leave the offices blank? I don’t need them rubber stamping admin proposals and spending time arguing about bringing back mixed salads.

    1. SALADS says:

      @SALADS HEY!!


  • Ummmmm says:

    @Ummmmm Gunnar Gulati?
    Varun Gulati or Gunnar Aasen?

    Way to fact check, idiots.

  • books says:

    @books listing ISBNs on the bookstore website counts as a year’s work to me. Debate salad toppings all you want, you earned it.

  • Dining Services says:

    @Dining Services So their solution to save money is to fold Ferris and JJ’s to a meal plan no sane upperclassman would sign up for. Good thing there are no compelling off-campus alternatives to those venues! Oh wait.

    What are they gonna do next? Charge a dorm kitchen access fee?

    1. Sssshhhhhh says:

      @Sssshhhhhh STFU already, they’ll hear you. We’re one nebulous acronym away from your kitchen access fee.

  • First, says:

    @First, the football schedule is determined more than two months in advance. Second, our Homecoming schedule is always the same, so we’re always (in the recent past and foreseeable future) either playing Penn or Princeton. If you’re gonna represent this school, learn something about it.

  • wonderful says:

    @wonderful This was to be expected ever since Robert Taylor and Ty Gonzalez together spawned the children of Satan who inevitably gravitated towards their natural abode – the SGO.

  • do away with says:

    @do away with class councils – all they do is spend our student life fees on generic free food that doesn’t even go to SEAS students most of the time. This money would be much more meaningful if it were given to professional clubs or cultural organizations.

    1. oh yes says:

      @oh yes so smart, because professional clubs and cultural organizations don’t use money on free food…

      do you even go to columbia!?!

  • at least says:

    @at least Most big clubs generate their own revenue so the t-shirt restrictions don’t apply. In fact I seem to remember that ABC groups can’t use their allocation for t-shirts, and I know that specific frats and sororities don’t receive an allocation from student life fees. So outside of the councils this shouldn’t make too big a difference.

    That said one more example of Columbia bureaucracy being out of touch.

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