The prolonging of Frontiers, student honor boards, and serving alcohol to freshmen – it’s all in this week’s CCSC report:
In typical Yang-era fashion, the meeting opened with a series of brief announcements. VP for Finance Nuriel Moghavem told the council that student groups wishing to use the Black Box Theater have to put various fire safety measures into place (hiring fire marshals, etc.), typically costing around $2000. This new fee has originated “from God knows where,” according to Moghavem, but the student councils are hoping to end it.
Other brief announcements included Yang saying that the new student group spaces almost ready to open in Broadway and Schapiro are “larger than expected,” and that there will be a student survey to help determine the best use of the spaces, and Academic Affairs rep Gilad Bendheim’s project to allow pass/fail grades in introductory language courses, which Bendheim expressed optimism about. At this point, your correspondent excitedly looked up the Course Directory, only to learn that “Quenya” was shockingly not on offer.
The low point of the meeting came when 2010 President Cliff Massey reported from the Committee on the Core Curriculum. As this year marks the end of Frontiers of Science’s five-year trial run, the course is under “strong review.” But the Committee on Science Education has requested that the unholy terror of Frontiers be extended for another four years, “to collect more data.” Despite this reasoning sounding most similar to “let’s keep bombing Vietnam to collect more data,” Massey reported (to CCSC’s noticeable disappointment) that the Core Committee is “99% likely” to approve the request.
VP for Policy Sarah Weiss updated the council on the Policy Committee’s main projects for the year, including more student involvement in the Dean’s Discipline process, a student “honor board” for academic honesty, gender-neutral housing, and clarifying the RA warning policy. Several council members noted that honor boards and gender-neutral housing already exist at many similar schools, remarking how odd it was that Columbia does not have an honor code.
The meeting ended on an abstract/optimistic note as the council discussed long-term goals for the year. Eventually, the members settled on traditions as an important way of building community (a nebulous term, several members admitted), and, at that point, some rather un-student government-y rebelliousness began to show. Senior class representative Maximo Cubillete draw laughs and applause when he noted that the best way for traditions to get started was, unfortunately, not to have student government involved, “because Public Safety always overreacts.” Others noted that the campus needs more traditions, particularly outside of exam time, but Moghavem declared that the council should be defending the old traditions (the ones with “alcohol and danger,” as he described them), noting his disappointment that CCSC did not fight harder to preserve 40s on 40 last year. “Next time, if they try to restrict it,” he said to laughter and nods of approval, “we should just invite freshmen!” Now that would be a scene…
– JCD, photo: The WB/Flickr