freudSean Zimmerman reports.

The Engineering Student Council held its inaugural meeting with the new, almost-uncontested freshman class council, as well as new University Senator Cherie Meyer. 

Bathabile Mthombeni from Columbia’s Ombuds Office opened the meeting. Baffled readers might ponder what branch of Columbia’s bureaucratic web the “Office” represents — perhaps another dubiously named den of unseen advisors?  Mthombeni came prepared to answer that question and to ensure it no longer arises.  She explained that since the Office does not see many undergraduates, she wanted to reach out to the student councils and the undergraduate community. The Ombuds seem to be extremely well-connected therapists; the Office is a “full service” dispute resolution office where “no issue is too small.” Because the Office is independent of other university offices, it is not obligated to turn over issues to the powers that be and in fact cannot report your visit without your permission. Mthombeni reassured us that if a student whose roommate has been nursing a mysterious “plant with strange leaves,” the student could discuss their concerns without fear that they would get their roommate in trouble.  Cannabis enthusiasts, rejoice!  Students can also come complain about teachers and administrators with Ombuds. Their office can be reached at 212-854-1234, and students can email Mthombeni at

Senior class president Heather Lee proposed getting pushpins for groups to post flyers in Lerner. Though the proposal would cut down on waste from tape, many members of the council expressed concern that the much-coveted pins would be stolen by rival factions.

Alumni Affairs Representative Ini Li explained that she is working with CCE to include a blurb for potential employers that SEAS GPAs are typically lower than CC GPAs. 

Kelly Chen, ESC’s VP Policy, announced that Flex is coming to the Dodge Gym vending machines.  Senior President Lee proposed implementing a LaundryView-like system for computer labs, though CCSC liaison Jennifer Vettel commented it might be too meta to develop a computer system to check for open computers. 

Secretary Heidi Ahmed announced that she is working towards changing the list of shows that student can see through SEAS NY. Previously, the administration would veto shows that were deemed not “culturally important.” 

Student Services Representative Nathan Lee commented that the Lerner gods have finally considered upgrading the Broadway turnstile. Members of the council added that we wouldn’t need a new one if the current one worked — lets hope the new incarnation stops competing with the College for the lowest acceptance rate into Columbia’s exclusive grounds.