ESC: Study Days, Senate Takeovers, and Scary Dorm Storming

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This is basically ESC. Photo via

Sean Zimmermann reports from last night’s hot and heavy ESC meeting.

Study Days madness never, ever ends: ESC passed the Academic Calendar Proposal that would begin school before Labor Day. Jim Applegate, Education Committee Chair, commented to Whitney Green that he based his proposal to remove the election day break on the Facebook petition, Petition to Change Winter Break Calendar Facebook Group, which focused on the late end of finals and the study days problem. When Applegate explained that faculty want to be with their families during the final week of summer, Green countered that students want to be with their families during fall break.  According to Green, the talks were “one-sided,” and her meeting with Applegate and Sue Yang became a “fairly heated discussion,” as the education committee has not “respected the voices of students.”

We’re gonna get a little bit technical here, so non-SEAS pals, keep calm and carry on! The University Senate Elections Committee, after reviewing the Engineering Graduate Student Council’s request to split the two senate seats between the graduate and undergraduate schools, has postponed Engineering Senator elections until the fall, and has requested ESC hold a referendum to see if its constituency would oppose the split. ESC opposes the split, as covered earlier.

Engineering Senator Rajat Roy said that the proposal would reward graduate students who are unable to motivate their own constituency, which has 600 more students than the undergraduate population. ESC also expressed concern that the split would decrease collaboration between the two councils, and feels that the split would decrease the pool of exceptional candidates. Last year, one of the two senate seats was held by a grad student.

The main question now, as explained by Rajat, was if the senate has the authority to force the ESC to hold a referendum. According to President Whitney Green, “they have no authority,” and the action by the senate, imposing an action on a class council, sets a “dangerous precedent.” Additionally, to get the community informed for a referendum, which would be held during the general election in two weeks, Chris Elizondo commented that “we’d have to dorm storm like we have never dorm stormed before.” Halp!

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  1. i really don't care  

    I just want to pass my finals. period.

  2. Anonymous  

    Fuck John Applegate

  3. Anonymous  

    I have yet to hear a convincing argument why we can't move school up a week. The student population is much larger than the staff, and as such is more affected by horrible timing. Also, being home on Christmas > spending an extra week with family

    • The SEAS Reverend  

      The faculty are voicing strong concerns over child care if school was to start earlier.

      If the professors have to come teach, they need for find child care for their children because NY public schools don't start until after labor day.

  4. Of  

    course that they don't care about us and how much of a bitch it is to fly across the country on the 24th of December and only get to participate in a fraction of the holiday activities that make us feel human. When have they shown us that they care? Columbia only cares about its undergraduate students when it is not an inconvenience to do so. Either way, they know we're going to pay tuition so we have no bargaining power to bring to the table.

    Days on Campus kids/Prospies, take note.

    • Thank you  

      For your insightful and thoughtful analysis. It's because *they don't care*. Seriously, if Lee Bollinger could take one fucking second to pay attention to undergraduates, he could move Labor Day earlier, or make NYC public schools open earlier, or move Christmas later, or shorten the election break (like students have been ASKING him to do), or get rid of study days.

      The answer is so fucking obvious.

      • Anonymous  

        your snark is countered by the fact that it is really that obvious- simply start before labor day. pretending this is a hard thing to do only makes you look more foolish.

  5. lol

    It's hilarious that Jim Applegate has any say in this.He hasn't published anything in ten years and is the black sheep of the astronomy department. I'm pretty sure he joined the senate to make friends.

  6. Anonymous  

    i propose we make a visible protest during Days on Campus.

  7. Seriously  

    and they wonder why people don't donate back to the school

  8. I agree  

    We really really really should. If a hunger strike can force to have to do under one roof maybe we could accomplish something with a demonstration.

  9. I (Want) to Predict a Riot  

    I'm down for some sort of stand/movement in solidarity during Days on Campus. Allowing a minority of staff who will be minimally inconvenienced by a week earlier start (if at all, considering what the Work Life office covers in terms of backup childcare) to handcuff the academic calendar for the next 10 year against the will of the majority of students and a majority of the population that lives and studies on this campus, is unconscionable and incredibly unjust.

  10. Lol, jim applegate!  

    Everyone knows the only good Applegate is Christina Applegate.

  11. Hmmm  

    Hmmmm doing something against the will of the majority... Kinda sounds like congress right now...

  12. Yaaay, Protest!  

    The last exam finishing on the 23rd, not being able to book a flight until the 25th, and then arriving in my home country on the 26th due to time differences definitely sucked this year.
    And who the hell cares about Labor Day?
    Also, I would be more than happy to have a shorter summer vacation. Columbia has a wonderful way of ensuring that we are on campus as much as possible when the weather is shitty, and then the moment the sun peeks out we all have to leave.

  13. Protest  

    Protest! Protest! On days on campus so they get realllly pissed at us! Fuck them!

  14. Facebook  

    is typically a good way to get things started. We can update the original group that signed the winter break petition with a link to the protest event. Anyone can lead it, what matters is that we gather a fairly large group of people.

    Ideally, administration will notice the possibility of a protest during Days on Campus, listen to our demands, and the protest will never happen. Or, we hold the protest, pre-frosh will take notice, and Columbia will have to resolve the issue and later update pre-frosh about the resolution.

    And it doesn't just have to be a protest. We can make posters, put them up on the facebook group page, and have anyone who cares put them up anywhere they can on campus for pre-frosh to notice.

  15. pre-frosh  

    there's a class of 2014 facebook group that cu students can join and post on. just sayin'.

  16. Anonymous

    dont faculty members also want to not hang around until the 23rd if they're traveling for the holidays. moving school up by a week (this is only for the years when it becomes an issue, which is like 2) makes so much more sense. it doesnt even impact all faculty, just a small portion of them that have little kids

  17. no  

    it's definitely upholding columbia's image to protest random shit

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