Problematic community-building tool

Last night, ESC debated whether Backyard Barbecue, one of the largest council-run events of the year, should be continued. President Chris Elizondo explained that the event, which is “food-centric,” may not provide as much “bang for [the council’s] buck” as other possible student events. Sophomore Council President Mary Byers said that students often get annoyed by the event’s long lines, especially when compounded with the shutdown of the dining halls that makes it impossible for students with late classes to eat. Additionally, VP Intergroup Narayan Subramanian expressed his view that “throwing food at students does not sponsor community” because students simply eat and leave. However, Senior Council President Amanda Tan said the barbecue has been “the highlight of [her] spring semester” for the last three years, and she opposed the cancellation of the event.

President Elizondo explained that the barbecue would only be canceled if three of the four councils (ESC, CCSC, GSSC, SGA) voted to cancel the event. ESC voted to form an exploratory committee to investigate if the barbecue should be continued, and if not, how the extra funds could be allocated. However, the councils will need to make a decision quickly—if a decision is not reached in approximately two weeks, Dining will schedule a shutdown and the event will continue as planned (yes, Dining schedules shutdowns that far in advance).

Other highlights of the meeting include:

  • The freshman ESC parties—DemocraSEAS, Fu Crew, and Fu Yeah—officially stopped campaigning yesterday at midnight, and voting begins today. Surely this will also be the last of the party-name salacious wordplay, right?
  • ESC has finalized the updated senate elections timeline: ESC Senator campaigning begins on Wednesday, Sept. 22 and ends on Tuesday, Sept. 28. Though the delay means that the senator will not be chosen before the CCSC/ESC Retreat, it successfully increased awareness about the election. There are now 5 candidates, a notable increase from the single candidate running previously.
  • 2010 Class Representative Nathan Levick reported that Casino Night planning has begun. He commented that he has much in common with his CCSC counterpart—like him, she was “forced against her will to take [the] position,” so meetings between the two are expected to go well.
  • The Engineering Student Council’s website is back up… after someone unplugged it during NSOP.
  • Besides the website, the council announced that its new server is also ready for use. The council purchased an extra server for Columbia groups that require more advanced web services—such as streaming—at the end of last year. Any group can present their website idea to the council and receive web hosting. The server currently hosts the 99columbians project.

Photo courtesy of TheCulinaryGeek’s Flickr.