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Councils Agree to Support CU-EMS’ Move To Broadway

Here is a very long letter signed by leaders of all the student councils about CU-EMS/CAVA’s request to move their HQ from Carman to 103 Broadway. The  councils have decided to support CU-EMS’ move to 103 Broadway, but not 103 and 102 Broadway, as CU-EMS had originally requested. The councils hope the CU-EMS will be able to make the move across the street during winter break. Bureaucracy, after the jump!

To Whom It May Concern:

In Fall 2010 Columbia University Emergency Medical Services (CU-EMS) approached the student councils requesting an office transfer from the basement of Carman Hall to the recently vacated Broadway 102 and 103. After a review process, the Columbia College Student Council (CCSC), Engineering Student Council (ESC), and General Studies Student Council (GSSC) passed separate resolutions in support of the transfer, but containing a discrepancy over the allocation of Room 102.

Whereas the CCSC voted to allocate only 103, the ESC and GSSC voted to allocate both Broadway 102 and 103 to CU-EMS (Exhibits C & D).

The councils approached the Activities Board at Columbia (ABC) and the Student Governing Board (SGB) at the beginning of this process, whereupon both ABC and SGB voted on the transition. SGB voted unanimously to support the transition of CU-EMS to Broadway 103, but did not support allocating Broadway 102, finding that the former room was “sufficient to meet the needs of CU-EMS” (Exhibit A). ABC voted 9-7 against the transition of CU-EMS to Broadway.

The councils have decided to remain in support CU-EMS’ request to move to Broadway 103, given the support from the SGB and the divided opinion of the ABC. The councils appreciate the careful considerations presented by ABC. The ABC acknowledges that “CU-EMS deserves additional space for a separate sleeping area,” and also suggests that the band practice room be moved from Carman to Broadway, “allowing CU-EMS to expand into the vacated space” in Carman (Exhibit B). However, the councils have noted that much of CU-EMS’ membership does not have access to undergraduate dormitories and that there are costs associated with sound-proofing rooms in Broadway. Given these constraints that ABC itself recognizes, we ultimately argue that the most efficient allocation of space given various constraints is to move CU-EMS from Carman to Broadway 103.

The councils have resolved their discrepancies by deciding to support the allocation Broadway 103 but not 102 for the ongoing use of CU-EMS as its center of operations. In addition to significantly increasing the space available to CU-EMS, Broadway 103 addresses nearly all of the issues to which the CU-EMS proposal refers.

The councils discussed at length the merits of allocating Broadway 102 to CU-EMS. CU-EMS argued that Broadway 102 could be used to store confidential documents that require storage in a locked space. However, rather than an additional room, any item could be used to secure these confidential documents. Thus, the councils recommend that CU-EMS obtain a device to secure such documents (e.g. a locking cabinet) and that Broadway 102 be used for student groups as originally intended.

We recognize that failure to obtain Broadway 102 may limit CU-EMS’ ability to conduct training sessions within their own offices. Therefore we hope to implement a method so that CU-EMS can book space on campus through University Event Management, which will alleviate the challenge of training and information sessions.

Given the acquisition of Broadway 103 by CU-EMS, we require that CU-EMS relinquish the Carman space, and we require the Carman space be allocated for student groups following a review process.

This CU-EMS proposal has revealed a lack of continuity in agreements made between councils, administrators, and governing boards dating back to 2008, and we would like to implement a formal review process for space allocation moving forward. However, these considerations should not delay a speedy transition for CU-EMS, and we would ask that the possibility of transitioning over winter break be seriously considered.

Signed,

Chris Elizondo (President, ESC)

Learned Foote (President, CCSC)

Jacqueline Thong (President, GSSC)

Heidi Ahmed (VP Policy, ESC)

Andrew Nguyen (VP Policy, CCSC)

Elliot Shackelford (VP Policy, GSSC)

Benjamin Paladino (Delegate At-Large, GSSC)

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