Administration Screws Over Bacchanal, Courseworks Overhaul Proposed

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Can CCSC keep Bacchanal afloat?

Last week Sarah Ngu brought you the details of CCSC’s fall budget, a hefty $472,125. She breaks down two major and distinct issues raised in CCSC this week, course registration and its associated problems, and the fact that Bacchanal is missing a significant part of its budget.

A quick note on ESC: this week’s meeting was principally given over to an inconclusive discussion of bacchanal’s budget (see below). A new GSSC liason, Darren Chu, was elected.

Bacchanal Bailout?

Dan Weinstein, president of Bacchanal, announced to the General Council on Sunday that Bacchanal has lost about 20% of their budget, and requested financial assistance on behalf of the club.

The $18,000 debt is due entirely to unanticipated costs from moving the concert from Low Steps to the lawn:
Just two weeks before the concert last semester, Bacchanal members were informed that they could not host their event on Low Steps because of a conflict with graduation. The dates of graduation were mis-entered by administrative planners, and the mistake was only discovered two weeks before the concert. Hosting a concert on the lawn meant extra costs of hiring extra stage hands and security, and hoisting a bridge to move stage materials from the trucks to the lawns.

Currently the budget of Bacchanal, including the debt, is $88,000. To give this figure some context, labor usually costs $25,000 and Snoop Dogg charged $75,000 $70,000:
Council deliberated over whether to help Bacchanal out or to pressure the administrators involved to pay for its mistake. Bacchanal members have asked relevant administrators to compensate them for the costs, but they refused. The uncertainty about the final budget is preventing Bacchanal from going ahead to start contacting artists now before they are booked.

This mishap in space-booking in general is not an isolated occurrence. Delta Gamma recently had to move their fashion charity show to Havana Central because University Event Management (in charge of Lerner) mistakenly told them they had Roone Arledge booked when they did not. The slip-up cost the sorority $650. It’s yet unclear if UEM was also responsible for the Bacchanal mistake.

Culpa Meets Courseworks?

Columbia College’s Academic Affairs Representative, Bruno Mendes (CC’14), is working on several initiatives to make your academic life easier…

Registering for classes:
The aim is to make syllabus and textbook information available before you register for a class on Courseworks. CUIT is working on adding this technical functionality, but whether professors will comply is another matter.

Students should be added to waitlists online if they cannot register for a class, instead of refreshing a million times on SSOL. If there are certain classes that are traditionally extremely hard to register for, please leave them in the comments—Mendes will be checking! No word yet on the details of how this waitlist will work. Let’s hope they don’t adopt the World Leaders Forum model.

Course Evaluations:
Schools like Harvard & Yale already have open course evaluations. Econ & Poli Sci are already willing to publicize evaluations of teachers by students, but Mendes is working with the Student Affairs Committee of the Senate to make this open-evaluations initiative campus-wide. The question remains, are these evaluations themselves that insightful? Are they better than CULPA?

Gettin’ grades:
How to enforce deadlines for submission of final grades? For curved classes, if one student does not take the final, everyone’s grades are delayed. If this is the case, your grade will be designated as an “AR” (adminstrative referral). It’s not much, but at least you know someone’s “on the case” and your professor hasn’t died.

YourCCSC has also set up a poll so you can submit suggestions for improvements to Courseworks.

The Council can do better than merely point out the problems…If you have a concerns about academic affairs that you think Bruno should be working on, we implore you, let us know in the comments!

Want to check out these meetings yourself? They’re open to the public.

  • Policy: 4.00-5.00pm, SGO Board Room on Lerner 5
  • Campus Life: 5.00-6.00pm, SGO Board Room
  • Co-Sponsorship/Funding: 6.00-7.00pm, Center for Student Advising on Lerner 4
  • Communications: 7.00-8.00pm, SGO Board Room
  • General Council Meeting: 8.00-9.00pm, Satow Room on Lerner 5

 Sinking ship via Wikimedia

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  1. Anonymous  

    It's just Delta Gamma, not Delta Gamma Theta.

  2. Anonymous

    you go Dan Weinstein!

  3. UEM  

    fucked up a lot last year, but there was a major reshuffle over the summer. They still ought to pay Bacchanal back, but we're in Columbia-land, so students will never get any money from the administration because it all goes into Bollinger's Scrooge McDuck vault.

  4. Difficult Classes to get into...  

    Art and Music Hum obviously
    Principles of Econ w/ Gulati
    Certain Phys Ed classes
    History of the City of New York w/ Jackson

  5. choices  

    bruno you da bomb!

  6. FUCK

    this school. I wonder if Columbia's lack of alumni support relative to HYP has anything to do with the way the administration relentlessly screws us over.

  7. Twitch

    Can a bunch of campus leaders please sit in a room somewhere and come up with a coherent strategy against the War on Fun? We need a win. Just one.

  8. Anonymous  

    Bacchanal needs to stop complaining. NONE of the other student groups on campus have a budget anywhere close to their budget. Be thankful that the administration gave you any money and choose smaller bands.

    • Person

      What's the over/under on the number of thumbs down this gets? Forty?

    • seriously?

      this is one of the few real college events/traditions we have and its free (/included in your student life fee). If you attended the concert last year then you have no right to criticize the event. I'm not a Snoop Dogg fan but it was great to see the campus come together for once and act like we are in college.

    • Anonymous  

      Yeah I'm not really even sure I should dignify this with a response, but nobody does things for the entire student body on a scale even close to Bacchanal.

  9. Anonymous

    Why is it CCSC's job now to bailout Bacchanal for the administration screwing up? It wasn't a student mistake, so why should we pay for it? Our student life fees could be going toward more student programming for us instead of some BS admin mistake. I think CCSC should pressure the administration into taking that money straight out of PrezBo's huge salary. Down with the War on Fun!

  10. Anonymous  

    on the note about course evaluations being useful or not - if they became publicly available, i think people would begin to put more useful and truthful evaluations to help out peers since they are using other's people's evaluations as well. some course evaluations will be useless, but those that already voluntarily submit on culpa would write very useful evaluations. as a senior, the most important and impactful change that i wish was made before i got here is the posting of a syllabus, textbook, and evaluations for the class

    also, fuck columbia admin for screwing over bacchanal.

  11. Anonymous  

    Who cares about the Bacchanal issue? They still have more than enough money to book Lil B, so it really should be a moot point.

  12. And  

    we get to see cool performers but no one CLOSE to the celebrity status of other schools. I say give them more money. #Bacchanal2012

  13. besides bacchanal...

    good work bruno!!

  14. Franz Kafka

    All the New York Times on campus are paid for out of the CC student life fee (that's right, only the CC). Back in the day someone (the admins) tried to see if it would be plausible to make them inaccessible to SEAS kids in the dorms somehow, which of course it's not.

    That's just sad. But on the whole, the administration isn't ineffective because it's incompetent, it's because it's designed that way. This happens at any big organization — it lets the people in charge get credit while avoiding blame.

    If Bacchanal were bailed out, or if some last minute accommodations were figured out for the concert last semester, the story wouldn't have been about "administrators" — there would have been an individual playing the hero and they would have been named. The current decision was made in the exact same way, by whomever is actually in charge, maybe after skimming a report from some underling. But since the stories are Bacchannal getting screw, it's nobody's responsibility. You see, it's complicated, and policy says you'll have to talk to so and so and oh look you've graduated already bye.

    Don't believe it. The decisions were made by a single person in an office who gave it a few seconds' glance and said no.

  15. Fortunately,

    the image of Prezbo dressed like Scrooge McDuck (top hat, no pants) swimming through a bank vault of money is worth every cent it would cost.

  16. Hater  

    Sarah Ngu, stop trying to make up stories about CCSC - their budget isn't "a hefty $472,125." Most of the money is passed on to the governing boards. Stop trying to make news to get attention.

  17. k.  

    Time to stop getting rap artists who cost wayy too much and start getting DJs so everyone can actually have fun.

  18. Anonymous  

    It wasn't yourCCSC that set up the poll. It was a collaboration of both CCSC and ESC.

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