CCSC: Reflections on the Semester

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Yesterday, Bwog’s Senior CCSC Correspondent Sarah Ngu explained a big shake-up in the council meetings. Today, she analyzes what this year’s Council has accomplished so far, and what’s left to be done.

Here’s the list of initiatives that have been pursued this year (along with relevant Bwog coverage), and the council member responsible. Bolded indicates a policy that has been accomplished by this semester.

In the fall semester of 2011, Council’s focus has been primarily on internal and small-scale affairs. In terms of policy, VP Ryan Cho’s mission has simply been to make undergraduates’ lives easier, targeting areas that affect all of us: housing, dining, mail services, academic administrative affairs, etc. Ryan’s not pursuing anything too life-changing, but that was a conscious decision. CCSC only has one year to change things (e.g. Open Housing took a few years), so rather than tackling big issues and making little progress on them, this year’s leadership has targeted smaller, recurring issues and nailed them down. A structural problem of Council is changing leadership from year to year, making it difficult to guarantee policies will be followed up (again, Open Housing is an exception). There were a handful of policies that were “passed” last year but never implemented, such as enforcing the final grade deadline for professors. Ryan has done a lot to promote accountability for individual assignments within the policy committee.

There has been a lot of internal reform within CCSC. Kevin Zhai, VP of Funding, publicized and standardized the process by which class councils and the campus life committee request and are allocated money. While that is great, he has not yet done anything publicly about [email protected], the most significant allocation, accounting for over 60% of the Council’s budget. Also, he is sitting on a huge pile of money, a budget surplus of  $80k, that he hasn’t announced what he’d do with. He has spent an estimate of $15-$20k of that money on Joint Council Co-sponsorships. (For more on this, refer to our breathtaking breakdown of CCSC’s budget).

Virat Gupta, VP of Communications, is always spilling with enthusiasm and has taken Communications to the next level. He has continued successful, past initiatives, such as visiting student groups—fifteen this semester—and introduced a string of innovative ideas, most notably the regularly-updated (for which credit goes to Wilfred Chan, CC ’13) and CCSCTV. He’s gone a long way to humanize Council and explain what actually goes on, and his attempts to bring Council out into the public through WTF (what to fix) sessions and office hours are commendable.

That said, these initiatives have not brought the hoped-for general public intro council meetings, which still almost always consist of just Council members. He is aware of this, and points out that even if non-Council members do attend, there isn’t an established way for them to contribute. He is going to have to do a lot of work over winter break to follow through on the promise that Council meetings will become much more like townhalls.

Jasmine Senior, VP of Campus Life, has chosen to cut small events like study breaks and focus on improving larger events. Homecoming drew the biggest turnout in recent years and she’s added another event: Halloween Haunted House. For the full list of events this semester, look here.

As always, if you think they can be doing a better job, shoot them an email with your ideas. Or you can just show up at their meetings to really make yourself heard.

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  1. Anonymous

    anyone thought about 6 classes for senior spring?

  2. member of an abc club  

    i can't stress enough that CCSC needs to allocate more of their money to other student groups. they always have an excessive, almost infinite, budget for all their events, and as a result, spend all that money recklessly on food and "swag" for a lot of events that no one shows up to. from having talked to ccsc members involved in event planning, and assisting with some of their events, i know that they are not wise at all about how our student life money is spent. plus, ccsc does not have a consistent following from event to event. if that money was redistributed to other clubs, who put in an extreme amount of focused dedication, struggle to make the most out of every penny of their allocation, and actually have faithful groups of attendees, this money would more fruitfully and reach the wider community.

    • RR  

      "almost infinite"... "not wise at all"...

      Big words.

      What you do not understand, it seems, is that the budget ccsc has for events is NOTHING compared to what is spent for student groups. And this isn't 'nothing' according to my own opinion, it actually is a small percentage of the big, big budget ccsc has, which is spent mostly on student groups. So if ccsc's event budget is 'almost infinite', the student group budget is 'definitely and without question infinite'.

      In addition, though we are not wiser than you are, for we too are not more than mere undergrads; and though your sacrosanct fervor for your student group is commendable, it is not logical to say that student groups, as individual decision makers, compromising hundreds of student leaders, make fewer budgeting mistakes than CCSC does. We all make mistakes, and the sooner you stop antagonizing and start requesting cosponsorships from the councils, the better the life of the "wider community" will become. I assure you that ccsc is trying to do nothing else but satisfy that community.

      • Anonymous  

        This isn't true.

        The average ABC or SGB club has an allocation of a few thousand dollars. Many have much less than that.

        The CCSC Campus Life Committee alone has a budget of $15,000. The class councils have a combined budget of $20,000. This means that the CCSC (an organization of 20-30 people) allocates itself $35,000 to spend, making them the best-funded student organization outside of Bacchanal and maybe Hillel. And this doesn't count the $80,000 in "miscellaneous" funds CCSC holds on to, making them by far the best funded campus organization (more than even Bacchanal).

        So large student groups with 100+ members may have only a few thousand dollars to spend throughout the year, so they are forced to be very careful in their budgeting. And even with these restraints, they put on amazing events attended by hundreds of students.

        CCSC--a small organization with fewer than 30 members--has over $120,000 to spend throughout the year. The lack of serious budgetary constraints leads to overspending on events that are often underattended.

        So "member of an ABC club" has a point--if the councils allocated more money to student groups and less money to themselves, we could see a dramatic increase in the quality of events on campus.

        • RR  

          I agree with you, it's just that I don't like hyperbolic statements about "infinite" budgets, etc. Whatever money does not get spent by the councils does not disappear, after all. It paints a picture of CCSC creating events that *nobody* attends, while the various study breaks of the hundreds of student groups have fantastic attendance and never have to throw away their share of Westside three-for-five cupcakes. My comment was simply an appeal for some realism. :)

  3. NOT  

    THE DAMN BROADWAY ROOM! Dance groups use it for rehearsal space - there are plenty of other useless spaces in Lerner to take over.


  4. Sophomore +1 Suite Policy  

    What a pointless idea... by the time the 10 point groups start picking, THERE WILL BE NO SUITES LEFT. This past year, the only suites left were the former-ECX's, and that's definitely not going to happen. This is just going to confused the rising sophomores who are confused enough when it comes to Housing.

    • CCSC  

      Right! You're actually on track with this one. The point of this is that since sophomores will be somewhat mandated to only be in even number suites, in the blue moon that there is one of 5 or 7, they would be able to pick in. Again, we're not expecting there to be any left... but if there are, sophomores will have the option!

    • Anonymous  

      they wouldn't be (as) confused if they followed the shaft or bwog's housing.

  5. Anonymous  

    can you people who actually seem to know what you're talking about please run for council


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