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 F@CU, 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 yourccsc.com (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.