Last night, CCSC hosted a town hall/bitchfest called “What’s Wrong, Columbia?” Our very own Crackerjack Complainer Kem Walker went for the show, and came back with the following notes.
Update, 8 pm: Topics at the meeting are provided after the jump, courtesy of Sarah Ngu.
For an hour and a half this evening, Student Body President Aki Terasaki wrote a list of concerns in green marker on large pieces of paper, which were then stuck to a glass door in Lerner 555. Free, greasy pizza seemed to be the common pretense for attendance, though the snaps of agreement when someone brought up the problem of “free food always being unhealthy” suggested that maybe students there did care about improving Columbia.
About forty of us sat in a friendly circle, suggesting improvements for the College. Someone behind me wondered how many were not part of CCSC; her friend noted, “Quite a few.”
The conversation started with a complaint about showers and grew into a more serious discussion of things like the red sticks in the garden beds, which nobody thought was a good use of funds. We talked about building community and being nice to each other in an organic rather than institutionalized way.
The Manhattanville expansion prompted a chat about improving the use of space on campus and in a moment of self-realization, we contemplated that the College is only one of seventeen schools at the university.
A guy wearing a sideways cap suggested that dorms should have HDTVs and hardwood floors, and we forgave him for breaking the intellectual tension. There was an excited flurry of complaints about campus facilities, accompanied by sarcastic anecdotes of uncomfortable desks and the Cubmail homepage.
When someone asked about the meeting’s timeframe, Aki said that we’d go until we were done, which, eventually, we were. By then a smaller group, the meeting ended with positive ideas about the College. There was friendly warmth.
Aki finished by thanking us for coming. The CCSC was happy to have started the semester with this meeting, and wanted to hear from us more often. “We just want more people to care,” Aki said.
Nobody from the administration was present.
Breakdown of Complaints
Housing Facilities: 3
Classroom facilities: 2
Financial Aid: 2
Transfer students: 1
Culture/Student body: 7
University swallowing college: 2
(Note: The number indicates those at the meeting that agreed with the complaints.)