the old fashioned way to get around the world

Exotic traveller Renée Kraiem returns to report on Monday’s SGA meeting.

So here’s the good news: last night SGA welcomed distinguished guest DSpar, and a hearty crowd present to catch a glimpse of Barnard’s very own First Lady. Answering to a chorus of first-years lamenting “DSpar’s so far away!” from one end of the Diana Café, DSpar didn’t disappoint. But here’s the bad news: most of them were there to talk about Obamanard, a subject which was off the record.

Here’s some more good news, though: while you were signing up for Netflix to mourn the loss of Megavideo, your peers were doing something productive, and actually really cool.

DSpar spoke extensively about this year’s Fourth Annual Global Symposium. Apparently, Barnard faculty, students and administrators arrived to a “strong network that is already there [in Mumbai],” and left with a collection of “newfound best friends.” As one mission of the Symposium is to spread the Barnard name, and increase its value, DSpar was happy to see “a lot of prospective students and their parents there.” The Symposium will be held in Brazil next year, which will mean five continents in five years for the Symposium; the sixth year will coincide with Barnard’s 125th Anniversary, she said, so Barnard is hoping to bring the conversation back here.

Though women may be stepping forward in Mumbai, there’s some concern they’re taking a step back in the US of A; DSpar spoke about the “amazing moment in time” that we find ourselves in, “in which contraception has become an issue.” In response to SGA’s inquiry about Barnard’s inclination, or lack thereof, to make an official statement on recent GOP chatter about women’s health, DSpar responded, officially, that Barnard as an institution is not allowed to take political positions, especially in an election year. She reported “grumbling” from alumnae that students today take contraception for granted, and that we ought to see more “political activism” today. “I didn’t think I would be saying this in 2012,” said DSpar, but “you can and should be getting out there.” One first-year in attendance suggested that students should put more energy into their responsibilities as a citizen, writing op-eds and speaking to representatives, and DSpar encouraged students to use online-activism responsibly.

You should CAVA responsibly too—at least according to the Students for Sensible Drug Policy. A representative from the group visited Rep Council last night to plug the Good Samaritan Act, activated recently in Columbia housing; the Act rejects repercussions of any kind for a Samaritan that calls CAVA in campus housing for a friend. Though SGA could do nothing more than suggest a formal text to endorse to the administration, Rep Council expressed concern that there is no policy on the subject stated on Res Life’s website, which might hinder an individual from calling. “The policy works best when it is a unified policy,” said Jackie D’Aversa, and SGA agreed that housing policy tensions across Broadway ought not to inhibit the safety of students.

If you want to talk more about your health and safety, stop by SGA’s next Town Hall, tonight in the James Room from 6-8. The topic for the Town Hall will be health at Barnard, and the heads of all five departments of Health Services will be present, including the charming Brenda Slade, Director of Health Services. Make this SGA event while you can; and next week there’s a lot of free food coming your way:

  • SGA elections begin next week! Look out for candidate statements, due March 30th, the Candidates’ Forum on April 1st, and ballots available on eBear from April third through April fifth. And look out for the newly required videos of themselves that candidates will have to produce.
  • The Junior Class Council encourages you to RSVP for this year’s Career Dinner, featuring parents from over thirty different industries, next Monday from 6:30-8:30 in the Diana Event Oval.
  • For more free food, stop by the First Generation College Student-Professor Discussion, hosted by SGA’s Diversity Committee, featuring, as you might guess, professors and administrators who were themselves first-generation college students. Rep for Diversity Stephanie Fernandez encourages non-first-generation college students to head to the Ella Weed Room next Tuesday from 6-8.
  • Closing out the SGA-filled week will be the renewed and revitalized Greek Games, featuring more free food, including a Greek BBQ at lunchtime on Wednesday on Lehman Lawn, and a champagne toast on the Diana Roof (!!) to close the Games, directly following Yoga in a Toga on the Roof. Limited capacity is available for the last two events, so if you’re not bursting at your Toga seams by then, get there quick.
Bright balloons via Wikimedia