Ringing in the new school year, the CCSC (a.k.a. the Columbia College Student Council) has started meeting once again. Not wanting to be left out of the festivities, Bwog jumped at the chance to be included in such an important decision making process. Bwog’s Student Council Enthusiast Maren Killackey reports.
With the introductions mostly over, it was time for CCSC to get down to business… mostly. The meeting began with updates from the Class Councils and various representatives, which all pretty much went something like, “We had a really cool event. We’re currently planning more really cool events” or “We’ve set up meetings with seventy-two administrators about this single issue we have” (yay Columbia bureaucracy!). One notable initiative comes from Pre-Professional Rep Caroline Lisankie who is working with CCE to have more Power Half-Hours suited to students who are pre-med or pre-law. Another is from Blaine Harper, a Student Services Rep, who will work with CPS to make the process of scheduling an appointment more user friendly, saying, “You’re already stressed out… the last thing you want to do is deal with a bunch of administrators.”
Prezbo Prezbu put a raincheck on an update from the Senators since there are so many given this weekend’s retreat, so you can look forward to more on those issues in the coming weeks.
Next, Council launched into a moderately lengthy existential conversation about the expectations they should all have of each other this year. Full of flowery language about support and collaboration, it culminated in Habbu’s dictum that Council members should fulfill CCSC obligations “with [their] heart[s].” That and a humorously trenchant though obviously appreciated remark from University Senator Eduardo Santana that if there’s one more meeting about having meetings…The bulk of the meeting was given over to VP Finance Daphne Chen, who made a presentation about the two proposed funds she announced last week. The first is the Travel Fund, which would supply grants student groups travelling to compete in national or qualifying for national events could apply for. The logic behind setting up a separate fund for this purpose is that clubs and organizations can’t budget for this type of activity because it’s not guaranteed that they’ll reach that high a level of competition. If they did budget and didn’t end up going to nationals and therefore not using that money, they’d be penalized for it in the following year’s F@CU. On the other hand, not budgeting for it and qualifying for nationals (or qualifying to qualify) would mean clubs would have to do some serious fundraising or pay out of pocket, in the words of VP of Finance for CSGB Phil Chambers, essentially penalizing groups with a “huge bill for doing well.”
The second fund known as the Capital Fund would allow clubs to complete large scale overhauls to buy new equipment like musical instruments, cameras, or kayaks. Again, this would combat a problem of budgeting, wherein student groups that need to purchase relatively large-ticket items can’t budget for them in one year given the nature of F@CU but also can’t save for them over the course of several years. The grants from this fund would only be awarded to each group once every three or so years, as opposed to Travel Fund grants, which groups could apply for annually. Capital Fund grant applications would also be due on a certain date, whereas Travel Fund grant applications would obviously be rolling.
Discussion on this issue largely regarded the caps Chen had put on the funds. Travel was pegged at $10,000 and Capital at $15,000. As several Council members voiced their concerns about how helpful this would be, especially when some clubs’ demonstrated need for Travel or Capital could total $7,000 alone (only half of which the funds would actually cover), Chen revealed that the caps had only been placed to make the idea more palatable to the Council. She will present an official resolution reflecting Council’s input to the general body next week.
Congratulations for reading the whole article! Here’s a treat for your patience:
Fun Fact of the Meeting: Academic Affairs Representative Steven Castellano’s cousin is marrying Snooki. There’s gotta be a way CCSC can work the connection.
Founding father via Wikimedia Commons