SGA: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way Back from the Forum
Written by Bwog Staff
SGA proudly boarded the elevator last night following the University Unity Forum and exited just like new to prepare for their weekly Rep Council meeting. Bwog’s elevator enthusiast and transfer extraordinaire Renée Kraiem reports from the Diana Café.
This week’s Rep Council, though a little weary upon embarking on their second two-hour session, mustered the energy (with the help of a little free pizza!) to welcome their administrative guests, Dean for Transfer Student Services Ani Bournoutian, and Onika Jervis, Associate Director for Residential Life, for a discussion of the transfer experience at Barnard. Bournoutian was quick to cover her bases, clarifying that
he she doesn’t “oversee every aspect of transfer services” and that her “role is to guide new transfer students to help them make an academic program for their first semester, and to meet with them over the summer.” Bournoutian explained that transfer students do not get to participate in program filing the way that continuing students do, so that when they begin their first semester they can benefit from assistance from academic advising.
Onika Jervis spoke about the programming that Barnard provides for transfers, which, compared to Columbia’s transfer program, and basically every other transfer program, is pretty substantial. Jervis explained that NSOP is tailored specifically to transfer students, but the substantial community of transfer students at Rep Council expressed multiple concerns about the program, specifically this year’s program. Both transfers and Rep Council members spoke about the importance of living together for transfer students, and argued that all the responsibility of helping transfer students to transition should not be placed on what programs are happening. “The one silver lining about this model,” Jervis said, speaking of the dispersal of transfer students this year (the ones who managed to find on-campus housing, that is), “is that we get to really do some research on whether we want to have our transfer separated.”
A student at Rep Council, a transfer to SEAS herself, provided a helpful perspective on the contrast between programs at Barnard and on the other side of Broadway. This was exciting for a few reasons. First, it was a helpful comment in itself. Second, the presence of a SEAS student not directly assigned to attend Rep Council was exciting. Third, she was just one of a few (okay, one of a few) attendees of the Forum who made the two-floor trek to Rep Council after the forum, and the sight was a promising one–perhaps even more than the forum.
As you probably know, already, SGA also had the pleasure of welcoming CCSC VP for Policy Will Hughes, who gave the impressive presentation that he’s been touting around to other councils this week.
Continuing on with the theme of university unity, two Barnard students also gave a presentation to Rep Council about their proposal to hold a “sherry hour” (apparently that’s a thing) at Barnard once a month with approximately 60 students and faculty representing smaller communities around the university. DSpar reportedly approved that message and the girls reported a ringing endorsement from AHinks, looking for a trip down memory lane to her sherry hours at Barnard of yesteryear, so if Rep Council’s attendance last night is any indication, the project looks promising. Except that they’re not promising sherry but, more likely, soda. If they can get some more of that Founder’s Day BBQ, judging by the lines on Lehman Lawn today they ought to be in business.
Lack of alcohol brought to you via Wikimedia Commons