Bwog sent our top agent, Maren Killackey, to Sunday night’s exciting CSCC meeting. This is her report.
Though initially excited – yes, excited – about the number of audience members at the CCSC meeting, my joy subsided to a disappointing realization that most people were only there to get their elections formed signed. ‘Tis the season.
Academic Affairs Rep Steven Castellano submitted the first-year pass-fail proposal this week.
Environmental Rep Grayson Warrick discussed Earth Week, which will kickoff April 22.
The Senate’s sending around its Quality of Life survey and are giving away over $3000 in prizes for people who complete it.
The Class of 2015 will hold their formal event on Hudson Terrace this Thursday.
The Class of 2014 will host a post-Bacchanal event.
The Class of 2013 has another Lerner Pub on Thursday and is throwing a swim test event for seniors on April 19.
Ch-ch-changes: ABC President Saketh Kalathur stopped by to present on the reforms the board has recently made and make a pitch for the ABC representative elections coming up. The majors ones are:
The appeals process is being replaced by a more direct procedure wherein student groups that need additional funding will go directly to the JCCC.
Rather than continuing the two week new group recognition process, which is fun for no one, there will be one New Group Recognition Day.
ABC awards are back and will be given to clubs in a variety of categories: ABC Group of the Month, Best Collaborator, ABC Group of the Year. Award amounts will vary from $50-$500 and will fall under the category of revenue, meaning groups can spend it however they want.
Elections for the 13 ABC reps will transition to a direct democracy, so only groups that fall under the same category (i.e. dance groups, vocal groups, etc.) will vote for their representative.
There were some concerns about the increase in the number of applicants that might arise from making new group recognition easier as well as where the money for the awards will come from, will it be money taken away from books or represented by an increased budget allocation. Apparently there’s a significant number of clubs on ABC’s books that are actually dormant, so clearing them out will make room for more groups, however on the question of awards funding, Kalathur admitted that’s something the board will work out during F@CU.
Campus Life: Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know by now that the Columbia Music Festival starts next week. The Campus Life Committee headed by VP Yanyi Luo will be collaborating with Live at Lerner, WBAR, WKCR, CU Records, even Res Life and of course Bacchanal among others to bring students a week’s worth of musical events. The CMF kickoff is Tuesday, April 9 in Roone, with student openers Standard Delivery and Lubeen, and headliner Hoodie Allen. Doors are at 6.
New Policy for RAs on Fin. Aid: VP Policy Will Hughes and the rest of the policy committee has been tackling their latest policy challenge of reforming financial aid awards for RAs. As payment for being an RA, students receive free housing (and dining the first year) as well as a stipend. Under the old system, an RA not on financial aid would have housing costs deducted from their bills, but an RA who was on financial aid would have housing costs deducted from their awards, which was a huge disincentive. Under the new system, term-time and summer work expectations will be waived for everyone, which is effectively $6,500 off everyone’s bill since it reflects a decrease in family contribution, not the award. While it still poses problems in that some res halls are more expensive to live in, Hughes says it’s still a vast improvement.
Student-Worker Solidarity: Evan Burger, CC’13, presented on the efforts SWS has made to publicize the contract negotiations between Faculty House workers and the University where the staff is facing unfair cuts particularly in health care. Burger is making the rounds to various student councils and governing boards this week to get them to endorse the following resolution:
We, the undersigned representatives of the Barnard and Columbia student body, stand in solidarity with the Faculty House workers. We urge them to address the workers concerns, including: stolen tips, arbitrary stipend reductions, lack of job classification, and healthcare cuts.
According to statistics provided by the Student-Worker Solidarity coalition, there have been little or no pay increases over the last two contracts signed by workers; the university fails to pay a living wage to many workers; Faculty House charges a mandatory 22% service charge for its food and catering services but workers never receive any part of that money; and many Faculty House employees work 80-hour weeks to support their families.
The University is currently in negotiations with workers to address these issues; we urge the Columbia administration to bargain in good faith and treat all members of the Columbia community with respect.
The council said that it would take the time to review the language before making any official statement regarding the resolution.