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Know Your Governing Boards: SGB Edition

the man wears sunglasses

Pretty sure this is what they look like. They meaning “the man.”

Listen up first-years: Columbia’s bureaucracy is like a can of alphabet soup—it’s a jumble of letters that may or may not actually mean anything to you. Bwog found its own can and happened to ladle out “SGB.” Here’s what we tasted:

The Student Governing Board is, naturally, one of the governing boards for student organizations. The SGB covers the wide spectrum of “religious, spiritual, ideological, activist, humanitarian” and identity-conscious groups, according to its Chair, Abdul Hanif. Recall (with your institutional memory) the tumultuous year of 1968 at Columbia—the SGB was created in the aftermath of the protests for students to continue the discussions in a less reactionary fashion. With the revival of CCSC and ESC in the ’80s, it assumed its current role in the “values-explorative” segment of student life. In recent-ish events, the SGB was one of the first to reject Barnard’s flyering policy last fall.

There are over 80 student organizations under the jurisdiction of the SGB, whereas the ABC represents around 150 groups. From Hillel to the Muslim Students Association, and Compass Christian Koinonia to Secular Columbia, these groups display our student body’s diversity and passion. If you’ve ever felt really strongly about something before, there’s probably a group for you within the SGB. Hanif notes that SGB differs from other bodies in that it is self-governing, disciplining its own groups with the belief “that the needs of students are best evoked, defined, and articulated by students themselves.” How ’68. Additionally, the SGB limits its scope to the four undergraduate schools, in contrast to the IGB.

Ponder this as you continue fishing in your soup, and  tell us what your letters arrange into.

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1 Comment

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous other noteworthy thing about the SGB is that it is written into the university bylaws. unlike ABC, which just disburses cash from CCSC’s allocation and can be dissolved by CCSC at anytime, SGB is well established, and therefore politically much more powerful.

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