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CCSC: Busy as Can Be.

CCSC just wants you to be comfy and cozy.

Can’t get enough of our student government? Neither can Joseph Milholland, who updates us this week with news of rotary and credit unions and also of fixing Lerner.

Another busy night at the Satow Room featured two visitors. The first was the president of Columbia Rotaract. She came to talk about an event on Tuesday October 26 before Thanksgiving. The event will be on the Lerner ramps and will feature card making for employees of Columbia University students don’t usually get to thank. The group is also organizing study breaks with RAs to make cards. The group asked the council for help promoting the event and some funds.

The second visitor was a student committed to creating a credit union at Columbia. He gave a Prezi where he laid out the case for the Lion Credit Union. Unlike banks, anyone who puts their money into a credit union is a shareholder and is part of the decision-making process. In banks, money earned goes to CEOs who try to create more profits, but money made by the Lion Credit Union would be invested back into the Columbia community for things like funding scholarships or student groups. Credit unions have higher interest rates than banks. They are also strictly regulated and insured by the federal government. The Lion Credit Union group is also interested in providing financial education to Columbia students. The student gave the example of Georgetown, which has a successful credit union. Georgetown’s credit union helps students pay off their debts, it is run by students, and preforms community service.

The council seemed supportive of the credit union idea. The credit union representative said he wanted the CCSC to help them navigate Columbia’s bureaucracy. The biggest issue they have faced so far is a lack of space.

After the credit union presentation, the council had a brainstorming session about Lerner, which is “kind of a weird space” that could become a “fun study hall.” Some of the suggestions:

  •  “Comfy chairs”
  • “Extension cords”
  • “Foot rests”
  • Allowing classes to to use spaces in Lerner
  • “Womb chairs” and “egg chairs”
  • A “nap room” or “cookie room”
  • White boards in “talkative study spaces.” President Chen instructed the council to think about this topic more after the meeting. The meeting finished with a WFTColumbia Progress Report.
  • Water shutdowns—Administration will send out e-mail alerts prior to planned shutdowns. Little can be done about unplanned shutdowns.
  • Keys – “Hartley Hospitality has 2000 lockouts per month” which sucks resources away from other concerns. A possible fix has been “key encoders” in dorms.
  • Gender inclusive bathrooms—Dorms will have more.
  • Doors on mailboxes—The mailbox doors are no longer manufactured due to pressure by Netflix, who couldn’t fit their DVDs in the mailboxes, so finding a fix to the problem of broken or missing doors is a problem.
  • Air conditioners—Administration is “interested” in having air conditioning in all dorms. Lack of space is the problem.
  • Toilet paper—Softer toilet paper is being searched for.
  • Tampon disposal—Working on putting disposal bins in stalls.
  • Housing ninjas—If a dorm room has a major problem, housing ninjas will work to fix it overnight, so the student can return to their room as quickly as possible.

As always, there was a host of updates. 2017 is preparing an info session for first years at CCE, 2016 is preparing an end of the semester study break, 2015 is preparing a Summer internships study break, and 2014 is preparing their winter gala. The E-board is a “week away” from starting the contest for Navigate Columbia. Also, two years ago, Columbia had a casino night and promised certain winners iPads and Kindles. Several of these devices have not yet been distributed; however, people affiliated with the E-board are working on finally awarding these prizes. The Policy Committee has written a resolution on the CU Dems’ sexual assault petition and talked to Columbia University General Council about the petition. The Campus Life Committee wants to have alumni at the tree-lighting ceremony and is planning a finals event “that is going to involve a lot of bubble wrap.”

Fall chilling via ShutterStock

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  • CC 14 says:

    @CC 14 this credit union is so transparently a pre-professional resume-stuffer. My god, I would never trust these people with my money. what happens when they graduate in a few years?

    also, have they even done their basic due diligence and learned that Columbia once HAD a credit union? Have they addressed the (very good) reasons it failed and explained they theirs won’t so fail?

    1. Lion Credit Union Initiative says:

      @Lion Credit Union Initiative Thank you for the input cc14, these are some great questions mixed with a few misconceptions.

      – When it comes to trusting us with your money, our credit union, like most federal credit unions, will be safe and insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) up to $250,000. We will have all the traditional infrastructure of a commercial financial institution such as secure software, vaults (probably a small one at first), and regular federal audits. We will actually be regulated more strictly than most commercial institutions, especially during our first few years. If you do not want to deposit your money with us that is alright, but it should not come from a safety concern since we will be safe and insured just like your current bank. Hell, maybe you like fees and worse interest rates in which case you are right to steer clear!

      – Once we graduate we will have people take over positions. We already have a team of analysts from all years (mostly first years and sophomores) and they will be here to take over when we graduate. Furthermore, we are working with alumni who have experience with credit unions and they will definitely be there once we graduate!

      – Ah great call about the old credit union! We have definitely done our homework here. The Columbia Barnard Federal Credit Union (CBFCU) was started in 1988 and was a credit union created for the columbia community. Over the next two decades they grew quite a bit and reached assets upwards 1.6 million. During that time they offered better rates, lower fees, and better services to our community. The information available on their decline is limited but through connections with alumni who worked with the credit union it appears that they were pushed out of their offices (located in Low) when the building turned into administrative offices and had trouble working with the administration to find new space. Though they stagnated, instead of failing they were actually bought by Bethex credit union – now a leader in the credit union community! So how would we be different? Well, we have a much broader universe than they did so that means more accounts, we have more alumni involvement ranging from local bank managers to people that have run credit unions in the past, and we are also existing in an environment that is more student initiative oriented on every level!

      A credit union would be great for our community and we are doing the work to make sure it would work. If you have any more questions or would like to get involved we would love to see you at our upcoming event on December 4th or you can reach us at

  • Story time says:

    @Story time Why did the old credit union fail? Be interested in the details.

    1. djs says:

      @djs Part of it involved giving citibank prime real estate in Lerner. Part it involved the fact that to keep afloat the credit union had highish minimums and was considered expensive by students.

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