There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s CCSC to allocate funds ‘n stuff (and Joseph Milholland to tell us all about it).
The November 24 2013 CCSC meeting began with the announcement that two Columbia students were out picking up the meeting’s much-hyped Dino BBQ themselves instead of having it delivered directly in order to save money. That’s one form of fiscal responsibility.
After that, there was the usual round of updates. The Class of 2015 is holding a December 8 study break with SEAS. They are also holding a party at the terrace the Thursday after Thanksgiving. The Class of 2016 is making a Contemporary Civilizations study guide. The Class of 2017 is holding a party December 7 and a study break December 10. The Communication Committee worked with University Event Management to change UEM’s student group emails. The last Bagelpalooza of the semester will be on Tuesday November 26. The Dean of Student Affairs search is continuing. A committee of four students, two from Columbia College, two from SEAS will act as advisors in the search and 10-20 more students who also will work in the search. Also, the Presidential Global Scholarship has been set up and will provide funds for 15 rising sophomores to study abroad over the Summer.
The council then dived into a discussion about the Quality of Life statistics. Senator Marc Heinrich is already “reaching out” to groups so “sensible” recommendations for policy can be made. The groups that have been contacted include those dealing with trans issues and psychological services.
“Space and administration” were the two subjects Columbia College students were dissatisfied with compared to students from other schools. The recommendations that appear in the statistics given to the council members were vague, and the Senate is working on making more specific, concrete recommendations.
The council then reviewed their draft of their sexual assault statistics resolution. While the CU Dems had brought up several issues about how Columbia handles sexual assault, the council decided to focus the resolution on increasing transparency in sexual assault statistics. Importantly, the resolution asks for “transparency for the sake of transparency” with a goal of “wider awareness” about what sexual assault is and how it is judged. The council wants to learn how long a it takes a case to be heard and what punishments are given out. In order for students to better understand sexual assault policies, the council also wants to the administration to create “fictional scenarios” that would show what “Columbia would consider consensual sex and non consensual sex.” The resolution states that the primary purpose of the increasing data is not to make judgments on how the university handles cases but rather to further learning.
The resolution also included a section saying that RC@C should handle consent education, a clause which raised questions from council members. This lead to discussion among council members about the NSOP education programs. Concerns were raised that people are not taking the Consent is Sexy workshop seriously, and there is a “serious conversation” that is no happening about sexual assault. In Under1Roof, attendance is very carefully taken so nobody misses out, but it is much easier to avoid Consent is Sexy. RC@C focuses on alcohol and drug education, but they could have a seperate meeting with students about sexual assault. One side-topic that was brought up is that John Jay and Carman have seen an increase in CAVAs this year now that Alchohol,edu is gone, although there is no definite causation between the two.
Senator Marc Heinrich talked about other things the senate is doing to address sexual assault at Columbia. When a sexual assault of gender-based misconduct is reported, the DSPA holds a hearing and then student affairs decides the sanctions. Instead of giving a verdict, Columbia decides to hold people “responsible” or “not responsible.” The senate is working to make a separate door to the rape crisis center. They are focused on distributing “emergency contraception” and ensuring how claims of sexual assault are handled is “more transparent and easy to understand.”
The council then focused on changes that should be made to LionShare. There are several annoying features of the website that need to be fixed. There is a strange “CSO University” banner on the website that may or may not respond to adblock. The council suggested adding “how much” a job pays and having less “misinformation” as well as for a user to remain logged in after he or she closes the LionShare tab.
Finally, at the end of the meeting it was announced that CCSC is moving towards “full financial transparency.”
Righteous Tunage via ShutterStock.