Ah, the first SGA meeting of the New Year. After introducing a few new faces and sharing some semester-ly goals, SGA listened to the CU Dems present a petition addressing Columbia’s handling of sexual assault. Bwogger Lauren Beltrone reports.
**TRIGGER WARNING FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT & RAPE ON A COLLEGE CAMPUS**
Armed with their trusty placards and note-taking devices, SGA was ready to get down to business on Monday night. Barnard’s President Maddy Popkin, BC ’14 proposed that the reps start the meeting off by discussing goals, visions, and ideas for the rest of the year.
Popkin and the rest of the Senior CC plans to flesh out SGA’s relationship between other student government groups, be more involved in the curriculum review, make a smooth transition to the next executive board, and work to make the seniors’ last semester of college the best ever. Popkin also hopes to focus the upcoming Town Hall Meeting on gender inclusivity at Barnard.
The Junior CC strives to continue promoting class community and school spirit through apparel sales and career dinners. They also want to keep up the blog for juniors studying abroad.
Sophomore CC officially and emphatically declared sophomore slump a thing. In order to alleviate the pitfalls as much as possible, the council plans to aid the job/internship search and promote the “single university theme” by working closely with the other undergraduate colleges.
The First-Year CC vow to put in 110% and want to remind us that Winter Wonderland is this Saturday. According to the Facebook event page, “This semi-formal event is a Columbia tradition for first-year students.”
Finally, the Arts and Culture Council’s schedule is jam-packed with artsy going-ons. They’ve already received 10 proposals to plan for and paint to Diana Center mural in March, and will soon narrow the pool down to 3 finalists. You should also expect to be seeing a monthly newsletter from the Council, complete with a list of art events and a featured Barnard student.
After all the respective councils shared their ideas, the Columbia University Democrats entered the room to discuss ways to improve Columbia’s sexual assault policy. The group emphasized that, because the Rape Crisis/Anti-Violence Support Center is located in Hewitt, Columbia students must state their names and intent to gain access to the center. Additionally, the center is only open from 9:00 am to 11:00 pm, but sexual assault can happen at any time during the night. To make seeking support less uncomfortable, the Dems asked SGA to endorse their petition to extend the hours of the center and change the protocol for entering the building.
In response to the presentation, SGA released the following statement to Bwog:
We wanted to update you on the direction that SGA has decided to move in light of the presentation that the CU Dems made at Rep Council this evening about sexual assault response at Columbia University. Given the gravity and the sensitivity that this issue demands, we want to be thorough and genuinely engaged with the student body regarding the efforts being taken to combat and respond to sexual assault on campus. This issue deserves thoughtful and serious attention, and as the Barnard Student Government Association, we hold ourselves accountable to the students we represent. Therefore, before we vote on Rep Council’s endorsement of the petition, we want to hear from Barnard students. We have decided to hold a vote regarding Barnard SGA’s endorsement of the CU Dems petition and initiatives at next week’s Rep Council on Monday, February 3rd. In the mean time, we will send an email to all Barnard students regarding the request from CU Dems. This email will provide information surrounding the CU Dems petition and broader efforts and also a Google Form that will allow students to send us their thoughts and concerns, anonymously if desired. Finally, though all Rep Councils are open to the student body, we will especially encourage all Barnard students to attend Rep Council next week on Monday, February 3rd if they are interested in joining this conversation and expressing their opinions and experiences. As always, Rep Council will be held in the Diana 2nd floor dining room at 8pm.
Not actually the SGA via Shutterstock.