Plenary Pal Maud Rozee attended the University Senate’s most recent plenary. It reminded her of The Simpson’s parody of the Star Wars prequels, because both involved boring senate meetings. If you came to this article looking for thrills, well, you should probably go outside and get a taco or something. Just a friendly warning.
Unfortunately, PrezBo wasn’t at the USenate Plenary because there was a death in his family. Instead, the Chair of the senate’s Executive Committee, Sharyn O’Halloran, read a statement from him, including a letter on the success of the capital campaign, which raised more than $ 6.1 billion. The letter had the word “redound” in it, which was exciting. Then O’Halloran read his statement on sexual assault, and added that, in accordance with PrezBo’s statement, the USenate would move forward with reforming the President’s Advisory Committee on Sexual Assault (PACSA). The USenate will collaborate with the Committee on the Status of Women and Student Affairs, among others, to make changes that will ensure transparency in PACSA’s membership and decisions.
Akshay Shah, co-chair of the Student Affairs Committee (SAC), reiterated that the SAC, supported by PrezBo, was considering modifications to PACSA to promote student participation. The SAC has reached out to other committees, including the Commission on the Status of Women, to build a coalition within the Senate to address concerns about and changes to the University’s policies on sexual misconduct. Shah thanked PrezBo as well as all the students and survivors who contributed to getting these changes underway. The SAC hopes to present a resolution to codify changes to PACSA at the next plenary meeting.
Next, Matt Chou, also co-chair of the SAC, gave an update on the quality of life survey. The survey’s results have been presented to the trustees and the SAC hopes to have a report on them out by the end of the month. He also said that the SAC hopes to institutionalize the survey at a future plenary meeting so that it is conducted regularly.
Then the USenate approved two proposals for new graduate degrees, a Master of Science in Environmental Health Sciences and an M.D./Master of Biomedical Science Dual Degree Program.
Finally, a very nice librarian gave a presentation about how having fun isn’t hard with a library card and how Columbia has access to bajillions of resources.
Sweet senate via Shutterstock