Last Friday on Low

A recent Friday afternoon on Low

The lowdown of last night’s CCSC meeting brought to you by Bwog’s student-government-savvy Joe Milholland. 

At Sunday night’s Columbia College Student Council meeting, VP of Policy Sejal Singh and VP of Communications Abby Porter gave updates on the sexual assault policy. They went over what has happened so far – the change in the policy without input from survivors or activists (much of which the university is required by law to do) and the meeting with President Bollinger – and talked about future goals they have for sexual assault policy.

Specifically, they want to to work with Sexual Violence Response (SVR) on bystander training. They also want to change how the consent workshops function with GS and grad students, who get the same education as CC and SEAS students despite their different demographics (the current consent workshop apparently refers to all the participants as being “around 18”).

Singh also wants reforms to CPS to help sexual assault survivors. She wants survivors to get top priority treatment and not have to go through CPS’s extended 2-call system. She also wants more trauma counselors for LGBTQ student survivors (there is currently only one).

Singh also said that, according to Suzanne Goldberg, more sexual assault data will be released on Tuesday. Activists have asked for data on how long cases take to be adjudicated, what kinds of punishments are given, how many cases are overturned, and the percentage of respondents found guilty, but there are no specifics on what data exactly will be released, and since the administration has been reluctant to give out this data before, Singh “can’t promise anything” about what will happen Tuesday.

Other Updates:

  • Singh has also been meeting with Dr. Stewart to make testing for disabilities easier. Some students come to Columbia without knowing they have learning disabilities, and, if they are not on Columbia’s healthcare program, testing can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, a cost that is especially difficult for students on financial aid. Singh is trying to see if the Emergency Health Fund can cover the costs.

  • The council voted in favor of supporting a resolution that asks SEAS to extend benefits to military veterans who are part of the Yellow Ribbon Initiative and in the 3-2 program.

  • Pre-professional Representative Chris George has been meeting with CCE. He’s gotten some technical changes to Lionshare. He also asked about first-year job and intern positions, but, apparently, CCE can’t do anything about it because companies simply don’t want to hire first-years.

  • President Bailinson noted that dining plans are up. The administration is considering opening up John Jay dining hall earlier and making spring break dining plans.

  • Student Services Representative Chris Godshall, spurred by Student Worker Solidarity, looked into getting air conditioning in John Jay for the workers. Since the unit would take up the space of 15 bedrooms, he didn’t support the plan. Singh commented that the air conditioning unit was “not feasible.”

  • Student Services Representative Charles Sanky is meeting with Scott Wright about the package center.

  • The council reviewed their by-laws, looking for changes they could make. They found a reference to a now-defunct committee referred to only as PCSA. The council puzzled over his until former VP of Policy Bob Sun, who was in the audience that night, told them it was the President’s Committee on Student Affairs, a committee that Prezbo had set up “when he was new and eager to do things” (Sun’s words) and that had met once in the 2005-2006 school year. There’s no record of what happened to the committee after that.

No Red Tape coverage via CBS Local