Get your voice heard with the GSSC divestment poll, due sometime "before Thanksgiving"

Get your voice heard with the GSSC divestment poll, due sometime “before Thanksgiving”

In the wake of some massive political events, Bwog is here to recount what happened in our own local politics; student council connoisseur Joe Milholland covers GS fundraising, fossil fuel divestment, homecoming, and Bacchanal. 

“Unequivocally, GS’s number one challenge is financial aid,” GS’s University Senator Katherine Celentano said at Tuesday night’s General Studies Student Council meeting. However, Celentano noted some reasons for optimism – fundraising is up, scholarships are up, alumni interaction is up. One way to keep this “momentum” increasing, Celentano said, was through Giving Day, the donation competition on October 21.

“Last year, GS destroyed all the other schools,” Celentano said about Giving Day. She has a multi-part plan for GS to win at Giving Day this year. First, she wants GS students to sign up to Columbia Social – an app intended mostly for alumni – and try to score as many points as possible. The app allows students to contribute to GS’s ranking in Giving Day without giving money through methods such as connecting through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

GS students with the most points on the app will get physical prizes. Celentano, who is currently winning, says she will donate any prizes she receives to other GS students.

Other ways GS students can contribute to winning Giving Day is by liking the GS Facebook page and posting a short video on it about their GS story. They can also tweet #ColumbiaGivingDay and #WhyIGive. Celentano emphasized that GS students should identify their affiliation with GS somehow in their tweets, like with #GSPride.

Also at the meeting, VP of Finance Dalitso Nkhoma passed around a sheet explaining GSSC’s finances and funding compared to the other 4 undergraduate student councils. GSSC contributes $87,185 to F@CU – the annual event where each undergrad student council divies up how much it will give to club finance allocations – a number that amounts to 7.45% of all money given to F@CU. GSSC’s budget is $353,535 from 1800 student life fees. In contrast, CCSC’s budget is around a million dollars from 4,504 student life fees. CCSC’s contributions to F@CU make up 59.42% of the total.

Other Updates:

  • In co-ordination with Columbia’s Elections Board, GSSC will be holding a referendum on student opinion about fossil fuel divestment. The referendum will take place “before Thanksgiving,” according to GSSC President Elizabeth Heyman.
  • Celentano is looking into what the per-head cost of family funding for GS would be in light of family funding being given to SEAS doctoral students this year.
  • Homecoming this year will feature a scavenger hunt where students who take pictures of themselves with inflatable lions around campus and submit them will be eligible to win an Apple Watch or sweaters.
  • GSSC will also make a Homecoming banner with a lion and the words “Roar, GS, Roar” on it.
  • GSSC approved two co-sponsorships: $750 for Columbia University’s Family Support Network’s Halloween event, and $90 for ArtC’s Wednesday social and pop-up gallery.
  • Bacchanal Committee will soon have a survey to get student opinions on Bacchanal this year.

Spewing greenhouse gasses into our atmosphere via Shuttershock