That's a lot of pressure

That’s a lot of pressure

Valiant bureau chief Joe Milholland once again reports from a CCSC meeting fraught with discussion of delicate issues. And, also, discussion of tampons and toilet paper.

“It has been really frustrating to try to work with No Red Tape in good faith,” said CCSC’s VP of Policy Vivek Ramakrishanan about NRT and CCSC working together on NRT’s set of proposals. “I really, really tried, and I’m still trying. I want that to happen, and I want us to have as informed discussion as possible both on Goldberg’s response to the petition and continued conversation with them.”

On Sunday night, the Columbia College Student Council (CCSC) had a lengthy discussion about a resolution brought to the council by No Red Tape (NRT) two weeks ago. NRT wanted CCSC to pledge support for the resolution so that NRT could go to the administration with CCSC’s support, but CCSC wanted to investigate each item individually and work with the administration themselves.

By the end of their discussion, CCSC had come up with no formal plan of action going forward. CCSC President Ben Makansi is meeting with Suzanne Goldberg this week to discuss NRT’s resolution, but he will not make any decisions during that meeting.

Makansi believes that CCSC cannot support the whole petition outright, but they could help NRT achieve some of the individual goals. If NRT does not want CCSC’s help on individual goals, Makansi said he was torn over whether to back off or try to help them with those goals without their approval.

2018 Rep Nathan Rosin pointed out that several of NRT’s goals were vague, such as their request for more funding, and that CCSC should be wary of endorsing the whole thing. Academic Affairs Rep Nicole Allicock mentioned that some of the points on NRT’s resolution, such as having anonymous complaints count in crime statistics but not launching an investigation, may not be legal.

In order to get around Makansi’s concern, VP of Finance Sameer Mishra suggested making a taskforce to address the issues and inviting people from outside the council to join it.

Ramakrishnan, bringing up the his issues with NRT he mentioned above, said the taskforce would probably be headed by next executive board’s VP of Policy, and the taskforce suggestion could look like CCSC was “hijaking” NRT’s proposals. Inclusion and Equity Rep Ewoma Ogbaudu brought up the need for such a taskforce to include voices from survivors.

Mishra said the taskforce would try to get survivors to participate, and, if it couldn’t, it could simply report back that it failed to do so.

At the end of the discussion, Makansi took three straw polls on the subject. First, he asked how many on CCSC wanted to endorse the proposal entirely. Three council members raised their hands. Then, he asked how many were uncomfortable with the implicit political statement CCSC would be making with regards to Israel/Palestine if CCSC endorsed the proposal. A majority raised their hands. Finally, he asked who would be in favor of taking action on items in the petition even if NRT/CASV declined to help them. Almost all of CCSC raised their hands.

Race/Diversity Proposal Updates:

Makansi also gave an update about what CCSC is doing to improve their race/diversity proposal to Deantini. He has e-mailed over 35 student groups for a meeting on this subject on Thursday from 8-10pm. Makansi, Ogbaudu, Ramakrishnan, Allicock, and Usenator Sean Ryan will be at the meeting.

Makansi said he wanted to determine which race/diversity-related issues both pertained to Deantini and had a broad consensus of opinion from the student body.

Other Updates (Update Doc is here):

  • Update on free tampons: Makansi and Michael McNeil from Columbia Health are projecting that, after spring break, free tampons will be available in John Jay, in both standard and super-sized.
  • Update on toilet paper: students will be able to pick up to five rolls at a time of ultra-plush, triple ply toilet paper from Hartley Hospitality.
  • CCSC also had a long discussion about whether they should get a tech representative on the council. They discussed what this rep would do and if they should be appointed or elected. CCSC ended tabling the discussion for later.
  • Makansi is planning a live-streamed fireside chat via Facebook.
  • According to Alumni Affairs Rep Daniel Liss, Deantini, in a speech to Columbia College’s alumni association, mentioned CCSC’s Five Things initiative. In addition, Deantini is mobilizing alumni to help work on the initiative.
  • Inclusion and Equity Rep Ewoma Ogbaudu, after visiting an Ivy League confrerence of first-generation students, wants to create a first-generation alumni network.
  • Sandwich Ambassador Kaitlyn Loftus is investigating Uris’s sandwiches, which she noted to be of the highest quality of the sandwiches on campus.
  • CCSC has resolved to “make Cannon’s accessible beyond freshmen and Manhattan College people.”

What we imagine Joe looks like post-CCSC via CEphoto, Uwe Aranas – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0