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ESC Discusses Itself (Mostly)

Your humble Bureau Chief, stumbling out of the extended ESC meeting tonight.

Your humble Bureau Chief, stumbling out of the extended ESC meeting tonight.

As every Tuesday, Bwog is back with your (mostly) weekly coverage of ESC. Bureau Chief Finn Klauber watched and listened patiently—very, very patiently—as ESC discussed roughly half of the amendments to its constitution, tabling the conclusion until next week.

The process of ESC’s constitutional review this year consisted of the Policy Committee under former VP of Policy Meaghan Hurr and current VP of Finance Sidney Perkins proposing changes and additions to ESC’s constitution. These possible changes were explained by the current VP of Finance—a number of proposed changes were leftover from the previous VP of Finance—and then debate via a speakers’ list would take place, if necessary. The proposed change(s) would then be voted upon in a straw poll, before repeating again with the next proposed change.

While this system only allowed ESC to move through about half of the proposed changes during its (extended) meeting, the straw polls are to be ratified as official changes, all-at-once, when there are no more proposed constitutional changes.

The majority of change which occurred tonight was limited to basic syntactical and rhetorical alterations. For example, ESC voted to clarify an informal responsibility of former VP of Policy Meaghan Hurr to ensure ESC representation on student advisory committees. Now, that responsibility is formally clarified and rendered under the VP of Policy.

The most significant changes made to the constitution tonight are increases in ESC’s transparency as well as increasing outreach to student groups via the diversity representatives. In terms of transparency, minutes are to be more formally published—in the vein of CCSC—while voting measures and other measures of ESC activity will become available to scrutiny.

Increasing outreach to student groups was the most hotly debated topic of change, with ESC President Neha Jain arguing that student groups do not necessarily represent the unadulterated viewpoints of the ESC electorate. The Council voted against this strain of thought, however, specifying that outreach to student groups is encouraged under the purviews of the diversity representatives.

Updates:

  • Nicho Villalobos, Academic Affairs Representative, announced that he facilitated “a bunch of new classes for next semester” in SEAS. However, he said that in his meeting with the head of the Mechanical Engineering department regarding the possibility of instituting a new Aerospace Engineering concentration, he received pushback and was told that an Aerospace Engineering concentration could take form in the long term future. For the time being, he is meeting with other department heads to try and exert greater pressure on the department and school, in the hopes of instituting the concentration in the coming years.
  • The Policy Committee discussed ESC’s long term relationship goals with both the Center for Career Education (CCE) and the Center for Student Advising (CSA). Apparently, CCE perceives itself as more of an “educator” for Columbia students, while the Policy Committee is hoping to push the center towards students building greater industry connections. As for CSA, discussion was tabled for now as both parties are in the midst of working on Piazza/Class pages.
  • VP of Finance Aida Lu announced that most of the initial steps to creating a budget for the coming year have been completed. In the vein of finances, ESC budget with JCCC went in the red to about $1200.

Drunk via Carl Spitzweg / Public Domain

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