This week, ESC mainly touched upon ensuring the mental and physical health of Columbia students. Some changes have been proposed to benefit students such as having JJ’s open for 22 hours a day and creating mental health workshops for ESC. Due to the input in this week’s meeting, it is expected that positive change will result from the student council’s initiatives.
A somber tone settled over the ESC meeting yesterday evening when the Representative for International Students, Pranav Arora SEAS ’19, announced his resignation to the collected council. Yet ESC, as ever, marched forward to work through a meeting very much lacking in the theatrics with which we’ve recently been accustomed.
President and Policy
Executive President Neha Jain and Executive VP for Policy Sidney Perkins worked this week towards implementing student leader “gatekeeper training” sessions. Such training aims to educate individuals—in this case student leaders, undergraduate and graduate TAs, and COÖP and NSOP leaders—of suicide prevention techniques to create a safety net, of sorts, for commonly affected swathes of the student population. These sessions would be similar to current SVR requirements in length and necessity.
Otherwise, VP Perkins met with CCE to discuss the response from the CCE Survey. In his own words, Perkins referred to the meeting in that “it was really frustrating.” The Policy representatives were questioned why they even authored the report in the first place, that CCE knew about the issues with career representation and CCE function in general but had no concrete plans to resolve them. When Perkins suggested that CCE incorporate students who already have relationships with these desired companies, the CCE administrators announced, “wow, why haven’t we thought of that!”
Mental Health and Campus Affairs
The declared leader of the Mental Health Task Force, 2017 Representative Harry Munroe, was excited to announce ESC’s pairing with the Office of University Life to run a mental health policy workshop on March 6th between 4:00 and 8:00 PM. Although the structure of the workshop is somewhat unclear—his references to needing staff to lead small group seminar-style discussions was slightly confusing—there will be discussion on what causes stress on campus and how students, faculty, and administrators can work towards solutions. He will also be attending the Ivy Mental Health Policy Conferences at Brown University this weekend, and is looking to field questions from any interested students.
In terms of campus affairs, Representative Benjamin Barton, SEAS ’18, announced a slew of dining related information. He conveyed from Dining that the decision to open up JJ’s for 22 hour days, which is a trial aimed at permanence, was not only for the benefit of late night studiers, but also for early morning athletes who need to eat before Ferris can open. That this will initially be a trial, Executive President Jain explained, is dependent upon increased upperclassman usage of Columbia dining plans. At current levels, the program can become permanent. The current pace of JJ’s construction, on the other hand, is sluggish. The pipes beneath John Jay date back to the 1920’s, so operations to fix the pipes and place new ventilation shafts in the JJ’s kitchen are slow going. In terms of John Jay news, the dining hall will be open from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM, with food available between 2:00 PM and 5:00 PM, starting—for real—at the end of Spring.
And if you wanted to know some facts about last week’s Sylvia’s event, John Jay ate through 1600 pounds of chicken during the event. Nice.
Continuing Resolutions and Meal Share
Continuing with his desire to amend ESC’s constitution to allow the designation of “continuing resolutions” which are binding beyond a single term of office, VP Perkins clarified that his finished amendment proposal addressed two primary concerns raised in the initial discussion of the amendment and that the proposal would require a 2/3s majority to institute the rule for next year and a unanimous vote to immediate institute it. With an expression of mirth, VP Perkins watched as the drawn out roll call vote passed the amendment unanimously.
The much alluded to vote upon the new meal share initiative organized by Lizzette Delgadillo, president of FLIP, the current food insecurity chair, the app developer, and two former chairs of the food insecurity committee was finally furthered yesterday. The delegation clarified that their proposal had not changed except for one provision under the “expectations section,” which states that Columbia councils will not be responsible for paying server maintenance, only for creating surveys to be sent to users of the app. The meaning of this change was refined somewhat when Representative for Technology Vinay Mehta, SEAS ’18, asked if the project could stay afloat if this sole method of payment would go underutilized. The program will continue to run at a losse, the team stated, but that they would be able to “manage somehow”. Data collection through this app is able to be targeted by school, the data analyzed and computed for the pollster. ESC passed this “memorandum” by a significant majority, as expected.
VP Perkins is attempting to revise the current policy regarding not having 3 finals on the same academic day to not having 3 exams in a 24 hour span of time. In a similar vein, the Representative for Academic Affairs Nicho Villalobos, SEAS ’18, is working hard to obtain a list of student stressors organized by major, courses unnecessary to the major, and those poorly designed.
Dean Brovman, in a decision forwarded by her communications staff, now has a spot on the ESC listserv. What this will engeder, who can know…
An American Favorite via Pixabay