What we think the GS debate will be like. Not sure if the bears fighting or kissing.

Learn what happened last night at GSSC with our bureau chief, Romane Thomas.

Yesterday night, General Studies Student Council met in the Satow room to discuss student services, representation at the Black Students Organization and upcoming student events.

President Larosa announced that elections would start today at 10am.

VP of Policy Silin Huang updated the council on their constitutional review. They are currently at page 6 (out of 36) and hope to get further in the coming weeks. Policy is also working on the GS Excellence awards, in coordination with the academic affairs representative.

Student Services representative, Yona Kornsgold, introduced a resolution to council after making a short speech about inclusion on campus. He said that this resolution to improve GS students’ access to CC and SEAS buildings was the first step towards fully including GS into the Columbia Community. This is an issue that the council has been working on for over a decade but representative Yonah Kornsgold stated that “we believe that this is the time to make a change.” All of the other councils are currently working on passing this resolution in their own time. Council hopes that this will help GS students get access to events that they were previously barred from.

More importantly, GS students currently do not have access to all CPS services since some of their offices are in residential halls to which GS students do not have access. This means that students must first go to public safety to announce their need to access these services. This process in no way supports a process of anonymity. Furthermore, memorial services for students that have passed away are also inaccessible to GS students when they are in these halls. By barring us from entering these buildings, the administration, Kornsgold said “sends us a clear message that we do not belong here.” One of the ways to combat stress culture and increase well-ness is to build a stronger community. In Kornsgold’s understanding, ensuring swipe access is a first step towards improving this sense of community and stating loud and clear that “we do belong here.” The resolution was unanimously approved by the council.

Next up, Nicole Rodgers, First Year President, announced the organization of a first year-senior luncheon at the end of April. She is also planning a color run for the end of this year as well as a four-council first year volunteering event that will include puppies(!). She has also been working on other initiatives to include more minority students in these events and plans to coordinate with the Native American council in the upcoming weeks.

The working students and students with families representative told the council that the CUFSN children’s music festival is happening on April 8 in Lerner from 11am to 12pm. Although this is the same day as Bacchanal, the representative still hopes many people will come to support the festival.

VP of Campus Life Brett Krasner congratulated the council and his team members in particular on a “very lit gala.” (Having personally attended this gala, I can attest that it was indeed “lit.”) Although GS students “shattered more glasses then expected,” the budget for this year’s gala was very much below that of last year, by over $2,000. Krasner also announced some upcoming events. Snack attacks will take place form May 2 to May 5. Social Chair Pierre Anquetil is currently working on bringing some food trucks to campus for GS students to enjoy during their most stressful study days. Campus Life is planning many other events, including an April 20 GS Gets Loud event, a Passover event on April 13, a staff appreciation day, a carnival themed event and the annual Barnard/GS Frisbee event.

After that, two Black Student Organization (BSO) members came to the floor and spoke about their initiative. BSO is currently working on amending their representation by dividing it into three representatives. Instead of an overall BSO representative, the organization would now have three separate representatives that would each be responsible for representing more specific groups: black students, Latinx students and an indigenous students representative. Although some of the council members seemed skeptical about how BSO would obtain this much representation, the BSO members made it clear that separating the position into three would actually garner more interest for the positions. In their understanding, students have not been applying to this position due to the fact that they do not believe that they could represent all three groups accurately. Splitting the position would make it easier for students to feel that they can represent a more specific group.


Bears via wikimedia