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GSSC Saves The Day With Free Pizza

subject of the most heated part of last night’s GSSC meeting

Each Wednesday, Bwog brings you a brief summary of the General Studies Student Council (GSSC) meeting from the night before. In today’s update, Bwog GSSC Bureau Chief Alex Tang highlights the pizza-based drama that went down last night.

In last night’s meeting, the General Studies Student Council (GSSC) had a relatively heated talk about pizza, which, believe it or not, spiraled into a debate about the fair delegation of responsibilities among Columbia’s four undergraduate student councils. After providing updates of several upcoming events and hearing the speeches of three new nominated board members, GSSC discussed whether or not they should bail out the rest of the Columbia community in the upcoming Lerner Pub event by fronting money for the pizza budget. Detailed information about the pizza drama will be provided at the end of the article.

GSSC also heard the speeches of three nominees for vacant board positions. All three nominees were subsequently approved. The three new board members are listed below, along with memorable lines or tidbits from their speeches.

  • Julia Hewitt (Family and Working Students Rep): As a single mother, Hewitt hopes to make GS more inclusive to those with “time-restrictions [and] who can’t make it to all the events.” Hewitt’s proposals include shared babysitting among GS parents, as well as more GS events that cater toward children.
  • Sitara Herur (Social Media Representative): Herur wants to make sure that all GS students hear about and are therefore able to participate in all events, whether they’re “in or out of the [GSSC meeting] room.”
  • Eric Lunzer (Treasurer): A former Marine with an extensive background in finance and budget management, Lunzer will manage the GSSC budget in the coming year.

Other Updates from GSSC:

  • The GS Latinx Block Party will happen this Thursday, September 28 from 5:30-7:30pm on the Lewisohn Lawn. “Despacito” will not be playing on repeat, as Dennis Zhao joked during the meeting.
  • The GS Welcome Back Party at Hudson Terrace is still scheduled for October 5, from 7-9pm. Tickets will be released in two waves – the first at 8pm this Thursday, and the second at 1pm this Friday. Tickets ($20) sell out fast, so be sure to be on the website at those times! Limited subsidized tickets will also be available.
  • The first Lerner Pub of the year is happening this Thursday, from 9pm-12am. Lerner Pub is open to all seniors from all four schools, regardless of age (you don’t have to be 21+).
  • The Faculty Mentorship Program website will launch at noon on Tuesday, October 3. The program is open for GS and CC students, who will be able to choose faculty mentors from a variety of subject areas. Registration closes on Friday, October 20.
  • The Columbia University Mental Task Force meets at 2pm on Sundays to discuss policy initiatives for improving mental health. The task force is currently looking for more GS representation. For more information, contact GS VP of Policy Raisa Flor.
  • The GS Columbia Peer Advising website has been updated. Students may now make appointments here.

And now for the pizza drama…

Lerner Pub is a social event geared towards seniors at all four of Columbia’s undergraduate schools (Columbia College, SEAS, Barnard, and GS), which provides free food and beverages (including booze for those lucky seniors who are 21+). The first Lerner Pub event of the year will be happening this Thursday, September 28, from 9pm-12am in the Lerner party space.

The Engineering Student Council (ESC) was originally supposed to pay for the pizzas for the September Lerner Pub, but is now unable to do so due to internal budget issues. GS Senior Class President Roya Hegdahl mentioned that ESC had (kindly) asked GSSC to front the pizza money instead. Before you start judging this as trivial, note that it takes a lot of pizza (100+ pizzas and $1,000+) to feed Columbia’s senior population.

While most of GSSC originally had no apparent issue with this proposal, GS Senator Ramond Curtis questioned whether or not it was fair for GSSC to pay for the pizzas, considering that GS senior attendance at the September Lerner Pub will predictably be much lower than the attendance of seniors from CC, SEAS, or Barnard. Curtis’s main concern was that a sizable portion of the GSSC senior budget would be going toward giving out free pizza to seniors from other schools.

Senior President Hegdahl mentioned that Lerner Pub costs are split amongst the four undergraduate schools based on the ratio of students within the undergraduate community. For example, since GS students represent roughly 20% of undergraduates, GSSC would pay for the same ratio amount of cost (roughly 20%). Furthermore, Hegdahl confidently stated that the other student councils would either reimburse GSSC for the pizza money, or cover GSSC’s contributions for future Lerner Pub events.

In response, Curtis brought up the fact that the Columbia College Student Council was not fronting the pizza money, stating that CCSC now had rules against fronting money for interschool events, going so far as to punish officers if the money due wasn’t paid back from other councils. Curtis’s main interest was that GSSC not be taken advantage of by the other student councils. To that end, he suggested the amendment that while GSSC would front the pizza money for the September Lerner Pub, the council would only contribute to future Lerner Pub events if the money due to GSSC was paid back by the end of the fall. Doing so would make GSSC’s future contributions to Lerner Pub contingent upon CCSC, ESC, and SGA’s ability to keep their word.

Before the conversation could get more heated, VP of Campus Life Dennis Zhao stressed that he didn’t want GSSC to “set a precedence of distrust” within the four undergraduate student councils.

In the end, the voting members of GSSC passed Curtis’s amendment (10 to 5), and then unanimously approved Hegdahl’s original motion to front the pizza money. To all of you seniors going to September Lerner Pub, just remember that GSSC paid for the pizzas when no one else could.

Pizza via mystic pizza

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  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Why do you have to sensationalize EVERYTHING? This is why you have so few readers… and after this, one fewer.

  • CC student against CCSC says:

    @CC student against CCSC From CCSC mins:
    Adam: For spending for class councils and campus life, you might be working w/ other councils on campus. We’ll be putting in place some other procedures bc some other councils have a habit of not paying us back. This isn’t going to fly.
    Any council, 2 council, etc event that you are doing, you need to have a written agreement overseen by either Josh Lucas or some other advisor w/ payment that each council makes and the time of that payment.
    If a council doesn’t make payment on time, I’ll tell advisors not to let you submit FTFs/use p-cards, so you can’t spend on future events. I know it seems unfair to punish you for another council’s irresponsibility, but if they won’t pay us back we can’t do business.

  • Turd Dunkley says:

    @Turd Dunkley Drama?! At a GSSC meeting?!?! Who’d have thought?!

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