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SGA Talks To BOSS

“That’s just the way the cookie crumbles.” Did people ever say that?

This week’s SGA got BOSSY, indicating once again they are really going to try and get things done. Bwogger Dassi Karp covered the the range of issues presented, from lack of diversity within courses to dessert freedom for all. 

At this week’s meeting of the Student Government Association, the members of our fearless Barnard Rep Council showed once again that they are really going to try to get things done. This year’s established pattern of bringing in a student group and asking them about their needs continued in full force, with guests from the leadership of the Barnard Organization of Soul Sisters (BOSS), which supports black women through mentorship programs, meetings, and education and cultural events. Notably, SGA President Angela Beam took some time to review the Council’s progress on addressing the requests from last groups. This is very promising–this might be the semester when SGA really comes through.

At the start of the meeting, SGA voted to pass a motion to write a statement to support the Workers Rights Consortium, per the request of Student-Workers Solidarity last month. They plan on releasing the statement next week.

BOSS presented three issues they hoped SGA would help them address. First, they explained that they were having problems with Public Safety allowing their non-Barnard members in to their meetings, which take place in a lounge in Reid Hall. University Senator Kira Dennis pointed out that there is a form a on the Res Life website that should be filled out by whoever has problems with Public Safety or the desk attendants. I could not find this form in an admittedly non-thorough search of the Barnard website before my 8:40 this morning.

Next, BOSS requested assistance in getting funding to send members to the Black Solidarity Conference at Yale this year. VP Finance Evie McCorkle was, as always, very on top of things, and said she’ll help them figure it out, by applying to funds such as the Joint Council Co-Sponsorship Community (JCCC).

Lastly, BOSS members expressed frustration with courses, specifically in the First Year Writing and Seminar program, who’s readings are lacking diverse representation. The course Legacy of the Mediterranean, which investigates key intellectual moments in the rich literary history that originated in classical Greece and Rome and continues to inspire some of the world’s greatest masterpieces” according to the FYW writing website, was brought as an example. This caused a lot of discussion. Unlike Lit Hum, FYW and FYS classes are offered on a range of topics, many of which do not focus on the canon the same way that Legacy does. But, clarified a BOSS member, “it should not have to be that if I want diversity I have to pick a certain class.” She added, “the only class with a smidge of diversity is The Americas.” The Americas, which does boast about its “multicultural curriculium,” is one of the three options for First Year Writing, as well as one of the many options for seminar, First-Year class president Sara Morales referenced conversation that she had with Director of First-Year Writing, Wendy Schor-Haim. Morales seemed generally pleased and hopeful about the future of the department in terms of diversity, noting that Schor-Haim was very open to suggestions and ways to improve.

The Executive Board announced some new meeting rules this week, as well as reminded us of some Rep Council policies. Notably, esteemed President Angela Beam will give speakers five and ten minute warning to make sure they stay within the time limits allotted to them. Also, direct responses to statements will now be limited to two per statement. This caused some slight confusion, with Junior Class VP Aashna Singh clarifying, “so I have to raise my hand to respond to myself?” (Yes, apparently.) Angela also clarified that the open floor portion of the meetings are open to anyone who wishes to speak, regardless of their connection to Barnard or Columbia. I assume this is because I asked them if former faculty member Georgette Fleischer will be allowed to keep coming. (She can.)

The most important announcement of the night: the Desserts After Dark Survey is open! Fill it out, because, as VP Campus Life Aku Acquaye reminded us, “we have desserts for all dietary restrictions!”

Image via El Pantera

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