Though she was locked out for most of the meeting, Bwogger Nadra Rahman is here to deliver you your Monday medley of CCSC news. This time, CCSC feels its own mortality.
CCSC won’t be the same next year, or for that matter, next semester—and that’s what last night’s meeting was all about. After lengthy deliberations, members appointed an Interim Columbia Elections Board (CEB) Chair, along with CCSC members to fill the Vacancy Committees (more on that to come).
Mo’ Applicants, Mo’ Debate
The Interim CEB Chair will help fill positions in CEB (currently dissolved), at which point their task will be complete. To President Nathan Rosin’s surprise, people actually applied, which is a good sign for the future of student government.
There were eight applicants in total, five of whom were able to attend the meeting and make their cases in person—Rosin read aloud personal statements from the remaining three. One personal statement begun with “With great power comes great responsibility,” and Rosin almost handed the responsibility off to someone else. The presentations were a bit more serious and in general, stressed applicants’ experience in running elections/recruiting/publicizing and in some cases, their unbiasedness. After a question and answer period, in which 2019 President Mina Mahmood called attention to applicant and “CCSC enthusiast” Dante Mazza’s past of “constantly trolling our council,” members motioned to close the meeting for deliberations and media was kicked out.
After about half an hour, we were welcomed back and informed that Josh Burton (CC ‘18) had been voted into the position with 22 votes. In his speech, Burton had emphasized his past success in recruiting for organizations like the Columbia Lion and CU Democrats with an eye to diversity and sustainability; he had also drawn attention to his tenure as our very first Sandwich Ambassador (soon to RIP). If you’re interested, accused troll Mazza came in second place with 7 votes.
So Long, Farewell
Next semester we’ll say goodbye to 2019 Rep Sofia Petros, Pre-Professional Rep Rafael Ortiz, and Student Services Reps Toqa Badran and Monique Harmon, whether they’re studying abroad or away for other reasons. To fill their positions, CCSC is assembling vacancy committees that will interview candidates and present prospective replacements to the entire body for a vote.
Petros’s vacancy committee consists of Rosin, Mahmood, and 2019 VP David Kaminsky, but the fourth position had to be filled by a USenator, two of whom were nominated: Omar Khan and Jay Rappaport. Both made speeches highlighting their unique strengths—Khan spoke to his role as a first- (and last) time member of CCSC, his experience with organizations like the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Club Zamana, and the value of his perspective when utilized alongside the CCSC expertise of a career member like Rosin. Rappaport emphasized his “dedication to process,” exemplified in his work creating different student boards, and said he would prioritize high-quality and diverse candidates and present the best options to CCSC. When questioned about his qualifications for promoting diversity, Rappaport brought up his involvement in getting the Muslim Student Association a Religious Life Advisor and creating LGBTQ+ space in Lerner.
At this point, Khan said he felt “deeply uncomfortable” by questioning that would pit himself against Rappaport and suggested the votes take place without much more of the same. Members took heed, and after a secret ballot, Rappaport was chosen to round out Petros’s vacancy committee, receiving 22 votes to Khan’s 9.
The vacancy committee for Ortiz, Badran, and Harmon’s positions had to be composed of two at-large representatives and one USenator. Only two at-large representatives, Alumni Affairs Rep Fernanda Martinez and Inclusion and Equity Rep Elise Fuller, were nominated to the committee, and so both were automatically inducted. Khan and Rappaport accepted nominations for the final position, and Rappaport once again won the seat, receiving 17 votes to Khan’s 12.
- Finance: Discussion of the survey results for the Open Student Group Project was to occur today, but was postponed due to lack of time. Look out for it at the next meeting!
- Student Services: Reps met with the Uris Committee to discuss the transformation of the building in the coming years as the business school moves out. Student space seems to not be a priority, but discussions are ongoing. Harmon also spoke to administrators to review communication around fellowship opportunities.
- Inclusion and Equity: Fuller is waiting on a quote for a potential automatic door between Hartley and Wallach.
- Communications: The committee has hired a student photographer, who will, among other things, help with the relaunch of student spotlights after Thanksgiving Break.
- Campus Life: The first product of the newly established University Events Council is likely to be a university-wide study break on Low steps. And of course, Tree Lighting is coming up in the week we return from break.
- Policy: There were meetings a-plenty about reforming F@CU, Bacchanal finances, and a potential four council fund that will streamline finances for joint events, but most shockingly—elevators in Lerner are going to be renovated soon and receive all sorts of modern updates.
- Sandwich: Rep David Shan is continuing to meet with administrators to talk about increasing student participation in pre-orientation programs. Though most students who are interested in COOP get a spot, Shan noted that Columbia Urban Experience tends to be a more competitive program and there might be unfulfilled need there.
- 2021: Dining was “very receptive” in a meeting centered on 2021’s survey on alternative diets. Are more veggie and vegan options in the works?
- 2018: An apparel order is in the works. Look out for the last Lerner Pub of the semester on November 30.