Why is Columbia so snowFLAKY?

It’s a whole new CCSC, and Monday mood board Nadra Rahman is here to report on it. 

Welcome back to CCSC recaps—believe it or not, last night was the first Sunday since we’ve returned from break (XD). Appropriately, President Nathan Rosin inaugurated the semester donning his monstrous Secret Snowflake gift from last semester, a shirt featuring a minion and Hamilton becoming one. But that wasn’t the main point of yesterday’s meeting: instead, CCSC managed to appoint four new members, replacing former 2019 Rep Sofia Petros, Student Services Reps Toqa Badran and Monique Harmon, and Pre-Professional Rep Rafael Ortiz.

In their place, we have:

  • 2019 Rep: Elisa Kong (CC ’19)
  • Student Services Reps: Jordan Singer (CC ’19) and Aaron Fisher (CC ’18)
  • Pre-Professional Rep: Patricia Granda-Malaver (CC ’20)

All These Flakes Studied Abroad And That’s Why They Needed To Be Replaced
All the candidates made brief speeches, after which the meeting was closed to all but members of CCSC and Interim Columbia Elections Board Chair, Josh Burton. According to Rosin, “Without Josh, there’s no way we would be able to do all this.” Thanks, Josh!

2019 Rep
The field for replacement 2019 Rep was whittled down to three candidates, all of whom emphasized different foci for the position. As expected, mental health was a common thread throughout, with candidates speaking to inefficiencies in CPS appointment scheduling and the need for human connection between members of the class. CCSC ultimately voted for Elisa Kong (CC ‘19), who capitalized on her role as social media manager for student government this past fall. As social media manager, she revamped the CCSC 2019 Instagram page, focusing on students who felt underrepresented or underserved by CCSC, and sharing everyday stories. In response to a question from VP Policy Nicole Allicock, Kong said this experience would go hand-in-hand with working on the Campus Life Committee, allowing her to help craft events that would be more casual, relaxed, and interaction-focused.

Student Services
Eight people tried out for the Student Services Rep, and once again, candidates spoke to similar topics—in addition to mental health, several addressed topics related to food/financial insecurity, campus accessibility, lack of space, and the effective use of technology. To the last point, first-year Henry Feldman advocated for an app that would not only collate maps and links relevant to students, but also information on CAVA wait times and dining hall overcrowding. Other candidates had more conventional platforms, including the eventual winners Jordan Singer (CC ‘19) and Aaron Fisher (CC ‘18).

Singer’s pitch detailed specific projects she would work on: streamlining the process for booking spaces (Hamilton cannot be reserved on weekdays until the third week of classes, which is a Problem); creating a system that would allow students who are not affiliated with clubs to book space; redesigning residence hall lounges to encourage collaboration; and working with CPS to get students trained in mental health, allowing them to act as first responders or intake staff for the perpetually understaffed office.

Aaron Fisher, who had previously run for the position (he called this the “elephant in the room”), included in his speech the notion of continuity of care for mental health. While Columbia ostensibly does not have the resources to provide long-term mental healthcare, a system can be devised that allows Columbia to connect students to the long-term resources that are appropriate for them, such as therapists and psychiatrists. He also briefly mentioned the need to advertise the Share Meals app and the fact that he would absolutely, definitely, consistently hold office hours (okay).

Pre-Professional Rep
With only two candidates for this position, Patricia Granda-Malaver (CC ‘20) emerged as the clear winner. She stressed her experience liaising with CCE as a member of CC Student Ambassadors, her position in CCSC’s Finance Committee, and her own maximization of CCE resources. As rep, she would highlight funding opportunities and pertinent information for low-income students (“All of us are into Facebook and memes and all that”); create more resources for low-income students, imitating the success of the closet of interview clothes; increase alumni of color events and network chats; and increase interaction between CC students and students of Columbia’s graduate schools.

Loose Ends
With the aforementioned departures, a few other slots had to be filled. With minimal discussion, USenator Omar Khan was voted to replace Badran on the Travel Fund Committee, and with zero discussion, Alumni Affairs Rep Fernanda Martinez was voted in as the new CCSC alternate for the Student Group Adjudication Board (with Petros gone, former alternate VP Campus Life Alex Cedar moved up the ranks. His face was creased with a broad smile).

Selected Updates:

  • Class of 2018: Hold onto your hats: Winter Gala is Thursday, January 25, from 9 pm to 12 am in Roone. There will be a chocolate fountain.
  • Finance: The committee has produced a proposal for the size of the student activity fee increase, settling on the figure of 5% ($11). The increase reflects the increasing costs of public safety, Bacchanal, and growing governing boards.
  • Nominate a classmate for King’s Crown!
  • Rosin plugged the Ivy League Mental Health Conference, taking place this year on March 2 at Princeton.
  • Communications: Look out for the Fall 2017 report at the next meeting.

Image via PublicDomainPictures.net