Bwog is back with weekly GSSC coverage! Staff writer Zoe Sottile went to check out the happenings at General Studies Student Council.
This week drew a large audience at GSSC and with good reason: new dean Lisa Rosen-Metsch visited to give some updates and answer questions; the elections commission brought forward a few new candidates for its positions; and treasurer Eric Lunzer, who used to be an executive chef, catered a whole meal for everyone. You guys. GSSC is the best.
Rocking Out With Rosen-Metsch
This was Dean Rosen-Metsch’s third time visiting GSSC; she intends to come to one meeting every month. She discussed her pride in GS’s 463 student veterans – which is more than the entire rest of the Ivy League has combined. She also emphasized the importance of Columbia’s mental health initiatives, which are currently being spearheaded by Deantini. Here she brought up her own background in public health. Currently, she’s still continuing some of her own research on HIV / AIDS, and has brought on four GS students to help her.
She also discussed food insecurity, calling it “a symptom of financial distress and morally reprehensible for our students.” While she presented no immediate plan to solve the problem, she is working with Dean Hartford and Dean Rodgers to gather more data.
She addressed the feedback she’s heard from students before, which mostly concerns undergraduate research, building community across the four colleges, and global experiences. She’s working on trying to help GS students get involved in research early on, partnering more with the other undergraduate schools, and is very excited about the new dual-degree program with Trinity College in Dublin that starts next year. She currently co-chairs a committee on instruction with CC and is going to the next Barnard faculty meeting to introduce herself, decisions that she hopes will help build communication between the administrations of the different colleges.
Some questions from the audience: first, what is her plan for diversity recruitment and retention? Once more, Rosen-Metsch didn’t have a concrete answer, instead offering that, “it’s not just a matter of numbers: we have to produce a culture and climate that is going to be supportive of people to be able to soar and flourish.”
Second: why is there no GS specific apparel in the bookstore? To this, Rosen-Metsch countered by pointing out that there is no Columbia College specific apparel. However, around twenty minutes after she left the meeting, a member of the executive-board got an email from her saying she’d just visited the bookstore and spoke to the manager, who told her they could order apparel if there was enough desire from students. That was really sweet.
Third: Does GS have legacy admissions with CC – that is, if you went to GS, will your kid get legacy at CC? Rosen-Metsch said no, but a student said yes. Let us know if you have a more definite answer.
Finally: when will we actually see increases in financial aid, which Rosen-Metsch has highlighted as one of her major goals? She says she doesn’t have an answer, but that we will have increases “as soon as we can”. Looking forward to it. GS’s stated commitment to its radically diverse student body currently stands at odds with its inability to consistently fund students from those diverse backgrounds, and it remains to be seen if Dean Rosen-Metsch’s tenure will see any significant change in that.
Finance voted on two budget increases. $6.51 was taken out of the Student Events budget for the Lunar New Year celebration, and $5.43 was taken out of the Senior Budget for the first senior lunch.
In Campus Life, there was a movement to allocate $700 from the cosponsorship budget to fund ten more subsidized tickets to the GS Gala for students with financial need. Roughly fifty students have requested subsidized tickets. The motion passed, so ten more lucky GS-ers can get free tickets to Gala.
And that’s it! Tune in next week for even more GSSC coverage – hopefully there will be food again.
Image via Wikimedia Commons.