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GSSC’s Out For The Summer

summer! so close but so far

Spunky young GSSC Bureau Chief Zoe Sottile brings you the latest and greatest from General Studies Student Council. As always, GSSC meets at 8:15 pm on Tuesday nights in the Satow Room.

This was the last GSSC General Body of the year! Lots of updates, lots of co-sponsorship requests, so little time. And, as usual, there was food.

Dean Rosen-Metsch

New GS Dean Lisa Rosen-Metsch made it a goal to attend GSSC once a month; last night’s meeting marked her fourth such visit. She gave shout-outs to GSSC’s success with the gala and encouraged students to take the Student Well-Being Survey.

Dean Rosen-Metsch spoke mostly about her efforts to improve GS’s financial aid and food security last night. She described financial aid as her “highest budget priority” and mentioned the setting aside of a budget next year specifically dedicated to alleviating student food insecurity. When a student asked what her highest priority was for improving student aid, she named GS’s endowment. She stated a desire to “ensure the financial viability of GS going forward” as well as ultimately “meet the full financial need of students”. GS is unique among the undergraduate colleges in that it doesn’t need to hire its own professors. Thus, essentially all of the profits of the endowment go towards increasing financial aid.

Dean Rosen-Metsch also mentioned her dedication to social justice issues, specifically naming the college’s partnership with the Center for Justice. The center is looking to create more educational opportunities for people who were formerly incarcerated; several GS deans are teaching or working at the center on that project and others.

VP Policy

VP Policy – and President Elect – Raisa Flor met recently with the upcoming E-Board to discuss the transition from one GSSC to the next. Since several positions were uncontested in the recent GSSC elections, those positions will be filled by appointment instead. If you’re interested in being on GSSC, look for those applications!

VP Communications

VP Communications Nicole Rogers really wants you to check out the dope new GSSC website at gssc.gs.columbia.edu. Additionally, email Comms if you’re interested in helping update WikiCU; those outdated pages aren’t gonna revise themselves. Finally, new GS shirts will be in the bookstore on Class Day. Wooo school spirit!

VP Finance

Last night several student groups brought requests for co-sponsorship. First, the Vice Chair of Development for the Food Bank requested $2,000 in co-sponsorship from GSSC to cater an end-of-year celebration in Wien tentatively scheduled for May 3. Since the expected turnout is only 50-75 students, however, the motion was amended to allot $1,000 for the catering of the event and $1,000 to fund dispersements from the Food Bank over the summer and next semester. GSSC’s co-sponsorship of the event, which passed unanimously, presents a nice full-circle moment for the Food Bank, which was created by GSSC.

Next, the GS Alliance requested $250 for a get-together for possible E-board candidates on Thursday. GS Alliance is GS’s LGBTQA organization; it’s run out of the Student Life Office and funded by SGB, but gets very little funding. Because many GS students only spend two years at Columbia, there’s a high turnaround for leadership in student organizations. GS Alliance is trying to introduce a trend of greater leadership, and they hope that catering for this event will help accomplish that. The motion passed unanimously.

Finally, Native American Council brought a request for $810 for the Native Graduation ceremony. The funding would go towards stoles that are provided for each graduating student, food, flowers, and other supplies. The total cost of the event is $2,265; the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Manhattan House have provided the other funding. Only 6% of Native American Council is a part of GS, causing some council members to question why GSSC should contribute so much. However, VP Comms pointed out that earlier this year, GSSC set aside $1,200 for a different co-sponsorship with Native American Council. Due to timing issues, the funding was never used – this request is intended to compensate in some ways for the earlier one. The motion passed.

VP Student Life 

Gala was a success! The most tickets ever were sold, and the total event was $3,700 under its budget. 143 guests indicated that they were low-income. VP Student Life spoke to his efforts to make sure that the gala feels worthwhile for those students especially, and gives a black-tie experience to students who may not have otherwise experienced it. This year, every student who asked for a subsidized ticket received one. Yay, gala!

Other Updates

  • The final series of Snack Attacks starts on April 30th and ends May 8th. Go get some snacks.
  • GSSC has a TON of money left: $35,000, to be specific. What the hell.
  • This Thursday, there’s going to be an end-of-year celebration for first-years at Mel’s.

That’s all! Tune in for more GSSC next year, because time has slipped through our fingers and we are all slowly dying!

Image via Public Domain Pictures.

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