Bureau Chief Nadra Rahman is blown along by easy breezes in the Satow Room, as harsh winds, in the form of heated words, have yet to hit CCSC.
Last night’s meeting of CCSC was uncharacteristically peaceful, with many a unanimous vote. The most pressing matter on the agenda was passing proposed, uncontroversial amendments for CCSC bylaws. Side attractions included nominations for various councils and approvals of co-sponsorships.
The changes to CCSC bylaws were just as dry as the original material. VP Finance Adam Resheff proposed adding language that would clarify the proportion of affirmative votes needed in specific situations, which is something that has occasionally flummoxed members. Notably, he wished to amend the section governing closed meetings so that a ⅔ majority would be needed to close a meeting to the press, instead of a simple majority—speaking to the need for accountability to the student body in his statement.
Most contentious (relatively speaking), however, was Resheff’s request to formalize the Question and Answer periods that take place when outside presenters come to CCSC. Resheff proposed that during these Q&As, members of CCSC be able to ask the presenter(s) up to three consecutive questions with no direct responses from other members. Disability Services Rep Aaron Liberman questioned whether such a rule would stifle conversation among council members, but Resheff replied that the Q&A period should be envisioned strictly as an information-gathering session, with discussion to follow afterwards.
Following this, voting took place. While 2021 Rep Ramsay Eyre attempted to amend the motion so that each proposed change would be voted on individually, there was a palpable lack of enthusiasm for such conscientiousness. In the end, all changes were approved in one fell swoop, unanimously. President Jordan Singer declared, “I don’t know in my time here if I’ve seen a unanimous vote on something procedural, but that’s great.”
CCSC Is Not An Island
Next up was appointing interested members of CCSC to other councils—namely, the Travel Fund, Interschool Governing Board (IGB), and Uris Hall Vision Committee. The presence of CCSC representatives on each of these councils will ensure that the (financial) interests of CC students will be looked after with regards to: providing travel funds to student groups in need; interacting with student groups that fall under the jurisdiction of IGB; and thinking through the composition of academic and research space in a revitalized Uris Hall, respectively.
Resheff and USenator Toqa Badran nominated themselves to serve on the Travel Fund, and as they were the only two, received those appointments. And after the position on IGB generated little excitement, Singer stepped up to take on the role as CCSC rep. The only contested appointment was that for the Uris Hall Vision Committee, as many members were interested in helping shape the future of this space; the number sharply decreased after it was revealed that meetings would take place on Mondays from 2 to 4 pm. Ultimately, 2021 Rep Aja Johnson won the position by one vote after a run-off with USenator Danielle Resheff.
With little discussion, CCSC went on to approve co-sponsorships for two upcoming events: The Chinese Student Council’s Night Market (taking place on Friday, October 12 from 6 to 10 pm on Low Plaza), and Columbia Science Review’s Sprint for Science Run (taking place Sunday, September 30, from 8 to 10 am in Riverside Park).
- Student Services: After meeting with administrators, Rep Henry Feldman reported on new fire alarm procedures in EC that will ensure the alarm only goes off after verification of its validity by Public Safety guards put on watch. As a result, it was “now more important than ever” to respond to alarms. Further, he said that the third party in charge of fixing the persistent mold problem has received good feedback, adding that some residents had been provided dehumidifiers by Housing.
- Disability Services: Liberman announced the upcoming launch of a support group for students with chronic illnesses, which in addition to providing community and information on accessing resources, will plan events on raising awareness of chronic illness on campus. Recruitment for leadership will begin soon.
- Finance: Student groups will soon receive surveys that will allow Council to gauge their inclusivity and openness, in line with last year’s big push for open student groups. First years will also receive surveys on their experience so far with joining clubs.
- Communications: VP Isabella Lajara compiled a list of resources for students and student groups to communicate with CCSC, including a: Student Nomination Form, Student Events Highlight Form, Individual Student Input Form, and Student Group Meeting Form.
- USenate: Badran mentioned there are vague plans to produce a “smaller-scale Bacchanal” for the fall semester, forgetting for a moment that the meeting was not closed. USenator Alfredo Dominguez also let the body know that at the next Senate plenary, representatives will introduce language to new regulations on TA-student interactions that would allow undergrad TAs to have relationships with students they do not teach.