Every Tuesday, Bwog presents a recap of the Engineering Student Council (ESC) meeting from the day before. ESC Bureau Chief Finn Klauber recounts this week’s meeting, where ESC discusses what’s new for the new academic year and meets with the Columbia Food Pantry.
The Engineering Student Council (ESC) met for its inaugural session last night on the fifth floor of Lerner. During the 15 minutes of introductions, each member proposed a personal goal for their 2018-2019 term. The Executive Board focused on creating a better space for students and council members—including “cultivating a culture of respect and collaboration through council” and having “all of our events for the student body occur in ADA accessible buildings and spaces on campus.” With ESC’s various internal upsets last year and the ongoing ramp construction in front of Hamilton, both of these topics seem extremely prescient.
The vast majority of the meeting, however, consisted of post-summer updates from the executive board, along with an introduction to the Columbia food pantry located on Lerner 5.
The Columbia Food Pantry
Bwog has already generally covered what Michael Higgins, cofounder and current chair of the Columbia food pantry, presented to CCSC. Last night, he gave a similar presentation to ESC. In summary, though, Higgins approached ESC last night to discuss collaboration over the academic year, whether through cosponsorships (as in the October 10th silent auction which helps fund the pantry) or promotions. Higgins did raise some interesting points, however, which were not covered in the CCSC meeting.
ESC places a lot of stress on obtaining and interpreting well-gathered data before making major decisions, and Higgins was “more than happy to say we can provide it to [ESC].” All 21 schools within the university, including at the Medical Campus, have utilized the food pantry over the last 2 years. When VP Comms Asher Goldfinger asked how these data were gathered, Higgins explained that the pantry uses a confidential process. This includes working with a data analyst from CUMC to create and shorten a confidential questionnaire form for those who utilize the pantry.
Higgins also revealed that the food pantry, which last year sought funding more than promotion, is now comfortably funded thanks to a set of grants—particularly the Philanthropy Lab grant received last May. Higgins stressed that the food bank is seeking donations of goods or services for their October 10th silent auction from the general public, as well as specific cosponsorships and promotions from student councils.