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GSSC Starts Things Off Without Food Or Great Attendance

Maybe the real gavel was the student democracy we found along the way.

School’s back, and so is GSSC! Sweet baby Bwogger Michael Colton swung by the Satow Room last night at 8:15 pm for this year’s first meeting of General Studies Student Council.

The General Studies Student Council convened last night, September 11, for their first meeting of the academic year. Appointments for general council roles have yet to be made, so last night’s proceedings saw only the 5/9 executive board members of the council — this figure later became 7/9 thanks to the late (and UNEXCUSED) arrivals of Chief of Policy Olivia Hartzell and Chief of Communications Max Waldroop — engaging in votes and discussions. President Raisa Flor assured me that attendance would improve at next week’s meeting of the full council, but the two men seated behind me arguing about urinal etiquette and somehow chewing black beans and rice loudly provided me all the company that I needed throughout the meeting.

Weekly Update and Recruitment

VP of Communications Sitara Herur-Halbert was the first of our lovely board members to give remarks. She noted that the GSSC recently increased its contribution towards the cause of university-wide student organizations in an effort to afford General Studiers more opportunities to engage with extracurricular groups and events. The annual Mel’s Orientation event — attended by GS first years and OLs (talk about partying with your icons!) — was said to have “gone well,” so congratulations to all that were there. On the matter of recruitment, VP Herur-Halbert noted the group’s need for graphic and web designers in order to aid with the GSSC website and other digital outreach initiatives; if you or a friend has experience or interest in such a position, contact General Studies Student Council on Facebook or visit their webpage at for more information!

VP of Campus Life Cordially Invites Us All to Party, Party, Party!!!

VP Sondra Woodruff unleashed a fury of party announcements and cost-covering motions during her time on the floor. Most notably, the annual GS rooftop party will be occuring this Thursday night from 7 pm to 12 am at Hudson Terrace; tickets are expected to sell out, so act quickly! The party, an 18+ event, sounds a world of fun, as it is complete with a DJ (yes, the one from your Bar Mitzvah), free food and drink for the first two hours, and a wide range of food options, including Kosher meals catered by a man named Eric — I’m new here so I don’t know who he is, but thanks E-Bone! (Editor’s note: shout out to Eric Lunzer) In a move of great buzzkilling, attendees will be asked to present both a valid CUID and ID at the door, with students of legal age being given alcohol wristbands. Woodruff also brought a motion to grant $12,000 from the Student Life budget in order to subsidize the cost of tickets for students, whose attendance is expected to reach around 600. She additionally asked for $3500 from the same budget to cover the cost of last week event at Mel’s. In an unprecedented THIRD motion, Woodruff requested $97 to pay off the cost of “delicious” GSSC-branded cupcakes from last week’s activities fair. All three motions passed without objection.

Chief (of) Policy

Serving in the VP of Policy’s stead, Chief of Policy Olivia Hartzell spoke briefly on an initiative taken by the GSSC to increase mental health outreach and support for students. A central point of the effort, dubbed Room 13, is to attempt to mimic the services of execution of peer organizations at other Ivy League institutions. Hartzell noted that communications with administration on the subject are going swimmingly, and the initiative is looking at a Spring 2019 pilot before a Fall 2019 full launch, though the modes of recruitment and incorporation into GS student life are still being determined.

Other Things of Note

The Board also passed a number of resolutions to amend the group’s bylaws and change the names of the following:

  • Community Service Rep is now Community Service and Sustainability Rep.
  • Social Chair is now External Events chair in an obvious attempt at professionalism.
  • President Flor forgot her gavel. Rookie mistake.
  • Senior President Steven Bellow announced three “Lerner Lounge” events for the Senior Class of GS, to take place on 10/4, 11/1 and 12/6.
  • President Bellow also noted that communications failures on the part of the University have blocked mass email to the class, and pleaded to all GS seniors to like or invite their friends to like the Senior Class Facebook Page.
  • University Senator Jonathan Criswell laid out plans to gauge and increase student exposure to Psych Services at Columbia, but noted that no final plans will be announced until later on in the semester.
  • He also asks that you like him on Facebook, find him in the Student Lounge for two hours each week, or stop in on the street with any questions. What a nice guy!

This first meeting proved brief and not horribly eventful, but I sure had a good time! Tune in next week to find out just what GSSC is up to, and whether or not President Flor will secure a damned gavel.

Image via Flickr

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