Bwogger Nadra Rahman sits in on an unexpectedly short CCSC meeting, bringing you all the printing quota and letter-writing info you desperately seek.
CCSC operated efficiently last night, beginning the night with a brief printing quota Q&A with CUIT representatives. This was followed by a sort of re-enactment of last week’s meeting—at which UndoCU and the Native American Council (NAC) had both appeared to ask for event funding and support. This week, both groups appeared again to further their engagement with CCSC, with better results.
I Got $85 In My Pocket
Three adults (and CUIT leaders) spent a chunk of their Sunday evening in the Satow Room: Gaspare LoDuca, Chief Information Officer and VP for IT; José Santiago, AVP of Client Services; and Scott Miller, Associate Director of Strategic Communications.
A Q&A with the trio was prefaced by International Students Rep Nikola Danev’s recap of the history behind the printing quota changes. Danev stated that the printing system was switched over to a semesterly (from week-by-week) configuration due to a student council initiative last year (true) and that the lower quota came along with that switch. All the changes are to be seen as part of a pilot program, and data will be analyzed at the end of the semester to help shape future printing policy. According to Danev, Columbia still has the highest printing quota of all the Ivies, even with the reductions.
After this introduction, the representatives provided more clarity. LoDuca pointed out that the lower quota was also instituted in part because the department didn’t know how people would react to the semesterly system. Now, the pilot program is helping them see the flow in the use of printing dollars over the course of the semester, through finals and midterms, under the new regime. As he said, “We want to see all the peaks and valleys.” The reps also said that only six students have so far exceeded the printing quota and that means fewer students have spent actual money on printing compared to last year when the week-by-week system was in place.
There were a few comments from CCSC. 2021 Rep Ramsay Eyre suggested that the PawPrint printing screen show the number of pages left in the quota rather than the dollar amount, along with a note about calling CUIT for more pages if you run out, reasoning that both might assuage anxieties about running out of printing dollars; the reps said they could certainly discuss that with the vendor they use. Disability Services Rep Aaron Liberman wanted to stress that the quota may have led some people to be extra cautious and print less than usual, which is something to consider when analyzing the data at the end of the semester. Finally, 2021 Rep Sarah Radway asked if CUIT had considered connecting with the larger student body to cull insights surrounding their programs, to which LoDuca bluntly responded: “People do not come.” Referring to a similar partnership with student group ADI, he said, “Honestly, I could not attract people.” But not to worry—before they departed the reps provided Radway with a business card, should she wish to follow up with her own ideas for engagement.
All this being said, CCSC remained relatively unexcited, despite CUIT’s use of evocative phrases like “nice, even printing,” “7 million pages a year,” and “real volume.” The act of printing is tactile and sensuous, but CCSC was neither, and let CUIT go with no further interrogation. We’ll find out about quota changes next semester, I guess!
UndoCU Returns, and an Unexpected Interlude
A rep from UndoCU (Jesús Guerra, also coincidentally my counterpart from Spec) updated the body on cost estimates for UndoCU’s info session later this month. The info session, intended for undocumented high school students navigating the college application process, is now being held in partnership with CCSC’s Campus Life team, after a circuitous discussion last week made it clear that would be the best route. It’s expected to cost $900, though $250 will consist of speakers’ fees which Campus Life is not allowed to cover. Instead, UndoCU will likely cover these costs using funds they raised during Night Market.
CCSC voted to approve Campus Life’s co-sponsorship of the event without any discussion at all, really, making for a happy ending.
Next on the agenda was NAC, which was to present its petition for Columbia to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day. The only problem with this was that the club wasn’t present, so CCSC President Jordan Singer announced a 5-minute recess while she contacted the leaders. After some merry milling, Lael Tate (CC ‘20), NAC Co-Political Chair, and Kendall Harvey (CC ‘19), NAC Co-President, arrived, putting an end to a half-hearted conversation on event programming. Tate and Harvey launched into their ask, which would be that CCSC shares their petition with the student body and in addition, draft a letter of support for the effort when NAC submits the petition to the Board of Trustees. Tate noted that Columbia currently does not recognize Columbus Day or Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
There was little discussion of whether the members supported NAC’s effort. Instead, the discussion shifted to selecting members who would draft a letter of support to be voted on at an upcoming meeting. At that meeting, members would also vote on whether CCSC should disseminate the petition link. According to Tate, the letter should be a simple acknowledgment by CCSC of the dispossession undergone by the people of this land and of the native community on this campus.
In response to a question from Danev, Tate clarified that recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ Day might not mean getting a day off until years from now—for now, recognition might consist of the administration sending an email in acknowledgment of the holiday to the student body, featuring it on their websites, and possibly setting aside funds for event programming on the day. She suggested that the administration might be reluctant to acknowledge the holiday because the school’s current stance is one of neutrality, which would be upset if it picks a side.