Mondays are for music, motions, and mastery of the CCSC reserve fund. Nadra Rahman reports from the depths of the Satow Room, her view obstructed by tall club representatives.
Last night, CCSC had a packed agenda, fielding requests for money or support from UndoCU, the Native American Council, Every Vote Counts, and even our merry friends from the Manhattan School of Music. Though time allotments were artfully planned and notated, a circular conversation about UndoCU’s co-sponsorship request took up most of the meeting time.
UndoCU & Austerity (Overture)
Representatives from UndoCU arrived with a snazzy Powerpoint, highlighting their plans for two major events this semester. The first would be an info session intended to provide undocumented high school students in New York City with insights into the college admissions and financial aid landscape. The second would be a college clinic during which trained volunteers will help high school students with college applications, personal statements, and financial aid applications.
Because UndoCU is not yet a recognized student club, and as such receives no funding from club governing boards, it is dependent on co-sponsorships and grants for funding—as a result, the club asked for a large financial co-sponsorship from CCSC, presenting tiers that ranged from $900 to $3,910.
Members in large part agreed that the events would be beneficial for both CC students and the wider community. As VP Policy Elise Fuller noted, it would be a small step towards contributing to a community “that we’ve basically taken over and gentrified.” However, VP Finance Adam Resheff found the request financially inadvisable. He explained that while the events would be worthwhile, CCSC does not have a fund specifically for co-sponsorships, so the costs would have to come out of the body’s reserve fund. After Bacchanal, the subsidized farmshare, and other programs, the reserve fund is likely to end up at $5,000: would we want to spend most of that on one club?
Instead, Resheff recommended that the club work with CCSC’s Campus Life committee, which has its own budget, for the info session (the college clinic is slated to take place off-campus).
This was perhaps VP Campus Life Sim Mander’s time to shine. Mander agreed that the proposed info session would be compatible with the mission of Campus Life and said he would be happy to meet with the club to help plan a joint event that would be accessible to all CC students. Such a joint event would not require a vote from the body. Resheff further suggested that any discussion of a financial co-sponsorship from CCSC be tabled until UndoCU meets with JCCC to procure additional funding, since many items in the events’ budgets are covered by that funding body; however, since much of the college clinic’s cost is transportation, JCCC would not be able to meet all need for that event.
Since this discussion had only been allotted 20 minutes, members had to continually motion to extend discussion by 5, 3, and 1 minute increments. This eventually reached the point of absurdity.
In the meantime, CCSC voted to help publicize and staff the events, though one UndoCU representative suggested it might be futile when the financial viability of the events is at stake. After this vote passed, another UndoCU representative motioned for a CCSC co-sponsorship that would cover the costs of the college clinic, with the understanding that Campus Life would cover costs for the info session. No one seconded the motion.
Next up was the Native American Council (NAC), whose request was much less hotly debated. NAC is hosting the Ivy Native Council Fall Summit this year, an event that will draw native and indigenous students from across universities in the Northeast, and that will turn an eye to the Native American arts scene in New York City. Their main request from CCSC was that the body publicize the opportunity for Columbia students to host those visiting for the summit. This was swiftly approved by a vote.
A trio of representatives from the Manhattan School of Music (with intriguing majors like “double bass”) arrived to ask if CCSC would be open to planning interschool events. A survey of MSM students had revealed that 81% desired a collaboration with another school—so their student government looked south.
Due to time constraints, the discussion surrounding this was brief and vague. Members were receptive to the reps’ ideas, which included open mic nights and community service-oriented events. Disability Services Rep Aaron Liberman suggested hosting concerts on Ancel Plaza (right outside EC) that would showcase bands from both schools, and also recommended that the MSM student government reach out to individual clubs that might want to collaborate on events. Mander attained relevance again, saying he would be happy to meet with the reps in the future to plan Campus Life/MSM events.
After a peaceful lull, the meeting was adjourned.