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ESC Talks To The Food Pantry

ESC Bureau Chief Lori Luo brings to you the latest news from the Engineering Student Council. This week, ESC met with a representative from the Food Pantry at Columbia and discussed events coming up.

The Food Pantry
The first order of business was a presentation from a representative from the Food Pantry at Columbia. Matthew Linsky, the Food Pantry’s Vice Chair of Events Coordination, spoke about the Food Pantry in general and promoted their annual Silent Auction event happening this Wednesday. The Food Pantry at Columbia is a student run organization that provides food for Columbia students who need it most, from nonperishable food to fresh produce through vouchers. The money for the food comes from the Food Pantry itself, and one of its main fundraising events, the Silent Auction, is coming up this week.

The Silent Auction is open to anyone with access to Lerner and Matthew introduced the event and talked about some of the items that were up for auction, including Rangers Tickets, Lunch for 4 at the Columbia Club, a juicer, lamps from IKEA, and other goodies. The event will take place this Wednesday, September 25, at 6 PM in the Broadway Room in Lerner Hall. There will be food from Tropical Sensation as well as a surprise speaker. Although in the past they’ve mostly broken even from the event, Matthew said that he hopes it will change this year. Also, if anyone would like to donate items to the Silent Auction, the Food Pantry is still accepting donations.

ESC also had many questions for Matthew about both the Silent Auction and about the Food Pantry in general. When questioned about his motivations for coming to talk to ESC, Matthew talked about the need to raise awareness about the Food Pantry, specifically bringing up an example of an unnamed graduate school that only had 4 total distributions for the entire school before the Food Pantry connected with them last spring. Since then, distributions have increased tenfold. He reminded ESC that undergraduates are only a small portion of Columbia’s community and that Notably, the Food Pantry also wants to communicate that they are expanding to the Medical Center and are opening a new pantry there.

ESC also discussed advertising with Matthew, specifically about what they do and why. In the discussion, Matthew talked about how the Food Pantry mainly relies on word of mouth because they are reluctant to spend money on anything that isn’t food. Hence, while they would like to rent spaces open to the public such as faculty housing, due to cost, they are unable to do so. Vice President of Communications Adheli Gonzalez also questioned him on the Food Pantry’s choice to print information about the Silent Auction on cardstock given the Food Pantry’s limited budget, which Matthew explained was only for the student councils since the Food Pantry was meeting them in person and was meant as a sign of respect.

Vice President of Student Life Bret Silverstein met with other Vice Presidents of Student Life and announced that Homecoming will take place October 18th this year. It will feature a grab and go event taking place at the Sundial from 12 PM to 2 PM with music and ice cream and/or sandwiches. There will also be rally towels handed out. Bret also met with Mike Miller, Athletics’ Associate Athletic Director for Marketing Strategy, about Basketball Mania, which will take place on October 24th. The main purpose of the event will be to get students interested in Columbia Athletics, and there will be performances from student groups, food and swag.

Just Desserts, an event for the sophomore and junior classes, will be taking place this Wednesday, September 25, at 6 PM. Class of 2021 Class Council encourages people to attend as there will be alumni in attendance.

Miscellaneous Updates

  • Vice President of Policy Estevan Mesa met with Scott Wright, Vice President of Campus Services, along with the CCSC and GSSC Vice Presidents of Policy to discuss last year’s proposal for textbook affordability that proposed making the cost part of tuition. Since the proposal could cause students who preferred to not buy or buy the textbooks from another student for cheaper to pay more tuition, this proposal was set aside.
  • Estevan further discussed a CCSC initiative from last summer that had housing set aside 10 rooms for students working in NYC over the summer to stay for free. CCSC is trying to expand it to 50 students this year, and Estevan proposed collaborating with CCSC to make the initiative accessible to SEAS students this year and in the future.
  • Academic Affairs Representative James Wang will be sending out two surveys, one for the freshman class and one for all the other classes, to gauge how students feel about courses and scheduling. Keep an eye out!

Sotheby’s auctioning off items for the Food Pantry via Flickr

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