CCSC Bureau Chief Adam Kluge returns for another update on the comings and goings of the Columbia College Student Council, relying on coffee and phone calls with his mother to guide him through midterms.
I’ll admit it. There was something sort of dismal about watching the CCSC meeting from a Facebook Livestream this week, as opposed to from my usual spot in the back of the Satow Room. I missed the way the room tends to hum with the passion of burgeoning collegiate politicians. I missed the welcoming smile of CCSC President Patricia Granda-Malaver (CC ’20). As always, I missed the cupcakes. That being said, this week found me bed-ridden with a heinous case of food poisoning (I’m not naming names here, but I would be especially cautious with the chicken from Ferris, just saying…), and this report demanded to be written from the comfort of my own bed.
I would also like to wish everyone who is still mentally with us the best of luck as we head into the midst of midterms while extending my deepest condolences to those who have already found themselves overwhelmed by the arrival of exams, papers, and notifications in CourseWorks.
Alright, onto the real business.
This week’s CCSC meeting began with the usual updates from the various council representatives. As a general announcement, CCSC linked with the Alumni Center for this weekend’s upcoming Homecoming activities, which include food, student group performances, and giveaways Friday (and, of course, the football game on Saturday). University Senator Danielle Resheff spoke about recent meetings with Columbia Health, as well as continuing debate about the recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ Day at Columbia University. Alumni Affairs representative Yasna Vismale spoke with individuals from the Medical Campus regarding an outside scholarship initiative, funded through the Columbia Alumni Association, to provide additional aid to low-income students. First Generation and Financial Security representative Jaine Archambeau met with Ian Beilin from Butler Library regarding a potential book drive in the second semester. Meetings were also held with FLIP this week, regarding an expansion of dining options during student breaks. This will likely mean an increase in Flex Dollars during these academic holiday periods, in order to provide low-income and international students with this resource while they remain in Manhattan. Gender and Sexuality representative Kwolanne Felix spoke about additional work with peer mentors.
In the world of individual class councils, Senior Class representatives spoke about the purchasing of Oktoberfest beer steins, sweatshirt sales, as well as the solidification of plans for the next Lerner Pub event on November 7th. Junior Class President Riley Swain spoke about plans for upcoming clothing swaps. Sophomore Class President Andy Baran spoke about the potential for future events in the city, the potential for discounted class merchandise, possible Core Curriculum textbook drives, as well as the continuing importance of ginger ale and lime chips to the vast body of ill Columbians. Freshman Class representatives spoke about plans for an Insomnia Cookies event on October 25th, candy-grams for Halloween, as well as the potential for Literature Humanities book packages for the second semester (save that money, people).
VP of Policy Henry Feldman (CC ’21) spoke about continuing work related to the MetroCard initiative. Similarly, VP of Finance Sarah Radway (CC ’21) explained that Administration might become involved in leading the initiative, allowing a better allocation of funds. VP of Campus Life Jesús Guerra Ocampo (CC ’20) explained that applications are still being accepted for tabling and performances during Homecoming Weekend. Additionally, Basketball Mania will be on October 24th, where various items (tumblers, woot) will be given away. Go sports or something. A meeting will also be held this week related to the Halloween event being planned for October 31st, as well as an upcoming event with the Columbia Election Committee related to Spring elections. VP of Communications Blessing Utomi (CC ’22) mentioned the advent of two new initiatives between CCSC and CPS, in the areas of promoting student physical and mental wellness, as well as an initiative called Lions in the City. This will allow further access to museum visits, concerts, etc. for Columbia students, advertised through CCSC social media. We love to see it.
The queen herself, CCSC President Patricia Granda-Malaver announced a further structuring of CCSC office hours, to allow Columbia students a more direct connection to their student council representatives, which will soon be publicized and added to the LionLink calendar. Additionally, Malaver explained potential efforts to turn the recently vacated brownstone on W 114th into a community for POC students within the Columbia community, as opposed to the traditional SIC structure.
Beyond general body updates, Gender and Sexuality representative Kwolanne Felix spoke about the possibility of creating a variety of task forces related to identities represented in CCSC (i.e. sexuality, first income students, international, etc.), which would allow Columbia students to sit on standing committees as student advocates for the entirety of the CC student body. Debate continued relating to how conflicts and coalition-building can be structured through CCSC, with the general consensus focused upon the importance of collaboration to celebrating student identity. Alumni Affairs representative Yasna Vismale suggested that alumni resources, as well as alumni existing within particular identities, might be a crucial piece of support in this journey towards fundraising and support of these task forces. Felix, an absolute force to be reckoned with tonight, also spoke about the crucial nature of student engagement to the furthered understanding of community-building at Columbia, in order to foster collaborative discussion on policy (as opposed to the intimidation that can be inherent in meetings with At-Large representatives).
Following this discussion, a representative and advocate for the formal recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ Day came forward, asking for a release of a statement officially supporting this resolution by CCSC. The representative explained that this resolution is already highly supported by the majority of Columbia faculty and students.
There were other items discussed, as usual, but my antibiotic has a drowsiness side-effect, and my Latin midterm is calling my name. Until next time…
Columbia via Wikimedia