This week, ESC discussed planning a SEAS Gala and the withdrawal of funding from CUMB. It also welcomed the Class of 2023! ESC Bureau Chief Lori Luo reports.
Welcome Class of 2023!
Congratulations to the representatives for Class of 2023! The Class of 2023 Class Council consists of:
Again, Bwog offers its congratulations!
Get to Know Your Reps
The meeting started with ESC welcoming the Class of 2023 reps and doing another round of introductions. As part of the intros, each representative mentioned their major. For those curious, here’s a list of how many reps are in each major:
The SEAS Gala is an initiative being spearheaded by International Students Representative Katherine Liu. It was an idea that last year’s ESC had to essentially establish a new SEAS tradition that encompassed the whole school. Katherine summarized it succinctly by calling it a prom to celebrate engineering and design with free food and giveaways. She has already discussed it with Josh Lucas, Executive Director of Student Engagement and ESC Advisor, and other members of ESC. Josh Lucas reportedly liked the idea, and so ESC will get funding in proportion to how grand the event is. Katherine has some ideas for logistics, such as booking Low or Lerner and contacting professors in charge of senior design for past student projects to use as decorations. Katherine then opened up questions and comments to the rest of ESC.
ESC had good suggestions for her. Vice President of Policy Estevan Mesa suggested Katherine book a smaller room so that the event would appear packed. Katherine responded saying that she personally liked the party space as a venue and again emphasized that they would design the space. She also mentioned that she is open to the general body contributing to design, calling the project “like AOE but on a grander scale”.
Others had questions and concerns. Class of 2020 President Sambhav Jain questioned how many students Katherine estimated would attend (her guess was around 300, assuming that 20% of SEAS shows up) and about how the financing for the event would work. Katherine responded that the main costs would be for food and for the giveaways, but that the real value in the event is the opportunity for SEAS students to set up a cool environment. She specifically mentions being inspired by a VR immersive space called ZeroSpace in New York City and that she hopes the event will look like that. Vice President of Communications Adheli Gonzalez and Estevan also had concerns over Katherine’s desire to have a website to advertise and recruit for the event. Adheli suggested the use of a Facebook page instead.
Columbia University Marching Band (CUMB)
Vice President of Policy Estevan Mesa brought up the recent news of CUMB’s loss of funding from the athletic department. Since it’s been the subject of significant discussion in Columbia, he thought it could be important for ESC to issue a response. This is especially pertinent, he believes, as over 50% of CUMB is in SEAS as it’s the only musical group on campus that doesn’t require auditions or owning an instrument. It will even provide free lessons to students. As a result, Estevan thought it was important for ESC to have an conversation on what ESC should (or should not) do.
Racial Diversity and Inclusivity Representative Sabina Thomas commented that while it is important to have a community especially in school that needs community, she is concerned that since CUMB has a history with targeting groups of color during orgo night that it could be a problem for ESC to offer support. Estevan responded by saying that ESC could tailor a response that didn’t directly agree or disagree with the decision, merely saying that the approach administration took was incorrect.
Sustainability Representative Ade Balogun said that he’s heard CUMB was disbanded since they missed the registration deadline and so that there is a disconnect between the reason given at face value and the underlying reasons why students think they were disbanded. As such, he believes it isn’t ESC’s role to comment since they were disbanded for a technical reason. Estevan responded by saying that he heard administration told CUMB they needed to sign up as a student group only a few days before the deadline as before, they had a deal with athletics to get funding directly from them. However, after administration met with athletics to inform them they couldn’t provide funding to CUMB, CUMB was only given a few days to turn the necessary material in and as such, weren’t able to register in time.
Class of 2023 President Avi Gupta mentioned that members of CUMB had expressed concerns regarding the long term viability of the group under the current model, as even if they had made the deadline, the lack of support from administration and athletics was not enough for survival. Estevan said that since CUMB was its own group, they had their own endowment that apparently would have been enough to keep them going. Student Body President Alina mentioned that CUMB had funding from athletics, CC and SEAS, and now, that funding has been stripped away and so they were aiming to register to become a club.
The fully decorated Lerner Party Space via Flickr