CCSC Bureau Chief Adam Kluge ushers in the start of Spooky Season with his usual commentary on all things Columbia College, as well as a brief musing on Halloween cinema.
There is something oddly appropriate about attending a student council meeting during the month of October. Perhaps it is the appearance of more sweatpants in the room, as students prepare for the annual fuckery of midterm examinations, charged only by coffee and their own unwavering perseverance. Maybe it’s the way they’re always seems to be a slight draft in the Satow Room, as though autumn is trying to cast its own vote at the meeting. There is a good chance it is just my Pumpkin Cold Brew from Starbucks, still settling in my stomach (yes, I am that bitch, thank you very much).
With all of that said, however, I have to believe that the real reason it just feels right to be at this meeting, on tonight of all nights, is because Halloween is officially less than a month away. And nothing, and I mean nothing, is spookier than the tyranny of organized government.
(Kidding. BWAHAHA. In case it is not obvious by this article, I am also completely powered by lattes and self-hatred this week.)
CCSC began tonight’s meeting as they usually do, with the usual roll call, as well as with the valiant return of VP of Policy Henry Feldman (CC ’21). The first agenda item of the evening was further information about the recently rolled-out MetroCard program, which provides MetroCards to low-income students, in order to allow them an affordable and accessible means by which to access all that New York City has to offer. In the world of major CCSC updates, University Senator Ramsay Eyre spoke about recent meetings related to sustainability on campus, as well as the potential for a sustainability fund at Columbia. Alumni Affairs Representative Yasna Vismale spoke about Alumni Weekend, which occurred this past weekend, highlighting the potential for certain alumni and trustee-funded initiatives, as well as the broadening of the relationship between Columbia alumni and current students. Financial Security and First Generation representative Jaine Archambeau spoke about the continuing efforts to expand Columbia Dining services to students who remain on campus over academic breaks. Additionally, University Senator Heven Haile spoke about the upcoming Incarcerated Women Book Drive. International Student Services Representative Joon Baek spoke about dining options to international students over breaks, and meetings regarding the expansion for this schedule are in the works for the coming weeks.
Individual class council updates included the passing of the Trick-or-Treat event to University Life, in order to accommodate the entirety of the Columbia student body. Big news for my fellow candy addicts out there. CCSC Sophomore Class representatives spoke about their continuing work on midterm study breaks, and CCSC Freshman Class representatives spoke about the solidification of their platform, and their continuing work in meeting-and-greeting their constituents at Columbia.
VP of Policy Henry Feldman introduced his current work on the textbook affordability proposal, first introduced during the 2018-2019 academic year. CCSC President Patricia Granda-Malaver (CC ’20) spoke about the continuing use of LionShare and LionLink by student groups on campus. VP of Finance Sarah Radway (CC ’21) reiterated information about the MetroCard program while providing clarification on the ways in which student groups can be recognized online. Radway also spoke about a potential website for the textbook affordability project. VP of Campus Life Jesús Guerra Ocampo (CC ’21) shared more information on the Homecoming pep-rally, occurring during the day on October 18th, which will be a series of giveaways, musical performances, and events related to Homecoming weekend.
Further information on Co-Sponsorships was shared by the CCSC Executive Board, with officers announcing that recommendations for financial support for CCSC have been made. That said, there will be a second round of Co-Sponsorships for student groups in the future.
Gender and Sexuality Representative Kwolanne Felix introduced a variety of upcoming workshops and initiatives related to bias and respect on campus, in relation to the Sexual Respect Awareness Month events currently being held on campus.
In other news, there was debate regarding the availability of CCSC representatives and the ways in which the Council might be more accessible to the larger Columbia student body. The ideas of office hours, a Google Calendar, etc. were suggested, though the need for an official vote on the matter was disputed by the larger majority of CCSC. Additionally, representatives from the Housing Equity Project spoke to CCSC, regarding clothing and resource drives in the coming weeks, as well as the possibility of further events to highlight Columbia’s relationship with gentrification in Harlem. There was also discourse regarding potential educational campaigns, in conjunction with the Housing Equity Project, in order to inform the larger Columbia community on funding and resources related to the greater Harlem and Morningside Heights area.
As a final topic of discussion, CCSC Gender and Sexuality Representative Kwolanne Felix spoke about the generational component attached to inclusion and diversity issues that continue to exist at Columbia, such as limited resources for transgender students, and the prospect of more collaborative environments to speak about these issues. Generally speaking, there was a call for the increased presence of student organizations in this decision-making process.
As always, plenty more was spoken about in the meeting, but I have the first Halloweentown movie queued on my laptop (comment your favorite Halloween movie below… this is highly important), and my goal is to finish that before jumping back into the world of midterm studying. Spooky, I know. Until next time…
Butler Library via Wikimedia