CCSC Bureau Chief Adam Kluge returns with his usual commentary on all things cupcakes, conviviality, and Columbia College, reporting directly from the room where it happens.
Due to personal circumstances and the abhorrently high fare for air travel out of New York City, I was unable to attend the CCSC meeting prior to the start of Fall Break. In doing so, I missed the banter of the representatives; the power that is Gender and Sexuality representative Kwolanne Felix; the commanding grace that is CCSC President Patricia Granda-Malaver (CC ’20). Needless to say, it was a riveting feeling to return to the Satow Room this work, and take in the smell of existential dread and Sunday Scaries that defines the weekly meeting of the minds that is the Columbia College Student Council.
Also, I would be remiss not to mention how attractive this council is. I mean, I know it’s beside the point, and any professional journalist would be shunned for writing this sort of bullshit, but like… what a gorgeous room of burgeoning politicians.
Okay, it feels like time to jump into things, so here we go…
As usual, today’s CCSC General Body Meeting began with role call, followed by updates from the various representatives that make up the council. University Senator Heven Haile spoke about recent meetings with the subcommittee on First Generation Low-Income student issues, analyzing student contributions and the potential for FGLI students to benefit from a book drive organized by the university libraries. Additionally, Haile gave some background on the potential restructuring of the Meal Plans at Columbia for FGLI students, as well as about recent conversations with the committees related to Diversity and the Status of Women. There are currently talks regarding the substitution of one Global Core class for a course related to further understanding of gender, racial, and socioeconomic diversity (a round of applause/boos for the very white Core Curriculum). Disability Services representative Robert Vogel is in works to reach out to Housing to tie up loose ends regarding recent changes in housing accommodations, as well as the restructuring of forms to accommodate disabled students. Additionally, Vogel spoke about proposed designs for a web form highlighting testing accommodations. Following this set of updates, Financial Security and First Generation representative Jaine Archambeau gave updates on the Athletics department’s interest in working with CCSC to further dining options for students during the winter holiday.
Gender and Sexuality representative Kwolanne Felix (who continues to exist as an absolute badass amongst the CCSC student body, if we are being totally honest) is planning to meet with the Bystander Response team about a recent act of discrimination in Furnald Hall, in order to find increased ways to address the Columbia University community’s response to acts of fetishization and privilege. International Students representative Joon Baek sat on a panel last week for student workers applying to work with visas, stating his plans to work towards lessening the $400 cost that accompanies work applications for these particular students. Alumni Affairs representative Yasna Vismale recently met with the Food Pantry about connections with Columbia University schools, specifically regarding the accessibility of food to Columbia students. Additionally, there are continued talks pertaining to an individual fund related to food needs on campus, in partnership with the Alumni Association.
There were also updates related to further meetings with Race and Ethnicity representative Colby King, as well as updates from Student Services representatives.
In the sophisticate, commanding realm of class councils, Senior Class representatives had their second Lerner Pub, which experienced a high rate of both success and attendance. Additionally, the Senior Class has pre-calendared for the Winter Gala and Lerner Pub events in the Spring. Keep an eye out for more on these happenings, especially if you are looking for way to unwind that doesn’t involve uncomfortable flirting with the bouncer at Mel’s. The Senior Class will also be co-hosting an event with the Housing Equity Project this Friday from 6-8 PM in the 2nd floor lounge of East Campus, Donate and Dig In, where those who donate various hygiene products, winter clothing etc. can indulge in the sweet embrace of Shake Shack, Insomnia Cookies, and the always welcoming presence of raffle tickets!!
Anyways… Junior Class President Riley Swain explained that the class will be patterning with EcoReps for a clothing swap on this Friday, 11/15. It’s cold as shit out there, you guys — donate the clothes you do not need! Sophomore Class President Andy Baran, ridiculously charming as usual, introduced plans for later events in the rest of the semester. Rounding out class councils, First Year Class President Elle Harris announced the start of Candy Grams by the Class of 2023, with all proceeds going towards the buying of Lit Hum books for low income students in the coming weeks.
And now, the moment I know you all wait for anxiously each week… updates from the CCSC Executive Board. CCSC President Patricia Granda-Malaver spoke about recent meetings with Undergraduate Student Life about the second round of the subsidized MetroCard program, with distribution in the coming weeks. CCSC VP of Policy Henry Feldman (CC ’21) gave further information on the coalition-building process around the ongoing textbook affordability process, as well as more work on the existence of recycling bins in all Columbia dorm rooms. Also, some important dates for first-year students and sophomores:
Additionally, the impending week is Trans Awareness Week, while November is Native American Heritage Month. In conjunction with observance by CCSC, make sure you are participating in these events and celebrating what makes Columbia a diverse, collaborative community of students! (Put that on your brochure, bitches)
VP of Finance Sarah Radway (CC ’21) recently met with CCIT, regarding the active role of students in the brainstorming process regarding the roll-out of a new app for Student Life. Needless to say, the First Year Council was quite excited! JCCC will also be this weekend, for those interested.
Additionally, keep an eye/ear/notification? out for the results of the CCSC Costume Contest. Allegedly, there will be multiple winners, with two tickets to Beetlejuice on Broadway as the grand prize! Spooky season isn’t over until we say it is, people!
There will also be new committee formed regarding the Tree Lighting Ceremony. Make sure to stay updated on that event, as well, which will be held shortly after students arrive back from Thanksgiving Break!
The Multicultural Night, in partnership with the Alumni Association, will be held again this year, in the hope that it will continue to exist as an annual event at Columbia.
VP of Communications Blessing Utomi (CC ’22) spoke about the introduction of the Lions in the City unveiling last week, which will provide discounted entry to a variety of events and locations in the greater New York City area for Columbia students. Get out there before you are too cold to do so!
CCSC also reached out in partnership with an awareness event on November 21st, related to an event celebrating Native American heritage awareness and informational pursuits. This will serve as part of the Lions Learn workshops, and further information will be coming in the ensuing weeks. Exciting!
In the world of the Brownstone Selection process, the vacant brownstone cannot be used for cultural activities, and must be utilized as a definite place of residence. That said, CCSC will likely endorse three cultural groups vying to gain residence of the brownstone, in order to aid in the selection and credibility process.
As always, there were plenty of other detailed updates and discussions, but I have a sore throat and the NyQuil is beginning to set in, so it’s likely best I leave you all here… until next week, stay warm!