CCSC Bureau Chief Adam Kluge returns after a courageous battle with the flu, intent on covering the intense and ongoing happenings from the room where it happens.

Well, it finally happened. After weeks of inhaling Vitamin C pills like it was my fucking job, and washing my hands until I looked more like the amphibian creature in The Shape of Water than a human being, I caught the flu. To my neighbors who spent the last week listening to my hacking: I hope you have already invested in a good pair of noise-canceling headphones. And, to the girl who I coughed on walking down the stairs of Havemeyer last Wednesday: I have no money to give you as recompense, but I make a mean bowl of mac & cheese if you ever find yourself near Harmony Hall.

Anyway, I am feeling better, and that is why I dragged my ass to the Lerner Satow Room for this week’s Columbia College Student Council meeting.

So, without further ado… the updates:

As always, tonight’s CCSC meeting began with the usual introductions and general updates from the various officers and representatives. Noticeably absent were CCSC Executive Board members Henry Feldman, Jesus Guerra-Ocampo, and Sarah Radway, and I would be lying if I did not acknowledge the colossal weight that came with the lack of their presence. In the world of general information, Alumni Affairs representative Yasna Vismale spoke about recent conversations with ACA (Asian Columbia Alumni), Black Alumni, and Columbia Pride in order to improve alumni relations with those of diverse communities and backgrounds. Gender & Sexuality representative Kwolanne Felix followed up with Students of Color Coordinator Jacquis Watters about the ongoing push for a task force on student diversity and the potential reshaping of Columbia’s Title IX policy. Additionally, Felix spoke about continuing work on a Period Project with HeforShe, which will be focused on acquiring menstrual products for those in the greater Columbia and New York City area who are suffering from housing insecurity and other menstrual hygiene-related hardships. Keep an eye out for a fundraiser pertaining to this ongoing work (there will be comfort food)! International Students representative Joon Baek gave updates on his ongoing efforts to solidify a dining task force, which will work on providing food to students who remain on campus over academic breaks. Additionally, Disability Services representative Robert Vogel (through email) updated CCSC on his current attempts to coordinate a meeting with Columbia Housing, which will focus on general accommodations and accessibility across Columbia residence halls.

In the world of individual class councils, representatives from the Class of 2021 are finalizing plans for upcoming programming on April 20th, in partnership with ESC and SGA. There is also potential planning for additional events within the Junior Class, so stay updated for more information on that programming if you are a member of the Class of 2021. Sophomore Class President Andy Baran announced that over 250 Valentine’s Grams were sent out over the course of the last week, and additional events will be announced in the coming weeks as well. The Class of 2023 had a successful Galentine’s Day event last week, which included a copious amount of Shake Shack as well as a movie screening. Additionally, Literature Humanities books have arrived as part of the Class of 2023’s ongoing subsidized text project. The Class of 2023 is also in the process of finalizing planning for their upcoming Open Mic event at the end of this month—more to come on this programming!

In the world of the Executive Board (our bold and beautiful leaders), CCSC President Patricia Granda-Malaver (CC ’20) announced further work on the ongoing proposal to expand the subsidized MetroCard program throughout Columbia as a more institutionalized effort. Additionally, CCSC recently met with the Women of Color Pre-Law Society in order for CCSC representatives Colby King and Heven Haile to solidify their upcoming presentation on diversity with said group. Additionally, CCSC recently spoke to student government representatives from Barnard related to the recent controversial news pertaining to the ways in which students in quarantine at Barnard, due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, have been treated by administration (and other students). There will also be upcoming updates related to the Multicultural Night event with alumni. Granda-Malaver also spoke about the recently instituted Task Force on Inclusion & Belonging, a campus-wide initiative that focuses on the well-being and inclusivity of Columbia students. Academic Integrity Awareness Week will also begin soon, so keep your eye on social media pertaining to events related to that. This is the first time this event will be occurring.

This Thursday, 2/20, will be Glass House Rocks, an event celebrating diversity and sustainability that will feature food, performances, and a general convivial atmosphere in the Lerner Party Space. Make sure you take the time to check out what is sure to be a wonderful event for the entire Columbia community!

VP of Communications Blessing Utomi (CC ’22) updated the room on logistical items (office hours, programming schedules, attendance) before turning his attention to the new Student Spotlight initiative, which will be a weekly focus on a student leader on campus who is working to make an impact within the communities they occupy at Columbia. CCSC representatives will work to find leaders to showcase starting this week, and these individuals will be highlighted on CCSC social media and in the CCSC newsletter. This provides a new way for CCSC to lift up other students on campus who may not occupy traditional leadership roles.

Beyond the general updates from representatives, there will likely be no CCSC co-sponsorships for student organizations this semester. Additionally, University Senator Heven Haile and Race & Ethnicity representative Colby King are working on a research project pertaining to public safety in and surrounding Columbia as a broad response to backlash faced following the murder of Barnard student Tessa Majors (BC ’23) in December. Haile announced that this report will be finalized this week and submitted to the University Senate, with a later resolution planned for the entire Senate. University Senator Ramsay Eyre also gave updates on the upcoming Campus Hunger Awareness Week, an annual event sponsored by the Columbia Food Pantry, which serves to highlight food insecurities within the general campus community. There will also be additional programming on campus for Mardi Gras, so keep an eye on this in the coming weeks.

CCSC representatives then voted in response to their role in nominating undergraduate students to the university-wide boards of the Committee on Art Properties and the Presidential Advisory Committee on Sexual Assault (PACSA). These representatives must not be University senators. There was additional discussion on these votes during the last several minutes of this week’s meeting.

Alright, that’s all from me. As always, for the sake of journalistic integrity, feel free to reach out with any comments or questions pertaining to my coverage and, in the meantime, make sure to attend Glass House Rocks this Thursday, 2/20, in the Lerner Party Space!

Quote of the Day: “What’s that word again? Oh yeah… impeachment.” – Blessing Utomi

Image via Bwog archives