This week, ESC welcomed everyone back for the third-to-last meeting of the current board. They went over the upcoming election, transitional information, and updates from various members. ESC Bureau Chief Lori Luo reports from California and welcomes everyone back!

ESC Elections
Candidate registration for ESC elections is now open. You can declare your candidacy by filling out this form until the 17th at 8 PM EDT. First-year students are only able to run for class council positions, and there are two 3-2 positions open: Senior 3-2 Class Representative and at-large 3-2 Class Representative. The position of SEAS senator is not open this year as it is a two year commitment.

The results of the election will be finalized by September 27th. Before then, the current ESC board may have a second meeting, depending on if there is enough on the agenda to merit a meeting. Otherwise, the next meeting will be the official turnover meeting on September 28th, where the current ESC board will open the meeting, wrap up anything left on the agenda, and the new ESC board will close the meeting.

Summer Happenings
President Alina Ying and VP Policy Estevan Mesa met with VP Scott Wright to discuss building usage on campus in the fall and other initiatives. For instance, the textbook affordability initiative proposed last semester remains under the circumstances after it was made clear students did not support it. Regarding building usage, it is not possible to pre-calendar or reserve spaces in buildings, but an effort is being made to increase the amount of outdoor lounge and seating areas so students are able to gather and socialize while being socially distanced.

Ying and Mesa also met with Dean Boyce to discuss campus events and clubs. Dean Boyce was reportedly excited for the ideas that ESC presented and was willing to help promote events and encourage faculty to attend. Also, to assist with events and club meetings, all officially registered Columbia clubs can be given a free Zoom Pro account, which they should be able to get via filling out the necessary form.

Mesa had a meeting with CCE, where they reassured that all services will be offered virtually and that they are operating just as much, if not more, compared to the past. Mesa proposed additional career fairs for SEAS and that CCE should aim to increase the number of businesses and employers at career fairs given that all events are virtual and don’t require any travel. Similarly, he also suggested that career fairs be extended across multiple days to accommodate students with class conflicts and who live areas with other time zones.

Regarding finance, Ying reported that F@CU, the group that determines club and council allocations every year, has delayed allocations. Usually, the group meets before classes begin so that clubs are able to receive their allocations and plan accordingly. This year, they anticipate that allocations will be pushed to next week. This plan is tentative and depends on administration. VP Finance Sophia Sagandyk is also in contact with CSA Farmshare. ESC is interested in partnering with them, a move that could allow ESC to subsidize groceries for SEAS students in and around campus. CCSC has a similar initiative at the moment, also with CSA Farmshare.

VP Communications Adheli Gonzales has partnered with Columbia Connect and StudBud to help students find communities as we’ve transitioned to virtual schooling. Columbia Connect aims to connect students with each other, and StudBud seeks to join students into study groups. With ESC’s partnership, Gonzales also reports that StudBud has increased their offerings from only study groups for freshmen in STEM courses to all courses for all undergraduates.

Miscellaneous Updates

  • ESC will be hosting Wikithon 2020 in conjunction with Bwog on September 18-19! Join them (and us) to add and make edits to WikiCU and win prizes.
  • VP Student Life Bret Silverstein is working to rethink student life events. Some of the potential new events that may be offered include a school wide cookbook (on instagram), a photo contest, and an esports tournament

Lerner Hall, where this meeting would’ve taken place if not for Covid, via Wikimedia