GSSC Bureau Chief Olivia Mitchell gives you this week’s GSSC news, which includes the creation of a new General Studies Discord server that she can’t seem to stop thinking about.
President Jane Jeong GS’22 began this week’s meeting with a few updates. First, Jeong announced the resignation of Ace Cook GS’21, who previously held the position of the Student Services & Academic Affairs Representative, and stated that the council is now continuing and expanding their second round of appointments by most likely swearing in a new Student Services & Academic Affairs Representative and a Family & Working Students Representative most likely next week. Jeong went on to talk about updates for the CARES Act letter-signing campaign that had been officially started last week, saying that the letter has been drafted and has shifted to focus more on targeting University President Lee Bollinger, the Board of Trustees, and the Provost Ira Katznelson. GSSC has also begun reaching out to other student body councils and hope to work with them in the future. Lastly, Jeong announced that she, alongside Alumni Affairs Representative Cole Wagner GS’21, Senior Class President Safia Southey GS’21, Senior Class Vice President Roberto Uribe GS’21, and Vice President of Student Life Ohad Klopman GS’22, met with the Alumni Team last Friday regarding Giving Day, which is coming up on October 28th, and creating alumni panels for GS students.
Jeong shifted the discussion to the committees for updates. The Policy Committee and Communications Committee had no updates for the student body. The Financial Committee, represented by the Vice President of Finance Josh Brown GS’22, then went on to update on FACU, which is a university service that funds clubs and organizations on campus. The four undergraduate student councils each contribute a certain amount of money which FACU uses to distribute to the governing boards ABC (Activities Board at Columbia) and SGB (Student Governing Board), who then, in turn, distribute to campus clubs and organizations. FACU typically meets once in the Fall semester, but, for the 2020-2021 academic school year, planned to meet once in the Fall and once in the Spring. As a result of current pandemic conditions and the inability to meet on campus, FACU has canceled its Fall 2020 conference. For Fall 2020, the undergraduate student councils and their respective Vice Presidents of Finance are in charge of convening and aligning funds for this semester. If you have any questions or concerns regarding club funding, Brown says to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Finance committee at email@example.com.
The Campus Life Committee, usually represented by Klopman, handed the mic off to the Chief of Campus Life Liam McGrane GS’24 to talk about Discord (yes, THAT Discord). Last week, in executive session, the Committee decided to create a Discord server for GS campus life called “Lewisohn”, as a way to streamline GS student life and create a more interactive atmosphere. The Discord has various channels, from announcements to a politics, as well as public spaces, like a channel called “auditorium” and another “disco”, study rooms, game rooms, and scavenger hunt teams, which is the first GSSC Discord channel event. Students can also get sorted into roles using their majors and academic years. The Discord server was motioned for and subsequently voted in. The Council also motioned to appropraite $200 from the Student Events Budget for the Scavenger Hunt prizes, which will be split into $100, $60, and $40, for the first, second, and third prizes, respectively, which passed.
Klopman then continued with Campus Life and announced that GSSC will be hosting a week of Halloween events, including horror readings, a Donnie Darko movie night, a costume contest, Halloween-themed trivia, and Halloween-themed game night. International Students Representative Rhe-Anne Tan GS’21, quickly mentioned, alongside First-Year President Kambi Gathesha GS’23, moving forward with virtual study groups, which Gathesha had been working on before joining GSSC, and are planning to host these study groups on the new Discord server. Gathesha and First-Year Vice President Rachel Harris GS’22 also spoke about having their first-year newsletter come out every two weeks and stated that they will be polling GS students in the next week in regards to what they’d like to see on the newsletter.
University Senator Jeremy Wahl GS’22 then quickly explained that he is currently going through his first round of committees, which are the Housing Committee and the Student Affairs Committee, and that he is working with the University Senate to pass the CARES Act through as well.
President Jeong shifted the meeting towards new business, which began with the presentation of applicants for new positions. First was Michael Chertock GS’20 for Senior Class Treasurer, who is graduating in December and is studying Economics. He was previously living in Israel where he was a member of the Israeli Air Force. Next was Josh Brunnlehrman GS’23, for JTS Representative, who is currently in his second year in the JTS Dual Degree program. After was Katya Sharma GS ’22, for a legislative assistant for Senator Wahl. Sharma is a second-year in the dual-degree program with Sciences Po in Paris, France. Finally, also for legislative assistant, was Jené Stefaniak GS ’24, who is studying Economics and Political Science and is currently an Adjunct Lecturer for the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and the founder of StitchLuxe. The applicants will be voted on in executive session.
Finally, the floor was opened up to public opinion. The council was joined by Justin Niece GS’21 and Ebonnie Goodfield GS’23 as representatives of MilVets, a campus organization ran by and for military veterans in GS to provide resources, opportunities, and support at Columbia. MilVets requested backing and co-hosting from GSSC for a mixer and happy hour event as a way to integrate veterans and non-veterans to create a community. They are looking for this joint event to occur on October 29th. Klopman raised his support for this event, but stipulated that, as policy, GSSC cannot advertise a happy hour-titled event due to underage GS students. GSSC exclaimed support for the event, and, to be involved, will most likely change the terminology to become more friendly to underage and non-drinking GS students.
That is everything for this week’s GSSC meeting. Hope to see you next week for another GSSC update or on Friday for the first edition of the Fall 2020 weekly student council roundup!
General Studies Hat via Columbia Store
Discord Server via GSSC Council Meeting 10/6/20
Computer Set-Up via NeedPix