GSSC Bureau Chief Olivia Mitchell is back at it again with the GSSC news you’ve all been waiting for.

As always, President Jane Jeong GS’22 started out this week’s GSSC meeting with some presidential updates. First on the block was Giving Day, which is today, Wednesday, October 28th, where the University raises donations for school programs and scholarships. People can donate directly to GS scholarship programs that support veterans, post-baccalaureates, and dual-degree programs. The link for donation can be found here. Next, Jeong mentioned that, due to next week’s election day, GSSC will not be meeting, and that on November 10th, they will officially be voting in the next VP of Campus Life.

Next, the meeting moved onto updates from the committees, starting with the Policy Committee, as represented by VP of Policy Serengeti Timungwa. Timungwa first discussed updates for the CARES Act letter-signing campaign. The campaign, which was launched as a way to gain support for the CARES Act from President Bollinger, the Board of Trustees, and Provost Katznelson, received 238 signatures in one week, with around 30 signatures making public comments. They hope to get students more involved with administrative decision making in the future. Next, Timungwa discussed getting greater collaboration between CUFSN (Columbia University Family Support Network) and GSSC. CUFSN targets providing resources to students with families, which ties closely with GSSC, as many GS students have families at home. Finally, Timungwa discussed the student veteran update she received from Anthony Costanzo GS’23’s attendance at the student veteran Ivy League conference a few weeks ago. In his report, Costanzo talks about how other Ivies, much like GS, are aggressively recruiting student veterans, with student veterans having doubled their population in the Ivies in the last year alone. Costanzo also learned that GS has the least competitive Ivy League financial aid package for student veterans. His report can be found here. Finally, Timungwa discussed the possibility of amending the GSSC constitution to utilize more inclusive language, most notably making the language less-gendered. Her presentation can be found here.

Campus Life and the Communications Committees quickly discussed the HalloWeek festivities taking place this week. The GSSC x MilVets mixer and the Donnie Darko movie screening are still coming up, and they hope students can join them.

The Finance Committee and the University Senator had no updates this week.

In new business, the council started off with the appointment of the new Family & Working Students Representative, Sofia Wyszynski GS’22. Wyszynski is a junior at GS studying Sociology and Writing, and is also the mother of a 5 year old child. They worked for two years at a CUNY program called ASAP, where they gained a sense of how to represent generally unrepresented students in order to inform policy, also recognizing the difficulties that students are facing in the midst of the pandemic. Wyszynski was asked one question during the discussion period regarding what something is that they’ve seen this year that students with families have dealt with that they’d like to emphasize. Wyszynski responded that they want to emphasize the difficulties of paying attention and being tuned in to class time offerings, with 80% of parents having children at home. They want to push for asynchronous options in the long-term for student parents throughout the pandemic. Next, in new business, the council motioned for the appropriation of $50 for the MilVets mixer for a costume prize contribution, which passed.

In communications from the floor, a motion was made and passed to discuss using Google Forms as GSSC’s primary format of voting from then on. After discussion commenced, a motion to table this conversation for the next GSSC meeting was also passed.

That’s GSSC for this week. Reminder that GSSC will not be meeting next week due to Election Day. Don’t forget to exercise your civil duty and vote! And vote all the way down the ballot in all the important local races. They pertain to you too! Have a great rest of the week and Fall Break!

Header via Olivia Mitchell