Happy (almost) Halloween, cowfolk! Here’s this week’s Student Council Weekly Roundup, brought to you by Bureau Chiefs Maddie Goodman (CCSC), Leora Schloss (ESC), Eliza Staples (SGA), and Olivia Mitchell (GSSC). Stay warm, safe, and healthy this Halloween, and have a great Fall Break as well!
This week in CCSC:
- The COVID-19 Academic Adjustment Proposal, which would extend pass/fail, drop, and withdrawal deadlines, was passed by CCSC this week. It will now be presented to the Committee of Instruction who will have the final say of whether or not the administration will pass this proposal and put these changes into effect immediately.
- CCSC is also currently working on two projects that would ease the inconveniences of online learning. One of these is an online form for students to report professor or class-related grievances such as harsh grading policies, or unfair attendance, or technological expectations amidst COVID. The other is the creation of a google calendar that all Columbia students would have access to which would show Columbia sponsored events as well as approved and open-to-all club activities. This communal calendar would serve as an online space where one could find the Zoom links to school events without having to dig through hoards of unopened emails.
- Gender and Sexuality Representative Adam Kluge CC’22 continues to work with LGBTQ at Columbia and QTAB on formulating a precise system to ensure that clubs and classrooms are an inclusive environment for all LGBTQ students. Specifically, Representative Kluge is hoping to add LGBTQ inclusivity accountability in the Club ReFuel program which currently requires anti-racism training but not an equivalent for LGBTQ identities.
This week in ESC:
- ESC welcomed two new members. Athena Tsu SEAS ‘23 is serving as ESC’s Gender and Sexuality Representative, and Dilara Zaimoglu SEAS ‘24 is the new Disability and Accessibility Issues Representative.
- Technology Representative Vish Rao introduced the idea of creating monthly town halls for SEAS students to speak with ESC members. Every student in attendance would have a chance to present their ideas and feedback.
- Class of 2021 Representative Ethan Thayumanavan SEAS ’21 presented a mission statement and a vision statement for ESC that he drafted. After a few minor edits, the ESC voted in favor of adopting the statement. The statements, which detail ESC’s day-to-day goals and long-term mission and aspirations, will soon be available on ESC’s website.
- University Senator Joe Hier SEAS ‘21 and First Generation and Low Income Representative Martha Escobedo SEAS ‘21 volunteered to serve on the Columbia Elections Committee, which oversees student government elections.
- ESC discussed how to interact with CCSC’s COVID-19 Academic Adjustments Proposal. ESC’s board was unsure if they should sign on since not all of the proposal pertains to SEAS. Still, parts of the proposal, if implemented, would impact SEAS students. ESC can always sign in support of CC students for the aspects that do not affect SEAS students.
- Academic Affairs Representative James Wang SEAS ‘22 suggested that if ESC signs on to the proposal, a request to allow SEAS students to uncover grades of classes initially taken as pass/fail should be added.
- Several ESC members suggested surveying SEAS students to understand the challenges that they are facing and move forward on the CCSC proposal only after reviewing that data.
- ESC is also working with CCSC on a survey for students about course concerns. In this survey, students would document specific classes where professors and TAs refused to make reasonable accommodations in the light of timezones, privacy concerns, and other COVID-related issues.
This week in SGA:
- This week, SGA met with Provost Linda A. Bell, First Year Class Dean Wendy Garay, and Sophomore Class Dean Christina Tsu.
- The reps discussed Barnard’s preliminary plans for the Spring 2021 semester, and what hy-flex learning might look like at Barnard, including the retrofitting of classrooms to allow for simultaneous in-person and remote instruction.
- Additionally, the reps discussed Barnard’s commitment to anti-racism work, including faculty training by Dr. Rosales of the Center for Engaged Pedagogy and Dean Monica Miller, and the advent of new anti-racism courses in 22 departments.
This week in GSSC:
- VP of Policy Serengeti Timungwa GS ’23 updated the council on the CARES Act letter-signing campaign. The campaign, 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.
- Student Veterans Representative Anthony Costanzo GS ’23 updated the council on his report from his attendance at an Ivy League student veterans conference. He stated that the Ivies are aggressively recruiting student veterans, with student veteran populations having doubled in the last year alone. GS, he learned, has the least competitive financial aid package for student veterans.
- Sofia Wyszynski GS ’23 was appointed to the position of Family & Working Students Representative. Wyszynski, the mother of a five year old child herself, wants to make sure students with families and working students receive proper accommodations and recognition in school policy, and will be working toward these accommodations. This includes pushing for asynchronous options in the long-term during the pandemic for students with families. Eighty percent of parents have children at home during COVID-19.
- Timungwa also introduced a discussion to amend the council’s constitution to utilize more inclusive language, such as making the constitution less heavily gendered.
Header via Bwog Illustrator Shane Maughn