New CCSC Bureau Chief Maddie Goodman starts reporting on student council with a bang—literally.

I think it is essential for all readers to know that as I write these CCSC updates I have intermittently stood up on my chair in order to aggressively knock on my ceiling with the end of an overpriced Barnard umbrella to quell the incessant banging and…exclamations…coming from the apartment above me. There is no mystery as to what the source of these noises is, although I will leave it up to your imaginations. What I will say is: I missed when they played the music extra loud so that I was not subjected to X-rated Sunday evenings. 

This post-election meeting began with a slew of introductions considering that there were plenty of newly elected faces tuning into their first Zoom student council meeting. If you would like to see the full list of student council members, check out last week’s Bwog article covering election results. 

After all general body members were introduced, President Joon Baek (CC ’21) delighted us with his “What is CCSC” spiel, including an overview of the CCSC mission statement, rules of order, and a general explanation of meeting procedures for new members. President Baek emphasized that although remote this semester, the weight and importance of CCSC in regards to student life has not diminished. He hinted that the council’s work may be even more critical this year in terms of providing an inclusive community because of the fact that students are spread around the world across different time zones and environments. 

Scheduling a set meeting time for CCSC meetings going forward and time zone conflicts among members were heavily discussed issues of this week’s meeting, seeing as a handful of general body members are in different continents. While meetings were traditionally held from 8 to 9:30 pm on Sundays in the Satow Room of Lerner Hall, in the era of COVID-19, both the meeting time and meeting accessibility to the public are still up for debate among general body members. Both President Baek and Vice President of Communications Krishna Menon (CC ’22) encouraged members to resubmit their availability and emphasized that “preferability” is distinct from availability, a point echoed by Disabilities Services Representative Blake Jones (CC ’22) who had to Zoom in from 1 to 2 am his local time. President Baek expressed that a 4 or 5 pm EST time would be most preferred to accommodate all time zones. Given these conflicts, members are resubmitting their availability schedules and a weekly meeting time should be set by next Sunday. 

The other issue casually brought up for discussion by President Baek was that of public accessibility to CCSC meetings. Traditionally, these meetings are open to the public to attend; however, given that everything is virtual, there may be hesitation to post an open Zoom link on social media for fears of Zoom bombers and general disruptors. Options regarding a Facebook live stream may be explored, although V.P. of Communications was leaning towards an inclusive live Zoom. This issue has been pushed back to next week’s meeting, at which point a set meeting time will have been decided. 

President Baek gave an update on finances which was, ironically, no update, as all student councils will be using their budget surplus from the 2020 spring semester as their budget for the fall. Given that everything is virtual this year, the annual budget meeting with club governing boards and student councils did not occur, so no new funds were allocated. An exact number for the budget is unknown as of now, but after talking with faculty advisor Josh Lucas this coming week, there should be an exact number by next week’s meeting. President Baek told members to expect around a 60% decrease in budget and, given that all events are virtual and do not require deposits or food, this seemingly large cut will not be as intensely felt as if this was a pre-COVID-19 world. V.P of Communications Krishna Menon (CC ’22) also added that the student activities fee has decreased by 60 to 70% as well, so students are not paying as much as they would if everyone were on campus. 

Representative Brandon Shi (CC ’22) talked about the newly forming Inclusion and Diversity Task Force, a group within student council that currently includes Gender and Sexuality Representative Adam Kluge (CC ’22), Disabilities Representative Blake Jones (CC ’22), International Students Representative Lauren Ritchie (CC ’22), FGLI Representative Jaine Archambeau (CC ’22), and will eventually include Race and Ethnicity Representatives once they have been appointed. This task force will tackle issues of inclusion and diversity on campus by working to allocate specific funds for clubs and groups doing inclusion and advocacy work, as well as collaborating on initiatives similar to those done last year such as providing meals and PPE during school breaks. This new task force is in the midst of coming together, with no set head at the moment—updates will follow. 

This past week, application submissions closed for the three remaining appointment openings in council: two race and ethnicity representatives, one student services representative. This week will involve an interview process with appointments being announced at next week’s meeting. 

Check back next week for the set weekly meeting time, as well as meeting accessibility updates for the student community. Until next time!

Image via Bwog archives