Howdy, y’all! Gather round for another update on what your favorite student councils did this week!
- Student Services Representative Zoe Davidson (CC ’24) along with Class of 2024 VP Kathan Reddy and Shelly Michael (CC ’22) finalized the Student Services Guide, which will be published before finals! Think of this as the one-stop-shop for all things that Columbia provides to students that one might not know about or know how to go about getting. Given the remote nature of the year, this guide will be extremely helpful for new students who began their time at Columbia under virtual circumstances. Stay tuned to your council newsletters for access to this informative guide!
- E-Board members, VP Policy Rads Mehta (CC ’22) and VP Finance Sophia Adeghe (CC ’22), after a semester full of dedication to the project, have successfully finalized and received administrative approval for the CCSC-sponsored COVID Resource Fund! This fund will provide students in need currently studying remotely with everything from WiFi extenders, WiFi modems, iPads, webcams, printers, ink, headphones, to winter and professional clothing. Requests will be made via a Google form and each student must submit a single request per item, not per student. Eligibility will be determined by a set criteria and if the request is approved, the student will be sent the item they need in the mail. The funds being used to provide these items are a pooling of CCSC’s surplus budget from last year.
- VP Communications Krishna Menon (CC ’22) and VP Finance Sophia Adeghe (CC ‘22) are hard at work to ensure that students remaining on campus for the winter break will have access to meals and food as needed. This will be done through administrative organizing and a tap into CCSC’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Fund.
- This week, ESC discussed this year’s credit limit, which limits students to 40 credits over three semesters, or 21 credits over 2 semesters.
- With these limits, students choose between a denser course load over two semesters or losing the opportunity to take two additional credits. Council members plan to discuss this policy with SEAS deans in the coming weeks.
- ESC also addressed student concerns about the shortened winter break this year. They noted that it would be difficult to change the length of break at this point, but discussed how to readjust the semester lengths if Columbia were to adopt a three-semester year again in the future.
- Additionally, ESC discussed adding a new council position: Transfer Student Representative, who would work with SEAS transfers to further support them.
- This week, SGA Rep Council heard from Mac Collins, Vice Chair of Development for the Food Pantry at Columbia.
- Mac encouraged undergraduate and graduate students to utilize the two Food Pantry locations that are currently open, in Lerner Hall and at the Medical Center. The third location in Barnard Hall is currently closed but will reopen as the rest of Barnard’s campus reopens this spring.
- The Food Pantry’s new ecommerce site allows recipients to select items online, and pick them up. The Food Pantry is also able to create packages of items to deliver to students in mandatory quarantine periods.
- SGA also discussed the results of this semester’s Dinner After Dark survey, which allows students to give feedback on the Barnard experience.
- Students responded to questions about academics, community, student services, sustainability, and SGA involvement.
- The survey results provided SGA with information about curricular changes the student body would like to see (such as further education about racism and sustainability), additional social events during remote learning, clearer communication from administrative offices, and new ideas for SGA initiatives.
- GS council yielded time for a Columbia food pantry presentation.
- Update on CARES
- GSSC stated that international students do not file FAFSA, so it is unclear if they will receive CARES stipends. GS has also been looking to other councils to sign in with them on CARES Act issues. They also encouraged General Studies seniors to write senior theses and apply for grants.
- GSSC also passed two new proposals, amending the constitution to replace binary pronouns with gender-neutral pronouns and to add referenda clauses. The referenda clause proposal was initiated in order to allow GSSC to have referenda power, similar to ESC and CCSC. These changes will go into effect as of next fall.
- Tuition Strike
- GSSC then discussed the tuition strike petition’s wide-range of subjects. GSSC wants to decide how much to get involved and if they should sign on to all of the points. The conversation was tabled in order to allow GSSC to form a subcommittee and discuss this issue in the future. Information on joining this subcommittee will be in the GS weekly email!
Cowboy Bollinger Header via Bwog Illustrator Shane Maughn