ESC returns this semester to address the challenges of online learning.

This week’s ESC general body meeting was short and efficient. Council members provided updates from various meetings they attended and shared initiatives they are planning. 

Student Body President Estevan Mesa (‘22) and VP Policy Ahmet Karadeniz (‘22) will be meeting with Dean Morrison this coming Wednesday. At this meeting, they plan to discuss replicating last semester’s P/D/F policy this spring. 

Mesa explained that some of the delay in the administration’s decision on whether to implement the P/D/F policy this semester is because the administration wanted to wait to assess the situation this semester before making any decision. 

ESC will work with the administration to evaluate how students utilized the policy in the fall semester, from how many students opted to make a class P/D/F to how many of those students later uncovered the grades from those classes. Mesa believes many students benefited from the policy. He and the rest of the council plan to advocate in favor of extending the P/D/F policy and making a decision on this as early in the semester as possible.

At their meeting with Dean Morrison, Mesa and Karadeniz also plan to discuss upping ESC’s credit limit from the 40 credits currently allowed between the Fall 2020, Spring 2021, and Summer 2021 semesters. However, they noted that this limit is unlikely to change, as the policy comes from Columbia’s board rather than its administration. This means that a simple vote from the administration would not be enough to change the credit limit.

ESC also briefly discussed options for a graduation ceremony for the Class of 2021. Ideas raised included a small ceremony this spring with only students in attendance. This, too, is a topic on the agenda for Mesa and Karadeniz’s Wednesday meeting with Dean Morrison and will likely be a longer lasting discussion.

VP Student Life Katherine Liu (‘21) provided updates on SEAS merchandise. The products, a SEAS t-shirt and mask, were designed at last semester’s Design Hackathon event. Many students signed up for the merchandise within hours of its release, and sign up had to be closed while ESC replenished their stock. The items will likely be delivered in February to those students who were able to sign up.

Upcoming events include cocktail classes for the SEAS classes of 2021 and 2022 and a non-traditional careers alumni panel. Other events that might happen this semester include speed friending, a virtual open mic, virtual game nights, and a major declaration panel.

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