The first half was run by the outgoing council, and the second marked the incoming council’s first general body meeting.

The outgoing council’s semester report is complete. The report details the council’s achievements from the past year and has been shared in the class facebook groups for student reading.

Outgoing Student Body President Estevan Mesa (‘22) led a discussion on the draft of a letter to the administration and board of trustees regarding next year’s tuition. Mesa noted that since last week’s meeting, the ESC policy committee made several edits to the letter. This included reframing the letter to only ask for a tuition freeze without requesting a tuition reduction. This is because the council hopes to minimize opposition to the proposal and because a freeze in tuition is more in line with peer institutions than a reduction would be.

Mesa also incorporated more details into the letter regarding student need. This includes data showing that around half of Columbia graduates have received CARES Act funding and information on student utilization of the COVID-19 Resource Fund. As per the suggestion of Outgoing VP Communications Adheli Gonzalez (‘21), Mesa also added sentences referencing the emotional burden of the pandemic and how a tuition freeze would help students’ mental health.

Following this discussion and brief updates from other councilmembers, the outgoing council shared parting words of thanks and encouragement and took group photos over Zoom.

Several outgoing councilmembers logged off of the Zoom as the incoming council began their half of the meeting. Incoming Student Body President Kennedy Salamat (‘23) introduced herself before leading next year’s council in a round of introductions. All council members present, from those who are shifting roles to those new to student council altogether, stated their names, majors, and hometowns. 

The incoming council’s next general body meeting will be held next fall. Salamat hopes it will be in person. In the coming weeks, incoming councilmembers will coordinate via When2meet to find a time to hold their general body meetings moving forward.

Lerner via Bwog Archives