CCSC’s second meeting of the year offers some insight into the commonly posed question of What On Earth Is Going On.

CCSC’s meeting last Sunday was especially timely, addressing many of the questions that have been circulating through the student body.

The CCSC Executive Board outlined two major concerns that have been occupying Columbia students: missing class due to COVID and the long dining hall lines. To address the first concern, President Mehta (CC’22) informed the council that CCSC is working to devise a note-taking system in conjunction with the note-taking system at the Office of Disability Services (ODS). The current vision for this system is that every class will have a notetaker who records important information from class, and if a student has to miss class due to COVID, said student can email the professor and TAs and obtain that day’s notes. As ODS already has a note-taking system in place for some classes for students with special needs, CCSC would also be sharing the notes from the ODS system. This new note-taking initiative has already been brought to the Dean of Academic Affairs student life and various other Deans. CCSC is awaiting feedback.

President Mehta has discussed the issue of dining hall lines with the staff. To ameliorate the long lines, the staff are aiming to open more grab-and-go options. For example, this Tuesday, Chef Mike’s Market, a stand-in John Jay dining room offering ready-to-go meals, reopened, giving students an additional option for a quick bite. President Mehta also pointed to an often unconsidered aspect of the dining hall lines. Mehta invited students to consider the perspective of the dining hall staff. “It’s important to keep in mind that the dining employees are working as hard as they can…There are over six thousand students on the dining plan right now… And dining is doing their best to feed everyone.”  Thus, President Mehta proposed the idea of sending a thank you note to the staff which may gather student input through a Google form sent to all students. 

Addressing the issue that has arguably been puzzling most students, President Mehta discussed the implications of Dean Kromms’ email, where new Residence Hall restrictions were imposed. Mehta explained that the new restrictions are not indicative of imminent virtual schooling. Rather, the restrictions aimed at reducing the number of cases so that all restrictions could be lifted in October. President Mehta reassured the student body to not interpret the restrictions as an ominous omen but instead as just a continuation of the school’s efforts. “We’re not all gonna be sent home. Classes are not gonna be all online. ” When University Senator Colby King (CC’23) raised the possibility of the COVID cases not decreasing under existing restrictions, President Mehta clarified that she cannot comment on what will happen in that circumstance, but reassured the student body that the administration is adamant about not sending all students home. 

Perhaps indicative of CCSC’s optimism that restrictions will eventually be lifted, VP Campus Life Elsa Chung (CC’23) announced the planning of a Lit-Hum party on October 7 from 5 pm to 8 pm. Chung stated that the Lit-Hum party is a chance for students who took Lit-Hum virtually last year to get together with their class. The gathering will have Insomnia Cookies, individually packaged as a COVID-precaution. Chung indicates that talks of COVID safety for the party are already in progress, with plans to make the gathering split into three phases to control the number of students in one place. If the Lit-Hum party is a success, a similar event for those who took Contemporary Civilizations last year may also be a possibility. 

Columbia via Bwog Archives