In their sixth meeting of the year, CCSC discusses increasing capacity limits and fostering academic adjustments to make student life more bearable.

This week’s CCSC meeting, which I tuned into via Zoom, was productive and interesting as usual, beginning with E-Board and task force updates. While going over updates, President Rads Mehta (CC ’22) shared that last week the Student Well Being (SWB) task force met with Senior Vice President for Columbia Health, Dr. Melanie Bernitz, to discuss COVID-19 testing policies as well as indoor and outdoor capacity limits. The task force compiled how indoor and outdoor capacities have affected student life into a document titled “COVID-19 Event Capacities Proposal,” which was shared with all members of CCSC. The proposal included the request for indoor capacities to be raised to 50, and that outdoor capacity limits be eliminated. Although Dr. Bernitz said that the University is not planning on changing COVID-19 testing policies, President Mehta noted that she did seem amenable to changing capacity limits. This responsibility plays as a sign of victory for CCSC after weeks of conversation about how limits on indoor capacities have put a damper on clubs and other social activities that are essential to the undergraduate experience. VP Krishna Menon (CC ’22) then made a motion to vote on the COVID-19 Event Capacities Proposal,  and this motion was seconded by VP Finance Sophia Adeghe (CC ’23).  President Mehta then sent the voting link to all members, through which they were instructed to vote yes, no, or abstain on the question, “Would you like to pass the CCSC Event Capacities Proposal?”

The next item on the agenda was introduced by VP Menon regarding the “Academic Adjustments Proposal: the Redeux” by AAC (which stands for Alumni, Academics, Career). Menon shared that the AAC is looking to continue fostering academic adjustments from last year, specifically focusing on the hindrances to academic success that come with COVID-19 and the highly transmissible Delta variant. He asked CCSC members for help in finding out what other schools proximate to Columbia are doing in terms of academic procedures for students who get COVID-19. For instance, how are testing or grading policies adjusted to accommodate students experiencing COVID-19 related disruptions at other institutions? President Mehta asked if the proposal would only apply to people who have COVID-19, to which VP Menon responded that right now, professors are only required to accommodate students after they’ve tested positive, and so if students think they have been exposed but end up testing negative, Professors are not required to accommodate you. However, Menon did note that because of the nature of the Delta variant, accommodations should be made to include those who have been affected by COVID-19 in different ways.

The final item on the agenda was an endearing one that highlights CCSC’s devotion to making the Columbia College experience as memorable as possible. President Mehta asked members to brainstorm new traditions to be incorporated into the Columbia experience, similar to the annual tree lighting tradition. (Save the date, it’s December 2nd this year!) Members went around the room and shared ideas that included but were not limited to a friendship version of the “Marriage Pact”; fireworks; puppies and snacks close to exams; and plenty more exciting ideas. 

The meeting ended with a warm welcome to the newly elected first-year class council!

See you next week!

Lerner Hall via Bwarchives