Michael Higgins, a graduating senior at GS created the food pantry at Columbia initially to support GS students and found a large interest. 

Happy Tuesday everyone! Happy CCSC coverage day! I’m Tara, and I’m covering for the awesome Mariah today. 

During E-board updates virtual attendees got to hear about the Deantini snowball fight and its raging success, NSOP, and pre-orientation work, swim test updates, and more. The meeting then moved to the food pantry presentation by Michael Higgins. 

The Food Pantry at Columbia was started in 2016 by GSSC when a quality of life survey showed that over 40% of the GS population had some level of food insecurity. The committee granted $1000 to help those students and further investigate which is where they found a large number of students from schools other than GS demonstrating food insecurity as well. The Food Pantry At Columbia (abbreviated as FPAC), now has three main locations: the fifth floor of Lerner, Barnard’s atrium, and the Medical Center. With the way food packages have been going already, the FPAC is on track to outpace the pandemic year with food support! 

Higgins then shared a few open positions available for those interested in food pantry administration and help. Higgins also shared the FPAC’s partnership to provide fresh produce disbursements year-round since safety reasons prohibit storing produce. Additionally, there is publicly available data for CC to see how the Food Pantry is going and progressing year to year. The CCSC has always been a big supporter of the FPAC and they’ve been a great help. Higgins added the option for donation and funding through monetary donations since they still operate as a small non-profit organization. 

The committee then moved to a section of Q&A starting with Jaine Archambeau (CC ‘23) who asked about refrigeration at the Barnard location, where Higgins shared that Barnard doesn’t have much physical space in addition to the safety and health concerns that occur with that. At Lerner, there is no possible way to have refrigeration but they are looking for ways to add, and if there is ever any more space the FPAC could have more resources. Moving to Rads Mehta (CC ‘22), Rads asked how much it costs the organization for upkeep and learned it ranges from $1,500-2,000 per month. At this point, Radhika motioned to donate two months’ worth of funding ($4,000) and it passed! 

The council had an incredibly successful and productive meeting this Sunday because after Higgins’ presentation, Priya Chainani (CC ’24) motioned for Columbia to acknowledge Lunar New Year and that faculty would not punish students for absences on Lunar New Year. This passed, and communication was established. CCSC then went over responsibilities and expectations for at large representatives who generally have a specific population that they work with. Ideally, at large representatives would be both on a task force and on an individual initiative. Class councils host different events in addition to policies that affect their population or work with Residence Halls. After CCSC members shared various ways to hold successful events, they moved to semester goals. Goals included making mental health resources more accessible, subsidizing costs for summer classes, appreciation day for dining and custodial staff, and working on abolishing the swim test. 

And with some more task force review and sign-up information, this Sunday’s CCSC meeting came to an end! I’ll say, CCSC is an awesome committee, and as a Barnard student I’m really glad I was able to observe such an amazing group of people in action! 

Have a great week! 

Lerner via Bwarchives