After interviewing candidates, Bwog has chosen to endorse Sadia Safa and Cenker Camci for the University Senate and the members of CC: Represent! for CCSC. Find our detailed endorsements below.

The Bwog editorial staff is happy to announce our endorsements for the Spring 2023 CCSC and University Senate elections. The candidates selected for endorsements underwent a thorough interview process in which they discussed their platforms with Bwog’s editors. We thank everyone who sought out an endorsement. CCSC and University Senate elections close Sunday, April 9 at 5 pm ET, and we encourage all students to remember to exercise their right to vote. Below are the candidates we decided to endorse, and why.

For University Senator: Sadia Safa

Sadia Safa, the former Race and Ethnicity Representative, has demonstrated dedication to making student government address all of the issue areas it possibly can. Sadia has also served on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force, having helped plan small events and initiatives within the College, as well as creating the VP of Equity Amendment that distributes funding to student groups focused on student identities. In her previous work within student government at Columbia, Sadia has advocated for bias awareness, increased institutional responsibility for addressing hate crimes, and centralization of Columbia communities (students, administrators, and departments).

Bwog was impressed with Sadia’s platform goals, which center around transparency, communication, and collaboration. Sadia expressed to Bwog that she specifically hopes to work towards big-picture goals that will benefit FLI students: For example, hiring a Dean of Diversity of Inclusion, or establishing a hotline for FLI-specific questions and concerns. As a first-generation, low-income transfer student, Sadia is very invested in creating an equitable space for underrepresented communities on campus, whether through greater administrative support in the wake of bias incidents or the increase of financial resources for low-income students. 

Bwog is certain that Sadia’s commitment to constant, transparent communication between students and administration will improve student life, especially for FLI students. She is an excellent candidate for University Senator, and we are happy to endorse her for the second year in a row.

For University Senator: Cenker Camci 

There are very few places at Columbia where Cenker Camci has not worked. He’s a teaching assistant, a resident advisor, a research assistant, a CCSC international student representative, a multicultural affairs student coordinator, and an international student advisory board member. His experience in all of these positions has provided him with crucial insight into how to improve the ways Columbia can serve its students, especially its International student body.

With an interest in improving how offices work with international students across the board, a major part of Cenker’s platform revolves around strengthening knowledge about the global perspective on Columbia’s New York City campus. For example, this can manifest itself in revising the existing identity-based training and recognition training for Columbia Health, focusing on ways to improve its intersectionality when aiding students. Another part of Cenker’s platform is to amplify awareness about Columbia’s Global Centers. His first focus on this is how these campuses interact with their local communities. It is easy for a Columbia student’s awareness to end at city limits, but Columbia is also enacting local change in countries across the planet—including Turkey, Brazil, Kenya, and France. This rests on assessing how these centers influence their local communities, and the extent they contribute to those communities while studying them. Bwog was impressed by Cenker’s commitment to an expanded awareness of Columbia outside the campus walls, increasing knowledge about Columbia’s Fourth Purpose, and how successful this mission is beyond our local community.

Bwog believes that Cenker’s message about highlighting the many ways Columbia interacts with the international community—from its international student body to its work in other countries—is a vital conversation to ensure fair treatment of all involved with the university. He is an excellent candidate for University Senator, and we are happy to endorse him this year.

For CCSC President and VP Policy: Kathan Reddy and Maria Stuebner (CC: Represent!)

Kathan Reddy and Maria Stuebner have both served on CCSC for three years: Kathan is currently VP Policy, while Maria is currently the Academic Affairs Representative. In their past work, both Kathan and Maria have been intensely focused on improving College-wide policies that greatly impact student life and stress levels. Kathan told Bwog about his work in attempting to make Pass/Fail policies more conducive to student wellness as well as his advocacy for FLI students and Harlem residents, among other projects. Maria, in her current and past roles, took similar strides, creating the Core Class Exchange website and co-authoring the Latin Honors proposal for Kathan’s committee. Throughout the interview, Bwog was especially touched by Kathan and Maria’s dedication to advocating for the desires of the majority of the student body, particularly pertaining to academic stress, mental health more broadly, and financial accessibility for FLI students.

As CCSC President and VP Policy respectively, Kathan and Maria plan to extend the work they have already laid the groundwork for. This includes expanding the Deans’ Student Assistant Fund, increasing accessibility to mental health treatment for Columbia students, and prioritizing Black-owned and woman-owned businesses in Harlem. Bwog was very impressed by the wealth of experience and ideas shared between Kathan and Maria, and we believe that they will comprise an excellent coalition in next year’s CCSC. 

For VP Campus Life: Liz Radway (CC: Represent!)

Liz Radway, a member of Orchesis’s Board and the current Legislative Aid for the University Senate, wants to make Columbia as accessible, sociable, and laid-back as possible—and Bwog approves. As part of her platform, Liz emphasizes not only new events she plans to hold for students in CC but also ways to vastly improve accessibility and transparency regarding old favorites and traditions.

Liz plans on organizing the Columbia Gala, a prom-like gathering where students will be able to dress up, dance, and bond with one another. Her inspiration for the event stemmed from her grade’s inability to enjoy classic high school traditions like Prom in the midst of COVID-19. In addition to this event, Liz also wants to plan some more casual opportunities for the Columbia community to congregate in the form of a Homecoming tailgate (with free merch!), more frequent Broadway ticket lotteries, and group trips to popular NYC locations. 

Bwog especially liked Liz’s plans to streamline existing events and increase transparency between the student body and CCSC. Her attention to the issues present in high-profile events such as Bacchanal or Glass House Rocks as well as her devotion to fixing them and collecting student feedback demonstrated to Bwog that she would be the best candidate for VP Campus Life.

For VP Comms: Alan Chen (CC: Represent!)

Alan Chen is one of the only candidates Bwog is supporting who does not have any prior CCSC experience, but his vast experience in other campus clubs impressed Bwog’s editorial staff more than enough to secure his endorsement. He has been involved with the NSOP Orientation Leader program, the Lion Connect Mentorship program, the Columbia Mentoring Initiative’s LGBTQ+ Family Tree, CU Film Productions, Columbia Political Review, and more. 

In the role of VP Comms, Alan hopes to rework communication systems between CCSC and students to ensure maximum accessibility and transparency when it comes to major events. For Glass House Rocks or Bacchanal, for example, he plans on instituting a centralized, live-update system via text message to spread important news. In what would be a massive change, Alan advocates for the release of all class syllabi on Vergil two weeks prior to the opening of registration for a given semester. This would increase accessibility and greatly diminish stress for students who need to be aware of class policies before deciding which courses they can and cannot take, and Bwog believes that it demonstrates Alan’s commitment to student wellness.

Alan also wants to rework the CCSC website, expand partnerships with student clubs, and establish incentivized surveys in order to gauge how CC students feel about CCSC events, a measure that Bwog fully supports. Throughout his interview, Alan showed his care for CC students’ experiences and emotions, and we believe he would be an excellent choice for VP Comms.

For VP Finance: Ryan Bolin (CC: Represent!)

Ryan Bolin currently serves as a Class Council Representative, director of philanthropy, and active participant in the Finance Committees at CCSC. He told Bwog that “finance is a means of facilitation,” and his platform supports this sentiment, focusing on accessibility for low-income students and transparency in both student groups and governing board funding. Bwog appreciated his recognition of the importance of financial measures in ensuring student equity, as it demonstrates a core empathy necessary for this position in particular.

In terms of specific measures, Ryan wants to work with Columbia administrators to increase funding and resources for FLI students by establishing a textbook and laptop fund as well as a book donation center, where used Core books can be exchanged for resources like Dining Dollars. He also wants to advocate for greater accessibility to Metrocards, expand the existing Metrocard Initiative, and to support new endeavors such as Columbia Restaurant Week. Much of his planned work focuses on external communications with businesses and museums in addition to internal communications with the Columbia administration, and Bwog supports this holistic approach. In the spirit of transparency, Ryan also wants to rework Lionlink in order to make student group funding processes and information as clear as possible to student leaders. Bwog believes that Ryan’s focus on finance as directly representative of accessibility and facilitation makes him a common-sense choice for VP Finance, especially in the interest of FLI students.

For VP Equity: Kira Ratan (CC: Represent!)

Kira Ratan is a New York native involved with clubs such as Columbia Undergraduate Law Review, Columbia Women in Law and Politics, Reproductive Justice Collective, the Undergraduate Recruitment Committee, and more. A queer WOC majoring in Women’s & Gender Studies, Kira is close to the issues she is representing, and Bwog believes that her work ethic and firsthand experience in advocacy make her an excellent candidate for VP Equity.

One central measure in Kira’s platform is her fight to bring medicated abortion access to Columbia’s campus directly through Columbia Health, and as staunch supporters of a woman’s right to choose, Bwog’s editorial staff wholeheartedly agrees that such a measure will reduce student stress considerably. Kira also wants to work with Facilities to increase convenient access to pads and tampons, particularly in residence halls and frequented buildings. 

In her discussion with Bwog’s editorial staff, Kira also spoke about events and initiatives she wants to establish in order to make Columbia College feel more inclusive and equitable. For Pride Week, Kira wants to celebrate queer life on campus visibly, coordinating student performances and establishing a strong presence for queer people on Columbia’s campus. Kira also wants to prioritize Harlem in as many practical ways as possible: Advocating for more FTF-approved locations that are Black-owned or woman-owned, for example, and significantly expanding community service efforts past CARE. Kira also spoke to Bwog regarding her desire to expand the Metrocard Initiative and encourage students to visit locations in Harlem, resulting in greater equity for FLI students as well as community members uptown. Bwog believes Kira’s devotion to equity in both the practical and theoretical realms makes her a great choice for VP Equity.

Now, go vote!

Low Library via Bwog Archives