Author: oai2103

As part of our elections coverage, The Lion is sharing responses from candidates about the following questions:

  1. What motivated you to run for this position?
  2. If elected, what would your goals be?
  3. What is something you want to fix at Columbia? How would you plan to address it?
  4. Any additional comments you would like to share with voters?

Below, you can find the candidate(s)’s unfiltered responses to help in deciding who you choose to vote for.

ESC Class of 2020 Party, “SEAsus Take the Wheel.”
Party Candidates:
President – Ria Garg
Vice President – Marisa Ngbemeneh
Class Representatives – Joanna Paik and Abhi Chakraborty
1. What motivated you to run for this position?
We want to inspire positive change (aka +ΔSEAS)! Columbia Engineering is already a small community, and we understand that at times it can feel very separate from the College. We like to think that this division creates an opportunity for a tight-knit community and academic support system in SEAS. After all, not only will we be in the same classes for the next four years (s/o to Art of Engineering), but the social networks we form here will last us long after we graduate. We’re running in hopes that we can improve both student life by becoming liaisons between our classmates and the administration. Not to mention, we get to meet so many amazing people in the process of running!
2. If elected, what would your goals be?
Our six point plan focuses on Class Unity, Diversity, Sustainability, Academic/Career Support, Student Amenities, and Transparency. While we don’t want to give too much away, we’re looking to introduce informal SEAS events, free SEAS gear, pet therapy (for stressed-out students…aka everyone), Professor Meet and Greets, an idea submission portal, and energy-saving changes for each building. Although we have a basic set of ideas for the coming year, we would definitely love for our classmates to get involved and offer their suggestions!
3. What is something you want to fix at Columbia? How would you plan to address it?
One thing we want to tackle this year is making wet lab spaces more available. Currently, students in majors like Chemical, Environmental, and Biomedical Engineering don’t have the same access to wet lab spaces for independent projects as people in other majors do. We hope that this initiative will take after the reasoning behind the MakerSpace, so students can pursue their academic interests more freely.
4. Any additional comments you would like to share with voters?
With three women, four different (and underrepresented!) majors, and a variety of interests, SEASus Take the Wheel is one of the most diverse groups to ever run for ESC. That being said, we can’t fully represent our community without our peers and their engagement! You can get involved with SEASus Take the Wheel by following us on Instagram (@seasustakethewheel; we follow back!), liking our page on Facebook (, or talking to any of the four of us on campus! We hope to see you at the (virtual) polls!

Starting on Monday, first-year students in Columbia College and Columbia Engineering will have the ability to “shadow” declare majors. While this will not officially place students in a major, it will allow students to be automatically enrolled into department listservs to gain access to department updates.

In a Facebook post from CCSC 2019 President, Josh Schenk:

This Monday, Dean Plaa from advising will be sending us all an email with the tool to shadow declare, or “fake” declare, your major! It will take you no more than 20 seconds. Doing this will give you access to all of the same opportunities current declared majors have. You are not held to any major you select; you will just be added to the major list serves to learn about faculty, events, recommended classes, and opportunities in your given interest categories. The tool will close on February 29th, the last day of the month.

We have reached out to Dean Plaa and the Center for Student Advising for more information.


After a two year losing streak, Columbia Football has won its first game tonight by beating Wagner 26 to 3. Over the past year, the team has experienced major changes under new leadership from Coach Al Bagnoli.

We will update this post with more information as it becomes available.