Category: Campus News

Earlier this evening, the Columbia Elections Board announced the winners of the Fall 2016 elections. We are excited to share the results below. Congratulations to the newly elected representatives.

CCSC 2020 President & Vice President

Siddharth Singh and James Ritchie

CCSC 2020 Class Representatives

Grant Pace

Danielle Resheff

Astrid Walker-Stewart

CCSC 2017 Representative

Tracy Ting Cao

CCSC Sandwich Ambassador

Joseph Villafane

ESC 2020 Class President

Ria Garg

ESC 2020 Class Vice President

Marisa Ngbemeneh

ESC 2020 Class Representatives

Joanna Paik

Abhishek Chakraborty

ESC 3-2 Representative

Priscilla Wang

ESC Disability and Accessibility Issues Representative

Adriana Echeverria

ESC International Students Representative

Pranav Arora

ESC University Senator

Izzet Kebudi

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 (facebook.com/seasustakethewheel), or talking to any of the four of us on campus! We hope to see you at the (virtual) polls!

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. For more information, email submissions@columbialion.com.

What motivated you to run for this position? 

I was part of the student council in high school for all four years, and I served as president for the last two years of high school. Naturally, I wanted to run for student council at Columbia too. As an international student, I can directly experience the vast difference in academics and cultures that my fellow international classmates have to adjust to. As the International Students Representative for SEAS, I hope to give all the international students a voice that matters as well as try to solve some of the problems that we face in various aspects of college.

If elected, what would your goals be?

Some of the issues that I hope to address are:

Offer subsidized summer housing to international students – Many internationals prefer to stay back in New York during breaks as traveling back to their home country is expensive. I hope to build upon the model Barnard uses to provide their students researching or interning in New York with subsidized summer housing and offer the same to the international community at Columbia.

Build a directory dedicated to on-campus jobs available to international students – Many of these jobs have certain limitations that do not allow internationals to apply, and as a result, it is difficult to find jobs that international students are eligible for. I hope to create a directory specifically for jobs available to international students and provide detailed instructions for applying to them. I hope that this will make the process of searching for an on-campus job easier for international students.

Create easy-to-comprehend academic integrity and Optional Practical Training (OPT) guides – This is something that at least I was worried about even before starting college! I spoke to a lot of people and researched a lot, but I could only obtain documents that explain both of them in a very complex manner. Since they are a very big part of international students’ lives, I hope to create guides that are easy-to-comprehend and layman-friendly so that internationals have to worry no longer about both of them.

Offer one-to-one peer mentoring – The best sources of advice for me have been international upperclassmen because they went through all the problems with adjusting to the culture and academics a while back. I hope to connect each underclassman with an upperclassman (if possible, from the same country) so that underclassmen have someone to relate to and talk to whenever they feel that they need help with any aspects of college.

Monthly stress buster events – What is the point of having such a diverse class if we do not celebrate all the cultures that help constitute it? I hope to host monthly events with themes from different nationalities every time so that students in our community get to know their classmates and their culture better. At the same time, the event will offer them a break from academics and give them time to have some fun.

International student friendly class placement criteria – I believe that the current placement system is biased towards students who have taken the AP, IB or the A level examinations. Students who have not taken one of the tests mentioned above have to take a placement exam regardless of their past standing in the subjects they were being tested on. Working with the academic departments, I hope to broaden the criteria for exemption from introductory classes so that internationals can easily take higher level classes without having to take placement tests.

In addition to these goals, I will always be working to bring about any change that a fellow international student in SEAS suggests.

What is something you want to fix at Columbia? How would you plan to address it?

My goals address some issues that I hope to fix at Columbia. Ultimately, I want to create a better academic and social experience for the international community in SEAS.

Any additional comments you would like to share with voters?

While I am a first-year, I believe that I can do as good a job as any sophomore, junior or senior could, if not better. I have had enough experience with student council in high school to know how to work my way around administrations, and I’m willing to work as hard as it takes to ensure that our (the international students’) voices are heard, and efforts are made to incorporate changes that we ask for.

And DJ Khaled endorsed me (http://imgur.com/rtML8dO)

Columbia students, Dan Burkhardt (GS ’17) and Melody Yeung (GS ’17), have released what they have described as “the first iMessage App made for and by Columbia students.” With this new application, you have access to a slew of stickers to use to describe life on campus.

From their App’s description:

“CUStickers is a sticker pack app created by fellow Columbia students for the community here at Columbia University. Use our take on the Lion like reaction gifs or use the locations stickers to let people know where to find you on campus or send someone a Prezbo.”

Once you have downloaded the application, you will have access to the entire collection of stickers through iMessage.

Here are some examples of stickers available in the application:

Photos Courtesy of CUStickers Team

Photos Courtesy of CUStickers Team

 

The app is available for free for iPhone users and can be found here.

 

In an email to students this evening, Dean of Barnard College, Avis Hinkson, announced the rollout of the new P/D/F policy effective immediately for Barnard students. The major change of this new policy is that students will now be able to uncover grades from classes that they initially chose to Pass/Fail. This brings the new policy in line with the current standards in Columbia College.

The full email can be found below:

Dear Barnard Students,

I write to inform you that, effective Fall 2016, the College will implement a new policy regarding Pass/D/Fail.

This policy, passed by a vote of the Faculty on May 2, 2016, will replace the old policy for all students.

The major change that defines the new policy is the removal of the restriction against uncovering grades. Effective Fall 2016, all students who elect P/D/F will be able to uncover their grade until the program filing deadline of the semester following the one in which P/D/F was elected.

The new and current policy may be found at http://barnard.edu/registrar/barnard-coursework/pass-d-fail, and additional important details are outlined.

The Committee on Instruction (COI) and the Faculty are pleased with these changes and look forward to implementing the new policy.

Thank you, and have a wonderful semester.

Respectfully,

Avis Hinkson
Dean of the College