Category: Uncategorized

Photo Courtesy Aida Lu

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.  The Lion has yet to endorse any candidate at this time and the views below do not necessarily represent the views of our team. For more information, email submissions@columbialion.com.

What motivated you to run for this position?

This past year, I had the honor of serving as a SEAS Class of 2019 Representative, where I had the opportunity to plan community­building events such as a cookie­decorating study break, box fort­ building competition, and sweatshirt sale, in order to engage students and ease their transition to college by making them feel like they were a part of a larger Columbia family. But as much as I enjoyed being on class council, I really loved being a member of ESC’s Finance Committee. During my time as a Finance Committee member, I’ve had the chance to speak to many students and see many of the amazing things that clubs are able to accomplish when they aren’t weighed down by financial burdens. The process of connecting with a group that needs funding, spending time to understand the group’s need, helping the club with an application, and then finally being able to grant the students the funding they need is an infinitely rewarding process, and one that I’m committed to expanding and improving.

If elected, what would your goals be?

As VP Finance, my largest goal is to increase the amount of funding available to students and student groups. I plan to accomplish this objective in two ways: first, by expanding the SEAS Alumni Donation Channel, a process that I have already begun to work on this year, and increasing the SEAS Dean’s Travel Fund. And second, once this increased funding is available, I would work closely with student groups to best allocate this funding and make sure that all clubs are aware of the funding opportunities available to them, both by leveraging my existing relationships with student groups and forging new connections with student leaders. Ultimately, I want to listen to students and student groups and make sure that I am doing everything I can to both represent their voices and addressing their concerns.

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

Besides the problem of better funding for student groups, I have noticed that many groups have expressed a need for certain materials: cameras, speakers, and other commonly­used items that would enhance a club’s participation and experience. In order to address this issue, I plan to better advertise the Resource Library, which houses a variety of items that clubs can already borrow, and drastically expand the number of both technical and non­technical resources available, so that all students and groups can take advantage of the available resources.

Any additional comments you would like to share with voters?

To be honest, Finance Committee required many hundreds of hours of work this year. But I found that I was happy to put in as much time as necessary because I was truly passionate about helping student groups procure the funding that they need, so that they can spend their time and effort pursuing their goals. Next year, as VP Finance, I would approach my position with the same wholehearted dedication and work tirelessly to listen to student voices and make sure that all of the financial needs of students and student groups are met.

Photo Courtesy Anthony Kim

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.  The Lion has yet to endorse any candidate at this time and the views below do not necessarily represent the views of our team. For more information, email submissions@columbialion.com.

What motivated you to run for this position?

The current state of communication at Columbia is broken and inadequate. It is absolutely unacceptable that students are unaware of the various resources available to them academically, extracurricularly, and professionally. As a transfer student, I experienced first hand the difficulties of navigating through Columbia’s resources, and the frustration I felt in my first few semesters motivated me to make a change. I am confident that, as VP of Communications, I can bridge the gap between SEAS students, faculty, and administrators by revamping major sources of information such as the ESC website, the ESC Facebook page, LionLink, and more. In doing so, I hope that future students will not have to waste their time and effort looking for the proper resources. Instead, these students can navigate through college with all the right resources in hand, focusing on having a successful four years at Columbia!

 

If elected, what would your goals be?

As VP of Communications, my goal is to work as the intermediary between students, faculty, and the administration to increase transparency and amplify student voices. (1) Increase communication between students and faculty/advising Deans: I will create major-specific Piazza pages where undeclared and declared students can initiate a dialogue with each other and the professors, faculty advisors, and advising Deans also on the Piazza pages. (2) Increase communication between students and ESC/administrators: I will personally meet with students and organizations on campus to listen to their questions and concerns and relay those questions and concerns to the correct council members and administrators. Not only will I voice those concerns when meeting with ESC and the administration, but also, I will present the responses to the students to show that their voices are being heard.

 

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

I plan on revamping various online portals currently available to students such as LionLink and www.columbiaesc.com. Currently, these online portals are either unused or unknown and that is unacceptable. By working with CUIT, collaborating with fellow designers and coders, and drawing on my own computer science background, I plan to create websites that are simple and enable students to find the right resources for their academic, personal, extracurricular, and professional needs. Once I have worked with my committee to establish these simple and comprehensive online portals, I will lead advertising campaigns during NSOP and throughout the year to make sure that the students in SEAS are fully aware of all the resources and opportunities known to them.

 

Any additional comments you would like to share with voters?

I am fully confident that the rest of SEAS++—Neha, Aida, Charles, and Piyushi—and I will do an amazing job as your ESC Executive Board. I can’t wait to see all the progress we can make together with our fellow SEAS students!

Photo Courtesy Josh Schenk

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.  The Lion has yet to endorse any candidate at this time and the views below do not necessarily represent the views of our team. For more information, email submissions@columbialion.com.

I decided to run for University Senate because of my experience as the CCSC Class of 2019 President and as a member of the Senate Committee for Students with Disabilities and the Senate Libraries Committee. Over the last year, I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with other students, faculty, staff, and administration on important issues. My accomplishments this year include securing air conditioning for undergraduate housing, partnering with 20 NYC restaurants for CU student discounts, and launching Peer Connect for first-year student. I feel that these experiences will allow me to begin immediately pursuing important University-wide initiatives as a University Senator.

There are a lot of issues I would like to fix at Columbia. I would address issues of race and diversity on campus. There are no spaces for many minority groups, and I would advocate for the further allocation of space to underrepresented minorities. Additionally, I hope to work with the Senate to recruit and retain a diverse student and faculty body. There remains a shortage of diverse staff in STEM fields as well as instructors of color teaching core classes. Lastly, it is necessary to add staff members of different ethnicities and cultural backgrounds to Columbia Psychological Services.

As Columbia begins to make the move to the Manhattanville campus, I will push for more lounges and study spaces on both the Morningside and Manhattanville campuses. Columbia students deserve places to relax and socialize.  I’ll also work to increase access to outside spaces, such as the grass lawns in front of Butler.

One of my biggest priorities is to make the actions of the Senate more accountable. I would hold town hall meetings once a semester to ensure that Columbia College student voices are heard. The Senate represents a diverse group of students and faculty, and it is important for Senators to not forget their constituency. Additionally, outside students are not currently allowed to attend committee meetings. As Senator, I would seek to change the guidelines so that Student Affairs Committee meetings are opened up to students. Lastly, I would like Senate committees to publish their minutes.

There needs to be a change in the University Senate’s Rules of Conduct that explicitly protects student journalists covering protests on campus. Students have a right to know what is happening at their school, and this right is not protected when reporters risk disciplinary action if they cover a protest. I plan to consult with the rules committee of the Senate to produce guidelines protecting journalists.

As a current member of the Senate committee addressing disability access, I will work to provide accessible entrances and access points, especially in getting from lower campus to upper campus. If an entrance or elevator is not functioning, students should be immediately notified by Disability Services and provided with an approximate timeline for service and an alternative route.

I would aim to change the finals schedule so that students do not have testing on December 23rd. It is unfair for international students and west coast students to not be home for the holidays. Additionally, professors should not react to this by scheduling finals before or during reading week. That’s just not right – reading week is a time for students to study in peace.

I will push for official University forms to provide an option for identifying as transgender/genderqueer. The University should continue its move towards gender-neutral bathrooms by accelerating the pace with which such bathrooms are implemented in buildings like Butler and Hamilton.

These are some of the issues I think are most important to address right away. Since my term would end when I’m still a junior, as opposed to most who would be second-semester seniors, I would be held accountable for my duties on the Senate and have more than two years to work on important initiatives.  If anyone reading this has any suggestions or issues that they’d like to see addressed, please email me at jms2430@columbia.edu! My full platform is available at http://joshschenk.wix.com/senate.

Photo Courtesy of Columbia Political Union/Columbia Elections Board

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.  The Lion has yet to endorse any candidate at this time and the views below do not necessarily represent the views of our team. For more information, email submissions@columbialion.com.

N/A Party – Andre Adams (Prez) & Iqraz Nanji (VP Policy)

What motivated you to run for this position?

I decided to run for student body president because I am fed up. I am fed up with a student council does not take into consideration the opinions of the students that they’re meant to represent. I am fed up with the lack of resources that the school dedicates to the debauchery of its students. But most importantly, I am fed up with my empty, empty schedule. I mean seriously, when I’m not filling out student life surveys, I’m just sitting in my room, staring blankly the wall or at some dimly­lit screen, subconsciously counting off the seconds until I become subsumed into the singularity, and can frolic in eternity ­ man and machine existing as one. Beep beep, boop bop.

I just want something to do until then.

If elected, what would your goals be?

I don’t have any in particular. I think the Columbia community fetishizes “achievements” and “accomplishments” and “goals.” If elected, I do hope to fulfill the basic requirements and responsibilities of the position. Anything I do above and beyond that is akin to getting a grade above a B in one of my classes: it’s nice but I’m not particularly concerned about it. You know: it’s okay to just be okay.

In addition, I seek to raise the profile of The Lion, so that they can finally compete with the Spectator, if not Bwog.

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

I want to make Columbia great again. I think the most important step that I can accomplish in doing that is removing Barnard College from the University. For too long, they have trespassed upon our campus, taking our classes and soaking up our precious academic resources. Look, these people they think they can just mark across Broadway and take advantage of us. They get to graduate with the name of our university on their diploma. And what for? They didn’t have to sit through gratuitous Fro Sci lectures every Monday morning freshman year. Their discussion sections weren’t impeded by the bludgeoning yawns and shortcomings of student athletes. Hell, they didn’t even send their best applications to Columbia! It’s time to stop shuttling them across our campus in the wee hours of the night. It’s time to bury their zines in the rubble of their library. It’s time to make sure that our professors are capable of writing recommendations for CC students and CC students alone! Now some might say that my positions are “bigoted” or “exclusionary”, to which I would respond that I’m running for CCSC, not the “Student Government” of Barnard College. We must look out for our own. Some might say that this goal is unrealistic, to which I would say that we have already made promising progress towards restoring Columbia to it’s former glory. Barnard students are no longer welcome in our dining halls, and they’re forced out of their housing over winter break inevitably causing some of the displaced “students” there to freeze to death in the bitter New York winter. However, I believe

that this does not go far enough. We need a wall. A mighty wall. All wall running from 114th St. Up to 122nd St. At least 20 feet high made of steel and concrete. My understanding is that the administration played with this idea back in the 80s, although back then it was to separate us from Harlem. However, at this time I think it’s clear which of the two is the far greater threat to our very existence.

Any additional comments you would like to share with voters?

Haven’t been getting a lot of matches on JSwipe recently, so any tips for beefing up my profile would be greatly appreciated.

Photo by James Xue (SEAS ’17)

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.  The Lion has yet to endorse any candidate at this time and the views below do not necessarily represent the views of our team. For more information, email submissions@columbialion.com.

The entire process behind student government is farcically corrupt. They make excuses but it’s true.

The elections board is now part and parcel a part of the Columbia Political Union. Their irrelevant club has decided that their debates with audiences of twenty people justify them absorbing the body that manages all of our elections. And unfortunately they are completely and utterly incompetent. They barely advertised the process as a whole. I saw registration hours before the deadline. Huge registration errors left half the positions empty. They let someone sign up for multiple positions and other people just ignore mandatory meetings. We don’t need a privately run “election center,” we need an election that functions at the most basic level. They were this bad at their jobs in the fall, and it has only gotten worse, but still they are being allowed to push this on us. That’s accountability at Columbia.

And it is far from just them. The student council has had insiders tie up the entire process. This election is a complete sham, the council members divided up the spoils months ago. There isn’t even a real second ticket running for exec board and two exec positions are just anointed with no-contest, let alone the lack of serious (or any) competition across the board. Friends told me months ago who would run and who would win and evidently they were right on both counts. Members are committed to this remaining their special little club regardless of how much they consistently fail all of us. At least the Class of 2017 President had the sense to not seek another term after giving open seats to his friends and sabotaging everyone else. How can a club with almost no integrity claim the legitimacy to fight for us, assuming they even want to?

I don’t like a lot of the more cavalier activists any more than anyone else, but at least they yell, shout, and scream when people face real problems rather than just sit in a circle and spit crap for an hour every week. Maybe if there was single leader on this campus they wouldn’t have to turn all the way to changing the Core to fight discrimination, assault, and food insecurity.

And know that nothing will never change if there if there isn’t a student press that can do its damn job. All we have is Spec and it doesn’t just suck, #Specislegitimatelyaterribleorganization. How many worthless freshman op-eds about discourse does it take to fix our campus? Apparently they’ll just pumping them out until they find out. It’s not like they actually pay their work study reporters to find real news or police the student government and elections. And their days are numbered because no one here has the guts to force the administration to protect press freedom.

This really is just a cycle of incompetence because of which we all are going to suffer. This may seem harsh but our campus and its students aren’t a joke and we can’t be played like this.

Don’t let all of them get away with it, rain on their stupid parade. Don’t just check “none of the above,” check “f#ck this process and everyone involved in it.” I do not want this job and believe me, I won’t take it.

UPDATE (3/29/16): This candidate has withdrawn their candidacy for the University Senate.