CCSC Elections

Senate Candidates Speak Out!: Richard Sun

sun shine!Our coverage of the CCSC elections continues with another statement from a Senate candidate.  Richard Sun may have a sunny disposition, but he’s not afraid to talk serious with the Cub Pub. Here’s what he has to say.

The Senate was established in the wake of the events of ’68 to be a forum for an active and participatory governing body. In this spirit, the Senate should be a place to push forward important and complex initiatives, initiatives that are too great for just one school’s governing body or administration to handle. Things like open course evaluations, the Morningside Student Space Initiative, “Quality of Life” on campus, and the need for greater transparency, accountability, and accessibility of our senior administration—these are the important initiatives that the Senate should be addressing and these are the issues that I have and will continue to fight for in the Senate. I believe that based on my experiences I am uniquely qualified to serve as your University Senator.  I believe that I have the ability to follow through and realize our shared vision.

For the past two years, I have served as Chief of Staff of the Senate’s Student Affairs Committee, a body composed of 24 student senators across all schools. In this role, I act as part chief strategist, part press secretary, and part personnel director to the Chairs of a committee charged with representing graduate and undergraduate interests.

My experience as SAC Chief of Staff has allowed me to learn the different stakeholder interests at play. During last year’s ROTC debates, we saw Senators stifled by the lack of an ability to directly reach out to their constituents; we also heard cries for transparency from the general student body. It was the system, and not individual Senators, that failed the greater Columbia Community. This year, the Senate has passed a resolution that allows senators to directly reach their communities. SAC has been at the forefront of that effort, and I have been a part of every major committee discussion we made regarding this policy. This is a vision we have realized, a result that we can be point to and be proud of.

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CCSC Elections

Senate Candidates Speak Out!: Derrick Fu

derrick fuHere’s another statement sent in from a CCSC Senate Candidate, this time we have Derrick Fu. He’s on the Cub Pub to provide a little insight on what needs to be done in student goverement in a segment he calls It’s Our Senate, Not Theirs.

What’s the biggest problem with USenate today? Simply put: students have no idea what USenate does. More importantly, students don’t understand what their USenate can do. USenate was founded in response to the 1968 riots to serve as a powerful resource not just for faculty/administrators, but for the student body. The student body should have a say in the policy changes it wants and needs.

But that’s not the USenate situation today, and that’s exactly why I’m running to reinvent the Senate-Student Body relationship.

Now here’s how I’m going to give the Senate back to the student body.

Virtual Town Halls – Town halls have been largely ineffective. Despite the flyering and Spec shout-outs, no one shows up. I want to provide students the opportunity to login to an Issue-Specific, Virtual Town Hall [Ex: Town Hall on Student Wellness, Town Hall of Academic Integrity, etc.] directly from their laptops, cutting out the hassle and mundaneness and enabling students to learn about the Senate’s stance and progress on an issue and put forth their own ideas. Ideas like a Social Justice Center, which I will advocate for unrelentingly, need mass student momentum to move forward. With Virtual Town Halls I’m bringing the Senate floor to you – the students.

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CCSC Elections

Senate Candidates Speak Out!: Matthew Chou

mattSince CCSC elections take place this week, the Cub Pub has reached out to all the College Senate candidates, asking them to share their platform on the blog. First we have Matthew Chou, enjoy and remember to do your civil service by voting this week!

Talking to students about the University Senate, I always hear “What does the Senate even do?” For others, there is a common statement: “I don’t see how Senate’s work affects my life.”

It can be hard to know how to respond. For even the most involved students at Columbia, the Senate often seems like an enigma, a black box that either spits out boring policies or huge decisions, with little room for student feedback or review.

Correct or not, the fact of the matter is that the existence of such a perception means that there is something very wrong. The Senate is second only to the Board of Trustees. How can our relationship be so uncertain?

After serving on the Senate as one of two current student staffers, I’ve seen how University-level issues directly affect students. From liberating our course evaluations data to communicating to the administration the terrible student space situation on campus, it is crucial that our student Senators fight passionately for what students need and hold the University accountable.

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