In case you missed it: This week in news
As we settle into October, this semester’s storylines are starting to become familiar. Barnard cuts its budget. Columbia looks for ways to make life easier for its students. Upper Manhattan residents have problems with redistricting. Local hawks die from rat poison.
Wait, what was that last one? In case you missed it, here’s the News Desk’s breakdown of this week’s top stories:
Barnard administrators went on something of a PR blitz this week, in the wake of a series of budget cuts that has riled students. Barnard President Debora Spar told Spectator that the college is working to cut up to $8 million from its annual operating budget, before telling the Student Government Association that students need to do a better job of communicating their concerns to administrators. Barnard Dean Avis Hinkson addressed lingering concerns over this year’s housing crunch at an SGA town hall Tuesday night, just before more than 80 students attended a teach-in to support Barnard union workers, who say that administrators are trying to freeze their salaries and cut benefits.
On the other side of Broadway, the big question this week was how to improve the student experience at Columbia, a question that even PrezBo was asking. For some initiatives, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive; students say that the new peer advising system helps first-years cut through bureaucracy, that the open housing program has made life more comfortable for the 60 students taking advantage of it, and that two new student council funds could be a boon to cash-strapped clubs.
Columbia’s arts initiatives, though, seem to be less than popular at the moment; CUArts’ discount ticket prices have been on the rise, and the Columbia Ballet Collaborative is being asked to pay a hefty price tag to keep performing in Miller Theater. And in another story that has already raised some concerns, Dean of Student Affairs Kevin Shollenberger confirmed that he won’t release a breakdown of how student life fees are spent.
You know how Columbia has space issues? Well, the city does too. Local residents and politicians continued to lash out against proposed redistricting lines this week, while bike activists criticized Community Board 7 for not pushing hard enough for bike lines. Meanwhile, the city is starting to crack down on landlords who operate illegal hotels, although some locals say the crackdown will lead to landlords starting homeless shelters instead. And in Columbia/city space news, the Friends of Morningside Park have continued to struggle following the Columbia-backed Morningside Area Alliance’s decision to kick the organization out of its Columbia-owned office space.
Oh, and the hawk deaths? Yeah, that’s a real thing.
Tweet @ColumbiaSpec with the hashtag #icymi to let us know what stories caught your attention this week.
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