Students from all four schools express concern surrounding GS Class Day
As reported in today’s paper, last night students convened at a town hall meeting to discuss their opinions on the sudden schedule shift for General Studies’ Class Day. Since then, student representatives from all four undergraduate schools have released a joint statement calling for the administration to be as accommodating as possible to students who have been financially or emotionally burdened by the date change. Continue reading for the full statement, and click here for Spectator’s coverage of the town hall.
Standing Together with the School of General Studies
April 25, 2012
The sudden and unexpected rescheduling of the School of General Studies Class Day has placed undue financial and emotional burdens upon the students of General Studies and their families. We are heartened by the creation of a GS Class Day Travel Fund and hope that the administration will work to accommodate as many people as possible so that they are able to take part in the celebration of the amazing accomplishments of the graduating seniors in GS.
Continue reading the statement after the jump.
We are disappointed with the manner in which this change has been communicated to the GS student body. President Bollinger’s e-mail did not acknowledge the enormous emotional and financial burdens the move of GS Class Day places on the families and friends of GS seniors. We request a formal apology to those students and their families that have been affected by the move. We also wish to see the creation of an event during the originally scheduled Class Day ceremony, in an alternative location, to accommodate those individuals who cannot change their plans or wish to attend in addition to Class Day. This event should be paid for in full by the Columbia and Barnard administrations as a gesture of goodwill and understanding to recognize both the achievements of the graduating GS seniors and the support and sacrifices made by them and their loved ones.
Additionally, we are saddened by the conflict between the new GS Class Day time and the undergraduate Baccalaureate Service. The Baccalaureate Service is the only graduation event that brings together graduating seniors from the four undergraduate schools in an intimate setting to celebrate each other’s accomplishments and our passage together through Columbia. This is to be the first year in which all four undergraduate schools will have seniors speaking at the event, and we are hopeful that any GS students who would like to attend will be accommodated. Those who cannot attend will be deeply missed by their Barnard, Columbia College, and Engineering classmates.
Columbia is a unique and challenging experience for each and every individual who ventures through the Columbia gates, regardless of which school he or she attends. Graduation is a celebration of the culmination of the years of hard work invested to satisfy the requirements of a Columbia University degree. This would not be possible without the immense support of family and friends, the very individuals who wish to be present at Class Day. Every graduating individual deserves the right to be able to celebrate with those individuals in their life who have made this accomplishment possible.
Representatives and members from all of the undergraduate schools stand in solidarity with graduating seniors of the School of General Studies. Though there are four separate undergraduate schools, we stand as one undergraduate student body – celebrating the experiences and perspectives that every group and individuals add to this community. We wish to move past the animosity that has been presented toward various groups and remind students that we are here to support each other and wish that every member of our community feel included and welcomed.
Logan Donovan, ESC VP Policy, 2011-2012, Author
Barry Weinberg, Student Governing Board Chair, 2011-2012, Author
Jacqueline Thong, GSSC Student Body President, 2010-2012
Jennifer Wisdom, GSSC Student Body President Elect, 2012-2013
Jose Robledo, University Senator, GS 2009-2012
Kyle Riggle, GS’12, GSSC Senior Class VP, 2011-2012
Aki Terasaki, CC’12, CCSC President, 2011-2012
Will Hughes, CCSC VP Policy, 2012-2013
Yanyi Luo, CCSC VP Campus Life, 2012-2013
Kenneth Durell, University Senator (2010-2012), CC ‘12
Ryan Cho, CC’13, Vice President Policy 2011-2012, President, Multicultural Greek Council
Nate Levick, ESC President, 2011-2012
Tim Qin, ESC President, 2012-2013
Akshay Shah, University Senator, SEAS 2012-2014 [and co-founder of EventSalsa, which is affiliated with Spectator]
Jim Huang, ESC VP Communications, 2011-2012
Siddhant Bhatt, ESC VP Finance, 2012-2013
Bora Kim, ESC VP Policy, 2012-2013
Mary Byers, ESC 2013 Class President, 2009-2013
Daniel O’Leary, ESC 2014 Class President, 2012-2013
Jessica Blank, SGA President 2011-2012
Naomi Cooper, SGA VP Finance 2011-2012
Sarah Steinmann, SGA VP Communications 2011-12, SGA VP Student Activities 2012-13
Julia Kennedy, BC ‘13, SGA VP for Student Government 2012-2013
Mara Wood, SGA VP Finance 2012-2013
Rachel Ferrari ‘13, SGA Vice President 2011-2012
Leah Greenbaum, CC ’12, Spectator News Editor, 2011
David Fine, Student Governing Board Chair, 2012-2013
Maryam Aziz, CC’13, Student Governing Board Vice-Chair, 2012-2013
Daniel Bonner, 2012 Hillel President; SGB Vice Chair 2011-2012
Arvin Ahmadi, CC’14, Ivy Council VP Internal, 2012-2013 [and a Spectator opinion columnist]
Ben Totushek, Fight for Manhattanville, GS 2008-2011, SIPA 2011-2012
Aly Jiwani, University Senator, SIPA 2012-2013
Scott Saverance, University Senator, SIPA 2010-2011
Robert Wintersteen, GS’12
Wilfred Chan, CC’13, Student Wellness Project
Margo Kulkarni, SEAS ‘12
Learned Foote, CC’11 [and CCSC President 2010-2011]
Ryan Mandelbaum, CC ’13 [and CC 2013 Class President]
Katie Johnson, GS ‘11
Iban Goicoechea, GS ‘15
Dominique Mosbergen, CC ‘11
Katharine Celentano, GS ‘14
Jia Ahmad, CC ‘11
Daniel Lagana GS ‘13
Jasmine Senior, CC ‘12, CCSC VP Campus Life 2011-2012
Elle Littlefield, GS ‘12, GS Alumni Affairs Representative 2011-2012
Deborah Robertson, BC ‘13, SGA Representative for Campus Policy 2011-2012, 2012-2013
Varun Char, CC ‘14,
Julianna Burt, BC ‘12
Angelica Hoyos, GS ‘13, GS Working Students Representative
Benjamin Briggs, GS ‘12, GSSC Comptroller
Keith Miller, University Senator, TC 2011-2012
Ayla Kalani, GS ‘12
Justin Nathaniel Carter, University Senator-elect GS ‘14
Miguel Orea & Abril Dozal, Chicano Caucus
Winn Periyasamy, BC ‘13, SGA Rep for Student Services (2011-2012), Rep for Community Development (2012-2013)
Frank Yin, ESC VP Finance 2011-2012
Miguel Morel GS ‘12, GSSC Community Service Representative
Amna Pervez GS ‘14, Legislative Assistant
As of 9:45 p.m., 19 new signatures have been added.
As of 9:45 p.m., the statement is now also saved as a Change.org petition.
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