University Senate April 25, 2003
2002–2003 ANNUAL REPORT OF THE STUDENT AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
This year, the student caucus was excited welcome Lee Bollinger as Columbia’s nineteenth president. The first project we undertook was an ice cream and cake reception for the incoming president, which took place on College Walk concurrent with the student-led celebration on the night of the president’s inauguration. The event brought together several student councils and laid down a structure we have built on to advance several other interschool initiatives. Over the course of the year, the caucus has focused much of its energy on coordinating interschool activities and consolidating the voices and interests of students in the various schools of the university.
The student caucus watched closely the debate over the establishment of a doctorate degree in nursing practice, and contributed to that debate as it saw itself able to. We were pleased that the debate raised broader issues about the standards to be applied to the establishment of new practice degrees.
Early in the year, the caucus took special interest in the difficulties raised by the University Record’s unauthorized sanitation of a Senate column reporting a dispute between the Faculty Affairs Committee and the provost. We were gratified that a clear solution to this issue was crafted and that a written agreement specifying how the Senate’s Record column is to be treated by the Record’s editor was produced.
The caucus’s efforts to coordinate interschool activities culminated this spring with a series of panels aimed at introducing Columbia undergraduates to the experiences of students at Columbia’s Graduate Schools. The initiative brought together all undergraduate and graduate schools across Columbia for eight nights of graduate student and alumni panels representing thirteen Columbia graduate schools. College Senator Tamar Simon and the project’s committee members, College Senator Hilary Rosenstein, School of the Arts Senator Jerry Boak, and Teacher’s College representative Nathan Walker as well as the various student council members involved in this project deserve special thanks for their dedication. This initiative has set the foundations for future interschool activities organized through the student caucus, to foster a stronger sense of community between undergraduate and graduate students at Columbia University
Lastly, in response to the heightened tensions on the campus brought about by the American-led war in Iraq, the student caucus prepared a survey to be distributed to student groups throughout the campus which seeks to better understand student perspectives on free speech and how groups understand their own goals within the context of the broader university community. This initiative will continue and be expanded in the fall semester.
Marni Hall, co-chair
Roosevelt Montás, co-chair
Kira von Ostenfeld