The following “From the Senate” column, written by Senate Manager Tom Mathewson, appeared in slightly different form in the Columbia University Record, September 29, 2000, p. 2.
SENATE HEARS UPDATES ON SEXUAL MISCONDUCT AND
ANTI-SWEATSHOP POLICIES AT OPENING MEETING
There were no action items on the agenda for the Senate’s first meeting this year, on September 22, 2000. Instead, the Senate did annual housekeeping duties, approving this year’s nominations to committees, and heard updates on two of last year’s main initiatives: the new policy on student sexual misconduct, and the decision to maintain Columbia’s membership in two different anti-sweatshop organizations. Fifty-two of 78 senators attended the meeting.
Sen. Emily Lloyd (Executive Vice President for Administration) reported on the implementation of the sexual misconduct policy, including the hiring of Charlene Allen as the new coordinator for education and prevention efforts, the appointment and training of new hearing panelists, and the establishment of a group of new Administrative subcommittees to keep track of the new policy.
Sen. Eugene Litwak (Ten., A&S), chairman of the External Relations Committee, gave optimistic progress reports on both anti-sweatshop groups. The Fair Labor Association, a consortium of universities, apparel manufacturers, and NGOs that Columbia joined in the spring of 1999, has been developing monitoring programs in Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Taiwan, including the identification and training of local NGOs to do the monitoring.
The Worker Rights Consortium has had a different task¾getting itself organized. The organization has three component groups: students, administrators representing 57 universities and colleges, and international labor experts. The chairman of the governing board is Congressman George Miller (Dem., California).
The next Senate meeting is on October 27, 2000, at 1:15 p.m. in Schapiro Engineering Auditorium. Anyone with a CUID is welcome. Information about the Senate is available on the web, at www.columbia.edu/cu/senate/.