The Activities Board at Columbia elected representatives for next year’s board and recognized seven student groups on Tuesday and Wednesday.
ABC approved two student publications—the fashion magazine Hoot and the sex magazine The Morningside After—as funded groups. It also recognized Columbia New Poetry, the InterPublications Alliance, Korean pop dance group CU Generation, Columbia University Financial Engineering, and Global China Connection as unfunded groups.
The activities board—which oversees cultural, performance, and special-interest groups and publications—received nearly three times the usual number of applications for group recognition this semester. Of the 14 groups that applied, ABC voted against recognizing five and is still reviewing two applications.
“We received a record number of applications,” Ben Xue, CC ’14 and current chair of the new group recognition committee, said. “It really floored us … almost every application was received in the last four hours of the deadline.”
Xue said that when groups gain recognition, funding is not usually a major issue, thanks to several other funding avenues, including the Arts Initiative’s Gatsby Fund and Columbia College Student Council joint co-sponsorships.
ABC’s New Group Recognition board chose not to recognize several groups that were still quite new, he said at the town hall.
“The NGR board felt that they could benefit from another semester, especially because a lot of them hatched the idea in the beginning of the year,” Xue said.
Groups that have been approved by ABC also need to be approved by the Office of Student Development and Activities before they can start programming. ABC has worked this semester to simplify that additional process, which has taken up to three months in the past.
“SDA is now initiating their process earlier,” outgoing president Daniel Brown, CC ’12, said after the town hall. “As groups are approved, they are immediately sent over to SDA so that hopefully their process will move faster and they can start programming.”
Voting also took place at the town hall for next year’s ABC representatives. Fifteen students ran for 13 positions.
Current representatives Elizabeth Angeles, CC ’13, Ryan Cho, CC ’13, Nikhil Krishnan, CC ’14, Tony Lee, CC ’15, ChiChi Udochi, CC ’13, Justin Yang, CC ’13, and Xue were re-elected for next year. The board’s current secretary, Christine Byun, CC ’14, will return next year as a representative.
They will be joined by Nikita Bhasin, CC ’15, Hamza Khan, CC ’14, Andrew Ren, CC ’15, Mirabel Rouze, CC ’14, and Jason Tejada, CC ’13.
At last week’s board meeting, Saketh Kalathur, CC ’13, and Julian Richardson, CC ’14, were elected ABC president and vice president, respectively.
On Tuesday, Richardson, the current representative for dance groups, discussed a petition that ABC has been working on against changes being pushed for by the Student Space Initiative. Those changes would involve the conversion of Lerner Hall’s Broadway Room, where many dance groups practice, into more of a student lounge area.
“I’ve gotten a lot of feedback from groups and we’ve found that many of them don’t want the change to happen,” he said.
As of Wednesday night, the petition had about 130 signatures from student leaders, representing more than 60 ABC, Student Governing Board, and Greek life groups.
Kalathur said that the petition is a good example of “how we can all come together and get things done at this school using our collective ability.”
Many representatives stressed the importance of communication in their speeches at the town hall. Khan said he want to digitize clubs’ financial records, and Yang said he wants to utilize ABC’s Facebook page more effectively.