Even without the support of the Barnard Student Government Association, Columbia's other three undergraduate student councils are moving forward with their boycott of Baker field's concession stands at Homecoming this weekend.
The boycott was initiated by the Columbia College Student Council on Sunday night in response to a new Athletics Department policy banning students from bringing their own alcohol to Baker field this weekend and eliminating tailgating from the parking area. On Monday night, the Engineering Student Council voted to join the boycott.
In a closed vote Tuesday night, the General Studies Student Council decided to join the effort as well and allocated money for the purchase of t-shirts reading "Support the team, not the policy."
After the meeting, GSSC released a statement stressing "unity with the other undergraduate councils." Council president Stephen Davis added that the council decision to support CCSC was not a form of lobbying for more involvement in overall campus government or joint-events, a long-time grievance within GSSC.
"I think there is clear separation between the Baker Field issue and this other issue," he said. "This is an example of where we think it's important to be united and work together just as we would expect there would be cooperation in other events and other policy issues and events."
Barnard's SGA, however, decided against voting on a boycott and voted instead to post an online petition allowing concerned students to express their dissatisfaction.
"We feel supporting the boycott would burn the bridges we've built with the administration," said SGA president M.A. Moutoussis, BC '06.
CCSC president Michelle Oh, CC '06, expressed disappointment that SGA would not be joining the boycott, but said she respected the council's decision. "I'll still be working with SGA throughout the year on other matters, and that doesn't change [CCSC's] resolve on this issue," she said.
Over the past few days, members of CCSC and ESC have repeatedly said that the tailgating policy merits going head to head with administration.
"Mutual respect is gained by calling [administrators] out when we think we're being treated unfairly," David Chait, CC '07 and junior class president, said on Monday.
The three councils will go forward with the boycott despite an e-mail sent to Oh and ESC president Tom Fazzio, SEAS '06, on Tuesday morning by Athletics Director Dr. M. Dianne Murphy.
Though Murphy requested that the specific contents of the e-mail remain private, Fazzio said that she was "very respectul, and she's open to talking to us," and that she requested to meet with the boycotting councils. He added that the councils hoped to meet with Murphy before Homecoming this weekend.
Moutoussis said she requested a statement from CCSC outlining its reasons for boycotting the concessions, but did not receive a response Tuesday from CCSC president Michelle Oh, CC '06. Oh said she sent the email around 1 a.m. on Wednesday.
Oh said that the statement was delayed "for both council and personal reasons." She added that she regrets "several instances of miscommunication on our end that might have led to this kind of decision."
Moutoussis stressed that she already knew the council's reasons for boycotting, but wanted the outline "so I could send it out to our council." In order for the SGA to vote on the issue again, a member of council would have had to call for a vote.
Moutoussis said she plans to forward the outline to her council now that she has it, but that SGA will not be changing its position at this point.
The other councils are still hoping to gain SGA's support, particularly now that GSSC is on board.
"We're hoping SGA will sign onto our combined petition," said ESC's vice president internal Dan Okin, SEAS '07. "We can say that as all three councils involved."
GSSC's decision came following a closed meeting Tuesday night. According to council policy, numbers for the vote cannot be released.
Oh stressed that whatever SGA decides, Barnard students should not be discouraged from getting involved. "Even if SGA doesn't sign on, if a Barnard student wants a t-shirt, she's more than welcome to have one," Oh said.
Additional reporting by Taylor Walsh.