Barnard's Student Government Association grappled with election constitutional policy on Monday night as members discussed recent impeachments and academic support programs. SGA elections are currently underway and are scheduled to end at noon on Wednesday, April 8. Students can now log into eBear to vote. break Members raised the question of whether Rebecca Shao, BC '11, who was impeached earlier this semester from her position as representative to the General Studies Student Council, was eligible to run for the loftier position of vice president of finance. While SGA President Sarah Besnoff, BC '09, who also runs elections, noted that there is no current policy against this in the council constitution, she recommended that next year's executive board conduct a constitutional review in order to address gray areas in election policies. Both Shao and Jackie Bundock, BC '11, former representative for Student Services, were impeached recently with no contest for lackluster attendance at meetings. SGA student elections, which began on Sunday evening at 10 p.m., are scheduled to end at noon Wednesday. As of Monday evening, 25 percent of the Barnard student body had voted. "What I've found in four years of SGA is people who vote are people who write in [suggestions]," Besnoff said. Some of those write-in ideas, she said, were turned over to he administration as suggestions. SGA also met on Monday night with Vivian Taylor, associate dean of the college for academic enrichment and opportunity programs, who discussed a wide variety of academic support programs for Barnard students and students from other colleges and local schools. The Liberty Partnerships Program, Taylor explained, provides Barnard and Columbia students as tutors for teens in seventh through twelfth grades in danger of dropping out of school. The graduation rate from the program is 94 percent. The Science and Technology Entry Program, or STEP, helps students in grades nine through twelve in underrepresented groups to achieve excellence in scientific disciplines. These programs have grown over the course of the year, and Taylor said that she hopes they will continue to do so. Taylor stated that one of the program's goals was to develop a resource center for different subjects, like those in other prominent colleges and universities, but acknowledged that the resource center may have to be sacrificed for resource and financial reasons in order to promote other programs. Taylor suggested putting together a student panel discussing different student studying methods, which was a well-received idea. The council also suggested developing a series of videos on economic diversity on campus similar to ones that had been found useful in the past about racial diversity.
Columbia Spectator Staff