The Columbia College Student Council and the Engineering Student Council have appointed all eight members of the newly formed Columbia Elections Commission, a new body tasked with overseeing student council elections.
The Commission was formed this semester after its predecessor, the Columbia Elections Board, ceased to exist following the resignation of its last remaining member in October. CEB had been the subject of repeated criticism in the past, especially after it failed to publicize fall elections last semester.
CEC will consist of six senior student council members, three from each council, as well as two non-council members who will act as commissioner and vice-commissioner.
Josh Burton, CC ’18, who acted as interim CEB chair at the start of this semester, will officially serve as commissioner. According to an earlier email explaining the role of CEC, the commissioner’s duties will include “chairing the Columbia Elections Commission, ensuring all elections planning logistics are effectively carried out, managing elections marketing, voting on rules violations, and working together with Undergraduate Student Life.”
Burton expressed confidence that the new structure will ensure the sustainability of CEC. He pointed to both the fact that the Commission will include student council seniors, giving CEC institutional backing, and the fact that the vice-commissioner will not be allowed to be a senior, assuring they will continue their involvement with the Commission for more than just one year.
As the commissioner, Burton stated that his priority would be to “reach a very diverse and inclusive subset of the student body.” Additionally, he plans to implement strategies such as working with campus media to both promote the elections and host debates, as well as reaching out to student groups and other campus organizations.
“I want every single student in CC and SEAS to know that elections are happening, whether they want to or not,” he said.
See the complete list of CEC members:
Josh Burton, CC ’18
Jason Mares, CC ’20
Nathan Rosin, CC ’18
Nicole Alicock, CC ’18
Emily Lavine, CC ’18
Ben Barton, SEAS ’18
Julia Joern, SEAS ’18
Patrick Lin, SEAS ’18