College Council opens 2009-10 year

By CiaraShook

College Council held its first meeting of the 2009-10 academic year on Oct. 2.

The council, comprises faculty, staff and students, meets monthly in the Hub of the 1104 Center, with general reports across the college.

President of College Council Kevin Fuller announced that President Warrick L. Carter has added Columbia’s name to a pledge from the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, promising to make Columbia climate neutral.

“The timing of it is very fortuitous,” said Alicia Berg, vice president of Campus Environment. Berg announced that in conjunction with signing the ACUPCC pledge, Columbia will be hosting the Greenscale Conference on Oct. 16, with keynote speaker Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

“We’re really thrilled to have [Kennedy] on our campus,” Berg said.

College Advisor Wayne Tukes presented the board with the Faculty/Staff Scholarship Initiative. Tukes described the initiative as a remedy to match the college’s mission to be a premiere media arts institution.

“If you contribute as little as $5 a paycheck, [which is] $120 a year, it will be matched one-to-one,” Tukes said. “If you are alumnus and you work here, it will be matched two-to-one.”

College Council addressed the elimination of the Monetary Award Program grant from students’ funding, which was addressed by Student Government Association President Jessica Valerio. Valerio acknowledged that more than 3,000 students have been affected by MAP grant cuts and is encouraging more students to join SGA in lobbying to win the MAP grants back.

Valerio also announced the new SGA constitution set in place for this year, which will include graduate representatives from each of the three schools, rather than just one representative such as in the past.

In contrast to the steady increase in enrollment Columbia has seen in past years, Vice President of Student Affairs Mark Kelly described this year’s significant decline of 2.7 percent as “sobering.” Kelly announced Columbia’s record enrollment of metro freshmen as a result of the recent trend of students attending colleges

closer to home in light of the economic climate.

Vice President and Provost Stephen Kepelke stressed the importance of the faculty’s role in recruitment.

“Students come here because of the faculty,” Kepelke said. “It is the faculty that is at our instructional core. Keep in mind that you’re the reason the students are here.”

College Council’s next meeting will be Nov. 6 at 10 a.m. in the 1104 Center, 1104 S. Wabash Ave.