CONSTITUTION of the Columbia College Student Council
The students of Columbia College elect the Columbia College Student Council (CCSC) to serve as their primary representative, advocate, and liaison to the Columbia University community, including its administration, faculty, alumni and students, as well as to the public. The CCSC is charged with gathering and expressing student opinion, actively representing student views, appropriately addressing student concerns, ensuring that college students are fully apprised of all information of impact to their undergraduate experience, responsibly and equitably distributing student activity fees, and working with other student groups to program college wide events designed to foster cohesiveness within the entire undergraduate population.
Article I. Membership and Duties
The CCSC shall be comprised of the following members:
Columbia College Student Body President [votes only in case of tie]
Vice President for Policy [voting]
Vice President for Campus Life [voting]
Vice President for Finance [voting]
Vice President for Communications [voting]
Senators (3) [voting]
Senior Class President [voting]
Senior Class Vice President [voting]
Junior Class President [voting]
Junior Class Vice President [voting]
Sophomore Class President [voting]
Sophomore Class Vice President [voting]
First-year Class President [voting]
First-year Class Vice President [voting]
Academic Affairs Representative [voting]
Student Services Representatives (2) [voting]
Pre-Professional Representative [voting]
Alumni Affairs Representative [voting]
Class Representatives (12) [voting]
GSSC Liaison [non-voting]
ESC Liaison [non-voting]
SGA Liaison [non-voting]
Liaisons from Other Governing Bodies and Umbrella Organizations [non-voting]
The Executive Board of the CCSC shall be comprised of the following members:
Vice President for Policy
Vice President for Campus Life
Vice President for Finance
Vice President for Communications
It shall be the responsibility of this Executive Board to ensure council activities and stances are in line with its mission and charge, to hold representatives accountable to their core duties, to maintain a robust pace, and to facilitate clear processes. The Executive Board shall make collaboration a priority in achieving effective and inclusive policy and programming, partnering with other councils and governing boards, student groups, and administrative departments.
Section 3. Student Body President
The Student Body President will serve as the primary spokesperson for and representative of the student body of Columbia College. The Student Body President shall chair CCSC meetings and bear ultimate responsibility for the execution of all CCSC initiatives. The Student Body President shall maintain relations with the Administration, Faculty, Alumni, Members of the Morningside Heights Community, and other undergraduate student councils and governing boards. Collaboration between these external bodies and various parts of CCSC should be sought and encouraged by the Columbia College Student Body President whenever possible. The Student Body President reserves the right to serve ex officio on any CCSC committee. The Student Body President shall maintain, promote, and execute this Constitution.
Section 4. Vice President for Policy
The primary responsibility for the Vice President for Policy shall be to advise and guide all CCSC members concerning business that relates to both University and College policy and coordinate their initiatives with regard to these matters. The Vice President for Policy shall assist the President with the fulfillment of his or her policy oriented duties. The Vice President for Policy shall also bear responsibility for all nominations to University and College administrative committees. The Vice President for Policy has the option to serve as chair of any ad-hoc committee convened by the CCSC to address issues of College or University policy. The Vice President for Policy will direct the structure and operations of the standing Policy Committee. The Vice President for Policy shall also communicate with a representative to the Ivy Council in order to keep council apprised of issues of consequence to the Columbia College student body.
Section 5. Vice President for Campus Life
The Vice President for Campus life shall serve to organize CCSC’s school-wide programming initiatives and lead the standing Campus Life committee. The Vice President of Campus Life will also serve to foster community at Columbia by organizing events that encourage intergroup cooperation and staging event series that directly impact the lives and happiness of Columbia College students in tangible ways. The Vice President for Campus Life shall also work directly with their ESC, GS, and BC counterparts in planning interschool community-building events. In addition, the Vice President of Campus Life is encouraged to inform organize events that inform students of campus resources and gather feedback from Columbia College students on proactively building and sustaining a sense of Columbia College identity.
Section 6. Vice President for Finance
The Vice President for Finance shall ensure the fair and timely funding of student activities and shall assist the President with the fulfillment of his or her funding-related duties. The Vice President for Finance shall administer and monitor the CCSC budget and advise the CCSC on all financial matters. The Vice President for Finance shall also serve as a board member of the Activities Board at Columbia (ABC) according to the ABC’s Constitution, and maintain communication with the Student Governing Board (SGB) at Earl Hall, Community Impact (CI), Intergreek Council (IGC), and Club Sports Governing Board (CSGB) in order to stay apprised of their needs.
Section 7. Vice President for Communications
The Vice President for Communications shall work with the President to communicate with the student body, student groups, administrative bodies, campus and external media, and internally within the CCSC. Further, the Vice President for Communications will determine strategies for gauging and aggregating student opinion in order to fuel policies or guide the council’s decisions. The Vice President for Communications shall be the primary administrator of the CCSC’s intra-council communication and organization, keeping records of all actions taken and decisions made by the CCSC, working with the President to compile agendas for regular CCSC and Executive Board meetings, distributing summaries of CCSC meetings, and maintaining a record of attendance at CCSC meetings. The Vice President for Communications shall be the primary keeper of this CCSC Constitution and the CCSC Bylaws. The Vice President for Communications shall publish, with a majority approval from the council, a semester report of the CCSC to the student body which includes a record of accomplishment and ongoing projects and distribute it at the last meeting of each academic semester. If the Vice President for Communications is not in attendance at a meeting, (s)he may select another council member to take attendance and minutes.
Section 8. Senators (3)
Senators will serve on the University Senate. The Senators shall advocate the interests of the Columbia College student body to the University Senate and shall keep the CCSC apprised of University Senate activities. Senators must attend all Senate meetings in accordance to the Senate attendance policy, including Student Affairs and other committees.
Section 9. Class President
The Class President shall represent his or her class to the CCSC; advocate for his or her class on all class-oriented issues; program social, academic, and informational events for that class; chair the class council which is comprised of the Class President, the Class Vice-President, and three Class Representatives; and have the power to enumerate positions other than Class Representatives on the class council as seen fit.
Section 10. Class Vice President
The Class Vice President shall represent his or her class to the CCSC; assist the Class President with the advocacy and programming responsibilities as outlined in Section 9; serve on the class council; and assume the Presidents responsibilities in his or her absence.
Section 11. Class Representatives (12 total, 3 per class)
The Class Representative shall represent his or her class to the CCSC; assist the Class President with the advocacy and programming responsibilities as outlined in Section 9; serve on the class council; and assist the Class President and Class Vice President.
Section 12. Academic Affairs Representative
The Academic Affairs Representative shall be responsible for examining issues relating to academic affairs and College academic policy. The Academic Affairs Representative shall act as the student body’s primary liaison for academic affairs to the faculty and administration and should be regularly with the dean of academic affairs, directors of undergraduate study, and staff of the registrar, libraries, advising, and Columbia University Information Technology, as needed. The Academic Affairs Representative shall also coordinate the nomination of student representatives to the Education Policy and Planning Committee, the Committee on Instruction, and the Committee on the Core with the VP Policy. He/she will liaise with the Education Policy and Planning Committee, the Committee on Instruction, and the Committee on the Core representatives to address all academic issues of consequence to the Columbia College student body. The Academic Affairs Representative shall also act as liaison to the Committee on Academic Awards and shall meet with or appoint representatives to meet with students and administrators on the Academic Integrity Task Force.
Section 13. Student Services Representatives (2)
The Student Services Representatives shall promote the improvement of student services, which include, but are not limited to: undergraduate residence halls, dining services, security, health services, athletic facilities, computing and libraries, renovations and facilities management, and Alfred Lerner Hall. The Student Services Representatives also act as the primary liaison between the student body and the University’s administrators of student services. The Student Services Representatives shall be involved in all CCSC directives pertaining to student services.
Section 14. Pre-Professional Representative
The Pre-Professional Representative shall promote the improvement of students’ career search and development, which include, but are not limited to: career services, CCE relations, Pre-professional groups, pre-professional services (pre-law and pre-medical), scholarship and fellowship. The Pre-Professional Representative will also be encouraged to discover and promote non-traditional methods for students to build their network and career skills.
Section 15. Alumni Affairs Representative
The Alumni Affairs Representative shall foster the relationship between current and former students of Columbia College. The Alumni Affairs Representative shall serve as the primary liaison between CCSC, CCAA, CCE, and all relevant offices. (S)he shall preside over the Columbia College Student Ambassador program administered by the CCAAD. The Alumni Affairs Representative shall also serve as the primary liaison between the Columbia College alumni. The Alumni Affairs Representative shall be involved in all CCSC directives pertaining to Columbia College alumni. (S)he shall maintain the power to form and chair a subcommittee to facilitate or enhance the services and opportunities offered by the Alumni Affairs Representative.
Section 16. Liaisons from CCSC and between the Student Councils
The CCSC both sends and receives liaisons from other governing bodies in the interest of maintaining relations and open communication. Liaisons sent shall be appointed by the Vice President of Communications to serve a 1 year term. The CCSC council can remove a Liaison by a 2/3 majority vote. Three such representatives shall be appointed to the Engineering Student Council (ESC), the General Studies Student Council (GSSC), and the Student Government Association of Barnard (SGA). Liaisons are required to attend not only the said other council meeting but sit as a non-voting member at the CCSC meetings.
Section 17. Liaisons from Other Governing Bodies and Umbrella Organizations
CCSC shall extend, at the discretion of the Executive Board, invitations to other governing boards, umbrella groups, and student organizations for their appointing a liaison to the CCSC Board. This liaison will sit as a non-voting member in regular CCSC meetings as well as relevant subcommittee meetings. There are no regulations on the term length of this jointly-recognized liaison.
The intention of this position is to facilitate collaborative and inclusive discussions around specific issues or priorities of the administrative year. Invitations will be extended when a need for such specific representation arises.
Article II. Terms of Office
Section 1. Terms of office for the membership of the CCSC
The terms of office for all CCSC members shall end at noon on the day of University Commencement, at which point the terms of their successors shall begin.
Section 2. Number of positions to be held
No member may hold two voting offices within the CCSC during the course of a term. A member must resign an office in order to announce candidacy for another concurrent office.
Section 3. Attendance Policy
Members who incur two unexcused absences in the course of an academic semester will automatically be subject to the removal procedures outlined in Section 4. Unexcused tardiness, defined as arriving at meetings after call to order, and unexcused lateness, defined as leaving meetings at any point before the meeting is called to a close, will each be counted as half an absence. Excused absences only include medical or family emergency issues. Absences due to homework, exams, off-campus duties, and conflicting club meetings are unexcused.
Section 4. Removal Procedures
A. Members who do not fulfill their duties of office as set forth in this constitution can be subject to removal.
B. Removal proceedings for any member of the CCSC can be initiated by any two members of the CCSC, followed by a simple majority vote of the CCSC.
C. Once removal proceedings have been initiated, those initiating the proceedings must present written documentation explaining the accusations to the CCSC as a whole. The member against whom the proceedings have been initiated shall have the opportunity to respond in writing to the CCSC as a whole.
D. A 2/3 majority of the CCSC will be required to remove any member from office.
Section 5. Membership Replacement
A. Section 5 will pertain to all vacant seats, whether by resignation, removal, or other circumstances, on the CCSC.
B. Seats vacated before the Fall First-Year elections will be filled by a vote of the student body during the First-Year election period.
C. Seats vacated after the First-Year Elections and before the regular spring election period can either be filled in one of two ways, chosen by the Executive Board:
- a special election period, during which any pending ballot initiatives or referenda must also be voted on
- appointment through a 2/3 majority vote of the CCSC, in which case CCSC is required to call for nominations from the student body
D. If the Presidency of the CCSC is vacant, the Vice President for Policy, will ascend to the Presidency. The Vice President for Policy position will then be filled in the manner described in Section 5, article C.
Article III. Meetings
Section 1. Chair of the CCSC Meetings
The President shall chair all CCSC meetings as a non-voting member. In the case of the President’s absence, the Vice President for Policy will chair the meeting.
Section 2. Voting
A. All votes will be taken by open roll-call voting and will be made publicly available in the minutes after each meeting.
B. A quorum of the CCSC is required for all votes to be binding; a quorum is defined as 2/3 of the voting members of the CCSC.
C. Votes will be recorded by the Vice President for Communications in the official CCSC minutes.
D. Unless otherwise specified in this Constitution, a vote shall pass with a simple majority.
E. The chair shall only vote in the case of a tie.
Article IV. Distribution of Funds
Section 1. The CCSC is responsible for the fair distribution of Columbia College Student Activities Fees and bears ultimate responsibility to its constituents for the use of those fees.
Section 2. The CCSC can reserve whatever funds it deems necessary and desirable for its own expenses and activities.
Section 3. The CCSC delegates the power to distribute its funds to all of Columbia’s recognized student groups with participating Columbia College students through five governing boards: the Activities Board at Columbia (ABC), the Intergreek Council (IGC), the Student Governing Board of Earl Hall (SGB), Community Impact (CI), and Club Sports (CS). However, the CCSC may also distribute funds directly to student groups and individuals in the form of co-sponsorships.
Section 4. The CCSC, in conjunction with the ESC, GSSC, and SGA, shall set policies for receiving allocation requests from the governing boards during the spring semester for the next academic year. The CCSC, in conjunction with the ESC, shall set policies for receiving appeals requests from the governing boards during the fall semester for that academic year. Appeals are not guaranteed and should not be expected.
Article V. Elections
Section 1. The Elections Board (EB) is the branch of CCSC established to conduct and publicize all CCSC elections, as is outlined in Article V. of the CCSC Constitution, and is funded by the CCSC.
Section 2. The EB shall consist of five Columbia College students appointed by the CCSC, who do not serve on the CCSC and do not intend to run in a CCSC election during their one-year term. The CCSC will appoint one selected member to serve as the EB Chair. Appointments for the incoming EB shall be made after CCSC Spring Elections.
Section 3.The CCSC will appoint one selected member of the EB to serve as the EB Chair. The EB chair will be selected by a majority vote of the Council. The EB Chair will serve as the head of the EB, and will be the primary liaison for communicating with the CCSC. The Chair will be responsible for arranging all EB meetings and ensuring that the elections are well publicized and run according to schedule. The Chair will also be responsible for ensuring that all committee members remain impartial throughout the elections process. All internal EB decisions will be mediated by the Chair.
Section 4. The CCSC will have no jurisdiction over EB. However, any member of the Columbia College student body may appeal an EB decision to the CCSC. An appeal of an EB decision will be handled by the judicial committee, who will decide to either uphold or overturn the EB decision. The judicial committee will be composed of five Columbia College Seniors who are members of the CCSC. One of the five judicial committee members shall be the CCSC President who will chair the judicial committee. If the CCSC President is not a senior, then he or she shall not be on the judicial committee and instead the Senior Class President will chair the judicial committee. The chair of the committee shall choose the members of the committee.
Section 5. Any changes to the EB Constitution must be approved by the CCSC by a 2/3 majority vote.
Section 6. For the purpose of the EB, the voting Columbia College Student Body is defined as any currently enrolled Columbia College student. In addition, students are eligible to run for any position on CCSC as long as they are a currently enrolled Columbia College student and not members of the EB.
Article VI. Constitution
Section 1. This document shall become the binding governing charter for the Columbia College Student Council when ratified.
Section 2. This Constitution may be amended only by a 2/3 majority vote according to the conditions outlined herein.
Section 3. The CCSC shall form a committee to review its Constitution no less frequently than every third year.
Section 4. The CCSC shall adopt a set of bylaws, which must be approved by a 2/3 majority vote of the membership within the first 30 days of every academic year.
A. The bylaws record information supplemental to the information contained in this document.
B. The bylaws contain information and policies requiring annual review and approval.
Article VII. Ballot Initiatives and Referenda
Upon the presentation to CCSC of a petition signed by at least 10% of the Columbia College student body, CCSC can vote to pass the proposed resolution. CCSC can amend aspects of the resolution and pass it, but the original question will go directly to a vote by students if at least 10% of the student body signs onto a petition rejecting the proposed amendment(s). If CCSC fails to vote in favor of any initiative, the question is then automatically put to a vote by CC students.
By a majority vote, CCSC can also pose a question to voters (a referendum) rather than voting on a resolution.
Petitioners are guaranteed 5 minutes of floor time at the next CCSC meeting, although they are not required to use it.
In normal circumstances, voting on the question shall occur during the next election period, including special election periods. The question shall appear in the electronic ballot used by the Elections Board with the options pass, fail, and abstain. In order for a question to pass, the number of votes in favor of the resolution must exceed both the number of votes against and in abstention. At least 30% voter participation is required for a vote put to the student body to be valid. Upon passage, such matters may be amended or repealed by a subsequent majority vote.
If an issue is particularly pressing, CCSC can vote with a 2/3 majority to hold a vote on a particular date or set of dates. When CCSC sets the date, the vote must take place within the academic year that the resolution becomes eligible to appear on the ballot. In this case, the question shall appear in an electronic ballot created by CCSC, with the same conditions as stated above. When the Elections Board does not oversee the process, CCSC is responsible for publicizing the vote through a school-wide email and other forms of ground and online outreach.
If two or more conflicting initiatives pass in the same voting period, all non-conflicting language shall be enacted. Among the conflicting parts, the language of the measure receiving the highest number of votes shall be enacted.
A qualifying petition can be either 1) in writing, with signatures accompanied by UNIs, or 2) online, with electronic signatures accompanied by UNIs. In both cases, however, petitioners must provide the student council with a typed list of UNIs. All signatures must automatically be confirmed within 72 hours after the resolution is proposed, unless the petition was already signed through an authenticated system. If individuals do not respond to confirmation requests sent to their Columbia email addresses 72 hours after confirmation is requested, their signatures are no longer counted. Only students enrolled in Columbia College at the time of the petition will be counted in the total. The size of the Columbia College student body will be defined as the total enrollment in the College at the time the resolution is sent to the council.