News | Student Life

General Studies elects Wisdom council president

Jennifer Wisdom was elected General Studies Student Council president last week, winning a three-candidate race with 51 percent of the 404 votes cast.

Wisdom is currently GSSC’s vice president of communications. Scott Bacon, who is currently GSSC’s vice president of student events, came in second with 35 percent of the vote, while newcomer Eugene Dinescu garnered 9 percent of the vote.

Wisdom said she plans to work with Bacon and Dinescu next year. She wants to pursue Bacon’s idea of putting up a GSSC accountability board in the General Studies Student Lounge—which would outline the council’s budget and progress on various issues—as well as Dinescu’s idea of re-formatting the Weekly Owl, an email that the vice president of communications sends to the student body.

“I know my two opponents had fantastic campaigns,” she said. “I know I put a lot of work into my campaign, but I know they did too.”

Wisdom said she would focus on collaboration, accessibility, and transparency, partly by instituting a monthly presidential address. She would also like GSSC to work more frequently with the GS Dean of Students and with the other undergraduate student councils.

Fifteen GSSC positions will need to be filled in the fall, but Dinescu said that he’s not sure that he wants to pursue a position on the council.

“I didn’t necessarily get the outcome that I would have liked, obviously, during the election, but that’s not really what swayed me away from doing it again,” he said. “It’s other factors. I learned a lot from the experience and I learned that my position is not best as a politician.”

Nikki Morgan, who is currently GSSC’s chief policy representative, was elected vice president of policy, taking home 50 percent of the vote. Her opponent, Alexandra Leighton, won 26 percent of the vote.

Morgan said she is interested in improving communication between the student body and the administration, and that she wants to improve the reputation of GS within Columbia.

“I want alumni to look back and really, really appreciate the time that they had at GS, and I think that the best way to do that is to go to the root of the problem and make GS more relevant,” she said.

As she came in second in the policy vice president race, Leighton was named chief policy representative. She said she is interested in raising money for students who want to study abroad but cannot afford it, as well as creating a “better student response” to University Writing.

“They [instructors] have been students, and they are students, and they don’t want to make undergraduate students unhappy,” Leighton said.

In the University Senate race, Justin Carter won with 22 percent of the vote, while Adam Gentle, Phineas Lunger, Amna Pervez, and Nathalie Niño earned 19 percent, 16 percent, 14 percent, and 12 percent, respectively.

Carter said that his main priorities are ensuring continuity with the current University Senator, Jose Robledo, and meeting with senators from the other undergraduate schools to discuss their goals.
Although Lunger is looking at several open positions on GSSC, he said that he is particularly interested in becoming the alumni affairs representative.

“Connecting students with alumni is a great tool for GS students to foster connections now, which will potentially help them with their job search when they graduate from GS,” he said.

Pervez said she hopes to continue working as a legislative assistant to the GS University Senator, and to stay a member of GSSC’s policy committee.

“My main job would be to support the senator in representing the interests of General Studies students,” she said.


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