Meeting Notes – October 3, 2014

SPJ Meeting

October 3, 2014

Facilitator: Justin/Rebecca

Note-taker: Eryn Mathewson

Present: Tyler Daniels, Justin Mortan, Sahiba Chawdhary, Jen Moon, Kevin Townsend, Vallari Gupte, Alistair Gardiner, Daniela Porat, Christine Chung, Hezi Jiang, Marcus Howard, Meridith McGraw, M. Chad Shank, Eryn Mathewson, Darcy Culter, Anne Most, George Stepto, Kay Nguyen, Samantha Miles, Renee Wunderlich, Lauren Hard, Marianella Orlando, Lucianete Hoffman, Gregoire Molle

I. New Business

  1. Committees

III. Odds & Ends

  1. Alumni Relations
  2. Events

Action Items:

Next Meeting: Friday Oct. 10, 4-5p

Submit bios to Anne Most ( by Sunday night (10/5). Rebecca can take your photo if you need it

Submit t-shirt and sweatshirt designs. See email with subject “SPJ: Submit a J School sweatshirt design” for instructions

Program Representatives – introduce yourselves to the student body

If you are running late to an SPJ meeting, contact Justin (917) 405-3429 /

New Business

  • **New Position** Alumni-Student Relations Officer. This person is responsible for meeting with Alumni Director – Jane Lowry. Chad Shank was elected – Congrats!
  • **New PhD Rep – Joscelyn Jurich
  • SPJ Meetings will take place in circle formation




  • Committee meetings should be no longer than 30 min. Typically meet at lunch hour in the Stabile Center or Brad’s. If you want to meet it in a classroom – tell Rebecca, she will reserve a room.
  • Sign up for no more than 3 committees
  • If you are a committee chair, you can only sign up for one other committee
  • Feel free to send email with Committee ideas to Justin ( – ie what you want to do for committees
  • Columbia Library Committee has two meeting – in fall and spring
  • Film/Documentary Committee will be organizing:
  1. Screenings and guest speakers
  2. National Coming Out Day/Weekend
  3. Working with Frontline/Betsy West for screening
  4. Emailing director of “Act of Killing”
  5. MOMA archive screenings – October to January exhibit; Columbia students gets free admission

Odds & Ends

  • What is the difference between Event Director and Student Life Chair?
  1. Event Director – is responsibbel for “exuberant festivities” outside the building. (ie parties, music, food/beverage)
  2. Student life Chair – any event that supports taking a break from being a student. (ie get to know NY tours, puppy petting, stress buster massages)
  • Voting should happen at the top of meeting
  • Bring in more environmental journalist speakers
  • If you are running late for an SPJ meeting – contact Justin via text or email – (917) 405-3429 /

Alumni Relations

  • Rebecca is on alumni board
  • Alumni like intimate gatherings
  • Network now! Talk to alumni – share stresses are you dealing with; ask for advice on how to address issues
  • Student body representatives – invite alums to come back, see how program has changed. This event can be organized for January or February.

Dean of Student Affairs Meeting –* Friday, October 31, 4p*

Issues to address:

  • computer to student ratio is low – J School needs more computers
  • Law text books are expensive. Please consider initiating a university buy-back book program
  • We need more staplers – talk to people in the mailroom. New staplers are also in the Stabile Center
  • SPJ has done a “Keep the Room Clean” campaign. We’ve gotten the school to put Clorox wipes in classrooms. If we ask school to provide materials, we need to enforce. Academic affairs is responsible for keeping up
  • Put class schedules outside of classrooms
  • International students – have OPT (Occupational Training) visas that last for 12 months after graduation. NYU students get 24 month OPT visas. How can we get 24 month visas for CU students too?
  • Bootcamp reform – can we add a Video week to bootcamp? Or we could it happen before the spring semester starts. Could there be a video skills course?
  • New program being introduced for students who want to specialize in data next year. Aimed at mid-level or career changers – similar to MA program. Some students are upset about this, and would like more transparency around program additions and changes.
  • Please be cognizant of scheduling all class events during Part Time student classes. All students should be able to attend all class events, like Data Days
  • Master’s Project planning starts really late in the school year. Students get mixed messages from professors; some say relax, some say hurry up



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