Meeting minutes – October 18, 2013

Professional Org Liaisons

–       Reached out to liaisons from last year

–       Want to talk to students to see what organizations they want the liaisons to reach out to.

–       Working on template email to send out to organizations to see how we can get involved

–       Indrani will be the official Deadline Club liaison

–       If want to have some kind of event here with org, talk to Rebecca about room

–       Can go to career services to ask about cosponsoring


Film/Doc Coordinators

–       Got lots of suggested movies

  • The two most suggested movies were:
    • “Shattered Glass”
    • “All the President’s Men”

–       Will do AV training on Monday

–       New idea: tour to Newseum in DC?


Member Affairs

–       Marika will send everyone the link to sign up later tonight

–       Will set up table at next event



–       Halloween

  • Nov. 1st at the Delancey, 10pm till close
    • Have basement reserved for us and access to the rest of the venue
    • Get to skip the line 10-11pm – Kimberley will stand at the door during this hour. After 11pm have to wait on the general admission line.
    • Divya will help figure out ticketing
    • Will have reduced-price drink tickets – Kimberley and Divya will figure out pricing


Student life

Snaps for cookies and treats!



Attended agenda meeting in preparation for next week’s meeting. Discussed 5 or 6 issues

–       Quality of life survey that went out to students last year

  • Trying to compile data and find the stories in the data
  • Want feedback from senators

–       Cross-registration

  • People don’t know it’s possible
    • [Is it possible for J School students?]
  • IT department at every school has issue, would need university wide registration
  • Trying to create 30 slots in each department so students can cross-register
    • Problem is, if give up slots in school, need something in return

–       Native American – want to be recognized as Native Americans and not Indians

  • Have been feeling that being called Indians is derogatory

–       Facility fees

  • Being raised astronomical amount each year
    • [Do J Schoolers pay facilities fees?]

–       International students

  • OPTs and CPTs
  • Trying to make it possible for international students to stay in country a little bit longer

Whatever concerns we have, should let Mary know so she can bring back to the University Senate.


Community Service

–       Drive for holiday season

  • Jelena looking to find food pantry or food shelter so we can tag onto their citywide drive



–       Come up with plan for bulletin board in Stabile

  • Clean up

–       Follow @ColumbiaSPJ for updates!



–       Blog ideas for students and alumni

–       Will send out ideas and signup for blog posts to board to kick it off, then we’ll open up to all students

–       Weekly “Three things you should know from SPJ” – coordinate with Smriti to put on Facebook



–       Tell people about sweatshirt design contest!!

  • Guidelines: can’t use shield or lion, can use crown, has to say Columbia Journalism
  • What you can’t buy at the bookstore
  • Don’t get too flashy
  • Thicker font, sans serif, athletic types

–       Coffee mugs?



Upcoming events:

–       Adam Goldman, Matt Opozo, Pulitzer prize winning authors

  • Tuesday, October 29, 5:30pm in Stabile
  • Speakers found by Damien, this will be SPJ’s first co-sponsorship with AMEJA

–       Natalia Montagna

  • Was World Press Institute fellow with nine other journalists (travels around to NYtimes, Washington post, CNN)
  • Brown bag lunch

–       Tour of Morning Joe

  • Jenna spoke with Louis who said he could do a small 10-15 person tour, date TBD

–       Jason Dundas, VH1 Big Morning Buzz

  • Can come speak, working out dates now
  • Also offered to do live taping and tour for 10 students

–       Gerald McManus

  • From Australia, facing jailtime for shielding sources
  • Brown bag lunch


Musical Revue

–       Now under SPJ umbrella, with David Levesley as liaison

–       Taking inspiration from staged concerts, eight or nine people on board so far

–       Need help booking rooms so don’t have to pay

  • Want to be able to book rooms in Lerner for rehearsals
    • There will be cost for piano
    • Lerner – we can use the room, but only that pay lots to use furniture etc.
    • Need to get recognized, Rebecca is working on the paperwork

–       Preview at Lucille’s Ball?

–       Fundraising opportunity?

  • Alumni might want to come
    • Could do one paid and one unpaid show for the students?


Academic Affairs/VP

–       Still working on arranging a meeting with Dean Grueskin

–       Will create system to help students figure out which labs are free when

  • Online version? Work with webmasters?

–       Way to collect suggestions for improving academic life

  • Formsite



–       Follow the webmasters on Twitter

–       Want to get student work on the website

  • Don’t like the idea of fostering competition between people who do get published/have class sites and those who don’t
    • Kind of like a student clip report
    • Has to have a very clear selection process to avoid problems
    • Rishi – should also get August work up (photos and audio clips)


All committee chairs: Give Jason budgets and committee members



Three (and a half) Things from SPJ:

1. Stay updated: Keep an eye out for this weekly post from your secretary on the Facebook group, as well as notices from Smriti Sinha, our Publicity Coordinator. Follow @ColumbiaSPJ.

1 ½. Connect: If there are any professional journalism organizations you’d like SPJ to get in touch with, tell one of the liaisons (Indrani Basu, Amanda Burrill, and Nina Glinski). If you’d like to become a member of SPJ national or learn why you should, talk to Membership Director Marika Washchyshyn.

2. Design our sweatshirts! SPJ is having a contest to design our J School sweatshirts (to be sold before the holidays). Submit a design to Treasurer Divya Singaravelu by Thursday, October 24th. The winning designer gets a free sweatshirt.

3. Save the date (and start thinking costumes!): Our Halloween party will be on November 1st at the Delancey. More details to come!



Meeting minutes – October 11, 2013

Updates from committees and board members:


Professional Groups Liaisons

Have a list of 100+ orgs. Will break down to top 50ish, looking at which are accessible/have members in NYC.


Film/Doc Coordinators

Goals for the year:

–       Collaboration with other groups

–       Student work

–       Getting some film/doc content onto SPJ website.


–       Hispanic film for Hispanic Heritage month.

–       Rocky Horror Picture Show at the end of October.

  • People can dress up if they want.

–       Plan to hold screenings every other Friday, alternating between film and doc.

–       Oscar and Superbowl parties will obviously be on Sunday

–       Film festival with student films with doc students or working with film school and piggybacking on other film festival

  • Way to fundraise?



–       Halloween Party

  • Wknd of 25th or 1st
  • Last year: $10 tickets, some cheap drinks, costume contest, at a venue near 34th and Madison

–       Can’t all pass off events to Kimberly and have her work on everything. She should also lean on her committee.


Student Life

–       Backrubs

–       Open mic night – J School comedians, musicians, poetry…

  • Could do before Lucille’s Ball, could sell tickets, could sell food
  • Could do it as a preview to Lucille’s Ball, sell tickets to the Ball there


Community service

Ideas for events:

–       Blood drive around Halloween

–       Do a Guinness World Record, 24 hours of community service event playing off everyone’s talents

–       Work with organization that pairs students up with young kids to read to them during lunch hours

–       Teach about journalism at local schools

–       Should also think about getting J School team to tag onto bigger Columbia events (like dance marathon in January or the big community service day in April)

–       Should think about doing community service that doesn’t necessarily require people’s time (like a food drive)

  • Possibly around Christmas: toy drive, practical things, donations, spirited giving


Secretary (and Webmasters and Member Affairs)


–       Really get website up and running in really cool way with blog posts from students and alums

  • Weekly post from student
    • 300-500 words each week blog post – what I learned, what I’m working on, etc
    • Create idea list for students, try to time to certain events
    • 10 rep students – meet 10 jschoolers, profiles
  • Monthly or bi-monthly post from alum
    • Jason was at alum board meeting, seem interested
    • Topic ideas – send out and give deadline and store them up for alums

–       Stav and Marika work together on monthly summaries that will get turned into annual report

–       Collect material for a handbook-type thing about how we did each event, to help next year’s SPJ have an idea and get started on their own events



Have login info. Discussing what will be the workflow.

Ideas for website:

–       Linking websites and blogs and Twitter feeds to website?

  • Beatrice gathered Twitter feeds on Facebook group, could link to website

–       Put up work from August bootcamp

  • Or put on bulletin boards downstairs
  • Gallery to show photo work? Or coffeeshop?
  • Could talk to whoever is in charge of official student gallery on third floor (is this Nina Berman?)

–       Website in past years: 24 hours student life, tied to storify, posting every hour


Speakers Director

Past events:

–       50-60 came on Thursday

Coming up in the next month:

–       Jason Dundas

  • Australian TV personality, now co-host on vh1
  • Probably in Stabile

Possible speakers:

–       Sarah Fitzpatrick

  • Investigative news at CBS bureau, Columbia grad

Keep in mind that we can also do brown bag lunches for small groups in seminar rooms




–       Need to get system up for getting sweatshirts

–       Design needs to be ready October 30

  • As long as have orders before Thanksgiving we’ll have them before holidays
  • Set deadline to submit designs by 3rd week of October
  • Identify design to go with by last week of October

–       For swag – usually tie to PayPal on website, and set up table for cash

–       Incentive for person who submits winning design (maybe free sweatshirt?)

Lucille’s Ball t-shirts?



–       Represents J School to university

–       First official meeting October 25th


Member affairs

–       Recruitment

  • Publicize what SPJ national is and what the benefits are
  • Encourage people to sign up
  • Will sit at various SPJ events with info and signup

–       Big awards program in January only for members



Miscellaneous notes:

–       Alumni weekend

  • Invited back as alum each year, but every 5th year do something really special
  • This year: April 12th

–       Alumni mentorship program – matches are being made!

–       Should we do a yearbook?

  • Takes a lot of time
  • Past classes have done Tumblr
  • YouTube video collage instead?

–       For SPJ Board:

  • Headshots – everyone look pretty next week!

–       Jason’s letter to the wider student body will include an opportunity for students to sign up for committees by giving contact info for committee chairs.




Meeting Minutes – October 4, 2013

SPJ Committees board members and all J School students can get involved in:

Academic Affairs

Speakers Committee

Student Life Committee

Community Services Committee

Swag Committee

Film/Doc Committee

Events Committee

(Keep an eye out for an email about signing up for one of these committees)


What is SPJ?

–       SPJ is the de facto student government – addresses academic needs, student life, and enrichment, and gathers the J School community

–       Rebecca Castillo, volunteer advisor, helps with how things work and with institutional memory


SPJ and J School Communication

–       Listserv for SPJ board – used to recruit volunteers for an event, announce meetings, and other intraboard communications. Note: Dean Huff is ON THE LIST (Dean Sotomayor is not on it)

–       Listserv for executive board (includes President, Vice President, Speakers Director, Events Director, Treasurer, Secretary, University Senator) – used for quick decisions on matters sent down from the school, and to represent SPJ and student body to administration

–       All-class emails – Rebecca will send out when there’s a big announcement to make, like for Lucille’s Ball. There used to be complaints about too many emails, which is why the Facebook group was started.

–       Facebook group – run by the SPJ Publicity Director. IMPORTANT NOTE: Because the administration is part of the group, please refrain from referring to things like happy hour, drinks, beer, wine, etc. Be creative!


Creating an event

–       Keep in mind that SPJ is competing with Career Services, DART, Dean of Students, Faculty, Communications, Tow Center, Brown Institute (7 programming groups)

–       No event can happen before 48 hours, school doesn’t like things not planned at least 48 hours in advance (keeping this rule is good for fighting for rooms)

–       What rooms are available?

  • Basically anything but the 3rd floor: classrooms, Stabile, labs – if it’s available we can get it.
  • For lecture hall and World Room, have to pay $250 to use. Goes to CU Union, who clean before/after.

–       Tell Rebecca the times you’re looking to reserve a room and what room size you need.

–       Calendary – We need to make sure we put our events on the master J School calendar as soon as we get a room. Either Rebecca or SPJ board members will fill in the form to submit events. That’s how these get on the “Today at the J School” emails and the display monitors near the elevators.

–       Need to make sure every event SPJ puts on is ADA compliant –whether on campus or off – so that it is accessible to all of our classmates. Would get suspended for the year if not.

–       When making request, include whether you will need AV. Film/Doc Coordinators and President will get trained on how to use AV in Stabile.

–       Publicity: Publicity Chair will be responsible for creating physical flyers. Committee chairs will need to communicate with her about how publicity for events will be done (she will assume she’s making the flyers unless told otherwise).


Alcohol policy

–       Inside Pulitzer:

  • The building is a dry building for student-only events. The Alumni Office, Dean of Students, Career Services can have alcohol at their events in the building, but not SPJ.
  • Two things that will allow alcohol: academic event or a true cultural event
  • Would have to pay a university proctor if there is alcohol involved (need to hire two, at a rate $50/hr each)
  • Can co-sponsor events with one of the other departments (Career Services often willing to co-sponsor speakers and other events) and then alcohol would be permitted

–       Outside Pulitzer:

  • We can have alcohol at events outside the building as long as the venues are licensed establishments and will check IDs.
  • If we do have alcohol, there can be no mention of alcohol or happy hour on flyers, school calendars, Facebook…
  • And, need three copies of signs that say, “Danger, alcohol may cause damage to pregnant women.” Yes, seriously.


Budget and Fundraising

–       SPJ has a $500 starting budget.

–       Every year, the class has to leave $500 for the next class. Rebecca will cut SPJ off in February if there are no reserves for the next year.

–       How do we raise money?

  • Halloween party
  • Sweatshirts and other swag
  • Lucille’s Ball
  • It’s up to us! In past years, SPJ has gotten creative, putting on comedy specials/standup nights, and finding other ways to

–       Banking:

  • SPJ has a non-profit account at Chase.
  • We only work on checks!
  • Either you put your money up and get reimbursed, or you plan out very exactly in advance and get a check for the exact amount.
  • Rebecca will send out reimbursement form to SPJ board listserv.


Committees and SPJ Board Role

See below for list of committee members so far.

–       Chairs should lean on committees and members, don’t be scared to reach out to them as well as to the President and VP.

–       Any member of student body can sign up for committees. Rebecca will send out an email.

–       Committees will all have separate meetings, which will need to be posted on calendar.


Speakers Committee – Chaired by Jenna Dagenhart – Brings in speakers.

–       There can be no payment for any speakers.

–       The biggest challenge will be competing with Career Services, DART, and Academic Affairs. There will be meeting with the Speakers Director and these groups to discuss calendars/planning. Also, Speakers Director can decline a request from the administration to host a certain speaker.

–       Rebecca will give list of “must-see” speakers from ballot form.

–       For big speakers, may have to get lecture hall. Might need to do RSVP list.


Events Committee – Chaired by Kimberly Ammiano – Puts on any events that are fun and usually outside of the school. In charge of “adult gatherings.”

–       Any event can’t conflict with a major school event like an all-class lecture.

–       Past classes have done: gallery crawls, fashion week parties, karaoke battles.


Student Life Committee – Chaired by Camille – Puts on events that are usually in the building or on campus.

–       Past classes have done: ice cream socials, back massages, intramural sports, picnics (note: to get a permit for a park, takes three weeks), quiz night, yoga.


Deadline Club/Professional Journalism Organization Liaisons – Indrani Basu, Amanda Burrill, and Nina Glinski – Our networkers.

–       Create list of all the professional journalism orgs in NYC; liaisons will split these up amongst themselves.

–       Deadline Club very eager to build a relationship with Columbia J School (upset that they don’t have a great relationship with CUJ and do with CUNY)


Membership/Chapter Affairs – Marika Washchyshyn

–       SPJ is a national organization that is really good at professional development and does journalism advocacy.

–       To remain official chapter we have to do three programs that cover society’s goals (get from Rebecca). If others cover, great, if not this person initiates.

–       Recruits students to join SPJ.

  • $42.50 rate for students, can carry over this rate for next two years if you join as a student.


Community Service Committee – Chaired by Jelena Subotic – Motivates people to give their time.

–       Past classes have done: military care packages, volunteering at soup kitchens, canned food or clothes drive, teaching journalism to middle schoolers.


Webmasters – Sharanya Haridas, Jason Silverstein, and Nick Smith – In charge of look and feel as well as the content.

–       Can just post events, have people write columns, write about state of journalism, etc.

–       Need more photos that show what it’s like to be a student now. Alums will come back to SPJ site and want to know what it’s like to be in the school.


Films/Doc Committee – Chaired by Hope King and Asha Mahadevan – Plans film and documentary screenings and events.

–       Neat balance between fun/quirky and serious. Try to always plan serious first, then throw in fun film in gaps.

–       Have had a lot of success bringing in documentarians to talk about their work. Premieres, previews, etc.

–       If SPJ decides to have a Superbowl party and/or Oscar, responsible for screening part.

–       If there’s breaking news, set up to news channel.


Academic Affairs Committee/Vice President – Chaired by Rishi Iyengar – Person everyone comes and complains to…

–       Field feedback and figure out best way to meet with Deans Grueskin and Muha. Finding ways to improve future academics.

–       Usage of rooms – will figure out how to create notifications about which rooms are in use and which are available.

–       Responsible for town meeting – feedback with deans and administration at end of October, beginning of November.

–       Past classes have: created academic debates.


Swag Committee/Treasurer – Chaired Divya Singarevalu

–       Money:

  • Any money we get has to get deposited into bank account.
  • Checks can be signed by Rebecca and Divya only.
  • Committees need to turn in money to Divya.

–       Swag – SPJ does sweatshirts in the fall and t-shirts in the spring (will choose a motto for t-shirts)

  • Fall sweatshirts: Canvass student body for design and bring two to board, which makes the final choice about design and color.
  • Lion belongs to the Athletic Dept. so would have to pay licensing fee. We can use the shield but need permission from University and would have to use one of their vendors for their price. We can use the official crown.
  • Zip sweatshirts are $50, others $40
  • Can’t sell canvas totes, baseball caps, or umbrellas because Alumni Office gives these away for free.
  • Works well to sell to alumni, especially if ready by the holidays.
  • Past swag good and bad:
    • Subway C and J
    • Columbia Journalism 1912-2012
    • I (crown) Columbia Journalism School
    • The beanie……..


Lucille’s Ball

Lucille is Pulitzer’s daughter’s name. The name is official; J School students asked the Pulitzer family in 1997 to name the ball after Lucille.

–       Coordinated by the events committee.

–       Roast and toast on evening of Tuesday, December 10th, which is the date of the faculty holiday party. Will be hurt if you don’t mock them. Will start planning right before Thanksgiving.

–       Dance part will be Saturday before. Last year was at Hudson Terrace. Need to start looking for places now.


SPJ Meetings and Members

–       Weekly SPJ meetings will be Fridays at 6pm!!

–       Secretary will send meeting minutes to SPJ board listserv and webmasters will post to the SPJ website.

–       Rebecca will create SPJ board contact sheet from nomination forms.