University to Cover Steep Costs of Controversial Speakers, Reimbursing Student Life Fee Fund

Jesús Guerra, Columbia Spectator, January 29, 2018

Administrators have agreed to cover the security costs of events organized by student groups that require a large security presence or the presence of University delegates, Columbia College Student Council announced on Sunday.

The policy, which was outlined in CCSC’s fall 2017 semesterly report, will apply retroactively to controversial speaker events held by Columbia University College Republicans last fall. This means that the high costs incurred by hosting the speakers will no longer come out of a fund comprised of student activities fees, which students from all four undergraduate schools pay.

This change in policy stems from a petition delivered by the Black Students’ Organization last December that called for CCSC to defund CUCR for hosting white supremacist speakers Tommy Robinson and Mike Cernovich. CCSC then submitted a formal concern report to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards against CUCR for using the student activities fee to cover the costs of securities and facilities services.

The costs for the events featuring Robinson and Cernovich were $1,358 and $2,185 respectively, a stark contrast to last year’s median of $672 for all student-organized events.

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