I Will Make Sure the Voice of GS Students is Heard
Hi everyone! I’m Bruce Goumain. I’m a first-year student studying Cognitive Science and Public Health. This year, I am running for the Columbia University Senator from the School of General Studies. I would be honored to be the voice of the diverse, accomplished and experienced population of our school. Learn more about my platform here and make sure to vote on April 18th! The e-ballot should come in by your university email.
My GS Story
I served 6 years in the French Air Force, culminating in the position of Private Secretary to the Vice Chief of Staff of the French Armed Forces for two years. In this role, I had to demonstrate outstanding social skills, team management, and how to effectively represent a large number of individuals within a vast bureaucratic system. I was the Diversity Referent and Category Representative for the 200 non-commissioned officers of my unit. Within that role, I was in charge of advocating for the battalion's communication with the administration and fighting to have their concerns heard. My main objective was to reinforce cohesion and help build a sense of belonging for a community while ensuring that the administration would address their concerns.
After finishing my service, I decided to take the next step in my journey and accomplish my goal of receiving a world-class education. In the Fall of 2021, I arrived at Columbia University, ready to take on these new challenges. Since arriving at Columbia, I have wanted to become involved in the student community deeply. I have been involved with GS Alliance as Treasurer, Columbia Democrat as Group Leader, Fraternity Academic board member for Zeta Beta Tau, and co-founded the Columbia Chapter for Minorities in Sciences, SACNAS. I have also been taking on student leadership roles such as Orientation Leader for the Spring 2022 semester and as the Health and Wellness Representative for the GS Student Council since November. In these roles, I have been able to deeply connect with the student body community and hear the concerns of GS and non-GS students alike.
Outside of the classroom, I enjoy practicing track & field, hiking, and reading books about personal development. However, more than anything else, I enjoy meeting fellow students both within and outside of GS.
Why University Senator
The connections I have made across all four schools made me realize that there is much to be done to better advocate for all undergraduate students. I am incredibly excited about the opportunity to be appointed to University Senator. I have seen firsthand how urgent the need for connection is for students at Columbia, and especially within the School of General Studies. I deeply care about the GS community, and, through serving as the Health and Wellness Representative, I realized that there were many structural issues that were outside the scope of GSSC. Serving as the University Senator will allow me to strengthen GS’s voice among all levels of the administration. In order to achieve these goals as University Senator, I will pursue the steps described below.
Making GS Voice Heard
The University Senate is a wide administration crucial to the proper functioning of the University and GS’s voice needs to be strengthened within it. The University Senator for GS has been an underutilized resource to advocate for GS within the broader Columbia community, and I am fully prepared to take on the responsibility of speaking on behalf of our community and ensuring we are always present in any and all conversations in the Senate. For example, the potential expansion of CC and SEAS is a matter that concerns all four undergraduate schools and we must ensure that GS contributes to discussions. GS has historically been the progressive school of Columbia University and it is crucial for us to be leaders in that regard.
Increasing GS Resources
There are crucial areas of the GS student experience that need to be given substantial attention from the entire Columbia community. My mission is to ensure that GS is equitable to all undergraduate schools in its resources. Examples of issues I would like to bring to the Senate’s attention include: - Pushing for an increase in financial aid for GS students - Advocating for equal access to housing and revitalized housing assistance - Combatting the growing food insecurity among GS students - Advocating for more space for GS Students to socialize or study.
Advocating for Structural Change at Columbia
In addition to issues disproportionately affecting GS students, as Senator, I would have the ability to work alongside other undergraduate representatives to push the University forward on a number of issues that affect us all. This includes: - Investing in reviewing and updating the Registration and Waitlist systems - Ensuring that there are enough available classes and instructional space for a healthy academic environment - Advocating for sensible academic policies around topics such as P/D/F, drop period, and syllabi accessibility - Continuing to expand dining access and affordability - Guaranteeing better access to CPS and mental health care.