DAC Minutes – 11/15/2016

Deans’ Advisory Committee Minutes
Tuesday November 15th, 2016
6:00 – 6:00pm
VEC 404/405


  • DAC Meeting Schedule
    • The meeting dates will be switched to Wednesdays for the rest of the academic year.
  • Class Meetings with Dean Goldman
    • Class of 2019, Nov. 16th at 4-5pm
    • Class of 2020, Dec. 20th at 2-3pm
  • Breakfast Panels with Dean Goldman
    • 17th at 7:30-9am
    • 18th at 7:30-9am
    • 1st 7:30-9am
  • D&I Meeting – Nov. 30th at 6:30pm

Old Business

Scrub Policy

  • Dean Mellman reported that she was still looking for a solution. She will continue her efforts to acquire a second scrub code for P&S students.
  • She asked how students were dealing with the current situation. Students reported that they had developed work around solutions through unofficial means to acquire access to more scrubs when needed.

Update on VEC Issues

  • Printers
    • Stephanie Autenrieth reported that three new printers were purchased, one color and two black & white machines. All three printers were originally going to be installed on the 7th floor cascade; however, a second laptop kiosk had been requested by students and will most likely be placed in that location. New possible printer locations were limited by where current power and data line existed.
    • She stated that while students had expressed preference for printers to be located on the lobby level, equipment could not be placed there since the space also had to serve as an event space.
    • Student feedback included placing printers in a location that would be accessible to students residing in the Towers. The third floor was preferred over the fourth floor as a location.  The fourteenth floor was seen as out of the way, but students would be open to it, if the only option.
    • Stephanie stated that the goal was to place the printers in an underutilized place so that it would not disrupt highly used study space.


  • Classroom Temperature Issues
    • Anton Dedvukaj reported that he had been monitoring the temperature throughout the building.
    • He stated that the temperature setting throughout the space was 72 degrees. The system should automatically notify him if the range falls outside of 71-73 degrees.
    • He asked students to report any abnormalities in temperature, so that he could better monitor any system issues.


  • 10th Floor Lighting Issues
    • Stephanie Autenrieth stated that at the October meeting, it was reported that the lighting on the 10th floor student commons area was too dim in the evening to properly study.
    • She stated that work had taken place on the 10th floor that included the adjustment of the small pocket lights. She asked students if they thought this had addressed the issue.
    • Students reported that it had appeared brighter recently.
    • Stephanie asked DAC reps to let her know if continuing issues were reported to them.


  • Water Fountain Pressure Issues
    • Stephanie Autenrieth reported that the issue reported at the last meeting was addressed.
    • The facilities team had checked all filters and replace the ones that were impacting water flow.
    • Anton Dedjukaj reported that the machine on the 13th floor was found to be faulty and a replacement unit was ordered. He expected it to arrive in coming weeks.
    • Stephanie asked to be notified if students noticed any units with the filter warning lights activated, so that she could notify facilities promptly.


  • Afterhours VEC Light Levels
    • Students had expressed concerns about the brightness of the after-hours lighting.
    • Anton Dedjukaj reported that employees and contractors were still working in the building after hours, which required the lights to stay on after 11pm. He expected work to continue to several more weeks.
    • Herman Matte reported that even after the final building work was completed, the lights will still have to be on until approximately 12:30pm, because facilities workers need to finish their shift and exit the building safely.


  • Quiet Study Space
    • Stephanie Autenrieth reported that for the spring, in addition to the two thirty person classrooms reserved for weekday evenings, two additional rooms will be reserved for quite study on all day Saturday and Sunday.
    • For the months of January and February, quiet study space will also be expanded to accommodate third year students studying for Step 1.
    • Stephanie stated she was investigating whether we could add additional signage for these rooms to better identify them as reserved quiet study space.


  • Guest Access
    • Stephanie Autenrieth asked representatives if they still wanted to pursue changes to the standard student guest policy in the VEC.
    • She stated that expanded access to the building could impact usage in a way that would result in crowding issues.
    • She stated that students, with advance notice, could still contact her to facilitate guest access with security staff.
    • The class of 2019 reps stated that they would bring this issue up at the next class council meeting to gage student interest in pursuing further.


  • Elevator Doors
    • Anton Dedjukaj stated that he tested the elevator doors at 5pm last night and all were working correctly.
    • A class of 2020 representative reported that she witnessed a student being hit by an elevator door that morning.
    • Dean Mellman requested that students record which elevators this happens on, and report it to Anton so that it could be immediately investigated.
    • Stephanie Autenrieth stated that the accessibility function was working on the elevators, by pressing this button it will allow for more time to get into the elevator.


Sexual Respect & Community Citizenship Initiative

  • Stephanie Autenrieth reported that all but eight first year students had finished this requirement.
  • Stephanie stated that she was now accepting ideas for future events that she can bring to the Office of University Life.
  • It was reported that a lot of students had trouble fitting it into their schedule and would like to see more options available at CUMC.
  • A suggestion was made to add these events to the OASIS calendar in the future to help students plan.
  • Students suggested having events without an in-person facilitator, this way the number of participants would not impact the event’s viability.


Supplied Anatomy Scrubs & Orientation

  • Class of 2020 representatives had proposed centrally ordering anatomy scrubs and adding the cost to the proposed student activities fees.
  • Stephanie Autenrieth stated that the scrubs would need to cost less than $10 to be included in the fee.
  • Students stated they were interested in using a vendor in the neighborhood and Stephanie stated that she would work with them to identify if any were currently approved Columbia vendors.



New Business


Task Force for the Promotion of a Bias-Free Curriculum

  • Christopher Travis, Laura Benoit and Andrew Sudler presented information on the work of the Task Force for the Promotion of a Bias-Free Curriculum.
  • Students had raised concerns about the implicit bias that existed in the way information was presented in the curriculum. The Task Force was established to address the issue.
  • Guidelines were under development for ways of presenting information in an unbiased way. They were also working on a portal where students could raise concerns about how specific information was presented in the learning environment.
  • The guidelines focused on positive examples as a template for presenting information in an inclusive, dynamic way.
  • Laura stated that the guidelines were the first project the Task Forces was working on.
  • Since presenting to the Class of 2020 in September, a few students had gone to Laura to report concerns.
  • They stated that talking to Andrew, Laura or Chris for now was the most direct way of bringing issues to the attention of administrators, while the portal was under development as a reporting mechanism.
  • Dean Mellman stated that the AAMC was working on the issues that have been raised with bias presented in the boards.
  • They reported that clinicians and educators had been receptive so far to the project.
  • The goal of the guidelines was to begin raising awareness and altering perceptions within the community.
  • Dean Mellman stated that these guidelines covered all levels of the curriculum, not just faculty, and would include SSN tutors, residents and others.


Frosting of the Small Classrooms

  • Class of 2020 representatives stated that the frosted small classrooms were not brightly light. They asked if it was possible to remove the frosting or change the frosting so that natural light was still accessible in the space, ie. frost only half way.
  • Stephanie Autenrieth stated that the frosting was important, because it provided for confidentiality in the space. This level of confidentiality was important when students were preparing for the clinical environment with standardized patients as well as for students who need accommodations.
  • Stephanie stated that the frosting on the 7th floor was the approved final version.
  • Stephanie stated that it should be noted that frosted windows were not writable surfaces.
  • Anton Dedvakuj stated that the lighting could we altered in the rooms to increase the brightness.
  • He stated that he would work on setting up a test area for students to evaluate the options.


Computer Installations in VEC Classrooms

  • Stephanie Autenrieth reported that computers had been ordered for installation in the large classrooms as well as the lecture hall and auditorium
  • She stated that extraordinary funding was requested and approved for the project. This equipment would provide hard line access to the network, so there should be a large reduction in connectivity issues in these rooms.
  • She stated that student feedback had made a lot of difference in moving things along in the project.


Anatomy Lab Equipment

  • Stephanie Autenrieth stated that the vacuum equipment system had not been installed yet in the anatomy lab.
  • This project was currently in process and would probably not be completed until the spring term. Specialized equipment was ordered to begin the project.


Internet Outages in the Knowledge Center

  • Students reported network issues in the Knowledge Center.
  • Anna Getselman stated that Athens needed to be used, not Guestnet, to assure the best wifi connection. The correct client needed to be downloaded for Athens to work.
  • She stated that there was degrees to which it worked for different technology. Which device and operating system used had an effect.
  • She stated that there should be enough bandwidth within the VEC. There was a good signal, but she would ask for it to be rechecked.
  • She stated that if you had an issue, please report when you had a problem. Let CUIT know what software you using as well as other details such as your location, day and time of issue.
  • Students reported that the specific error message people received was: ‘security of the network has been compromised.’


14th Floor Dedicated Student Lounge

  • Stephanie Autenrieth stated that the original intent of the 14th Floor Student Lounge was that it would be only accessible to P&S and GSAS students. Unfortunately, the doors currently in place could not support keycard technology (they are all glass).
  • Stephanie asked if students felt that keycard access was necessary for the lounge. If so, the project to replace the doors would be moved forward.
  • Students stated that they had begun to notice other students in the lounge, and would like to protect the space.
  • Other students stated that they were concerned that this change would exclude dental students, and cause the dental students to feel unwelcome.
  • It was asked if this decision could be deferred.
  • Stephanie stated that to have the change accomplished as part of the building project it would have to be decided now. To delay would move the cost locally.
  • It was decided to move the project along, and decide once the technology was installed which populations should then be given access to the lounge.


Construction on Terrace

  • Students raised concerns about the noise generated by construction on the outside terrace during lectures.
  • Stephanie stated she would look into what work still needed to be completed there.
  • The most recent update that Anton received was that it was supposed to be done a few months ago.
  • While it was distracting during lecture, it was reported that the workers were very responsive when they knew a lecture was going on.


Honor Code Update

  • The Chair and Vice Chair of the Committee recently attended the MYC Committee meeting. They would be going to the FCM Committee meeting soon. They would be discussing how to get students to best work together.


University Senate Update

  • Daniel McConnell was not able to make it to the meeting, but sent an update to Stephanie. The vote that the Senate was going to have about creating an Emergency Medicine Department was delayed.
  • The next Senate meeting was scheduled for Friday.



At Our Best

  • Students stated that they were very excited about the new classroom computers. (Deborah should be thanked for her persistence!)
  • Cyrus thanked Stephanie for being very responsive and efficient with whatever we throw at her.
  • Students thanked administrators and faculty for being understanding and willing to talk through students anxieties post-election.
  • All congratulated Bard Hall Players for an amazing show.
  • Students thanked Herman and Anton for fixing the water fountains and ordering the replacement unit for the 13th floor.