Columbia FLIP (First Generation Low Income Partnership)
Columbia FLIP is an organization that was founded in the Spring of 2014 by a group of students including Mandeep Singh and Lucero Jorge. It received official recognition sometime in the Fall of 2014. It is a group for first generation and low income college students, and tackles issues like alienation among first generation college students, student loan burden, student homelessness, food insecurity, and impostor syndrome. Under the leadership of Mandeep Singh, CC '15, the organization grew tremendously, both in terms of membership and media coverage. Mandeep Singh has since graduated.
Shortly after launching, they started a textbook library program spearheaded by Lucero Jorge, CC 16. It has been relatively successful.
In the Spring of 2015, Toni Airaksinen, BC 18, launched Columbia University Class Confessions. Class Confessions was intended to be an awareness type of campaign; it quickly went viral and was picked up by news outlets like BBC and Payscale. That project gave the organization a great deal of media coverage. Because of Columbia Class Confessions, a number of other programs were launched by FLIP members and other community members who sought to help solve some of the problems that the page brought to light.
Chris Sinclair, GS 17, was a significant member of the organization, helping to bring a great deal of awareness about the organizations programming to Columbia GS.
Other ongoing projects of the organization include the Columbia Micro-grants Program, the Textbook Library, and CU Meal Share. CU Meal Share is the only aspect that is functioning right now. It is unclear what FLIP has done with the 6,000$ that they raised from their crowdfund.
Additionally, there has since been an app, Swipes, that functions for CU Meal Share.
Since Mandeep Singh and Toni Airaksinen have left, the organization has downsized in its efforts and has stayed out of the media. The organization now is focusing on weekly meetings.
Columbia FLIP announced, in Fall of 2015, that they have a nonprofit arm to help deal with the money that they raised during their fundraising.