Activities Board at Columbia

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The Activities Board at Columbia (ABC) is the largest of five governing boards that oversee undergraduate student groups on campus. As of Fall 2009, there are 157 organizations recognized by ABC, including cultural clubs, performance groups, publications, and special events. ABC recognition affords a group the right to officially use the Columbia name, access to space reservations, and a potential budget.

ABC consists of an internally elected Executive Board composed of four members, usually with prior experience on the board, thirteen Representatives-at-Large, elected by the officers of recognized clubs, and three liaisons from the General Studies, Columbia College, and Engineering student councils. These twenty individuals are responsible for approving expenditures, advising recognized groups in cooperation with Student Development & Activities (SDA), and voting on the allocations to each group.

In December 2009, the board voted to create its first non-voting position, that of Director of Technology. The DoT is tasked with the upkeep of the ABC Website, which, since 2008, has been the backbone of the ABC financial system.



Before ABC, campus organizations that were not spiritual, community service, or club sports in nature were funded directly by the four undergraduate councils, CCSC, ESC, SGA, and GSSC. In 1997, the Interim Governing Body (IGB) was created to take the burden of funding the over one hundred groups off of the councils. The IGB, as its name suggests, was intended to be a temporary solution until a more formal body could be created.

During its one-year tenure, IGB worked with the councils to set up the structure that would become the Activities Board at Columbia the following year. It was decided that Barnard would not fund ABC directly, as a vast majority of the groups at the time that IGB recognized were not Barnard affiliated. After the term of IGB expired, the board was renamed and began meeting weekly as a governing board the following year.

Funding Structure

There are three categories of recognition for student groups, Categories A, B, and C.

  • Category A: a more limited form of recognition generally reserved for newer or less active groups, as well as groups that do not require significant funding. Such organizations are allotted a maximum of $250 per semester by appeal.
  • Category B: the standard ABC group designation. Category B groups are required to submit a budget to the ABC in the spring for the upcoming year. Budget requests can be for any amount, but are subject to approval by ABC.
  • Category C: recognition category for "special" groups. These are groups such as heritage months or the Varsity Show that do not have programming throughout the entire year. These groups are allocated funds immediately prior to their event(s).

ABC has a complicated structure of appeals, allocations, and event approval that enable the board to serve as fiduciary for its groups, liaison with the administration, and solve problems within the bureaucratic structure. While the ABC traditionally has received much criticism for its shortcomings as a student-run organization, recent boards have worked to make the organization into an advocate for student groups with their efforts to build community on campus and encourage new events.

Appeals can be made by clubs to ABC for additional funding at any time. However, with the new funding structure and agreements between the councils and ABC, appeals will only be granted for unforeseen costs/circumstances. Student groups that need funding for new events will be encouraged to instead ask the councils for co-sponsorship.

Campus Perception

In the 2007 Varsity Show, ABC was portrayed as a maniacally greedy, evil organization that had started World War II and which denied student groups funding in order to reconstruct the orb that once sat atop the Sundial, so as to determine the location of Alexander Hamilton's treasure. The depiction is a result of the shortchanging many student groups feel at the hands of Columbia's administrative and student bureaucracy, of which ABC is an integral part.

Executive Boards


Email abc_exec to reach all members of the current board.



  • President: Saketh Kalathur CC ’13
  • Vice President: Julian Richardson CC ’14
  • Treasurer: Chloe Ruan SEAS '13
  • Secretary: Rui Yu CC ’14


  • President: Daniel Brown CC '12
  • Vice President: Saketh Kalathur CC '13
  • Treasurer: Chloe Ruan SEAS '13
  • Secretary: Christine Byun CC '14


  • President: Beezly Kiernan CC '11
  • Vice President: Eric Rosenberg CC '11
  • Treasurer: Brittany Ward SEAS '12
  • Secretary: Justin Kim SEAS '11

Spring 2010

  • President: Bill Jung CC '11
  • Vice President: Betty Kim CC '10
  • Treasurer: Nora Diamond CC '11
  • Secretary: Vikas Anand CC '11

Fall 2009

  • President: Scott St. Marie CC '10
  • Vice President: Betty Kim CC '10
  • Treasurer: Bill Jung CC '11
  • Secretary: Vikas Anand CC '11


  • President: Samantha John SEAS '09
  • Vice President: Grace Chan CC '09
  • Treasurer: Scott St. Marie CC '10
  • Secretary: Krissie Zambrano SEAS '09


  • President: Paula Cheng CC '08
  • Vice President: Dominic McClure CC '08
  • Treasurer: Jacob Weaver CC '09
  • Secretary: Samantha John SEAS '09


  • President: Keith Hernandez CC '07
  • Vice President: Lissy Hu CC '07
  • Treasurer: Angela Kou CC '08
  • Secretary: Allison Fortune CC '07


  • President: Stanley Tan CC '06
  • Vice President: Shyam Kadakia SEAS '06
  • Treasurer: Keith Hernandez CC '07
  • Secretary: Robert Wray CC '06


  • President: Christine Luu
  • Vice President: Alexander Yao
  • Treasurer: Sarah Fishbein
  • Secretary: Helen Lee


  • President: Scott Weiss
  • Vice President: Judy Choi
  • Treasurer: Christine Luu
  • Secretary: Katrina Rouse


  • President: Marva Brown
  • Vice President: Raj Patel
  • Treasurer: Scott Weiss & Somi Lee
  • Secretary: Judy Choi


  • President: Ishwara Glassman


  • President: Sofia Berger
  • Vice President: Ishwara Glassman
  • Treasurer: Rajesh Das
  • Secretary: Ellen Rubinstein


  • President: Sid Singh
  • Vice President: Raffaella Coelho
  • Treasurer: Ritesh Srivastava
  • Secretary: Ishwara Glassman


  • President: Alok Gupta
  • Vice President: Brian Shicoff
  • Treasurer: Ankit Mody
  • Secretary: Aaron Johnson

See also

External links

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