Fourth Floor Cabinet

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The Fourth Floor Cabinet was an informal student government organization consisting of a committee of the heads of various student activities. Although existing informally for years before, in 1944 the head of Kings Crown Activities, Benjamin Hubbard, attempted to get the Cabinet to act as official student representatives to work with King's Crown.[1]

In 1944 the Cabinet consisted of the heads of the student organizations with an office on the fourth floor of John Jay Hall, then the hub of student activities on campus. Its members in 1944 were Jester, Review, Spectator, Columbian, Band, Chess Team, Debate Council, Glee Club, Orchestra, Columbia University Radio Club, and Rifle Team. By 1950, the chess team had been replaced by the Columbia University Players.

In 1950, the Cabinet petitioned for an overhaul of Student Board after SB demanded that the Glee Club change its name from Columbia University Glee Club to Columbia College Glee Club. Yup.[2] The Cabinet indignantly "passed a strong resolution condemning the Board's name-change demand and requesting that the Board first investigate the limits to its jurisdiction in relation to the activities," while a "Glee Club Fact-Finding Committee reported on February 20 that the majority of Glee Club members favored keeping the organization's present name. The Board then ordered the Committee to reconsider its findings."

In 1963, the Cabinet adopted a constitution and gained formal powers.[3] The plan was that, in the absence of any actual student government (thanks to the abolition of the Student Board in 1961), the Cabinet could mediate between student groups and the administration. This came on the heels of the administration censoring the Columbia Review. The Cabinet's member activities included any activity receiving funding from the King's Crown Advisory Committee, plus Spectator.

In later years the Cabinet was based in Ferris Booth Hall and operated as an umbrella organization for certain student groups. It eventually gained oversight over Pamphratria, the Undergraduate Dormitory Council, class representatives, and student groups both located in and out of Ferris Booth Hall. By contrast, the Columbia College Committee on Student Organizations oversaw groups located in Ferris Booth Hall and affiliated under the administrative umbrella of King's Crown Activities.

In 1975, with president of the Cabinet also serving as the president of CCCSO, student leaders proposed establishing a single 'Student Activities Board'.[4]. As a result, the Cabinet and CCCSO were merged to form the Student Union Polity in 1976.

See also