April 17th, 2017 Meeting Minutes


Our first full meeting with the new Engineering Student Council of 2017-18!

Check out the minutes for our latest meeting above as well as the livestream of the meeting here.

Addendum to SAC’s Memorandum on Suicide Prevention and Student Wellness

In response to the recent chain of tragedies that have affected our campus community, the Student Affairs Committee (SAC) of the University Senate has composed an extensive memorandum to the Offices of the President and Provost on mental health, suicide prevention, and student wellness. In support of this memorandum, the Engineering Student Council has written an addendum, which we believe complements the recommendations in the SAC’s memorandum by offering recommendations for improving mental health and for responding to campus tragedy.

Read our addendum here, or over on the Policy Committee page. Also check out a related memorandum written by Sidney Perkins last year on mental health.



January 30th, 2017 Meeting Minutes

Check out the minutes for our latest meeting above, or here, as well as the livestream of the meeting here.

In addition, ESC passed a resolution tonight. We encourage you to take a look through it, as it pertains to our interaction with the administration and the continuing dissonance between student needs and administrative actions with regards to initiatives on reducing student stress.

A Resolution on the Community Dissonance between Student Leaders and Administrators, which Contributes to a Culture of Stress on Columbia’s Campus



Policy Committee Project Tracker

In an effort both to increase our own transparency and to demystify the workings of the administration of Columbia, the Policy Committee is excited to announce the publication of our internal projects tracker.

Please note that we have removed the direct links to survey results, but we are working to include links to the ones whose results are public. All reports and resolutions remain linked.

Check out the project tracker here: Policy Committee Project Tracker, or on our Policy Committee webpage.

As always, we welcome any and all suggestions and feedback.


ESC Policy

ESC Statement on Wrestling Team

CW: Sexism, Racism, Misogyny, Homophobia

In light of recent events regarding the statements said in a forum by several senior members of the Columbia Men’s Wrestling Team, the Engineering Student Council stands with the communities that feel victimized, silenced, wronged, and unsafe. We stand with the survivors of sexual assault and the victims of racism, misogyny, sexism and homophobia . We will provide support in any way possible. No student should feel unsafe at any time on this campus, and we are acutely aware that the aforementioned statements force students to question the foundations on which their whole community is based.

ESC Statement on Election

CW: Election

As representatives of a diverse student body, we recognize the unrest that the current American political situation has generated within the Columbia community. Therefore, it has been our priority to provide unconditional support to every member of our community. As a way to provide immediate support, council reached out to faculty and administrators in order to care for the mental and emotional well being of those who are affected. Going forward, we will continue to be a resource to any student who needs it. The members of our Engineering Student Council will not tolerate hate, in either action or speech. We will intervene, not solely as bystanders, but as devoted, passionate members of this Columbia community, to ensure our community is a welcoming place for all members of our diverse and vibrant student body...

Who are Students with Disabilities?

Who are students with disabilities?

The connotation of the word disability for the general public is often a person who faces challenges when walking and uses a cane or wheelchair to get by; or someone who has an inconvenience physically interacting with the environment, whether it is through mobility or language. Although these are indeed defined as disabilities, they are just some of the many shapes that disabilities can take.

Therefore, describing a student who happens to have a disability does not necessarily depend on physical traits: according to the Americans with Disabilities Act, an individual with a disability is a person who has an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. This impairment might be physical or mental.

Most of us are familiar with physical disabilities, or those distinguishable through our senses, but we often disregard disabilities that are not readily apparent — the ones we can’t ‘see’. A huge range of disabilities currently recognized in today’s medical community are completely invisible and can hardly be reduced to an exhaustive definition or symptom. Chronic pain, for instance, may leave one capable some days and absolutely crushed on others. On the other hand, epilepsy can create a seizure with no warning whatsoever. Anxiety might stop someone from completing the simplest of tasks; and diabetes, which is often overlooked as a disability, can affect vision and cause fatigue.

Moreover, disabilities have no set timeline. They might be permanent, meaning they are always present, such as local and generalized paralysis and dyslexia; but they also might also be chronic, which means their symptoms repetitively ‘come and go’ with time, such as Crohn’s Disease or seizure disorders. A condition might affect a person from birth, like genetic conditions such as hereditary hearing loss and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or might develop later with age such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Consequently, there is no one sign or symptom to define a student with a disability. A student with a disability is anyone who falls under the umbrella of having a condition that affects their ability to interact with their internal or external environment.

The Office of Disability Services has resources on campus available for all students who experience any condition that might interfere with their development at Columbia. If you feel that you or someone you know might have a condition that qualifies as a disability, Disability Services has walk-in hours Monday through Friday with coordinators available to answer all your questions. The hours are listed in:

If you have any questions or concerns that could not be adequately addressed otherwise, feel free to reach out to ae2502@columbia.edu.

Columbia Space Initiative Shoots for the Moon with NASA


(left to right) Leon Kim, 2019 SEAS; Keenan Albee, 2017 SEAS; Julia Di, 2018 SEAS; Brian Smiley, 2016 CC; Kristina Andreyeva, 2017 SEAS; (postered) Tamas Savary, 2017 SEAS; Jorge Orbay, 2017 SEAS; Mike Massimino, 1984 SEAS

The Columbia Space Initiative (CSI) is a group of students of all backgrounds and majors dedicated to advancing space technology through the pursuit of technical projects and space-related programming. We are involved in everything from space mission design, high altitude balloon design, miniature satellite design, space industry outreach, model rocket launching, and more!

Over the summer, CSI competed in two challenges sponsored by NASA. The first, the Micro-G design challenge, involved designing, machining, and testing a space-related tool at NASA’s National Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL). In late May, CSI members visited the NBL. They had an asteroid anchor of their own design tested by professional divers. Their anchor had to hold at least 10 lbs of force when embedded into sand. It was able to withstand more than 30 lbs of force during testing!

The second challenge, the RASCAL challenge, involved designing a hypothetical mission plan for NASA. Team members designed a mission plan for visiting Deimos, one of Mars’ moons. The mission plan included technical outlines, budget specifics, and a timeline for completion. Team members were invited to Cape Canaveral in late June, where they presented their mission design to NASA judges and were awarded multiple honorable mentions!

Welcome to the Columbia Engineering Student Council Website!


Hi everyone!

As your Engineering Student Council, our goal is to make the world a better place by empowering and enabling our engineers to fix the problems that they care about most. We’re looking forward to working with you throughout your time here at Columbia.

We’ll be updating the members pages with more information soon, as well as creating an area where we will publish our survey results. In the weeks to come, we’ll also be creating a better disabilities information page, and we’ve got a blog series planned for engineering student groups on campus.

Feel free to email esc@columbia.edu with any questions or concerns, or drop us a suggestion in our suggestion box when it comes online!


The Members of Engineering Student Council



What You Need to Know About Buying Property in Vietnam

While it’s a common misconception that foreigners cannot own property in Vietnam, it’s the opposite that’s actually true. In fact, it’s really easy for a foreign investor to start getting into buying real estate in the country.

However, there are some conditions that you need to keep in mind when looking into good property for sale.

Here’s what you need to know about buying property in Vietnam as a foreign investor:

Buying Property as an Individual

When you’re looking to invest in a Vietnam property as a private individual, there’s definitely no shortage of good home purchase for foreigners here. In fact, Saigon property prices are currently low and good property for sale is easy to find.

Some of the ideal districts in Ho Chi Minh City you should look out for include the following:

• District 1 – When you’re looking for a place that’s in the middle of everything happening, then District 1 is the district to be with plenty of high-class condominium choices, as well as apartments that will definitely suit you tastes.
• District 2 – District 2 is a quieter district compared to the previous one, but it still has many bars, villas, and malls, which makes it a great place for a condominium purchase for those looking for a balance between quiet and fun.
• District 4 – Being the smallest district in HCMC, District 4 is also a residential district that’s great for food lovers, and the best place to look for an apartment for sale or rent if you want to truly immerse in the local culture.

When you do decide to look into buying a property, keep in mind that there are also many other places where you can find good apartments to invest in. If you want high-standard facilities and strategic location that can easily get you around Vietnam, try to find resale flats at vin central. If you’re considering to invest in HCMC, whether for residential or commercial purposes, Vinhomes Central Park is definitely worth looking into.

Foreign Ownership of Land

While you can’t buy the land itself – foreign property ownership only extends to the property itself, similar to citizens or local organizations, and not the land – the state will certainly lease it that’s similar to having ownership rights in a lot of ways.

The good news is that the maximum length of any lease agreement in the country is 50 years, and it’s possible to renew the agreement for another fifty, which is plenty of time enough for you to get a sizable return from your initial investment.

Buying Property as a Company

One of the options you have when you want to buy property is to do so as a foreign-owned company based in Saigon, which is easy since state laws allow for full foreign ownership of companies in the country.

Foreign investment companies usually take about four to six weeks to register, and usually don’t need additional licenses except for certain cases.

You can get started on this by applying for two things: first, the Investment Registration License, which allows you to start doing business in the country, and a Business Registration Certificate, which certified that you are indeed a registered business.

Buying Property via Joint Venture

Another option when it comes to property investment is by forming a joint venture with a shareholder, given that this shareholder is Vietnamese and is currently residing in the country.

With a locally-owned company, you can purchase properties such as households, buildings, and prime pieces of real estate as well as new project launches for sale, lease, or even for a lease purchase. Local companies can essentially own the property until the company itself is terminated.

What You Need for Your Real Estate Business

There are a number of advantages you can get when starting up a business specializing in property, such as the following:

• Lease property for subleasing, such as apartment units or entire buildings
• Build or sell property on the land that the state has leased to you
• Build, rent, or sell property belonging to a commercial project

When you’re in Ho Chi Minh City and would like to get into buying and selling property, keep in mind that you can only buy the property for company use.

You will also need a registered company if you plan on sub-leasing the property, so be sure to check if the company you’re dealing with is registered before doing business with them.

So what are you waiting for? Invest in property in Saigon today!

All You Need to Know About Rhinoplasty and Cryolipolysis

In our time today, aesthetic treatments are becoming sought by more and more people in Singapore and all around the world. It is being done for many medical reasons like birth defects or for cosmetic reasons like getting rid of scars, skin discoloration, treatment of excess fat, and etc. Two of the more common treatments you’ll find in an aesthetic clinic today are rhinoplasty and coolsculpting. Here’s what you need to know about both.


Rhinoplasty is a treatment that involves changing the appearance of the nose and/or improve its function, basically what many people call a nose job. In an operation, the surgeon makes cuts within the nostrils to reshape its bone and cartilage. A nonsurgical nose job is also available for those inconvenienced by surgical procedures.


Rhinoplasty is advantageous because there are fewer bruises and swelling after the treatment as it is typically non-invasive. Having non surgical rhinoplasty requires the use of injectable nose fillers.  The use of fillers for nose procedures is also largely for augmentation, which means it cannot be used to reduce the size of one’s nose.

Again, nose fillers are used to augment different parts of the nose. Usually, any recommended rhinoplasty clinic here in Singapore can show you pictures of people before and after having nose fillers. Before undergoing a non surgical rhinoplasty procedure, some clinics typically take pictures of your nose to help them better study its structure. The doctor/s, then, can show you an altered picture of your nose after it is filled.

The cost of nose fillers generally ranges from 450-600 SGD, sometimes even more. Even so, you should still be very careful and aware, especially of cheap nose fillers because filling the nose ineffectively can lead to necrosis.

Other fillers used in aesthetic treatments are:

Facial fillers – or wrinkle fillers is considered a cheaper way to look moreyouthful than the traditional facelift.

Chin fillers – because the chin is one of the defining features of the face, these fillers serve to add definition to the jawline and sometimes adds tightened look to the neck.

Cheek fillers – these filler injections allow for a strong and youthful outline of the face through the curve in the cheeks.


Cryolipolysis or coolsculpting is a non-surgical fat freezing procedure offered by many aesthetic clinics in Singapore. It is done through a device that freezes fat cells under the skin thereby killing them. In a matter of weeks, you will start noticing coolsculpting results as your body continues to eliminate the destroyed fat cells inside you. All thanks to Zeltiq Aesthetics for this cutting-edge technology and the benefits offered by zeltiq coolsculpting.

It has been found that when you lose weight, your fat cells only become smaller and are not completely gone. The elimination of fat cells has then been the foundation of Zeltiq coolsculpting. The many benefits of freezing fat have also proven its effectivity.

As said earlier, fat cells are eliminated, so the chances of regaining weight are significantly reduced. That’s possibly why many say slimming with zeltiq cool sculpting is ideal. Another great advantage is that it is a low-risk procedure for many people given that it is non-invasive.

Although coolsculpting risks are minimal, the side effects of fat freezing should also be considered. There are some cases where fat cells are enlarged rather than destroyed. It is still not known why this happens but it is still a very rare case. Additionally, some side effects like nausea, pain from numbness in the treated area, skin coloration, and etc. also may occur.

Though it may look like a safe weight loss procedure, coolsculpting is actually not a method for weight loss. Zeltiq coolsculpting is only affected for removing stubborn body fat that otherwise would have been removed through diet and exercise. So, if you want to lose weight fast, explore those options first.

The average price of cool sculpting is said to be about 3000 to 6000 SGD per session. The cost of fat freezing also depends on the body part.

Before you go to any aesthetic clinic in Singapore, do your research well and make sure to go to a recommended aesthetic clinic. Whether it’s nose fillers, chin fillers, cheek fillers, or fat-freezing, some procedures are irreversible. So, make appointments andask about the procedures so that you won’t regret it!

Are You at Risk for Heart Disease?

According to the Singapore Heart Foundation, sixteen people die from cardiovascular diseases every day in Singapore. While some of the things that put you at a greater risk for heart disease are things you cannot change (like age, sex, and genetics), there are far more things that you can control. Here is a list of things that can put you at risk for heart disease, as well as some tips on how to change them.

1. Smoking

Smoking can be one of the most significant risk factors for developing heart disease. Chemicals in tobacco damages your heart and blood vessels. Tobacco tar can cause a clog in your arteries, which leads to plaque build-up, reducing blood flow and forcing your heart to pump harder.

Smoking puts you at risk not only for heart disease but also for other types of diseases like respiratory diseases and various cancers. Even alternatives, like smokeless tobacco, low-tar, and low-nicotine cigarettes can be harmful. Even secondhand smoke can be dangerous, raising the risk of heart disease in children and strangers. If you are a smoker, try asking your cardiologist for plans and programs to kick your habit of smoking.

2. Stagnant lifestyle

A stagnant lifestyle is another thing that puts you at risk for heart disease. Doctors recommend regular exercise at least thrice a week for twenty minutes. Your cardiologist may recommend aerobic exercises, as it is the best type of exercises to lower the risk of heart disease. Exercises like brisk walking, jogging, and swimming are good to keep your heart healthy. In addition to aerobic exercises, strength exercises for at least two days per week is a good way to keep a healthy heart.

Even if you don’t reach the required number of hours of exercise per week, shorter sets of workout can still be effective in curbing cardiovascular illness. If you have family history of such disease, get your heart treated by a doctor here in Singapore, and ask for advices about the exercises safe for you to do. Even with just five to ten minutes of brisk walk daily, it’s more than enough to lower your risk of heart ailment.

3. Diet

An active lifestyle paired with a healthy diet is one of the best things that you could do for your heart. A diet with a lot of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are good ways to protect your heart. Include beans, low-fat or fat-free dairy, and fish while avoiding salt and sugars. The biggest consideration you would have to make in your diet is the sources of fat in your food. Try to avoid unsaturated and trans-fat (like red meat, fried food, and baked products) and seek out plant-based fat (like avocado, nuts and olives). Fatty fish (like salmon and tuna) may also lower your risk of heart disease.

4. Manage your weight

While weight can be affected by genetic factors, there are still a lot of decisions that you could make to make sure that your weight stays in the healthy range. If you are particularly obese, you may need to go for regular heart check up and a heart screening in Singapore more often. However, your heart doctor can work with you to create a meal plan that prioritizes the health of your heart while considering your lifestyle and other illnesses.

5. Alcohol

While there are many studies stating that alcohol can be beneficial in moderation, these studies remain inconclusive. However, there is indisputable evidence that states that excessive drinking heightens your risk of heart disease, along with other diseases like liver and kidney complications. If you drink excessive levels of alcohol, it is a good idea to find a way to lessen your drinking.

6. Bad sleep patterns

A lack of sleep can cause a host of complications like a higher risk of obesity, diabetes, and depression, and heart disease. Making sure that you have a good sleep schedule can help your heart, along with other aspects of health. Waking up naturally, without the use of alarm clocks, is one of the ways that can help you have a better sleep pattern. Before sleeping, make sure that you stay away from artificial light, including electronics and light bulbs. Try to create a good sleep environment by keeping your room dark, cool, and quiet.

7. Stress

Stress can be detrimental to health in many aspects. In the physical sense, however, it mostly manifests as a heart problem, like arrhythmia or high blood pressure. Your heart specialist may recommend you a list of activities to manage your stress, like doing relaxation techniques or mindfulness meditation. Walks in nature can also help, as well as journaling.

8. Monitor blood pressure and cholesterol

High blood pressure or hypertension can put a huge pressure on your blood vessels. Although hypertension can be genetic, it can be curbed with the right diet and enough exercise. Abnormal levels of cholesterol can lead to high blood pressure, so it’s always in your best interest to make sure that your levels are monitored by a licensed physician.

There are numerous high-blood monitors available on the market that allows you to check your high blood pressure yourself. Paired with regular check-ups to your heart doctor in Singapore, you could make sure that your heart stays as healthy as it could be. Make sure that in every visit, you get check-ups of your weight, high blood pressure, and glucose levels. If necessary, your physician can refer you to a cardiologist who can give you a heart screening.

The best cardiologist will not only focus on treating symptoms of heart disease but will also work with you holistically to make sure that further complications do not arise. If necessary, you could ask your general physician for recommendations, or check the list at your local cardiology center.

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