Since we are a group of undergraduate college students that works primarily on campaign-based projects, our group's composition and identity change a bit from year to year. Our most fundamental principle, the thing that really shapes who we are, is that we are non-hierarchical and operate by concensus.
Non-hierarchy means that we are all equals. We have no functioning president or executive board. How long you've been coming to meetings has absolutely no impact on your ability to participate in discussion and decision.
Consensus means that we vote before we make decisions in our group, and that every single member must let the vote pass. We don't operate by simple majority--every member present at the meeting must be comfortable with the decision. We find that this way, our group's decisions are as accurate a reflection of every member's opinions as is possible.
Our meetings are run by any group members that wants to facilitate, a process which guides us through our meeting.
Check out the links page to see more resources about these topics.
Beyond those mechanisms of operation, here are examples of the things we do:
We primarily focus our efforts on campus-wide campaigns.
We may do a number of projects to help out with other groups or causes, but we tend to have a major campaign running to bring about lasting institutional change at Columbia. (see current and past campaigns) As such, we often take on issues of "environmental and economic jusitice" somewhat indirectly.
We are known to make badass t-shirts (and we like doing screenprinting).
We screened and sold a t-shirt saying "I'd tap that" as part of our campaign against bottled water on campus, and one with "blow me" (in reference to a wind turbine) in our campaign promoting wind power. All of the shirts we use are second hand, purchased from area thrift stores.
If you have quesitons about how we operate or what we do, please ask us! We feel that knowledge of these tools and of the university system that we work with gives you the power to participate in our group to your level of interest and comfort. We'd love to share our knowledge with you to equip you with the tools necessary to be an active SEEJ member.