While Orientation Week may have come and gone, seniors are still orienting themselves to their final year at Columbia—an exciting, heartbreaking, and mixed-feeling-making time of the last firsts and the first lasts. Seniors will experience their last homecoming and last 4 a.m. conversation on the steps, their first “legal” Senior Night, and most notably, their first Lerner Pub.
Lerner Pub is designed to give seniors across the University’s undergraduate schools an opportunity to come together every month as a more controlled tradition at Columbia, in comparison to off-campus “Senior Night” events. For many seniors, this event has served as an opportunity to socialize within friend groups, to reconnect with fellow students they’ve met throughout the years, and most importantly, to bond as a senior class.
We encourage seniors to attend, not as part of predefined friend groups, but as members of the Columbia University class of 2014. Take the time to catch up with your chem lab partner whom you haven’t spoken to since sophomore year, or that guy from the end of your hall in John Jay, or that girl who sat next to you in Frontiers for an entire semester.
It is unfortunate that Lerner Pub is one of the few opportunities since the NSOP first-year community forum for the class of 2014 to come together. We commend Columbia for organizing Lerner Pub as a way to bring the senior class together, but would like to recommend that this kind of social event start even earlier. As the inaugural Senior Night demonstrates, underclassmen have found themselves eager to participate in traditions set up for the senior class. These types of bonding events should not be limited to the senior class. Perhaps a few First-Year Fiestas or Sophomore Soirees would help? Junior Jamborees or schoolwide Columbia Cocktail Parties?
Events such as Lerner Pub have the potential to become campus traditions, helping to foster a sense of unity between members of each class and within the Columbia community at large. Here at Columbia, we often bemoan the lack of a strong campuswide community. We should expand upon traditions like Lerner Pub.
If, from day one, Columbia made coming together as classes an integral part of the Columbia journey, a stronger sense of school pride and community would be inevitable.
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