Sometimes all it takes is being completely alone on Low Steps to feel like you own the place. We’ve all had that moment: walking back late at night, realizing that the students who populate this campus are just as important to the physical makeup of our University as the buildings themselves.
The difference between us and our architecture, of course, is that Low and Butler and Alma have resided in Morningside Heights for decades. Most of us will be here for only four years. However, it is precisely the permanence of these structures that highlights our own potential for dynamism. Homer and Herodotus will be etched into Butler forever, but we will move onward, accomplishing or not accomplishing what we may.
But the permanence of the buildings also means something else: They are there for us when we walk to class, return from a party, or eat lunch on the Steps. Our physical campus and its telling inscriptions will be there regardless of the attention we grant them.
Often Eye lead stories inspect issues currently brewing on campus. “The College of the Crown and Cross,” however, asks us to take note of the history we continue living today. We certainly aren’t the first ones here and definitely won’t be the last. The inscription on top of Low Library declares that Columbia will be “Maintained and Cherished from Generation to Generation.” That was inscribed 118 years ago.
Sometimes it’s nice to feel small.