LETTERS FROM THE EDITOR
INSIDE THE ISSUE
Access Denied: Columbia Clubs and Their Struggle for Inclusivity
March 7th, 2019
Nathan Farrell arrived at Columbia with a vivid picture of what his life would look like. Like many Columbia students, Farrell, now a sophomore in Columbia College, had been heavily involved in extracurriculars in high school—he founded and led an a cappella group (“The Passing Notes”), played saxophone, was a member of student government, and was a peer leadership mentor, all while maintaining his spot in the top 1 percent of the class. But still, Farrell felt like his life would only truly begin when he got to college, where he saw himself “hopping around in all of [his] passions.”..
From Clocks to Socks: What Can’t You Find at the Columbia Bookstore?
March 6th, 2019
Two years ago, I took a weekend trip to New York City with my mom and my sister to check out a few schools. We spent our days shopping, touring colleges, and hitting all of the tourist spots. One morning after visiting New York University, my mom dragged me to the college bookstore to look at apparel. It was a beautiful, sunny day and I wanted to go out and explore my favorite city—anything outside instead of hiding in a store. Despite my reluctance, my mom insisted on looking around, so to kill time, I conceded to her wishes and decided to browse the books. But when I walked through the store, I found so much more. There were socks, bracelets, bags, hats, and even rain ponchos. I eventually stumbled upon a sports bra in the women’s clothing section. Regrettably, I had neglected to pack a sports bra on that trip, so I decided to buy it. It wasn’t what I had in mind for a new bra, bright purple with an “NYU” logo plastered on the front, but it fit the bill...
Pressed for Space
March 6th, 2019
Swiping my MetroCard to enter the 116th St. station is more than a monetary transaction. With it comes my promise to be quiet, to keep to myself, to occupy as little space as possible: all the things that are required of a good passenger on the subway. If the train is more than three minutes away, I wait huddled against the wall, feeling the weight of my hands tucked away in my pockets. Typically, my headphones are in as I attempt to distract myself from the sound of subway cars screeching to a stop like nails on a chalkboard (it’s the one noise I haven’t adjusted to in the city), and all the voices that inevitably follow. ..
A Columbia initiative has placed hundreds in University jobs. But many local residents have never heard of it.
October 25th, 2018
Francia Fernandez emerges from the underlit, green-tiled foyer of the Grant Houses public housing complex on Broadway as a subway train rumbles overhead. In a baby pink headband and grey sweatpants, she is stepping out just to run some errands. We converse outside the building, her dyed-blond ponytail swishing, the cadence of her Spanish musical. Although she currently holds a cleaning job, she is seeking new employment. I point to the Columbia Employment Information Center, the boxy one-story building directly next door, and Fernandez tells me she has never heard of it. She seems surprised. “Do they have cleaning work?” she inquires, knitting her eyebrows. I nod. “Okay, I’m going to go tomorrow and apply for a cleaning job at Columbia,” Fernandez replies with determination, as if she has already marked it into her calendar. As we part ways and she walks to the 125th Street subway station to continue her day, Fernandez passes within arm’s length of the CEIC’s all-glass exterior...
Trans Students, Barnard Admissions, and the Changing Meaning of the ‘Women’s College’
October 25th, 2018
I’m standing in the Barnard quad, wrapped up against the first cold day of fall. I look over the shoulders of four prospective students, four nervous parents, and one very excited high school counselor at Aydan Shahd, who’s about to give an admissions tour. Shahd starts the tour off with a quick introduction: “Hi, my name is Aydan. I use they/them pronouns. I’m a junior at Barnard. I’m from Singapore, and I’m majoring in English with a theater concentration.”..
A Barricade Fell at the Global Citizen Festival. We Thought We Heard Gunshots
October 23rd, 2018
It really wasn’t that bad, I tell myself for the 100th time, burning my fingers on hot fries from JJ’s, aimlessly swirling ketchup around with them.
The Other Columbia: The Story of Columbia Secondary School
March 5th, 2018
“The chickens are in for the night!” a small sign announces. You may have seen it—it hangs at an angle on a chain-link fence bordering a tiny plot of land next to Friedman’s on 119th Street and Amsterdam. Chickens in New York City? I wondered when I first saw the tiny wooden slat suspended by a shoelace. Surrounded by the grandeur of Columbia’s libraries and the concrete and brick of West Harlem’s restaurants, this tiny garden seems out of place. Chickens are especially unimaginable. ..
The Room, The Pencil, and the Rolled R
March 2nd, 2018
I’m standing in my too-warm room with a yellow Ticonderoga pencil between my teeth. It’s the summer before college, but the woody taste reminds me of being in elementary school––maybe because I haven’t used pencils to do my homework since then, or felt particularly inclined to chew on them. But I’m doing this right now because an eHow article told me that speaking with a pencil in my mouth would help me learn how to roll my R’s...