LETTERS FROM THE EDITOR
INSIDE THE ISSUE
Ignored, Erased, Unheard: The Doctor Behind the Name Change of Bard Hall
December 16th, 2020
Halfway through the interview with Dr. Raymond Givens, two young boys materialize through the slightly-pixelated Zoom virtual background displaying the stoic face of the rapper Biggie Smalls. The little one pops cheerfully through the famous rapper’s mouth, waving a tiny green toy at the camera, and the taller one comes running through the rapper’s tilted plastic crown, grinning cheekily and tugging at his father’s surgical scrubs. Givens, smiling at his sons and not at all fazed by the distraction, smoothly introduces his six-year-old, Lucas, and his two-year-old, Nicholas, pausing momentarily to swoop Nicholas into his lap and put his arm around Lucas’ shoulder. Givens gently corrals them out of the room, apologizes for the interruption, and without missing a beat, returns to the discussion of his efforts to change the name of Bard Hall...
The New Columbia Bubble: First Generation, Low Income Students Form The Majority In Pandemic-era Dorms
January 19th, 2021
Columbia College sophomore Vivian Jackson shares a one-bedroom apartment in Hell’s Kitchen with her family. When Columbia went remote last spring, she struggled to attend Literature Humanities while her mother, a ballet teacher, taught plies and how to stand en pointe a few feet away from her laptop. While the commute would have been easy, the opportunity to have her own room, reliable Wi-Fi, and an on-campus job compelled her to live in the dorms this fall. As one of many students who requested on-campus housing this fall, Jackson identifies as a first-generation, low-income college student. On August 14, Columbia reversed its initial decision to bring up to 60 percent of undergraduates back to campus and instead opted for a semester entirely online. Only students who needed on-campus housing to “pursue their academic programs successfully” were provided dorm rooms; Jackson was one of them...
No Filmmaking at Film School: Administrative Policies Make Production Impossible
December 14th, 2020
Columbia School of the Arts promotes its film master’s degree program with a skillfully produced trailer that offers a seductive sales pitch to prospective applicants. The school boasts that students’ films play at “every major film festival you can think of: Telluride, Berlin, South by Southwest and Tribeca, Cannes.” Deans and professors tout the program’s focus on practical training and portfolio development set students up for industry success: The school proudly announces that students are “making things from the first day they come here and they’re making things as they walk out the door.”..
Claudia Conway Isn’t OK, and Neither Am I
December 14th, 2020
I am a little bit obsessed with Claudia Conway. The daughter of two public figures—one a spokesperson for the Trump White House, the other a notorious Twitter #resister—Claudia rose to prominence over the summer in lockdown. She found TikTok like the rest of us did. She quickly disproved any assertions that her parents actually got along, speculation that had long been purported not just by gossip magazines, but also by reputable newspapers. And almost as soon as the Internet became sure she was who she claimed to be, Claudia went viral...