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Illustration by Isabel Chun


Much of our identity as Columbians is defined by how we engage, or don't engage, in sexual or romantic activity. Hookups in the Butler stacks, Tinder flame bootycalls, and post-bar crawl rendezvous—you've heard of all these tired tropes, I'm sure. You may have even partaken in one or more of the regrettable activities listed above yourself—and no, I'm not judging you.

There is certainly some truth to be found in the popular narratives propagated by first-years, gossipmongers, and, at times, Spectator itself. But this truth is far from universal. Once you take away Butler, McBain, and 1020, what remains of Columbia is a group of confused adolescents who occasionally (and unpredictably) fuck, but mostly just attend class together.

We're kicking off this series, Love, Actualized, in honor of Valentine's Day. Love, Actualized aims to provide counter-narratives to the classic Columbia romance. You might relate to them. You might not. It doesn't matter—these articles aren't intended to be reflective of the entire Columbia experience. Instead, each piece endeavors to speak to one facet of the Columbia experience.

So go on and give the first installment a read. It's not as if you had any plans for Valentine's Day weekend, anyway.


Paulina Mangubat

Editorial Page Editor

series love actualized Valentine's Day romance