Here are this week’s top stories and op-eds that you don’t want to miss.
1. Nearly four years after Bollinger announced that Uris Hall will be designated to the Arts and Sciences, plans for the 200,000 square foot space have finally been released.
Preliminary plans to overhaul Uris reveal a vision that is far removed from the current state of the building, featuring expensive and drastic changes to a currently “claustrophobic and privatizing” space. The renovations would aim to create a space dedicated to modern interdisciplinary research and an intellectual community, according to a draft of committee recommendations obtained by Spectator.
2. As student groups push for more drastic change, Columbia’s 2020 Sustainability Plan is expected to see an increased focus on carbon neutrality and include plans for greater energy efficiency and waste reduction, according to faculty involved in the initiative.
In April 2017, the University revealed its first sustainability plan with the goal of limiting its environmental impact. This plan, however, was only meant to establish a foundation “with the expectation that another plan will be released closer to 2020 to move the University forward.”
With 2020 now a year away, student groups have mobilized, pressing the University to be ambitious in its next steps toward sustainable practices. On March 15, student groups Sunrise Columbia and Green Owls are co-sponsoring a climate strike at Low Library, which comes as part of an international student response to climate change.
3. The ninth annual Athena Film Festival brought Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Time’s Up leaders to campus this past weekend. Ocasio-Cortez attended the New York premiere on Sunday and participated in a Q&A for a documentary on grassroots campaigns, including her own. Nina Shaw, BC ’76, Law ’79, and other Time’s Up leaders were recognized for their work in providing legal protections against workplace sexual harassment.
4. Professor Jane Ginsburg reflected on her family history in an exclusive interview with Spectator as “On the Basis of Sex” was also screened at the festival. Professor Ginsburg discussed the portrayal of her mother, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Law ’59, in the film, which is based on the justice’s involvement in the 1972 case Charles E. Moritz v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue.
5. This photo essay captured the award-winners, actors, and activists who made special appearances the festival. With a focus on Time’s Up and women in leadership, Athena celebrated the important role that film, media, and technology play in shaping political discourse and social movements.
6. Under the summer sun of NSOP’s club fair, first-years scour the rows of tables, eager to find their people. The older students each promise that their organization could be a home.
But beyond their honeyed words, students face a much harsher reality: multistage application processes, panels of bored and weary interviewers, and auditions even before the end of course registration. A reality of “no prior experience necessary” meaning just the opposite, of clubs looking just like the industries they feed into, and of structural barriers to participating in Columbia’s most central social infrastructure.
With over 500 clubs at Columbia, why isn’t there a place for everyone?
7. Having just founded the organization No Space for Hate, Kwolanne Felix, CC ’22, reflects on how difficult the process has been after the white supremacist incident that occurred outside of Butler Library last December, and how she relies on her peers’ support as fuel to work toward a campus free of discrimination.
8. What’s the big deal about AirPods? Columnist Gabriel Franco, CC ’21, analyzes how we view low-income students of color in light of his recent purchase of AirPods, thus challenging our preconceived notions of what signifies wealth on our campus.
9. Housing registration season is here. Barnard’s registration takes place between March 6 and March 13, while Columbia’s room selection process kicks off after spring break. For all the important dates, here is a comprehensive timeline for housing registration, as well as a helpful overview of everything you need to know about the process. If you’re interested in living with your cross-college friends, you should consider the CU/BC Housing Exchange. Good luck, and happy housing hunting!
10. And finally, a revamped version of the Shaft has launched! Explore your options for next year’s housing sorted by school, year, amenities, and room and suite size. The updated Shaft gives detailed information about each dorm, including pros and cons, pictures, related articles, reviews written by your peers, and its ranking based on average ratings.
The Week in Review comes out every Saturday at 10 a.m.