Last semester, for the first time in my life, I became acquainted with the smell of death.
Respect for others is often the missing piece when trying to teach sexual respect, so we need a more holistic approach.
Columbia College sophomore Liza Roy sometimes feels guilty complaining to Reza Shahin, her new friend in Indonesia. Tired after another week of college, Roy will lean into the phone and gripe about the work she has to do. Her friend, always interested to hear about Roy's life, will commiserate with her. But the truth is that Roy's daily complaints do not amount to Shahin's. Having fled from Afghanistan, Shahin is stuck in a Jakarta refugee camp with little to do....
The fact that empathy consistently resurfaces as a topic of campus discussion is heartening. It means that we are concerned about each other, whether or not we actually display empathy (and judging from the online comment sections of our campus publications, we don't). Recently, AJ Stoughton and Dan Garisto took on the discussion of empathy in their columns. It's one worth continuing, I think, especially since the latter's response misconstrues the argument of the former....
There has been a level of presumption in Spectator op-ed pieces lately regarding the definition and exercise of empathy. In his piece "Legacies of trauma" (Oct. 21) Gerardo Romo wrote very candidly about the pain that he has experienced while at Columbia as a queer student of color. He pointed out that, in many ways, the structure of the institution feels not only too rigid to include him in a way that makes him feel part of its community, but also often feels specifically designed to exclude him based on the identities he holds and the body he inhabits....
As members of the Columbia community at large, each of us is, in some capacity, a listener. To be part of any community is to be a listener.
On Monday, AJ Stoughton wrote an excellent column "Do we suffer, together?" that probed the state of empathy in our country and in our community. It's an ambitious piece with soaring rhetoric and sincere quotes from Whitman that Stoughton acknowledges can seem "a little bit hokey, corny—perhaps even naïve" today....
After Kappa Alpha Theta's Olympics-themed party, there was little agreement—except on the point that Columbia students need to become more educated and aware of other cultures. This lack of cultural understanding is definitely a problem, but it isn't the only problem. Blatantly disrespectful actions at Columbia and other colleges aren't solely the result of a failure to be aware of other cultures. Rather, they also come from laziness, lack of judgement, and choosing to act with no regard for others. We know this because many students are aware of other cultures, but still chose to act inappropriately. It's a problem remedied by thinking before acting—specifically thinking from the viewpoint of others. There is no valid solution to that problem, but we should expect better of Columbians....