Racist Fiji messages are part of a long history of sexual, anti-Black violence protected by brotherhood
Messages between members of the Columbia chapter of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, nicknamed Fiji, have circulated over the past week, implicating several students in racist comments targeting a Black woman photographed in The Denver Post after being tear-gassed by police. One fraternity member’s concerns were dismissed when he expressed disgust with a joke that compared the tear gas—a toxin linked to chronic respiratory diseases and miscarriages that has been used as a weapon against protests—to semen....
Amid all the chaos, confusion, and grief brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the students in Columbia College and School of Engineering and Applied Science remaining on campus received a chilling email last Tuesday from Dean Cristen Kromm, writing that on two separate occasions during the prior week, someone had drawn a swastika on the wall of the 16th-floor hallway in East Campus. The notion that someone is repeatedly targeting Jewish students with a symbol of hatred, especially during a time when we should be banding together to love and support one another, is painful to come to terms with. It is disturbing, isolating, infuriating, saddening, and as Kromm mentioned, “deeply concerning.” But it is certainly not surprising....
In honor of Black History Month, Spectator is publishing a series on notable black alumni, scholars, activists, leaders, and more whose stories should be honored. Upon graduating from Barnard, Vernice Miller-Travis, BC ’80, participated in the study that coined the term “environmental racism.” By hand, she drew the heat maps that showed race was the most significant factor of toxic exposure....
I, a Chinese student, attended the forum on the coronavirus that Columbia held.
Last month, our community suffered the tragic loss of Tessa Majors, a Barnard first-year who was brutally murdered in Morningside Park, just a few steps away from Columbia’s campus. Tessa was a talented musician, an advocate for women, and beloved by all who knew her. Although the news of her passing has fueled a national conversation about the importance of protecting women on college campuses, some have unfortunately used this tragic incident as an opportunity to promote harmful, anti-Black rhetoric, which ultimately criminalizes and perpetuates violence toward residents of West Harlem....
On November 20, Rodney Reed, an African-American man, will be executed by the state of Texas. He was wrongfully accused of raping and murdering a white woman and tried by an all-white jury. He has been on death row for 21 years, which corresponds to the lifetime of a graduating college student. Numerous pieces of evidence point to his innocence, including witness testimonies and forensic evidence. However, the state of Texas will neither accept those new pieces of evidence, nor will it test the murder weapon for DNA. As Columbia students, we believe we have a duty to act and support the Reed Justice Initiative....
Content Warning: This op-ed mentions thoughts of suicide.
Thirty years ago, Laura Hotchkiss Brown, GS ’89, worked with other Columbia students to make a banner by hand that had the names of seven female writers which they hung from the top of Butler Library. Five years later, another group of students hung a similar banner. Next week, a third iteration of the banner will be draped across the facade of Butler with the following names: Maya Angelou, Gloria E. Anzaldúa, Diana Chang, Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison, A. Revathi, Ntozake Shange, and Leslie Mormon Silko....