A few weeks ago, I watched Emma Gonzalez address hundreds of thousands of anti-gun protesters in Washington. I was one of millions more tuning in on television to hear her powerful six-minute, 20-second speech, most of which was delivered in silence as she stared fiercely ahead, tears trickling down her cheeks. The intensity of her rage, the righteousness of her cause, the incandescence of her youth brought back memories of a time 50 years ago when campuses across America were on fire. Like cicadas with a half-century life cycle, students were making deafening noises again....
Updated: Sept. 13 at 4:13 p.m. with quotes from head coach Bid Goswami.
A jury has found Roberto Nunez, 32, guilty of shooting three men in a parked car last June, just a few blocks from Columbia.
I was in the 10th grade when I first heard a Hemingway quote that went something like, "The thing a writer needs most is courage." As a 16 year old with a growing desire to write and a crippling fear of failure, this line stuck with me. I saw firsthand the courage needed to get something on a page and show it to people. To edit and submit. To say things that I thought were dangerous and necessary. In a way it has become a mantra of mine. I think you need courage to be a good student, a good leader, a good person. It may not be a soldier's courage, but it's courage nonetheless. It can be hard to be brave about the little things in life. Naturally, I value this courage when I see it in other people, which is why I've come to have an intense admiration for our classmates who got arrested during the XL Dissent protests down in DC back on March 2.more...
I heard about the Occupy Wall Street movement for the first time on September 24. It was a calm Saturday evening—there was no indication on Columbia's campus that a new movement was gathering momentum, a movement inspired by the Arab Spring that would soon spread across the entire world. Exactly one week later, after taking part in an inspiring march to occupy the Brooklyn Bridge, I spent my evening not in my dorm room, but rather in a jail cell in the Manhattan South Precinct conversing with a Brooklyn film editor. When I first heard the word "jail" while still on the Brooklyn Bridge—as the police announced that everyone present would be arrested—my first thought was, "But I have an essay due on Monday!" Naturally, I wasn't the first volunteer to be arrested. Seeing as there was no way of getting out of arrest, and given that I really had to get back to Columbia as soon as possible, I got in line to be arrested at 5:37 p.m. Everything from this point on was supremely surreal and I remember it all vividly. A white-shirt officer counted off each person to be arrested—I was number four. I was patted down by a blue-shirt who cuffed me with plastic handcuffs. A white-shirt instructed him to throw away my umbrella. I was escorted to one of the NYPD buses and had to wait for the entire bus to be filled. While waiting for the bus to fill up, I figured that it was best to look at my situation as a time of firsts. I had never been part of a protest or march, I had never been arrested, and I had never been to jail before. At around 2:30 a.m., I was finally released. Charged with several kinds of disorderly conduct and a traffic violation for obstructing a road, I was told to return for a desk appearance in front of a judge four Saturdays from then. As a result of the time consumed by my arrest, I would scramble to write an excuse for an essay and utterly fail my Calculus midterm. Nevertheless, I don't regret anything. Being arrested confirmed for me the importance of not just being a student at Columbia, but also of being a student anywhere. As a Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African studies major, partaking in the march to occupy the Brooklyn Bridge and being subsequently arrested allowed me to better understand the events that have taken place in the Middle East and that are now spreading to the rest of the world. I don't think that this kind of understanding can be achieved through books or lectures. This learning process had just begun when I was arrested. After word got out, I received a couple offers to write about my experience. During that time, I truly doubted whether it would behoove me to publicize such an experience, especially since I may one day seek to work in the public sector. Although my charges were only violations, not crimes, I had fears of one day being accused of being an anarchist or a leftist nut. And I'll be very honest—what snapped me out of my paranoia was the positive attention that the media finally began to give the Occupy Wall Street movement and the support that political figures began to show for it. It was at this point that I began to feel disappointed with myself. I realized that I should not have doubted writing about a movement that I support and that I've had the privilege to take part in—regardless of the repercussions. It is clear to me that the top one percent has too much influence, and that it has used its advantage to the disadvantage of the 99 percent. I regret my hypocrisy in condemning the lack of media attention at the beginning of the movement, and then shying away from an opportunity to combat just that. For that reason, reader, I encourage you to avoid making the same mistake I committed: Never fear standing up for what is right. The author is a Columbia College sophomore majoring in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African studies and economics. He is involved in Columbia Students for International Service and the Columbia Marching Band....