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Dear readers,

It’s been a busy few weeks for us at The Eye, and we know we’re a bit late on this letter, but we have a wealth of articles to show for it. So if you’re in need of a break from midterms studying, you’re in luck. Both issues center around responsibility—of students, administrators, Internet-users, and community members.

In Fall 2017, a Varsity Show writer stepped down following allegations of sexual misconduct. In last week’s lead cover story, Maya Perry asks: What should you do when a member of your student group is accused of sexual assault? According to the administration, the answer is almost nothing.

At The Eye, we recognize that the social dynamics the story explores exist within our own magazine and newspaper. We hope that our reporting will help facilitate an important conversation across campus, and that through these conversations we can all better hold ourselves, and each other, accountable. [Spectator’s Letter from the Editor: The Constitution of a Community]

In December, a black Carman Hall resident found a vent with an anti-black slur written on it; less than a week later, a group of predominantly black women was harassed by a white student outside of Butler Library. These are not isolated incidents—Columbia’s modern history is rife with them. In the Issue 4 lead story, Parth Chhabra investigates how the University responds in the aftermath of hate crimes and bias incidents.

Emmett Werbel scrutinizes Barnard’s responsibility to provide for first-generation and low-income students. Resources for FGLI students have been increasing in recent years, but for many students, it’s still not enough to cover their personal needs.

Victoria Li brings us a short ways uptown to the Community Wellness Center located at the Manhattanville campus. Housed here is the Mental Health First Aid program, an initiative of the Community Coalition for Mental Health. Even though MHFA is a well-known national program, at Manhattanville, it doubles as a psychiatric research project. Can it help further mental health education in West Harlem?

“We’ve updated our privacy policy” is a line you most likely have not read in a Columbia email. The University holds onto a wealth of your personal and financial data, but do you know how it’s being stored? In this feature, Nithya Swaminathan breaks down the intricacies of not one, but two data security practices, as well as how they operate at Columbia.

Moving from one online practice to the next, Amanda Ong takes us back to the moments before and after last December’s cultureSHOCK incident. When news of the vent goes viral, Amanda finds herself launched into the national spotlight, and subjected to a slew of hate in the aftermath.

The night before NSOP, Brooke Henzell experiences a seizure and is diagnosed with epilepsy. She spends her first year at Barnard navigating classes and social life, all the while figuring out what self-care means to her.

And to finish up the issue, our four sparkling, rhythmic, heart-pounding, mind-racing Eyesights: Reina Patel’s words sparkle brighter than the College Walk tree lights; Sam Needleman sets the issue with the New York City groove; Skylar Fetter challenges us to keep up with her as she zooms through Riverside Park; and Peyton Alie writes a performative utterance (you’ll just have to read their piece).

We hope you enjoy leafing through all that these two issues have to offer! We certainly enjoyed putting both of them together.


Julian, Candy, and Gavrielle