Welcome to the fifth issue of Volume XXX of The Eye! We hope that you enjoyed a restful spring break and wish you a smooth transition into the second half of this semester. This week, The Eye is excited to share a selection of writings that will engage you on Columbia’s reckoning with anti-Black racism in 1987, the School of General Studies’ dance community (or lack thereof), stories of one year’s worth of television, and lessons on life and loss through The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
In this week’s cover story, Associate Features Editor Annie Cheng and Features Editor Jade Justice investigate how a racially motivated fight outside of Ferris Booth Hall in 1987 led to the creation of an activist organization: The Concerned Black Students at Columbia. Through personal accounts of people on the ground, they examine the CBSC’s calls for institutional change despite facing resistance from administration and campus discourse. It is a piece that takes a critical look at the role that the discourse published in Spectator’s editorial pages played in shaping anti-Black racism on campus; the writers highlight numerous instances of racism, both blatant and implicit in reaction to the CBSC’s work.
In his Eyesight, Associate Eyesights Editor Kambi Gathesha writes about his experience as a dancer and as a student at General Studies. Gathesha explores the dance community at General Studies focusing almost exclusively on former ballet dancers and his futile attempt to find a network of people focused on other genres like hip-hop, West African dance, and jazz—or even those wanting to pursue lives in the arts world after graduating.
Both of this week’s Views from Here center on the personal and emotional relationships formed with the media we consume. In her personal essay, Deputy Copy Editor Fritzie Schwentker reminisces on the affinity she developed for the video game, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, as she grieved the death of a high school friend. Wandering around Hyrule as Link, she found herself in a virtual world torn apart by loss, one not so different from her life outside of the game.
“Me, TV, and COVID-19” by spring 2021 columnist Jacob Mazzarella chronicles his year basked in the pale, blue light of a television screen as a COVID-19 long-hauler. He considers that while parasocial relationships with long-running characters might pose concern in better times, the reliable tendencies of Tony Soprano and “the Guy” from High Maintenance are just what he needed in a year spent isolated and short of breath.
With only four more weeks left in this semester, we’re seeing the lights at the end of a few metaphorical tunnels: the drain of warp-speed Zoom school, the chill of New York City winter, and even the pandemic as mass vaccinations start to become our reality. We’re excited to keep publishing personal and in-depth writing between now and then.
As always, thank you for reading!
Cole Cahill, Lead Story Editor
Jade Justice, Features Editor
Briani Netzahuatl, Features Editor