Archive for May, 2010

Spectrum | May. 31 11:21 pm EST

Tomorrow’s the big day, folks

It’ll be June 1 in just about an hour, which means the court hearing to which we referred yesterday is on tap. Spec news reporters Maggie Astor and Kim Kirschenbaum will be liveblogging the proceedings from Albany, so be sure to check in tomorrow. For now, predictions, preparation, and more, after the jump. More »


Spectrum | May. 30 5:00 pm EST

Manhattanville: The road goes ever on?

Years in the making, on Tuesday the fight over eminent domain and Manhattanville finally comes to New York’s highest court.

In the fall of 2002, mere months into his term as Columbia president, Lee Bollinger announced plans for the University to expand into Manhattanville. On a new 17-acre campus that stretched from 125th to 134th streets on the west side of Broadway, the University aimed to nearly double the size of its academic space in Manhattan. More »


Spectrum | May. 30 12:00 pm EST

Careful where you breathe

A tipster sent us this photo—apparently Housing is removing asbestos from some rooms in McBain this summer.

If you’re having trouble reading which rooms are (or were, we guess) asbestos-ridden, they’re 408, 508, 608, 708, and 808. If you were a previous occupant of one of these rooms, sorry you had to find out this way. And to think, air quality in New York is pretty bad to begin with.


Spectrum | May. 29 6:07 pm EST
Life Imitates Arnold Art

Real-life Pigeon Man in Morningside Heights

Courtesy of Wikipedia

It’s finally happened. We have officially become one step closer to living out our dream of being in a “Hey Arnold!” episode. No, we haven’t found a tiny, robin-blue baseball cap to complete our bubblegum shrine. But we DID find out that Morningside Heights has its very own Pigeon Man. More »


Spectrum | May. 27 9:17 pm EST
roundin' up the news

Columbia-affiliated hospital only 4,000 echocardiograms behind

Wikimedia Commons

It may be summer, but hey, our Google alerts are still turned on.

• The Harlem Hospital Center, whose doctors are supervised by the Columbia Medical School, is hurrying to review almost 4,000 unread echocardiograms, which is more than a year-and-a-half’s worth. The hospital’s clinical director has been fired for the screwup, but, uh, yikes.

• Fun fact: The Columbia board of trustees spent over $100,000 to lobby Washington last year. NYU spent over $500,000.

• Bill O’Reilly, a big fan of Columbia University, told TC professor Marc Lamont Hill that he looked like a cocaine dealer. We’d say that’s pretty gross and racist, but maybe we’ve been indoctrinated by liberalism or something.

• Newsweek’s new site has a thingie on the side called “The Spectrum.” Hey, that’s our name!


Sports | May. 26 12:43 pm EST
NCAA Championships

Wong falls in first round of NCAA Championship

Alyson Goulden / Spec

Columbia tennis star Jon Wong, the No. 96-ranked singles player in the nation, took on No. 60 Ashley Watling from Tulsa in the first round of the NCAA Championship, falling 6-3, 6-2. The Lions will next be in action in the fall, as they prepare to defend their Ivy title.

More »


Spectrum | May. 25 1:36 pm EST

GS valedictory Class Day speech plagiarized? (UPDATE: Yeah, it definitely was)

Wikimedia Commons

Behold, the power of the Internet! This morning, GS valedictorian Brian Corman was accused of lifting part of his Class Day speech from comedian Patton Oswalt’s “Physics for Poets” routine. Oswalt has taken to his Twitter in reaction to online tips.

Video of GS Class Day has been made private on Columbia’s YouTube page, but Corman’s speech is still available via webcast on the Commencement 2010 page. (Download his speech for RealPlayer here and Windows Media player here.) Corman’s speech begins at the 42:27 mark and the anecdote begins at 47:42.

Update, 1:46 p.m.: The University has put the GS Class Day video back on its YouTube channel with an apology (reprinted below) as an annotation to the video.

Update, 3:18 p.m.: Patton Oswalt’s latest tweet: “How do I add a pic to a Tweet? Columbia issued an apology and misspelled my name.” Oops.

Update, 3:46 p.m.: Oswalt updated his website after Corman apologized to him, saying that he “flat-out admitted his thievery, his stupidity. Owned it all. Good man.” But the comedian didn’t let him off that easy, writing, “Still makes me wonder what he might have done to become valedictorian—I mean, if he’s willing to steal material for something as inconsequential as a speech, how rubbery did his boundaries become when his GPA and future career were on the line? Oh well.”

Update, 5:00 p.m.: GS Dean Peter Awn’s separate statement, similar to the YouTube annotation:

It has come to our attention that a portion of our Valedictorian’s remarks at this year’s School of General Studies Class Day was taken from a comedy routine by Patton Oswalt.  As an institution of higher learning that places a core value on respect for the works of others, we were surprised and disappointed to have learned of this matter today. Columbia University and the School of General Studies do not condone or permit the use of someone else’s work without proper citation. The student speaker has appropriately issued an apology to his classmates and to Mr. Oswalt for failing to provide such attribution.

Peter J. Awn
Columbia University School of General Studies

Not clear whether this means the University has spoken with Corman, or how else (or what else) they know about his apology. Keep checking back for further updates.

Update, 5:40 p.m.: According to the University, the video was taken down temporarily from YouTube (as noted by Oswalt) to post the statement that now appears with it. In addition, the University cannot comment on any potential disciplinary actions facing Corman due to Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act restrictions on the disclosure of personal information. The apology message from Corman to Oswalt, though, was a private correspondence between the two that did not involve the University.

Still no word from Corman himself, but keep checking back.

Videos of Corman’s speech and Oswalt’s set after the jump. More »


Spectrum | May. 25 12:49 pm EST
dolla dolla bills, small?

Data supports Columbia MBAs’ inferiority complex

Courtesy of the Guardian

As if Columbia Business School students needed another reason to question the decision to, well, be Columbia Business School students: MBAs from both Harvard and Wharton earn more over a 20-year career than their Columbia counterparts, according to a report from Bloomberg Businessweek. More »


Spectrum | May. 23 11:00 am EST

How to get on the Pulitzer board—win a Pulitzer?

Courtesy of Columbia

Columbia announced Thursday that Dominican-American novelist Junot Diaz has been elected to the Pulitzer board, meaning he’ll now have a say in selecting those who follow in his footsteps. Diaz won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2008 for “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.” If you needed an excuse to read this book, or if you’re looking for summer reading, here it is. Take the plunge—you won’t regret it.


Spectrum | May. 21 7:00 pm EST

Class Day slideshows: GS

Famed chef Jacques Pépin, GS ’70, spoke at GS Class Day on Sunday.