Archive for August, 2012

Spectrum | Aug. 31 2:36 pm EST
Freshman Fifteen

Make your new home feel like one


It has been suggested, maybe once or twice, that making an average dorm room feel somewhat livable is a rather difficult task. It has also been suggested that Columbia is not exactly average.

Like it or not, we’re in Manhattan, and therefore stacked on top of one another like sardines. But it’s great, right? Togetherness and stuff?

Yeah, sure. All that’s great, but how is anyone supposed to reasonably decorate any of these rooms, be them too small, oddly-shaped, or surrounded by prison-like cinderblock walls (hey, Carman)?

Your concerns are valid. This is a daunting task. But you can do it. Read on for some general guidelines that may help ease your burden of interior design. More »


Spectrum | Aug. 31 8:29 am EST
Wake-Up Call

Donate blood and/or run for Class Council today

Happy Friday, Columbia! Enjoy your last weekend before the start of classes. Here’s what’s happening with NSOP today.

Interesting NSOP Events

  • Blood Drive: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. on College Walk
  • LGBTQA New Student Mixer: 4:00-5:00 p.m., Broadway Room (Lerner)
  • CC First-Year Class Council Info Session: 5:00-6:00 p.m., Satow Room (Lerner)
  • SEAS First-Year Class Council Info Session: 5:00-6:00 p.m., 569 Lerner
  • Open Mic Night: 9:00-11:00 p.m., Roone Arledge Auditorium (Lerner)

Placement Exams:

  • Arabic: 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., 103 Knox Hall
  • French: 12:00-5:00 p.m., 352 IAB

Not too much happening. Have a great Labor Day weekend!


Spectrum | Aug. 30 5:27 pm EST
Paying the Bills

Crowdsourcing his tuition

Courtesy of Kambi Gathesha

In an age where everything from a Nikola Tesla museum to a public statue of Robocop can be crowdsourced, one student has applied this idea to funding his tuition.

Kambi Gathesha is a General Studies student who, after following an eclectic path that includes studying at Julliard and pursuing a career in dance and acting, realized that scholarship was his true passion.

A year and half away from completing his degree, however, Gathesha ran out of funds — and GS financial aid was unable to help. However, rather than give up, he has taken his struggle to crowdsourcing site His fundraising page asks that “family, colleagues, professors, and acquaintances” to help him raise the $40,000 he needs for tuition.   More »


Spectrum | Aug. 30 1:24 pm EST

Funeral information for Martha Corey-Ochoa

Student Affairs has released the following details about funeral arrangements for Martha Corey-Ochoa:

Visiting hours will be from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. on Friday at The Edwards Dowdle Funeral Home (64 Ashford Avenue in Dobbs Ferry) and funeral mass will be at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday at the Immaculate Conception Church (16 N. Broadway in Irvington). CPS will also be extending its normal hours of operation to include this Saturday, September 1, 2012 from 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Corey-Ochoa died after jumping from her window in John Jay on Monday. The freshman was an avid violinist and was working on her first novel. Read the full story here.


Opinion | Aug. 30 12:08 pm EST

Is changing your major a Columbian tradition?

While glancing through Spec’s list of 116 traditions, I paused at tradition #42 “Change your major. Twice.”, thinking “is that actually a tradition?”

So, like absolutely every Columbian’s reaction when their prof. asks a question about David Hume, I mused over that thought for hours, asking and answering my own questions. And here—with the help of a few friends—is what I came up with on the topic.

Do many Columbians change their majors?

Well, yes.


Here are three common reasons.

Case 1: Student X had dreams of saving the world. Student X realized saving the world meant uncertainty, hard work, and less pay. Student X gave up.

A friend aptly put that changing one’s major wasn’t a tradition at Columbia, it was selling out on one’s dream of saving the world (more on this later).

Case 2 (Version 1): Class “blah blah blah” kicked my butt (typically Orgo). I now hate *insert major* (typically Chem).

As Spec’s residential SEAS kid, I’ve seen this one happen a lot. For Econ, I’d say that class is Micro with Elmes, for Chem it’s definitely Orgo, for Comp Sci it’s when you have to learn ugh, theory and pointers and stuff, ew. More »


Spectrum | Aug. 30 8:01 am EST
Wake-Up Call

Party at the Zoo tonight!

Good morning Columbia! Here’s what’s happening today. If you’re going to the Bronx Zoo party, tweet photos to us at @CUSpectrum or @CU_Spectator, or post them to our Facebook page!

Interesting NSOP events

  • Security Forum: 9:00-10:15 a.m. in Roone Arledge Auditorium (Lerner)
  • Fellowships & Study Abroad information: 10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. in 301 Pupin
  • Mapping Your First Year w/ Health Services (Featuring Consent 101 and a play!): 3:30-6:30 p.m., Roone Arledge Auditorium (Lerner)
  • Party at the Bronx Zoo: 7:00-11:00 p.m. at the Bronx Zoo

Placement Exams

  • Chinese: 10:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in 413 Kent Hall
  • French: 4:00-6:00 p.m. in 352 IAB
  • Hindi-Urdu: 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. in 101 Knox Hall
  • Italian: 2:00-4:00 p.m. in 501 Hamilton Hall
  • Japanese: 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. in 411 Kent Hall
  • Korean: 10:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in 405 and 423 Kent Hall
  • Russian: 12:00-1:15 p.m. in 703 Hamilton Hall
  • Spanish: 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. in 352 IAB
  • Turkish: 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. in 104 Knox Hall

Have a great day!


Spectrum | Aug. 29 7:40 pm EST
Freshman Fifteen

Liveblogging the Community Forum

Stephen Snowder / Spec

From 8:00-10:00 p.m., new students of all Columbia’s schools will gather on Low Steps for a community forum. We’ll be liveblogging it, assuming our Internet connection holds up on the Steps.

So, interested upperclassmen (or freshmen who want to be able to convincingly claim that you attended this “mandatory event”), stay tuned. Updates will begin at around 8 p.m. and continue until it’s over — plus maybe a few more minutes to find out what this “surprise celebration” is all about.

9:28 p.m. The surprise celebration is glow sticks and music. Liveblog over.

9:26 p.m. I think it’s over. The celebration is beginning now. I am sorry for inflicting this on you guys. What a boring event to liveblog. Good lord. At least we’ll find out what the special celebration is.

9:22 p.m. People step to the mic to tell short, inter-connected personal stories about the difficult circumstances they overcame on their journeys to Columbia. More »


Spectrum | Aug. 29 2:53 pm EST
Freshman Fifteen

Which dining hall is right for you?

rhinoneal / flickr

Last semester it was decided that SEAS is Slytherin, CC is Gryffindor, Barnard is Ravenclaw, and GS is Hufflepuff. Now we take on the dining halls.

Take our quiz after the jump, and find out where you’ll be sorted! More »


Spectrum | Aug. 29 7:59 am EST
Wake-up Call

Most of what you need to know about Columbia

Good morning Columbia! Welcome to the first Wake-up Call of the new school year! Normally we do this on mornings when we have a paper, but this week we’ll be doing it throughout NSOP, providing just a short list of the day’s more interesting/useful-seeming NSOP events each morning, as well as a list of each day’s placement exams.

But also, we distributed the Orientation issue of the paper on Monday — hopefully you found it under/next to/somewhere in the vicinity of your door. Here are some highlights from the issue.

Read this: At some point you are going to have to learn how to use the subway. Here’s our guide to the 1 train.

Know this: To catch you up on some of the more contentious stories you’ve missed, we have a series called “Columbia Controversies.” This article is about the problems resulting from President Obama’s visit to Barnard last spring.

Here’s more: And to fill you in on stories that are continuing to develop, we’ve got another series of articles called “Stories to Watch.” This one is about Columbia’s Global Centers.

Interesting/Useful NSOP Events Today: More »


Spectrum | Aug. 28 11:20 am EST

Counseling resources and meetings happening today (UPDATED)

Administrators, counselors, and students are available on campus all day to speak with students grieving or otherwise affected by first-year Martha Corey-Ochoa’s death on Monday night. Below is a list of some of those resources. If you know of others, please let us know in the comments or at and we will add it.

Update: The Student Wellness Project will facilitate a conversation with first-years and upperclassmen from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in John Jay Lounge. There will be a wall to share one’s feelings anonymously on Post-It notes, and break-out groups to discuss Corey-Ochoa’s death or whatever else may be on students’ minds. New and returning students are encouraged to come. Snacks will be served, but students—especially those on the NSOP schedule—are welcome to grab their dinner in John Jay Dining Hall and migrate to the Lounge. Upperclassmen who would like to be facilitators should arrive at John Jay Lounge between 4:30 and 5 p.m.

From Wilfred Chan, SWP chair: “We fellow students know that so much has happened in the past couple of days, and freshman move-in can be one of the most stressful times of the year. Given last night’s tragedy, many upperclassmen would like to provide our support.”

The Student Wellness Project will be holding an open meeting at 1 p.m. 1:45 p.m. in the Lerner SGO, 5th floor. SWP was formed last year out of the campus response to a student suicide.

[Edited: An earlier version of this post mentioned a meeting with Dean Terry Martinez. That meeting is not open to all students.]

Counseling and Psychological Services representatives are available on a walk-in basis, no appointment necessary, until 5 p.m. and for the rest of the week in the office on the 8th floor of Lerner.

Barnard’s Rosemary Furman Counseling Center is open until 5 p.m. on the 1st floor of Hewitt and at 212-854-2092.

RAs are available in all residence halls and may be reached by contacting the on-call RA.

Officers in the Office of the University Chaplain are available for those who would feel more comfortable speaking with a member of the clergy, at 212-854-1493.

Advisers in the Center for Student Advising are generally available on a walk-in basis and can be contacted at 212-854-6378.

Parents and other family members may reach out to the Office of Parent and Family Programs at 212-854-2446.

Please note that Nightline Peer Counseling has not yet begun to operate for the semester.

NSOP and move-in schedule will not be affected.