Archive for October, 2012

Spectrum | Oct. 31 10:34 pm EST
From the Paper

Keep the activism comin’

Mira (on the wall) /flickr

Two stories in the paper lately draw a stark contrast between Columbia’s activist past and our passive present. Yesterday, members of Spectator’s opinion section chronicled recent reactions by Columbia students to student activism.

Many of the pieces linked in this article talked at length about the recent Barnard fliering drama where administrators eventually capitulated in the face of unified student opposition. Why did this issue warrant such attention? Because it’s the first time in a long while that one could locate any trace of successful activism on the part of the student body.

Yet, introducing these series of articles was a picture of the April 29 edition of Spectator, chronicling the student siege of Hamilton Hall. What happened to us, CU? We used to take over buildings when we didn’t like school policy! Now, when student government takes a stand over something it warrants three opinion pieces?
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Opinion | Oct. 31 9:09 pm EST

Thank you to the CU staff

Wikimedia Commons

I would like to take this space to publicly acknowledge how grateful I am of the CU staff’s response to the hurricane. The response was incredible and inspiring. Among what I saw (please do fill me in on other incredible work they did):

  • Barnard and Columbia dining staff stayed overnight to feed us.
  • Much of Barnard and Columbia’s personnel (Dining, Facilities, Public Safety) stayed on campus for us.
  • When I was out on a 3 a.m. Westside run following the hurricane, I expected the streets to be littered with rubbish and devastated trees. Instead, I did not see a single fallen tree nor gargantuan piles of rubbish everywhere, but rather two huge-ass dumpsters.
  • When I was out late that night, I saw Public Safety cars roaming everywhere. I’d be willing to wager I saw more public safety after the hurricane than I did when Obama spoke here.
  • When the CS servers shut down, comp sci professors were up all night available to field questions.
  • KeSho sent timely emails and tweets that really made me feel like I was being taken care of.

Even though the worst of the storm did not hit us, to say the least, we still experienced some pretty bad weather. The staff was ready on this one, and for that, I take my hat off to them.  More »


Spectrum | Oct. 31 7:46 pm EST

Halloween in Morningside Heights

It’s officially Halloween night on the Upper West Side, which means a couple of things: school-aged children trick-or-treating and college students decked out in their finest for $2 Chipotle boo-ritos. Check out some photos from various happenings around campus.

This is the line at Chipotle, courtesy of News Editor Finn Vigeland, who says the line “stretches to Starbucks. Probably 100 people if not many more.”

Click below the jump for more photos!

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Spectrum | Oct. 31 4:57 pm EST

EC becomes a haunted house!

Haunted house!

If you thought our inclement weather (or the fact that it’s Wednesday) would cause for a cancellation of all Halloween celebrations, then you thought wrong. Tonight, East Campus is coming together to present a mega haunted house extravaganza. There’ll be candy, and costumes, and “cash-like” prizes(?!) Check out the Facebook info here, and get all the information you’ll need below.

Face the Highrise Horrors and Townhouse Terrors (while also trick-or-treating):

At 9:00 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 31, come to the renovated EC lobby for a chance to experience 10 of the scariest suites Columbia has ever known.  Grab a haunted hall map in the lobby upon commencing your journey and return it with your favorite suites ranked before leaving the building.  The most preferred suite will win a cash-like prize.  All Columbia students are welcome.  Costumes and treat bags are encouraged.  For further information, email the EC RA organizer at  Students needing disability accommodations in order to participate must contact the Office of Disability Services at (212) 854-2388 or

Check out the flier after the jump!  More »


The Eye | Oct. 31 2:41 pm EST
Eye Drop

Eye Drop: Highlights from this week’s magazine

A hearty “Happy Halloween!” is in order today, as we launch The Eye’s first ever Halloween Issue! Check out some of the highlights from our spook-tacular (yes, we went there) special issue. 

This week’s lead is deliberately word-light, as we decided to do a Halloween-inspired fashion shoot. Charlotte Fassler’s photography and Gabriella Karefa-Johnson’s styling take fashion and give it a tinge of horror-movie feel. [The Lead]

Dita Von Teese is known as an icon of burlesque, and has expanded into writing, fashion, and even perfume. This week, Anneliese Cooper talks to Von Teese about her new show, Strip, Strip, Hooray! and how she’s bringing vintage sexy back. [Eye to Eye]

Blackout NYC is supposed to be one of the scariest things ever—it’s so scary some people have to shout the safe word to be delivered from its terror. Rae Binstock went to see what all the fuss was about, and wasn’t too fazed. [View From HereMore »


Opinion | Oct. 31 11:13 am EST

Happy Halloween!


Spectrum | Oct. 31 9:12 am EST
wake-up call

This is Halloween

Terry.Tyson / flickr

Hello and good morning, Columbia! Hopefully you’re well-rested and getting acclimated to sunlight again after these past few days of mandated hurrication.

The bad news? You have to go to class today. The good news? It’s officially National Knock-Knock Jokes Day Halloween! Start the spookiest day of the year off right with some news from Spec.

Read this: While it’s easy to just tell someone to check their privilege, columnist Ryan Cho writes that students should strive to educate one another and allow room for discourse.

Know this: Last year, Barnard’s Wollman Library closed at 2 a.m. most nights, but this year it’s back to lights out at midnight.

Here’s more: Deans Shollenberger and Valentini have opposing views on whether or not we deserve to know how our student life fees are spent.

Reminder: Apply to join the Undergraduate Recruitment Committee (URC) by this Friday, Nov. 2 at 5 p.m.


Spectrum | Oct. 30 7:32 pm EST
Hurricane relief

Moving on from Sandy—now what?

Now that the worst has passed, Columbians and New Yorkers are wondering 1) how to go about their lives and 2) how they can contribute to post-storm relief. We will continue to update this post with information on how you can get involved and any more pertinent information following this meteorological mayhem. 

Donations: Tonight, tomorrow, and into Thursday afternoon, the student body will be collecting bottled water and canned food at Beta house. The supplies will be taken to IS 88, which has been converted into a Sandy shelter, at the end of both Wednesday and Thursday afternoons. The Facebook event is here:

Classes resume: Regarding tomorrow, Wednesday, Oct. 31, classes will resume for most CU students. Undergraduate classes at the School of the Arts will be held.

Here’s a list of the schools for which classes won’t be held tomorrow:

  • JTS
  • UTS
  • Teachers College
  • The Mailman School of Public Health
  • The School of Continuing Education
  • The School of the Arts (graduate classes)

Relief via social media: Facebook group, “Caped Columbians-Organizing Sandy Relief!” already has 1,035 members. The group has consistent postings by students for opportunities to help. Here’s their message:

“As students at Columbia, a fundamental part of our experience here is our location in the city of New York. While we were fortunate enough to spend the last two days indoors with power, food, and water, quite a bit of NYC wasn’t as lucky. Let’s take this opportunity during the next few days and weeks to reach out to the city that has brought all of us together and given us so much!”

Students say thanks: Students gathered in JJ’s Place to write thank-you cards for the staff who remained on campus during the storm. The project was the well-timed brainchild of RAs Sarah Fakhry, CC ’14 (JJ 13) and Jose Ricardo Moreno, CC ’13 (Furnald 9+10).

First photo by Ying Chang. Others by Sarah Fakhry.

More after the jump! More »


Spectrum | Oct. 30 1:12 pm EST

The latest on Hurricane Sandy (UPDATE: Most classes to resume Wednesday)

flickr / kakela

Stay updated and find out what you need to know in order to be prepared.
See yesterday’s updates after the jump, and we’ll continue to update throughout the day.

7:05 p.m.: Debora Spar’s official statement:

As we all know by now, the effects of Hurricane Sandy have been devastating to New York City and much of the East Coast. We were fortunate at Barnard and in Morningside Heights to have weathered the storm fairly well, but the same cannot be said of many of our faculty, staff and students–as well as family members and friends–who live in other parts of the nation and Caribbean and are still flooded, without power, or otherwise suffering Sandy’s effects. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.

I want to express our collective thanks to the tireless staff members in Facilities, Public Safety, Residence Life, Dining Services and other departments who worked around the clock and away from their families, some sleeping for only a few hours on cots, to secure our campus and provide essential services to our students. Their professionalism is simply outstanding, and we couldn’t be more appreciative. I’d also like to thank the members of our emergency management team, who monitored and responded to the storm diligently, and kept us all informed.

Barnard will be open tomorrow, October 31, and for the rest of the week on a limited basis.  Classes will resume as scheduled to the extent that members of the faculty can get to campus, but events and activities are cancelled unless you receive notification otherwise.  Because mass transit is not yet fully up and running, we ask that you remain flexible in case plans change at the last minute.  Students, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Dean’s Office at 212-854-2024.

All faculty and staff are encouraged to return to campus beginning tomorrow, but only if it is safe and reasonable to do so. Additional information for faculty and staff will be sent separately.

Please stay safe, and we thank you for your patience and cooperation as our city and country move forward.

5:26 p.m.: Kevin Shollenberger has also sent an email regarding the resumption of classes tomorrow:

As our city and region recover from the serious impact of Hurricane Sandy, the University will begin resuming classes tomorrow, Wednesday, October 31.

We know that transportation within the five boroughs and wider metropolitan area will remain a challenge for several days to come and that there will inevitably be some faculty and staff who may have special difficulty reaching our campuses.  Please be alert for updates from your professors regarding individual class schedules and cancellations.

Due to transportation issues, there is limited custodial staff on campus.  Please continue to contact the Hospitality Desk for any custodial or maintenance concerns in your residence hall. Until custodial services are able to return to their regular schedules, please be respectful of your neighbors and living space with regard to the disposal of trash. We ask that you be patient while we work to get all services and programs back up and running.

Please note the following campus services updates:

  • The Lamont and Ft. Lee shuttle service and Intercampus shuttles are currently suspended until further notice.
  • Columbia Health Medical Services and Counseling and Psychological Services will resume regular office hours on Wednesday, October 31.
  • Lerner Hall will operate according to normal business hours on Wednesday, October 31, open at 8:00 a.m. until 1:00 a.m. Offices within the building will also resume regular business office hours.
  • John Jay Dining Hall will be open on Wednesday, October 31, from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. All retail dining facilities will remain closed until further notice. All meal plan and non-meal plan students (pay cash or credit card) are accepted. Please check the Columbia Dining website for additional updates.
  • University Libraries on the Morningside campus will resume operations on Wednesday, October 31, with limited staff.

We will continue to provide service announcements as necessary at:

More after the jump! More »


Spectrum | Oct. 30 1:11 pm EST
cabin fever

Our Netflix Instant picks

If you’re getting a little stir-crazy after being stuck in hibernation for almost 24 hours, we’ve got you covered! We present the best of Netflix Instant, including a few movies to help you reminisce about Sandy’s mayhem.

Stephen Snowder, Spectrum editor: “Skyfall is coming out soon. People need to be prepared.”

Stephen recommends these three of the Bond movies, and panned the other four:

The Living Daylights: Awesome. Dalton was criminally underrated as Bond.

From Russia With Love: Maybe the best or second-best Bond movie ever.

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service: Also belongs on the list of top Bond flicks, despite Lazenby’s so-so performance.

Jake Davidson, Spectrum daily editor, with the best of the documentaries:

Helvetica: Everyone should have seen this already because it’s just amazingly well-shot and a really interesting subject.

Indie Game: Really great look into what making an independent game is like.

This Film is Not Yet Rated: Investigates how films get rated, and after watching this, I’m surprised there isn’t way more public outcry.

Sara Garner, Spectrum deputy editor, presents drama-filled reality TV and a documentary:

Sister Wives: If you like reality TV, this one’s for you. The show offers a really interesting look into how polygamous families function, and the drama was so engrossing that I watched both seasons in a week.

More »