Spectrum | Mar. 19 5:26 pm EST
it gets better

Columbia’s ‘It Gets Better’ video

This week, Columbia gives its own take on the popular “It Gets Better” project. The project was founded by Dan Savage and his husband, Terry Miller, in September of 2010—just days before Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers student who had been spied on by his roommate while kissing another man, took his own life in New York City.

This video, which first appeared as an idea last October, features interviews with students, faculty, and prominent administrators, such as Kevin Shollenberger (Dean of Student Affairs) and Peter Awn (Dean of General Studies). Check it out below.

Ben Harris (CC ’14), who spearheaded the project here at Columbia, says of the short film, ”There were far too many stories at Columbia to possibly include in one video — a testament to the strength and outspoken nature of the LGBT community on campus. Because of that, this video includes just a small swath of people on campus. My hope, however, is that it will send the message that this campus supports LGBT teenagers nation-wide, and recognizes the importance of higher education in making those lives better.”

Thanks to Ben, Ericka Beltran (BC ’12), Claire Pope (CC ’14), and Mae Smith (CC ’14), for helping create this video and bringing these touching stories to our attention.

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COMMENTS (18)

  1. molly • March 19, 2012 at 6:04 pm • Reply

    This is amazing! Great job to all involved!

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    Rating: +13 (from 15 votes)
  2. k • March 19, 2012 at 6:42 pm • Reply

    beautiful, you guys!

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    Rating: +9 (from 11 votes)
  3. dqueezy • March 19, 2012 at 8:10 pm • Reply

    this is absolutely fantastic. i’m so proud of the people that made this video. i love you all!

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    Rating: +9 (from 11 votes)
  4. GSer Living WIth AIDS • March 19, 2012 at 9:23 pm • Reply

    Bravo – I am an OUT person living with AIDS on campus. Thank you for doing this. I just wish I had a voice in it, too. But I am warmed by seeing it, and by seeing the Dean of my School participate so beautifully and eloquently. Thanks.

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    Rating: +13 (from 13 votes)
    • graduating senior • March 20, 2012 at 12:31 am • Reply

      Hey thanks for writing this. YOU should have been in the video, you know?

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      Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
      • Eva • March 29, 2012 at 9:17 pm •

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  5. Mcbain 6 • March 19, 2012 at 10:32 pm • Reply

    Ben Harris is amazing.

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    Rating: +6 (from 8 votes)
  6. why did you write this? • March 19, 2012 at 11:43 pm • Reply

    What was the selection criteria for the students highlighted in the film?

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    Rating: -1 (from 5 votes)
  7. SEAS12 • March 19, 2012 at 11:45 pm • Reply

    This made me so happy.

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    Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)
  8. this is • March 20, 2012 at 12:30 am • Reply

    Powerful

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    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  9. Honestly this is • March 20, 2012 at 1:15 am • Reply

    a sanitized version of what it means to be LGBT at Columbia.

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    Rating: -1 (from 7 votes)
  10. ... • March 20, 2012 at 4:09 am • Reply

    It is a sin. Homosexuals need to realize that what they are doing, what they feel the desire to do, is wrong.

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    Rating: -12 (from 16 votes)
    • mmmmmm • March 20, 2012 at 7:25 am • Reply

      kiss me, you fool!

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      Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  11. Richard Adams, GS '12 • March 20, 2012 at 7:27 am • Reply

    hey man – i like the name you submitted your comment under. shows you have the courage of your convictions. way to go, jerk face.

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    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
    • Richard Adams, GS '12 • March 20, 2012 at 7:28 am • Reply

      oops…. that was supposed to be a reply to “…” – guess passion (and my sinful ways) got in the way!

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      Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
  12. wow • March 21, 2012 at 7:19 pm • Reply

    this made me cry. so so beautiful. thank you to everyone who made this!

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  13. Frank Pinto '12 • March 22, 2012 at 1:00 am • Reply

    Love the sentiment but agree that bad experiences should have been mentioned; ignoring them feels disingenuous. The point should be that the good experiences/help outweighed the bad and that helped it get better – it didn’t just happen. Also wish there was something like this for other marginalized communities. I feel like the Latino community is largely ignored by the administration. Efforts to foster community and develop individuals in the context of the issues we face are entirely student driven and make me believe the administration doesn’t care for us at all.

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