Posts Tagged ‘editorial board’

Meta | Dec. 28 8:32 pm EST
it had to be you

Speak now or forever hold your piece: Apply for Spec opinion

Wikimedia Commons

It’s that time of year: You’ve filled yourself with holiday foods, checked out the after-Christmas sales (and remembered you spent all your money on Milano sandwiches), and started getting a little Columbia-sick (it’s like homesick but with more ennui). What better way to get back in touch with your MoHi self than applying to write or illustrate for Spec opinion?

Applications for columnists, bloggersEditorial Board members, and artists are due Jan. 10 at 11:59 p.m. (we know you love deadlines). Application links and position descriptions are below. You can apply for any or all positions, regardless of experience. Feel free to direct any questions you may have to the opinion editors, Emma Finder and Dan Garisto.

Columnists publish once every two weeks. Columns run around 800 words long and have a steady and recognizable theme throughout the semester. A good column should be relevant to Columbia and timely, and it should express a clear opinion. Past columns can be found hereApply here.

Bloggers write posts for Spectrum once a week. Blog posts are usually shorter and much more focused than columns, and bloggers may respond to that day’s news outside their usual series. A good blog post should be relevant to Columbia and make use of lists, graphics, photos, links, or videos. Past opinion blog posts can be found here. Apply here.

The Editorial Board is the voice of Spectator. Members meet twice a week to decide the content of Spectator’s staff editorials, discuss the issues, and form opinions on them. Editorial Board members have a hand in the writing and editing process for the editorials, which cover both campus and neighborhood issues, voicing Spectator’s opinions on them. Past staff editorials can be found here. Apply here.

Artists contribute to the opinion pages regularly through illustrations, editorial cartoons, and multimedia series. Pieces may go along with an op-ed or column or stand on their own. If you’re interested, you may send a sample of your work to and fill out the application here.


Spectrum | Oct. 17 11:23 am EST
Spec gets political

Spectator presidential endorsements through the years

In today’s paper, Spec’s editorial board endorsed President Barack Obama for re-election. This wasn’t the first time that Spec has endorsed a presidential candidate.

Today, we look into our digital archives to examine Spec’s previous endorsements, what they said, and how things turned out. The archives currently available online run from 1972-1992.


In the first election in which most college students could vote (after the voting age was lowered from 21 to 18), Spectator endorsed George McGovern in the Democratic primary, and again in the general election.

What Spec said:

In the primary endorsement“Senator McGovern is far from an ideal candidate. … He is, however, the only candidate for the Democratic nomination who promises new policies, new directions, and, perhaps, dynamic leadership — something that has been lacking in America for far too long.”

In the general election—”What the poll-watchers forget is that despite his all-too-human flaws, Senator McGovern still represents a decade of dynamic leadership and courageous opposition to the Vietnam War on the floor of the Senate.”

The result: McGovern won the primary, but went on to lose the general election to Richard Nixon in a landslide defeat.  More »


Spectrum | Apr. 16 9:28 am EST
Wake-up call

Reduced P.E. requirements at Barnard, and other news

File photo

Read this: Barnard has reduced the P.E. requirement from two semesters to one, in an attempt to save money. [News]

Know this: The editorial board writes in favor of open course evaluations. [Opinion]

Here’s more: Jennifer Wisdom has been elected president of the General Studies Student Council. [News]

Weather: Partly cloudy, high around 84. Wow! Summer is here, apparently.

Event of the day: The African Students Association is holding a panel on affirmative action. President Bollinger will be speaking at the event. Tickets are free, but required. More info is available on the Facebook page for the event, at the link.


Opinion | Mar. 23 9:50 pm EST
Jim Yong Kim

What World Bank nominations say about Columbia—Part I


The search for the next president of the World Bank would normally fall outside of Spectator’s purview. The Bank’s headquarters are located in Washington, D.C., not Morningside Heights. The department of economics probably spends a lot of time disagreeing about how effectively its loans reduce poverty in the developing world—while that might make for an entertaining office dynamic on the 10th floor of IAB, there is little else that might concern the average Columbia undergraduate.

But on March 1, Jeffrey Sachs nominated himself for the position. Today, President Obama nominated Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim instead. Hours after news broke, Sachs withdrew his candidacy to throw his support behind Kim.

Knee-jerk reactions about Obama’s constant ploy to spite Columbia aside, much of the coverage I have seen in national and international media has brought two genuine and Columbia-relevant concerns to mind.

1. Administrator personalities.
2. How we should think of Jeffrey Sachs? More »


Meta | Dec. 13 7:15 pm EST

What’s your opinion?

henry... / flickr

It’s finals. You can’t bear to be in Butler. What better way to procrastinate than to fill out a few short applications to let your voice be heard on Spec Opinion?

We are currently accepting applications for columnists, Editorial Board members, Opinion bloggers, and artists, due December 28 at 11:59 pm. But which one, you may wonder, should you apply for?

So glad you asked. You can apply to all of them or just a few by clicking the links above. Here’s a rundown of what each position entails: More »


Opinion | Nov. 21 1:49 pm EST

Is thanks enough?

ebergcanada / flickr

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we are bombarded with the phrase “giving thanks.” We see food drives in dorms, signs posted in Lerner, and recommendations from friends and family. It may seem like a simple concept, but we should also keep in mind that giving thanks is not always enough. Though it is important to take time to appreciate all the good in our lives, it is just as important to remember that many are not so fortunate.

Donating a turkey or working at a soup kitchen are commendable ways of giving back, but community service should not be limited to one day a year. As a day on our calendar, Thanksgiving—and the theme of giving thanks— is largely relegated to a few hours spent in a food-induced stupor. The notion of community service, of expressing gratitude to a community, is for most people confined to this single date. We donate food or work at a food shelter and call it a day (or a year). (more)


Opinion | Nov. 14 3:04 pm EST

What’s in $76 million?

Ennuipoet * FreeVerse Photography / flickr

The Editorial Board critiques an organization in West Harlem that is supposed to be allocating funds from Columbia for community development.

Residents, politicians, and activists have criticized the West Harlem Local Development Corporation for its delinquency and obscure proceedings throughout this year. In 2009, Columbia agreed to donate $76 million over the next 16 years to fund community education, housing, and job training in West Harlem, and the job of the LDC is to distribute those funds effectively. While Columbia has already donated $3.5 million of those funds, the LDC has used only $300,000 to fund a relatively small number of jobs through a youth employment program. And with no website, no official disclosure of the organization’s board members, and no apparent plans for its current and incoming funds, the LDC is doing little to meet the pressing needs of its community. (more)


Opinion | Nov. 9 11:35 am EST

See you at the game

Eric Wong / Spectator

The Editorial Board asks Columbia to provide transportation to what could be a historic match on Saturday.

This Saturday, the Columbia men’s soccer team is playing Cornell in what could result in their first Ivy League Championship since ’93. While Columbia’s performance in football has been disappointing this season, men’s soccer has been exceptional—8-7-1, and 4-2 Ivy. In the competitive world of Ivy League men’s soccer, 4-2 and a shot at the conference title is no minor accomplishment. This championship would represent an enormous victory and would guarantee the senior-led team a match in the NCAA tournament, likely against a high-profile, quality opponent.

In light of this monumental event in Columbia athletics, the school should make every effort to encourage fans to attend the match and support the team with as big a crowd as possible. Alumni and students have expressed excitement about the game, and they would be much more likely to make the four-hour journey to Ithaca if the administration provided the free bus it is considering offering to fans. Die-hard Columbia soccer fans will make every effort to go to the game with or without a convenient mode of transportation, but if Columbia provided it free of charge, fans without easy access to a car would doubtless be more willing to go. (More)


Opinion | Nov. 4 6:18 pm EST

Diversity University

wallyg / flickr

In today’s paper, the Editorial Board looks at the question of diversity and asks if Columbia is as inclusive as we think.

Officials at Columbia—especially our admissions officers—affirm that we are a diverse institution. Our students hail from different countries and states, belong to various ethnic and racial groups, and bring personal experiences to Columbia that make our university unique.

While we may excel in measuring up to certain definitions of diversity, we fall seriously short in others. Though you may have a world-class pianist, a published author, and a nationally ranked tennis player in your Music Humanities class, you are less likely to find an equally dazzling array of socioeconomic diversity among your peers. (more)


Opinion | Oct. 26 2:46 pm EST

In memory of Tina

Susan NYC / flickr

The Editorial Board joins the campus in grieving the loss.

After hearing the tragic news on Sunday night, Columbia students have come together to grieve the loss of Tian Bu, known as Tina. Students have poured out their sadness at her death and their appreciation of her life in conversation, through social and campus media, during the community forum on Monday—everywhere they can. She was a kind friend, a passionate violinist, a volunteer in the community. The reaction on campus demonstrates what a talented, amazing woman Tina was, and how dearly she will be missed. We wish we had known her, and we hope that those who loved her will be able to find comfort and hope in the midst of their grief.

Grief affects each of us in unique ways. Some who did not know Tina personally may be unsure of the appropriate response, and we should know that there is no one right way to react. Those who did know her are finding their own ways to cope, to grieve, and to know when to spend time alone and when to surround themselves with others. (more)