Posts Tagged ‘general studies’
In The Eye’s lead story this week, Stephen Snowder examines the lives of military veterans at Columbia. In compiling his story, Snowder spoke to more than a dozen veterans who shared their stories with us.
Unfortunately, due to space constraints, some of their accounts had to be excised from the final print version. While the experiences of Justin Neal (GS ’13) and John Schiffer (GS ’15) did not make it to print, they are nonetheless powerful narratives that further illustrate the harsh reality of war, with all its tension, turmoil, and triumph. Read on for their stories, and don’t forget to read the full article.
Justin Neal, from Tennessee, is a senior in the School of General Studies. He enlisted in the Army as an infantryman and went to basic training in February of 2003.
He was stationed in Alaska after basic training, but less than two months after arriving at his permanent duty station, he deployed to Afghanistan.
Neal’s job consisted of conducting foot patrols. He also conducted village assessments: “We would go in there and ask the village elders if they knew of any hostiles, or if they had any weapons,” he explained. “They pretty much always said no.” The real job, though, “was pretty much just trying to draw fire. We were just walking around, like ‘OK, well if we get shot at then we know there’s bad guys in the area.’” More »
- Queer studies queries: Awn said that a queer studies concentration—something recently proposed by students—would need commitment from permanent faculty “over the long haul” to be successful. “The issue is ensuring faculty interest, their willingness to take control of this,” Awn said, adding, “That doesn’t mean that students don’t get to weigh in.”
- International applicants: Because of a dual B.A. program with Sciences Po in Paris, Awn foresees an increase in the number of international students at GS. He believes, however, that the overall trend in the number of international applications over the next few years will depend on the economy. More »
On Friday, Spectator sat down with the one and only Peter Awn, dean of the School of General Studies. Some highlights from the interview:
- In August, GS hosted its first recruiting session in Tel Aviv, Israel. But even though GS is interested in showing international students how they can receive a Columbia education, limited housing options remain an obstacle for prospective students. “In the same way that we’ve increased financial aid each year, housing has increased every year,” Awn said. “But what is really the dilemma for everyone, Columbia is incapable of buying more real estate in the neighborhood.”
- Awn said that “the last major piece of housing” created for GS students was in Riverdale, in the Bronx. But no matter how nice the apartments are, students are still hesitant to rent them because of the long commute to Columbia, Awn said:
“It’s a pain to get to, but it’s lovely. It’s really quite beautiful—but that’s the best they can do, at a significant distance. And they’ve done that with faculty housing. The one thing that isn’t going to happen is housing around the University, which is really what people want.” More »
GS students vying for a chance to join the General Studies Student Council spent some time in the hot seat Tuesday night, with the council interviewing candidates for open positions. Chris Meyer reports from GSSC’s second meeting of the academic year:
- A fond farewell: In two separate measures, the council earmarked a total of $5,700 in the senior fund for graduation events, some of which will be dedicated to an event for fall semester graduates at Faculty House on Nov. 27.
- Selective: According to GSSC President Jennifer Wisdom, there were 30 applicants for 10 available positions on the council, making this year’s application process more selective than in the past. The council interviewed 17 of those applicants at its meeting Tuesday night. “In my past time on council, we’ve had to pull legs to get people to apply,” Wisdom said. The council decided on who would get a handful of the positions last night, but others won’t be decided until next week. More »
Rise and shine, sleepyhead! It’s time to trudge to class for the last Thursday of the semester. Before you do, though, take a minute to look at what we’ve got for you in today’s paper.
Read This: The GS Class Day drama continues: More than 500 people have signed a petition decrying the date change, and students in other schools are opening up their apartments and dorms to inconvenienced families. [News]
University senators are looking into the possibility of asking prospective students to identify their sexual orientations on Columbia applications. [News]
Event of the day: The King’s Crown Shakespeare Troupe’s is putting on an outdoor performance of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” tonight at 8 p.m., starting at the sundial. The show will move to multiple locations around campus from there.
Weather: High of 59, with showers in the afternoon.
The University issued a statement to Spectator on the subject of GS Class Day. It says that the inconvenience to GS students and their families is “regrettable,” but that moving the date for Class Day was “the only acceptable alternative.”
We sent some questions to University spokesperson Robert Hornsby, who replied with this statement. Read the full story by Madina Toure at the news desk.
We are proud that President Obama will return to our campus for Barnard’s graduation, but the resulting consequences for other class day ceremonies scheduled for that day have spawned some misinformation which we want to dispel. From the moment we learned of President Obama’s decision speak at Barnard, our goal has been to accommodate this historic visit without undue inconvenience to thousands of our graduates and their families attending other Commencement week events. The University aggressively and thoroughly explored numerous scheduling and logistical options for achieving this objective with Barnard, General Studies and Engineering—the three schools with ceremonies that had all been scheduled on the same South Lawn location, one after another, on the same day. As Dean Awn has clearly stated, the option of moving the General Studies Class Day ceremony to a different campus site Monday morning while the main core of campus was rendered largely inaccessible would likely have been deeply problematic for graduates and their families.
Keep reading the full statement after the jump.
As reported in today’s paper, last night students convened at a town hall meeting to discuss their opinions on the sudden schedule shift for General Studies’ Class Day. Since then, student representatives from all four undergraduate schools have released a joint statement calling for the administration to be as accommodating as possible to students who have been financially or emotionally burdened by the date change. Continue reading for the full statement, and click here for Spectator’s coverage of the town hall.
Standing Together with the School of General Studies
April 25, 2012
The sudden and unexpected rescheduling of the School of General Studies Class Day has placed undue financial and emotional burdens upon the students of General Studies and their families. We are heartened by the creation of a GS Class Day Travel Fund and hope that the administration will work to accommodate as many people as possible so that they are able to take part in the celebration of the amazing accomplishments of the graduating seniors in GS.
Continue reading the statement after the jump.
As you have probably heard by now, the General Studies Class Day was moved because of President Obama’s visit to Morningside Heights. Several GS students expressed their displeasure, and the administration has acted by attempting to provide financial compensation for students who have been inconvenienced. Check after the jump for the full email from Dean Peter Awn. More »
Hello and a very warm welcome to the sixth installment of Senior in the Springtime. This week I continued the journey of completing the traditions that remained on my list. I was able to complete five more, as best as I could, and I’m confident that the other 28 will be conquered in due time.
Again, the numbers alongside the tradition reflect their placement in the original list. My five for the week:
19. Explore the tunnels. More »
A strange man dressed in all black, a beanie and sunglasses just visited the General Studies Lounge and gave several students in the room $50 cash in an envelope along with a letter, according to Spectrum Editor Stephen Snowder. About 15 people received envelopes in total.
“He looked questionable when he came in—no one knew who he was. This was quite a nice surprise. I will use the money to pay for my friends’ alcohol tonight,” said Joseph Patito, a GS Political Science major and envelope recipient.
Math/Econ major Boris Beltinov was also pleasantly surprised, “I was like, who wears sunglasses at 4 p.m. in New York, indoors? I’m going to spend the money on beer. I mean, books of course, for next semester…”
Text of the letter below: More »