Columbia University Disorientation Guide - 2000

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Title

Columbia University Disorientation Guide - 2000

Date

2000

Place

New York, NY

extracted text

E R G I L

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O M E R

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U R I P I D E S

A

DISORIENTATION
GUIDE 2000-01

T

D

R I S T O T L E

E M O S T H E N E S

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U G U S T I N E

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L A T O

H U C Y D I D E S
E R O D O T U S

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A PUBLICATION OF THE
ARITY NETWORK
COLUMBIA STUDENT SOLID

1

S

O P H O C L E S

CICERO

D

A N T E

The CSSN DisGuide Editorial Collective
Establishment Slavedrivers
Ben Dubin-Thaler
Stephanie Hsu
Simon Moshenberg
Kaya Tretjak
Contributors
Renata Blumberg
Ashley Burczak
Mike Castleman
Gretchen Collazo
Ginger Gentile
Naomi Jones
Peter Lamphere
Jillian Mooney
Rich Seymour
Elaine Shen
Betty Shzu
Katie Vigil
Irene Xanthoudakis

Special thanks to Reverend Bill Starr and the
WKCR board.

This guide is brought to you by the Columbia
Student Solidarity Network (CSSN). Started in
the 1980s as ”Columbia Students in Solidarity
with Nicaragua,” the group has traditionally
focused on Central and South American politics.
Since then, we have changed “Nicaragua” to “Network,” and have broadened our focus to include
the array of issues currently being addressed by
progressive campus groups. CSSN is now an umbrella group that serves to unite campus organizers by facilitating education and action. We are
proud to present a few of the viewpoints that
comprise our diverse progressive community.
The contents of the 2000-2001 Disorientation Guide do
not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of all individual
contributors.

www.columbia.edu/cu/cssn

2

Table of Contents
“Up Against the Wall Motherfucker”
the columbia student strike of 1968

4

Red Tape Won't Cover Up Rape
6
the struggle for sexual misconduct policy reform
It’s the Supreme Court, Stupid!
perils faced by reproductive freedom

7

Do You Know Four Women?
8
what to do if you or someone you know is sexually assaulted
Where Have All the Professors Gone?
crisis of the barnard/columbia tenure process
Citibank Campus
the corporate university 101

10

11

Our Urban Ecosystem
environmentalism in new york city

12

Battles of the Band
13
march in step or else, says the administration
Lip Service
13
community service at columbia
You Can’t Smoke That In Here!
drug policy at columbia and beyond

14

The University Drug Scene
15
celexa, paxil, prozac, oh my!
Crisis of Conscience
a testimonal

15

Organizing for Change at Columbia University
an organizing model
What Lies Beneath
the real columbia underground

16

18

The Blacklist
19
contact information for student groups affiliated with the columbia
student solidarity network

3

“Up Against the Wall Motherfucker”:
1968
f
o
e
k
i
r
t
udent s
t
s
a
i
b
m
u
the col

I

n 1968, just like today, Columbia was heavily involved in weapons research for the Department
of Defense. In 1968, just like today, Columbia practiced racist development policies in the
Harlem community. In 1968, just like today, Columbia students were energized by a vibrant protest
movement against American imperialism (then in the form of the Vietnam War, now in the form of
sweatshops). In 1968, two student groups led an uprising that changed the history of America. Today, it
doesn’t take a weatherman to
know which way the wind
blows...
For years, social disillusionment and institutional disenchantment had simmered on
campus and off; the war in Vietnam began to bring popular hostility towards all forms of authority to a boil. Civil rights activists were beginning to move
towards Black Power, and nationalist paramilitary self-defense organizations such as the
Black Panther Party and the
Harlem Mau Mau had begun to challenge Martin Luther King’s leadership. At Columbia University,
according to a report commissioned and then sequestered by President Grayson Kirk, student life was
at a dismal low point, yet Kirk refused to act on many of the recommendations in the report. Relations
between the University and the Harlem community were strained to the point of breaking over the
construction of a private University gymnasium on public land in Morningside Park; this tension was
exacerbated by the assassination of King and the ensuing riots in Harlem.
On April 23, 1968, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and the Student Afro-American
Society (SAS) united for the first time to occupy the gym construction site. The University called in the
26th Precinct of the NYPD (then, as now, hired thugs for the administration) to forcibly remove
their own students, so students marched back to Hamilton and occupied it, taking Dean Coleman as a
hostage. The SAS members were far more serious and much better trained than the SDS members, so
the next morning they evicted all of the white students from Hamilton; SDS marched over to Low
Library, and, gaining entry by shattering a glass door, took over President Kirk’s offices. Over the next
week, students and supporters also occupied Avery, Fayerweather and Mathematics, and turned them
into communes, spaces where they could live collectively and practice alternatives to capitalism. The
strikers were supported by hundreds of students who rallied in front of the occupied buildings, running
supplies and press releases back and forth; they were opposed by a handful of athletes and alumni who
called themselves the “Majority Coalition,” who, with the implicit support of the administration, attacked their fellow students with fists and weapons. Finally, in the early morning hours of April 30,
President Kirk instructed the NYPD to invade the occupied buildings and remove the students by force.

44

The police rioted: 712 were arrested and 148 were injured in the police violence; 372 complaints of
police brutality were filed. Most of those arrested and injured were not in the occupied buildings, but
were just students on South Lawn who had come to watch. Some students evacuated from the buildings
were made to walk by a line of police officers while being beaten by each one; others were dragged
head-first down marble stairs.
On May 6, Kirk unsuccessfully attempted to reopen the University as most students and many
faculty members boycotted their classes. An alternative “Liberation School” was established on South
Lawn, with classes about the Cuban Revolution and the history of Native Americans taught in a truly
collaborative method still unknown at this University. Students put on guerilla theater pieces; the Grateful
Dead played a free concert. The strike lasted until Friday, May 17, when community activists, with the
help of student strike leaders, seized a Columbia-owned low-income apartment building slated for
demolition. Within hours, police cleared the building and arrested 117, including 56 students. On May
21, nearly 300 students protesting disciplinary action against strike leaders again occupied Hamilton
Hall; the administration again called in the NYPD to arrest 138 more students. Police attempted to clear
the campus; confronted with student resistance far more militant than before, they rioted again. Fortyseven student bystanders were arrested, and 68 people were reported injured, including 17 police. Plainclothes police officers chased some students down Broadway, or into buildings: two students were arrested inside Carman, where police had followed them up the stairs.
The last action that spring came on June 4, graduation day. Several hundred graduating seniors
walked out of the ceremonies and held a counter-commencement on Low Plaza. With this peaceful
symbolic gesture, the tumultuous spring semester of 1968 came to a close. Over the course of the
never-to-be-forgotten six weeks, 1,100 were arrested at Columbia. Hundreds of arrested students went
home for the summer facing suspension or expulsion, not knowing if they would be allowed to return.
Others took their experiences to Chicago, for the Democratic Convention of 1968. Some formed the
Weathermen, a guerilla organization committed to ending American imperialism by force and supporting the African-American right to self-determination. The legacy of 1968 on campus is the formation
of the University Senate, a more democratic governing body – and of a campus security department
that is headed by a former CIA operative, that is committed to using espionage to stifle student protest
movements before they erupt, that maintains still closer ties to the 26th Precinct of the NYPD. They
said it could never happen at Columbia, but it happened at Columbia. They say it could never happen
again at Columbia...

Come watch actual footage of the
strike of 1968, eat free food, and
meet the members of CSSN. See back
page for details.

55

Red Tape Won't Cover Up Rape:
ggle
u
r
t
s
the

T

for
policyreform
sexual miscond
uct

he struggle for a reformed Sexual Misconduct
Policy and a safer campus began at
Columbia University at least as early as 1981, when
students first started asking for such a policy. Nineteen years later, Columbia finally has the most progressive university Sexual Misconduct Policy in the
nation.
The Columbia University Senate passed the first
Sexual Misconduct Policy in
1995. However, this policy
proved to be inadequate, ineffective, and inaccessible. Only
two students attempted to use
its disciplinary procedure in
the five years it was in place;
both cases were dismissed. To
put this in perspective, according to a 1993 study
by the National Victim Center, one in four female
college students is a rape survivor.
Not only were the disciplinary measures ineffective under the old policy, but that policy provided for no campus education, training of officials
dealing with the issue, or measures to account for
accurate collection of sexual assault statistics (in
1999-00, Columbia reported only three incidences
of sexual assault within the previous five years).
Further, officials charged with implementing the disciplinary process were known to dismiss and even
ridicule students who sought help.
The obvious inadequacy of the old policy
was not enough to bring about change. Student
activism has been the driving force behind successful policy reform. In 1999, students collected
1,800 signatures recommending a series of changes
to the old Sexual Misconduct Policy. These recommendations were mostly ignored by the Senate
Task Force assigned to the issue, which initially
recommended changes that were largely superficial in nature. Only when Students Active For Ending Rape (SAFER) led 400 chanting students to a

6

rally at the November 12th University Senate meeting did most administrators begin to take the issue
seriously.
Throughout the 1999-00 school year, hundreds of Columbia students wore red tape on their
wrists and on their bookbags to symbolize the bureaucracy of the old policy. Informational flyers
posted with red tape constantly covered the campus. A coalition of student anti-violence groups
drafted a lengthy proposal for a new policy.
After months of rallies,
teach-ins, demands, negotiations and
major media coverage
(Columbia locked the doors on several reporters
and camera crews during the final vote on the
policy), the University Senate passed the new
policy on February 25th with few dissenting votes
and massive student support. The new policy contains much of the original student proposal language. Barnard, Teachers College, and all of
Columbia’s schools except for the Law School have
adopted the new policy and the first phase of implementation is to be completed by October 15th.
In addition to making the disciplinary options fair, accountable, and non-adversarial, the
new policy calls for a major expansion in the education and training of students, panelists, and administrators, as well as for a full-time coordinator
to head a new office, the Office of Sexual Misconduct Education and Prevention. This position was
recently filled. For further information, see the
website of the new office, www.columbia.edu/cu/
sexualmisconduct.
Last year’s activism surrounding the Sexual
Misconduct Policy reform has led “Mother Jones”
to name Columbia one of the top ten activist campuses; see the September/October issue.

It’s the Supreme Court, Stupid!

W

ith possibly as many as three Supreme Court seats up for grabs within the next four years, the
struggle to protect a woman’s right to choose has attracted renewed public attention within
recent months. Indeed, contrary to the beliefs of many, reproductive freedom today is by no means
safe: the marginalization of reproductive health care across the United States has resulted in a critical
shortage of abortion providers throughout the country. Over 20 percent of U.S. women who want an
abortion cannot obtain one. This drastic decrease in care providers is largely due to direct acts of
harassment and terrorism by anti-choice forces. In response, fewer and fewer hospitals are providing
abortion services while increasing numbers of hospitals are cutting back on offering residency training
in these procedures. Yet attacks causing the erosion of reproductive rights are just as frequently indirect: for example, thinly-veiled legislative attempts to curb all abortion access, such as the so-called
“partial birth” abortion bans, attempt to dupe the public into believing that they apply to only a specific
procedure (they don’t) the use of which should be determined by the state (and not by health care
professionals). The U.S. Supreme Court recently struck down such bans in a narrow 5-4 decision.
Further, widely implemented restrictions upon reproductive rights, intended to chip away at the
right to choose without attacking it visibly and directly, range from parental notification laws to bans
on reproductive care access on military bases and in prisons to the FDA’s foot-dragging on and attempts to restrict the availability of RU-486, “the abortion pill,” in the U.S. The effects of such restrictions are felt most profoundly by low-income women and young women. Every year, more than 60,000
women and girls throughout the U.S. who want and need an abortion are forced to carry their pregnancies to term because they cannot afford the procedure. Many others cannot obtain access to reproductive care and cannot afford contraception. We all have “freedom of choice,” but some of us have more
choices than others.
In turn, Barnard/Columbia Students for Choice has initiated the New York Abortion Access
Fund (NYAFF), a separate not-for-profit entity to alleviate the expenses associated with abortions and
contraception. The NYAAF emerged from a Students for Choice-sponsored event, the Party for Choice
Initiative, which had its kick-off at CBGB’s Gallery in May 2000 and raised approximately $1,200. In
November 2000, the Initiative will host Rock for Choice, a concert fundraiser to benefit NYAAF.
In the coming months, Students for Choice will work alongside the many others fighting for
reproductive freedom to highlight the Supreme Court issue as a key factor in the upcoming elections.
The narrow margins by which the Court has recently ruled on the choice issue demonstrate the danger
that the right to choose is in even in the legal arena. George W. Bush has already described his ideal
Court nominee: someone in the likeness of Antonin Scalia, a rabidly anti-choice Justice who favors a
constitutional amendment to overrule Roe v. Wade.

7

Do You Know Four Women?
if
o
d
is sexually
ne
o
t
o
yo
u
or
t
yo
e
u
kn
a
ow
m
wh
ted
so
assaul

S

exual assault is generally defined as any intentional physical contact with the genitals, buttocks,
or breasts of someone who did not or could not give consent. Under New York State law, people
incapacitated by alcohol or drugs are considered incapable of giving consent. Sexual assault is extremely common, especially on college campuses: according to the most widely accepted statistic, one
in four women is sexually assaulted during college.
Columbia is no exception. Most people who are raped during college are attacked their first year,
between the first day of orientation and the beginning of Thanksgiving break. The vast majority of assaults are committed by someone a survivor knows, not a stranger. In all probability, you or someone you
know will be assaulted while you are in college. You need to know what to do if this happens.
First, it is important to get to a doctor or hospital emergency room as soon as possible, even if
you don’t think you’re injured. You should be provided with antibiotics to prevent STDs and permanent damage to your reproductive system, and you may be provided with drugs to decrease the chances
of contracting HIV. If you get to a doctor within 72 hours, you can request emergency contraception to
significantly reduce your risk of becoming pregnant. This is also available from Health Services. Some
doctors and pharmacists are misinformed and will provide false information about emergency contraception, or no information at all. For accurate information, contact Health Services or Planned Parenthood, or talk to a rape crisis center advocate.
If you think you may be interested in charging your attacker through University procedures or
the criminal justice system, get to a hospital to have a “rape kit” done (rape kits can also be taken for
cases of sexual assault that do not include vaginal penetration). You will preserve the most evidence if
you do not bathe, eat, drink, brush your teeth, change your clothes, or go to the bathroom before you
have a rape kit done. If possible, when you go to the hospital bring a change of clothes. The hospital
staff may take the clothes you wore at the time of the attack as evidence.

Disciplinary Options Through Columbia University:
The following disciplinary options apply to all schools except the Law School. To initiate a disciplinary procedure,
contact the Office of the Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Education, 854-1717.

The Sexual Misconduct Policy: To initiate a complaint, either you or an advocate from the Barnard/
Columbia Rape Crisis Center should call the Coordinator of Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Education. The Coordinator will tell you how to file the written complaint that will initiate a hearing. During
the hearing, you may opt out of being in the same room as the accused. Your case will be heard by two
deans and one student. You may request that the student be excluded from the panel, and you can ask
that any specific panelist be replaced because of acquaintance or other conflicts. Unless you file your
complaint over a break, the hearing panel must commence within ten days of the Coordinator’s receipt
of the complaint (given that the implementation of this new policy will not be complete until Oct. 15,
if you file a case now, a panel will not commence until then). You can consult with an attorney, but you
can’t bring one with you to a hearing. You may bring any one person, including a rape crisis center
advocate, with you to a hearing as silent support. In the hearing, you will be asked to answer questions
about your complaint. Hearing panelists have been extensively trained in sensitivity and evidence
evaluation. You may offer your own evidence if you wish to. You will be informed of the statements

8

and evidence presented by the accused and any witnesses; you will also be informed in writing of the
results of your hearing and of any possible disciplinary actions. You have the right to this information.
If anyone involved in the proceedings breaks confidentiality or retaliates against you because of your
complaint, you may file a second complaint which will be considered as a separate violation of the
Sexual Misconduct Policy.
Dean’s Discipline: Under Dean’s Discipline, you may make a complaint to the dean of the accused.
The dean will hear your story and theirs and make a decision based on their own judgement. This
procedure was in place before the Sexual Misconduct Policy was created and it is notoriously unpredictable. Deans who are not trained under the Policy may not be well equipped to deal with cases of
sexual assault, and Dean’s Discipline offers little in the way of due process for the accused or the
accuser.
Mediation: This is a process by which you may come to a mutually satisfying agreement with the
accused regarding housing, class schedules, or other conflicts. In many sexual assault cases, this does
not provide sufficient remedy.

The Police:
If you call the police, you have two options. You can call to make a report and ask that no arrest
be made. This will lead to no further action by the police or the legal system, but simply records that a
crime took place. If you ask that an arrest be made, the police will determine whether your case has
enough evidence to make the arrest. If it does and charges are brought, you may be required to testify
in court whether you want to drop charges or not. The officers of the sex crimes unit are trained in
sensitivity and the court system now has many more protections in place for survivors of sexual assault
than it did in the past.
After an assault, many survivors and friends of survivors may wish to seek counseling. If you
report your assault to the police, you will be eligible for help with counseling expenses. Talk to an
officer with the sex crimes unit or a rape crisis center advocate to find out more about this.
For statistic sources and other pertinent information about sexual violence, see “I Never Called
It Rape,” by Robin Warshaw.

Resources
Barnard/Columbia Rape Crisis Center

854-WALK
854-HELP

Barnard Counseling Services

Trained advocates 24 hours a day to take you to an emergency room or
to help you deal with the police,University policies, or similar issues.
All advocates here are female.

Columbia Counseling Services

St. Luke’s Hospital Victim’s Services Hotline

The Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy

577-7777

Advocates from outside the CU community.

St. Luke’s Emergency Room
The Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project

523-3335
714-1141

Barnard Security

333-3444

267-7273

854-2796

Reports to security warn other students of danger. Not confidential.

Planned Parenthood

Office of Sexual Misconduct Education and Prevention
To initiate a complaint within the University.
854-1717

854-3362

Reports to security warn other students of danger. Not confidential.

Columbia Security

Specially-trained officers. Female officers always available.

Nightline

854-2284

Ten free sessions available to all students.

Affordable long-term counseling.

Male and female advocates available.

Sex Crimes Report Line

854-2091

Ten free sessions available to all students.

965-7000

Emergency contraception, abortion services, and gynecological care.

In case of emergency, dial x99 (Columbia) or x88 (Barnard)
for immediate assistance.

854-7777

Anonymous peer counseling.

9

Where Have All
the Professors Gone?

B

arnard’s administration enjoys flaunting
statistics: 100 percent of the College’s classes
are taught by Barnard professors. The College
ranks fifth in the nation in the production of female physicians (www.barnard.edu/admiss/
cq.html). While Barnard sells itself as a college
where young women can thrive, it is not an environment in which female academics can thrive. The
number of tenured women faculty members has
declined by 13 percent since the academic year of
1989-90 (Middle States Self-Study). For the junior faculty, academics who do not have tenure, the
statistic is more frightening: women comprise 69
percent of the tenure eligible junior faculty who
have left the college in the past five years (Middle
States Self-Study).
The problem is largely one of tenure. Because
it provides higher salaries, job security, and a measure of academic freedom, tenure is the goal of
many academics. Once secure in a position, they
are free to take on projects that are long term or
risky and adopt innovative pedagogical approaches. Importantly, when professors have permanent work in an academic institution they are
able to forge relationships with students and invest in the future of the college. Barnard and Columbia students lose immeasurably when they are
repeatedly denied the ability to interact with dynamic, creative professors in secure job positions.
Tenure is difficult to obtain at any college or
university. It is an unusual challenge at Barnard,
where the Intercorporate Agreement with Colum-

10

bia University makes tenure procedurally rigorous.
Additionally, tenured professors earn higher salaries; it is fiscally advantageous for liberal arts colleges with small endowments to minimize the number of tenured and tenure eligible professors while
maximizing the use of academics who work in nontenure eligible positions.
Last spring, Barnard students were outraged
to discover that between 1998-99 and 1999-00
alone, 12 female professors had not returned. Many
were women of color. Many were feminists and
activists. Many engaged in interdisciplinary work
in Women’s Studies or Gay and Lesbian Studies.
These women left because they did not receive tenure, they did not expect to receive tenure, or the
contracts for their non-tenure eligible positions
were not renewed. Women are not getting permanent work at Barnard, particularly if they are nonwhite and engage in non-traditional academic
work. If they are not forced to leave, their prospects are so bleak they choose to leave.
The problem is not one of overt racism,
sexism or homophobia. Rather, the tenure process
functions in a racist, sexist, homophobic way that
ultimately devalues the work of progressive academics. Angry Columbia and Barnard undergraduate and graduate students met last year to form the
Student Alumnae/i Tenure Action Network. Using
a provocative postering campaign and a professorled teach in, they worked and continue to work to
raise student awareness of the issue.

Citibank Campus
the
corporateuniversity
101

F

or many people the year 2000, a Jubilee year,
signifies the restoration of balance to society
through the cancellation of debt and the freeing of slaves.
Inspired by this scriptural tradition, people and organizations coming from various backgrounds, regardless of
religious orientation, have endeavored to call for the
cancellation of the unpayable debts of the world’s poorest countries by the end of the year 2000.
Pressure on poor countries to repay debts leads
to environmental and social catastrophes. Despite mounting international pressure, the world’s most notable lending institutions, the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
and the World Bank, have not agreed to cancel the debts.
Implicit in this system are the banks, such as Citibank,
and investment banks, such as Salomon Smith Barney,
both subsidiaries of Citigroup. These institutions, as well
as other commercial banks, have had the opportunity to
gain more profits from each new crisis because they are
continually bailed out. As a result, Citibank has had no
problem supporting undemocratic and corrupt regimes,
or the socially and ecologically lethal “structural adjustment programs” imposed by the IMF.
As you can see around you, in the student center, on your own IDs, Columbia has visible ties to Citibank. What you can’t see amounts to more than
the $8 million the University invested in Citigroup, according to Columbia’s domestic holdings report
(12/31/99). As students of an educational institution ubiquitously associated with Citibank, we too are
involved in this web of complicity. Incidentally, Columbia Trustees are also associated with Citigroup;
Trustee Robert McCormack recently “retired from his position as Corporate Executive Vice President
of Citicorp and Co-Head of Global Corporate Banking with responsibility for the company’s $4 billion
business,” according to the Columbia website.
Not only does Citigroup buy and sell World Bank bonds, it has a long history of red-lining and
racial discrimination against communities, predatory high-interest rate lending to low-income communities, and involvement in South Africa’s apartheid regime. Currently it is pressuring to expedite natural resource extraction in biologically diverse and rare ecosytems in California, as well as countries
such as Papua New Guinea, Chad and Cameroon. These projects not only threaten the environment, but
threaten to dismantle social systems by displacement of the nations’ populations.
Before you use your new student ID as a Citibank credit card, consider the repercussions of
lending your money to such a nationally and internationally irresponsible institution.

11

Our Urban Ecosystem

I

n New York City, we may have no redwoods to
hug and no native furry animals to save. At
first, it might be easy for a visitor to believe that
there are no environmental issues in our concrete
jungle.
We beg to differ.
Green public space is endangered. This past
year, thousands protested the auctioning by the
Giuliani administration of 500 community gardens.
Community gardens are land plots that the city government leased to neighborhood groups 20 years
ago. Since then, the gardens have been vital community centers, especially in low-income areas
where enjoying clean air and green space are luxuries and where encroaching privatization and
gentrification make public places a rarity.
Clean air is at risk. In Harlem, a primarily
low-income, Latino and black neighborhood, the
diesel fumes from sitting buses waiting in depots
have caused the highest asthma rates in the city.
Try to take a deep breath in an air-shaft near the
George Washington Bridge Bus Station; I dare you.
What issues are there at Columbia itself?

12

Columbia University has a $3.5 billion endowment
that is invested in corporations, regardless of their
environmental record. Currently, there is an advisory committee to make suggestions on investment
policy but there needs to be constant vigilance to
show the Trustees that students are watching.
On a more basic level, Columbia could be
a greener school. The buildings are made from
rainforest and/or old-growth wood; loads of food
are thrown away from the John Jay dining hall;
public printers do not use high post-recycled content; and, of course, the recycling system could be
more comprehensive. These are all issues that the
Columbia-Barnard Earth Coalition, the student environmental group, has tried to address through
meetings with administrators, protests, speakers
and working with other organizations on campus,
in the city, state and across the nation. Trash, the
absence of verdant space, air pollution and smelly
waters do not a city make. The city is not a lost
environment. It’s simply another one that needs
reworking.

Battles of the Band

S

ince the 1960s, one of Columbia’s most notorious student groups has been the Columbia University Marching Band (CUMB), a.k.a. The Cleverest Band in the World. Best known for riotous
antics such as halftime shows featuring formations depicting a B-52 carpet-bombing a Vietnamese
village in the late 1960s and a dialogue with a gay, pot-smoking Jesus in 1998, CUMB has always had
a very strained relationship with the athletic department and administration. In 1997, this relationship
took a turn for the worse with the negotiated appointment of a “music coach” to aid with musical
performance.
This appointment was then followed by an outright coup d’etat de CUMB, wherein Dean Kathryn
Yatrakis, Columbia College Dean of Academic Affairs, secretly negotiated with the Office of Student
Activities and the Columbia College Student Council to have CUMB be removed as a student organization and placed directly under her control. Not long thereafter, the “music coach” Randall Everett
Allsup, a “student” at Teachers College since the mid-1980s, was appointed director. Despite ruthless
oppression from above and the unstoppable incompetence of the director, CUMB has maintained its
sense of humor, performing at football and basketball games (men’s and women’s) and at the semiannual Orgo Night (the midnight before the organic chemistry final).
This past spring brought further trauma upon CUMB and all of Columbia as Yatrakis ordered
dozens of extra security guards to attend the Orgo Night performance in Butler Library. Completely
unprepared and overwhelmed by the nearly 2,000 students in attendance, the security guards reacted
poorly, creating a near riot by closing off the Band’s performance area in the library. This did not stop
the performance, but it did prevent many seniors from seeing Orgo Night for the last time.
Despite ongoing threats by administrators, Orgo Night will again be held in Butler Library this fall.

Lip Service
“This sets a dangerous precedent for dragging Columbia into the business of running a mini welfare state.”
- Adam Kolasinksi, current president of the Columbia Conservative Alumni Association, on CU’s plan to offer neighborhood
children scholarships to the proposed 110th Street school for children of University faculty.

W

elcome to the Harlem Empowerment Zone. Yep, contrary to the delusions of our more
conservative friends, Columbia and Barnard – two privileged, well-endowed institutions – lie
right within an urban zone picked by the federal goverment to receive economic assistance in revitalizing neighborhoods famous for their history and in supporting the community’s own plans for its future.
So, how good are we as neighbors?
Community Impact (CI) – a not-for-profit organization founded by students – works literally in
the shadow of Low Library to operate a diverse array of direct service projects that connect students with
the community throughout the year. The coordinators are students (some are work-study), and the organization runs 25 programs with the help of over 850 volunteers from the University community. In partnership with schools, hospitals, and community-based organizations, CI assists Columbia's neighbors in
Morningside Heights and Harlem with everything from emergency food programs to legal advocacy and
political empowerment. CI is also taking a stance on campus in support of service learning and academic
courses that incorporate community involvement. While some worry about how much of the University’s
money is leaking past the gates, CI students are working with neighbors towards greater social justice. CI
is not running a welfare state – it is strengthening a community. To join Community Impact, visit 204 Earl
Hall, www.columbia.edu/cu/ci, or call 854-1492.

13

You Can't Smoke That In Here!

P

lease don’t do drugs, but if you do, read this:
As a student within the walls of Columbia University’s gated Morningside campus, you have
the chance to take your drugs with relatively benign, yet disparate consequences. Although this campus once welcomed some of the most famous drug users of United States history into its hallowed
halls, after years of growing in a drug-fearing/warring nation, Columbia University now has a drug
and alcohol policy. You can find it in FACETS, and I think you should read it before you end up in a
situation for which you aren’t prepared.
Those of you living in URH housing should know that
you live under a contract signed with the University, and that
this contract does not afford you much leeway, should Columbia want to kick you out. Guaranteed housing? Sure, but not if
you get caught smoking a blunt with your mom in your dorm
room...
So, I can give you a worst-case scenario if you get caught
just smoking marijuana. The school can kick you out—but
they can kick you out for anything. It doesn’t happen often,
and you can appeal, but it can happen, even on your first offense. (A little dose of reality: Columbia security and administration don’t really want anyone arrested on campus; it doesn’t
help them with their image.)
Now, leave your dorm room and go east six or seven
blocks. The New York City Police like to fly helicopters over
that part of Manhattan. They kick down doors, harass people
on the street, and set up undercover sting operations all to stop
the scourge of drugs in the city. And thanks to the federal government, the people they arrest and successfully prosecute will
find themselves ineligible for federal financial aid (FAFSA),
meaning that after the time has been served, the doors to higher
education have been shut. Meanwhile, you can smoke a joint
in your dorm room and watch the excitement...
Or if this sort of utterly discriminatory, reactionary, militaristic, classist, and racist practice
seems wrong to you, come visit a Students for Sensible Drug Policy meeting. This coming semester
we will work on getting Columbia’s multitudes of governing bodies to oppose the previously-mentioned drug provision in the Higher Education Act; we will actively oppose the U.S. involvement in
the Colombian civil war; and we will tackle many other pressing issues (which fill many other publications that we’ll gladly share with interested persons). Enjoy your year, and don’t do drugs.

14

The University Drug Scene

H

ey Kids! Want some drugs? I mean real
drugs, none of that watered-down 109th
Street pot.
We’re talking Celexa, Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft,
Valium, Xanax, Ativan, Lithium, and everyone’s
favorite pirate-ship pleasure cruise, Ambien! Some
students repeat, “Arrrrrrgh, me maties!” as they
roll down the stairs. You can even mix ‘em with
things like Ecstasy and Coke! How does this amazing trick work? You just take a walk on over to
Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS) and
tell them you’re having a bad day, or your dog died,
or you can’t sleep, or “Gosh, I just want some
drugs!” They don’t do any background checks;
they don’t try to talk to you; they don’t give a damn
about you becoming addicted.
A medicated student is much safer than a
dedicated student!
Seriously, these folks are reckless. They
don’t know what happens when you mix; I’ve
asked. The drugs are cheap now, but what happens
after you graduate? Are these drugs safe? Personally, I’ve found CPS psychiatrists lacking in ex-

pertise when it comes to side effects and, in particular, long-term effects. While you may never
have a meaningful discussion with a faculty member in four years, it takes less than ten minutes to
get a prescription for an extremely powerful chemical; “Houston, we have a problem.”
True, some people need medication. True,
all people need good doctors. True, you should
watch your back when you walk in there. Confidentiality is broken. Students are threatened with
disciplinary action if they don’t undergo school
sponsored “evaluations.” Curious? Ask a secondyear grad student in the biology department what
she knows about Columbia’s “evaluations.” Be
careful. Get second opinions. Columbia’s doctors
are just as subject to whims and fads of the moment as everyone else. Realize that if you are feeling depressed or anxious, you are more vulnerable
than usual to manipulation. Know your rights and
above all proceed with caution. As concerned for
your safety as some of the CPS staff is, they are
not your personal physicians—they are corporate
employees.

Crisis of Conscience
a testimonial

W

hen I first arrived at Columbia, I was
informed that Columbia had the secondhighest suicide rate of any University in the nation. Within two months of my arrival, there were
two suicides and one overly-publicized attempt.
After two years, I can no longer use my fingers to
count the number of suicidal folks, “successful”
or otherwise, that I have known.
Columbia has a big problem. Not only are her
students killing themselves before they get a chance
to bask in the graduation sauna, but she turns her
back on them. She sends them home, forces them
to go “on medical leave,” or just plain kicks them
out. When these folks leave, they become untouchable. They lose their parents’ support, their social
network, and any chance of returning. Of course,
the administration is not directly responsible for a
suicide. Suicide is after all the act of taking one’s
own life. However, when an energetic 18 year-old

kid shows up at your door and pays you over thirty
grand to educate him, and three years later you send
him home in a box, there’s a problem.
As for the living, we watch the administration turn their back on our friend. We watch them
ignore, badger, and banish a person we love. Then,
we watch the administration graciously allow us
to hold some flimsy candles on the steps. Correction: we don’t watch them at the vigils, because
they don’t bother to mourn for someone whom they
never bothered to know.
In conclusion, if you’re thinking about It,
please don’t. You have no concept of the pain you’ll
cause. And if you’re an administrator, how the hell
do you sleep at night? We don’t need a babysitter,
we need some Humanity; and, no, for the amount
of financial debt and personal frustration our parents must deal with in order for us to “achieve,”
Literature Humanities does not suffice.

15

Organizing for Change
at Columbia University
This is a shortened version; the full version can be found at www.columbia.edu/cu/cssn/organize.html

W

elcome to Columbia University. Now get off your ass and do something. Don’t just take things
as you find them; recognize that you have the agency to make lasting change. This is not because our administration is so open to student input (ha!), but because it is so open to student pressure.
Things will happen around here if, and only if, you make them happen. Here’s one model of organizing
for change at Columbia University.
•Form an organizing committee. Get a bunch of your friends and fellow students who feel
the same way you do about the problem into the same room at the same time. If you try to
make change alone, as an individual, you will fail.

•Identify the problem. What are the specific institutions, policies or practices that cause or
perpetuate the problem you wish to address? What office is responsible for all this? To whom
do they answer? Low Library can be tricky to navigate; enlist the help of someone who knows
her or his way around.

•Envision a solution. What do other schools do that might be better? What have other students
at other schools done when faced with a similar situation? Get as much information as possible
about viable alternatives. Here, national organizations might be of help. If no alternative models
exist, brainstorm some. What you need to produce is a well-thought-out proposal for the administration, one that is specific and yet not so detailed that it can be killed on the basis of details.

•Present the argument. L&R would have you believe that a well-reasoned argument can never
fail. This would be true, if universities were reasonable institutions... It’s still worth a try. Set up
an appointment with President George Rupp to discuss your proposal (Rupp cancelled his regularly-scheduled office hours this semester, but his assistant insists that he is as open to meeting
with students as ever; call 854-2825 to schedule an appointment). Bring along a Spectator reporter, as Rupp’s response is usually worth a laugh. At the same time, publish your proposal as
an opinion piece in the Spec. Ask reasonably for what you want, because you just might get it.

•Organize the University community. You might get what you want by asking, but you probably won’t. Determine the best way to fire up the campus around this issue. Form a student
organization and apply for a budget. Hold open forums, floor meetings and study breaks to
discuss the problem and get community input on the proposal. Fill the Spec with letters to the
editor, columns, and even news articles. Flyer the hell out of campus on a weekly basis. Petition
drives are only useful when used as a tool for organizing. If the goal of the petition is to educate
people about the problem and agitate them into working towards a solution, go for it; if the goal
is to drop thousands of signatures on Rupp’s desk, don’t waste your time. The University responds only to pressure, and a petition is not pressure. Remember, you’ve already asked nicely
for what you wanted; now it’s time to demand it.

•As you begin your organizing campaign, remember: Columbia students are not just
undergraduates, so reach out to students who do not live in the dorms. Try to get faculty to
form a sympathetic faculty caucus. And definitely organize among the unionized workforce:
they have been screwed by Columbia in countless ways, and are often willing to support
student movements that address their concerns and treat them with dignity and respect.

16

•Escalate. Don’t just rely on one strategy alone. Make sure your actions are specifically targeted: know what you want done, and who has the power to do it. Focus your pressure on that
person or office. Don’t be afraid to publicly embarrass the University in front of tour groups or
The New York Times. At the same time, keep open lines of communication: your goal is to get
your demands met, and you should be looking for a negotiated settlement. Reject compromises
that concede to some of your demands while leaving the root problem unchanged; at the same
time, allow them the room to make a counter-proposal that you would find acceptable.

•Think strategically about resources. If you only have ten people, don’t call a march or a
rally; instead, think of something that ten people can do, like a banner drop or a roving guerilla
theater piece. When you have a broader base of support, don’t be afraid to show it. It’s okay to
have a rally with 30 people, if 50 show up to the next one. You don’t need everyone to actively
support you; all you need is a strong core of committed activists, and a good number of people
who generally favor you. Never underestimate your strength: armed with enough posters and
masking tape, 15 people can look like 5,000. Above all, if you keep organizing as you move into
this phase of escalation, then your movement can only grow.

•Bring the issue to a head. You’ve presented the administration with a reasonable proposal,
and you’ve given them long enough to think about it. You’ve demonstrated that your proposal
has strong community support. If they don’t negotiate, its judgement day in Morningside. Again,
whatever you’re envisioning doesn’t take as many people as you think it does. It doesn’t take
100 people to occupy Low Library; armed only with determination and a cell phone, six
people can take over an office, as long as there are 60 people outside in support. And there are
other ways to force the issue. What you need to do is show the administration that unless your
demands are met, business as usual will not go on. Ultimately, you are threatening them with
what they cannot handle: total disruption.
Here, the threat is often more potent than the action itself: you may want your action to take
the administration by surprise, or you may want to publicize it in advance to give them a
deadline. Consider holding a public civil disobedience training for your supporters, and invite
the Spec. But remember, if you issue the administration an ultimatum, you must be prepared to
act if they call your bluff. Once you bring the issue to a head, they can no longer stonewall you;
they must negotiate in good faith, and you can institutionalize your proposal as University
policy. Then you can throw a victory party: build off of your victories and safeguard what you
have already won, because as soon as you aren’t looking, they’ll take away everything you
fought so hard for.

This represents but one model of change at Columbia. Other models include taking it through the
proper channels (the Committee on Filibustering and Delaying, which advises the Vice President for
Screwing Over Students); complaining loudly (most people favor this method, though it has never
worked); or setting yourself on fire on South Lawn (unless Columbia starts napalming villages, this
method might be overkill). Every successful model for institutional change boils down to one thing:
organizing. If you organize the community, you cannot fail to win. If you fail to organize the community, you cannot win. Don’t get so carried away by planning actions that you forget to build a sustainable progressive movement. Remember: the legacy of Columbia student organizing begins in 1754,
escalates through the 1960s, and culminates in you. Ain’t no power like the power of the people, ‘cause
the power of the people don’t stop!

17

What Lies Beneath
the rea
l

O

ne of Columbia’s oldest and worst-kept
secrets is the massive labyrinth of tunnels
underneath the Morningside Campus connecting
most of the University’s buildings. Tunnels are not
uncommon at major U.S. universities; however Columbia has one of the oldest and largest networks
(according to an old copy of FACETS, Columbia’s
is the third largest after the Kremlin and MIT).
Much Columbia history can be found in the
tunnels. Before Columbia relocated to its present
campus in 1898, a mental institution that used tunnels to transport patients, strapped down to beds,
existed between West 114th and 120th Streets. The
tunnels were also used extensively by the Manhattan Project, which was first located in the basement of Pupin Hall. Columbia’s football team
helped the effort by pushing around carts of radioactive elements underneath the campus. Eventually the threat of spies and accidents caused the
entire program to be moved to Chicago, underneath
Soldier Field. This, however, did not spare
Columbia’s tunnels from its share of radioactive
accidents. One of the last known major spills occurred in 1969.

18

ia underground

b
colum

In 1968, students used the tunnels in the
campus takeover. In 1985, administrators used the
tunnels to attack protesting students who had
chained themselves down in Hamilton Hall. As recently as the 1980s, students were allowed to travel
underground from Barnard to Math and from John
Jay to Hamilton during the winter.
Access to the tunnels now is severely restricted. As the tunnels are a very popular and convenient adventure for students (especially engineers), exploring the tunnels has been incorporated
into various student groups’ ceremonies. However,
it is ill-advised to explore the tunnels without an
experienced guide, as security guards are present
in the tunnels around the clock. One source of further information and access to the tunnels is the
Columbia University Marching Band, which conducts an “Underground Tour” of Columbia early
each fall. Also, for more information on the tunnels, see http://www.columbia.edu/~smd45/vad/
campustunnels/. A map is available at http://
members.tripod.com/~tunnels/gfx/
columbia_tunnels.gif.

The Columbia Student Solidarity Network
www.columbia.edu/cu/cssn
Barnard/Columbia Students for Choice (SFC) — Students for Choice actively works to raise awareness of issues surrounding reproductive rights on the University campus while organizing efforts to
help protect the right to choose on a local and national level. Having developed partnerships with
Planned Parenthood and NARAL, SFC has introduced a variety of speakers to the Columbia community and has launched a series of voter information campaigns and legislative efforts. Such efforts
include working to help pass legislation protecting women’s access to abortion clinics and legislation
ensuring that the option of emergency contraception is offered to rape survivors in NewYork hospitals.
In the Columbia community, SFC has organized a strong presence to resist anti-choice propaganda efforts such as a “fetus graveyard” display set up last year by a campus anti-choice group. In
response, SFC organized a significantly larger counter-demonstration and distributed pro-choice contraception and activism kits to express pro-choice support. Off-campus, SFC has organized a large
student contingent in a demonstration last year to protest the anti-choice politics of George W. Bush
when the presidential nominee held a fundraiser in Manhattan.
Students for Choice also leads weekly volunteer efforts to escort women into NYC clinics
under attack from anti-choice extremists. Further, SFC has highlighted such events as National Young
Women’s Week of Action and National Provider Appreciation Day. For more info, please contact Lauren
Porsch, lp198@columbia.edu, or Kerry Lear, knl6@columbia.edu.
The Campaign to End the Death Penalty — A grassroots organization to fight for an end to executions, the Campaign to End the Death Penalty is the group to get involved with if you are interested in
combating the racist criminal “justice” system in this country.
We want to get rid of death row because it is racist, because it punishes the poor, because it
doesn’t do anything about crime, and because it is cruel and unusual punishment. We plan to build a
panel on “Why New York needs a Moratorium on the Death Penalty,” featuring ex-death row inmates,
professors, and legislators who are pushing for a moratorium. Join us to help out and get your friends
involved, because only if more people get involved can we stop the death penalty for good. Call Peter
Lamphere, 853-7880, or email cedp@columbia.edu.
Coalition for Police Reform (CPR) — CPR is an organization of organizations, including the Black
Students Organization, United Students of Color Council, the International Socialist Organization, and
many others. Our goal is to respond to and combat the growing problem of police brutality and misconduct as it effects our neighborhoods, our safety, and eventually our ability to interact on any human
level. To contact CPR, e-mail Carrie Hawks, cpr@columbia.edu, or visit our website at
www.columbia.edu/cu/cpr.
The Columbia-Barnard Earth Coalition (EarthCo) — Founded in the 1970s, EarthCo is the only
student organization focused on environmental issues. In the past year, we worked on improving campus recycling and planted in Morningside Park, in addition to protesting at Wall Street and organizing
with student groups around the country. Columbia Conserves, the school’s program to implement environmentally responsible practices, was the result of a campus audit we conducted three years ago.
Since then, we have continued to work with the program’s advisory committee which is made up of
administrators primarily responsible for the school’s physical plant. Two years ago, EarthCo played a

19
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key role in establishing the Ivy League Environmental Coalition, a unified voice for the environmental
concerns of the students of the Ivy League. This Coalition is currently working to create a constructive
dialogue regarding institutional investment policies among administrations, student environmentalists,
and the wider university communities.
Come share your ideas for change. Contact Elaine Shen, ejs42@columbia.edu, or Heather Lee,
hbl5@columbia.edu.
Columbia Nader Coalition — Tired of the one-party-masquerading-as-two monopoly in American
politics? Columbia Students for Nader are organizing to build awareness of and support for Ralph
Nader’s campaign for the U.S. Presidency this year. Don’t waste your vote on Gore; come help build
a true progressive alternative. For more information, contact Michael Castleman,
mlc67@columbia.edu or 853-2151, or check out our e-mail list, www.egroups.com/group/cunader/.
Columbia Students Against Sweatshops (CSAS) and Student Labor Action Committee (SLAC)—
Never has a group kicked so much ass and had so much fun doing it as CSAS! Last year, using a
combination of protests and negotiations, we made the administration concede to our demand that all
clothing that bears the Columbia and Barnard logos should be made under humane conditions. No
longer will our clothing be made in sweatshops!
While this sounds like a demand with which no one would disagree, we succeeded only after
some cool actions, like wrapping the University bookstore in “Caution” tape so that people knew they
were entering a workers’ rights violation zone. CSAS also supports sweatshop workers who toil right
here in New York City by regularly participating in immigrants’ rights rallies. CSAS is committed to
educating the campus about sweatshops, ensuring that the University keeps its promises for humane
labor conditions, and showing our solidarity with workers overseas.
Students from CSAS and other groups formed SLAC at the end of last year. Its goal is to
support local workers’ struggles on campus and throughout New York City. On campus, we seek to
build relationships based on mutual respect between students and workers. During campus labor disputes, we will pressure the administration to listen to the unsung heroes who keep this school running.
SLAC will perform direct actions at the numerous labor fights in New York City, and we need your
help to succeed. Both CSAS and SLAC are looking for students of all political backgrounds to stand
with workers in solidarity for the fights that affect all of us. For more information, contact Ginger
Gentile, gsg15@columbia.edu.
Feminists United on Campus — Feminists United on Campus is a new coalition of feminist-oriented
University student groups. Group representatives meet regularly to facilitate communication between
the groups, assist with each other’s projects, as well as initiate collaborative projects. Feminists United
on Campus is currently organizing the Feminist Fair for September 28, 12-4 p.m. on Lehman Walk,
Barnard. For more information, contact Liz Budnitz, ebudnitz@barnard.edu.
International Socialist Organization (ISO) — For 14 years, the ISO has participated in many movements at Columbia. We helped to build coalitions against war and police brutality. We organized solidarity meetings for strikes and have sent buses to demos all over the East Coast. Nationally, we have
fought the death penalty and sweatshops. We are deeply committed to building these movements and
seeing them grow and win. But we also think that these struggles are all linked. War, Racism, Inequality: these are symptoms of Capitalism. And to take on this system, you must be organized. If you want
to get involved in the movements of today while seeking a completely different society in the future,
check us out. E-mail Molly Kovel, mlk39@columbia.edu, or call her at 749-5044.

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Praxis Reading Group — Seattle, Washington, Philadelphia, Los Angeles: we have been so caught up
in changing the world, we haven’t had time to reflect on what we are doing and how. Through monthly
readings and discussion, the Praxis Reading Group tries to answer the question: What is to be done?
Students get together to read revolutionary and pro-revolutionary texts, with an eye to informing their
own radicalism both on campus and off. Texts and reading lists are designed collectively. We believe in
taking our praxis off of the page and onto the streets, off of the streets and onto the page. For more
information, contact Simon, sym3@columbia.edu.
Jews For Social Justice (JSJ) — Jews for Social Justice, a young group, has worked on several
different issues. Last year we worked on the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, which centered on the court
case demanding equal funding for public schools from the state. The campaign included letter writing,
speakers, informative postering, and a trip down to the courthouse to sit in on some of the hearings. We
also coordinated the spring hunger initiative to raise awareness about issues regarding hunger in New
York City. Additionally, our members worked with dining services to establish a food donation program in the dining hall. As a result of their work, leftovers that would have been thrown out will be
donated to City Harvest. Those who get involved and the issues driving them will determine the future
direction of this group. Come get involved and take the group where you want it to go. All are welcome!!! Contact Karen Austrian, ka157@columbia.edu.
Students Active for Ending Rape (SAFER) — SAFER began last year as the grassroots organizing
arm of the student campaign to reform the University’s previous, irresponsible Sexual Misconduct
Policy. SAFER is dedicated to combating and promoting awareness of campus sexual violence: campus policies should be fair, proactive, accessible, comprehensive, and compliant with state and federal
laws. SAFER believes that organized student pressure is essential to such reform.
During the struggle, SAFER conducted campus-wide presentations informing the University
community of the issues at hand and covered the campus with informational flyers. SAFER effectively
mobilized hundreds of students in a rally and march on the University Senate to express student grievances regarding the slow and non-responsive nature of policy reform, which resulted in a renewed
commitment on behalf of many administrators to representing student concerns.
SAFER continues to raise campus awareness regarding sexual assault and is actively involved
in the implementation process of the newly-passed policy. SAFER also plans to help other colleges and
universities across the country implement the most responsible sexual misconduct policies possible as
well as to increase public awareness of the issue of campus sexual assault policies, and is currently
developing a program to initiate this process. For further info, check out www.columbia.edu/cu/safer,
or contact Sarah Richardson, ssr21@columbia.edu, 853-8726, or Kaya Tretjak, kt168@columbia.edu,
853-8803.
Student Alumnae/i Tenure Action Network (SATAN) — See “Where Have All the Professors Gone?”
page 10. For more information or to get involved, contact Jennifer Lieberman, jml96@columbia.edu.
Students Promoting Empowerment and Knowledge (SPEaK) — SPEaK seeks education that is
reflective of and relevant to all peoples. SPEaK seeks to facilitate critical dialogue on issues of education and advocates education as a tool for social change within the Columbia community and throughout the nation and the world. SPEaK is currently involved in the fight for Ethnic Studies at Columbia,
among other things. For more information, contact Jenny Montoya Tansey at 853-1674 or e-mail
speak@columbia.edu.
Students for Sensible Drug Policy — See “You Can't Smoke That In Here!” page 14. For further
information, e-mail ssdp@columbia.edu

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Students for Scoially Responsible Investing (SSRI) — Do you notice the prevalence of University
and corporate ties on this campus? SSRI was founded by a group of students who acknowledged these
ties and have organized to raise awareness about them and ultimately change them. Last year, in
conjuction with a national student campaign, SSRI pressured for the establishment of an investment
committee comprised of students, faculty and alumnae/i, who would advise the Trustees on investment
decisions for Columbia’s $3.5 billion endowment. This year, SSRI will continue its campaign to expose unethical corporate practices and to influence University investments. Campaigns include: Citibank/
World Bank Bonds, General Electric and Hudson Pollution, Free Burma, Global Warming, and Fair
Trade Coffee. For more information, contact Renata Blumberg, rab57@columbia.edu.
Take Back the Night (TBTN) — Rape is a hate-crime. Sexual assault is an act of violence, not an
expression of sexual desire. It is a brutal assertion of control that can happen in any relationship, to
either sex. Sexual violence is an epidemic. Yet the institutions of our society insist on treating this
violence as a series of unrelated, isolated incidents. This mentality dictates that we keep off the streets,
that when we are harassed we should take it as a compliment, that when we are raped we should get
over it. Too often the survivor is interrogated instead of the perpetrator. They tell us it happened because we were on the street, or at home; because we were in the office, or in the classroom; because we
were out at night, or during the day; because we were off campus, or our clothes were too tight; because
we are queer, or we have the wrong kind of sex; because we are the wrong color, or the wrong class;
because we are transgendered; because we are the wrong religion; because boys will be boys; because
we were not in our bedrooms, but above 120th Street. They tell us it didn’t really happen because we
were dating the person; because women cannot rape, because men cannot be assaulted. There is no end
to the list of excuses. Excuses serve only to perpetuate the violence. They silence us by convincing us
that we are alone, and by ignoring the fact that the violence we face is often interconnected — sexual
violence is often motivated by the same hatred that fuels racism, classism, ableism, homophobia, and
religious bias. Excuses deny our power of survival. They force us to focus solely on our fears. These
fears confine us and make us limit our own activities instead of demanding an end to sexual violence.
The excuses end here. For more information, e-mail tbtn@hotmail.com.
The Voter Empowerment Project (VEP) — VEP is a non-partisan, issues-based group whose
focus is on voter registration and education, both on campus and in the surrounding community.
We’ve researched and written a voter guide for residents of Upper Manhattan and we run voter
registration drives in the community. To register to vote, to view our voter guide, or to volunteer,
contact us at voterpower@columbia.edu or www.columbia.edu/cu/ci.
Amnesty International—Priya Lal, pl217@columbia.edu, 853-2380.
Columbia Men Against Violence (CMAV)—James Hudspeth, jch44@columbia.edu, 853-8699.
Democratic Socialists of America/Working Families Party (DSA/WFP)—Aaron Chappell,
aac25@columbia.edu.
Students for a Free Tibet—Jessica Coven, jc808@columbia.edu, 853-1649.
United Students of Color Council (USCC)—Rupal Patel, ryp5@columbia.edu.
Young Democratic Socialists (YDS)—Rima Vesely, rlv3@columbia.edu.

2222

BARNARD CENTER
Do You Wish You
for RESEARCH on WOMEN Could Vote for the

Celebrating

30years

The Barnard Center for Research on Women has been a political and social nexus for women’s issues to the Barnard
and Columbia campuses for thirty years. The Center promotes a dialogue between feminist scholarship and activism, and serves a community of faculty, students, alumnae, staff, and community activists and artists. In addition,
the Center serves as support for feminist student groups,
provides funding for student inititated events and a
community meeting space for feminist groups. We welcome
new students to stop by the Center and find out more about
feminist activity on campus.

WELCOME CLASS OF 2004
101 Barnard Hall, 117th Street and Broadway
212.854.2067 Fax: 212.854.8294
www.barnard.edu/crow

Zapatistas this
November?
Get involved with other progressives on
campus and see the US political hegemony at
work around the world!
Benefits Include:
•Discounted travel packages to exotic
locations in Latin America such as
Chiapas, Mexico
•Day trips to Washington, DC,
Philadelphia, and other hotbeds of
political dissidence
•Drink beer with people who
understand that there is a good
reason why half of our country
doesn’t vote
Don’t miss out on these exciting opportunities,

visit www.columbia.edu/cu/cssn/
today!

feminist fair
make acquaintances with feminist Barnard/Columbia student groups

September 28

12-4 p.m.

Lehman Walk, Barnard

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In the spring of 1968,
Avery Hall wasn’t only
known for its quiet
library...
Join the Columbia
Student Solidarity
Network for its
annual screening of
the documentary
“Columbia Revolts,”
a student-made
chronicle of the
strike of 1968.
Sunday
September 24th
7p.m.
Dodge Room of
Earl Hall

This could
have been
you.

Free
Food!

www.columbia.edu/cu/cssn
24

www.columbia.edu/cu/cssn

Item sets