Senior Wisdom: Marcus Johnson

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Today is the seventh installment in our Senior Wisdom series–bringing you all the ’07ers you should have met by now.


kjk Claims to fame:

University Senator of Senators

Preferred swim test stroke?

My best stroke is the breast stroke 


What are three things you learned at Columbia? 

1) To listen

To listen to old folks and young folks

To listen to those with whom I agree and those with whom I disagree,

To listen to the extroverts and the recluses  

2) To think

To think about what I have listened to

To understand what people are saying and why so many different voices are saying different things,

To imagine the world from new and unique perspectives 

3) To respond

To respond to what I have listened to and thought about.

When appropriate, when I have understanding, to reveal some of the meaning of the young folks to the old folks to create a better understanding among us all.

To respond with a change, when I realize that those with whom I disagree are right.

To respect the voices of those who are not often heard and when appropriate to speak up and respond for them.


Justify your existence in 30 words or less.

I justify my existence with every friendly wave, smile or hug I receive.

What was your favorite controversy in your time at Columbia?

I loved when the graduate students threatened and then went on strike. Nothing warms the heart more than the idea of a cancelled class with drum rhythms and protest chants awaiting you at the speakout on the Sundial. I enjoy most of the sundial speakouts because I like the fact that Low Plaza and College Walk, in good weather make a better student center than Lerner ever could. 

Which professor do you think would be the best kisser?

Good kissers are gentle, compassionate and selfless. My Contemporary Civilization professor, Neguin Yavari, formerly of the religion department, is the most gentle compassionate and selfless professor I have ever had.

What percentage of seniors do you think are virgins?

This is simple mathematics, please allow me to show my work. If you love Columbia it’s probably because Columbia loved you first. So whoever has given to the senior fund is definitely not a virgin and whoever has not given probably still is a virgin. 84% of the class has given to the senior fund therefore it is some number x < (100% – 84%). Probably 15%

Would you rather permanently give up oral sex or cheese?



Days on campus memory?

I remember the feeling that freedom from high school was on its way and thinking that Columbia was going to be the place where I could let my hair down and relax.


“I had a few, but then again too few to mention.” 

If you’re burning for more class of 2007 profiles, check it: Frances Howorth, Josh Bolotsky, Jenni Oki, Seth Flaxman, Maria Baibakova, Karen Fu (scroll), David Chait (scroll), Dan Okin, Anthony Walker, Nick Klagge, Claire Lackner, Paul Sonne, Karina Garcia, and Sakib Khan.

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  1. i think

    marcus is awesome

  2. agreed  

    I love Marcus! Probably the most genuine person I've met at Columbia.

  3. Sooo...  

    sooo great!!

  4. finally!  

    Now HERE'S an unpretentious, genuine person deserving of the bwog's 'senior wisdom'. finally!

    marcus, you're hot stuff.

    • Finally indeed  

      A person with a well thought-out answer to the stupid virgin question...I'm impressed.

    • now  

      as much as marcus is the iconic representative of the unpretentious, genuine person, most of these profiles have been of similarly minded individuals. in fact, i'm suprised how all these profiles are from people in the class i can say are really wonderful folks. but, marcus tops the list.

  5. Bah  

    Negative comment. Hate. Vitriol. Ad hominem attack.

  6. awww  

    you're awesome Marcus!

  7. yay  


    someone not talking purely about how wonderful they are in comparison to the student body. yay!

  8. i loveeeeeee  

    marcus johnson.. seriously, he rocks..

  9. Faulty Math  

    faulty, faulty math.

  10. Marcus,  

    I'm sorry for all of the "Marcus A. Johnson, University Senator" business cards I've attached to half-finished beers that I've left in EC hallways.

  11. mat  

    easily the best answer to the virgin question

  12. i have a  

    marcus johnson business card and I LOVE IT!

  13. but...  

    What about Felipe Tarud?

    Doesn't he get a senior profile?

  14. Bethmann-Hollweg  

    "To listen", "To think", and "To respond"?

    To be fair, these skills are typically mastered in elementary school, not at an Ivy League university.

  15. well...  

    I think SEAS gave over 90% to their senior fund... maybe the engineers are getting up to more than people thing :)

  16. Marcus fan  

    Marcus is one of the few people smart and kind enough to know not to ignore anyone once a relationship has been established, no matter how distant or seemingly inconsequential.

    This man is going places.
    Kudos, Marcus. I support you 100%!

  17. seas senior fund!  

    will get 100% this year. what a happy bunch of engineers

  18. yawn  

    all talk. no action.

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