1. Anonymous  

    I was in attendance. I found the whole ordeal to be incredibly painful and boring. Also, the ARMY of v-neck shirts was a little much.

  2. I was in attendance....  

    ....I thought it was incredibly productive. This shouldn't be an issue and hopefully soon it won't be. Great job SGA!

  3. confused CC student  

    wait WTF is going on here? why is SGA funding sororities? Do Columbia student councils fund frats/sororities?

    • Anonymous  

      No, there is no funding to individual fraternities and sororities. The Intergreek Council receives funding from F@CU, just as all other governing boards at Columbia receive funding.

      The issue currently being discussed in recognition of the Councils by Barnard, which is related to funding for the governing councils (Panhellenic, Multi-Greek, and Inter-Fraternity councils, which make up the Intergreek Council) but not for individual Greek organizations (the budgets of individual fraternities and sororities come from members' dues). However, the issue of recognition goes far beyond funding, and relates more to Barnard's recognition of the already existing involvement and leadership of Barnard students in the Columbia Greek community.

      • Anonymous  

        Also, to add to this, it is important to note that 10% of Barnard women are members of organizations which fall under the Intergreek Council, which is a significant population of Barnard's own women whose involvements are not currently recognized, or funded for that matter.

    • Anonymous

      My understanding:
      - Greek life gets money and recognition from Columbia
      - Nobody cares whether members are from Barnard or Columbia
      - Barnard doesn't want to give money or recognize Greek life
      - But nobody cares because we're getting sweet Columbia money
      - And then the economy craters, student funding cuts galore, and people ask themselves, why are we letting in Barnard girls when Barnard doesn't give us any money?
      - As a stop-gap peace offering, Barnard gives Greek life some money. But this is not a long-term policy.
      - And now, the Greeks want full recognition and money from Barnard.

  4. Anonymous  

    Two arguments:

    Clearly, IGC shouldn't get money or be allowed to distribute money for members of sororities who are Barnard students and do not pay the appropriate fees.

    If this means that sororities stop allowing Barnard students, so be it.
    If this means Barnard starts charging students more for the fund, so be it.

    As a male CC student, I would only be okay with my money funding Barnard girls if I had received my quota of drunk Barnard-sorority sister sex. But I haven't. So see above.

  5. anonymous  

    that town hall was a propaganda meeting (granted, with good food) for Sororities... it was clear all the "sisters" had their answers scripted ahead of time... it was 80% sorority and so "productive" by sorority standards because they completely dominated and didn't answer questions directly-- "I think paying hundreds or thousands of dollars to have friends is incredibly classist and exclusive. How much does it take to pledge?" ..."oh, um it varies"...)

    • Anonymous  

      the pledge thing is so ridiculous. i value the fact that i have real friends and dont have to pay the $500/semester fee to keep them.

      just another case wherein the priviledged stay priviledged. what a surprise.

    • Anonymous

      How much *does* it take to pledge? ADP did recently buy back their own brownstone.

      • Anonymous

        $500/semester? Seriously? Why the hell is Columbia giving money the Greeks in the first place?

        • senior  

          Sororities have dues because they are nonprofit organizations. Many nonprofits have dues. I don't see why this should be an issue.

        • Sorority Woman  

          You are all WRONG! Get your facts right!

          Dues are nowhere near $500/semester. While they vary by organization, we could never maintain membership if our dues were ANYWHERE near that number. In fact, I wouldn't even be a member, since I couldn't afford that either.

          Because members do pay dues, individual sororities DO NOT receive funds from Columbia. Funding goes to the Intergreek Council, which supports sororities and all of Greek life with over-arching, community events (such as the campus-wide all-Greek BBQ during NSOP) and initiatives (such as Panhellenic support of campus-wide events like Take Back the Night), as well as Order of Omega (the Greek National Honor Society) and the Greek Judicial Board.

          • anonymous

            Can you please tell us how much it is then, in your sororities and all sororities? For new members and returning members alike, please.

            If you do not know the numbers for other sororities, will you please tell us how much it is for your sorority specifically?

            It doesn't seem like all the secrecy would be necessary unless sororities were purposefully trying to not let the information out.

    • Anonymous  

      Get your facts straight.

      It doesn't cost anything to "pledge" (by the way, you are clearly not educated about the Panhellenic community, because the proper term is to be a new member, not a pledge).

      All members, not just new members, pay dues for membership, which includes incredible national resources such as leadership training programs, risk management resources, education programs ranging from health and wellness to career advancement, and even national counseling hotlines.

      And, if members cannot afford their dues (and this is the case for many sisters, since we are an incredibly diverse community, not classist as you so incorrectly claim), then every chapter has resources, including scholarships, grants and financial counseling, to help sisters maintain membership.

      It's great to hear feedback from people on all sides of the issue, but be sure to do your research and understand the facts before you blab your opinion in a public forum. Because you are the one who is spreading propaganda, and your information is blatantly wrong.

      • Anonymous

        "to help sisters maintain membership."
        So does this mean that new members must pay the full amount of dues when the first join? Or does the financial aid start at the very beginning of the process?

        And what kind of dues are we talking about? I don't see any dispute of the $500/semester number.

        • Sorority Woman  

          To answer your questions:

          1. New members don't even have to pay dues until after they are initiated (and, fun fact, their dues are pro-rated since they aren't active members for the entire semester). Dues are paid by active members on a semester basis, and financial help is offered every semester.

          2. Dues are nowhere near $500/semester, as I clarified in response to an earlier comment. There is no way there would be so many Columbia or Barnard students who could afford such high dues! I certainly couldn't!

  6. Anonymous  

    If you had such differing opinions you should have come to the town hall instead of bitching about the fact that the majority of students there were sorority women. Greek life members obviously attended the meeting because this is an incredibly sensitive issue for them. As someone who isn't in a sorority, I think the townhall was informative and taught me a lot about what this whole issue is actually about. I do think Greek life is a great resource for transfer student at Barnard who have an incredibly difficult time meeting people when they first arrive on campus. Yes there are dues but at the townhall sorority members discussed that any member could apply to receive a scholarship to offset the cost of the dues.

  7. Could it be...  

    that we are seeing a culture war at Columbia? One of the things that drove me to this school was like lack of greekiness and more quirkiness (Prof. Cannon recruited me, Prof. Vallancourt confirms Cannon's picture of the school) However, in my ~1.15 years here, I swear, Greek life is gaining more and more of the school's population and I would say, now mind you I have a small sample, we are pushing out the hardcord engineers (welding, metal bending SAE, AIAA, ASCE, Solar Splash competition goers), quirky people and counter culture warriors for main stream, corp. world geared students. (In fact, our outstanding Solar Splash team died a few years ago, take a trip down to the MechE lab and look at the trophies)

    I'm not saying it's a bad thing, but I think this is where the problems are coming. This school is changing, there's no doubt about that, the question is "will the Columbia University Community and Brand be willing to accept this change"? Are we willing to loss the reputation of the HQ for the counter-culture in favor for the training grounds of the business leaders? Do we want to teach the art of non-conformity or how to navigate a succeed in formal business settings?

    It is an interesting sociological experiment going on here, if I where in that major, I would be writing a paper on this stuff. Perhaps we can gain insight into how culture wars are fought. But, this school will not be the same in two years. Are you ready? Are you willing to fight to keep it the same or accelerate the change?

    • Dude,

      Do you know how many people at Columbia aspire to be investment bankers? It's been like that for years.

      • Could it be...  

        yet, we have the reputation of a quirky, counter-culture school. The reputation and the actual will have to can consolidated in policy. If this goes throught, it will cause the % of students in greek life to go up, forcing fewer of the quirky people to apply, and slowly we lose the quirky reputation. At least, that's how I see, I could be wrong.

      • I have data  

        Let's assume SAE is a sample of the hardcore engineers in SEAS.
        SAE membership (Source: CU_SAE Official History on their website)

        2001: 25 members
        2002: 48 members
        2003: 43 members
        2004: 11 members
        2005: 18 members
        2006: 13 members
        2007: 22 members
        2008: 14 members
        2009: 18 members

        giving me a regression equation of 37.72-2.83x, negative slope. Something is making us loss the hardcore engineers. Unless there is some other factor, what do you think?

        • Anonymous

          Hope this works. Have at it. Copy paste in a text file, save as a csv
          Source: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/opir/abstract/students.html Data's been cleaned up.
          ---- DATA BELOW THIS LINE ---
          Applied Mathematics,Applied Physics And Applied Mathematics,22,26,32,34,33,30
          Applied Physics,Applied Physics And Applied Mathematics,14,13,13,15,16,8
          Biomedical Engineering,Biomedical Engineering,56,67,53,38,54,43
          Chemical Engineering,Chemical Engineering,21,32,33,29,33,36
          Civil Engineering,Civil Engineering & Engineering Mechanics,28,37,36,41,44,51
          Computer Engineering,Computer Science,0,2,1,0,0,0
          Computer Engineering,Computer Science-Electrical Engineering,18,18,18,10,11,5
          Computer Science,Applied Physics And Applied Mathematics,0,0,0,0,1,0
          Computer Science,Computer Science,42,33,31,22,17,23
          Earth and Environmental Engineering,Earth & Environ. Engineering,4,3,8,15,14,15
          Electrical Engineering,Electrical Engineering,27,25,31,30,26,24
          Engineering Mechanics,Civil Engineering & Engineering Mechanics,1,0,1,0,0,0
          Industrial Engineering,Industrial Engineering & Operations Research,1,7,4,12,1,6
          Materials Science and Engineering,Applied Physics And Applied Mathematics,6,5,6,8,6,4
          Mechanical Engineering,Mechanical Engineering,38,39,56,38,54,43
          Operations Research,Industrial Engineering & Operations Research,21,29,0,19,27,28
          Operations Research: Financial Engineering,Industrial Engineering & Operations Research,0,0,21,20,23,17
          Operations Research:Engineering and Management Systems,Industrial Engineering & Operations Research,44,43,37,36,32,53

    • Anonymous  

      are your typos intentional?

    • Umm...  

      I wouldn't describe Columbia as "the HQ for the counter-culture". I think we lost that reputation a long time ago. Sure, it's part of our past, but I wouldn't necessarily say it's part of our present-- especially compared with other colleges and universites. (Reed, Oberlin, even Brown-- these are places that are known as hippie schools) Are there quirky and interesting people at this school? Of course! Do we have a diverse student body? No doubt about it, but I think describing Columbia as the same place it was forty years is misleading and misrepresents the school for what it is today.

  8. Anonymous

    What would have to happen for Barnard to recognize Greek life? Don't they have to draft procedures and policies and whatnot, and get approval of the bigwigs? Or is it as simple as just giving money to the Intergreek Council people?

  9. Anonymous  

    Sororities do support underaged drinking, which is bad therefore I fully support not allowing Barnard women to be in sororities.

    • Anonymous  

      Agreed. To this end, sororities choose members based on certain characteristics, appearance and financial means are no doubt among them. I don't care if Barnard girls are in sororities, but I do not think Barnard should sponsor the kind of discrimination based on, let's face it, certain shallow attributes, that many of us come to women's college to escape.

      But one also has to ask, is Barnard's reluctance to fund Greek Life counterintuitive? By not funding sororities, does it create a larger gulf between greek life members and non-affiliates that it means to bridge by withholding support?

      • Earth to Barnard  

        Sororities already exist on campus and have existed for the past 30 years. Edwidge Danticat was in a sorority during her time here....does winning a national book award nomination qualify as a stereotype about women that most students come to Barnard to escape? Sororities are here, they will continue to be here, the vote is not to break-up or increase Greek life on campus. It's to recognize what is already in place....if Barnard recognizes Greek life, campus culture will not change *because Greek life is already on Barnard's campus* and will continue to be on campus, whether or not Barnard makes the misguided decision not to recognize us.

        • Anonymous  

          While you are correct in what you're saying, i think you're actually making a point for Barnard's side. This is to say that, while they already exist, that does not mean that Barnard needs to recognize them--especially if Barnard does not find sororities to be consistent with the Barnard mission or philosophy.
          That being said, Barnard recognizing sororities may NOT change that much, given that women can already participate. But, then again, it might change a great deal--including the kind of women we are attracting as well as the kind of women we're producing (i, personally find that even the sororities' 'leaders' to be self-conscious, passive aggressive, needy, and dependent).

  10. Anonymous

    Holy shit. Given the number of posts voted down, and the number of people by strong sorority sisters, I wonder if they all are grouped together munching on bon-bons refreshing this post over and over.

    Buried in 3...2...1...

  11. BC 2011  

    Honestly, I hate sororities. I don't like the idea of what they stand for. However, who am I to judge? I don't really like sports, either, but does that mean I think the school should take away their funding for sports teams just because I'm not going to join? I'm also not every religion and every ethnicity that this school funds for different clubs either, but that doesn't mean I think they should not be recognized by the college. People have different tastes and interests. Just because I don't want to pledge, doesn't mean I should stop the girl who lives down the hall from me from doing so.

    • CC 2011  

      In my past three years here, I've made a lot of friends in various sororities on campus, and my sorority friends have secretly admitted to me that they chose their sorority because it was the "hot" one or other shallow characteristics or stereotypes that they wanted to be associated with it. They do some philanthropic service and fundraisers (oftentimes begrudgingly), but most of them see sororities as an excuse to party and be categorized as "attractive" and aren't afraid to admit it. I'm not in Greek life nor do I care for it, but for some people, it is an important part of campus life and I don't think we should stop them. As long as they admit to being shallow, whatever.

      Except I think the truth about sororities should stop being sugarcoated. I've seen and heard about extreme drama going in (fighting over entire frats? I didn't even know that was possible), I've around my sorority friends when they talk about how they need to recruit "attractive" girls or girls of a certain income/school/background, and I've talked to alumni who have regretted their Greek life experiences at Columbia because of the drama. Are they representative? Probably not. They're just a small sample. I'm not part of Greek life and I had class during Town Hall. But these are my thoughts.

      • Anonymous  

        I agree... Greek life isn't for everyone, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be recognized.

      • anonymous

        This isn't just about "recognition," it's about money. If we recognize Sororities Barnard SGA will have to come up with 8,000 it absolutely doesn't have. Not to mention I don't want my tuition to support it.

        I feel the same way- if people want to do it, that's fine. It's not for me. But, I don't want my money to support it. That's what this recognition debate is (largely) about.

  12. BC 2011

    Honestly, if you feel strongly enough about Sorority Life at Barnard, you should have been at the town hall - there is no benefit to being uninformed about the issue. We are not proposing that sororities are the most perfect, objective groups out there. We are proposing that we contribute positively to Columbia. Maybe if students attended the town hall they would know about the philanthropy, campus involvement, and leadership we encourage, instead of focusing on the stereotypical 'partying' aspect. Just because it's not right for you, doesn't mean it shouldn't be an option for others.

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