As we mentioned before, last night was CCSC’s kick-off 2012 event, “What’s Wrong, Columbia?” This morning, Kem Walker gave a more lyrical take of it. Now, Sarah Ngu and Maren Killackey bring some hard numbers to the table (which is good, because scientific truth is the only truth with any value).

Sunday night’s townhall was the first glimpse of the much-anticipated “revamping” of Council meetings, after last semester’s hubbub. Around 45 people sat in a big circle, a good portion of whom were non-Council. There was a contingent from the Occupy scene. People griped, and even Council members had meaningful ideas to put out there… although, of course, not everyone we elected to Council made it there.

People’s gripes, grouped:

  • Housing Facilities: 3
  • Classroom facilities: 2
  • Tech: 1
  • Ferris: 1
  • Administration: 7
  • Financial Aid: 2
  • Disabilities: 2
  • Transfer students: 1
  • Space: 3
  • Culture/Student body: 7
  • University swallowing college: 2

Housing Facilities

  • Carman bathroom are not regularly cleaned
  • McBain and Schapiro have really uneven heating

Classroom Facilities

  • Really old desks in math
  • Hamilton elevator too small and its such a crowded locale


  • “Why is our tech so bad? I mean, CUIT, SSOL, what the hell is that?”

Ferris Staircase

  • “I can’t walk up & down it without spilling my omlette”


  • Faculty does not have input into administrative decisions like fin aid & admissions
  • There is a lack of communication between diff. depts like Fin Aid & Academic Depts
  • Good resources do not have good outreach (CPS, Alice)

Lack of transparency in funding

  • Admin does not treat you as a holistic person but as broken up into “sections” like “health” or “career”

Financial Aid

  • CU didn’t come to any college fair in my low-income public school
  • Fin Aid didn’t tell me my summer work expectation until midway through the summer (and they nearly doubled it!)


  • Our buildings are not disabilities-compliant. (Ryan Mandelbaum relays story of a woman on a wheelchair who had to hobble down the stairs of Pupin for every class)

Transfer students

  • Lack of effort to make sure that transfer students transition well into community compared to NSOP

Culture/student body

  • Lack of interaction between different groups (i.e. cultural ones)
  • Over-dependence on study drugs
  • Neighbors don’t treat each other as neighbors; people rely on RA to intervene


  • Existing spaces for hangouts (i.e. lounges) need refurbishment to be more welcoming
  • Student population has grown tremendously but there is a lack of space in housing and classrooms
  • Lack of “student-controlled” space to just hangout


  • Why so many finance postings


  • College feels drowned out in larger University, especially in expansion of Manhattanville which seems to mainly benefit grad schools


  • CU cares too much about its prestige and promotes an ‘imperial’ air (ie all the crowns)