Save The New Date

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Pencil it in! Again!

According to an email from Dean Awn, the date for GS Class Day has been changed late in the game, due to the amount of set-up and security checks required for Obama’s Barnard Class Day visit. Instead of taking place on Monday, May 14th, the ceremony will occur on Sunday, May 13th. Spoiler alert (literally): it will still begin at 9 a.m. Check out DeAwn’s full email below—don’t worry, it contains epigrams in English, French, and Latin. Update, 5:45 pm: PrezBo has issued an email of his own, with an impressive word count of 84. Read it after the jump. 

Dear Graduates,

Since the announcement of President Obama’s decision to speak at Barnard College, it was apparent that the security requirements surrounding the President’s visit could potentially disrupt the Class Day of GS, if not SEAS as well.   We were informed last Friday that, if we were to continue with our original plan to have Class Day at 9am on Monday, May 14th, your families would have to arrive at least three hours before the event (5:30 am) to undergo a lengthy security check to attend a ceremony that is not associated with the President’s visit.  In fact, neither you nor your families would be able to remain on campus to hear President Obama speak.  We would also be confined to the Butler lawn with no ability to roam around the campus.  Frankly, I find that unacceptable.

There are no easy solutions.  President Bollinger and his Commencement team have tried very hard not to disrupt our Class Day schedule, but we have not found a way to achieve that goal.  We will be obliged, therefore, to move GS Class Day to Sunday morning, May 13th, at 9am on Low Plaza in front of Alma Mater, with Low Library as the backdrop.

I realize that, by this point, your families have made their plans and that, not only will this be an inconvenience, but that it also will force you and your families to incur additional expenses.  In addition, GS Class Day will overlap with the Baccalaureate Service, in which GS students are involved and scheduled to speak.  And finally, Sunday  May 13th is Mothers Day.  Despite these realities, I believe that if we want to have a truly celebratory event and not feel confined on our own campus, changing the day is the only option.

I would ask that you take me seriously when I say that this breakdown in planning has not been caused by President Bollinger and his Commencement team.  Nor is it the fault of President Obama’s security team, who are only doing their job.   This situation could have been avoided with more time to explore solutions – which we were not given.  There are times during my fifteen years as Dean when I have felt that the least I and my colleague leaders of  undergraduate colleges should strive to do is emulate a core principle of the Hippocratic oath, namely, “Do no harm.”  I apologize that, in this case, that has not happened.  The problem is not principally the change of date and venue, but the fact that the Class Day schedule is being changed this close to Commencement week.

I have taught at Columbia now for thirty-four years and found engaging  GS, Barnard, CC, and SEAS students to be an extraordinary experience.   The four colleges at Columbia , in their uniqueness and common commitment to excellence, embody in a very special way the ideals of this great University.  We should not allow the difficulties we experience to divide us.  But I share your frustration that we now find ourselves in this predicament.  I am reminded of an epigram of the first century Latin poet, Martial, in which he mentions the “digitus impudicus” which, I suspect, many of you will believe has been directed at us.  But rather than dwell on the negative, I hope we will focus on the last line of this epigram, “Non est  vivere, sed valere vita est,” “Life is not just being alive, but life is being vibrant, strong.”  So do not forget what your time at Columbia has meant to you and to the people whom you love.  If there are any seniors who have faced challenges and come out vibrant and powerful individuals, one only needs to look to the 2012 GS graduates.  This is a time for celebration, despite the circumstances.

Again, please convey to your families and friends our sincere apologies.

We will be sending to you today all of the necessary information about GS Class Day, which will be held on Sunday, May 13th, at 9am.

Peter J. Awn


Says PrezBo, in what must be something he drafted on a Blackberry:

Dear Students,

By now you have learned that your class day ceremony has been moved to Sunday, May 13, 2012 because of adjustments we needed to make to welcome President Obama to campus on the original date of your ceremony. I know this is a significant inconvenience and I want to thank you for understanding the unique challenges we faced and for being good citizens of the University. All the same, I look forward to being with you on the 13th and celebrating your exceptional achievement.


President Bollinger

A day in your busy life via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. Anonymous

    this is unacceptable

    • Anonymous

      Honest question: How many families are going to have to incur additional expenses? I would think that many families would have planned to come to NYC for the whole weekend.

    • BC2012

      They should have switched the time for GS and BC ceremonies, had BC go early that way security concerns woulds be dealt with without moving the date and inconveniencing families. I'm disappointed that this occurred as I have friends at GS , however, from the moment it was announced that Obama would be speaking, security issues and timing should have popped into someone's head! What were they thinking to do this with less than a month to go?

    • GS '13  

      SEAS has it’s own GS incorporated into it already, why should CC and GS be separate? If GS kids want to be engineers they go straight into SEAS.

      GS is an excuse to keep “old people” out of the dorms etc. I can tell you the only reason I am in GS is because I was smart enough to finish high school when I was 16. I took two years off then, and ill be graduating from GS at the age of 22, the “regular age”.

      RED TAPE

  2. GS (not '12)  

    I hope Barnard is footing the bill for all those families who have to buy new tickets. I understand moving, but that's just unacceptably late notice.

    • GS '13  

      Why should Barnard be expected to foot the bill? This was a decision made by Bollinger, Awn, and Co., not Barnard.

      It's not Barnard's fault that the administration poorly managed the scheduling of these events.

      • Anonymous  

        why doesn't barnard just host obama on their own campus and clear the whole thing up?

        • CC '12  

          Agreed. I have no problem with Obama speaking for Barnard's class day; it's exciting, and I hope they enjoy the speech. But it's unacceptable for the Barnard ceremony to inconvenience GS, SEAS, CC, or anyone else. Why can't they use their own campus?

  3. Anonymous  

    this wouldn't be a problem if barnard had its ceremony on its own campus...

  4. ...  

    well at least now my family will finally understand why i hate columbia and originally didn't want to participate in any graduation ceremonies. the most cynical and fucked up response to graduation is to skip it, but in the bizarroworld that is columbia, amazingly this is actually is the best path forward.

      • actually

        yeah bro, we mad

      • ...  

        oh, i'm fucking furious.

        i've had a miserable time here. there's been an air of oppression the whole time i've felt wafting from the administration towards gs. this has colored my experience in ways that i cannot even begin to count. originally, i had planned to skip the ceremonies entirely, as i saw them as a mere opportunity for columbia to levy one final insult not just at me, but at my family as well. but after pressure from my family (they are getting old) to see their son succeed (little did they know) i relented and made the out of character noncynical decision to attend.

        hey, maybe this isn't so bad. maybe this terrible experience has all been my fault. maybe columbia isn't completely biased against gs.

        but then they come and do this, insulting not me, but my family as well. they know how to deal with presidential visits. they've known they're going to have one. they've known commencement dates. someone fucked up, hard. and their solution was to fuck the weakest school on campus, AGAIN. my family has to rebook everything, pay late fees up the wazoo. and we all know that with the financial backing that the other schools have, that under a hypothetical that a different school was scheduled for monday, they wouldn't be pulling this stunt.

        so yes, i'm mad. i'm fucking furious. not just because columbia made me look like a fool in front of my family, but because columbia also fucked me over for the entire time i was here. this is really just the final insult, just so there's no way i can forget or even delude myself into being optimistic about my time here.

        at the end of the day, columbia took something i was deadly serious about (returning to school) and turned it into a cross between a cynical moneymaking scheme and a giant fucking joke. now they've gone and done me the favor of ensuring that not only do i never forget that, that my family is keenly aware of the situation as well.

        on top of this, as the adrenaline is coursing through my veins while i stew on the unbelievably fucked up treatment columbia has levied both at me and my fellow gs'ers, i actually have shit to do. i could not possibly be more furious.


    I hope CC, SEAS, and Barnard graduating seniors, and ALL undergrads for that matter, will stand behind GS in protesting this or seeking compensation.

    This is NOT okay. We have all worked so hard, and spent so much money participating in this institution. Telling stressed out seniors, LAST MINUTE, that their families will have to bend over backwards (and spend money they may not have) to see them walk is seriously screwed up.

    This doesn't help the University make the case that it values all of its undergraduate schools equally.

    I'm disgusted.

  6. Oh no he di'n  

    Did this "Latin diplomas displease me" asshole quote Latin in an email again?!

  7. GS '12 Leaving on a Jet Plane

    I am voting with my feet on this issue: boycott!

  8. Anonymous  

    If the "breakdown in planning" was not the fault of Bollinger and his "Commencement team," then whose fault was it? The major antagonist in this email seems to be time, not any human or institutional actors.

    • Anon  

      Note how they did not mention Barnard's administration. They were the ones who originally had a commencement speaker. Then they simply wrote a rain check for her in favor of a more high-profile speaker, who did not even attend Barnard. Yes, one may argue that Columbia was an all-men school at the time that Obama was there, but that doesn't deter from the fact that Obama is also not a woman. They should have taken into consideration that this security issue was going to happen when they changed their minds on their commencement speaker. They should NOT have resorted to some last-minute plan that screws over another school, who presumably has more right to have their graduation on their own campus.

      Don't take this as misogyny, I am not attacking Barnard students, which seems to be the common assumption every time someone points out that Barnard (it's students, it's administration, basically anything affiliated with Barnard) does something wrong. I am merely pointing out the complete lack of consideration that the Barnard administration for GS. Just because Barnard is an all-girls school that celebrates the virtues of strong, independent women does not mean that these strong, independent women are impervious to mistakes. You are not invincible, and don't play the feminist card whenever you find yourself backed into a corner. I would say man up to your mistakes, but I guess that'd be too much, wouldn't it?

  9. cc'12  

    this is bullshit, i don't care which undergraduate college you're associated with. this is absolutely unreal--they get that this is three weeks away, right?

  10. Anonymous

    What can we do to express our displeasure with this? Emailing Bollinger or Awn seems completely useless. Not showing up doesn't help much either.

    Bwog, do you think this is a simple scheduling change of no consequence?

  11. Anonymous

    Peter Awn is so charming.

  12. BC'12  

    Why can't Barnard have graduation at Baker field? Then everyone's whole family could come, GS wouldn't have to be moved, there could be more space for friends and the community to come watch and celebrate, and it's gotta be just as easy to security check as campus...this whole thing is just such an epic shit show...

  13. Anonymous  

    In 1968, many students walked out of commencement and held their own ceremony.

  14. Oh god.  

    Just when you think Columbia can't sink any lower--it does! Race to the bottom, indeed.

    *This* is the school for which all those eager-beaver prospies should prepare themselves, and the treatment with which they should acquaint themselves. Columbia is an institution that truly, truly does not give a goddamn about its students, yet has the audacity to demand that its graduands "give back" (cf. "Deantini" and his Senior Fund minions). Thanks, but no thanks: I've already given more than enough.

    - CC '12

  15. Anonymous

    Also really unimpressed by the argument that since GS students have been through the struggles of life it shouldn't really be a big deal that their university shat on them.

  16. Anonymous  

    if you haven't protested anything yet, now seems like the time. regardless of whether you're cc, seas, gs, or barnard.

  17. GS '09

    At my commencement, they didn't have enough seats for GS. Then, they started commencement while we were still standing by Earl waiting to 'process.' This could not be more typical—CC whines, while GS gets the shaft.

  18. A Big Idea

    Getting to the heart of the matter: abolish GS as an undergraduate college on its own, and fold the non-traditional students program into CC. This is a serious proposition that really should be examined closely.

    This would address more problems that can be listed here.

    Any objections? Discuss.

    • GS '14  

      I think it's inevitable, sensible, and the only fair option.

      GSers are Ivy League quality and we're working hard for our school to be perceived as such by others. But barring earth-shattering action from the administration, CC/SEAS will still push GS around due to their relative size. Compare the CC/SEAS websites and advising offices to ours. Even if our endowment and name recognition were taken care of, and even if we were aggressively integrated into the various programs that passed GS by over the years - all of this is possible - we're still competing against a larger school.

      I think a plurality of GSers don't care, and many more are sour grapes on this issue right now because they don't see it happening. If the university seriously floated it as an option it would change.

    • Anonymous  

      It's been discussed pretty seriously, particularly in '07-'08.


    • CC alum

      Big objection. GS was created to provide opportunities for returning vets. Especially now, it is very important to leave that option available. GS also adds considerable diversity to the campus. Their voices in class matter and they add fresh perspective. Many GS-ers bring with them experiences that the average 19-20-21 year old simply lacks.

      And I am not trying to sound like some PC-diversity-is-great soundbyte. I have personally been benefited from the views of veterans in my classes.

      • Anonymous

        Yale College has the Eli Whitney Scholars Program. I don't see why we can't have a smaller version of GS incorporated into CC/SEAS, perhaps like a 100 students? It would raise the quality of the GS body, make them part of the CC/SEAS student body and also raise serious dough (since these students mostly pay full tuition).

        • gs '13  

          SEAS has it's own GS incorporated into it already, why should CC and GS be separate? If GS kids want to be engineers they go straight into SEAS. The beauty of red tape.

          GS is an excuse to keep "old people" out of the dorms etc. I can tell you the only reason I am in GS is because I was smart enough to finish high school when I was 16. I took two years off then, and ill be graduating from GS at the age of 22, the "regular age".

          RED TAPE

        • Space Cadette

          Whoa whoa whoa, why should we be incorporated into CC if we don't get the same need-based financial aid? I refuse to be your fucking cash cow!

  19. Anonymous

    Deal with it! I am so tired of the complaining crowd that posts on Bwog. Clearly, with the President visiting Columbia there are going to be changes that have to be made. Your parents and guests can get new plane tickets and change their hotel reservations. If you have trouble dealing with this, then you are going to have a lot of trouble dealing with life post Columbia.

    • Anonymous  

      You do realize that "the complaining crowd" includes you?

      Most people can't afford to change flight times on a whim, much less numerous flights for multiple family members. That's actually a pretty big deal.

    • Anonymous

      If it is so "clear" that the POTUS visiting Columbia meant changes would have to be made, why weren't they even hinted at until 20 days after the announcement?

      I'm glad you live in a world where purchasing a new plane ticket or an extra night in NYC does not represent any kind of financial burden for you or your family. However, I'm much happier that you're miserably tired about people complaining about their school completely fucking up.

      Of course, you likely won't have any problems in the world, since you're so self-absorbed and sociopathic that you can't sympathize with students who looked forward to attending or speaking at the Baccalaureate service that now overlaps with GS Class day. Just because I can take a punch to the face doesn't mean I should be happy or silent about it.

    • CC'13

      Have you ever dealt with life outside of high school or college? Have you ever dealt with anything on your own without mommy and daddy's help? Doesn't seem like it, otherwise you wouldn't write something I wouldn't be ignorant enough to write at twelve. Not everyone bathes in money and can afford to throw hundreds of dollars out the window like it's no big deal. As someone who has "dealt with life" and my own share of bullshit, I know how much this sucks for the graduating GS seniors who earned this day.

    • Anonymous

      go fuck yourself pal!

  20. Anon  

    Have you looked up “digitus impudicus”?

  21. Anonymous  

    I agree that this is unfair, and especially unfair to GS students, who already don't necessarily get the recognition enjoyed by CC and SEAS. as mentioned in previous comments, it seems that something should be done--but what? (for one thing, I think CU should pay for any additional expenses of GS families needing to change their travel plans...) seems some action would be good as long as it isn't disrespectful towards Mr. Pres (Obama, not Bollinger) or Barnard

  22. CC'13  

    I am very sad that this is happening on such short notice. I can feel Dean Awn's annoyance with the situation and empathy with the students in his email, and I think it is remarkable that he can connect on such a level with his students. Nonetheless, I pray that it all works out because the bottom line is, you guys have worked hard to get to this day, and deserve to be feted.

  23. Anonymous

    Well that's not nice. GS isn't treated very well by the Columbia community.

  24. ICan'tBelieveThis

    OMG! I was utterly pissed, until I read this comment of yours and literally laughed out loud!

  25. Solution  

    Move GS Class Day to Barnard's campus at the original time!

  26. CC'13  

    Though I have nothing to do with either graduation, I am really sorry GS! It is entirely unfair to do this in the last three weeks (Obama's team has inevitably been planning since he made the decision to speak), and I hope that all of your families are still able to attend. I hope that you all voice your concern in a manner that can actually affect change (petition, joint email, something of the sort). I would definitely support you.

  27. Bwog tags  

    PrezBAwn? Sorry Bwog, but there is simply too great a disparity in their awesomness for them to possibly be combined into one word.

  28. uh  

    fuck obama. get barnard a new class day speaker. this is ridiculous

  29. uh  

    fuck obama. get barnard a new commencement speaker and call it a day. it's not like he's going to say anything important. infact have ursula burns speak at barnard as well. she's the epitome of a boss woman

  30. Obama Hated Columbia too  

    Keep in mind that this is not Obama's fault. He HATED Columbia and his time here and that's precisely why he chose not to speak at Columbia's commencement. While the GS class day is being moved because of the logistics of his security, this is 100% a University problem. His acceptance of the invitation to speak at Barnard was announced how long ago? I'm sorry GS'12 seniors but you'll just have to get over it because the University is not going to appease you or your families. It's indeed a tough life you have.

    • Anonymous  

      he didn't actually say that he hated columbia. the gist of his comments on his time here were that he spent two years dicking around at occidental, so when he transferred here he thought it was time for him to actually get his shit together and study. he spent two years working his ass of in butler, not being very social, and ended up at harvard law. i hardly see that as hating his time here, just not seeing it as a time to have fun.

  31. Politics can be fun and effective  

    Someone should find a pithy way to summarize the issues at hand here, and conveniently contact the RNC, POLITICO, or any other interested parties in getting this out. "Obama, Elite Ivy League Alma Mater Miscalculates, Push Costs on the Backs of Students and Families," or some variant thereof, should ensure that, at the very least, compensation be paid to the families of the graduating seniors.

  32. :P  

    Barnard ruins everything

  33. l

    this is the most ridiculous email announcement of all time. grow up.. and learn to think for 5 minutes before sending an unnecessarily negative email to an entire student body. what a terrible thing that the president of the united states is gracing your university with his presence and causing an inconvenience.

  34. CC 12  

    Somewhere in Lerner there is an administrator who fucked this up. They didn't talk to the right people or simply forgot, and they will not be held accountable for such an enormous oversight. If I were in GS I would want to see heads roll over this. Why do you think the tuition we're so deeply in debt for costs so much? Largely because of administrative costs that provide at best marginal benefits and at worst huge errors like this one.

  35. Why you mad?  

    The GS class day was on Monday at 9am. Exactly how many of your parents were flying in that morning? I would bet they were flying in sometime over the weekend. I think all this complaining is ridiculous because most of you probably aren't even affected and just want to gripe! You all are so arrogant, it's unbelievable. The Commander and Chief of the country graces your institution and this is how you act? Through a tantrum when you know damn well that your parents weren't flying in at the crack of dawn on Monday.

  36. so true  

    GS talks about being treated equally but that school opted to be the only school of the undergraduate colleges at Columbia to confer English degrees.

  37. Anonymous  

    i actually spoke to dean awn the other day (he happens to be a really nice guy), and he said that he wanted to move the graduation time out of respect for the families of graduating GS students. i know it seems awful, but would you rather have you family barred from being on campus, herded into their seats for 3 hours, and the kicked off campus right afterwards? obviously the price of changing an airline ticket sucks big time, but honestly i would blame scheduling and obama's security concerns, not dean awn.

  38. Anonymous  

    this exists!? cool

  39. Anonymous

    Also, a quick reminder to everyone in Columbia undergraduate housing — your ID's will deactivate 12 hours before they're supposed to. It happens every single year.

  40. Anonymous  

    Today UEM (University Events Management) also sent out emails to clubs that had reserved space during reading week and finals and essentially said "Whoops, our bad. You can't have it. Make alternate plans." The groups I've talked to had been planning these events for months and did not get so much as a "sorry for the inconvenience." The University needs to get its shit together, for all of the bureaucracy and hoops you have to go through to get space, one would have thought that they would have people to double check that it's even available.

  41. barnard '10

    to everyone graduating from gs this year: i am so, so sorry that this happened to you and i fully support you all demanding compensation from the university because of it. try not to let this mar your graduation entirely and congrats on graduating!

  42. GS'12

    The GS Senior Cruise is that night, too. I can't go now because my family wants to go out for dinner the night I graduate. Worse things have happened, and I'm more upset that now my friends aren't going to be able to see me walk, but it's still just one more thing GS students may have to give up after looking forward to/planning for this day for how many years now...
    GS had nothing to do with this, why is our graduation getting messed up here?

  43. ...  

    shit my dad says: really? we have to change our flight? all that money and they can't even afford to hire a few prostitutes to pay off the secret service? hell.. they could hire a prostitute for every last one of 'em with what they charged you...

  44. Anonymous  

    sigh. This really is awful. They've known about this for nearly two months. At the first hint of it they should have sent an email saying, "hey guys, we may need to move graduation forward or backward a day. Please ask you families to make plans accordingly." While it would still be insulting and rude, it would have nearly solved the problem from a financial POV. If they had done it the week we found out about Obama, probably 75+% of the expense and hassle friends and families are now going through would be solved. Like someone else said, someone in the lerner fucked up---and besides the fact that the Columbia bureaucracy is unbelievably inefficient, I don't think they do enough to make administrators and staff aware of the human costs of their errors. I think one important step they could make towards making staff aware of these costs is to at the very least publicly admit fault on the part of a particular department, and honestly, somebody (or somebodies) should be fired.

    If I were a rich alumnus I would take a bunch of money I was planning to donate to Columbia and instead use it to cover the costs of all the plane tickets and accommodations that had to be changed. Maybe that would help Columbia understand that it's only a fraction of the alumni money they've lost to bureaucratic inefficiencies and administrative indifference.

  45. Anonymous  

    And also, PrezBo's response is nothing short of pathetic. "Good citizens of the University"? Really? Could he have even pretended for a moment to have something approaching empathy for the students? UGH. He has seven hundred pages to write every time they hire a new random administrator who students will never meet nor care much about, but when a serious issue that really affects students arises, he can't even be bothered to have a subordinate write a decent letter to send out. Pathetic, pathetic, pathetic.

  46. Paul

    There is a beautiful large green quad with surrounded by gothic architecture (think Princeton) nestled between Knox Hall and the Department of Religion. It's far enough removed from where the President will be speaking as not to interfere with security. There is even a reception room that guests could step into directly from the green. This space is a hidden treasure on the Columbia campus. It could solve the GS Class Day dilemma, and people would not have to make expensive changes to their travel arrangements.

  47. Anonymous  

    Would anybody be opposed to contacting John Stewart or Stephen Colbert to come and speak out our graduation ceremony? I mean let's be honest, this sucks. But knowing how bureaucracies work, this is probably what we're stuck with. So, if they (the administration) are content with souring our graduation day, let's take it in our hands to bring some life back to it, and maybe throw a little rum on top of it. I can't think of a better way than to have one of these two people speak at our ceremony, and make it special again.

  48. 1.7M a Year  

    Booing, protesting, You mad bro??


  49. Solution  

    The Univesity should at least provide free housing for the families in unoccupied dorms to make-up for hotel costs.

  50. GS

    "If you have trouble dealing with this, then you are going to have a lot of trouble dealing with life post Columbia."

    Are you suggesting that, since we are complaining that the day GS seniors have worked just as hard (if not harder, given their circumstances!) than CC/Barnard/SEAS students has been changed last minute due to no fault of their own, affecting their and their loved one's ability to graduate from a school many of us never dreamed of having the opportunity to attend, we will have trouble handling things outside Columbia?

    Newsflash: GS students are actually PROS at dealing with life outside Columbia. Are you forgetting that GS students are those that did not go to an Ivy League school fresh out of high school, age 18? Unlike the vast majority of the other undergraduate students at Columbia University, GS students COMMUTE to school, WORK (many of us FULL-TIME), have KIDS, are VETERANS, SUPPORT family members, and/or work to PAY for this school on our OWN (rather than relying on parents or a blessed endowment). Would you really going to look a VETERAN in the eye and say that they "are going to have a lot of trouble dealing with life post Columbia" because they are upset about this? Someone who works full-time to support their kids and is taking night classes to finally get their degree? If you would, I have very little respect for you. If you wouldn't, why would you post it online?

    Overall, we've dealt with a lot more with life outside Columbia that the majority of Columbia undergrads. If there is one thing GS students are good at, its dealing with life outside Columbia. I apologize for the long comment, but like many other GS students who struggle every day to balance their busy lives, that comment really hit a sore spot.

  51. Anonymous

    Well said, "GS."

    The way all of the undergraduate schools heartlessly attack one another needs to stop. We're all capable, smart and interesting students, and we all deserve to be here.

    --Fellow GSer

  52. GS

    To help seniors with families/friends who are struggling to visit, I'd be happy to open up my apartment, and I hope that others who are able would do the same. Its a small 2-BR in Harlem but we have two pull-out couches and some floor space, and I would hate to think that families/friends would be unable to attend this amazing day (which I truly believe is even more precious to GS students than most other undergraduates) due to financial burden caused by scheduling issues. You can email me at ep2642@columbia.edu if you need space.

  53. GS 12  

    First Obama derails our nation, and now he screws up GS Class Day.

    Another reason to Vote for Romney

    • GS 12  

      Dislike all you want. Look at increase in national debt! Don't point to unemployment, GDP, ect. Anyone can spend their way out of a recession. Obama just borrowed 5Trillion+ from our future income. Sounds like trouble...

  54. BC12

    They should have switched the time for GS and BC ceremonies, had BC go early that way security concerns woulds be dealt with without moving the date and inconveniencing families. I'm disappointed that this occurred as I have friends at GS , however, from the moment it was announced that Obama would be speaking, security issues and timing should have popped into someone's head! What were they thinking to do this with less than a month to go?

  55. Anonymous  

    Supposedly PrezBo asked Sparr to have everyone graduate together, so CC, SEAS, and GS students could also have Obama as a commencement speaker. She said no. So (if it's true, and it might not be) that'd be why.

  56. RePete  

    Maybe our worthless, jerkoff "President" could take some of the taxpayers money that he uses to shuttle his dingbat, ungrateful skank wife around the globe & use it to reimburse the families that have to spend more money to change plans now. He's been screwing the country since his regime took power, no reason why it shouldn't be personal here at the school that he "attended".

  57. Anonymous

    simple, just wear black robes.

  58. RePete  

    Just tell your families to leave the family pet dogs at home. Or bring them, you could get to the fromt of the line, but Obama will eat your dog.

  59. GSus Christ and the Holy Roast

    GSers, I know what an inconvenience this is to everyone but let's maintain some composure. Ostensibly some of our families will be there, some are bending over backwards to accomodate the change. Let's make it worth their while. However it wouldn't be fair to let Bolinger off easy, so maybe save dissent for the 16th?

  60. GS '80

    "RePetePosted from campus · Thumb up 1 Thumb down 10 · 24 April 2012 at 3:47 pm · Reply · Track

    Maybe our worthless, jerkoff “President” could take some of the taxpayers money that he uses to shuttle his dingbat, ungrateful skank wife around the globe & use it to reimburse the families that have to spend more money to change plans now. He’s been screwing the country since his regime took power, no reason why it shouldn’t be personal here at the school that he “attended”."

    Please tell me that your not really a candidate for graduation from ANY college at Columbia...

  61. Anonymous

    Wow you're a dick.

  62. Anonymous

    Racism? What a bore. That's old news, bro! Discrimination has a new flavor .....the non-traditional kind if you catch my drift. Har-dee-har-har!

  63. CC'12

    Get used to it! Just as long as we aren't holding the bag!! Wooo-hooo, lets step all over the good for nothing GS'ers, yeah, baby , yeah!!!

  64. GS  

    The problem is that Columbia is showing a lack of respect and complete disregard for the GS graduating class. The fiasco began when Obama decided that last minute; yes 3 months is the last minute, and Barnard/Columbia didn't plan and communicate with the student body accordingly right away.

    Yes, the problem lies with the White House and Columbia University. Commencement/class day events are planned and speakers are selected, chosen, and confirmed months if not years in advance. For the White House, read Obama, to wake up one day and decide that the President should speak at Barnard commencement demonstrates an utter disregard to countless hours of work and planning by the University faculty and staff. As is evident now, a Presidential visit creates massive disruption. This is a day that belongs to the students who have worked hard for many years to celebrate their achievements not to the President who wants to make a political statement photogenically. The White House and the President should have been mindful of this. This is not a small college were logistics are on a much smaller scale, this is Columbia University and such a high profile visit presents massive disruption and requires enormous reorganization. The short notice by the White House disregards the thousands of people who will be who will be inconvenienced on their special day. It is a demonstration of insensitivity and elitism.

    On the other hand, once Barnard/Columbia accepted the President’s generous offer they should have immediately been aware of the massive disruption that the President’s visit will create and have communicated with the student body accordingly. A contingency plan should have been announced soon after. The earlier students are aware of potential changes the easier it is for their families to plan accordingly. The sudden class day change, three weeks to graduation, created panic and ultimately anger and frustration, and rightfully so. The way this was handled – the lack of communication and sudden announcement this close to commencement without any input from the graduating class – is an insult to GS as an institution. It is an insult to the graduating seniors, current student, and alumni. This shows the disregard upper administration has for the GS institution. It shows that they can and will throw GS around at their will; at lease that is how it feels. The short disconnected message by president Bollinger was the final punch. It has a dismissive tone and one of ‘I could care less.’ In this way he insulted every student who ever identified as GS. We all have and still are working hard and are proud to be part and identify as GS and alumni, we deserve to be acknowledged as such.

  65. Disappointed

    I take a different stance entirely. I really hope this is a siren call that helps potential students everywhere see Columbia for the disappointment it is. I hope that "non-traditional" students stop applying to Columbia altogether and look into better options for their education. Columbia does not deserve GS students. Returning students who are serious about education should look at institutions of higher learning that value their contribution. Columbia is not one of them.

    Unfortunately, despite their *endless* lip service and expensive marketing materials that boast the contrary, neither GS nor Columbia cares about returning students. You've read all the mailings that say that Columbia understands the needs returning students. What do you think now?

    When I returned to school, I retook my SATs and achieved a nearly perfect score. I never understood the sentiment that I should feel that I was less worthy than a CC student.... yet this sentiment sadly permeates life at Columbia. I can only imagine that there were many excellent schools that would have been happy to have me (and who would have appreciated me and treated me equally)... since I was a mature, intelligent professional... a success at both business and academics.

    However, my dream was to attend Columbia, so (much to my great regret) I only applied there. With its reputation, I never in a lifetime would have believed it could be the letdown it turned out to be unless I experienced it for myself. I was looking for the best education possible and felt certain Columbia would deliver. But, when I look back, why did I assume that? Because the US News & World Report states it is so? Have they ever attended Columbia? Columbia disappoints not only in terms of the disparaging, unequal treatment of non-traditional students, but also in the quality of the education and the administrative hassles. These latter points affect students in all schools.

    While there, I had a rather large "straw" that broke my back. I will not retell that disappointing tale, but suffice it to say I will never (never!) give a dollar to the school or promote Columbia or GS in a positive way as a result of my experiences.

    I am so, so sorry that the ineptitude and lack of sincerity on the parts of the GS Deans and Bollinger have spread (like the virus they are) and affected more GS students.

    From my perspective and experience, it was only a matter of time until everyone saw through the sham. At the same time, I would have been happier if I had been proven incorrect... and life changed for the better for GS students.

    Again, I hope this news spreads... and that this terrible decision will cause returning students to look elsewhere for their education needs. Intelligent, hard-working, "non-traditional" students deserve better than Columbia.

  66. Anonymous

    Would seniors in loan debt be down for booing PrezBo at graduation?

  67. Anonymous

    I think booing just soils our own ceremony. Maybe there's something silent and a bit classier we could do or could wear.

  68. A moment to remember  

    That would be the single greatest moment in the history of columbia

  69. GSer Outta Here

    yeah, sure, i have a great idea -- how about a couple of dozen rows of empty seats?

  70. Refuse  

    to shake PrezBo's hand? Or force him to shake your left hand?

  71. Sympathetic  

    Wear a Hillary Clinton button or shirt!

    I may not be GS or a senior, but I'm really upset to hear this. Best of luck to everyone's families in switching travel plans!

  72. A plan  

    We can all wear red plastic fireman hats. It is noticeable and will show our discontent, but it will also show that we support firemen so we look like we are awesome.

  73. that was to  

    the Anonymous on "booing just soils our own ceremony."

    Damn you captcha

  74. or what about

    do they still make those joke buzzers you can't hide in your hand?

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