QuickSpec: Good Friday indeed

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  1. quiqui  

    Good Friday is a fast day, so the photo should show an absence of fish.

  2. watcher  

    Thank you Oriana. You achieved good today.

  3. that comic

    is so utterly nonsensical it makes me want to cry. or tear out the author's eyeballs. either one. probably the latter.

  4. how about

    The poorly written core lecturers article?

    "Post Doc Core teachers complain of lack of community; undergrads yawn and wonder what took them so long to notice" or "Post Docs Complain of Lack of Community- never noticed while spending 7 years writing theses"

  5. no one

    has asked for CU Athletics to be abolished or for Dodge to become a particle accelerator facility. All that's been proposed is to stop allowing the mentally impaired to pass classes they obviously cannot pass on their own.

  6. no sports at CU?  

    The columnist forgot to mention how O'Connell's would suddenly become empty, the meatheads would stop taking all the tables in John Jay, and curves in classes would rise across the board.

  7. one more thing  

    She's pretty hot, too.

  8. the comic  

    I don't get it.

  9. Bob U  

    There seems to be a pattern: someone questions the validity of the athletics program and then various athletes and Spec sports writers defend them. These people obviously take the questioning of athletics as a personal affront, and this clearly obstructs the possibility of a good debate on the issue. The same goes for questioning the status of Barnard. The same goes for questioning affirmative action. The same goes for questioning the legacy policy (though the responses are less vociferous).

    Of course, one can understand this reaction. There are people on campus (faculty and students) who would prefer it if there were no lower-academic-ability athletes, no lower-academic-ability legacy students, no lower-academic-ability minorities, and no-lower academic-ability Barnard girls. When these ideas are expressed in public, some person from the group concerned will respond as if he has encountered personal hostility, as if it has been brought into question whether HE deserves to be at Columbia. In some cases, this might be justified. Some people on campus are simply racist or sexist, and will decry affirmative action or Barnard as expression of bigoted attitudes. But I think that most articles in the Spec on these subjects are not of that nature.

    The key point is that one can have this sort of view without just having an animus against certain people on campus. Someone might be good friends with some athletes or legacies, and still think that the university is better off with a different policy. You can think affirmative action is wrong because it is unjust: disagreeing with AA does not imply any personal hostility towards the people currently at CU who wouldn't have gotten in without it. So, it seems to me that athletes, legacies, minorities, etc. have an obligation to respond to these criticisms in a disinterested way, without claiming speaking about being personally offended or treating the issue as one of personal hostility. Of course, these people should respond to critical comments in the Spec, but they should do so in a way that makes constructive debate possible. (OTOH, it may be so hard for these debates to not be personal that they can never be constructive. In that case, debates will just have to occur among faculty and administration).

    General note: I don't have a set opinion on these complex issues. But the general argument that the aforementioned sort of criticism is elitist and anti-diversity seems to me a non-starter. Columbia is an ultra-elitist institution and most students (at least tacitly) are in support of this. The 25th percentile for Columbia is about 1380. Lets say that the lowest score is about 1200. That still puts the lowest SAT at CU in the 80th percentile. That is, in the top 20% of all people in the US who actually do the SAT. Seeing as only half of Americans go to college, we can assume that this puts the lowest-SAT CU student in the top 10% of Americans of the same age. The top 10% is still a small bracket; it still dramatically limited compared to some state schools and community colleges. So if you support Columbia's current policies, then you are very elitist.

    Regarding diversity: There are many kinds of diversity. If you want diverse cultural backgrounds, then the best way to do it is to get non-rich international students. The experience of people who grow up non-rich in the Middle East, in mainland China, or in Africa is orders of magnitude more different from the standard US white kid than is the experience of minorities in the US. If you want diversity of skills, then why favor athletes over people with other skill sets. The standard argument would be that athletes bring about school spirit. But this is dubious at Columbia (and, as Columbia continues to get more intellectually selective, will become more dubious with time). It is plausible that more school spirit is generated by events like the V-show, Kingscrown Shakespeare performances, and the various parties with performances by Columbia bands, a capella groups and dance troupes. Sure, this is not "Go, Columbia Lions" type of school spirit, but many Columbians eschew that idea of quasi-tribalistic idea of identity anyway. Moreover, it seems that you'll only get school spirit if CU students actually enjoy going to Columbia. And they are most likely to enjoy going to Columbia if they share hobbies with other people. Thus, groups like the Philolexian Society or the Undergrad Math Society or the theater and music groups or any of the other myriad special-interest groups play an important role in making people appreciate Columbia. Thus, skills like recreational math, theater, music, videogame virtuosity, science-fiction appreciation, artistic ability, comic ability, dance, etc. etc. should be given the consideration that athletics are.

    • just a thought  

      'Intelligence' is not necessarily definable only by performance on standardized paper and pencil examinations.

      Which is more valuable?

      The philosopher-poet who can ace his humanities courses, but avoids hard science like the plague?
      The math whiz who struggles in Lit Hum?


      There are few Columbians who can excel in all fields. Most students self-select courseloads that provide best GPA returns.

      It is a straw man argument to suggest that competitive performance in the classroom is more objective than any other criterion of excellence.

      Columbia owes its ongoing relationship to Harvard, Yale, et. al. to its confederation in football, first and foremost.

      The same goes for high school grade point averages. An A in one course at Stuyvesant is not the same as an A at a lesser public school in New York City. And then there's the comparison of wealthy private prep schools with inner-city public schools...

      Oh - and school spirit isn't just for the people currently enrolled.

      Alumni opinions matter, too. There was much more Columbia school spirit pre-1968 riots than afterwards, selectivity be damned.

      • 1968  

        Fuck 1968. Those damn extremist protesters ruined this fine institution. I feel like most of the school spirit and the traditions of old Columbia were swept away because a bunch of misguided idiots decided to occupy Hamilton.

    • Why...  

      ...does everyone complain about the athletes at Columbia?

      Look at Princeton and Harvard, they both have thriving athletics programs. No one is complaining over there. Last time I checked they were ranked as the best schools in the country.

  10. atm machine  

    counseling and psychological services services?

  11. SATS

    Exist to weed out the difference between As at Stuyvesant and PS125.

    And the worry is that some athletes (tier 3) have sats closer to 1000. Think of athletes in your classes... another worry is the special oportunity (low money, low SAT score) locals let in through GS who dodge Columbia College's statitics

  12. one thing  

    cant we at least agree on one thing: regardless of how we feel about the debate over athletics, the "end of sports" article was completely absurd?
    Does it strike anyone as odd that his apocalyptic scenario included, gasp, higher admissions percentages? or, another gasp, our exclusion from the ivy league? how openly elitist do we want to be? those two things- admissions percentages and ivy league status are completely for show. They have no bearing on our actual experience as students.

  13. ...

    correction: baker field is on 218th, not 216th.

  14. revolucion  

    abolish the senate? what about senator felipe tarud?

  15. here's a thought

    hanna = brilliant

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