Aug

16

57 Comments

  1. GS07

    Scribing? Why all the support for all the greedy scumbags holding Columbia hostage? And for what? So that developers can come in and build a bunch of condos? Community access to Columbia facilities, does the community have access to City College's facilities?

    As for eminent domain, didn't Bollinger already agree to take it off the table?

    This whole thing makes me so sick.

    • bobf

      CCNY is a public institution which admits many New York City public high school graduates. Columbia University's Columbia College mainly brings in public high school graduates from outside New York City and prep school graduates to utilize its campus facilities. Until privately-owned Columbia University is "municipalized" and eventually becomes a division of the City University of New York (CUNY), most residents of New York City have no economic interest in allowing Columbia's trustees to undemocratically expand its campus deeper into West Harlem. See the link to "Who Rules Columbia?" on the www.bfeldman68.blogspot.com site for more historical information about how Columbia University has abused the people of New York City

      • Hey Bob

        Please, just die, you sad Maoist walking corpse.

        • bobf

          Columbia's 21st-century version of its undemocratic 1968 Piers Project land-grabbing plan in West Harlem may not survive politically much longer than the 1968 revolt veterans who are still hanging around Columbia's campus, since most folks in New York City are still anti-corporate and still despise the Columbia administration. Just because the Columbia administration is paying over a million dollars to the Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel corporate law firm to lobby on its behalf before local government officials, doesn't mean Columbia should be allowed to reject the community's plan for West Harlem

          • legal expert

            i think you're mistaken, that's absolutely what it allows columbia to do.

          • Alum

            "Most folks in New York City" probably don't care about CU's administration, and those who do include many alumni and others with high opinions of it. Even many neighbors would rather see the area developed by Columbia than by profit-driven entities, which is really the only alternative. That Columbia's opponents make most of the noise on this issue doesn't mean they're the majority.

          • ZvS

            Moreso, "most folks" would probably just as soon have Harlem knocked down and replaced with luxury condos. I'm not advocating this, or anything, but there isn't really a groundswell of popular opposition to this plan outside of CB9, a group whose whole identity is opposing CU.

            If CU *had* proposed what is now the 197-a plan, CB9 would be arguing for something even more regressive. At a certain point it's just class warfare.

          • bobf

            "Non-profit" Columbia University's total earnings of $3.1 billion exceeded its total expenses of nearly $2.6 billion between July 1, 2004 and June 30, 2005. So characterizing Columbia as a "non-profit" real estate development corporation is misleading.

            Most folks within New York City's anti-war movement, for instance, are opposed to the further gentrification of West Harlem. So if the Columbia Administration tries to undemocratically impose its latest land-grabbing scheme on the community, it's likely that a new wave of anti-war left resistance to Columbia University will tend to develop.

            Former University of Michigan President Bollinger may be too unfamiliar with current New York City grassroots political sentiment to realize that he may be handing local anti-war grassroots left activists an easy mobilizing issue, by stubbornly refusing to accept the community-oriented plan that the people-oriented planners at Pratt help put together.

            But if Columbia University wants to get into a 21st-century round of "class warfare" (like you indicate), it may end up getting into a campus political situation that Washington Post Company board member Bollinger might not be able to handle very easily.

          • Alumnus

            This seems an awful lot like a legitimate threat by someone with an axe to grind. Cyberthreats can be monitored and traced, btw.

            I can't believe that hippies who long for 1968 even own a computer. Peace, Love, Dope!

          • hold up

            see this is why bwog needs business/finance content...
            to have more money coming in than is spent doesn't disqualify you as a nonprofit nor is it misleading. The university's spending and income don't have to coincide for every time period or even a fiscal year, they're allowed to carry debts or surpluses. Now if Columbia issued shares and started issuing dividends from the carried surplus, we'd have issues. The designation means that there's not any party (shareholders, an entrepreneur) behind the university that operates Columbia simply for profit.

          • Alum

            Like other major universities, Columbia has an endowment that appreicates over time and that is supplemented with gifts. The university doesn't spend the increase, so counting it as part of the year's income is misleading.

          • Yo Bob

            Let's get something straight:
            1. You are an unwashed hippie from the 60s. The overwhelming majority of Columbia students want nothing to do with you.
            2. The overwhelming majority of Columbia students think of your little escapade of '68 as something to be ashamed of, something to be put behind, and something to be forgotten.
            3. The fact that you think the "local anti-war grassroots left activists" (which have exactly what to do with Manhattanville?) can stir up anything more than a laughable lunchtime gathering of unwashed hippies like yourself, before retiring for your afternoon naps and medication, is probably nothing more than a drug induced dream fueled by overdose of said medication.
            4. Do you remember the fearsome tent city put up by the terrifying forces of the "local anti-war grassroots left activists" like your friend Tom DeMott? It went from an indefinite occupation of the Columbia campus via tents to a one night camp-out on the South Lawn to a day-long activity fair on College Walk where the tents, tables, placards, coffee, sandwiches, security, pizza, set-up, clean-up, breakdown, advertising, and audience were most either PROVIDED by Columbia, or PAID FOR by Columbia funds. How's that for irony? Columbia thought you were so cute they helped you with your wittle pwotest. And then you packed up and left at five o'clock for naps and medication.

          • Oh, Bob

            Stop showing off that you memorized Bollinger's resume. Aside from the Washington Post, he's also affiliated with the New York Fed, the Kresge Foundation, the Gerald Ford Foundation, Cambridge University, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and the Council on Foreign Relations.

            Surely that must mark him as a member of the great capitalist conspiracy, a member of the Illuminati, and a Templar who probably worships the head of John the Baptist.

  2. footnote  

    this sideshow will be no more than a footnote. the plan is going forward; the community will come around and ultimately benefit [those that haven't already].

  3. stop

    being so silly bwog. why are you celebrating the angry villagers?

  4. Displacement  

    Columbia's own Environmental Impact Statement admits that up to 5000 people by be displaced within a 10 block radius of the footprint. I think it is reasonable that people being threatened with being pushed out of their homes and communities would be upset. And unlike the 400 or so people who live in the footprint, people in that radius have received no guarantees from Columbia as far as relocation and assistance.

    • wirc  

      Bullshit. There are 3300 expected displacements under Columbia, not 5000. Under the 197-a, there are over 2000 expected displacements.

      But look at this in context. There are condos going up everywhere, and soon others will follow. Unfortunately the FEIS does not consider uncommitted projects in its analysis. Even assuming no action, as gentrification pushes north FAR, FAR more people will be pushed out by market forces that the FEIS is not allowed to consider.

      Oh, and without Columbia, they won't get any guaranteed affordable housing, just crippling zoning laws, exploitation by the landowning businesses, unreachable environmental laws, and store regulations conducive to restaurants and expensive boutiques. And the businesses that are there already (read: Sprayregan) will be exempted from all of this.

      So yes, I have read the 197-a, and I read it with some of those critical-thinking skills columbia dropped on all of us.

      • Not bullshit

        At one of the Open Houses for the EIS a few eeks ago in Lerner a Columbia consultant said that the 3300 figure was for a five block radius, and that the 5000 figure was for a ten block radius, which they studied as well, even though they used the five block radius for the EIS document.

  5. cb9  

    That's exactly the point, the people rejecting this plan will reap no benefits because they'll be forced to move to other areas with rent controlled housing.

    I'm sure this plan will eventually go through, and will "revitalize" the community, but it certainly won't be the same community that's living there now and voting on these issues.

    • Have

      Have you been to Manhattanville? You can't possibly describe the place as a community. It's a rust-belt shithole.

      • Not an Asshole  

        Your hubris is amazing. What kind of interactions have you had with the people who live in Manhattanville to judge their definition of their own community? You should keep in mind that many of the people challenging the expansion come from the larger community surrounding the project area (10 block radius), who face displacement as a result of this project, by Columbia's own admission. Even if you were right about the 17 acre project area, which I would say you are not, would you call much of West Harlem a "rust-belt shithole"?

        • oh snap!

          I think he would and possibly already did

        • Let's see

          Let's see, I work as a social worker in the area, I live in Inwood. I grew up in the area... yeah, I'd say I know the area and its 'community' of bag-ladies and burnt out bodegas pretty well. As for hubris, are you clear on what that word means? Or have you just started reading MacBeth.

          • Disrespect  

            For someone who has spent so much time in the area you give an extraordinarily limited picture of it. I don't want to make this thread unnecessarily confrontational, but I find your perspective personally insulting, disrespectuful, and ill informed, despite your professed engagements with the local community (and by local community I mean both those in the expansion footprint and the wider area of West Harlem). I grew up in a similar kind of community in another large city, and after having spent a lot of time with community members who are challenging Columbia's plans with their own alternatives (which still provide for Columbia to expand) I am disappointed that you have come to such conclusions. Does this community have a lot of pressing needs? Of course. But there is a dedicated community of people working to address those needs in a way that respects poor and working class people of color, and that is trying to preserve and expand meaningful employment and affordable housing in the community. Have you been to any of the Community Board meetings or read the 197-a plan, or had meaningful conversations and interactions with any of the residents, business owners, and students who are working to enable a community based vision for Manhattanville and West Harlem? If not, I would invite you to do so. Also, considering that calling West Harlem/Manhattanville a "rust-belt shithole" betrays a great deal of arrogance and presumption, I would say that I used hubris correctly, however little these quibbles over vocabulary mean in the argument at hand.

          • Sigh

            Sigh, there's inherently self-righteous and almost racist about people who go crowing about how much good they do for 'communities'....

            Yes, I'm sure you've had many "meaningful conversations and interactions" with the good people of Manhattanville. Their childlike whimsy, their simple traditions. Why, you must feel like a young god walking amongst them, a savior. You use the word hurbis... I'm in mortal danger of because of my foolish pride.

            The 'Community' is smarter than you. They're using you. Fattening themselves on your alumni donations and parents' tuition money. CB9 is a swindle, a fucking slimeball shakedown that is a disgrace to all hardworking, taxpaying New Yorkers.

            Columbia is a godsend to Manhattanville and all northern New Yorkers who can be bothered to find a job. New Yorkers are the most vicious, cunning people in the world--this is a shakedown, and you're the one being hosed.

          • Projection  

            You're conclusions are inverted. It's kind of funny that your image of me as a naive, self-righteous, and racist savior is actually a very accurate description of the way that the Columbia administration acts towards community members, by my observations. I understand how you might come to such conclusions about me, as there are far too many of these kinds of misguided do-gooders, and given the anonymous nature of this forum, you don't have much to go on. (I feel like you're talking to me like I'm some naive white boy from the burbs on some kind of self purifying crusade. My concern for this low income Black and Latino community comes in part from being part of those groups). If it appears that I have claimed some kind of great deed, I'll correct that misperception. I don't actually claim that I've done anything more than listen (both to community members and the Columbia administration) and give my own opinions, which isn't very much at all in the scheme of things.

            Regarding your opinion of CB9 and 'the community': This is not a monolithic entity. Some people might have less than honorable intentions, and I certainly care more about low income Black and Latino tenants being displaced than wealthy white business owners of storage buildings. I'm actually quite interested in who exactly you are referring to and what specific experiences have given you such a negative impression of cb9 and 'the community'.

            You're correct that this is a shakedown, except the hosing is going the other way.

          • Sure

            My conclusions about you are hardly inverted. As your statements about suburban whites reveal, you can be a racist, self-righteous Black or Latino just as easily as you can be a self-righteous white (would you have capitalized white?)

            The 'community' is largely fictitious. At least in terms of activism, the litigation support is coming from developers trying to get the area zoned residential. The affordable housing for low income tenants is a red herring.

            Trust me, if you think I'm from suburbia take a walk around Inwood. It's probably the last remnant of middle class life left on the island of Manhattan. I'm not even white. I just think New York needs jobs and opportunities and rotting away in a rent-subsidized rust-belt shithole is the worst possible thing for a community.

            Columbia's administration is bending over backwards for the scumbag holdouts. You (presumably) are a Columbia student, why don't you think your community deserves better than being hoodwinked by a bunch of developers?

            You're doing both communities, 'Black and Latino' and Columbia a grave disservice.

  6. No, he's right

    it's a rust-belt shithole.

  7. don't ignore

    that columbia is a university, not an industrial plant. as a university, no matter how you look at it, it's been a service to the world in many fields. embrace progress. shit happens. real estate in manhattan is inevitably rising, and people will inevitably be unable to afford rent, and people will inevitably be displaced, regardless of columbia's expansion. the extension of a university - i can bet - is the best possible way for this change to occur.

  8. horrible developer

    I believe that when commenter #15 says Columbia's 'lil protesters are being "hoodwinked by a bunch of developers" #15 might be referring to this dude, Nick Sprayregen. I think it's reasonably said that this dude obviously values luxury development dollars/land/opportunity over higher education. And personally, I'm a fan of higher ed. LINK TO ARTICLE BELOW.

    While both Columbia and Nick Sprayregen are self interested, frankly, I just trust Columbia more because I know how the land is going to be used.

    There's no question that Manhattanville will be developed either way: it's already been tagged as a prime development opportunity by many people, and Manhattanville residents can't do anything about it.

    Really what this comes down to is not a question of whether these tenants in Manhattanville are going to be mowed over, the question is HOW.

    I know that Columbia has had opportunities in the past to get people relocated and has successfully done so in the past (my Columbia interviewer's family had once lived in a Columbia expansion zone and was relocated all-expense paid by Columbia).

    I'm not sure Nick Sprayregen is prepared to pay for moving expenses for 400 families.

    Let's just watch out about who we're supporting.



    http://media.www.columbiaspectator.com/media/storage/paper865/news/2007/08/09/News/Vote-Fails.To.Oust.Property.Owner.From.Ldc-2930159.shtml

  9. give me a

    fucking break. i'm reading the Timothy Williams article in the times that the Spec mentioned. he quotes Anne Whitman, owner of Hudson Moving and Storage, comparing herself to protesters in Tiananmen Square. in this lovely simile, columbia is the tank. this lady is being offered $4 million by columbia for her building which houses her company that sets up a little stand on our campus at the end of the year and makes loads of cash off of columbia students and affiliates who need storage. what gall

  10. McFister

    What this post fails to point out is that CB9 'action' doesn't amount to a row of shit. The development will go ahead.

    • ZvS

      The winna, with the only right answer!

      CB9's ruling is advisory, like any ruling any community board in the city makes. Their role is just to make noise, which is probably for the best, considering how reactionary and keep-everything-exactly-the-same-with-less-white-people 90% of the city's CBs are.

      Dollars to donuts the city government, ultimately, doesn't rea\lly give a crap about a few storage warehouses. More college students + higher-paying jobs to tax = way more money in city coffers, whether or not you think M'ville is a good idea.

  11. hmm

    why is it okay for a black community to say they don't want too many white people there, when it's obviously not okay to say the reverse?

    p.s. i'm neither black nor white

    • Sprinkles

      Probably because in urban America, the poorest neighborhoods often have majority black populations. Racial terms become synonyms for class terms. Redlining led to entrenched poverty among urban blacks, so even when somewhat better-off black people moved into predominently white areas, white people left because they knew their property prices would drop. Sure, there were and are poor white ethnics in the city, but because of racial discrimination in loans, black residents came to be associated with creeping poverty. It's more acceptable for some reason for poor people to say they don't want rich people around, then it is to say the opposite, because being rich implies privilege and the ability to move somewhere else, whereas the poor have fewer choices as to where they can live.

      It doesn't make saying either thing right, though, and I see your point.

  12. okay, enough

    Bwog, how about an objective, easy-to-read piece laying out the pros and cons of the Manhattanville expansion, incorporating the various aspects of the plan & different points of view, in lay terms that won't take me forever to need? I will love you long-time.

  13. Blah blah balh

    3000, 5000, 10000, seriously, who cares? The odds are more people will be saved from debilitating disease as a result of the new research facilities than will be displaced.

  14. hey

    how long is Manhattanville going to take, anyway? (assuming the deals were to actually go through)

    • Alum

      The whole project would probably take 25 years from the day it gets the legal go-ahead to the day the last site is developed. That's 240,000 square feet (more than half the size of Butler Library) per year, on top of whatever space the university can buy or build elsewhere.

      Since most other major universities average between 100,000 and 150,000 square feet of new space per year, this would let Columbia catch up quite a bit with its less constricted peers.

  15. on the DL

    a little while back a columbia admin with ties to the local community was confronted about joining "the dark side."

    she retorted by pointing out change was coming. if columbia didn't develop Manhattanville, donald trump and his ilk (see Nick S.) would instead. and the community would get jack squat then.

  16. Right Bob...

    Clearly it would make more sense for Presbo's previous resume to consist entirely of managing agricultural efforts at the local commune (read - smoking pot) before taking over management responsibilities of one of the nations most prestigious universities.

    Where's my anti-hippie spray?

    • bobf

      If you check out the Form 990 filed by Columbia University's Trustees for the year beginning 7/1/04 and ending 6/30/05, you'll find that Columbia claims to be a "public charity" so that it doesn't have to pay taxes like the rest of us. Yet Columbia University earned over $94.7 million in dividends and interests between July 2004 and June 2005; and Columbia's net rental income exceeded $20 million during this same period. Despite the self-serving legal definition of "non-profit" that Columbia's lawyers often cite, most people in New York City don't accept the notion that an institution that makes a profit from its daily real estate operations should be considered "non-profit" just because it doesn't pay dividends (but instead pays inflated salaries to its administrators).

      To block an institutionally racist campus expansion policy decision of the Columbia Administration, it usually only requires the active support of a few hundred militantly anti-racist/anti-war Columbia College students and about ten percent support from the Barnard College student body, if local community opposition to the institutionally racist expansion plan remains firm.

      If you get a chance, you might find it interesting to read James Ridgeway's classic 1968 book "The Clsoed Corporation: American Universities In Crisis" (How America's Great Universities Are Controlled By Big Business and The Department of Defense). Ridgeway, a former long-time Village Voice reporter, ends his book with the following paragraph:
      "In the case of the large city universities, it may well prove useful for the residents of the neighborhoods in which they exist to view these institutions for what they are, sort of de facto governments: and in exchange for suffering their presence, wring some concessions. The deals will differ depending on the locale. But it may make good sense for the residents of Hyde Park in Chicago or Morningside Heights in New York to insist on electing the presidents, respectively, of the University of Chicago and Columbia. They may also want guarantees of certain unskilled jobs, including those in the social science research projects, and receive free college education for their children..."

      Since the University of Michigan is located in Ann Arbor, not in a big urban city like Detroit or New York City, appointing former University of Michigan President Bollinger to head a Columbia University that, unlike UM, is located in a big city urban neeighborhood made no political sense, I think. Columbia probably would have been politically wiser to have brought in somebody local or promoted some long-time faculty person, maybe, who could move towards democratizing the way Columbia is run and turning it into an anti-corporate/community service-oriented, student-controlled educational institution (instead of continuing to run it as a real estate development enterprise).

      • LOL

        Well Bob:

        "Yet Columbia University earned over $94.7 million in dividends and interests between July 2004 and June 2005; and Columbia's net rental income exceeded $20 million during this same period."

        The Museum of Modern Art has also been running budget surpluses lately, some of which is derived from an apartment tower next door. Should they be reclassified along your lines?

        "To block an institutionally racist campus expansion policy decision of the Columbia Administration, it usually only requires the active support of a few hundred militantly anti-racist/anti-war Columbia College students and about ten percent support from the Barnard College student body"

        Unfortunately, I don't see a "few hundred" radicals like you describe. I see maybe 20, and that usually requires the ISO to bus in supporters from out of town. How do I know? I snuck into an ISO meeting once. On-campus die-hards? Not counting you, maybe 2. And one of them's a member of St. A's. How ironic.

        "Columbia probably would have been politically wiser to have brought in somebody local or promoted some long-time faculty person, maybe, who could move towards democratizing the way Columbia is run and turning it into an anti-corporate/community service-oriented, student-controlled educational institution (instead of continuing to run it as a real estate development enterprise)."

        How do you propose to fund Columbia's $2.4 billion budget, Bob?

        • Hey

          Bob, do you believe the 9/11 attacks were an "inside job" orchestrated by the US government, as a link on your blog states?

        • bobf

          Profit-making museums (like profit-making universities or foundations) will probably eventually be compelled by U.S. public opinion to pay corporate taxes like other U.S. business corporations.

          On-campus student opposition to Columbia University land-grabbing often will wait and see if the administration actually goes ahead with an expansion project before emerging in a mass way.

          Once Columbia becomes a division of CUNY, presumably it would then be funded with public funds that are now used for the bloated U.S. military budget, etc. Also, if you check out the Form 990 of Columbia, you'll notice that over $37 million is spent on budget items like "travel expenses" that could be sliced. Once current Columbia College students are allowed to collectively control the current $2.4 billion budget (in alliance with neighborhood residents), presumably they will see which administration budget items are actually unnecessary expenditures.

          Regarding what exactly happened on 9/11 in NYC, maybe Columbia University should consider establishing a "9/11 Studies Department" where U.S. academics like Professor David Ray Griffin could be invited to debate annually with supporters of the U.S. mainstream media's official version of what happened on 9/11-- before an audience of anti-war Columbia and Barnard students?

          • LOL Bob

            You really are all tip and no iceberg.

            "Profit-making museums (like profit-making universities or foundations) will probably eventually be compelled by U.S. public opinion to pay corporate taxes like other U.S. business corporations."

            No they won't.

            "On-campus student opposition to Columbia University land-grabbing often will wait and see if the administration actually goes ahead with an expansion project before emerging in a mass way."

            Bob, maybe you don't understand. Columbia students today by and large *don't care* what happens to Harlem. They care about finishing their studies on a high note and maintaining the value (usually monetary) of the degrees they worked so hard to obtain.

            And "emerging in a mass way"?? What kind of Maoist drivel is that? Do you really think there will be a spontaneous uprising as the suddenly enlightening masses of the Columbia revolutionary army suddenly rise up and join hands with their oppressed compatriots in Harlem? (Hint: there won't be.)

            "Once Columbia becomes a division of CUNY, presumably it would then be funded with public funds that are now used for the bloated U.S. military budget, etc. Also, if you check out the Form 990 of Columbia, you'll notice that over $37 million is spent on budget items like "travel expenses" that could be sliced. Once current Columbia College students are allowed to collectively control the current $2.4 billion budget (in alliance with neighborhood residents), presumably they will see which administration budget items are actually unnecessary expenditures."

            Wow Bob. So: 1. It will be funded publicly, and 2. Once students control the budget, they will cut items.

            Great logic! Great reasoning! You know how Dubya had a plan to win the war but not to win the peace? Well you got a plan to win the revolution, but not to govern the aftermath. Exactly *how* will Columbia receive public funds? Exactly which parts of the budget will be trimmed and cut? I assume you have a copy of the budget; I'm looking at it now.

            Saying "well after the revolution, everything will just take care of itself" is an extremely short-sighted and unrealistic move, Bob.

            "Regarding what exactly happened on 9/11 in NYC, maybe Columbia University should consider establishing a "9/11 Studies Department" where U.S. academics like Professor David Ray Griffin could be invited to debate annually with supporters of the U.S. mainstream media's official version of what happened on 9/11-- before an audience of anti-war Columbia and Barnard students?"

            I really don't care what you think Bob. I just want you put it out in the open: you are a 9/11 denier.

            Do you also think the Holocaust was faked? How about the Armenian genocide? Or Stalin's purges? (Oh wait, those were counterrevolutionaries, they deserved it, right?)

          • bobf

            Hi LOL,
            Public opinion in places like Cambridge, Massachusetts have already pressured "non-profit" Harvard University (whose endowment stock portfolio's market value jumped from $29 billion to $34 billion during the last year alone)to make annual financial contribution's to Cambridge's city government, as an alternative to being taxed. And even right-wing populists and certain business executives in for-profit corporations in the U.S. have often proposed that the "non-profit" institutions be taxed in the same way that other corporations are taxed when they make a profit. So I don't think it's that unlikely that MOMA and Columbia and NYU, for instance, will eventually be taxed like other New York City real estate corporations, in order to help relieve the tax burden on homeowners, tenants and local workers who earn under $50,000 per year.

            Sounds like you're too defeatist about politically and economically powerless Columbia College undergraduate anti-war intellectuals eventually uniting with West Harlem residents to both stop the Columbia Administration's latest land-grabbing plan and create a political situation of more political and economic and media empowerment for 21st-century youth on Columbia's campus.

            NYU used to have a campus in the Bronx called NYU Uptown which is now a division of CUNY. So I don't think it's impossible that Columbia University might someday be transformed into "West Harlem University/Malcolm X University" and become sort of like the "Bronx High School of Science of CUNY" instead of just a university version of prep schools like The Trinity School on W. 92nd Street.

            I think Columbia College undergraduates are now collectively capable of determining which budget cuts are necessary and how tuition relief and student debt hardship relief for 21st-century Columbia University graduates, for instance, might be accomplished. If Columbia started to be run more like a participatory democracy, then the specific post-student/community empowerment solutions you're asking for would likely be generated from the grassroots upwards, not from some "saviour" individual like media-created politicians/prez candidates (i.e. Dubya/Clinton, etc.)imposing magical solutions from the top-down or imposing some kind of "5-year plan" on the grassroots.

            Speaking of the Holocaust, you might be interested in checking out Norman Finkelstein's "Remembering Raul Hilberg" article that's posted on the CounterPunch site today. There's a link to CounterPunch on the side of the www.bfeldman68.blogspot.com site. There also a link on this site to Carol Brouillet's Community Currency site which indicates that both right-wing and left-wing populist folks (as well as families of the victims of the 9/11 tragedy) have been raising a lot of questions about the accuracy of the mainstream media's official version of what happened in Downtown Manhattan on 9/11/01. So I think it's shortsighted for New York City residents, especially, to not at least check out, for instance, why the 9/11 Commission's 571-page Report "mentions WTC Building 7, a 47-story steel-framed skyscrapter only a few times and never refers to its demise," according to Zwicker's "Towers of Deception" book.

          • Alum

            Columbia has been making cash contributions to NYC in lieu of taxes for decades.

            The reason NYU's Bronx campus became part of CUNY had nothing to do with public pressure. NYU sold it in order to avoid a complete financial collapse. NYU was very close to shutting down permanently and had to sell assets, close programs (like its engineering school) and consolidate operations in order to survive. Columbia's situation isn't remotely comparable.

          • Alum

            Up to this point I had taken you seriously, but I think that was a mistake.

      • Alum

        The fact that Columbia's endowment performs well doesn't mean the university is making a profit.

  17. Alumnus  

    Bob is a nutjob. I've said it. My guess is that he wanted to come here but didn't do to well on his boards.

  18. Sane

    "Sounds like you're too defeatist about politically and economically powerless Columbia College undergraduate anti-war intellectuals eventually uniting with West Harlem residents to both stop the Columbia Administration's latest land-grabbing plan and create a political situation of more political and economic and media empowerment for 21st-century youth on Columbia's campus."

    NYU sold its Stanford White-designed uptown campus because it was running out of money in the 70s and needed a cash boost.

    As for the rest of your post, I think you have ventured beyond the plausibly left-wing and into the realm of either high narcotic use or extreme self-parody.

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