Written by

This afternoon, an enterprising Bwog reporter attempted to observe a session of Under1Roof, the program designed to teach freshmen how to “create an inclusive community” at Columbia.   

Upon asking the program director (an assistant dean from the Office of Multicultural Affairs) if it was alright to sit in on a session, our correspondent was told that the program was already over-filled with participants, and that having a non-participating reporter in the room would violate the students’ “safe space.” 

Bwog was told that a make-up session of Under1Roof will be held in late September, and that we are welcome to come then.

Tags: , ,


  1. 10 bux says

    that was Melinda Aquino

    • yawn

      uhhh, why are you betting or even guessing? isn't that obvious? duh.

      btw, bwog's shoddy reporting of non-news (this post is hardly a "shoccer") only rival it's inability to be reflective on a subject it already did a whole piece less than a year ago. perhaps i'd find this tidbit semi-interesting if it was 2006. hey bwog, why don't you report on nsop kids going to madame tussaud's?

  2. Why so mocking?

    The OMA has been using the word safe space since before SHOCC existed. In fact, SHOCC probably got the term from them.

    The person who wrote this up sounds like they haven't even read the Blue and White article "The Souls of BLue and White Folk", which is about basically the same anti-oppression training that Under1Roof conducts. The author there was skeptical, but ultimately concluded that rather than sitting in a magical tower of rainbows and butterflies, the SHOCC folks (and lots of other people who supported their suggestions) were simply trying to provoke reflective dialogue, that while being a small step, could have important ramifications as one tool among many. It's kinda like the Core, making you think for yourself about important issues, even if you don't want to.

    I'm not saying that the word of the author of that article is the absolute truth, but the author of this post seems unnecessarily spiteful and uniformed. I know the Bwog is supposed to be humorous, but as someone personally affected by the issues that SHOCC dealt with, it's just insulting. They should probably look up some of the SHOCC folks and talk to them.

  3. The author of #2

    My response above was based on an earlier version of the post which asked the question, as I remember it was something like, "Will SHOCC finally succeed from its tower of rainbows, butterflies, and non judgments, in telling us what or what not to think?"

    The edited version of the post is much more appropriate and mature.

  4. Lydia

    For anyone who saw the unedited version of the post, we apologize for its tone and content. The excised paragraph did not represent Bwog's opinion (to the extent that we have one, which is very small).

  5. concerned columbian

    bwog has been a bit more shamelessly opinionated lately and i'm not too happy about it. has there been a change in editorship or something?


    If you're going to bother being an alternative site - at least fight the power and hypocrisy. Please.

  7. Sadia  

    I don't think it was an unreasonable request for them to ask, if you consider the nature of the subject.

  8. hmmm

    CML is an egocentric tool.

  9. er....

    if you were a freshling, wouldn't you be a wee bit apprehensive about knowing that any insecurity, prejudice, what have you that shows its face at this kind of session could make its way to the web to be read by the greater campus community? cut the kids some slack, and give them some breathing room. if you want to write an article picking apart OMA training, get a session for Bwog writers -- who knows, it may actually be useful.

  10. yea

    mind you fellow readers, the authors of these post will never, as a collective entity learn. sure there may be great bwog and blue and white writers, but they will grow up and move on, leaving us with fresh faces always wanting to get the scoop.

  11. author of post  

    Good lord, I didn't intend to rouse such ire with my post. Here are a few points to consider, from my side of the fence:

    1. This post is simply intended to let people know that the OMA’s requried sessions play into Columbia’s “diversity crisis”, and to make some sarcastic cracks at the same time. College should be funny; get a grip, people. This is simply food for thought and discussion, and not intended to be a comprehensive, universally-informed critique - don't expect bwog to have that much weight. I’m still not sure why people will sometimes rant and rave against bwog’s coverage style like its straight from the 5th floor, and then other times accept it for the snarky collegiate joke forum that it is.

    2. Such snarky jokes are not meant to be taken as gospel by me or you. Don’t treat comments on a college blog like they have a momentous social impact. If you want a more well-researched, balanced, and articulate critique of serious social issues, read the Times, or (god forbid) the Spec. If you want someone to be mock the trivial stuff that happens on this campus, read bwog.

    3. Please don’t confuse OMA policy with your personal experience. When someone makes a wisecrack about the university’s program, it’s not an attack on your personal situation. We’ve all had issues with intolerance, myself included, and they're not to be trivialized or mocked. But that is not what this is about. This is about providing a forum where people can break down the institutional rhetoric and mantra that surrounds Columbia’s diversity initiatives.

  12. Point #3

    I understand your point, and I'm not confused. You explicitly called out SHOCC, a student group, with the "tower or rainbows and butterflies" comment in the most offensive part of your post. So, you did do more than simply critique the administration and talked directly about my personal experience.

    On the humor part. Again I'm mostly talking about the "rainbows and butterflies comment", but I feel like it is rather patronizing for you to tell me to get a grip. I read the Bwog all the time, and I get that humor is a huge part of it. I laugh at the Bwog quite frequently. This post however came off more as mean and uniformed than clever, particularly for someone in my position. In my experience, it is also a little more important as a source of campus information than you give it credit for. It may not be the almighty Spec, but I do take notice when something important to me is unreasonably disparaged. The stakes might be different for me, you, and the rest of the readers, and you do have some kind of effect, even if it's only a little. You don't have to agree with me, or even care, but I think you should recognize my perspective. There is perhaps some room for humor and ridicule about SHOCC, but this post just seemed to cross a certain line past funny, clever, and responsible, things which may or may not be important to your coverage here.

  13. If you

    still don't think SHOCC is a joke, please, just...stop talking.

    • Completely agree

      If you guys don't think any of Columbia's attempts to either "create" or "adress" diversity on campus are a joke, please stop talking.

      Also, commenter #17, saying that Bwog doesn't realize how seriously it is often taken, and that "it is "a little more important as a source of campus information than you give it credit for" is kind of like what the Republicans do when they try to blame Jon Stewart for not having a viable news program (to which he replies "I'm on Comedy Central; this was never supposed to be real or remotely trustworthy). Bwog is what it collectively decides to be, and if it wants to be snarky and insincere while happening to report on campus news, than people who get insulted by what it says appear to be rather petty, don't you think?

      On the other hand, Columbia conducting "diversity training sessions" for first years is rather like New York City landlords opting out of programs that allow working class people to live in their buildings so that those people will be kicked out, and then giving them approx. 500 dollars and saying, "here, this should be sufficient for you to find a new place to live in New York." (Or, for that matter, like Columbia using eminent domain to get people out of Manhattanville.)

      In other words, too little, but just enough so that Columbian officals don't have to feel at all guilty in their own little "safe space."

  14. Completely agree



  15. 2010

    As I recall, the main message of last year's Under1Roof was that all moderately wealthy and/or caucasians were slave drivers.

    Sort of like the anti-rape program which pointed out that all men are rapists. My group had the misfortune of being combined with a group from Barnard, which definitely didn't help. Highlight: One young lady pulling out her mace and rape whistle...

  16. Fugh

    Is this one of those mandatory "tolerance" seminars where students of color and their handlers basically get to yell racist epithets and scream at white kids about being racists? Just checking.

  17. author of post  

    If you'd like to discuss this further, shoot me an email; zwh2101. I'm not sure what or how much I'll be able to do for you, but I'll give it a shot.

  18. Fugh

    Red Guard always have handlers.

  19. again

    the fact of the matter is that bias incidents continue to occur on our campus year after year. Under1Roof is an important event for first year students as they are able to get a sense of the different and multiple identities present in our student community. the hope is that with an understanding of those surrounding them, new students will be anti-oppressive. this will truly lead to the creation of a campus that is safe for all people.

    what i'm saying is: stop hating on Under1Roof, and SHOCC and other organizations on campus that are actually doing amazing things to better this community.

    bwog, you have unbelievable leverage as one of the most popular campus websites. the tone and attitude you take affects more people than you realize. by mocking such things as Under1Roof you are sending a strong message that anti-oppression training is ineffective, unproductive, and stupid. when in reality, it holds the power to make people more aware of their fellow students' and their own identities - an important and productive experience.

    • Bias?

      Those were hardly bias incidents, more like people drunkenly screwing around - matzah breads, 'faggot' written on the wall, or things that had been deemed appropriate elsewhere and not intended to insult anyone, like the affirmative action bakery.

      To call any of these a bias incident is malarkey. Certain groups and offices on campus like to bitch and moan to draw attention and money to themselves by tearing down others (see Sanchez, Matthew).

      I'm ashamed that these fraudulent orientations take place and I think all they do is divide the student body and draw attention to race.

  20. hmm...

    bottles thrown art the heads of someone perceived as gay, bacon being thrown down a hallway of predominantly jewish and muslim students, hate graffiti and other vandalism, a faculty member calling a student a spic to his face... this is normative behavior?

    fyi -- these reports do more than just "draw attention to race." it shows real systemic problems that permeate campus and everywhere outside the gates. of course, i don't blame you... your own narrow lens probably allows you to see your own privilege-latent existence

    • Savonarola

      I am a rising senior who did not have the opportunity to participate in anti-oppression training.

      What can I do to stop myself from assaulting homosexuals and homeless people, defacing suites with racist and Gothic-themed graffiti, throwing non-Kosher food products at Semites, and burning copies of Fanon's _The Wretched of the Earth_ outside the doors of my "colored" neighbors' rooms?

    • Uh...

      a handful of unrelated events? Newsflash: People behave in ways that we wouldn't consider normative every day. Not every insensitive act necessitates the creation of a Center to combat it.

      And there's no intellectual issue with a kid cutting swastikas with a Swiss army knife. A few hours of arguing about privilege and social conditions isn't going to magically turn him into a crusader for diversity. He's an idiot, straight-up, and to imply that the rest of the overwhelmingly tolerant campus is complicit in that sort of bullshit is just silly. Not everything is a symptom of a broad social problem.

  21. I'm not

    a racist. But if I'm forced to attend a session on "tolerance," I just might become one for the hell of it. Newsflash! People who commit these "bias incidents" won't stop doing it because someone yells at them for an hour about how their granddaddy had him some nappy-headed cotton-pickin' (thank you, Don Imus + Bugs Bunny) slaves.

  22. To 31 and 32  

    more often than not, lots of columbia folks say that the theyre to intelligent or have better sense than to do those acts of hate/bias. some even can acknowledge the absurdity of them. why do they continue to happen then?

    bias doesn't always come in blatant gestures; most of the time (and how it usually manifests itself on this campus) is complacency when those overt actions do happen. complacency = complicity. these sessions are not water-down, kumbaya hug sessions about tolerance; they are about thinking how we are all socialized, how we can be better allies to each other, and to not be naive & think these incidents are merely isolated occurrences.

    • Well

      Perhaps they continue to happen because rebellious teenagers realize that a pseudo-bias incident is an easy way to rile up the pathologically uptight.

      Saying bias takes place under the radar, as complicity sounds perilously close to thoughtcrime (a la 1984) to me.

  23. edit  

    *that they're too

© 2006-2015 Blue and White Publishing Inc.