Nov

12

The Hunger Strike: Update #3209482309

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So what’s it like to go six days without food? When Bwog tried asking a hunger striker earlier this afternoon, we were politely redirected to a member of the strikers’ “support team:” according to Jamie Chen, C ’09, the strikers want to “bring attention off of the hunger striking and on to the demands,” which means they weren’t able (willing?) to field questions themselves.

But Gabe Espinal, C ’09, gave Bwog a sense of how the strikers are doing so far. He said that Health Services has been checking up on the strikers multiple times each day and characterized them as being in “decent shape”–although he added that oncoming cold weather is a concern.

Chen and Espinal declined to speculate on how much longer this will last. “Past hunger strikes at Harvard and Georgetown have gone on for almost a month,” said Chen. Will this one? Stay tuned.

Elsewhere in strike-related news: Nick DeGenova has issued a statement of support, complete with his wishes that the strikers’ “example flourish and insipre countless comparable acts of liberation!” Tonight’s vigil will be hosted by Lucha, and will be commemorating all those “killed crossing the US-Mexican border in serach of a better life.” Columbiaphobic folk singer Nellie McKay paid a visit to the tents for a vigil last night; meanwhile hunger striking has been all the rage this week, catching on in such diverse places as Pakistan, BangladeshFiji, India, South Korea and Bahrain. Hopefully the one here won’t go quite as awry as this one.

-ARR

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81 Comments

  1. CUCR  

    "CU Republicans Respond to Hunger Strike"

    We demand:

    1. Administrative Reform: Mandatory, all-day "Don't rush the stage" training for all incoming students and faculty.

    2. Conservative Studies: The hiring of 12 conservative professors.

    3. Expansion into Harlem: Columbia expansion from 114th street to Baker Field.

    4. Core Curriculum: An amendment to the Columbia charter to protect the ideals of the Core.

    or else...

    well, nothing.

    Hunger strike and direct action are not legitimate forms of campus discourse.

    Join the College Republicans this Wednesday 12 - 3 on Low Steps to *gasp* eat, drink, voice your opposition to the strike and talk about the issues important to you.

  2. yeesh  

    It's DeGenoVa. Spell the man's name correctly at least.

    And if you're going to be an ass about it (and we know you want to), how can you fail to cite "a million mogadishus"?

  3. correction  

    that's nick de genova. the same de genova who called for a million mogadishus against american soldiers. that is, the death of 18 million of them.

    the professors who support the hunger strikers are a disturbing lot. the strikers' list of demands already includes Admin Reform, Core Reform, no Manhattanville expansion, etc..--a long, confusing and therefore distracting list. their association with de genova has added "death of Americans" to the list. (this is not to mention their association with hamid dabashi, a professor who praises hezbollah as a noble defense organization.)

  4. pictures?  

    where are the pictures of nellie? and are the strikers going to incorporate something about animal cruelty in columbia labs to their demands, or does she just hate our school in general

  5. hang on  

    "Liberation" from what, exactly? Could someone clarify? If I've been struggling in chains this whole time, I'd sure like to know who put me in them.

  6. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad  

    I too support the strike, and stand in good company with Nick DeGenova.

  7. aww  

    i missed nellie? i was there last night!
    my life is so sad.

    also, what's up with the protesters being the tents with their flashlights but not coming out when some people are outside, wanting to talk to them...?

  8. alum

    I'm supposed to take Nick DeGenova seriously? Christ, he is the most irresponsible, delusional "scholar" I can imagine. Adults with tenure actually believe the hunger strike is an effective way of achieving their aims? Truly scary news.

    Sooooo glad I'm not at Columbia anymore. What a joke this school has become.

  9. You mean  

    I missed a chance to see the woman whose interview with PETA2 has been permanently advertised in my GMail account?

  10. informed  

    BEFORE passing judgement on the strikers, learn more about their demands.

    1. They don't want to stop Manhattanville, they just want justice for the potentially displaced people. They have been meeting with administration on this for 2 years now with no response, so now they're striking.

    2. They don't want to add a core class. They just want more acknowledgement of non-Western academia in the core classes, because times have changed and we are no longer a University of racist white guys.(Or so I'd hope)

    3. They want more investment in the ethnic studies department. Its the most poorly staffed compared to any other Ivy League ethnic studies dept and if you try to take a class chances are it will be canceled from lack of resources.

    4. They want more open communication between administration and students. They want more student say in their education.

    People, there have been meetings upon meetings discussing these issues with administration and they haven't done a damn thing. Its about time someone finally resorted to drastic measures.

    ...Even if you don't agree with them, you should show some respect for people who are willing to starve for something they believe in. They must be pretty courageous to take a stand against such unlikely odds and jerks such as yourselves.

    • Huh

      '
      2. They don't want to add a core class. They just want more acknowledgement of non-Western academia in the core classes, because times have changed and we are no longer a University of racist white guys.(Or so I'd hope)'

      '1. The reformation of the Major Cultures requirement to contain a course in a seminar format which challenges students to think critically about the issues of racialization and colonialism, global phenomena which also are at the Core of the "Western" experience.'

      This implies otherwise...unless they are saying that it would be an optional major cultures class?

    • Feh

      Invest more in the Ethnic studies dept. with WHAT MONEY? I'll bet real cash right now that not ONE of the strikers pay a dime in tuition.

  11. my goodies  

    Starving yourself as a method of convincing (more like coercing) people to do what you want doesn't inspire respect in me. I wonder if it ever occurs to them that all the meetings have accomplished nothing because other people don't agree with their ideas, and maybe they are even bad ideas. No, it must be because we haven't made threats yet, so now its threat time. I threaten to hurt myself if you don't bow to my demands!

  12. informed  

    I completely agree with you.... in any other instance. In this instance we're talking about ethnic issues. A poor ethnic studies program, taking minority's neighborhoods without compensation, and teaching humanities without regard to non-western accomplishments sends a very bad message to minorities and people who care about ethnic studies, particularly given the ethnic tensions of our society. What about the amazing literature of West Africa and music of Latin America? I realize the class is called "Western Lit" but we're not living in the 18th century anymore.

    I wouldnt usually support starving on the lawn either but the University's policies border on racism. Its not racism but its close enough to make people uncomfortable.

    Besides, consider this: they like food just as much as you do. If they are willing to starve out on the lawn for this, then it must be pretty important to them. I'm sure that everyone has something they would be willing to starve for.

    Just because these issues don't matter to you doesnt mean they aren't important to someone else.

    So even if you disagree, don't diss and hate and disrespect because that's not only rude, in this situation it comes across as disrespect towards race issues.

    • OMFG

      1. Even if eminent domain IS exercised, the Constitution states that property shall not be taken without recompense.

      2. I am staunchly opposed to elevating African/LatAm/etc. traditions to mandatory Core level because their WRITTEN TRADITIONS do not have the level of INFLUENCE and EFFECT ON HISTORY that the Asian, Western, and Middle Eastern canons have. There I've said it, now come attack me. Not all literary/philosophical traditions are created equal, even if your perverted sense of Marxist justice insists on elevating everything to co-equal status.

      "Just because these issues don't matter to you doesnt mean they aren't important to someone else."

      Yes, but in this case, that "someone else" doesn't matter to me either.

      "So even if you disagree, don't diss and hate and disrespect because that's not only rude, in this situation it comes across as disrespect towards race issues."

      OOOH!!! Disagree with me and I call you racist - what a potent and opaque last line of defense! Someone call the WAAAAAAAAAAAHHBULANCE!! Samuel Johnson once said that patriotism is the last retreat of a scoundrel - how readily you adapt his words.

  13. columbus  

    "So even if you disagree, don't diss and hate and disrespect because that's not only rude, in this situation it comes across as disrespect towards race issues."

    Oh, so thinking that the hunger strikers are being completely ridiculous and childish means you are racist. Just glad we got that out there.


    While they "starve themselves for something very important to them" their parents are mailing in tuition checks. If they are so unhappy as to stop eating, why do they come to a place that they don't have to come to?

    Teaching every ethnicity study the exact same amount as every other ethnicity is not required by law. Columbia can teach what it wants. If you have a persuasive argument that changes its mind, then great. If you have to resort to threats to change its mind, than screw you. No respect from me.

    I understand these people aren't evil. They still are being stupid and childish.

    (I dont want to get into a manhattanville argument because its a complicated issue, but let me just say in general you are incorrect and just spouting propaganda. Get more facts about development and this Manhattanville expansion in general before you talk about it like that)

  14. informed  

    Thats a really good point.

    Their response to that is that the major cultures classes are (mostly) big lecture classes on politics or history. They want something where students can discuss issues and ideas, like you do in University Writing and Lit Hum and CC, so that people can talk about different cultures and explore with peers more than what a professor teaches content-wise.

    Yeah major cultures is definitely a huge step in that direction and the administration should be commended for that but discussions bring a whole other level, particularly regarding race relations.

    • Exactly

      There is something like that already, called Asian Hum. The question is:
      1) Not all cultures have a comprehensive and influential enough philosophical and literary canon to justify classes like Asian Hum. Latin American dance does NOT equal a survey of texts beginning with Confucius and ending with Zhu Xi. And any attempt o offer "African Hum" or "Latin American Hum" dishonestly overstates their influence on history. This is a politically incorrect opinion, but history is what actually happened, not what the Marxists want to rewrite it to reflect.
      2. IMHO, only the Asian and Middle Eastern traditions offer a comprehensive and influential enough literary and phiosophical canon.
      3. The problem, above all, is funding. If the university cant even fund their Lit Hum and CC classes to a consistent level of teaching ability and class size, how the hell can they duplicate that in Asian and Middle Eastern Hum? And btw, the small seminar-based classes are EXACTLY what you will find in Asian hum.

  15. one question  

    is it necessary as part of hunger strike that the strikers be out in tents? since when does being indoors count as eating? wouldn't they just be a lot warmer if they stayed somewhere inside? at least overnight? whack.

  16. AI (the answer)  

    If they were indoors, they wouldn't be martyrs, and the sympathy play wouldn't work as well. Its tough to be such a rebel sometimes

  17. Well

    'Their response to that is that the major cultures classes are (mostly) big lecture classes on politics or history. They want something where students can discuss issues and ideas, like you do in University Writing and Lit Hum and CC, so that people can talk about different cultures and explore with peers more than what a professor teaches content-wise'

    These classes exist. They are just not in the Core. Students still have the option of taking them, just as of now they cannot force others to.

  18. informed  

    Where did I say you're racist? If I did so, please quote me.

    "I am staunchly opposed to elevating African/LatAm/etc. traditions to mandatory Core level because their WRITTEN TRADITIONS do not have the level of INFLUENCE and EFFECT ON HISTORY that the Asian, Western, and Middle Eastern canons have."

    No, I definitely DONT think you're racist for saying that. I think you're misinformed. You have never read any influential African literature nor studied Africa's and South America's influence on the rest of the world, and that's not your fault.

    ...And thats exactly why we need to add these things to the core, in order to inform you, because yes there have been many works and influences from those parts of the world that haven't been given attention yet. For example did you know that Nigeria's film industry is the fastest growing in the world ? Or have you read Things Fall Apart, the Nigerian classic that has been studied and restudied as a major literary work that applies very well to present day and to understanding colonialism?

    • even more informed

      "No, I definitely DONT think you're racist for saying that. I think you're misinformed. You have never read any influential African literature nor studied Africa's and South America's influence on the rest of the world, and that's not your fault."

      WRONG. I have taken Latin American Hum and did a List A course in African studies. I've also done Middle Eastern Hum and Asian Hum. You're the one misinformed here trying to some vision of cultural equality, when some are simply less influential than others. This is truth - not hegemonistic imperialistic capitalistic racistic colonialistic hate or whatever the hell is you are rallying against this week.

    • Also Informed  

      I for one have read Chinua Achebe, whom I found rather trite and derivative. He deserves a lot of credit for popularizing Nigerian literature, but the fact that he had to do so in English and by writing about the influence of the West in his country speaks to the still very much present legacy of colonialism. It's important for us, in studying the West, to recognize its at times very negative impact globally. However, despite the Western culpability for some of that lack of literary and societal development over the past century or two, the fact remains that there isn't a significant Nigerian literature to speak of, pre-Achebe. We don't study Nigerian myths as a mandatory Core requirement along with Greek myths because the Nigerian myths have not had the same effect on our society as the Greek ones did. And so forth.

      The historical problematic here is that African and South America's "influence on the rest of the world" has been much smaller than the influence they have undergone. It's essential that a graduate of any global university recognize that, and the Core already enables that and our professors make it abundantly clear. Bollinger emphasizes these sorts of things in every one of his speeches. But it's intellectually dishonest to conflate the importance of recognizing that history has had winners and losers with the notion that all sides need equal time.

  19. informed  

    Yes they are less influential.

    They're less influential because people refuse to be influenced by them. Maybe they' less influential because they are ignored. Don't you think that's unfair?

    By the way I'm saying maybe not to sound sarcastic, but I really mean maybe... I honestly don't know.

    Call me an idealist or an overzealous equality advocate... I'm proud of it. =)

    • even more informed

      "They're less influential because people refuse to be influenced by them. Maybe they' less influential because they are ignored. Don't you think that's unfair?"

      Fairness doesn't even enter into it. I don't study what question of what might have been or what should have been -- I study what WAS and what IS. Like I said, history is what HAPPENED, not what Marxists want to rewrite it to reflect what they think should have happened.

      "Call me an idealist or an overzealous equality advocate... I'm proud of it. =)"

      Fine. Be proud of it. Doesn't make you any less delusional.

      "Maybe they' less influential because they are ignored."

      Here's a question for you. Maybe they are ignored because they.. are intrinsically.. inferior?

      (Waits for some to accuse me of committing thoughtcrime.)

      Asia and the Middle East were pwned-colonialized as ruthlessly (if not more so, just look at Israel/Palestine and Vietnam) as Latin America and Africa.. how come their traditions still hold their own?

      • Flapjack Slim  

        "intrinsically inferior"? how do you live with yourself?

        listen, the world is dictated by environment. if someone dropped you off in the amazon or asked you to build a city on top of fucking huayna picchu, I'd love to see your ignorant ass give that the old college try.

        make things with your hands. idiot.

  20. informed  

    By the way, the fact that you've taken those Major Cultures courses and you are still not informed indicates to me that having Major Cultures courses in the core doesn't cut it, and further strengthens my resolve.

    • even more informed

      By the way, the fact that you presumably have taken a number of courses where you are required to write papers and advance coherent arguments and still say things like "and further strengthens my resolve" indicates to me... absolutely nothing except that your ideology of "zealous cultural equality" has blinded you to facts of history.

    • meh  

      "By the way, the fact that you've taken those Major Cultures courses and you are still not informed indicates to me that having Major Cultures courses in the core doesn't cut it, and further strengthens my resolve."

      wow. So even if you force it into the core, and people still don't agree with you, they are still wrong. What next, force every CCer to major in South American studies?
      So, objectively, you are right? I guess this is why you are supporting a minority protest. Protests have worked in the past when they have had the support of the majority.

  21. ted  

    "By the way, the fact that you've taken those Major Cultures courses and you are still not informed indicates to me that having Major Cultures courses in the core doesn't cut it, and further strengthens my resolve."



    Maybe you are just wrong- why do you take an indication that you could be wrong as proof that you are right? Sounds like willful ignorance to me

  22. informed  

    Achebe wrote in English because its the national language of Nigeria. If he wrote in Yoruba most Nigerians wouldnt understand it.

    Maybe I am wrong. I didnt say I couldnt be. I'm just suggesting ideas.

    And for real Bwog is like Conservatives Central. Damn.

    • even more informed

      "And for real Bwog is like Conservatives Central. Damn."

      More like Grounded in Reality Central. Genius.

    • Well considering

      The overwhelming liberaly bias this university and even Bwog comments in general usually have, does this not tell you something about the strike and the issues raised?

    • Also Informed  

      That's the point: Nigeria's national language is English because it was a British colony from mid-19th century. If there were an important national literature to speak of, which we should all study as a Core requirement because it has influenced the rest of world history the way Greco-Roman, Arabian, Judeo-Christian, Chinese, etc. civilizations did, we would know about it. Also, it would have been written in Yoruba and translated into English in order to impact English-speaking society, rather than originating in an existing English-speaking society.

      Look, no one's saying colonialism is a good thing. But if you're going to take isolated students as reason to "strengthen your resolve", then please instead allow me the hubris to suggest that you take me as your model, a political liberal who's gotten plenty of exposure to world history through Core and elective classes, understands the problems the strikers have brought up, and yet STILL thinks the methodology, attitude, and demands of the strikers are absurd and insulting.

  23. confused  

    "Or have you read Things Fall Apart, the Nigerian classic that has been studied and restudied as a major literary work that applies very well to present day and to understanding colonialism?"

    Ummm, most people I know read this text in high schol

  24. Aga  

    "Tonight's vigil will be hosted by Lucha, and will be commemorating all those "killed crossing the US-Mexican border in serach of a better life."" I am desparately trying to understand how this is related to Columbia and the hunger strikers' demands. (I do not wish IN ANY WAY to take away from this important issue - I am fully supportive of commemorating these lives, but am just completely perplexed at the connection between this and the hunger strike).

  25. 2pac  

    I'm actually pretty libertarian. I think the "liberal"-ness that goes on at Columbia is usually just mob-mentality stupidity.

  26. Nigeria  

    English is one of a number of national languages in Nigeria, were you to take a class that looked into the history of the region, a la major cultures list A: "Main currents in African History", you would know that the ethno-federal system in Nigeria has resulted in rivalry between states, and massive infighting. Though Achebe speaks to issues of colonialism, he does not encompass the "Nigerian experience", if there even is a singular one, nor does he speak for the continent as a whole.

    In raising this text you point out the fact that a seminar to examine issues of racialization, etc., would fail because it lacks the historical focus necessary to discuss these issues in a critical manner. CC and Lit Hum, whether you like it or not, are successful because many have grown up in the West and are therefore familiar or at least previously exposed to its traditions.

    I think that there is room for Core reform, and I would love to see the addition of MLK, Ghandi, Malcom X, or other visionaries for texts like Wolstonecraft that didn't do much. But it's ludicrous to assume that this seminar would be effective.

    • You should

      look into Nobility and Civility. Last semester, we read Gandhi. We also read something by Sayyid Qutb titled "Milestones", which is that book which started the entire fundamentalist Islam movement. The thing is, a course like that exists and everyone who's taken it it loves it, but still struggles for students each semester. Wonder why.

      Could it be that instead of working for better educational offerings, these strikers just want power and attention?

  27. offended  

    Excuse me but my boyfriend is African and he's PreMed and the top of his classes. He gets nothing but A's. What kind of jerk thinks Africans are inferior.

  28. informed  

    Could someone explain to me why they think the demands of the protesters are absurd? I think thats what I'm not understanding.

    To the people who are being rude about this-- I'm trying to have a discussion. If we were discussing this face-to-face you wouldnt be abrasive and cut down everything I say.

    Who would have translated the Yoruba Nigerian text into English? The Westerners who care so much about it? It was smart of him to write it in English. I havent heard of a single Nigerian who doesnt speak English.

    Stop accusing me of being close-minded. I'm just disturbed because someone just referred to my race as "inferior."

    • even more informed

      Miss, nobody referred to your race as "inferior". But it is undeniable that African and Latin American philosophical, literary, and written tradition have been inferior in influence relative to Asian, Western, and Middle Eastern philosophical, literary, and written tradition.

      • sad...  

        "Miss, nobody referred to your race as "inferior". But it is undeniable that African and Latin American philosophical, literary, and written tradition have been inferior in influence relative to Asian, Western, and Middle Eastern philosophical, literary, and written tradition."
        As long as there are thinkers and gatekeepers like you, it will remain inferior.

        • apathetic

          I'm not trying to remake the world in a radical uber-zealous vision of complete cultural equality.

          • as expected  

            Of course non-white perspectives become "radical uber-zealous vison of complete cultural equality" otherwise we would have a democracy. Isn't that what America is selling to the rest of the world?

          • excuse me

            why are you trying to pit this as white vs. non-white? I said the three major cultural and literary traditions comprehensive and influential enough to warrant Core-caliber study on the model of Lit hum and CCare Western, Asian, and Middle Eastern.

            Are Arabs white? Are the Chinese white?

    • "absurd"

      more like "absurdly vague". you can run a campaign on baseball and apple pie, but you can't make a demand of a university and starve youself until you get it unless it is a clearly-defined goal. e.g., "divest" is pretty clear. "be more inclusive and respectful" is not.

  29. informed  

    ...whoever posted under the name "Nigeria," I'm well aware of the situation in Nigeria, thanks. I'm Nigerian. I don't need you to tell me what the political structure is like.

    I just used Achebe as an example. I could rattle off many many other major works of African literature for you if you cared, but I dont think you do. But thats not the point.

    I dont think the core needs to have an African literature class. THE POINT is that people are not well informed about different cultures and their interactions.

    • please

      by all means, rattle them off. Please also rattle off some Latin American literature. I would like to see you argue that they have the stature and influence of Augustine's Confessions, Han Fei's "Han Fei Tzu", and the Dhammaphadda.

      "THE POINT is that people are not well informed about different cultures and their interactions."

      So basically you went from offering concrete evidence to support your blanket statement to withdrawing your concrete evidence on challenge and retreating back behind your blanket statements.

  30. informed  

    Just because something is more important doesnt make African lit unimportant.

    I know absolutely nothing about Latin American lit.

    I'm not going to waste time rattling off lit titles because you can look them up yourself if you want to know, and I'm sure you don't.

    Can someone explain why they're opposed to the demands themselves?

    • even more informed

      "I'm not going to waste time rattling off lit titles because you can look them up yourself if you want to know, and I'm sure you don't."

      No. Go ahead. I took an African List A. Stop trying to end the argument with the "you're stupid, so I'm not going to bother arguing with you" line.

  31. Amused  

    I think everyone here is missing the point. The protesters simply want major cultures to become discussion based and less of memorizing a lot of historical facts about ancient civilizations. They want the students to appreciate the effect of social constructs by using those civilizations and discussion instead of being given a bunch of facts as if we were in an AP biology class. Noone wants to force anyone to study about Africa or south America. they simply want more options, such that people who are willing to learn have greater room to move around and get a better perspective. If you want to keep your conservative point of view, definitely noone can force you drop it. Its just like CC. We learn of ideals such as those of Aristotle and Machiavelli, but noone said you should accept the fact that you should be cruel to hold on to power or the fact that there are natural slaves. The point is ti expose you to multiple perspectives and to open any closemindedness. We all come from different backgrounds and some of us would appreciate learning about other perspectives and the effect of social constructs on different societies.

    As for the influence of the culture of other civilizations, I think there is no debating that issue. The whole canon of western music for example took elements from Asia and Africa. Take the xylophone and piano for instance. These are instruments used today that were adopted from Africa and Asia. You don't have to be reading a book written by a non-westerner to appreciate non-western influence on the world. Modern medicine for instance, has taken a lot of knowledge from south America, Africa and Asia. All the protesters want is for the students to be exposed to these facts and be taught such classes in a more constructive way so that we don't leave Columbia thinking that the world was "MADE/INFLUENCED" only by westerners. IT WAS NOT. Go into any field and you will see that every part of the world has added its on ingredient into the pot.

  32. informed  

    Why are you people so aggressive? I'm just trying to express a perspective without getting shot at by verbal bullets.

    People are clearly not interested in open-minded discussion so I'm out. Got too much studying to do.

    • hehe

      oh, informed, you just crack me up.

      tell me this: if you think more non-western texts should be added to the core, what texts do you think should be added, and what existing texts do you think should be taken off the core syllabi? should there be equal numbers of books from each race on the lit hum or CC reading lists? let's just take CC as an example: are you advocating that we have 10 books written by whites, and 10 books written by blacks, 10 books by hispanics, and 10 books by asians? what about native americans? let's say we give them 10 spots on the CC list too. But wait--people of color aren't the only ones who have been oppressed by "western" ideology, unless you are saying that racism is the most important kind of discrimination out there. what about sexism? i guess we should include books by women. to be equal, let's have 10 books by white women, 10 books by asian women, ... etc. oh, but what about homosexuals? they've been oppressed too, let's add some gay literature on the list. and hey, what about people of religious minorities?

      please, tell me exactly how you would reform the core, other than giving me some vague phrase about "acknowledging non-western academia".

    • wait, don't go!

      seriously? once we ask you to back up your claims and demands, you call us opposed to "open-minded" conversation and choose to leave? some open-mindedness you have there. come back and answer these questions!

  33. influenced  

    ...and thank you. thank you Amused. i feel like the attacked minority

  34. the dude  

    "Can someone explain why they're opposed to the demands themselves?"

    I'm opposed to the demands themselves in differing degrees (especially the Manhattanville one, where the protesters generally have no idea what they are talking about, such as their motto: "expand with respect". Good lord). But even moreso, I'm opposed to their method. Hunger striking? Seriously? Just call it blackmail (the use of threats to get what you want).

    They are threatening to die (or become very sick or whatever) if Columbia University, a school of people that obviously does not really agree with them, doesn't do what they want. Yeah, ok. Now I really think your ideas are rational. I'm pretty sure 7 year olds have that base covered when they threaten to run away from home.

  35. columbuss  

    "i feel like the attacked minority"

    Because people disagree with your ideas and are making strong cases to support their point that you can't rebut with logic... implying this is some kind of oppression or racism or something is pretty weak

  36. informed  

    I have no idea how I would reform the core. Maybe they could make University Writing use non-western readings for its assignments. But thats just an idea. I just think it needs to be changed in order to incorporate more non-Western discussion. I'm not saying you can't disagree with me.

    I'm not stupid enough to think that LitHum should divide its books evenly amongst races.

    I don't mind if people disagree with my ideas, but there's no reason to be rude about it.

    "the dude"'s post makes total sense. I disagree but I appreciate the viewpoint. Whether the people posting on this blog are racist or not is irrelevant. What matters is that when a minority is presenting their viewpoint you rudely attack it, which comes across really badly, particularly since we're discussing ethnic policy issues. My perspective is obviously going to be very different from yours.

    I'm not some crazy leftist radical, I'm just some girl who wants to discuss the issues. No scratch that. I'm just some girl who wants to study for her midterms. Hell I could be friends with you and you wouldnt even know it.

  37. broadening

    The whole notion that you can understand the entire span of intellectual history after taking a few courses in college is absurd.

  38. the West

    And, for the record, I think there's more than enough resentment of the West packed into the second half of CC.

  39. the world

    Don't think you understand the world just because you might** be well-versed in European or Chinese literature.

  40. gop

    By the way, as a proud Republican, I would like to say that I find those joke bullet points from CUCR (first posting) to be pretty stupid.

  41. vanity of vanities

    all is vanity!

  42. doesnt  

    anyone think its strange that a barnard prof is joining the hunger strike, especially since one of the demands is the Core? does Barnard have a Core?

    the cardboard octopus head was ridiculous. the balloons thrust at bollinger after his class today and the parade of hunger-strike-supporters following him TO HIS HOME was ridiculous. as is the fact theyre using hostage tactics.

    also they have signs up that their only complaint about the core is that they want Major Cultures to be seminars instead of lectures to increase conversation? 1) do you know how hard that is to do structurally? 2) THATS WHAT DISCUSSION SECTIONS ARE FOR. 3) there ARE seminars you can take for major cultures requirements. 4) YOURE WILLING TO STARVE YOURSELF SO YOU CAN TAKE MORE SEMINARS?!

    is there any sanity left

    • yes

      I go to Barnard, and I think it's really strange Prof. Dalton is joining the strike. I understand solidarity, for example the strikers have friends at other schools that can support them and their mission, but I wouldn't join a strike at NYU just because my best friend goes there and we live in the same city. I'd find another city-based activist group to join. Different interpretive communities, Prof. Dalton...

      I would, however, like to point out that as a university, we largely are the ones (at least, "we" as the institution) who decide what has influence. If every university across the country dropped its Western-based curricula in favor of intensive Latin American studies, then Latin American history and literature is what will become known as the definitive paradigm. Schools really are the way this stuff is transmitted. Obviously that's not going to happen, but by taking Lit Hum because you want to read "influential" works, you are propping up their influence.

  43. Hopeful  

    I hope they demand a class in hot lesbian sex studies.

  44. their petition  

    You know how they continually reference the number of endorsements on their petition?

    if you go through the petition, you'll find that slightly less than 15% of the people are listed as columbia undergraduates. Presuming that those determined to sign the petition and list their full name would want to endorse the petition to the degree of stating their school affiliation (amongst the numerous signatures from non-columbians), you can presume that roughly 15% of the signers are Columbia/Barnard undergrads.

    so,

  45. oh and

    To whoever said Mary Wollstonecraft didn't do much of anything.. what?? She was enormously influential in first-wave feminism. To readers today she seems outdated, but she's in the Core because she was so important. Maybe you meant to suggest that the Core should only have readings that are relevant today. For example, Plato's philosophical arguments are still debatable, but few will argue women should not have the right to vote. I would not agree with removing Wollstonecraft (as a Barnard student it wouldn't affect me anyway) but it is an interesting idea.

  46. Jose

    As a graduate myself I take it very seriously (Columbia University), and I'm very proud to have gone there. If you've read some of the remarks from others you would see that hunger protests have gone on at Harvard and Georgetown. No, I'm more for anything that involves the student body with the issues that surrounds us every day of our lives, ie, world hunger, Darfur, nuclear Pakistan's unstable government, etc. Go, Columbia, Go!

  47. Ernesto

    Don´t forget Bolivia!!! The hunger-strikers there, however, are against the current Left. http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/spanish/latin_america/newsid_6156000/6156860.stm

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