BREAKING: 1968 all up in here — Strikers cut a deal

Written by


We’ll update this post as more developments roll in.

It’s the ninth day of the strike, and this time the vigil isn’t just a quiet watch. Starting an hour ago, about 150 kids gathered around the sundial to hear members of the striker negotiation team speak, standing in silence and chanting in response when asked. According to strike negotiator Christien Tompkins, there’s “some kind of fancy alumni dinner tomorrow” featuring former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, and “they certainly don’t want them to see how upset the students are with this administration.” The administration, he said, has threatened to force two strikers to go on academic leave for their health. Meanwhile, they say, the administration has said that negotiations will not be continuing–and they haven’t been productive so far.

“They have not made any concessions to the hunger strike at all,” he said. “They have merely explained how we can participate in the bureaucratic process.”  

After a march to the steps of Hamilton, where administrators are meeting, a large crowd has gathered and is now listening to speeches. Stay tuned for updates.

10:02 PM: We’ve just been informed that the administrators are no longer in Hamilton. Maybe they were airlifted from the roof. Now the plan is to march around campus and reconvene, or something. And Nellie Bailey of the Harlem Tenants Council, as well as other typical characters from the neighborhood, are here firing kids up. “This is an historic moment! There’s no need to try to recapture 1968, because this is 2007. Don’t fall for the hype, it’s all smoke and mirrors, you are the 21st century generation!”


More more more after the jump! Now including striker-admin agreement!

11:15 PM – After the protesters marched on Hamilton, they continued their circuit past John Jay, Butler, and Lerner like a swarm of really angry fireflies, wax dripping from their candles along the bricks. At 10:13 or so, the marchers convened at the sundial to discuss the night. Admins had threatened to take down their octopus campsite, they said, by midnight, but they would simply not let that happen. Dancing and speeches ensued, and leaders promised that tomorrow at noon they would continue the rally.

 It was around this time that several familiar faces were noticeably absent, and sure enough we spotted the primary negotiators hanging out in the Lerner lobby, fresh from talking with the administrative corps and newly-designated primary liaison Dean Ajay Nair.

11:20 PM – We have heard that due to the rally, administrators have reopened their negotiations– More on that is to come! As of the past five minutes, students are milling about the sundial, attended by security, playing catchy tunes on guitars (“Don’t Stop Believin'”, anyone?)

Here are some more pictures sent in by people inside Hamilton during the mini-siege and other cool tipsters who are helping us out.

11:37 PM – Major Cultures seminars are a go! More info to come.

UPDATE, 12:35 AM: OK, so we got the rundown. Here’s how the day went, according to all-purpose Communicator Sam Rennebohm, GS ’09, and others:

Sometime in the late afternoon, the administration presented the negotiation team with a document containing the concessions they were prepared to make about the academic reforms, under the condition that the team have one more round of edits before making their final offer. The admins also said that of the hunger strike does not end tomorrow, two of the strikers, Bryan Mercer and Emilie Rosenblatt, who have been deemed a liability because of their health by Health Services, will face disciplinary action–since they’ve become a liability to the university, that action might include more-or-less forced academic leave. The strike committee refused this offer.

Meanwhile, at 2:30, the negotiation team met with Executive Vice President for Government and Community Affairs Maxine Griffith about expansion, presenting five distinct demands. Bwog was there, but the meeting was off the record, so that’s about as much as we can tell you.

So then the rally happened, during which the admin relocated to Lerner. Sometime during the march, negotiators received news that the admin was willing to reopen negotiations, and the hunger strikers vowed to continue until there is significant agreement on all four of the demands.

Things to which the administration has committed:

– Student participation and voting power in a CSER review, to begin in Fall 2008 and end in Spring 2009, which will include hiring the three three new “cluster hire” faculty members. They stopped short of awarding hiring power to the Center, since CSER faculty are still divided over whether that’s even desirable.

– More student representation on the Committee on the Core, including potentially public meetings.

– Student participation in an outside review of the OMA, to begin in January and continue for 6-9 months. On the table in this review will be an “upper level administrator” for Multicultural Affairs across all undergraduate arts and science schools.

– By the end of November, a decision on the expansion of the Intercultural Resource Center, including an LGBT community center

– Fundraising $50 million to develop a Major Cultures seminar, which would have to go through a pilot stage and extensive review processes (think Frontiers) before becoming a full-fledged Core requirement.

– Mandatory anti-oppression training (which the B&W explained in a cover story last year) for all incoming new faculty.

– A Blue Ribbon panel, composed of students and faculty, to ensure that these agreements come to fruition. That’s what they were missing in the events of 1996.

So, they’re meeting again tomorrow to come to a final agreement, but Rennebohm says that three out of the four areas of negotiation are “pretty much resolved.”

Looks like that octopus’ days are numbered.




  1. irony

    the strikers can't deal with bureaucratic process, but demand more layers added onto the bureaucracy. up with more useless acronyms and offices! onward with the committees to decide which postcolonial theorists are somehow worthy of supplanting locke on the cc syllabus!

  2. Ridiculous  

    What are they expecting to accomplish with these tactics? So now that they have met with the admins and haven't gotten anything to show for it are they going to occupy Hamilton?

    I hope they wake up from this fit before they make another extremely rash, polarizing action.

  3. airlift?

    hamilton still has tunnels yo

  4. columbia

    What's new about student/faculty dissatisfaction/angst at Columbia? I seriously doubt that the guest speakers would expect anything else from this place.

  5. I wish

    I was on campus this semester so I could buy some chicken :-(.

  6. Nicholas  

    Are they seriously taking over buildings? Is this worth getting up and possibly losing my nice spot in 209 Butler? I mean, it may be '68 all over or whatever, but I've got so much to get done tonight. Is it worth checking out?

  7. bullshit  

    I think it's strange that people have been making the distinction between "justified" hunger strikes (that have occurred in the past) and the current one. Apparently a "justified" strike is one that has a groundswell of support from the majority, intends to enact change that is free, good, and only effects that majority - in other words, completely unrealistic. I'm surprised that people need to be reminded, but when MLK was championing civil disobedience he was, in fact, talking about opinions that were extremely against the majority sentiment as well as enacting change that would have a significant effect on everyone (desegregation, for example).

    My point is, you can disagree with the striker's arguments, and you can disagree with hunger strike as a tactic - but to claim that there are "virtuous" hunger strikes and that this is not one of them is an absurd defense.

    • retarded

      you're a moron. its not a groundswell of support from the overall majority that's required, but instead from the own minority/specific group you PURPORT TO REPRESENT

      its not unrealistic to actually you know, consult the people who you claim to be fighting for

      If they try to hold buildings under seige, the 600ish facebook dissenters should have their own rally showing where the true majority lies

    • i'm sorry

      but i have to hammer this moron

      "My point is, you can disagree with the striker's arguments, and you can disagree with hunger strike as a tactic - but to claim that there are "virtuous" hunger strikes and that this is not one of them is an absurd defense."

      Again--yeah hunger strikes typically come from those out of power--but in this case that is the student body as a whole who apparently is suffering from the lack of whatever the strikers are demanding in the zero sum distribution of university resources. The fact that you make such a simple mistake to think that the strikers somehow are being excoriated because they don't have majority support is infantile--they're being excoriated because they're arrogant enough to pretend their the enlightened philosopher kings who don't need input from the people who they intend to educate- they are the antithesis of the masses, self determination, humility

      as such, they've turned me from maybe originally having been receptive to some of their original demands to now almost reflexively being suspicious of anything that anybody in that movement ever proposes/suggests

    • mlk  

      Im sorry number 7, did I go on a hunger strike? I don't seem to remember doing that.

    • #160

      comment 160 was in response to #7

  8. this is ridiculous

    Holding the administration hostage is just as bad as the administration not listening.

  9. ok so  

    To quote one of the speakers (unfortunately, I do not know his name): "We are the masses. We have the power of the people; the power of the student body. Those who do not support us do not have the masses. They could not bring as many people here."
    The facebook group "We Do Not Support the Hunger Strikers" (
    now has over 600 members. Their refusal to acknowledge the fact that we have the "masses" as well is fascinating.

  10. 2007

    Come on. It's pretty clear that this is a minority movement. No 68. No one is going to succeed in holding the administration hostage in Low.

  11. still ridiculous

    And to clarify, hunger striking until the administration "makes concessions" is holding the administration hostage. Ask for an open forum. Don't hold a gun to your head and threaten to shoot yourself because others disagree with what you believe in.

  12. 2008  

    Am I the only person person on this campus who doesn't have a huge boner for the 68 protests?

    That said, if these philistines actually effect change in the core then I would like to light the torches for the mob that occupies Hamilton till they put the DWEMs back in the core.

    Leave my core alone!

  13. 1968

    that was a minority movement too. unfortunately, a lot of neutral kids got beat down when the police were brought in to evict the occupiers anyway.

    is all this really worth a "vice provost of ethnic studies" and jamaica kincaid appeasingly slipped into the lit hum curriculum?

  14. fuck kofi  

    We don't gotta look pretty for some rwanda genocide allowing, oil for food corrupting, sexual harassment ignoring lame ass lame-o.

    I support the Hunger Strikers for taking the morally strong anti-Kofi Annan stance. Seriously.

  15. Dear Strikers,  

    please eat already. Or starve. Either way. But for fuck's sake don't jeopardize my education in your woeful ignorance.

  16. ...  

    i just got back from watching about 5 minutes of the dude (sam?) on the sundial. he tried doing his best mark rudd and said tomorrow at noon there's going to be, essentially, chaos on campus whereby they're not going to let tomorrow's events take place.

    tomorrow *could* be a fairly infamous day for the university. i seriously stress could.

  17. Jackson  

    Allright, we need two helicopters on the quad to airlift food to these people, and shut them up.

    The girl that fainted was from Barnard, I hear? A Columbia girl would've never fainted...

  18. also  

    the university really needs to step in and end this tonight before tomorrow happens. do it for the 99% of the students that don't give a fuck about this. please.

  19. Andrea Dworkin  

    "The girl that fainted was from Barnard, I hear? A Columbia girl would've never fainted..."

    Columbia girls never go down.

  20. Socrates  

    Hand me the hemlock!

  21. Concerned Student  

    Why do they feel the need to put this school at risk? They are ridiculous.

  22. and  

    "They have not made any concessions to the hunger strike at all. They have merely explained how we can participate in the bureaucratic process."

    That's what they get for making micro bureaucratic demands. If they just want the administration to give into all their demands without the democratic process, how is it not fascism?

  23. PrezBo  

    anyone up for fried chicken at my place? free for any student who comes?

  24. This whole

    thing is proceeding totally along the lines of the '96 playbook. Here are my predictions. Tomorrow or the next day, they will try to occupy Hamilton Hall. I think the administration knows this and is trying to 'medical-leave' the hunger strikers off campus, ASAP.

    Regardless, something will happen soon, as the hunger-strikers are approaching the point where they actually are putting their health at risk, which I assume they nor the administration really wants to see happen.

  25. SEASboy  

    ive been locked to a cubicle for a a few weeks. whats going on?

  26. Darius  

    Fun fact. In 1968, a very small percentage of students enrolled were in favor of or gave a rat's ass about the strike. This has been documented in many publications written on the events.

    That said, are 1968 rules in play? Will they begin with a nonsensical speech at the sundial followed by a march into Low where minorities will be sent off to Hamilton and others will slowly move to Kent and Havemeyer? Just making sure we know what to expect tomorrow.

  27. 311  

    Source: 24th precinct is on standby. Get yer batons ready, kids!

  28. random  

    please please don't fuck up the school until after i finish my exams. Thanks!

  29. All I'm saying is...  

    for the amount of crap that they're demanding, they will need AT LEAST 50 more people starving themselves. I mean come on, do they expect 4/5 students (out of 5000) starving themselves to effect not only Core curriculum reform, but that of a department coupled with Manhattanville Expansionism?!

    If at the end of the day you can only get 5 Columbians to strike with you (and I won't even consider the facebook group because the majority of them are merely friends supporting friends)then YOU my friend are NOT in the majority, so speak for your fu*king selves

  30. Innocent bystander  

    I want to see the shit hit the fan just for the sake of novelty. On the other hand, I want my diploma to be worth something by the time I graduate.

  31. Zvi  

    I think they should barricade themselves in Mudd

  32. this is ridiculous  

    I think this insult of a "hunger-strike" has gone on long enough. I used to think that the best counter to their audacious ridiculousness was to ignore the whole thing, but I feel like these assholes have gone too far in insulting and humiliating us as a student body. There needs to be some decisive show of opposition.

    • I AGREE  

      FUCK this. Why do we have to be the silent, conscientious majority? We have to stage a counter-protest. They're not the only Columbia students around here!

      • Five of Eleven


    • Anonymous  

      "Have gone too far in insulting and humiliating us as a student body."

      How - and why - do you feel insulted and humiliated? One would hope that inaction, apathy, and the ridiculous notion that your college years are nothing but part of a career track would be more insulting and disgusting than anything the current strikers - intelligent and ridiculously well-read individuals - would do.

  33. tomorrow?  

    I'm just waiting for them to announce a ritual suicide on the sundial. If they get the same crowds as they had tonight and then tell everyone to do that, it could be quite a show.

  34. 8691  

    Majority Coalition, mobilize.

  35. hey  

    #36: I think it's beyond the point of starving themselves. The hunger strike was just the way to attract attention. I think they're about to move beyond that and more toward an all out general strike because they've got probably a few hundred people on their side (who could reach out to lord knows how many more not even affiliated with the university).

    Based on what I heard outside a few minutes ago, while it looks like the "hunger strike" component will go on, it looks more and more like the lack of food has little to do with this.

  36. Tertiary Adjunct


  37. I bet you  

    supporters of the strike WANT to see some of the strikers die. That'd give them even more self-righteousness.

    People. They just never learn.

  38. question  

    what are they chanting/yelling?

  39. to the strikers  

    rather than taking over hamilton (so boring, no one likes a copycat), why not take over carman hall, starting at, say 8:45 am.
    k great thanks.

  40. Cat Stevens  

    Why can't we live in bliss? Ride on the peace train...

  41. Robert M  

    the last time students held a counter-protest (beyond the kulawikians), it was the football team that went into decades of suckitude.

  42. Meeeeee  

    Columbia will die if Hamilton gets taken over tonight.

  43. Are those nutjobs  

    still out there?

  44. Salman Rushdie  

    Yeah. Take peace advice from Cat Stevens. What about that Fatwa on my head?

  45. Anonymous  

    The strikers have requested open forums and the university has rejected their requests.


  46. interesting  

    I find it funny that the Hunger Strikers think that the entire student body is behind them. In fact, it seems like most of the student body is actually against them. I overheard a conversation earlier today where i caught some guy saying, "anyone who calls for MORE books to be added to the core...deserves a personally delivered GUNSHOT"...
    so let them eat cake. there are people all over the world who would give their lives to be able to eat.

  47. ummmm  

    one of the signs about diversity in the core said "from Tupac to Confucius" - seriously, Tupac? Are you kidding me? Like placing black authors in the core is great but like...can't the protesters do a better job picking 'em?

  48. take-over

    Campus security has been thinking about this for the past three decades. It wouldn't happen, even if the protestors did command a sizable number, which they don't.

  49. stoopid  

    Why can't these kids do something original for once? Taking over Hamilton is *so* 1968. If they had an original thought in their heads, then this whole thing might be a little bit interesting.

  50. UPDATE  



  51. PROTEST  



  52. bahhhhh  

    to re-inforce this point made earlier:

    the majority of americans were Pro-segregation and anti-civil rights during the civil rights moveent, so why do you claim that since the majority of columbia supposedly doesnt support this protest, it is wrong for the students to fight for what they believe is right?

    • to reinforce

      your stubborn stupidity

      the majority of african american disadvantaged by american racism at that time supported the civil rights/anti segregation protestors.

      in this case replace 'african american' with 'student body' as the body supposedly needing the help and then realize that they don't support what these intellectually arrogant fascists are trying to stuff down their throat

    • numbers

      No, not by default. But without numbers, they won't be able to wreak major havoc, which is what people are talking about here.

    • mmm, but  

      it shows a sort of pitiful self-centeredness and lack of perspective to make this comparison. the fact that i am sympathetic to many of the "demands" makes this a little hard to say, but i still insist that this striking business is ridiculous. ridiculous! get out, and stop discrediting my status as a rational person of color at this school!!!


    We must fight! Counterprotests must be organized. We must put an end to this foolishness.




    Yo who's hosting Kofi Annan? I need to talk to him. No really. I have a good reason. No I'm serious. He would talk to me. Cuz I like, have a good reason and I like need to talk to him for a moment. Yo who knows who's hosting him. No I'm SERIOUS. Like really. I need to talk to Kofi Annan. Anyone have his email address? No FOR REAL.

  55. yellow boohbah  

    good thing i already fulfilled the major cultures requirement... honestly, it's not going to stop the fact that about 65% of the graduating class each year succombs to the lure of a pretty paycheck and enters finance



  57. chill  

    take it easy "five of eleven." we know you're "the borg" (whatever that is) you don't need to keep repeating it. Also, can you switch to regular typing, the all-CAPS is giving me a headache.

  58. LISTEN UP  

    Maybe if you all spent more time discussing the demands and less time complaining about the strike tactics themselves you would understand the importance of this whole movement in the first place and not be so pissed off. maybe talk to the strikers, read their blog and understand where they are coming from: you'll see that at teh very least, the demands are hurting you and also that they might even help you and enhance your education here at columbia.

    • huh

      if the strikers aren't engaging the student body, it's their own fault. time to climb down from olympus and not hope to win friends by assigning homework to the people you've alienated.

  59. Bwog!  

    Can you confirm or deny that a concession on major cultures is in the works?? PLEASE say something! I need the legitimacy of a Bwog post to believe it's truthiness!

    • from spec

      "Just before 11:00 p.m., strikers announced to the crowd that the negotiations were back on and that administratos had said they would not tear down the tents. Additionally, the strikers reported two administrative responses to the strikers demands: a commitment to pay funds for the expansion of the Office of Multicultural Affairs and to transform the major cultures requirement of the core curriculum into a seminar style class. Currently, students choose their major cultures course fulfillments from lists of lectures and seminars across several different departments and regions."

      • Major Cultures

        I, for one, think that a CC-style seminar for Major Cultures would be awful. You wouldn't be able to study any region in sufficient depth. If the University actually makes a concession like this under such duress, I think that we should all bow our heads in shame.

        • i feel sorry

          for anyone who couldn't explore a culture or two in a more specific/in depth manner or at least have the option to.

          I did so for major cultures and loved it. The seminar idea is horrible if its mandatory. If it becomes another a list or whatever class i'd be ok with that as long as it'd only be one of the choices. Either way the administration is spineless for capitulating. How will this not encourage further agitation?

  60. LISTEN UP  

    *not hurting you

    • are you kidding me  

      I do not know where you get off telling us what is good for us. As you obviously have the right to enlighten us ignorant people of your righteous cause. How deluded are you. Also, if you were paying attention, numerous reasons have been given for why individuals are against your methods.

  61. Personally,  

    I don't know why anyone would oppose making major cultures into a seminar. A 20 person seminar is simply a better educational setting than a large lecture!

  62. w2g  

    Interesting how the Major Cultures requirement has no impact on a number of the strikers.

  63. i think  

    this whole performance has been a complete insult to people who use the method of Hunger Strike for real issue--non- petty, bureaucratic issues that are motivated by self-pitying anger or the shame of young liberals. yeah--we're all looking for a civil rights movement or some other ideology to rabidly attach ourselves to--but THIS IS NOT IT.

    How about THIS hunger strike against MARTIAL LAW in Pakistan:

    Or THIS hunger strike against the conditions of Israeli jails:

    Or THIS hunger strike by Burmese Refugees in Australia:

    Honestly, just looking at these REAL causes gets me so angry. The Hunger Strikers are self-righteous whiners who won't work within the Not-Perfect-But-Pretty-Damn-Good system we have here.

    Grow up. Stop this inane chest beating. And focus your anger into something productive and less short-sighted.

  64. wow

    the de bary report recommended that major cultures be transformed into seminar classes. that was what the old guard of the university has wanted since the 1980s. there was no need to starve yourselves for this, strikers. enjoy what remains of your luridly achieved 15 minutes, though.


    Coming to Columbia and complaining about the Core is like going to the store, selecting a bottle of milk from many based on its merits, buying it, drinking it, and then protesting about one of the ingredients. Columbia is a private institution, and these students chose to attend and pay for it. If they HATE Columbia so much, why don't they just leave? The issues they bring up are not on par with racism, and comparisons to 1968 are unjustified. I appreciate the DIVERSITY of this University and the city it is in, as well as the range and quality of the education and resources provided me: these protesters obviously do not. The University should not justify this sort of infantile behaviour-I would go so far as to state that the hunger-strikers should be expelled and possibly forcibly removed. This is the real world-they need to realize that stamping one's feet for attention does not work. The issues they are protesting do not warrent their actions.

  66. i disagree  

    you can of course study any region in depth in a seminar format. it just facilitates far better discussion. anyways, as Prof. Mamdani said in a recent Maj. Debates in the Study of Africa lecture, one of the problems is looking at these insular areas and cultures. Developing a more holistic synthesis of intellectual tradition and historical trends should be the ultimate goal. There are two Major Cultures classes, after all...both need not be seminars.

  67. CC 08  

    If they occupy Hamilton I will seriously fuck some of them up. All of my classes are in that building and I'm not going to be happy if they pull any of that shit. On the other hand, I almost hope they do occupy it so that us normal kids can just beat the shit out of them.

  68. Reni Laine

    I've decided to hold a performance by the sundial tomorrow. This is going to be huge.

  69. disagree

    Major cultures classes have discussion sections.

  70. Confucius say  

    Major Culture into seminar - bad! Major Culture like history class, not philosophy, not CC - no debate. Can you use chopsticks? No debate on how to use chopsticks! Just learn it. Likewise, Major Culture. Seminar for Major Culture bad idea because student cannot discuss what cannot be discussed.

  71. Federal Judge

    Just who the hell is going to teach these seminars, pray tell?

  72. Anonymous  

    Can we all go home now? Or have the frustratingly vague and extensive demands (that I agree with, in spirit, if not the word) not been met enough?

  73. culpa now  

    There are now 58 sections of Major Cultures Humanities Seminar (CultHum) listed and not a single instructor. When are they going to release instructor names so I can CULPA?

  74. alum

    When the police crack skulls this time, nobody will care.

  75. you know  

    I think that starting tomorrow, everyone who is opposed to the hunger strike should wear togas out of solidarity with The Core.

  76. Of course  

    history can be discussed. But one of the problems anyways is that major cultures focus on history and anthropology...not on the intellectual traditions of those areas, as CC does for the west.

  77. this



    • Yes

      It's called ASIAN HUMANITIES and was started as a Chinese / Japanese counterpart to Lit Hum and CC, specifying primary source literature in their respective literary and philosophical traditions. It's been here since 1948 when Prof. Wm. Theodore de Bary first started teaching it.

      Way to go, hunger strikers, you'd helped the Columbia old guard put through one of their fondest aspirations.

      • Federal Judge

        Is it really over? Because Columbia hasn't promised to withdraw it's expansion plan and instead use the capital campaign to build 18 acres of affordable fixed rate housing.

  78. pregunta  

    What time Daft Punk performing at the protest?

  79. columbian

    This is a dark, dark day for Columbia. The administrators should not be forgiven for capitulating to a small group of petulant agitators.

  80. junior  

    I took Asian Hum with Professor de Bary. It was a colloquium, but guess what...the only one who ever said anything worthwhile was de Bary.

  81. since

    i know ttan is on here, i hereby challenge you to an asian civ quotes duel. i'll go first.

    to learn and at due times to practice what one has learned, is that not the mark of a noble man?

  82. EditorJosh  

    Spec just pulled the story. WTF, mate?

  83. JOHN ERSKINE!!!!


  84. Federal Judge

    Thought: Maybe now all those professors who refuse to teach core classes because they're too western can get off their pedestals and start teaching. Even better- maybe Columbia can force them them to alternate between teaching each seminar. We can finally have more actual faculty teaching the core!

  85. hmmm  

    I wonder what de Bary thinks. after all, he invented major cultures...

    • ttan

      NO! De Bary did not invent "Major Cultures". De Bary invented "Asian Humanities" -- a true counterpart to Lit Hum and CC. Major Cultures in its present form (a hodge-podge of intro courses in history, polisci, art, music, etc.) is a travesty of budget cuts, half-measures, and thwarted ambitions.

  86. one

    who governs by virtue is comparable to the polestar, who remains fixed in his place while the others pay homage to it.

    • ttan

      The scholar must be stout-hearted and enduring, for his burden is heavy, and his way is long. His burden is service to humanity. Is that not heavy? His way lasts till the end of life. Is that not long?

      • only

        with wine do i not set a strict limit- confucius

        • ttan

          Mencius asked the King: "Suppose a thief comes into a village, robs the people, steals their goods, and leaves them in ruin?"

          The King replied: "I would catch the thief, arrest him, and punish him according to his crimes."

          Mencius asked: "Suppose a corrupt official burdens the people with unfair taxes, steals from the public treasury, and enriches himself and his family while his people suffer?"

          The King replied: "I would arrest that official, strip him of his rank, and punish him in accordance with his crimes."

          Mencius asked: "Suppose a King neglects his duties, plunges his nation into war and suffering, while his people starve and their needs go unaddressed?"

          The King looked around him and talked about other things.

  87. mencius

    if a baby falls in a well and no one is there to here it, does it make a sound?

  88. please  

    someone go back in time and abort reni laine.

  89. the attention whores  

    must be feeling so good about themselves right now.

  90. ok tao

    i concede in our contest of wits. i have to write me one of them eight-legged essays.

  91. Colloquial  

    Why don't these self-righteous pricks take AHUM 3399 and AHUM 3400?

    COLLOQUIA. That means sitting around talking about the great works of East and South/Central Asian philosophy and literature. Frankly, I think those two classes have more than adequately equalized my experience in CC. And you know what, if I wanted to go study more, I WOULD TAKE MORE CLASSES IN THOSE FIELDS. There's no need for it to be compulsory.

  92. WOW  


  93. fjc  

    I think the admin is bluffing.

    Let it be known that I called it.


    I wholeheartedly agree with poster #114-- the administration had (and still has) my support, but should not be forgiven for capitulating to the bullying of these self-righteous, self-serving, fringe minority agitators.

  95. Anonymous the middle of it all...the phone got knocked off the hook.


    a striker has died!!!

    let's celebrate!

    ha ha ha ha ha!

  97. Ugh.  

    Does this mean another two periods per week during which time I could be working towards my major or otherwise enjoying the courses that I choose?

    I'm going on a hunger strike.

    • Anonymous  

      I wouldn't worry. In a few years or so after they get the kinks out, they'll collapse or combine this with major cultures. It's a reasonable response that would have been coming anyway, but we can thank the protesters for...something or other. Papier mache? Anyway, their heart was in the right place.

  98. bah

    Seminars: listening to students with the strongest *opinions* but almost no knowledge on the subject go on and on and on and on while the professor, someone who does know a thing or two, is forced to shut up and play moderator. Great. You'll learn LOTS about how your classmates *feel* on a subject but little to nothing about the subject itself. These protesters will dumb down everything until it all becomes just as easy as their Angry Studies 101 wankfests where a quick, hackneyed screed on Evil Whitey warrants a mandatory A+++++++++.

    • one this rate these extra seminars will be taught by more un qualified Grad students who are idiots

      or by folks like de genova who'll fail you if you don't go out and slice a veteran

  99. uuuggghh

    how much you want to be the college republicans list serve just gained 20 more people they can claim as 'conservatives'

    the hunger strikers are horrible people

  100. i change  

    my mind there are classes like asianhum that do delve into intellectual traditions of other areas...there rather needs to be a class that is more global in scope, dealing with questions of globalization, colonialism, "othering", cross-cultural contact, etc. a course that doesn't focus on the ideas or histories of specific areas, but on the global community taken as a whole. we need to stop viewing history, be it political or intellectual, in compartments that don't influence each other. we need a global course for a global university.

  101. Boo  

    Props to the administration for taking away my last chance to have an actual professor teach me relevant things in a core class. Now I get to listen to what the twats (you know who they are) have to say about culture and maybe I will become enlightened.
    I hate you a little more every day, Columbia.

  102. to tao  

    You must be a fan of derivatives as well, seeing as you trade in them. Chinese has some wonderful proverbs that rather succinctly follow from the Confucian primary sources. I'm thinking of

    zhi zu chang le or wan ban jie xia pin, wei you du shu gao



  103. babies

    What we need is to stop thinking that the University needs to tell us to study something if we already want to study it. This is infantile.

    • Anonymous  

      To be fair, Columbians are generally infantile. Witness the alcohol education program initiated this year. It dropped freshman CAVA trips during orientation by 75%. We are easily swayed. Who knows, maybe this one class will end racism now and forever. I doubt it, but it's certainly not worth freaking out about.

  104. wish

    I hope that these hunger strikers find themselves lost in a forest without food someday.

  105. even more bullshit

    "My point is, you can disagree with the striker's arguments, and you can disagree with hunger strike as a tactic - but to claim that there are "virtuous" hunger strikes and that this is not one of them is an absurd defense."

    complete BS, i'm stunned that a columbia student could actually believe that. people are not against your strike simply because we don't think you are the "majority". for all i know you could be the majority and I would still call your hunger strike bullshit. my issue with the tactic of a hunger strike is that you are presupposing that your claims are morally RIGHT. there is no evidence--i repeat, NO EVIDENCE--that more funding for ethnic studies at the expense of other departments and centers is morally right. there is NO EVIDENCE that the compensation columbia will give manhattanville residents is morally inadequate. it is NOT a moral imperative that the core should be reformed--or at least no one has given any indications why this would be morally legitimate. until you, my friend, show me why your demands are morally right and why expansion/not reforming the core/not funding ethnic studies is morally WRONG, i am sticking to my belief that your hunger strike is unjustified. all your strike is doing is essentially discouraging rational and open-minded debate about what are very complex issues. you are saying, "if you don't agree that our views are morally right within (however many days it takes to starve to death on a diet of gatorade, water, tea) days, our blood is on your hands." to which i say again, COMPLETE BULLSHIT.

    So what is a morally legitimatate hunger strike? strikes that push for issues where there IS a clear right and wrong. Segregation in the US, colonization in India, apartheid in S. Africa, torture in Guantanamo--these are conditions that can be proven to be morally wrong. Please, give me a reason why your causes are as legitimate as theirs and therefore warrant a hunger strike.

    And just because you stand up for something doesnt mean you should be applauded. There are people in this country who strongly believe that killing abortion providers is morally justified and even necessary, but to suggest that we should support them for their passion is ludicrous. PROVE to me that your cause is right.

  106. graduating senior  

    Honestly, I'm appalled. Sure it took courage to hunger strike, but frankly, I feel like they are horribly misrepresenting the student body and claiming that they speak for us. Although I am sympathetic to some of their ideas in a vague sense, they do not speak for me.

    Furthermore, if this is what you need to do to affect change at Columbia, then there are larger problems than Manhattanville or ethnic studies.

    I'm just glad that I will not have to deal with another new part of the Core that will inevitably fail because of its vague purpose and teachers who don't understand its content or intent (think of Frontiers). I'm sorry, freshman.

  107. Mahmoud Ahmedinejad  

    Hunger strikes?

    We have no such phenomenon in my country.

  108. They can do it!

    All we have to is follow this guy's enlightened example!

  109. Here's an idea  

    I say, as a big fuck-you to the hunger strikers we hold a MASSIVE feast ont he quad after thanksgiving.

  110. eww  


    He's sitting across from me in Butler eating his boogers. Like nonstop. It's one of the more disgusting things I've witnessed in my days.

    (Or at least, I assume he's a hunger striker. He's wearing a name tag on this shirt that says "Ask me why I am fasting" and drinking tea.)

    • ohgod  

      oh god. can't he at least go into a bathroom stall and do that? hell probably catch some heinous disease from his mucous now that his immune system is so low. im surprised he hasnt eaten his tag yet

  111. ugghhh  

    please tell me that this new major cultures thing won't go into effect for a couple years or something.

  112. disgusted  

    I am appalled that Columbia would even negotiate with the strikers - where was the input from the majority of students and alumni who don't want the Core to change? How can the university let less than a dozen fanatical students acting out of their sick delusions of their own moral righteousness change something as fundamental as the Core?

  113. asdf  

    y'all are just giving them the attention they want for this.

    we should just ignore them. just like the administration has been and will continue to.

  114. chuck norris

    would never negotiate with terrorists.

  115. and...

    another thing i don't understand is why the hunger strikers continually tell us to read their website and go talk to them in the tents rather than manning up and directly addressing naysayers' questions on the bwog, or in the spec, or some other public forum where a wide audience can be reached. I am a student who is currently not on campus and have no way of just walking up to the tents to ask them my questions in person. And I have already read their demands and their statements over and over again on their blog, as well as their interviews in the spec, and still they have not addressed many legitimate questions posed to them.

    I would really appreciate it if the strikers or their supporters could answer some of the questions that have been posed by anti-strike supporters--see Nina Bell's from an earlier bwog post (she's also rewritten them and emailed them to strikers), and Timothy de Swardt's on the 'we do not support the hunger strikers' facebook group. If they are so convinced that their causes are morally sound and worth hunger striking for, I don't see why they can't bring themselves to directly respond to their critics in a manner where everyone can see and discuss their answers.

  116. rjt  

    I agree with everyone in this thread. Hugs and kisses all around! :)

  117. Rudolf Rocker  

    a beautiful night. this one ain't over. infect the system, we spread like bird flu. & haters, check that attitude... nobody likes a stick-in-the-mud. change is an avalanche, come ride this.

  118. Crazy  

    Is anyone else insanely bothered by the fact that the administration is giving into them?

    Does this mean that every time students have an issue from now on, they'll do something drastic to get their way? I forsee a future of hungry strikes and threatening actions, and students citing precedence.

    We are proud of you, ESC!

  119. numbered

    The octupus' days are numbered, and so are the glory days of Columbia College.

  120. pathetic

    This is ridiculous. Mandatory "anti-oppression" training for all incoming faculty? What a sad, intensely pathetic joke.

  121. radicals

    This is not a University, it's a place where radicals can out-radicalize each other.

  122. Yay  

    I for one, am happy.

  123. Yawn.  

    "Fundraising $50 million to develop a Major Cultures seminar, which would have to go through a pilot stage and extensive review processes (think Frontiers) before becoming a full-fledged Core requirement."

    And Frontiers is such a glowing success!

  124. obituary

    Here lies Columbia University. 1754-2007.

  125. ttan

    OMG. This is not good. This does not turn Major Cultures into a series of colloquia. It turns it into a Frontiers-style Core course of wishy-washy content, style, purpose, and objective.

  126. autopsy report

    It intoxicated itself with its own radicalism.

  127. wow

    you thought engagement with the rest of the world was watered down now? wait til it's part of a frontiers-esque major cultures core class. it will be a parade of tokens.

  128. yellowboohbah  

    there are flyers up for a meeting in "solidarity" tomorrow at noon at the sundial. and i have a review session in hamilton for a midterm then. god damn.

  129. outrageous

    This is really the most outrageous thing I've heard coming out of Columbia University in the past four years. It makes Ahmadinejadimania look like nothing.

  130. ttan

    How do these people plan to raise $50 million?

    Ooh! I know! Hunger strike in front of Goldman Sachs!!!

  131. wow

    I'm never donating to Columbia ever. What's pathetic is that the majority of teh protestors are just the extremists who were profiled in the ny times magazine last year adn who are crazed SDS members

    Maybe columbia does need to be devalued like in 68..allows this shit to go on is pathetic. Allowing a bunch of assholes who're going to spend the rest of their lift parroting de genova or dabashi or editing the nationalist socialist weekly to comandeer the university should be met with a drastic drop in applications and the degree becoming worthless again.

    I'm ashamed these kids were ever admitted.

  132. Anti-Oppression?  

    Like the diversity workshops of this year's freshmen orientation? What came out of that, again?

    Korean Girl: I can tell what religion someone is just by looking at them. Latinos are Catholic, the Chinese are Buddhist, Blacks are Christian, and rich white people are Jewish. It's almost always true.

    Same Girl, Five Minutes Later: You know what really upsets me? When people just guess that I'm Christian because I'm Korean. That's a really unfair thing to think. We're not all the same.

  133. Pissed off

    I'm now officially pissed off. Who the fuck do these hunger strikers think they are, that they can dictate what everyone wants. I mean, fuck, FUCK. I don't want Major Cultures Seminars. If i hunger strike, can i get them removed? This is such bullshit.

  134. diversity

    This week, Fanon. Next week, Sayyid Qutb, for "diversity."

  135. The administration

    Needs to be held accountable to the student body, and explain why they submitted to the demands of students who have never been able to demonstrate that they have majority support.

    • bah

      the administration needs to demonstrate why four individuals who don't even have BAs get to dictate the policy of a university via lurid antics. students should be limited to imput only, majority or minority notwithstanding.

      • Anonymous  

        Read the comments. I explained this several times. This "caving in" is not caving in at all. All these demands have been in work for years and will be in the works for at least one more. All the protesters did was add a sense of urgency and feel good about themselves.

        • Yes but

          It's the principle, and the precedent it sets, not even the specific issues at this point.

          • Anonymous  

            Please don't pull out the slippery slope argument, we were almost having a discussion.

            Anyway, you would rather the administration secretly do what these protesters wanted and not tell them so? That seems both childish and unprofessional. Any half-intelligent human can read between the lines and see this was a PR move that likely won't have the effect you describe. I doubt anyone else would be dumb enough to hunger strike for something the university is already going to do. And if it's something the university really doesn't want to do, I don't think the university will give in. End of story.

          • are you stupid

            what guarantees lucha won't hunger strike the next time an anti illegal immigration speaker is scheduled to come? or the socialists/sds will when the next person who *gasp* may support israel or something is about to get hired to mealac? or anything else that effects teh frail political sensibilities of these fascists?

            The slippery slope oiled up in this case..i can't think of a time where its more applicable---this definitely sets the precedent for more crazed fascist direct action

            and brilliant way of rebutting the slippery slope argument--'don't pull it out'

            i'm sure you wins tons of debates like that you intellectually bankrupt moron

          • Loocha  

            If Karina hunger-'struck', she would vanish into thin air

          • harriet the spy  

            however, if you hunger-'struck', your fat internet-addicted ass might actually lose some weight. ;-)

          • Anonymous  

            Sorry, I thought I went on to address your concern.

            This violates no principle, even though I think non-negotiation is a dumb principle. You know what the 68 protests really changed about the university? Nothing. If university opinion really is behind the administration, then the administration won't break. Support against the hunger strikers wasn't in this case, because the administration had already decided years ago to do nearly every salient point they listed and we didn't freak out about it then. Just because they showed you the shit they already had and put a bow on it, doesn't make it new dude. You need to chillax. They're not really terrorists, you know? Terrorists have guns...or at least knives.

          • cool

            so where's your evidence that they had planned all along to actually make all these moves and conveniently enough that's all these jerks asked for? or is that just because of your amorphous inside connections?

            furthermore, your argument still doesn't quell fears that for the retarded strikers they won't realize they haven't won anything (if you're crazy conspiracy theory is true) in reality and will continue to fight for more as they'll expect to win it

          • Anonymous  

            Haha, crazy conspiracy theory? Look at the one option that was not addressed in these plans. Manhattanville. There's also been several sources cited IN THIS THREAD, about various major culture systems that have existed over the years. Manhattanville is the only thing the school cares about because that's the only thing they need. The University will not bend on that. As for the other shit, it doesn't make a damn difference at all, and at certain points in history, it has existed.

            I don't know if you imagine that the core is some solid block that came down from antiquity, or that current departments are the only ones that can exist. There have been a few books on the history of Columbia released, just this year. Check your alumni magazine for September and October for some good ones. Until then, please calm down with the hysterics. Nothing that happened is really that bad, not matter how conservative you are.

          • ahaha

            "things columbia cares about"

            I can tell you one thing they don't care about:


            Sure sure yeah, whatever. You want mandatory retarded seminars? No problem, we'll go get some grad students on board. Enjoy!

          • damn right

            Exactly. Other things Columbia cares about: radical leftists. Things Columbia doesn't care about anymore: rational thought, vigorous debate, accountability, respect.

  136. ttan

    I'm going to find the bagpiper guy downstairs after work today, and I will give him A$5 to play "Amazing Grace" and "Danny Boy" for Columbia College.

    Truly a sad day. :-(.

    • Sorry but

      how about some songs from somewhere other than white Europe? I feel oppressed and marginalized by the lack of songs from other heritages. You'll have to pay the bagpiper a lot more money to learn the songs, but rest assured it's what everyone wants.

      • ttan

        I saw the Hong Kong Police Band play Chinese Communist military marching music on bagpipes earlier this summer. Weirdest sight I ever saw. And that's on top of the sight of Chinese policemen wearing kilts and playing bagpipes.

  137. Awesome!  

    pretty much everything except manhattanville...and what's good is that discussion remains open on most of these (major cultures, ethnic studies), so we as a community can constructively decide how these issues will be solved.

  138. really?  

    i didn't know this site existed. i eveN didn't know there were a bunch of people who so disagreed NICE TO SEE ... but then guess what? they will be the same ones who will be crying when a Virginia tech student shoots around because of hate. lol

  139. please  

    please can we now have a list of everyone who is officially pissed off? I already assumed that anonymous comments on a blog were the ultimate expression of your defiance, but it's nice to make it official. How about a virtual anti-hunger strike in this very venue?

    Form in a line below >>

  140. THANK GOD  



  141. forget it

    I don't care if I end up making a million bucks a month one day...I am not donating one cent to this university...ever! I don't care if they revoke my alumni card. They want $50M to get this seminar up and running? Who is going to give it them? Al Sharpton? A bunch of crusaders on free ride affirmative action scholarships? All the old millionaire alums are dying off and I don't see people who had to suffer this sort of shit in the 60s or even NOW coughing up money to an institution that has clearly compromised itself to a gang of malcontents. Berkeley cleaned up its act but Columbia continues to tumble.

  142. well  

    1) new york magazine is not nyt magazine
    2) its not the same people. not one of the hunger strikers or negotiating team was profiled.
    3) national socialist weekly? godwin's law.

  143. too bad

    Too bad "Prezbo" wasn't selected as Harvard's replacement for Summers. He was on the short list.

  144. hope

    I hope that the administration hears an earful from the alumni community about this.

  145. look at

    their facebook group idiot.

    Half those people were in the ny magazine article (i'm sorry i don't carefully document the media appearances of the extremists on this campus--i only have enough time to be a paparazzo of kulawik)

    and everything of this entire thing smacks of arrogant fascism. if any other group tried this, they'd be screaming bloody murder.

    and you also ignored my other points, i can bet you the strikers are probably part of the iso/sds reincarnation

  146. So are  

    the strikers gonna eat? Or are the holding out for West Harlem?

  147. food

    I don't think they actually care about West Harlem. Just their radical identity politics.

  148. Seriously, it's fun  

    It's a game advertising KFC in the UK

  149. Googler  

    When you search for "hunger strike" on Google, this is what you get, not any mention of Columbia:

  150. By the way  

    Extreme times call for extreme measures. If I want people to look at the awesome website I found, I have to post it multiple times. If it's okay for people to go on a fucking hunger strike and change my curriculum, then I will damn well clog these comments.

  151. prediction:  

    they're not gonna raise $50 million for Frontiers of Asian Humanities.

  152. Confucius  

    Columbia should quit trying to be a seemingly liberal Ivy League institution. Culturally liberal and Ivy League are, for now, incompatible at least on this campus. The admissions committee should discontinue its failing philosophy of sacrificing cultured, conscientious applicants for a pool of tepid diversity - that's not our job. It's NYU's job. Bar those gates! Build those walls!

    • hahaha  

      get over your fucking wall fetish, i know youre really into them just because you like posting anonymous comments behind the safety of your room's WALLS!!

      -anonymous person who isnt a hypocrite

  153. Lame Bwog  

    If the meeting was off the record, what was Bwog doing there?

  154. reality  

    Sorry to say, but the administration can only see the students that are visible. If even a third of the people posting furiously here actually went and counter-protested, wrote to the administration, badgered the strikers, anything ... this would have been handled a lot more rationally. As is, all the administration saw was one group of students in solidarity - so they handed them some prepackaged policies re-wrapped as a gift.

    Go look at the anti-strike protest group - THREE (3) people have committed to going to the rally tomorrow!!! If even facebook activism is too much effort for you, what the fuck are you getting so pissed off about?

    "I hope that the administration hears an earful from the alumni community about this."

    Clearly years of Ivy league education have taught the strikers much more about how to be heard and get things accomplished.

  155. i like how  

    my opinion is discounted since i have chosen to eat

  156. tactics  

    overall, I think the concessions are fairly minor. The seminar thing is contingent on getting enough funding, and on approval. With all the shit Frontiers is getting with the backing of major science professors, I doubt the university will mind cutting the proposed seminar if there are really all that complains.

    I would have liked to see the administration not cave, wait out the strikers, and then graciously give them these bones afterwards.

  157. Screw them  

    Who cares about the strikers? I have midterms next week!

  158. liberator  


    You cant touch this! dun-nana-nun... and stop..... HAMMERTIME!

    I'm proud to be a minority right now... because I can laugh at all you racist folk.



    We're dancing... wheeeee.... dance dance... sorry you cant join cuz white people can't dance right.... wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

    If anyone wants to oppress minorities at Columbia then I welcome you to bring it on... we'll just stop eating for a few days and get you kicked out.


    Say it loud, I'm black and I'm proud. Say it loud, I'm black and I'm proud.



    I love this place. Party up in Manhattanville, where the minority will continue to defy The Man!

  159. i am  

    mad mad mad. hunger strikers are fascists. excellent comparison. true. goddamn. grrrr.

  160. free

    And who's to assume that all black students are on financial aid?

  161. alexw  

    Does anyone else think that the octopus they have out on the lawn is in extremely bad taste?

    I mean, the octopus has been used to portray the "evil" side so often in propaganda cartoons that these guys really should know better.

  162. PROTEST

    If those of us who oppose this action by the administration really command a silent majority, we should stand up and make our voices heard vocally. Don't let the idiots monopolize the megaphone.

  163. leave

    I for one will leave this university if there isn't a backlash.

  164. great idea  

    Damn straight. You should leave. That will give us yet another reason to celebrate.

    In fact, if you are one of those who considers racial advocacy to be unimportant, I encourage you to go on strike by leaving Columbia.

    Then we'd all be happy.

  165. is there a limit

    on the number of comments a single bwog post can take?

  166. umm...  

    to you all going to the "anti-strike" event...

    why don't you go do something actually constructive with your time?

  167. thought

    to all those considering not giving to the University...

    Why don't you give, but to athletics instead. Nothing will piss off the hippies more than having good teams on campus.

  168. Constructive??  

    Would sitting in tents for a week and annoying almost the entire student body count as constructive?

  169. efffff  

    fuck hunger strikers. and fuck the administration that has now legitimized their puerile demands and treated them like representative members of the student body.

  170. it's saddens me that  

    in the end, this event will make the non-radical minorities on campus look bad in association and cause resentment against them (a la comment 222) because of some belief that they are in some way responsible/supportive of this whole debacle.

    For the record, I'm a minority student who has had a pretty good experience with the Core. I chose to attend Columbia for the Core and I haven't found myself (that) disappointed. One of the things I enjoy about Major Cultures is the freedom of choice.

  171. Core  

    I just think it's ridiculous that the administration would agree to enact changes to the curriculum in such an atmosphere, without the careful, open deliberation that Bollinger said would characterize any curricular review. This is a black mark on his tenure.

  172. pathetic  

    so if i follow this correctly, a handful of students don't like the university they go to and decide to do bad things to themselves untill the university of thousands changes and then the university changes things because it is concerned about a few kids?

© 2006-2015 Blue and White Publishing Inc.