Eat! Eat! says CB9

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cb9Now that the academic demands are taken care of, the hunger strikers are still going hungry for the Manhattanville expansion.  But in an e-mail to the Community Board 9 listserv, CB 9 chairman Jordi Reyes-Montblanc told them to knock it off: “I again beseech you to stop your hunger strike as it pertains to the CU Expansion issues,” he wrote. “The ULURP process is alive and well and I am confident that your personal sacrifices have been noted and opened some eyes both at the City Planning Commission and the City Council.” The full message is posted after the jump.

Also, according to this Observer article,  the West Harlem LDC has finally put up a number–the group wants “in excess of 100 million” for an affordable housing fund. Columbia hasn’t agreed to that number but, “the source said that the school, while it had not offered its own number, understood it had to contribute more, and in a more timely way.” This is one of the points the strike team was negotiating for. Looks like the need might be covered.

We also think it’s worth reiterating that, according to today’s Spec, Kofi Annan was never supposed to come to campus dinner last night, as strikers claimed two nights ago while speaking to the crowd at the sundial.  The “fancy dinner” they alluded to also raised $1.75 million for the College.

 UPDATE: The Coalition to Preserve Community–a group composed of anti-expansion West Harlem activists is pleading for the second time for the hunger strikers to stop.  A portion of their latest press release reads:

“Five days ago, on November 11, the Coalition to Preserve Community (CPC), a four-year old West Harlem community group opposing the Columbia University expansion plan, asked the Columbia students who had been on a hunger strike since Wednesday, November 7, to withdraw their demand that the University recall its

197C rezoning application. They rejected our request at that time, but today

we are asking them again.

We do not want the students’ health and welfare to be sacrificed in waiting

on Columbia to engage in an honest dialogue and negotiation with the community

on the rezoning application.”

And finally! Beyond the jump, behold our super-useful Manhattanville Decoder, to help you understand the jargon in the various intallments of our Hunger Strike Primary Source Reader.



CB9M Chairman’s Message to Students in Hunger Strike

As you may know I am away recovering from surgery but I am following the developments quite closely.

I firmly believe you have made your points and received wide media coverage.

I again beseech you to stop your hunger strike as it pertains to the CU Expansion issues. The ULURP process is alive and well and I am confident that your personal sacrifices have been noted and opened some eyes both at the City Planning Commission and the City Council.

It would be highly detrimental if your health deteriorates and places your lives in danger with the onset of inclement weather. We need you healthy and in fit condition for the struggles still ahead.

I congratulate you for your courage, dedication and affection for our community, your efforts will have great value and take a place of honor in the history of student activism on behalf of our community.

I look forward to see y’all upon my return.

With respect and admiration


Jordi (George) Reyes-Montblanc, Chairman

Community Board 9 Manhattan

565 West 125th Street

New York, NY 10027-2301

Manhattanville for Dummies:

Community Board 9 (CB9): a group of West Harlem (Hamilton Heights, Manhattanville, and some of Morningside Heights) residents and business owners who applied to the Borough President’s office and were selected to represent their neighborhood.

Local Development Corporation (LDC): Because CB9 isn’t invested with the power to negotiate with developers, the city created the West Harlem LDC.  It’s a group of CB9 members, public housing tenants, environmentalists, artists, and elected officials who meet regularly to decide what they want from Columbia in return for the expansion.

Community Benefits Agreement:  This is what the LDC is working to for.  It’s an agreement that will decide how much Columbia will put into an affordable housing fund, what environmental standards it will use, how much funding it’ll give to the arts in Harlem. Outside of side-deals with elected officials (e.g. the deal with the Borough President) this will be negotiated entirely by the LDC.

Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP): A slow process that any developer must go through if they need a zoning change in order to build.  Columbia’s expansion plan is mid-ULURP right now–CB9 and the Borough President have already voted on it.  Next it goes to the City Council and then the mayor.

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  1. If they had  

    any balls, they'd strike to the death! Actually, it doesn't take any balls to strike. Rather, it is the absence of brains.

  2. UGH

    i am getting more annoyed by the minute with the strikers' tactics. resorting to sensationalism, disseminating rumors like "Kofi Annan is coming tomorrow and the university wants to shut down our tents", and purely farcical cries of "whose campus? our campus!" (don't forget, it's also the campus of the 700+ people who don't agree with you) make me think that they are more focused on painting themselves as heroes and martyrs than on actually having meaningful, open-minded debate.

  3. HA!  

    stupid dumbass strikers. Even the CB9 president doesn't support the strike. Now shut the fuck up, you have nothing left to strike for.

    Oh, and Dean Quigley totally used the Strike to show how receptive and inclusive the University is to debate, and solicited mad Alumni donations ($1.7million) at the dinner last night. :D

  4. love the core  

    Let us remember that the strikers love or at least should love the core:
    In a speech the other night, one leader urged strikes to "throw off their chains" an allusion to Rousseau. However, they probably thought they were referencing Tupac Amara. Hopefully they will realize after taking a seminar that all these revolutionaries were inspired by the west.
    Senghor for example relied heavily on Marx and Hegel, and so did Che.
    The fucking strikers are not as intelligent as they claim. Just go ask them a real question, I doubt they could answer.

  5. neutral

    umm... i spoke with two higher-up-there professsors who WERE planning having dinner with Kofi Annan last night...

  6. rumors

    This might be coming to an end sooner than we all think......

  7. victoria  

    soooo all you haters, when you are taking the new core seminar, or walk by the oma, and there are students actually talking about substantial issues you can thank the hard workers of the movement and the strike. booya grandma.

    • Yep

      You are referring, of course, to those same 'substantial issues' raised in every single tedious humanities class, discussed ad nauseum by the aggressive blowhards who proceed to suck all the air out of the room and decimate all hope of fostering the civil, intellectual environment we all came to Columbia to find? Those issues?

    • Well thank god

      We have the strikers to make sure that substantial issues are discussed in the core.

      I must however express my surprise that it took almost 100 years for this to has Columbia stayed so high in the league tables until now?

    • after all  

      we all know that plato, aristotle, augustine, machiavelli, locke, hume, dostoyevsky, shakespeare, muhammad, or any other author in the entire core can't raise substantive issues.

      oh, wait, you probably want dubois to be an exception to that because he's black. that's not racist at all...

    • hehe

      oh, victoria, you make me laugh.

      nothing the strikers "achieved" wasn't already in the works before the strike. what we CAN thank the strikers for, though, is this: more polarization, more hatred, more misunderstanding, more racism (yes, i said it, the r word! everyone who doesn't agree with the strike is a RACIIIIIIST, right??), and a terrible example of how to trample on/ignore your fellow students' opinions and questions to get what you want. for that, thank you! we should build a statue of you and put it on south lawn!

    • yeah

      thanks for being a fascist pig who shouts racist with anybody who disagrees with you

      you're morons who're about two steps away from having sds bombings in empty buildings as a symbol of 'protest'

      the worst instance of hate i've every experienced at this university has been perpetrated by the strikers

      • better  

        post #26 doesn't even wait for another sentence to shout "fascist pig" at someone - while accusing other people, without a specific quote, of shouting "racist"

        • suggesting

          that the only people talking about substantial issues reside at the oma is certainly arrogantly racist

          its also wonderful that while frontiers of science is collapsing we get yet another cutlural-philosophical-sociological class

  8. well...  

    kofi annan was set to come. i heard from both admin and professors that he was set to speak at this event, so they weren't just unsubstantiated rumors the strike supporters concocted to to sensationalize things.

    also, dean quigley is a nice guy but def. co-opted the strike to uphold the values that he as bureaucrat of the university doesn't believe in.

    thanks for the seminar strikers. the seminar was a hard-won concession that I think we all need at Columbia. and although, to the poster above me, i do think that those authors can raise these type of issues, authors of color can as well. you're the one assuming that certain groups of people aren't intelligent enough to talk about issues on their own.

    • Whyat?

      You really think you don't get enough of an intro to other cultures? Are you out of your fucking mind? Do you really want to lose an elective?

    • Not really  

      This was De Bary's baby, not the Strikers'. No where in the strikers' demands was there any mention of a major cultures seminar; it was just a concession the University made that was already in the works. So if you want to "thank" the strikers, thank them for speeding up the process, but you're naive if you think this was down to their efforts.

      • Background...

        And I would also like to note that CCSC was working on a major cultures seminar last fall before any of this hubbub... Michelle and Alidad wrote a resolution on it back then and had meetings with the faculty, etc...... And yes,De Bary was definitly involved in this but don't forget bwog's best friend: Bulliet... He was a part of the conversations last year too

        This was already in the pipeline long before the strike but now it will be forever remembered as happening due to the strike.....

        • can someone

          PLEASE explain more about this it instead of one of the current major cultures, or in addition to? Is it that a seminar will be set up for each of the List A subjects in each of the areas, or is it one all encompassing class? there a no specifics out there right now.

  9. fwiw  

    The Spec article doesn't say Annan was never supposed to come to campus—only the dinner. Very different things.

  10. for the record  

    I think "fascist" isn't the best term.

    "terrorist" is much more appropriate. these are hostage-takers, after all.

  11. suggestion

    Could Bwog maybe review some of the major cultures lectures that are presumably about to get axed from Core qualification? Some of the Islamic and Indian Civ intro courses are very very popular, including with people who probably wouldn't have taken such courses otherwise. What massive yet good lecture courses will be affected by no longer being applicable toward Core completion?

    Also, I don't think this whole thing should be called a hunger strike, per se. Some kids just decided to give up real food and eat ass instead.

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