From the balcony

Written by

kasdinBwog arrived at City Hall for the second time as the last members of the full group were making their floor speeches and the votes were being tallied. Lacking a press pass and Zach’s good timing, your correspondent hiked upstairs to the balcony to find everyone in the administration who has anything to do with expansion arrayed on one side, and the war-weary Coalition to Preserve Community members sitting dejectedly on the other. “I’m waiting,” Senior Executive Vice President Robert Kasdin (pictured) said to a colleague before the final count was announced. “I’ve been waiting for five years.”

After the numbers were called and Speaker Christine Quinn reminded everyone that the holiday party would be starting in 15 minutes, security herded the crowd out of the balcony area. “Merry Christmas Robert Jackson! You just sold out Harlem!” a protester shouted. “You will never be mayor of New York City!” another followed up. Familiar strains of “Har-lem, not for sale!” trailed them weakly down the steps.  

On the way out, Bwog was handed a press release with PrezBo’s response to the vote that had happened minutes before. “As a result,” it read, “not only will our universities continue to attract creative minds with the determination to advance knowledge in the service of humankind; they will remain a vibrant source of good, middle-income jobs for a diversity of people seeking to improve their lives there.” 

A merrier Christmas to you, President Bollinger.




  1. CC '07

    Columbia may get Manhattanville, but I'm a little jealous of Barnard right now:

    All I got was a lame greetings card with a donation form. How tactless...

  2. observer  

    notice there are no images of the gigantic hole in the ground.

  3. interesting

    Lately is seems that all Bollinger does is issue Manhattanville press releases.

  4. does anyone know

    the vote tally / who voted against and who abstained?

  5. Columbia donations  

    Columbia should do a much better job with attracting donations not only from prominent insanely wealthy alums (which we appreciate), but also our thousands of very well off individuals that could afford to through a thousand dollars our way every once and a while.

  6. i know  

    bwog doesn't do endorsements, but they really just ought to come out against the expansion officially -- this game they play is just annoying.

  7. Who gives

    a shit. We won they lost. Progress and enlightenment will not be stopped by a bunch of worthless members of our campus who hunger strike or Harlem landlords posing as embittered tenents

    • It kind

      of seems like some expansion supporters think of Manhattanville the same way that George Bush does Iraq.

      "Progress and enlightenment?" You need to settle down.

      • EAL  

        Um, not really. But the opponents who think expansion is some kind of "big, bad Light Blue imperialism" are the types who need to settle down. They are naive and generally worthless members of this campus who contribute nothing to the community here but discord.

        #12 is right. Well done, sir.

  8. mmmm  

    Yeah, tons of parallels between Manhattanville and Iraq. Strawman activate

    The neighborhood was getting developed in the next decade or so one way or another. Its way better that its Columbia, which does its best to work with the local people, rather than a developer that doesn't give a shit. These people should have worked with Columbia more, but all in all not bad

  9. arkadevich  

    i really don't understand how much repeating this point bears, but nobody, not SCEG, not CB9, not CPC is actually against the prospect of the area getting developed, or Columbia developing it.

    the idea of Columbia developing it is a given fact accepted by all parties involved. The question always was and continues to be... how do they do it? Do they negotiate benefits with people who are legitimate representatives of the community? Do they live up to their responsibility to mitigate displacement and environmental impacts?

    The assumption that without pressure, without protest, Columbia is going to magically respect and have the best interests of its neighbors in has absolutely no basis, either in the concrete history of the university, a reasoned analysis of how powerful institutions work or in basic logic.

    oh, and bwog anti-expansion? please.

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