Senior Wisdom: Amanda Erickson
Written by Bwog Staff
Amanda Erickson, CC
Claim to fame:
Former Spectator managing editor
Covering politics in DC for the Chicago Tribune this summer, then hopefully covering meetings about parking permits and roundabouts in a small town newspaper somewhere. Or else volunteering and backpacking from Argentina to Mexico.
Preferred swim test stroke?
Floating on my stomach and trying not to run into the person in front of me.
What are three things you learned at Columbia?
1. It’s worth giving the benefit of the doubt. Most people at Columbia really want to make things better, though they disagree pretty fundamentally about how to do that.
2. Checking your email several times an hour will not result in more frequent, interesting mail.
3. There really isn’t enough time to do everything you care about here, so you may as well choose one or two things you love a lot and accept that there will always be others you wish you had done.
Justify your existence in 30 words or less.
I give more hugs than the average Columbia student.
What was your favorite controversy in your time at Columbia?
I’m sort of partial to Ahmadinejad’s visit. There were so many issues to consider – the role of free speech on a campus, what academic freedom really means, and the horrible but subtle ways Americans’ prejudices against Islam play out at Columbia. It was also depressing to watch the media descend and in more than a few cases, distort (I’m looking at you Fox News) what happened here that day. It made me think a little more carefully about what role a press can and should play on a college campus.
What Columbia memory best exemplifies your college experience?
Promising my roommate (who kindly and valiantly tried for three years to establish some order in my life) I’d by home by 9, then spending most of the night at the Spectator office trying franticly to confirm that Ahmadinejad was coming to campus. Finally breaking the story, going to JJ’s afterwards, then getting home at 6 AM to read a book and write a presentation for an 11 o’clock seminar.
Which prof do you think would be the best kisser?
I’ve always had a thing for President Bollinger. Great hair and a penchant for defending the freedoms of the press. What more could a girl ask for?
Would you rather permanently give up oral sex or cheese?
I’m Italian. I’m pretty sure my grandmother would never cook for me again if I gave up cheese, and she makes very good meatballs and lasagna.
Days on Campus memory?
Taking a tour with a student who told us the architect who planned Lerner designed it so that students would run into each other on the ramps, befriend one another, and form lifelong bonds. Believing him and feeling a little disappointed when people didn’t stop and talk to me the first time I went to check my mail.
Not taking better advantage of student rush tickets. Never joining ROOTEd. Not spending enough time reading for history classes I loved. Spending too much time looking for my glasses or CUID. Not walking more places. And graduating too soon.