Because Giving You the Day Off Would Be Silly

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Let’s be honest, Columbia: most of you voted for Barack Obama, and many of you would like to see the swearing in of Columbia’s first graduate to reach the Oval Office. Sadly, though, the first day of classes falls on the same day (January 20) as the inauguration, leaving you to wonder “why not give us the day – or at least the morning – off?”

The Columbia administration rejects your pathetic attempts at logic. Instead, according to an official PrezBo communiqué, they’ve decided to use the go-to method for all important university events: “a ‘Jumbo Tron’ screen will show the inauguration live on Low Library Plaza beginning at approximately 11:00 a.m.” The screening will take place “unless there are extremely severe conditions,” and hot chocolate and warm cider will be there to keep you (luke)warm. 

Of course, this entire post is predicated on the belief that PrezBo’s e-mail scribe meant to write “JumboTron,” not a gigantic 1982 movie (although it would be interesting to watch the inauguration parade as one big lightbike race). Full e-mail after the jump.

Dear fellow member of the Columbia community,

I write to invite you to join together in watching the historic Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama (CC’83) on Tuesday, January 20, 2009.  While other notable Columbians Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt and Gen. Dwight Eisenhower have served in the nation’s highest office, this non-partisan event will mark the swearing-in of the first Columbia graduate as President of the United States.  A “Jumbo Tron” screen will show the inauguration live on Low Library Plaza beginning at approximately 11:00 a.m.  Additional information to follow.

Hot chocolate and warm cider will be served.

No tickets or registration required.  Please carry your Columbia University ID with you throughout the day.  Like the inaugural on the Mall in Washington, the live broadcast event on Low Plaza will take place rain, snow or shine unless there are extremely severe conditions.  Please join us.

Visit <> for event details.


Lee C. Bollinger


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  1. Hmm.  

    Screw that, I'm going anyway.

  2. Stop Hating  

    This email made me love Columbia so much. I think it's great that they're doing something to accommodate all of us who wish we could be in DC. Let's just hope the screen doesn't have technical difficulties again!

  3. Not Jaded  

    Are you kidding? This is basically an invitation to skip class and hang out on the best day in the last eight years of world history. I don't have a TV or friends in DC, so it's actually really nice.

  4. agreed  

    I actually think this is a nice touch. At the very least it makes it easier to watch if I'm going back and forth to classes.

  5. Why  

    should we have a holiday for to watch some druggie get sworn into the highest position of gov? The guy can't even quit smoking. How can he be trusted to control the country if he can't even control his own body. Pathetic.
    Not everyone at columbia is a brainwashed self righteous liberal. Creating a special Obama day would be absurd and rejecting that is the one sane thing Bollinger has done this year.

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