Senior Wisdom: Jonah Liben
Written by Bwog Staff
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Name, College: Jonah Liben, GS/JTS
Claim to fame: SGB, Hillel Israel Coordinator, Proud AEPi, Creator of a couple Butler 209 ASBs (Alternative Study Breaks). Also, Jody Zellman’s roommate (x3 years) — I’m pretty sure he nominated me for this…
Where are you going? A friend knows I was involved with some Organization of Pakistani Students (OPS) programming this year and she recently asked me if I have Brown Fever. I said hey girl, I straight up have Woman Fever. But the truth is, I do love my Zionist ladies. I’m going with my gut (see pic, it’s there) and after 5 years of deliberation and several months of bureaucratic paper work, I’m immigrating to Israel. On August 15th. Boom.
Three things you learned at Columbia:
1. Some of the best classes for majors are found in other departments. [Specifically, huge snaps to Profs McDermott and Awn. Now don’t get me wrong, I loved my MEALAC-that-overnight-added-another-continent-and-became-MESAAS dept, but give me break with some of that garbage.]
2. Regardless of whether you are a God fearing person or not, you should thank the lord every day for the existence of Barnard.
3. If you carry around a nalgene at all times and constantly refill, you can avoid sleeping for days while keeping your pee crystal clear.
“Back in my day…”…we crossed religious, racial, and ethnic divides and protested together against a ruthless dictator with a hawk named after him.
Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: I love Latin ballroom dancing. And Guster. And Boston sports. #MyHipsDon’tLie
Is the War on Fun over? Who won? Any war stories?
Pessimist answer: Admin made a power move and are taking away our brownstone (the 5 4 6) for two years. Very un-bro
Optimist answer: My birthday kegger last year spanned two full apartments, sent a girl to the ER (she almost lost a finger!), and was never shut down.
Final answer: No. As the War on Fun continues to change shape and attack us on all fronts, bringing the ruckus will also continually adapt and show up in creative locations and manifestations. Example, you ask? Simultaneously Timed Columbia Roof Parties. Good luck stopping this one, campus security! Consider- Butler. Milbank Greenhouse. NoCo. Diana. Uris. Schermerhorn. SIPA. Ruckus.
Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? Hate this question. Always did. Hate it! Impossible!
Advice for the class of 2015: You’re gonna encounter Said in several courses at Columbia. I don’t agree with everything he’s written, but here’s something I read by him for my first assignment in uni writing frosh year that I really took to heart and that basically sums up my university experience: “The world we live in is made up of numerous identities interacting, sometimes harmoniously, sometimes antithetically. Not to deal with that whole … is not to have academic freedom.” In other words, leave your comfort zones and challenge your personal views.
Any regrets? On another serious (and related) note, I regret not being able to do a better job bridging gaps between Pro-Palestine and Pro-Israel moderates on campus. I think I was too caught up trying to engage with certain radical elements and encouraging them to co-develop programming — something that proved to be a waste of time and energy. I should have been reaching out to students actually interested in constructive change from the start, even if that meant working outside of an official student group framework.