Senior Wisdom: Jonah Liben

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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.

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  1. Anonymous

    yesss- first post.
    Jonah Liben is the love of my life. Best senior wisdom

  2. Anonymous  

    making aliyah—BALLER MOVE
    you go Jonah Liben

  3. #1 fan  

    Jonah Liben ftwwwwwww


    is such a rockstar! He is such an unbelievable person, and an incredible individual to work with! So much love, Jonah!

  5. Anonymous  

    prof mcdermott is the best!

  6. Anonymous  

    Jonah Liben is the best. Also, everyone should spend more time bridging the gap between Pro-Israel and Pro-Palestinian moderates on campus.

  7. fellow senior  

    this is one of those senior wisdoms that make you wonder why you never met this kid! he seems awesome. solid senior wisdom, sir.

  8. jessica ruby  

    hey jonah

  9. dueaa  

    loves jonah! :)

  10. Anonymous  

    re: his advice for 2015 - what? I never encountered ANY Said in any of my classes

    • Anonymous  

      Really? I'm a science major and Said was discussed in my Lit Hum, U Writing AND CC classes. I even heard about his work while in high school. I imagine humanities students encounter his writings even more often. Getting well acquainted with him early is actually great advice.

  11. love love love  

    as if every girl wasn't already crushing on jonah.... jordy, you better watch yo back!

  12. offended student  

    i wish jonah would not objectify the ladies so. that is all

  13. random cc sophomore girl  

    usually i don't write these kind of comments but you are like my dream man. good luck in the world!

  14. Butler 209  

    wouldn't have been the same without Jonah Liben. love this guy.

  15. graduating senior

    this guy is the most offensive jerk that i have had the good luck not to encounter in my four years at columbia.

    he doesn't really think that he is clever.... does he????

    • Really?  

      You're judging someone's character based on their senior wisdom piece on bwog? Oh fellow graduating senior, I am concerned that you will not make in the real world....

  16. Anonymous  

    great job on senior wisdoms so far, bwog. each one has been fantastic!

  17. keepin' it real  

    "Brown fever" = racist + sexist

  18. Anonymous  

    oh, look: a naked hobbit.

  19. lame way

    to get out of the oral sex/cheese question... just sayin

  20. Anonymous  

    Jonah is the most amazing person and I will miss him like crazy. Rati-FREAKIN'-fied!

  21. Unamused

    That photo: trying too hard.

  22. Anonymous  

    why are all these girls fawning over him??? he seems like a disgusting pig!!!

  23. DS

    You're a douche lord, and it's pretty evident you dont get oral sex.


    good thing you are into Zionist girls because no other woman would be interested in your misogynistic crap! enjoy the cheese.

  25. ooffff

    going through a checkpoint is annoying enough as it is without having to lay eyes on that...

  26. ha!

    "I’m immigrating to Israel" + "leave your comfort zones and challenge your personal views" = HA

  27. Anonymous  

    gross.... dude you are revolting

  28. Angry Columbia Arab  

    After all the revolutions our people are making they think we can just "sit down" and "discuss" why Israel is "the only democracy in the Middle East." Gosh, they slaughtered people on the Gaza flotilla, did the Gaza massacre..and oh, all for the sake of getting them terrorists. What Jonah and his pro-Israel camp don't get is "immoral" is not equivalent to "moderate." We won't accept immorality or anyone who defends it. I refuse to sit down for an hour listening to you justify why Israel had the right to kill my people. That's just garbage and completely offensive. In fact it's incredibly disgusting. I don't go around trying to justify what terrorists do; be it Hamas or al-Qaeda.Yep, I am a "radical" angry Arab in Jonah's standards. Good luck harassing a bunch of Palestinian kids at a checkpoint or killing some more in Israel's attempt to "protect" itself. How do those people sleep at night?

  29. Jonah  

    Although you allege to know me and, based on your Tracked comment history, find me "immoral" and "offensive," not to mention "awkward" and "gay" (are these last two supposed to be insults?! For your sake, I hope not...), you clearly have not had a real conversation with me. Your nuanced description of me and 'the pro-Israel camp' proves this much.

    If you believe that Israel has the right to exist in the community of nations alongside an independent and sovereign Palestine, then there is probably a whole host of things you might be surprised to hear we actually agree on. If we disagree even on this fundamental principle, then yes in my mind this would probably make you part of the "certain radical elements" of campus I referred to up top...

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