We were going to launch a campaign to round up all you summer readers and bring this urgent question to the President’s attention. Then the heat got the better of us or something, but it’s the thought that counts right?
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@Anonymous My experience has been pretty terrible here, I have to admit. I never felt a sense of community but rather that everyone was out for themselves. One of the things that frustrated me the most was right when you enter as a freshman everything is a big celebration: NSOP, banners, welcome signs, balloons, music. Then, after three months, it all goes downhill so fast you never saw it coming. It was deceptive not just for the students who end up feeling it the most, but also the parents who think they left their children in a bright community teeming with life. It’s the opposite. People stop talking to each other, the frequency of parties dies down, and you’re left sitting in your room with nothing to do in the evening, fast. It’s a WTF moment that I think the majority of freshman experience.
@CC'13 i don’t know if i buy this. i’ve heard people complain about the lack of community, but when i became an RA, it seemed like people had ZERO interest in coming to my events-and i’m talking free good food in the lounge, here, not some crazy elaborate trip no one has time for. so i don’t get that. and in terms of student experience…this is a tough place, no one pretends it isn’t. keeping up relationships takes work just like keeping up with school does. i’ve found that if YOU talk to people they talk back, if YOU try to make plans, everyone ends up drunk on a tuesday playing taboo. i have a lot of problems with the bureaucracy, but when i hear these kinds of complaints i have no patience. sometimes everyone’s busy and that sucks, but sometimes you just have to take some initiative.
@Anonymous i don’t think the original OPs point was regarding lack of community – there are avenues that exist where you can largely mitigate that, like student groups, classrooms etc. i think CU’s faults are largely structural but to an extent can be blamed on a few problematic personalities and offices. in terms of the latter, of the top of my mind i can think of chaplain davis’s uncalled attack on postcrypt coffeehouse last year (and a time-honored columbia tradition) because of a stupid comment on bwog (and i know they weren’t the first, nor will they be the last). Dean christin-kromm’s attack on RA’s a couple years back. in terms of the structural, much has already been said but there is very visible balkanization of the university and it does impact peoples lives – i had to see a very close and brilliant friend of mine suffer through 4 years of engineering curriculum even though she hated it and would rather been studying history but sadly columbia refused to allow her to switch end of freshmen year. she had a terrible experience and i can’t think of academic freedom being compromised like that at similar-caliber universities. then there are problems with the curriculum – BS courses like frontiers of science need to go.
there are similar complaints in other posts, many of them personal and negative experiences but all i see is that a lot of people have had what should have been the best time of their live negatively impacted in some meaningful manner. maybe others had a better experience but i don’t think we can just discount these complaints as trivial
@Jumbo Shrimp “original OP” ? PIN Number? ATM machine?
@Anonymous First, I only like your post compared to the others, because you’re the only one that actually explained problems in the school (balkanization of the university, and bs courses).
However, I don’t see how the school is so balkanized. I empathize with your friend who had to suffer through engineering, because I too, as a SEAS student, do not appreciate the strict restrictions opposed on exploring both CC curriculum and SEAS curriculum. If by sophomore year you realize you don’t like engineering, too bad. You have to pick a major by October, and the school kinda says suck it. That’s not cool, but I’m pretty sure most people are not as affected by our school’s duality. Most college students seemed to be pretty happy where they are (probably because they have much more options to chose from), so I find it hard to believe that people are saying the administration is crappy because they can’t switch between the schools.
About the core…I personally think it’s unnecessary. University Writing, as many students believe, is a little insulting to our intelligence. I don’t know what Lit Hum is like, but I don’t believe that mythology stories are so useful that the entire college class has to read about everyday for a year. Frontiers of Science sounds awful. IMO, most of the cc core appears attempts to inflate the students egos by telling them that they are now cultured because of Columbia.
On the SEAS of the core, while I agree that a good engineer should understand Calculus, Physics, and Chemistry, I think the strict requirement of the three is unnecessary for students who can prove they know the three well enough to begin there major. I think Columbia fails to see that many of their freshman would gladly jump straight into engineering courses and that most of them are capable of beginning intro engineering courses. At other schools this is not really the case; engineering students at other colleges often are lacking in the fundamentals of science, but when it comes to Columbia SEAS, it’s rare to find a student who hasn’t taken Calculus, Physics, and Chemistry and understands it at a fairly decent level. I think Columbia should implement the students into engineering earlier.
I do think our school fails at preparing us for the job market. Little is done to actually teach students about the ins and outs of getting an internship, doing research, and then finding a job upon graduation…or even where to look for a job. LionShare is very disorganized, especially considering it’s run by one of the most prestigious universities in the world. You would think with it’s reputation, students here would get a little more respect when it came to job hunting, but no. Columbia questions our ability to pick courses for ourselves, forcing us to take the classes they want us to take right off the bat, but when it comes actually using the well-rounded “skills” that music hum (roll eyes) taught us, we’re expected to know better and get off our asses.
This school at times could suck a dick
@just a thought Lighten up, Francis.
You bash the core, especially University writing and Music Hum… then you misuse the homonym there for their.
Also, if you think that your eventual boss or boss’ boss will be impressed by your encyclopedic knowledge of Vampire Weekend and Lil Wayne, relative to Mozart, then the rolling of the eyes will be on you. Music and Art Hum provide touchpoints of culture for generations of Columbians. Thinking that you’re too hip for music of the past will only make you look like the tool you really are.
@Anonymous Umm…I’m not sure what you mean by calling me Francis.
I’m still not convinced that the core is that great, because University Writing in my opinion is not necessary for most Columbia students since we proved that we are capable of University-level writing when we applied. You may argue that that’s not true for all beginning students, but for those students who haven’t, that level of writing is not that far because he/she has shown the drive to learn.
I never said I had an encyclopedic knowledge of Vampire Weekend and Lil Wayne and I hope my boss will not be impressed that. I also hope my boss my will not be impressed by a knowledge of Mozart. Unless, I’m hoping to be in the philharmonic, what the fuck does that have to do with the job. I would much rather my boss be impressed by that extra class I took that was related to what I want to do in life; that extra class that was available because I didn’t have to take Music Hum…oh wait…
By the way, you could suck a dick too.
@umm i think shit dies down because you go into midterms/finals/papers and it’s school dammit, study a little?
if not, make different/better friends. there are people at columbia always looking to cause trouble.
@Anonymous i don’t doubt that the CU administration gets in the way of certain people at certain times, but my personal experience with them as been pretty fine, if not event-free. if it matters, im SEAS
@Anon Can someone elaborate on all this hoopla about how Columbia’s administration sucks?
@to be young Lol@prefrosh
@You know The lube the hand at at NSOP, well, let’s just say it’s not for the sex you won’t be having. It’s for the butthurt provided by CU.
@Anonymous There’s free lube at nsop? Is it too late to apply to be an OL?
@Alum I’m glad he won’t come to CU. Hopefully adding his name to the long list of other, less notable grads who also hate the administration will finally force some sort of realization that they need to not treat the undergrads like shit.
@alum '11 thank you. after my horrible experience here, i hope obama never comes back to columbia. not until the administration stops treating undergrads as consumers and wakes up to the hordes of disaffected alumni out there
@Anonymous well said.
@Another 2011 Alum Listen, I had issues dealing with Columbia’s bureaucracy, as well. But, overall, I had an excellent time at Columbia and in NYC. I met wonderful people, learned amazing things. It certainly wasn’t a picnic, but your comment makes me wonder if you took advantage of the good CU had to offer…
@... tried that once, i was told that if i wanted to do research and i wanted it noted on my transcript, i would have to pony up $4k. this place is constructed of 100% pure shit. the world would be a better place if it ceased to exist.
coming here was the biggest fucking mistake i have ever made in my entire life.
@shut up and stop whining. It’s a tough place, it’s an expensive place and no one hides that. If you made the wrong decision and were miserable – transfer.
@... spoken like a true child of privilege.
@Young Alum While I’m glad I went to Columbia and wouldn’t go so far as to say I was miserable there, everything I did in college I did 100% on my own, which is why I won’t ever donate money to this place. To some student groups maybe, but not the university.
Looking back, I’m grateful that I wasn’t pressured to be something I wasn’t–the absence of conformity is the best thing Columbia has going for it IMO–but students at other colleges, and not just the Ivies, enjoy themselves a lot more than Columbians do.
@Anonymous Is this exclusively a Columbia thing??
@Anonymous I’m torn.
1. Maybe you are just disaffected personally, and Columbia is totally fine. All students bitch about their schools and you are an expected minority.
2. Columbia really does kinda suck for undergrads and we are all missing out on stuff. It’d be hard to tell because we can only go to one school. That said, I bet you could tell from talking to friends from other schools.
@Anonymous It’s not that Columbia sucks or that the experience isn’t good; it’s that it’s not user-friendly. It’s like the difference between a Mac and a PC, or a well-designed website and a poorly designed one. No matter what, you can get what you want/need. But in one case you can get it fairly easily in a way that makes sense and works with you. In the other, it takes longer than necessary to get it, the process is illogical, it takes up hours of your time and produces an incredible amount of frustration, so much so that you almost wish you didn’t want/need the thing in the first place.
The Mac/PC comparison is especially accurate, because you really can do more things on a PC than you can on a Mac. PCs have more software than Macs do, and Columbia offers way more than the average college; I’d say there’s a high level and diversity of opportunity even among Ivy League/Top 20/whatever schools. PCs offer more freedom and less hand-holding (except the damn paperclip, but that’s another story). But dammit, Macs make way more sense, and make you want to punch them less often.
Columbia’s the PC. It makes no sense, it’s difficult to get what you need, and it constantly inspires a Hulk-like feeling of rage in everyone who deals with it. But you can get a whole lot out of it; you have a wider variety of “software” (internships in a million fields, great academics, great arts, great sciences, great humanities blah blah blah) good if somewhat patchy hardware (good facilities–mostly, beautiful campus, great faculty, great reputation, GREAT location), and a shitty operating system (the administration)
The thing is, Columbia could improve the customer (student) experience without sacrificing very much of the opportunity, and that’s what makes students hate columbia and not want to return or donate. I don’t think that there’s an unusually high number of miserable people at Columbia, I just think the administration contributes an unusually low amount to student happiness and an unusually high amount to student misery.
@FINALLY Well said. (And well said about the Mac/PC comparison, too…I love Columbia, I’m a PC, and wouldn’t have it any other way. But you voice the choice so well.)
@Anonymous Use Linux, fool.
i.e. the public library
@I'm A PC (but I'm actually a mac) But linux doesn’t fit into my analogy. Therefore it doesn’t exist.
@Anonymous How does the administration treat us like shit?
@Anonymous How does Columbia treat us like shit?
@Hmpg This is like…an anti-post.
@Anonymous How many hm’s per gallon does your negative attitude get?
@#sad (that’s you bwog)