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WTF, Columbia: Rights of the Accused

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CCSC unveiled WTFColumbia, an excellent idea for innovative solutions to campus problems. But as commenters know, the best way to publicize an issue is to complain anonymously on the Internet. So we’re starting a series of students’ experiences with the worst of Columbia, from financial aid to Event Management to advising. If you have any stories of your own to share, send them to tips@bwog.com or use our anonymous form. First up, an experience with the fallout from smoking weed.

Over winter break, I smoked weed in my room, left, came back a few hours later, and fell asleep. As far as I knew, that was the sum total of the night’s events. But a month and two days later, an email popped up in my LionMail inbox, informing me I had a “conduct meeting” with my dean over my alleged “possession and use of illegal drugs.”

As it turns out, a fellow resident had detected the smell of marijuana that night and found it sufficiently offensive to call the RA, who showed up with two other RAs in tow, decided—with the resident’s help—that the smell was coming from my door, and wrote up an incident report naming me as likely offender. Leaving aside the issue of whether I was responsible (I was, and I accept that) and why someone felt the need to call the RA (it was a sucky thing to do, but breaking the law kind of forfeits my moral high ground), I’d like to call the readers’ attention to how Res Life, or the dean, or whoever handled that paperwork deep in the bowels of Lerner’s upper floors, decided to handle that situation.

When a student is accused of breaking the law, he or she probably deserves to be told about it. When a document accusing a student of breaking the law is on record with Columbia’s administration, he or she definitely deserves to be told about it. And not informing said student for over thirty days that the administration suspects them of breaking the law is, for lack of a better phrase, fucked up.

I’m not the only person who’s been through this, either; at least one more person on my floor was written up for allegedly smoking weed (she hadn’t) and wasn’t informed of it until she was called into a dean’s office. If it’s the policy of Columbia’s administration to deal with isolated incidents by hauling students in for hearings weeks after the fact with almost no prior warning, it’s something students deserve to know about.

That’s why this post is here: to let students and the administration know some of the messed up things that happen on campus, and to give students an outlet for airing their grievances. If you’ve got a story of your own to share, send it in to tips@bwog.com. Anonymity is guaranteed.

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27 Comments

  • pro-tip says:

    @pro-tip unless your room is completely airtight, your floor-mates can smell weed when you’re smoking it. aside from the Columbia shenanigans (which are pretty shitty), if you’re looking to avoid getting reported, go smoke in a place where you know people won’t mind.

  • BC '13 says:

    @BC '13 The author made it clear that the point of the story was not about the fact that he/she smoked weed and got called out for it. It’s the fact that the conduct meeting is weeks after the fact and he/she was never informed of being written up.

    But I would like to address the fact that a fellow resident contacted an RA — before you contact an RA about things, why don’t you just try to talk to your fellow residents about possible conflicts? I often feel like people at this school try their very best to be as horrible as possible, and I don’t get why. Thoughts?

  • Current RA says:

    @Current RA Um, so did they not knock at the door to see if the resident was there and let them know this was documented? This is definitely against the procedural guidelines for RAs, and I’m one who errs on the side of bending rules.

    Response to BC ’13: A lot of residents don’t know how to take control of their environments or do not want to interact with other people in their community at all.

    1. also current RA says:

      @also current RA Resident said was sleeping—RAs probably knocked and got no answer. Of course, if this happened now-a-days we’d have to call public safety to key in…

      1. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous That Key In stuff is bull shit. Unless you have my permission or you think that I’m dead or that there is a fire, please don’t enter my space.

        1. sorry, but contracts exist says:

          @sorry, but contracts exist and it isn’t your space, except maybe insofar as it isn’t other students’ space

  • snitches says:

    @snitches get stitches

  • santamonious jerk says:

    @santamonious jerk “And not informing said student for over thirty days that the administration suspects them of breaking the law is, for lack of a better phrase, fucked up.”

    shut the fuck up you whiney bitch. you broke the law. you do not deserve to be pampered in the process leading up to your hearing. You know what this is? You know what this post epitomizes? Entitlement. Entitlement from concentrate. THE VERY SAME ENTITLEMENT THAT IS ERODING THIS NATION.

    You think you’re entitled to smoke weed and then you think you are entitled to to being informed about your hearing regarding your infraction. Give me a fucking break.

    @BC’ 13. Yes, people here do there very best to be inconsiderate shits. People are oblivious to how they may be bothering others in their ruthless personal pursuits. I’ve had neighbors in John Jay that smoked weed, played horrifically loud music, and violated all other res life rules and didn’t give a crap.

    That aside, there is solace in knowing they get really surprised the day that they get called to a hearing. It’s like they get slapped in the face. Repeatedly. With a pan. Those oblivious little shits…

    1. hey I know! says:

      @hey I know! u mad, bro?

    2. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous @santamonious jerk: “santa”-monious

    3. sancti not santa says:

      @sancti not santa Sounds like satire, but on the off chance it’s not, I’ll bite. Couldn’t agree more. There should be a field on your housing app that asks, ”Am I an inconsiderate piece of shit?” Once they put all the inconsiderate people together on the same floors, these clowns will discover that you can’t rationally will inconsiderate behavior to be a universal maxim.

      1. Anonymous says:

        @Anonymous Shut up, Kant

      2. anon says:

        @anon Anyone who cares about the smell of weed on their floor obviously needs a toke or two.

  • This is says:

    @This is Dumb!

    You were notified of this. The timeframe involved was a bit long, but it wasn’t like a record was kept and you were never notified. You acknowledged that this occurred over winter break. Ever think that it takes time to process through these types of incidents and when one occurs during winter break it might take longer?

    Want to prevent this from happening? Don’t smoke weed and disturb your neighbors!

  • solution says:

    @solution edibles

  • blunts in butler says:

    @blunts in butler Dude, just roll up some dryer sheets and put them in an old paper towel tube. Blow the smoke out through the tube. Smells like laundry fresh.

  • Weed pro tips says:

    @Weed pro tips Use a pocket vape if you don’t want anyone outside of the room to smell your herb. The dragon lite vaporizer (ignore the cheesy branding) starts at $35 and it performs better than an MFLB. If you’re St. A’s material, the pax vaporizer is $200-something.

  • OldAlum says:

    @OldAlum When I went to Columbia, we were able to smoke weed on the steps. Smoking weed in our rooms was a given and nobody cared! Hell, the RA’s smoked with us.

    But weed was just the tip of the iceberg. I remember one day when our entire dorm did mushrooms. I mean everyone. It was a memorable spring Saturday!

    1. IK says:

      @IK and the carman mezzanine used to be an opium den! good times my friend, good times.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous This shit along with the covering up of Tejraj Antooa’s suicide is why I will never give money to this school so long as these people are still here.

    Prez Bo convincing the undergraduate that he’s a cool guy who cares about them is the most impressive con I’ve ever seen.

    Shollenberger’s not much better. Keep posting videos of you eating nutella and keep ignoring everything else on this campus.

    1. cc 14 says:

      @cc 14 goddamn right. you give me hope, as a peer.

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Need advice about receiving head: so, obviously I want her to swallow. But I can’t just say that. So do I tap her on the shoulder when I’m about to finish? Last night I didn’t, and right as I came in her mouth, I ended up with my seed on my chest. And I didn’t even get that last excruciating bit of orgasmic pleasure, because she’d stopped sucking as I came.

    1. Confused says:

      @Confused lol

      umm…what?

    2. Anonymous says:

      @Anonymous can we favorite this please? It’s absurd

    3. lol says:

      @lol “my seed”

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous This sounds like an Ask Alice question.
    I’d say just talk to her, and ask what she thinks about it. Ask what would you like us to do when I ejaculate? This shows honesty, open communication, RESPECT, and appreciation, and for the most part that’s what people want out of any sexual relationship.

    Do not do anything that she has not verbally consented to! Remember silence isn’t consent. Not talking to her about what she is ok and not ok with doing sexually is extremely disrespectful and promotes rape culture.

    (Also, if you haven’t already, both of you should get tested for STIs.)

  • Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous Looks like I’ll need to take some precautions before bringing an ounce next year…

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