Our next Senior Wisdom comes from something of a celebrity. We give you Ryan Morgan or, as he’s fondly known by Bwog, “Blunts in Butler.”


Ryan Morgan/Adam Scott

Name, Hometown, School, Major: Ryan Morgan, Scranton, PA, SEAS, Civil Engineering

Claim to fame: I occasionally wear very flattering skinny burgundy pants and look like Adam Scott in Parks and Rec (thanks Columbia Admirers). I was also the only SEAS kid on the Columbia Democrats e-board in recent memory (ever?). I make intermittent appearances in the Huffington Post to write about infrastructure policy (sexy, I know).

Where are you going? So. Far. Two whole blocks north of campus. I’m still living in the best UWS neighborhood for nightlife grocery shopping for the foreseeable future.

I’m going to be working for the Port Authority as a structural engineer. I’ll be making the commute to their Newark office until they relocate to 4 World Trade Center sometime later this year.

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2018?

1) Take advantage of Election Day break. It’s your chance to make your voice heard by participating in the electoral process. Whether it’s here in New York, back home, or somewhere else, go volunteer for a candidate or support a ballot initiative that you really believe in.

The Columbia Democrats run a campaign trip every year to another state so students can have a free opportunity to join a campaign. I’ve gotten the chance to be part of trips to Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Virginia and work for candidates at every level of electoral politics including President Obama. These trips not only offer a unique chance to get involved in the election, but also a sense of community. If you feel strongly about progressive issues, don’t think twice – just sign up. (Full disclosure: I was on the Dems’ e-board for two years and I helped run the most recent trip to Virginia.)

2) Get out of Butler. It’s cliché, but please just do it. Granted, there are some days when you really do need to use the resources that can only be found in a full service library. Explore the other study spaces around campus – if it’s a dreaded sunny day, go outside. Sit on the Diana patio or use the tables outside Hartley and Wallach. It’s not cool to perpetuate the competitive stressing that comes with bragging about how many hours you spend in 209 or whatever godforsaken room you can find a seat in.

3) Take a walk. Morningside Heights is like one giant park; take advantage of it. In the middle of finals, clear your head by heading over to Riverside and enjoy the amazing views of the Hudson and a pleasant breeze. The view from Morningside Park over most of Manhattan and beyond is also a worthwhile distraction. Quiet walks around the neighborhood keep me sane despite Columbia’s best efforts.

“Back in my day…” SEAS kids took Gateway – whatever that was… Four Loko was everywhere. By everywhere I mean somewhere mixed up in the vomit on the floor of the Carman or John Jay elevator on Sunday morning.

Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: www.overheardcolumbia.com

Write your most memorable note from the field: I once saw a student void his bowels before making it to the toilet in Butler. He proceeded to take his soiled pants off in the middle of the bathroom and rinse them out in the sink. He then put them back on and went back to study as if nothing had happened. Have you ever wondered why Butler smells that way? I thought so.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? Have you ever even tried pizza? Sorry, ladies.

One thing to do before graduating: Nude scrambled eggs and milk blunts wine and cheese in Butler.

Any regrets? Sometimes I regret not becoming closer friends with the people in my own academic department. It turns out that not many engineering students are particularly interested in politics, so my extracurricular pursuits tended to diverge quite a bit from my classmates. Good thing I’m also a poli sci minor.

I also regret never petting one of Prezbo’s dogs.