Remember Occupy Wallstreet?

Remember Occupy Wallstreet?

Wait, fall break is officially titled “Election Day Holiday?” Wtf? Whatever. You may have read our recent predictions about students’ 2016 presidential picks. This post is not about voting (which we assume all of you do). Bwogger and semi-pro mathematician Sarah Dahl calculates about what percentage of time you’ll be politically campaigning this break.

B-of-the-E Assumptions

  • Firstly, Columbia’s WiFi was overloading during the Democratic debate, meaning roughly 69% of what the speakers said was distorted, so most students have no idea what candidates’ actual positions are.
  • Because Columbia is an Ivy League school, assume approximately 75% of students come from the East Coast, therefore a large portion of students will be at home over break.
    • Assume that 72% of the students’ hometowns/cities are decidedly homogeneous, negating the need for political campaigning. The students to which this applies can stop reading here.
    • Assume the remaining 28% will spend break with friends and family (why would you go home to spend your time holding a sign by the side of the road?).
  • Of the 25% of students remaining on campus, assume 15% will spend the weekend exploring New York, the city we apparently live in.
    • [Stop reading if you identify as any of the following:] Of the other 10% on campus, assume 3% will stay in their rooms watching films/pleasure reading, 3% will revel in/document their celebration of the joys of empty libraries/dorm bathrooms/academic buildings, 3% will embark on cooking adventures in their hall kitchens using ingredients from MoWill and hastily bought pans from University Housewares , and 1% may engage in other unknown pursuits.
  • If you are part of this 1%, congratulations! You’ve made it thus far. Now, will you actually campaign this election holiday?
    • There are 120 hours during fall break. Subtract the 24 hours that constitute Halloween. Assume 50% of your remaining time will be spent sleeping, and 30% eating. This leaves 20% of free time during which you it is possible to engage in political activity.


  • If x number of students actually understand candidates’ political positions AND care enough to campaign for them, and these students have y number of free hours over break, x*y=total number of hours students will spend being politically active.
  • Assume 2% of student body identifies as Republican. Subtract this amount from final calculation.
  • .1*36,000*.15/96=~5.625 total hours students will collectively spend campaigning this break


  • Columbia needs to diversify its student body
  • Who cares about student political campaigners (do you think campaigning, especially by youth, actually converts anyone?)
  • As long as everyone exercises  their right to vote, our student body is doing just fine

Cute protesters in NYC, 2012, via Shutterstock