This past week, Daily Editor Kiana Taghavi had the pleasure of talking to three famous Columbia students: Ken Westrick, Kenny Ridwan, and Dylan Geick. All three of them are incredibly humble and well-accomplished. This is who they are and how they are making their mark on both the Columbia community and humankind as a whole:
Ken Westrick: Photographer/YouTuber/Social Media Connoisseur
Favorite spot in Butler: “My favorite spot is against literally the entire population of Columbia.” He really likes the Stacks on Floor 5.
Favorite bathroom on campus: The “super Ivy League, super extra” bathroom downstairs of Low Library.
Pet peeve: When people are late to things – even by just a few minutes. (Relatable!)
Pupin or Hamilton kind of guy: Pupin
Major: Double concentrating in Business and in Visual Arts
Future goals: He would love to work in the media industry, so he can be “producing content and creating.” He sees social media being a huge part of his life “because of the massive influence it has on all industries.”
The story behind his YouTube Channel: He used to be a decathlete, and got recruited to Columbia for track. While he was training, his coach was a professional photographer and inspired him to pick up a camera. He realized he truly enjoyed making videos, so he made a training diary for his first decathlon. He “loves telling stories through the medium of videos.” He admits that there was a “phase where [he] made a bunch of embarrassing vlogs.” Now, he does more advanced cinematography.
Most awkward encounter with a Columbia student: “Oh, you’re Ken from YouTube?”
Kenny Ridwan: Actor
A few words about your work: “I’m on television. I have played characters that range from a nerd to a superhero. I’m from Los Angeles, and I fly back every 3 weeks to work.”
Favorite dining hall: Ferris
Favorite bathroom: His own
Most awkward encounter(s) with a Columbia student: “I was in the Carman elevator, and a guy looked at me, and he said, ‘you’re Kenny right!?’ I said yes and was expecting the guy to introduce himself, but, instead, he just said ‘cool!’ Once, I was at a party, and a guy literally stopped me from dancing just to take a Snapchat with me. The thing is, I’m not even that well-known, right, so it just doesn’t make sense to me why someone stopped my having of a good time just to get a post on their social media.”
Pet peeve: When people look at him like a novelty.
Words of wisdom: Treat people like people: “I would like to be treated as your friend and your classmate, rather than as a souvenir.”
Why Columbia? He applied to Columbia early decision. He was attracted to NYC because, in a way, it reminds him of LA, where he lives. However, he wanted to go to college in New York, rather than in LA, so that he could pursue other interests besides his professional career.
Dylan Geick: Wrestler/Author/YouTuber
A few words about him: He is from the Chicago area, and is on Columbia’s wrestling team. He is considering studying English or Creative Writing, and has wanted to be an author ever since he was very, very young. He published a book called Early Works – A Collection of Poetry this past year. He has a profound passion for poetry; his poems are nontraditional love poems that focus on and articulate the relationships between love, desire, lust, and estrangement. He is the second openly gay D1 wrestler, which has contributed to his fame on social media.
Favorite dining hall: “Ferris. John Jay is hit-or-miss.”
Favorite bathroom: His own. He takes the longest showers.
Most awkward encounter with a Columbia student: “It’s a weird experience when I am not sure if someone knows me. One day, I walked out into the hall in Carman, and someone was playing one of my piano singing videos, and I looked at her, and she’s like ‘you’re really good!’”
Pet peeve: When people aren’t mindful of others’ space (i. e. when getting silverware in the dining hall and then someone reaches across your face).
Common complaints: Pre-judgment: he has to tailor his image to a really large audience, so he does not get to voice many of his personal opinions and beliefs. His Instagram is not a 100% honest representation of him, so it is frustrating when people judge him based off of his social media, rather than off of who he is in real life. Also, much of what he says can get (and has been) picked apart by the Internet.
Image via Public Domain