Will doesn’t use three-in-one shower gel, and that’s how you know he’s truly wise.
Name, School, Major, Hometown: Will “Yonnell” Connell, THE Columbia College, History, and Philly (unless you’re from Philly, in which case I’m from South Jersey right outside Philly).
Claim to fame: I’m the mascot, I didn’t write anybody up in the three years I’ve been an RA, I hydrate, I pee sitting down, I sleep eight hours per night, and I’m kinda known for chugging Franzia and personally funding Lion’s Head Tavern.
Where are you going? I was going to say hell, but honestly I have a hunch god has a solid sense of humor, and I’m not THAT bad of a person. I’ll take those odds. But in the meantime you can catch me on a GoBus to visit Riva, probably.
What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2023?
1. You’re not strong enough for a 10:10 — stick with 11:40
2. Everyone’s a little gay — maybe even you ;)
3. And I really cannot emphasize this enough: school isn’t that important. Get sleep, go out, study less, have fun more. Summa cum whatever is a ponzi scheme.
“Back in my day…” That tree over at Barnard was still there, Rafael Ortiz was a household name, JJs wasn’t 24/7, Milstein didn’t exist, alcohol was banned, women had just been given the right to vote, Woodrow Wilson was ousted, The Great War was over, no one understood how credit would impact the stock market, and Lou Gehrig and the Great Bambino led the Bronx Bombers to the World Series. Life was good.
Favorite Columbia controversy? No one talks about it, but like… we built an atomic bomb in Pupin. That happened. Wtf.
Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: I’m a man AND I don’t use three-in-one shower gel.
What was your favorite class at Columbia? This one’s for my fellow White men: take Neferti Tadiar’s Critical Approaches. Unlearning preconceptions about the power dynamics that shape the world we live in, and learning our implicit complicitness therein challenged me to rethink my identities and the space I take up in every sense of the phrase. But also take Floor Hockey as your gym class. That shit was so fun.
Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? I’m uncircumcised, no need to choose.
Whom would you like to thank? I am beyond grateful to the incredible dining hall and facilities staff who fed us and cleaned up after us every day. Shoutouts also to my amazing sisters, my love Riva, the professors who were chill, cool (and hot) TAs, brew crew, my loving family, the Kingsmen, my awesome friends, the 2017 Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles, the bartenders of Lion’s Head Tavern, my future dog Bao, my dead cat Echo lol, that guy who threw a shoe at George Bush, and god (in case you’re real).
And to John and Colleen Connell, I’m so glad you went on that Catholic retreat to West Virginia like 40+ years ago, that you, mom, liked dad’s butt enough to say hi, that you two liked each other enough to get married in 1982, and that you were so set on having four kids. As lucky number four, it quite literally means the world. Love you both, forever grateful.
One thing to do before graduating: Transfer! Stop taking yourself seriously! Pregame your classes! Say thank you to the people who make your food and clean your floor! Experiment! Just for the love of christ please don’t work at Goldman Sachs!
Any regrets? Not throwing a shoe at Prezbo.