Jacob Kaplan began the crusade to end milk shaming at Columbia, but that’s not the only take he has to offer.

Name, School, Major, Hometown:

Jacob Kaplan, Columbia College, History, Washington D.C.

Claim to fame:

I wrote “It’s Time to End Milk Shaming at Columbia.” Also Third Wheel, Kingsmen, and I acted in/wrote the Varsity Show.

Where are you going?

Back to New York, God willing. Trying to fulfill my dream of becoming the first Jew in comedy. 

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2024?

  1. You can’t advocate for everything you think is right AND have everyone like you. The only exception I can think of is Matt Malone, CC ‘18. Great guy.
  2. You can always make time for something that’s important to you.
  3. You are going to meet people (at parties, in classes, etc.) whom you won’t become lasting friends with. You’ll remember who these people are, but when you see them you’ll pretend not to know them. You might fear that the other person won’t remember you, but they will. They probably just have the same fear as you. Acknowledge these people.

“Back in my day…”

Our mailboxes were in Lerner, Vine was alive and well (both of them), HamDel stayed open late, JJs closed at 1 am, it was just ‘Surf ‘N Turf’ (no Earth), Deantini still went to the Varsity Show, the nearest Shake Shack was by the Museum of Natural History, and there was no Columbia Buy Sell Memes. 

Favorite Columbia controversy?

I generally push back against the notion that Columbia’s administration is uniformly “evil” or “anti-student.” However, I thought it was hilariously draconian when they tried to dissolve the Marching Band. The whole thing felt like a Beginner Fiction Workshop submission where the professor commented, “Your villain is one dimensional and not believable. Who would dissolve a marching band for performing in a library? AND threaten to cut the students’ financial aid? What would they have to gain!?” 

Seriously, though, you know the administration was in the wrong when PrezBo wrote the student body to say he was reversing the decision.

What was your favorite class at Columbia?

Very tough. Honorable mentions go to “Shakespeare” (I & II) with James Shapiro, “US History 1940-1975” (Mark Carnes), and “Virginia Woolf” (Edward Mendelson). Anything taught by Rob King or Caterina Pizzigoni is also a good bet. For my money, though, first place goes to “Telling About the South” with the devastatingly brilliant Barbara Fields. 

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese?

Quarantine seems to have made the decision for me. Regardless, I’d say oral sex.

Whom would you like to thank? 

In order of appearance: My parents, Eli, Aaron, Jesse, Ade, Columbia dining staff, Louisa, Kingsmen, Third Wheel, Butler 209, Amelia, Jamie, Gus, V123, Sophia, Grace, Willa, Caroline, the custodian who let me study in Hamilton after it had closed, the Paris crew, Ruggles 301, Jake, V125, EC 2014, Spec, the 2019 Washington Nationals, and Randlanta Board.  

One thing to do before graduating?

Hang out with your friends on the Broadway Median Strip.

Any regrets?

Of course. Gladly, it’s lots of little stuff. Not taking a class solely because it seemed hard. Never creating a Facebook group to promote comedy events and clubs at Columbia (seriously, someone should do this!). Never telling Fausta I loved her.