Pierre-Antoine gives us some CIRCA drama and contemplates the relationship between his Frenchness and cheese.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Pierre-Antoine, Quasi GS, Financial Economics, West Windsor, NJ

Claim to fame: I am that guy who tried to introduce balsamic vinegar shots at parties (I think I was successful to a degree).

Where are you going? Absolutely nowhere. I am going to keep living in my off campus apartment on 109th and just start working in a bank downtown.

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

  1.  No matter what people tell you, JJ’s is the healthiest spot on campus to eat- you just need to know how to order. Go up on the side and ask for grilled chicken on lettuce and tomatoes or anything you want. If you know the staff, and everybody knows the staff at JJ’s, they will make anything you want if you just ask. Just don’t get 3 big cups of gummy bears and M&M’s like I do.
  2. Do something you would never have expected to do while here. I was not athletic in high school at all, and then took up boxing and water polo here (perhaps the complete opposite) and loved them. Not to be cheesy, but they actually gave me some great friends and changed a lot for me. Try telling high school me I would like underwater wrestling and I would have laughed, but i wouldn’t do anything else now.
  3. Everyone talks about getting off campus, and that is totally right: do it. I had a rule that I had to see somewhere new in New York every Saturday afternoon. BUT also make sure to see stuff on campus. Go see theater pieces or concerts. Go see fashion shows and magazine publication parties. When in NY it is easy to forget how good some of the stuff we have right here is. Going to EC is great, but it isn’t the only thing to do here, and you would be surprised by how good most of your friends are at stuff.
  4. I am adding a fourth because I want to. Take everything seriously – except yourself. People can get so stuffy and serious here, but remember to take things in stride. If you don’t take yourself seriously and can laugh, but can simultaneously take your work, friendships, and everything else seriously, life will fly by amazingly.

“Back in my day…” We actually had physical classes and Bacchanal.

Favorite Columbia controversy? So am I allowed to mention CIRCA’s secret non-profit and bank account that blew up this year here? Because the admin was not too happy about it and it probably angered them more than marching band in the fall. Ask any of the club members for the details, it is worth the 3 hour story (and a Netflix adaptation).

What was your favorite class at Columbia? Photography 1, if only for the dodge darkroom, but also the Jahi (the Professor) is one of the chillest people I’ve ever met. He even offered us morning pizza multiple times, despite always being a bit late to class himself (not that any of us were mad, it gave us extra time to get to a 9:30 am class). I liked photography before, but using film and the darkroom taught us everything about it.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? I am French. I LOVE cheese. I know everything about it. Some would say it is the basis for my Frenchness. I am giving up cheese.

Whom would you like to thank? I want to thank the people in the Dual BA from my campus, Le Havre, that came with me. Coming to Columbia is jarring—especially halfway through and from a 300-person school, and those people have always been there for me. They went through the same freshman and sophomore year that I did, and even if we did not talk as much once here, I knew I could always go back and talk to them.

One thing to do before graduating: Finish going onto all the Columbia building roofs. I’ve only done some like the Low roof and the crawl space between the dome and the roof. It is awesome in there, and you will be amazed with how old some of the things in it are. (Quarantine will make this hard to finish.)

Any regrets? I’ve never actually had a drink at Mel’s. Should I have done that?

Late Butler nights via Pierre-Antoine Frotte