The CCSC president might forget his own age, but he still has wisdom to share.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Joon Baek, Columbia College, Computer Science + Physics (Regret to this day), Seoul South Korea

Claim to fame: Student Body President for CCSC (who got called out by Maddie for not remembering my age … smh), did some things for international students, other stuff

Where are you going? Staying in New York! Also, I am not a person to actively reach out to people first but I should. Before I graduate, I want to meet up with as many people as I could (hopefully getting vaccinated soon!) If you are in NY, and want to grab coffee or get dinner, just reach out to me & HMU!

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2025?

1. Utilize CPS. It’s part of your tuition. They have terrific counselors who can direct you to great resources.

2. Scroll through Columbia Library’s various archives. There might be some free resources that you missed! Especially if you are a fan of classical movies, check out Kanopy.

3. When you go to 1020, know that in the bathrooms, the cold water is from the faucet on the LEFT not RIGHT.  

“Back in my day…” They actually had Orgo Night (RIP) in Butler – let me tell ya it was a religious experience. They also had M2M and Cannons and Amigos. I can’t remember that much other than that. I’m a try-to-live-in-the-present guy. 

Favorite Columbia controversy? A Barnard student slept with Swae Lee after Bacchanal and things got wild. Also a guy had a restaurant in his dorm and got shut down by NYC. He even went on Stephen Colbert to talk about it! 

What was your favorite class at Columbia? CC with Prof. Nicole Callahan – amazing as always! Anonymity & Privacy with Prof. Bellovin in CS dept + law school – got me passionate about privacy. Classical mechanics with Prof. John Parsons – it was the only physics course that made any damn sense. 

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? Cheese. I realized this year that I might be lactose intolerant. 

Whom would you like to thank? My family, who supported me to study in America. My girlfriend who is always there for me. Lovely friends. The amazing eboard of CCSC for doing so much for this year. Latenite & its eboard for being a place to be all out weird. Beta for its brotherhood, lit parties, and amazing people. Folks at the Physics department for helping this old man with the psets and listening to me as I lament my life. CMI’s international tree for bringing the family together. Andrew Wells & thoughtful folks at the UCGT – loved hosting events & talks there. Sir Mike for his mixtapes. JJ’s amazing chicken quesadillas. Chicken Pad Thai at Miracle Thai on Broadway & HamDel’s Lewinsky. P/F policies. Prof. Mark Taylor of the Religion department for his insight and mentorship for my research project – could not have gone through last summer without him!

One thing to do before graduating: Finish global core. People can be full of shit so call them out on that. If your friend is moving then help them out. One thing NOT to do before graduating is taking the swim test drunk. 

Any regrets? Not going on a study abroad (well technically I am from South Korea so studying in the US is kinda like studying abroad). Having too many things on my plate to enjoy life and really hone in on select classes. Maybe I should have taken a leave of absence before this year. Oh well, it is what it is. 

If you ever were to regret anything, sit on it for 10 min, write that down, and move on.

Image via Joon