Thomas shat in front of WHO?

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Thomas Saenz, Columbia College, Art History / Political Science, Anaheim, CA

Claim to fame: Doing shit at the Met, shitting in front of Anna Wintour… lots of shit. Also the guy that signs everyone in at the Lerner front desk.

Where are you going? Law school! Pour one out for another victim of the humanities major to law school pipeline.

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

1.     Take advantage of everything you can do on Columbia’s dime. Seriously. I got to visit Germany for a week for *free* because of the art history department. This institution is worth billions, so it does not hurt to ask for funded research, MetroCards to get to off-campus events, or even free shirts. Make Columbia’s pockets hurt!

2.     Always make time for yourself and for others. Your worth isn’t based off how many assignments or readings you can get done in one day – learn when to say “fuck it” and take a break. Nietzsche and Hegel won’t be there for you (sorry!), but your friends will. Self-care and checking in with those you care about are a lot more productive than you think they are.

3.     Don’t start day-drinking for Bacchanal at 9 A.M. Please.

“Back in my day…” Hewitt wasn’t overrun with CC men, you could sneak food out of JJ’s through the back elevator, and Amigos fishbowls were still a thing.

Favorite Columbia controversy? When Barnard told everyone without A.C. during a heatwave to eat cucumbers or find somewhere else to sleep.

What was your favorite class at Columbia?  Pre-Columbian Art and Architecture with Lisa Trever. Literally take any class you can with Dr. Trever. Other than that, University Writing with Montana Ray and American Government Architecture with Daniel Abramson were great as well.

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? You know those people who love to tell you they’re lactose intolerant yet still continue to eat dairy? That’s me. Cheese all day, every day.

Whom would you like to thank?

My family for constantly providing me with a support system during the past four years.

Zoe and Sophia, for dealing with my bullshit antics over the years.

The entire Lerner team and staff – y’all have become like a second family to me. From getting me coffee for my 11p-3a shifts, to helping with the craziness that was Lerner basement parties, thank you for always being there for me.

Everyone at JJ’s: self-explanatory.

My professors who were not afraid to challenge the norms of academia. To Dr. Trever in particular, thank you for helping me find space within the world of art history to see the works and stories of artists that are often left out of this institution.

One thing to do before graduating: Spend some time doing things on campus that push you out of your comfort zone (within reason)! Whether that be with clubs, classes, friends, or hookups, the world is your oyster.  

Any regrets? Not eating enough Hungarian pastries. Damn it.

Image via Thomas