Bring back the giant inflatable rat.

Name, School, Major Hometown: Irie Sentner, Columbia College, creative writing and political science, Durango, Colorado. 

Claim to fame: I was the 147th editor in chief of the Columbia Daily Spectator and president of Spectator Publishing Company, and I never wasted an opportunity to use the full title. 

Where are you going? I’ll be reporting for Politico in Washington, D.C.

What are three things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2028?

  1. By the time we get to college, many of us have spent our entire lives consumed by being the best we can be inside of a classroom. I’ve had the privilege of receiving a world-class education at Columbia, but I learned the most in the moments when I forced school out of my mind and hopped on the train, or skipped class to break news, or slammed shut my computer to spend time with people I love. 
  2. Find something you love, and chase it as far as you can. Devoting myself entirely to Spec was the hardest thing I’ve ever done — and I wouldn’t change it for the world. 
  3. Always lead with kindness, but accept that not everyone will like you. If all else fails, buying someone a Heights frozen marg goes a long way. 

“Back in my day…” RAs patrolled the halls listening for more than two voices in a dorm room, JJ’s and John Jay had a delivery app; if you missed your weekly COVID test, your green screen would turn red and you’d lose building access; Furnald was the quarantine dorm; no one gave a second thought to the giant inflatable rat; Summer A was a never-ending theme party; no one turned in a P4 because the grad students were on strike; the Mahattanville campus was desolate; Deantini, Boyce, and Bollinger reigned supreme; Columbia submitted data to U.S. News; the University President and Barnard President made themselves available for interviews with student journalists; and the NYPD never set foot on campus. 

Favorite Columbia lore? “It was 1968 that was a big turning point for Columbia. Columbia, like all universities, had protests. But the way they unfolded at Columbia had a devastating impact on the institution,” former University President Lee Bollinger told me in his exit interview. “The fact that police were called in to drag out protesters … and the controversies that arose around that were really very severe for Columbia.” 

What was your favorite class at Columbia? It’s a tie between “Truth and Facts” and “True Crime,” both taught by the wonderful Professor Elizabeth Greenwood. 

Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? Nice try, no comment. 

Whom would you like to thank? Every professor who showed me grace and understanding when Spec or my reporting had to come first; my friends, who sustained me, even when I was often too exhausted to give them anything in return; the Speccies — past, present, and future — for their constant grittiness in pursuit of the truth; and my family, for their unconditional support. 

One thing to do before graduating? Interview President Shafik? Just kidding… but the invitation is always open! 

Any regrets? I don’t believe in regrets, but maybe I shouldn’t have procrastinated my last final essay by writing something for Bwog. 

Irie via Irie