April 22, 2013
Really, why don’t we merge?

My fellow students, I agree with Mr. Lanbo Zhang: we’re kidding ourselves. For all of the defensiveness and attacks, for all of the controversy and contention— Columbia and Barnard are one school, and we should make that the case not just in theory, but also in practice.

I think it’s time Columbia became a part of Barnard College.

It’s obvious that this has been coming for years now. Columbia has been going downhill.  Inefficient academic bureaucracy? Drug-busted frats? Five-thousand dollar Nutella? The signs are everywhere.

I went to Hamilton earlier this week. The elevator line crowded the lobby. The walls and floors were scuffed beyond belief. The distinct lack of plastic potted plants (a serious aesthetic issue) was entirely unfortunate. When are they going to get a wrecking ball in here and just level the place, already? Maybe then they can at least add an elevator that fits more than three people at a time, in a building that plays host to hundreds each day.

As we move into the future, I can’t help but wonder how Columbia can justify its continued existence alongside a school such as Barnard. Columbia is truly a university stuck in the past: a past of patriarchal bullshit, and a past where poorly-researched collegiate elitism and general misogyny can still be published in the newspaper. Meaningless rhetoric and attachment to the Columbia brand-name aside, what does the university really have going for it? Certainly not its facilities, its close relationship with the student body, or even its community spirit. Well, maybe the football team? Oh, wait…

And seriously, what difference is there between a large research university and a close-knit liberal arts school, anyway? None at all. What need is there for a co-ed institution that so poorly educates its male students so as to produce men unable to understand the need for a women’s school in a world where 51% of the population has only 18% of the seats in the Senate, and just 17% in the House. In a world where a woman trying to talk about misogyny in video games ends up dealing with threats of rape, murder, and a game about punching her in the face. In a world where Heidi Klum can save the lives of her nearly-drowned son and nanny, and the only thing the media talks about is that her nipple slipped out of her swimsuit. How can Columbia believe that they are “educating” respectable men who make comments such as: “Barnard girls are either dumb, rich, or (most of the time) both.” (See comments section here.)

You Columbia students will also be much happier under the Nine Ways of knowing. I can’t for the life of me understand why anyone would want to be forced to take certain classes when they could have the option of taking a variety that allows for personal interest. And it’s not like classes taught by Barnard professors are any different, anyway! Particularly not in their attention to the plight of women and other disenfranchised parties, which are so oft overlooked in other educational experiences. Let’s be real: Columbia’s love affair with the intellectual pursuits of crusty old white cisgendered heterosexual men is quaint, at best.

I have no experience with Columbia health and counseling services, and even minimal with the ones here at Barnard, but I feel confident enough in my knowledge of both of these things to say that the services here at Barnard are vastly superior.

Honestly, this merge is completely logical. Columbia is having serious issues with educating their students in respect for differences and general decency. Their moral fibre is in shambles, and with Barnard’s strong philosophy and drive to end the proliferation of misogynistic attitudes from young men who think they know what’s best for other people, it’s obvious what the solution is: It’s high time that we cease being “Barnard College” and “Columbia University”, and finally become Barnard University.

Columbia, don’t be in denial. You know it’s true.


Brooke Jaffe is a proud Barnard Junior majoring in English. She is an occasionally snarky writer who does, actually, have a lot of love for her awesome friends at Columbia University, even if she does get sick of the privileged non-Barnard student contingent telling her college what is ‘best’ for them. Her interests include sticking it to the man and writing silly satire at 2AM.

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    This is amazing
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