Opinion | Columns

Why not merge?

On Monday, Barnard President Debora Spar announced the intention to demolish and rebuild Lehman Hall, so as to build sufficient space after some period of time in excess of 20 or 30 years.

I went to Lehman Library to check out a book earlier this week. The building’s facade is unsightly and the interior is dilapidated. No preservation society will fight to preserve the architecture for its aesthetic worth. The wrecking ball can’t hit soon enough, and I’m glad that President Spar has the good sense to plan ahead. 

Barnard’s finances have been in shambles for as long as any current student cares to remember. It is telling that in the same meeting in which Spar announced her intention to replace Lehman, she simultaneously voiced doubt about Barnard’s ability to pay the $150 million bill for demolition and reconstruction.

More importantly, as the 21st century moves along, I wonder whether Barnard can continue to justify its existence as an independent undergraduate school alongside Columbia College. Meaningless rhetoric and labels aside, I wonder whether in 20 or 30 years Barnard will be able to offer its students a college experience that is substantially or even noticeably different from one at Columbia College. I wonder whether it does right now.

I don’t want to compare mission statements or dwell on the merger between Barnard and Columbia that almost took place 30 or so years ago. We are told that Barnard is a small liberal arts college in New York and that Columbia is the big research university under whose umbrella Barnard resides. Yet beside the label and the rhetoric, I don’t see how the substance of a Barnard education necessarily differs from a Columbia College one. 

While different degree and major requirements exist, the classes that fulfill those requirements are often the same ones—with the obvious exception of Literature Humanities and Contemporary Civilization. Degree and major requirements are, by design, flexible and lenient enough to accommodate a wide variety of academic experiences. While Columbia’s academic program does not directly correspond with Barnard’s—that is to say there isn’t a Columbia equivalent for every Barnard requirement and vice versa—the differences seem to me more administrative and arbitrary than substantive.

I understand that there are minute differences between the Columbia College science requirement and the Barnard Laboratory Science requirement, and that the Global Core is slightly different from Cultures in Comparison. Yet, it is entirely possible that two students, one registered at Columbia, another registered at Barnard, can graduate with similar degrees, having taken many of the same courses. 

Having never used the advising, health, career, or any other support services at Barnard—and to be honest, having barely used the ones at Columbia either—I can’t speak to whether tangible differences exist between the two. However, I don’t think there are necessary and essential differences between the host of administrative and support services available on both sides of the street. Perhaps differences exist now, but there is no reason they have to. What differences there may be do not define Barnard or Columbia—they are incidental. 

If Columbia split its undergraduate support services in half, the first half catering to students whose names begin A-L, the second half catering to students whose names begin M-Z, there might be some differences in the quality of one half compared to the other half. However, that is not to say that the two halves will differ in kind. Barnard’s advising system might be in much better shape than Columbia’s, but that difference hardly merits a separate school. 

I can’t for the life of me figure out how the social life could be so different on the other side of the street. Living in womens-only dormitories could be seen as significant, but given that Barnard students have the opportunity to live off-campus or in Columbia residence halls, it is hardly an unshakeable pillar of the Barnard experience. The fact is that Columbia and Barnard share classrooms, we eat at the same restaurants, go out to the same bars, and ride the same subway trains. 

While a Barnard-Columbia merger might seem logical, it is more likely to be caused by economic reasons than one of educational philosophy. Barnard is in a rather dire situation—pools are being closed, doubles are being turned into triples, and physical education requirements are being curtailed. Columbia, despite the Manhattanville expansion, will continue to view limited space as its biggest impediment toward further expansion. 

Especially if they become more acute, Barnard’s dire finances and Columbia’s demand for space would make a merger mutually beneficial. If and when a merger occurs, I don’t know whether we—that is, Columbia AND Barnard—will lose much aside from the administrative overlap that currently exists.

And where does that overlap come from? It comes as a result of the separate history of the two schools, because at one point in time, Columbia didn’t see it fit to accept women. 

So, why isn’t a merger being seriously considered?

Lanbo Zhang is a Columbia College junior majoring in economics and history. He is a former Spectator editorial page editor. Second Impressions runs alternate Thursdays.

To respond to this column, or to submit an op-ed, contactopinion@columbiaspectator.com.

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Jim Pagels posted on

Great stuff, Lanbo. Couldn't agree more. Barnard was founded in 1889 because of harsh sexism at the time that said men and women needed to be segregated. Now by continuing that segregation almost 125 years later, aren't we just celebrating a tradition founded on sexism?

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Anonymous posted on

Columbia is a tradition founded on sexism. Should we just shut the whole thing down?

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Anonymous posted on

Yes, but Columbia wanted to adapt and go co-ed for years, but Barnard would not let them. Finally, they said, "screw it, we'll just have to go co-ed ourselves and still awkwardly have a segregated college across the street..." Columbia adapted; Barnard did not.

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Essential Logic posted on

Actually, Columbia awarded its first degree, a Ph.D. in astronomy, to a woman, in 1886, 3 years before Barnard was established. Columbia awarded its first bachelors degree to a woman in 1887. It appears that Barnard is the one who wants to carry on the tradition of sexism.

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Anonymous posted on

As a student at barnard i am happy to admit I was denied from columbia so i picked barnard instead as a backdoor in. I am 100% sure some (not all) other Barnard students also pulled the same stunt. Lets just admit it and wear it proudly as a badge!

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haha posted on

>wear it proudly>anonymous>mfw

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Anonymous posted on

As a friend of the poster I know first hand that she wears the badge proudly. AND I DO TOO! I even write that I went to Columbia on my resume.

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Anonymous posted on

I chose Barnard over Columbia College, and I am glad I did

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Anonymous posted on

I did too.

Never be ashamed, Barnard.

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Anonymous posted on

I did too.

Never be ashamed, Barnard.

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Anonymous posted on

I picked Barnard over Columbia and every day, I thank myself for doing so.
This is filthy and misogynistic. Your very reasoning shows your flagrant disregard for the importance of women's colleges. Tell me, what's wrong with empowering young women to deal with the men that look down upon us? That's right, nothing.

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Essential Logic posted on

It appears that today, society looks down on young men. Men are more likely to drop out of high school and college and fewer men are attending college to begin with when compared to women. One would argue that there is more of a need for a men's college than a women's college. In any event, I think a merger would be beneficial. We need more research universities and more labs that will benefit an aging population as well as an increasingly overcrowded planet. Columbia would put Barnard's space to better use for female and male students. I don't see how a college with gender-exclusive admissions benefits anyone.

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Essential Logic posted on

It appears that today, society looks down on young men. Men are more likely to drop out of high school and college and fewer men are attending college to begin with when compared to women. One would argue that there is more of a need for a men's college than a women's college. In any event, I think a merger would be beneficial. We need more research universities and more labs that will benefit an aging population as well as an increasingly overcrowded planet. Columbia would put Barnard's space to better use for female and male students. I don't see how a college with gender-exclusive admissions benefits anyone.

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Sadia Ahmed posted on

Is the continuation of affirmative action a continuation of racism?

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Anonymous posted on

Why would we dilute Columbia's genius with an influx of stupid Barnard girls???

25% of SAT scores under 620 is just like Columbia, amirite?

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Anonymous posted on

I got a 2380 on the SAT and I chose BC over CC. The fact that you're a grown ass (I'm assuming) man who still defines your worth by your SAT score says a lot about how easy my decision was.

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anonimouse posted on

I'm also an ass man

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Anonymous posted on

Typical Barnard Math: "Wow, I got a 2380 on the SAT and chose Barnard over Columbia. That means that all Barnard students are just as smart as Columbia students and we can just ignore actual statistics and the fact that 25% of Barnard girls got below a 620 on the math SAT (by the way, doing that poorly requires not understanding algebra, geometry, or addition)."

More typical Barnard comments: "Boo you are defining yourself by your SAT score. What kind of adult does that? You must be so immature! God, Columbia students suck! They only care about prestige and scores and things like that."

My response: The only kind of person who would choose Barnard over Columbia and not be an idiot in doing so would be an upper-upper middle class white girl, who has nothing to fear for the future because her family has connections, so she doesn't need the top prestige. Let me tell you: I am an chinese male who got a 2390 SAT score. My family is extremely poor. My parents run a fucking laundry. I have an obligation to them to be as successful as possible, to be a doctor, because that way I can support them in their old age so that they don't have to inhale fucking toxic perc until they are in their 90s. My family has no connections here. We lifted ourselves up on our own bootstraps.

Let me tell you: when you say that you chose a path that is less prestigious and less assured of success, you are being incredibly classist and not appreciating those who worked amazing hard to get here.

I am not the same anonymous as the first poster, but I agree with him completely: Barnard girls are either dumb, rich, or (most of the time) both.

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Anonymous posted on

Good logic. I came from economic hardship. Therefore no Barnard student came from economic hardship.

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Anonymous posted on

Hmm, you might be one of the 25% of Barnard girls who got below a 630 (!!) on critical reading, because you didn't go a very good job following my point.

This is how my logic went: if you are smart and poor, you will get into Columbia and go to Columbia. If you are dumb and rich, you won't get into Columbia (or maybe you won't apply. Barnard girls LOVE saying that they never even applied to Columbia) but you will get into Barnard, and you will go to Barnard. If you are dumb and poor, you won't apply to Barnard or go to Barnard because dumb poor people don't go to expensive private colleges.

And if you are like Ms. 2380 SAT score, you will test well and be smart, possibly smart enough to get into both Columbia and Barnard--but you will also be rich, so you will have the freedom to choose your more "nurturing," less "successful" or "elite" environment.

QED Barnard girls are either dumb, rich, or both dumb and rich. I take that back, actually. They are either rich, both dumb and rich, or an affirmative action case--sort of dumb, probably poor, but black or hispanic so that Barnard can bump up its black/hispanic percent and its Pell Grant percent at the same time.

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Anonymous posted on

troooooll

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Anonymous posted on

You're an idiot if you think rich, dumb people won't get into Columbia. This is a business after all.

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Essential Logic posted on

Columbia has a 9 percent acceptance rate and the average GPA and SAT scores are exceptionally high. Furthermore, Columbia is in the top 5 of the wealthiest universities when it comes to endowment. These figures indicate that it is unlikely that Columbia accepts a lot of dumb, rich people into their programs or that it needs to do so.

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Barnard WOMAN posted on

As a dumb, hispanic, and poor woman attending Barnard college, I feel I have something to add. In high school, I spent my time learning how to deal with people like you. I learned how to work with assholes and I learned quickly that people assumed the worst of me. They assumed I only got into the high school (it is private) because I am hispanic and poor, so obviously I am not as smart as my peers. Instead of burying myself behind chemistry books on the weekends to prove myself to people like you who don't really matter, I learned social skills. These social skills will take me farther than your Columbia sweatshirt ever will. I hope that one day you lose. I hope that one day you don't get the job. And I hope that one day a dumb, poor, hispanic, liberal arts graduate is your boss. Watch out, it might be me.

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Essential Logic posted on

You learned how to work with "a**holes?" Then why do you write like one? It is not apparent from your post that you learned any social skills. Maybe people assumed the worst of you because you acted the worst out of everyone in your high school. You should have buried yourself in chemistry books because you clearly don't have the social skills to succeed. You seem bitter, angry and frustrated. I don't think anyone would promote you to a leadership position. Hoping that someone else will lose and that they won't get the job? Be careful - what goes around, comes around as they say. By the way, you do realize that you admitted to being dumb and attending Barnard College?

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Essential Logic posted on

Considering the fact that only 17 percent of Barnard students apply for need-based financial aid and 15 percent receive it, I would say that the majority of Barnard students do not come from economic hardship.

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Anonymous posted on

Barnard is a diverse institution, in terms of academic interest, race, and SOCIO-ECONOMICALLY

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Anonymous posted on

But not sexually.

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Anonymous posted on

Your ignorance and judgemental nature makes me feel sorry for your parents who probably just wanted to raise a son who would make them proud. As the grandaughter of Chinese immigrants who came to America, earned their living through setting up restaurants and let their relatives sleep on their floor because they had no money to live anywhere else, I understand your phrase about lifting yourself up by your own bootstraps. But I know that my Chinese grandparents moved to America to give their children access to the best possible opportunities and they wanted to be proud of their achievements.
So far, your achievements appear to be a high SAT score and a narrow, bigoted mind. But this is not what angered me most about your comment.
My response to you: Barnard girls worked incredibly hard to be here too. Anyone with any intelligence knows that test scores are not accurate representations of a person's brain power. Also, Barnard is prestigious in its own right and anyone who denies that is simply ignorant.
Let me tell you: in your own way, by talking about your upbringing, you are being "incredibly classist" and self-judging yourself as superior. Most the people at Columbia University worked unbelievably hard to get here and you should not assume that working hard is reflected in SAT scores.
The fact that you assume Barnard girls "are either dumb, rich, or (most of the time) both" simply highlights you, ironically, as a judgemental snob in your own way. Clearly you're spending too much time in the library believing that high scores are the only important things in life. Get out of your closed shell, off your high horse, and walk across the street so that you can get to know the real Barnard girls.

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Columbia Frat posted on

Yo, most Columbia guys do know Barnard girls.

In the carnal sense. BOOM!

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lol posted on

I'm a Chinese student at Barnard, and my family has a really similar back story to yours. I feel for you, I really do, but you have a lot to learn. For instance, that your story of hardship is 1) not special and 2) is not a qualification to shit on other people's dreams and decisions. If I had a nickel for every time some kid from a family of immigrants brought up their back story in lieu of logic and/or nuanced reasoning....

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Essential Logic posted on

I doubt you are a Chinese student at Barnard. Practically all of the girls at Barnard are white. Besides, it is pretty common among "feminist/misandrist" posters to pretend to be something they are not in order to respond to comments that frustrate them.

And if I had a nickel for every time some "feminist/misandrist" brings up the back story of Barnard and how women suffered (when it's not even true) in lieu of logic and/or nuanced reasoning....

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c posted on

started at the bottom.... now we here

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c posted on

started at the bottom....

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Anonymous posted on

Wow. This comment exhibits the most bigoted, offensive view I've seen out of all the comments on this article yet, and that includes the article itself. You cannot blanket 2,400 of your academic peers as dumb and rich through your flawed logic.

The opinion article makes a valid point about the financial sustainability of Barnard, given some unfortunate and misdirected statements about variation in quality/services offered. You are attacking Barnard students on a argument based entirely on prestige, which someone who "lifted themselves up on their own bootstraps," should recognize is an arbitrary and meaningless measurement of anything.

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Essential Logic posted on

Barnard students often exhibit the most bigoted, sexist, misandrist and offensive views I have ever seen. You cannot blanket over 20,000 of your academic peers as being cold, arrogant and sexist.

There is no reason for women's colleges any more - they are sexist. And Barnard is not even a women's college; rather, it is a women-only admissions college. Since the Barnard women can take classes at Columbia and Columbia men and women can take classes at Barnard, I fail to see how Barnard is that different from Columbia other than the fact that it is poorer and sexist - all while claiming to be under the banner of Columbia.

Barnard should just merge with Columbia so that Columbia can turn the campus into labs or a community center, which will benefit more people rather than just some rich girls who want special relationships in their old girls' club for four years.

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Anonymous posted on

First, the schools have significant differences. Second, it was Barnard's board, faculty, students, and alumni that vetoed the merger 30 years ago, not Columbia's. Columbia wanted to merge, but Barnard did not. At that time, all the other ivies absorbed their sister women's colleges. You should be asking this question to your Barnard alumni.

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Anonymous posted on

if you care so much about being independent and prestigious in your own ways, stop residing under the Columbia umbrella.

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Anonymous posted on

fine with me

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Anonymous posted on

fine with me

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Anonymous posted on

Oh please, Barnard clearly can't afford that.

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parent posted on

Just took my daughter to the info meeting and tour at Barnard and Columbia. I noticed that Barnard's physical plant is in a state of disrepair. The walls of the academic buildings are in need of a fresh coat of paint. Even the fake plants in the halls looked terrible. It looked like Barnard was going to be going out of business in a few years. In addition, while there where around 50 people at the Barnard info sesion, there where many hundreds at the Columbia sesion.

I think Barnard and Columbia College/SEAS will merge because Barnard has no money.

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Anonymous posted on

Columbia is amazing. It has a record number of applications every year.

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Anonymous posted on

As does Barnard.

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anonimouse posted on

Isn't it the most selective of the all-girl schools?

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Well... posted on

that's like saying "Isn't Subway the most healthy fast food chain?". I mean sure, it is, but the LETTUCE IS NEON YELLOW. WHY IS IT NEON YELLOW

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Anonymous posted on

...And when your child doesn't get into Barnard and ends up going to a State school, please return with your descriptions of their fake potted plants and paintless facades because we all know THAT is what makes an education - popularity and prettiness.

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Anonymous posted on

...And when your child doesn't get into Barnard and ends up going to a State school, please return with your descriptions of their fake potted plants and paintless facades because we all know THAT is what makes an education - popularity and prettiness.

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Anonymous posted on

Bold & beautiful!

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anonimau5 posted on

pretty sure this was ironic...

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Anonymous posted on

I agree with your comment about aesthetics not being important but you don't have to be a snob and look down upon all state schools.

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Essential Logic posted on

Are you kidding? The State University of New York at Binghamton is one of the public Ivy League universities. Both the State University of New York and the City University of New York have better facilities, offer more majors and all at a much cheaper price than what Barnard charges. Barnard charges around $50,000 a year for a 4-acre campus? If Columbia ever ends the affiliation with Barnard, Barnard will go down even faster than it is now.

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Anonymous posted on

Potted plants should definitely factor in to your decision
Spotted in Pupin
xoxo Gossip Girl

[IMG]http://i50.tinypic.com/2nvdrw0.jpg[/IMG]

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Anonymous posted on

http://i50.tinypic.com/2nvdrw0.jpg

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um posted on

I think you would typically expect a tiny liberal arts school to have less people at their info session than a world-famous Ivy League....

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truthy mctrutherson posted on

I'd expect someone commenting here to know to use "fewer" instead of "less."

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yawn posted on

sue me

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Anonymous posted on

Columbia's facilities are also uneven and indeed one large history lecture class being given this term is inaccessible unless one enters through a detour that involved three other buildings.

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Essential Logic posted on

And yet Barnard still pays Columbia millions every year to access Columbia's facilities and resources. Let's see what will happen when Columbia ends the affiliation and the Barnard girls only have the Barnard facilities. That detour through 3 other buildings will look pretty good.

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atb2125 posted on

Hi! I am sorry that you had such a negative visual experience. If your daughter would like to speak with a Barnard student who is not employed by the school so that she may find out how students feel about attending this university, feel free and send me an email!

To note, though, at Barnard we have a motto that we are, "strong, beautiful Barnard women." Strong always goes first, beautiful never takes precedence. This is because beauty is derived from strength and should not be defined by what you see on the outside. I'm sorry that you found the campus unappealing, because I know for a fact that they repainted many of the halls over the past year, in addition to adding new buildings like the Diana within the past four.

Yes, we have a few people at our info session, but that is because we are a small school. Barnard has a student population roughly the size of one graduating class at Columbia College. In addition to it just not being as well known as Columbia, it is also a women's college which 1. appeals only to some people and 2. obviously has limits on who can attend.

Please do not take aesthetics and numbers into account when judging out school, and instead to what Barnard does: look at the heart and see if it's a good fit.

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Speaking of strength... posted on

What sort of strength training facilities are available at Barnard? Are there mandatory lifting classes for Barnard students?
Or are they talking about some kind of fake metaphorical strength?

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Essential Logic posted on

If Barnard women are as strong as you claim, there is no need to exclude men from Barnard's admissions process. Strong people are able to compete with anyone regardless or race, gender, affiliation, etc. If people of a certain group have to be excluded in order for you to be strong, then you are not as strong as you think you are.

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bjw2119 posted on

This is an idiotic column. As limited as Barnard's finances may be, the fact that Barnard is a small liberal arts college is far more than simple rhetoric. While everyone's experiences are different to some degree, Barnard students have always been far more satisfied with their Barnard experiences than Columbians have been with theirs. The simple fact is that it DOES make a difference to have an entire faculty and administrative apparatus solely dedicated to undergraduate education, compared to bizarre public face/private stepchild dynamic that exists with undergraduate education east of Broadway. That doesn't even include all of the myriad reasons that a women's college can be a superior experience for students than a coeducational experience. Barnard was right to preserve its unique status as a women's liberal arts school when Columbia College wanted to merge decades ago, and it's certainly come out the better of the two institutions today. I'd trade CC's finances for the attitudes Barnard faculty and administrators have toward their students in a heartbeat. Think back to DSpar's town hall this year when she discussed, openly and honestly, Barnard's finances. Now compare that to the silence and obfuscation surrounding Dean Moody-Adams' resignation. Such transparency doesn't exist anymore at Columbia, but it is alive and well at Barnard.

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Anonymous posted on

Lol

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BCer posted on

"The attitudes administrators have toward their students"? Do you even go to Barnard?

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Essential Logic posted on

DSpar has to discuss Barnard's finances openly and honestly because Barnard desperately needs money. There are only 30,000 living Barnard alumni and only 30 percent of them donate anything to Barnard. You can't hide poverty.

And you would trade CC's finances for the attitudes of the Barnard faculty and administrators? What a sound business model. For you to say something like that, you probably don't have to worry about money.

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Essential Logic posted on

A women's college is a "superior experience?" Well, for women who are too immature, afraid and sexist to compete with men, I suppose it is. Imagine if someone stated that a men's college or a white college is a superior experience. There would be charges of sexism and racism.
Barnard has come out the better of the two institutions? More feminist fantasies. Then why does Barnard pay millions every year to Columbia for access to Columbia's resources? Why do only 30 percent of Barnard's 30,000 living alumna contribute to Barnard? If Columbia ended its affiliation with Barnard, let's see how many parents will spend $50,000 a year to attend Barnard.

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Essential Logic posted on

"While everyone's experiences are different to some degree, Barnard students have always been far more satisfied with their Barnard experiences than Columbians have been with theirs."

Where did you even get that notion? Columbia raised $6.2 billion in 5 years from its alumni. Does that sound like a school where the students have had an unsatisfying experience? Only 30 percent of Barnard's alumni even donate to the school. Doesn't sound like that many were satisfied with their Barnard experience. Oh, and the money for the Diana was donated by Diana Vagelos, a graduate of Barnard, but that money really came from her husband, P. Roy Vagelos who is a graduate of Columbia University Medical School.

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Charlotte Murtishaw posted on

No.

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Anonymous posted on

LOLOLOLOL LANBO!
You literally have NO idea what you're talking about. Just....go home.

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Anonymous posted on

Totally!

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Anonymous posted on

Oof, you've touched the third rail.

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Barnard Lady posted on

This is an actual JOKE.

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anon posted on

What's interesting about this column is that you admit many times you don't know what you're talking about. So why write it? Or at least, why not take the time to talk to some of your friends (or even just peers) who go to Barnard and ask them what they think? Obviously this is your opinion column, but when making such a blanket suggestion, one would think you might want to consider what the students who go to the schools in question think.
As someone said in another comment, Barnard students are generally happier with their experience than students at Columbia, and the small liberal arts college atmosphere and focus really do make a difference. Aside from advising, which others have mentioned, there are other major differences in the administration and services between the schools. Barnard's student services (which you talk about and say you know nothing of) are typically much friendlier and (guess what?) more women-focused than Columbia's. Think of Well Woman, the Barnard Center for Research on Women, and the Athena Center for Leadership Studies—while Columbia has a fantastic set of programs under Alice!, this is not the same thing as the resources that a women's college provides.
Many Barnard students chose to come here because they get to have both experiences. I know I personally had no interest in going to just Columbia, because of its size and lack of focus on undergrads. There are just so many things to look at besides finances that this column comes off as silly and ignorant.

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Essential Logic posted on

Barnard's student services are typically much friendlier and more women-focused than Columbia's are? What does the term "women-focused" mean? If a college advertised that it's student services were more "white-focused" or "men-focused", there would be charges of racism and sexism. Shouldn't student services be "student-focused?" What happened to diversity? Or does diversity mean excluding men?

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Anonymous posted on

Do yourself a favor seriously contemplate why your school exists before you criticize Barnard or the latent sexism in suggesting that a women's college should be consumed by something you deem to be much worthier or better.

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Essential Logic posted on

Do yourself a favor and seriously contemplate why Barnard exists before you criticize any other school. There are more boys who are disadvantaged when it comes to their education - especially boys who come from minority backgrounds. Columbia is open to all who have demonstrated ability while Barnard is not. That's why Barnard should be consumed by something that is much worthier and better.

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Anonymous posted on

YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOURE TALKING ABOUT. id never want to go to Columbia College. I chose Barnard precisely for the ways that it differs from Columbia. Nice try, but no thank you.

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Anonymous posted on

lawl slash, because you didn't get into CC?

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Anonymous posted on

That's seriously the best you can do? Do we still think the tired old "didn't-get-into-CC-so-went-to-Barnard" is a legitimate response to anything? Does anyone still think it's funny?

This is all some bullshit. We graduated high school already; there's no need to keep talking about college acceptances. I transferred into Barnard after hearing some advice from a close friend who happens to be a CC student. She told me that she couldn't, in good faith, recommend CC to me, but that her Barnard friends were all happy. And the rest is history. Columbia is great, Barnard is great, and everyone needs to get over themselves.

This article was obviously meant to provoke response because it reads like some jackass rambling over beers at 1020. We all have friends "across the street," we likely all encounter people from both sides whom we don't particularly like, and we've had good and bad professors from both institutions. It's a privilege to have access to two phenomenal schools.

So, if you're coming into the comments section of this thread just to repeat the same lame-ass Barnard-v-Columbia shit, I'll just roll my eyes and move on by. The only time I actually observe any inklings of tension is when I'm reading comments on the Spec and Bwog. Funny how that happens.

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Essential Logic posted on

You transferred to Barnard from Columbia based on some advice a friend gave you? Is that how you make the major decisions in your life? Perhaps you transferred from Barnard to Columbia because you couldn't cut it at Columbia. That would have been a more logical decision. Leaving a more prestigious institution to attend a significantly less prestigious institution on the basis of a friend's advice doesn't sound like solid leadership capability. Gee, Barnard students are more happier so I should go there - because college isn't about hard work, prestige and preparing for the real world, it's just about happiness.

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Anonymous posted on

Your lack of understanding about what makes a Barnard experience entirely unique from a Columbia College experience clearly shows that you should not be writing this article. Moreover, you probably shouldn't be writing for the Spec considering you're so obviously out of touch with the reality of what it means to be part of the Columbia University community.

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Anonymous posted on

Am I the only one who thinks that all of the people voting on these comments go to barnard? (BC15)

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Anonymous posted on

Nope. Loving seeing the author being torn a new one. I will like anything that adds to that, because this piece is so ass backwards.

- CC male.

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Essential Logic posted on

I thought the Columbia University community was diverse, integrated, intellectual, and fair. Being affiliated with a school like Barnard that discriminates based on gender is a blot on Columbia's reputation.

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Anonymous posted on

What a weird article--Lanbo admits so many times that he has no idea what he's talking about.

"Having never used the advising, health, career, or any other support services at Barnard—and to be honest, having barely used the ones at Columbia either—I can’t speak to whether tangible differences exist between the two."

Case in point: students at Columbia do not use their student services, while students at Barnard rely on them (they are excellent). No wonder he's never used them.

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Anonymous posted on

If y'all are so satisfied with your women's experience at Barnard, why not actually become a separate institution. Argue all you want about your independent status, but in the end we all know that your still draining the resources of Columbia.

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Anonymous posted on

We're not "draining the resources of Columbia" - Barnard pays Columbia several billion dollars each year for its use of Columbia facilities, and a lot of that money (if not all) comes out of our tuition.

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Anonymous posted on

million, not billion, but correct. They've cultivated a pretty balanced relationship–that's why there are Plimpton suites reserved for CC students, that's why there are caps on meals at JJ's, etc. etc. There exist some undergraduate resources at Barnard that are open to Columbia students, which is awesome because undergraduate resources at Columbia largely suck.

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Essential Logic posted on

So if Columbia's undergraduate resources suck according to you, then why is Barnard paying millions to Columbia to access Columbia's resources? That's where your logic fails.

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Anonymous posted on

seriously? you're versus your

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Anonymous posted on

Oh please. Have you been in Hewitt?

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Anonymous posted on

If y'all are so satisfied with your women's experience at Barnard, why not actually become a separate institution. Argue all you want about your independent status, but in the end we all know that your still draining the resources of Columbia.

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Anonymous posted on

...and clearly your inability to differentiate between 'your' and 'you're' is draining Columbia's resources.

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HCE posted on

A+

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Anonymous posted on

Finnegans wake?

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overthis posted on

hahaha good catch.

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Essential Logic posted on

Yeah, as if Barnard students never make grammatical errors.

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Anonymous posted on

this column is trash.

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Anonymous posted on

I am very surprised spectator decided to publish such a terribly written, ill-informed column on such a weighty issue that would obviously merit strong reactions. It skims the surface so slightly and seems to come from such a removed perspective i really can't take it seriously at all (and for that matter don't think anyone else should). If you want to start a dialogue on this issue, at least provide a researched, properly-formulated opinion. I imagine Lanbo dumbly scratching his head while believing this was by any means an original thought or question that merited a column. Nice try.

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this is why columnists should write monthly, not bi-weekly posted on

TBH, I'm more imagining Lanbo piling his unfiltered thoughts onto a Microsoft Word document and submitting it at the 11th hour and not giving a crap. This is the time of the semester when the average quality of the columns nosedive.

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Essential Logic posted on

I don't think this article is terribly written or ill-informed at all. You obviously can't respond to it in an intellectual way so you resort to name-calling. Very poor effort on your part.

The author is merely expressing his opinion and offering a suggestion. President Spar of Barnard has stated that she is not sure if Barnard can afford to spend the $150 million needed to tear down an existing structure and build a new one. Furthermore, only 30 percent of Barnard's 30,000 living alumna donate to Barnard. Given the fact that Columbia is expanding and looking for more space and Barnard needs money, a merger of the two would make sense. That is enough information to start a dialog.

What research do you want him to provide in order to start a dialog? Do you want him to hire an accounting firm, a financial firm and a law firm in order to formulate a merger plan?

Besides, your opinion is nothing but an insult and contains no research at all. I can imagine you dumbly scratching your head while believing that your post was original, creative and intellectual.

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Anonymous posted on

This article is so vapid, it doesn't even merit getting angry over. Let's just say that the Barnard college experience is much richer than you'll ever know.

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Essential Logic posted on

Your opinion is so vapid and sexist. Why is the Barnard college experience richer? Because it excludes men? So if someone stated that a college experience is richer because it excludes women or minorities, you would applaud them? If the only way you can have a richer college experience is by excluding people on the basis of gender, then you clearly have no confidence in yourself or your gender.

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Frustrated BC 2013 posted on

Even though I may have my own issues with Barnard, the fact of the matter is Lanbo--I appreciate your honesty--but you know jack shit. There are many small differences but it's an emphasis on nurturing a certain kind of modern woman leader that sets Barnard apart. Yes, our two universities share many similarities. But for every "stupid Barnard girl," there is an equally stupid Columbia girl or boy. We also tend to lack the sense of entitlement CC kids sometimes exhibit, as evidenced by the multitude of hate comments below.

Let me ask you, ignorant boy, who does not use any of the university services; how can you justify saying there's no difference in the schools if you haven't even experienced at what both schools have to offer? There's a significant difference in treatment and care from our administrative services.

I could understand a merger for a financial point of view, but I think it would in err for the school's mission.

Barnard has a nurturing side that is indescribable, honestly, to most males. As cliche as it sounds, it's a girl thing! It's a way to teach education that promotes intellectual pursuit for females and doesn't shame them. I would say it's most evident in our science classes where girls are normally a rarity. Barnard science professors help female science students not only in the field but ways in which to break the glass ceiling. Whereas stories from across the street about female students being completely ignored in their larger Columbia science classes reinforces gender discrimination.

As much as I would like to think that we live in a world free from discrimination and prejudice, I am not so naive. Every time I'm asked if I go to Columbia, I hear the surprise--no, shock--in people's voice when I say "Barnard" instead. I'm flattered if they consider me intelligent but disappointed in how the underlying implication is that any Barnard girl who is not a 'daddy's rich, drunk, & dumb sorority girl' is impressive...

We are, after all, the most selective women's college in the U.S. But who are we kidding. In the 1%, even that's not good enough anymore.

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Anonymous posted on

Please let me know when Barnard actually gets a proper computer science department and its own computer science classes!

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Anonymous posted on

Okay, please let ME know when Columbia gets its own Urban Studies program!

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Essential Logic posted on

Yes, because Urban Studies is so much more in demand than Computer Science. Why, look at job postings. They always ask for more Urban Studies majors than Computer Science majors.

And Columbia could never set up their own undergraduate Urban Studies major if they wanted to. I mean they have a graduate program in Urban Studies but they just could never set up an undergraduate Urban Studies program. I mean, they have over a $7 billion endowment and own most of the Upper West Side, but set up an undergraduate Urban Studies major? No way!

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Anonymous posted on

Barnard is responsible for all undergraduate instruction in urban studies, architecture, dance, theatre, and the education program. That means Columbia relies on Barnard for those fields. The whole point is to achieve some efficiencies.

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Essential Logic posted on

Yeah, Columbia relies on Barnard for those majors. Like Columbia doesn't have the resources to offer those majors on their own. When the Columbia-Barnard affiliation started, they looked to see what Barnard could offer on its own and agreed to give Barnard that monopoly. Columbia offers all of those majors at the graduate level so why couldn't they offer those majors at the undergraduate level?

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curriculum review coming posted on

that's what barnard is hoping to do actually, they want to encourage more women in compsci, you hear a lot of talk about it at barnard lately. next couple years may see barnard offering/requiring compsci in some way, i wouldnt be surprised.

but even without it, hardly a reason to merge schools! they share lots of departments as the above commenter said.

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Essential Logic posted on

Why share so many departments as separate schools when they could be more efficient and merge?

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Anonymous posted on

Wow. "We also tend to lack the sense of entitlement CC kids sometimes exhibit"? I'm sorry, but you are perpetuating the divisions that you're blaming on CC students. Want to hear something else? As a CC girl, I've ALSO gotten many judgmental looks and snide remarks from Barnard women. You lumping all of us into an "entitled" is just as negative and counter-productive as any attack on Barnard.

And for the record, way to enforce gender stereotypes YOURSELF. "Barnard has a nurturing side that is indescribable, honestly, to most males. As cliche as it sounds, it's a girl thing!" I attended an all-girls high school, and frankly, you're painting women as weak and needing to be coddled. That is certainly not what I learned.

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oh lawd posted on

Jumping into this debate—"nurturing" is traditionally associated with women, yes, but I don't think it should ever be looked upon negatively if you're trying to say that all students and young adults need to be "nurtured" at institutions of learning. It's sexist to say that women are societal GIVERS of nurturing, but we are all recipients of nurturing, regardless of gender.

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Anonymous posted on

Saying men can't relate to "nurturing" experiences is one of the most sexist things I've read today.

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Anonymous posted on

*sexiest

Gotta man up.

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Essential Logic posted on

Barnard girls exhibit more signs of self-entitlement than the CC kids do. For one thing, they think that they are entitled to a college that excludes men from their admissions process just because they are men. FYI, just because a comment frustrates you, doesn't make it a hate comment.
Let me ask you, ignorant, sexist girl, what makes you think that men can't benefit from a nurturing environment? You think you know all men? What makes you think that men want to be shamed? Women tend to shame more often than men do as evidenced by your posts.
And why are the Barnard women so proud of the fact that Barnard is the most selective women's college in the U.S.? There are only 47 active women's college in the U.S. Meanwhile, there are about 2,474 4-year colleges in the U.S. Columbia has constantly been ranked in the top 10 out of all colleges in a number of different academic listings. Being at the top of a group that is slowly decreasing in its numbers isn't particularly impressive.

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Anonymous posted on

"I wonder whether in 20 or 30 years Barnard will be able to offer its students a college experience that is substantially or even noticeably different from one at Columbia College. I wonder whether it does right now."

Let me tell you: IT DOES, LANBO, IT DOES.

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Anonymous posted on

Clearly none of us are dumb and arrogant enough to write an article like this, so I'd say yeah.

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Essential Logic posted on

Clearly, you aren't smart and humble enough to write a more intellectual post, so I'd say no.
The author of the article didn't insult anyone - all he did was express an opinion about a possible merger of Barnard and Columbia. So why are you insulting him? Didn't you learn about free speech, intellectual debates and respect for differing opinions at Barnard?

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Anonymous posted on

Clearly none of us are dumb and arrogant enough to write an article like this, so I'd say yeah.

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Anonymous posted on

none of us is*

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Essential Logic posted on

Clearly, you couldn't write an article.

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Essential Logic posted on

Clearly, you couldn't write an article.

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Essential Logic posted on

Then why do you need Columbia at all? Why pay millions to Columbia for access to Columbia's resources when Barnard offers an experience that is different from what Columbia offers?

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Essential Logic posted on

IT DOESN'T! Only 30 percent of Barnard's living alumna contribute to the school. With such a low percentage, the Barnard graduates clearly don't think that their experience at Barnard is worth supporting.

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Margaret Boykin posted on

This article only barely merits response because potential Barnard students or their parents, like one of the commenters above, could read this and be misled. Barnard is an incredible institution that provides a highly unique and personal college experience for women. Sexism is by no means out of the picture, which is why having women's colleges like Barnard that focus their energy on tearing down gender stereotypes, supporting women's causes and pushing for women's leadership is so important. Anyone who has ever attended Barnard would recognize this article as poorly researched and blatantly one-sided--even for an opinions piece. As a Barnard student and writer for the Spectator, I'm surprised and disappointed this even made it into print. You would think a former editor would have better taste.

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Essential Logic posted on

Sexism is definitely not out of the picture as it is directed towards men. Men are more likely to drop out of high school and college. Black and Hispanic men are more likely than others to drop out of high school and college. If Barnard wants to address the sexist and racist issues that exist today through segregation, then it should become a Black and Hispanic Men's College.

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Anonymous posted on

As a Barnard student, human being, and member of this very publication, I am disappointed and embarrassed that this reductive and condescending article was sent to print.

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Essential Logic posted on

What is so reductive and condescending about this article? Just because you disagree with a merger doesn't mean that it's a bad idea. At a time when college costs are becoming more outrageous, there is nothing wrong with affiliated institutions merging to take advantage of economies of scale.

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Anonymous posted on

the answer isn't to merge, it is for Barnard to declare independence all together and get rid of its ties to the oppressive institution called Columbia

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Essential Logic posted on

If Barnard could survive on its own, it would have done so by now. Do you really think Barnard pays Columbia to use Columbia's resources as a favor to Columbia? Barnard needs Columbia. Who would pay the high tuition to go to a 4-acre campus with mostly unimpressive buildings? My high school has a bigger campus and more beautiful buildings than Barnard has.

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Anonymous posted on

As a reader of the opinion columns every week, it seems to me that Spec has absolutely no standards regarding the quality of the writing or how well founded arguments are in the opinion columns. They're desperate for columnists - anyone who is willing to vomit something out once a week is published. Even people in the office make fun of them. Just horrendous all around.

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Anonymous posted on

Is it just me, or does the emotional and irrational reaction from Barnard girls across facebook justify the decision to keep us separate?

I'm sort of joking, but I thought this was an incredibly thoughtful and well written article.

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Anonymous posted on

you better be joking. I used to work for Spec and if Lanbo was still an editorial page editor, he'd probably be making fun of this himself.

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Anonymous posted on

As a Barnard student, I hope financial circumstances will never force us to merger. And if they do, I would be extremely disappointed. As a Columbia student you have little merit to speak to the differences between the two schools, because you don't understand how different a women's college is from a co-ed college, having never experienced it. Being part of a women's college means that your administration can cater to your specific needs as a woman, you can have classes that have very few or no men in them, making it easier to concentrate on your work and less awkward to voice your opinion when the misogyny that originally excluded women from Columbia still exists (if you doubt this, read the BWOG comments from last years commencement speech). If I had wanted to go to a co-ed school, I could have. I chose Barnard because it is a women's college, it caters to me, and I like it. There are merits to both co-eds and single sex colleges, but their differences go far beyond the way their health services are run and their advising systems operate.

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Anonymous posted on

If your reason for liking Barnard is that you can take classes with no or few men in them so that it's easier to concentrate on your work and can feel comfortable raising your hand, you need to seriously rethink your life. When you graduate from Barnard, you are going to go out into the real world where there are men and you are going to have to work alongside them without being distracted or intimidated. I really hope you realize how ridiculous your statement was. You shouldn't get distracted and flustered just because a guy is sitting next to you. And yes there are assholes in the world, but not all men are misogynists ready to put down any woman who opens her mouth. Seriously, grow up.

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Anonymous posted on

It's not intimidation. It's entitled men who think it's cool to interrupt and talk over women and professors who call on men instead of women because they assume they have something better to say. You don't really notice it until you're in an exclusively female environment where it doesn't happen. It's not like we're NOT in the real world now, outside of the classroom we're still subject to this. Sorry if I don't want my education to be hampered with these kinds of social politics, it's so immature of me.

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Anonymous posted on

It's not intimidation. It's entitled men who think it's cool to interrupt and talk over women and professors who call on men instead of women because they assume they have something better to say. You don't really notice it until you're in an exclusively female environment where it doesn't happen. It's not like we're NOT in the real world now, outside of the classroom we're still subject to this. Sorry if I don't want my education to be hampered with these kinds of social politics, it's so immature of me.

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Anonymous posted on

I'm really sorry that you feel your life's experience has been reduced to nothing but misogyny, but as a fellow Barnard student I think this is a prime example of feminist exaggeration. As someone who went to coed school and has been surrounded by brothers, male cousins, and guy friends her whole life, very rarely have I ever felt that I was being put down for being a woman, and even then I never let that stop me from speaking my mind. The way to defeat perceived misogyny is not to squirrel yourself away with women but to speak up and stand up for what you believe in. If you're in an exclusively female environment of course there won't be misogyny, but that isn't solving the problem. It sounds like you're being a little oversensitive though, because I don't think the vast majority of men in the world are out to oppress women.

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Essential Logic posted on

Women can't be misogynist according to you? Read the book, Woman Against Woman Sexual Violence: Does She Call It Rape?

And did you know that many women opposed women's right to vote? "Oklahoma women, calling themselves antisuffragists or "antis," organized in opposition to women's suffrage in 1918 and established the Oklahoma Anti-Suffrage Association, also known as the Oklahoma Anti-Suffrage League or the Oklahoma Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage.

I bet they don't teach you this at Barnard College, where men are blamed for everything.

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Anonymous posted on

Yes, please mansplain to us all why you know more about this than everyone else. You are why women do better in classes with fewer men, you absolute fool.

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Essential Logic posted on

If you really believe that women do better in classes with fewer men, then you don't have a very high opinion of women's abilities. If men have to be removed from an environment in order for women to thrive, you are basically saying that women are inferior to men. Enough of your ridiculous mansplaining and womansplaning - it's time to grow up.

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Anonymous posted on

This article is an abomination.

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Anonymous posted on

Dumb

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Anonymous posted on

this is terrifyingly ignorant.

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Anonymous posted on

Very disappointed in whomsoever thought this was a good idea to publish. I chose to attend Barnard College because it serves as a beacon for women's issues which ARE still very much prevalent due to institutionalized sexism. If it weren't for Barnard, I would be completely unaware of gender and power dynamics that exist in every day life. There is a certain level of discussion about gender dynamics that cannot be attained in a coed classroom. Additionally, because Barnard's administration only has women to care for, our school caters specifically for women in a world that has (and continues to) cater to men for thousands of years. I chose to apply to Barnard Early Decision and it's the BEST decision I have ever made about my life. Take your uninformed opinions elsewhere, troll.

http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lu6513W13F1r11fodo1_500.png

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Essential Logic posted on

"I chose to attend Barnard College because it serves as a beacon for women's issues which ARE still very much prevalent due to institutionalized sexism."

So in other words, you chose a college where you can ignore men's issues? What happened to caring about human issues? Institutionalized sexism? What about the fact that more males drop out of school than females do - particularly Black and Latino males? I guess you just want to ignore those who look different from you and who have different gender organs than you do.

"Additionally, because Barnard's administration only has women to care for, our school caters specifically for women in a world that has (and continues to) cater to men for thousands of years."

Again, you don't think men deserved to be cared for. What schools have catered to men for thousands of years? Men have been the ones who were oppressed and forced to work at hard labor plus fight wars they didn't believe in. The vast majority of men never received an education. Most men protected and fought for women.

Take your uninformed, ignorant and sexist opinions elsewhere, you misandrist troll.

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Paulina Pinsky posted on

Lanbo, SWEETIE. TBH I didn't even know Barnard was an undergraduate school of Columbia until Community Forum of NSOP week. YA, MY B. Listen people were surprised too when I shouted "WHAT" in response to "Barnard College is an undergraduate college of Columbia University" during the dumb admissions video they showed on the steps.

But listen, I applied to Barnard because I wanted to go to BARNARD. And my confusion coming into this school is a reflection of the confusion there is over their relationship. So please, Lanbo, Honey Bunch, please cross the street and see what is actually going on over here. I want Barnard to be the place it always has been and will be, because that's the reason I am here.

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Anonymous posted on

this post is incredibly condescending. Lanbo says nothing about Barnard being inferior (academically, socially, intellectually, etc), but rather he asks us to consider what we have to lose in merging the two schools, a conversation that doesn't often happen. He's not saying that Barnard isn't different; he's asking whether the differences that exist warrant the continuance of a college that cannot support itself and is dependent on Columbia University.

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Essential Logic posted on

"So please, Lanbo, Honey Bunch, please cross the street and see what is actually going on over here. I want Barnard to be the place it always has been and will be, because that's the reason I am here."

Well, Paulina, SWEETIE, Sugar Muffin, why don't you cross the street to see what's going on at Columbia? Men and women studying together and working on issues that affect all humans and not just one subset of humans. Yes, I am sure you applied to Barnard because you wanted to go to BARNARD, a nice school for feminist princesses who want an environment that just focuses on them but there is a whole WORLD out there of people from different backgrounds (including gender) that doesn't just cater to your whims and desires.

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Anonymous posted on

You obviously know very little about this topic. Try writing about something you researched. Just a small tip from a Barnard graduate.

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Essential Logic posted on

And you added nothing to this topic. Try going out into the real world where men and women must face issues together. You are not going to be in a "women's environment" your whole life.

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Anonymous posted on

Barnard's administration, faculty, and alumni network is incredibly more supportive than Columbia's.

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Essential Logic posted on

"Barnard's administration, faculty, and alumni network is incredibly more supportive than Columbia's." Yes, and that's why Columbia alumni have donated $6.2 billion in 5 years whereas Barnard can't even afford to tear down and build a new structure on the campus. I guess most Barnard graduates (70%) don't believe in donating to their alma mater. And have you even used Columbia's advisement and counseling services? How do you even know if Barnard is incredibly more supportive than Columbia's? And is that a reason to maintain separate schools?

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Anonymous posted on

The schools should have zero affiliation whatsoever. They should just be separate institutions, so that Columbia students can stop bitching about dumb Barnard girls being unworthy of breathing the same air as them at Columbia, and Barnard students can stop claiming Columbia as their school. Really tired of this Barnard/Columbia bullshit and I am positive I am not the only one at this institution who is.

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Anonymous posted on

Barnard is not a quantifiable experience. Barnard students do not want to go to CC, and presumably CC students do not want to go to Barnard. Being ignorant of the experience of being a Barnard student is not a valid argument for merging. There is a good reason that Barnard refused to merge with CC when CC became coed--because Barnard is not only defined by its identity as a women's college... And no CC student can understand that.

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Anonymous posted on

Barnard is not a quantifiable experience. Barnard students do not want to go to CC, and presumably CC students do not want to go to Barnard. Being ignorant of the experience of being a Barnard student is not a valid argument for merging. There is a good reason that Barnard refused to merge with CC when CC became coed--because Barnard is not only defined by its identity as a women's college... And no CC student can understand that.

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Anonymous posted on

"Being ignorant of the experience of being a Barnard student is not a valid argument for merging."

Being sexist and excluding men from a college admissions process is a valid argument for merging. Barnard should join the world and accept diversity - something no Barnard student can understand. Barnard students only care about women's experience and couldn't care less about men. That's not the way people should enter into the real world.

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Anonymous posted on

I'm responding to this ludicrous piece solely for the sake of the seniors in high school considering Barnard, and their parents.
If the author had done any research whatsoever he would never have written such a ludicrously uninformed (and latently sexist) piece.
1. Barnard's economic issues are comprable to that of most private, liberal arts colleges. Operating on a deficit is not unusual for a small liberal arts college and if Lanbo had asked ANY of the deans or any other administrators they would say the same. it is implied that all private, undergraduate liberal arts institutions be merged with big universities to solve money problems, and sacrifice entirely the focus on undergraduate education?
2. Barnard is a WOMEN'S college. not just a liberal arts college. Barnard is dedicated to women's empowerment and the fostering of female leadership in a male-centric society. That is its mission. To equate the two colleges wholly based on academic and social overlap is simply ridiculous. To suggest that Lit Hum (reading of the white, male, western canon) and a Barnard First-Year "Women and Culture" English class are the same is to completely ignore the mission of the college. Students at women's colleges graduate in the maths and sciences at 1.5 times the rate of women in coed institutions. Barnard is dedicated to the fostering of female scientist, of female politicians, female CEOs. Barnard caters their health services to women.
Oh, please tell me more about how sexism has been eradicated in our society and how there is no longer a need for women's colleges! To argue the latter is to argue the former.

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Land ho! posted on

Why not merge? That is a fertile topic for discussion, but sadly, your column made sure that a discussion is *exactly* what wouldn't ensue. Why? In plain terms, because you didn't do your homework and because you were a jerk... No other way to put it but that.

In fact, I've loved Lanbo's columns SO MUCH this semester for exactly these reasons, that the last time he did this--not get his facts right and be a jerk--I took the invitation at the bottom of these columns ("To respond to this column...") seriously and wrote a letter to the editor. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Spectator chose not to publish a piece criticizing their former opinion page editor.

Since this column fits the patterns of his others so well, I'll just go ahead and paste what I submitted here. In fact, I'd say that the reason Lanbo's newest column has elicited so many negative comments is exactly for the reasons that I highlighted in my letter: it is because he so discounts how students might feel about the situations he writes about and that their feelings probably have a basis in something important.

COLUMNS DISMISS STUDENT OPINION--AND THE EVIDENCE

In a narrative woven together in two different columns by Spectator columnist Lanbo Zhang (“Real and imaginary” http://bit.ly/11DNlmB and “Against idealism” http://bit.ly/11DNuGC), Columbia is depicted as a place with “real problems and imaginary problems.” In Mr. Zhang’s telling, the first set is rightly recognized by our “institutions” as having “physical solution[s],” while the second is naively blathered about by pseudo “Cynic Kids.” Those problems that are “real” can be dealt with by serious institutions (and, implicitly, those people who lead them), but concerns conjured by a naïve student population that is desperately trying to “redirect society back onto the right track” are “useless.” These “kids” are “thoughtlessly” “self-aggrandizing,” and their desire to use “empirical analysis as a means of reaching moral ideals” is nothing more than whitewash for their silliness. The evidence, however, suggests that Mr. Zhang should reconsider his words.

Not only is this conception of our student body and what they see as their problems incredibly callous, it is also incredibly short sighted. Without a doubt, Mr. Zhang is right that not all problems are created equal. But to admonish students participating in “the so-called ‘campus dialogue’” as “self-appointed ‘campus leaders’” engaged “in a self-aggrandizing attempt to seem more important than they are” is much more than to argue that what they are advocating for are bad ideas. It ignores the fact his so-called “real problems” are often directly connected to the “imaginary” ones.

For college communities like Columbia, the connection between what Mr. Zhang writes off as silly, false concerns and “real problems” is incredibly strong. Columbia’s revenue stream is something Mr. Zhang would likely call a “real issue,” both unto itself, and as a means of solving other “real issues,” like the limited campus space that he mentions. What Mr. Zhang fails to see however, is that “real things” like our university’s revenues are directly tied to what “self-aggrandizing” students think, whether he recognizes our thoughts as worthy or not.

In a 2003 article in the Economics of Education Review (see: http://bit.ly/11DNNRD), Charles T. Clotfelter, an economist at Duke and the National Bureau of Economic Research, showed using a unique survey of college alumni that satisfaction with one’s undergraduate experience is one of the primary drivers of alumni giving. Things like having a mentor—Mr. Zhang also chided seeking advice in yet another column (“Self-reliance” http://bit.ly/11DNZAw), as “shackl[ing]” students “and render[ing] them incapable of distinguishing useful advice from hogwash”—are significantly predictive of both one’s satisfaction with the college experience and alumni giving. Only income level explains giving patterns as much as the respondent’s subjective assessment of how much they enjoyed their college years.

And if giving is evidence of satisfaction with one’s undergraduate education, the available data suggests Columbia alumni are less satisfied than their peers. In 2012, we didn’t even break the top-twenty for giving per student according to the Council for Aid to Education and came in sixteenth for alumni giving rates according to U.S. New and World Report’s ranking of national universities. It seems ignoring student feelings about our community has very “real” effects, something that both Mr. Zhang and Columbia would do well to note.

While the comments* left on Mr. Zhang’s columns have thoroughly taken him to task for his disrespect of his readers and his community, the need to highlight the absolute silliness of his substantive arguments remained. Hopefully, Mr. Zhang will now be more wary about using his pen to discuss issues that he doesn’t “particularly care about,” lest he himself become like one of the “self-appointed ‘campus leaders’” he so loathes.

* Since the Spec has moved to a new site, sadly the comments eviscerating Mr. Zhang--much like the ones here--are sadly lost for internet posterity...

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Missing links! posted on

Sorry, forgot to add two hyperlinks:

"In 2012, we didn’t even break the top-twenty..." see: http://www.cae.org/content/pdf/VSE_2012_Press_Release.pdf

"... came in sixteenth for alumni giving rates according to U.S. New and World Report’s ranking of national universities" see: http://moredonors.com/2012USNWR.pdf

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Anonymous posted on

i too disagree with lanbo's column. but you're one of the people on this campus that i hate most. shut up. no one cares what you have to say.

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Anonymous posted on

Well, in that case!

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Essential Logic posted on

What a long, rambling post. You claim that the Columbia alumni don't care about their alma mater because Columbia didn't break into the top 20 of alumni giving? Columbia has an $8 billion endowment. It is ranked 4th among universities in wealth. Meanwhile, only 30 percent of Barnard's 30,000 alumna contribute to Barnard. Under your own argument, Barnard is inferior to Columbia. Maybe you will now be more wary about using your pen to discuss issues you know nothing about.

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You voted '+1'.
Anonymous posted on

Stop attacking Lanbo. He went to The Hotchkiss School, which probably makes him smarter and of a higher pedigree than any of you here.

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Anonymous posted on

To the writer of this comment: go home, you classist, sexist asshole.

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Come on! posted on

That was sarcasm guys! He is highlighting exactly the way Lanbo is a dick... Lanbo's writing makes it clear that this is actually how he thinks.

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anybody else posted on

think that said "classy, sexy asshole"? like she was gonna grab the poster and kiss him passionately

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Anonymous posted on

S.M.H. shame on you

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in a word posted on

no

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Anonymous posted on

yo, what if Columbia were still all-male though?

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Anonymous posted on

Then you would talk about NYU women like you talk about Barnard women now.

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Essential Logic posted on

NYU does not have any colleges or affiliations with any colleges that only admit women.

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Anonymous posted on

This article does a great injustice to the entire Columbia community. Lanbo doesn't seem to have a real understanding or relationship with Columbia College or Barnard. I could wax-poetic on all the wonderful things about life at Barnard, and I know many of my friends at CC could do the same about their school. This article dismisses the individual identities of each college and refuses to elaborate on anything more than a few vaguely described financial matters. It is painfully obvious that the author wrote this at 3 am after promising his buddy at Spec that he would write something controversial.

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Essential Logic posted on

Yes, Columbia College's identity is about providing a top education to all highly qualified students regardless of who they are while Barnard College's identity is about providing an education to mostly upper class white female students who need to be treated special for 4 years.

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Guest posted on

Maybe support this with a student body poll? then thered would be some data to draw from...

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Guest posted on

Maybe support this with a student body poll? then thered would be some data to draw from...

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Anonymous posted on

I'm asking the opposite question - why can't Columbia and Barnard get rid of their inter-corporate agreement? Look, if Barnard wants to be an INDEPENDENT liberal arts college, then I don't see the need for them to continue to lose money to Columbia and maintain this contract.

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Anonymous posted on

Is this... A joke? I'm going to go ahead and comment on the fact that this atrociously written article is reason enough for Barnard to remain a separate institution. We like our women to graduate with at least a moderate degree of eloquence in their written language.

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Rachel CC 16 posted on

Oh come on, who's the one making sweeping, hurtful generalizations about a large group of people now? As a Columbia College woman I am incredibly proud of what Columbia has offered me. Yes, this person's writing was not spectacular, but you don't have to be a jerk towards all Columbia College women because of that. Sheesh.

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SEAS'15 posted on

So far, all arguments saying that Barnard and Columbia should not merge have listed points that have no provable basis.
"Barnard students are happier" - where's the study that shows this information?
"Barnard has a nicer administration" - proof
"Barnard students actually use the services offered to them" - again, proof. I know I have used Columbia's services countless times.

I am supportive of Lanbo's beliefs, but I am willing to listen to the other side of the argument. But only if you can base your position on facts, not generalizations and gossip.

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Anonymous posted on

No. How about the fact that it's a women's college, and Columbia is not? The fact that Barnard is a women's college was the largest turnoff for me before I came here. After spending 4 years here, it's one of the aspects of the college that I like the most. Although I understand that a women's college education is not for everyone, there are definitely advantages to it.

There's an interesting dynamic between males and females when it comes to science in particular.

See this article, for example:
http://www.npr.org/2012/07/12/156664337/stereotype-threat-why-women-quit-science-jobs
and especially this quote:

"For a female scientist, particularly talking to a male colleague, if she thinks it's possible he might hold this stereotype, a piece of her mind is spent monitoring the conversation and monitoring what it is she is saying, and wondering whether or not she is saying the right thing, and wondering whether or not she is sounding competent, and wondering whether or not she is confirming the stereotype," Schmader said.

Being in an all-female science class is surprisingly different than being in a co-ed class. Some of my professors who teach both all-female and co-ed classes have mentioned this as well. For example, in co-ed classes, the female students are less likely to ask questions, despite similar education backgrounds and intelligence.

Although this sort of issue probably doesn't hold true for all departments/fields, it's one example of why a women's education is important. It's also a way to help eliminate the gender disparity when it comes to fields such as the physical sciences.

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Essential Logic posted on

And what will happen when the female science students at Barnard graduate and have to work in labs with men? Will the female scientists ask fewer questions despite similar education backgrounds and intelligence? The way to eliminate gender disparity is with gender segregation? Following that logic, is racial segregation the way to eliminate racial disparity? Perhaps Barnard should split into a white woman's college and a black woman's college?

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SEAS'15 posted on

So far, all arguments saying that Barnard and Columbia should not merge have listed points that have no provable basis.
"Barnard students are happier" - where's the study that shows this information?
"Barnard has a nicer administration" - proof
"Barnard students actually use the services offered to them" - again, proof. I know I have used Columbia's services countless times.

I am supportive of Lanbo's beliefs, but I am willing to listen to the other side of the argument. But only if you can base your position on facts, not generalizations and gossip.

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selective reasoning much posted on

Because Lanbo's column, on the other hand, provided sooooo much data and scientific evidence

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Essential Logic posted on

Lanbo's column merely asked for people's opinions about a merger between Columbia and Barnard. Columbia is expanding and Barnard needs money, so what's wrong with asking people's opinions about a possible merger? What data and scientific evidence do you have that proves a merger should not be done? Because some sexist girls might be unhappy about boys being admitted to their girls' club?

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Anonymous posted on

HE is a CC junior. How could he be expected to understand the value of a women's college?

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Essential Logic posted on

Since you are a women's college student, how could you be expected to understand the value of diversity?

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Anonymous posted on

i nominate lanbo for worst spec columnist ever

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Anonymous posted on

Nah, that would be Ryan Cho.

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Anonymous posted on

I just fail to see how Barnard can see itself as a independent undergraduate liberal arts college when entire departments--such as Computer Science or Physics--fail to exist at all in the college. Of course, I know plenty of Barnard Computer Science and Physics majors, but as far as I know, they fulfill all their requirements by taking classes offered by CC/SEAS and professors from Columbia. In fact, I don't see any courses offered this semester from Barnard for these disciplines, and I feel that I won't be wrong in saying that Barnard could not exist by itself without the resources provided by those across the street. A lot of other women's liberal arts colleges have close relationships with other universities--(i.e. Wellesley and MIT). Still, one would be able to graduate Wellesley taking classes exclusively at Wellesley, but that is not the case for Barnard students, especially those thinking of majoring in the sciences (which is an integral part of a liberal arts education!)

Barnard is essentially in limbo, fighting to keep certain requirements and traditions completely independent from Columbia on one hand yet being completely dependent to Columbia on the other. How is that good for anyone?

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Uhhh posted on

Barnard DOES have a physics department and, from what I've heard, it's much better than Columbia's.

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Anonymous posted on

Lol

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Anonymous posted on

You heard wrong. I do agree that Barnard has a lot to offer, but a better Physics Department is not one.

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Essential Logic posted on

"In cooperation with the faculty of Columbia University, Barnard offers a thorough pre-professional curriculum in both physics and astronomy."

Source: http://physics.barnard.edu/department-astronomy-physics

So much for the comment that Barnard offers a better physics department than Columbia does. If the Barnard physics department was much better than the Columbia physics department, there would be no need for the Columbia faculty to cooperate with Barnard in offering physics.

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Anonymous posted on

'but that is not the case for Barnard students, especially those thinking of majoring in the sciences"

False! The chemistry department at Barnard is pretty separate from that at Columbia, and it's completely possible to graduate with a chemistry major without taking any classes at Columbia. The department here is great, and all the professors really care about the students and get to know us really well.

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Essential Logic posted on

This is what Barnard has to say about their Chemistry Department:

"Our New York location and our relationship with Columbia mean that there are also opportunities to work in a larger scale science environment, if you wish. Barnard chemistry and biochemistry majors frequently choose to do their senior theses in research groups in the Columbia Chemistry or Biology departments, at the Columbia University Medical Center, and at other nearby institutions."

http://chemistry.barnard.edu/faqs#Q1

Gee, if Columbia ended its affiliation with Barnard, I wonder how many chemistry majors would apply to Barnard to study chemistry? Especially since there are so many other schools that offer larger and superior chemistry departments (CUNY for example).

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Anonymous posted on

I'd actually have to say, as a BC student, that I agree with this to some extent. Obviously I chose to go here (frankly, the very rigid core at CC is a valid deterrent and the appeal of a small liberal arts college in NYC is immense), but I did not realize before I got here the extent to which Barnard and Columbia were intertwined. I thought that having the option to take the occasional Columbia class would be refreshing (after all, the male perspective isn't a useless thing), but that I'd take the vast majority of my classes at Barnard. Since coming here, and declaring a different major than I intended when applying to colleges, the majority of my major's classes have been fulfilled at Columbia. I'm not complaining, I've found both my Barnard and Columbia classes to be equally enriching, but I think Barnard could stand to have more independent institutions. We should have a better library. We should have our own (normal-sized) gym. And we should definitely consistently offer classes to satisfy our own majors. I really appreciate the opportunities made available by the fluidity of the Barnard/Columbia relationship, but I can understand the arguments of it being an imbalanced relationship that ultimately makes the people who chose to go to one school disproportionately reliant on another.

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eh posted on

That's fairly inaccurate. I was pre-med before switching to the humanities, and as a pre-med I took all of my classes at Barnard, whereas I took more classes on Columbia's campus after I switched. And the bizarre thing is, I've also taken several social science classes that were listed as "Columbia" classes but were taught by Barnard professors in Barnard classrooms.

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Essential Logic posted on

The bizarre thing is, why have a separate, sexist school that does not admit men when Barnard and Columbia students can take classes at both campuses?

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Anonymous posted on

lol no

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Anonymous posted on

Once upon a time there was a nice women's college named Radcliffe, where many famous American women studied, and with a strong tradition. Then Harvard started accepting women, and they both merged. Radcliffe rests in the memory of history books. Barnard survived the trend, and in spite of its struggles it shows strong vitality flying her colors. Long live Barnard!

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Essential Logic posted on

Yes, long live Barnard as it will live forever in the history books the way Radcliffe does. The number of women's colleges is dwindling. In fact, many predict that a large number of colleges will close as tuition skyrockets. If Columbia ever decides to end the affiliation, watch out. Or, someone might sue Barnard in order to end its gender-segregated admissions policy. Time will tell.

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Anonymous posted on

Speaking as a current Barnard student, I would argue there are significant differences between CC and BC. Although not tangibly seen to a typical CC student, there is a rich Barnard community and vibe that runs the risk of being dissolved if the two schools merged. The camaraderie, relationships and support within the Barnard family would be jeopardized.

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Essential Logic posted on

Yes, and the camaraderie, relationships and support within the Columbia College family were dissolved when it admitted women in the early 1980s. Life went on. Long live diversity and end gender-segregation at Barnard.

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BC 2016 posted on

HE DOESN'T EVEN GO HERE

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Anonymous posted on

He wish he did, but being a HE, he can't :-D

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Anonymous posted on

Hey, there are trans*men who go to Barnard. Can we stop leaving them out of these conversations?

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are you sure? posted on

From what I've heard, women who become trans men have to transfer, but it's fine for trans women.

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Anonymous posted on

Female-to-male trans*men are actually permitted to graduate and are not forced to transfer. Male-to-female trans*women are currently not admitted to most women's colleges, including Barnard.

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Anonymous posted on

Oh, didn't realize that. Thanks for clearing that up!

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Essential Logic posted on

So, in other words, Barnard is discriminatory not only against men in their admissions, but they are discriminatory against certain kinds of transsexuals.

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Anonymous posted on

In that case they are no longer HEs.

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Anonymous posted on

lawl @ heteronormativism

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K8 posted on

bravo on the Mean Girls reference ;-)

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Anonymous posted on

I don't know, when women are only 18.3% of Congress and only 4.2% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women maybe institutions that try to promote women's leadership are necessary.
Just a thought.

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Essential Logic posted on

If they are so necessary, then why has the number of women's colleges dwindled?

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Essential Logic posted on

I don't see how Barnard promotes women's leadership by excluding men from their admissions. Do Barnard women plan to lead organizations that exclude men? Barnard has been around for over a 100 years. So why aren't there larger percentages of Congresswomen and Fortune 500 CEOs? Women make up more than half of the vote. Perhaps women are not too interested in seeing women in leadership positions?

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Anonymous posted on

didn't read lol

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Anonymous posted on

Jeez, everyone is so eager to be offended at this school (any bt this school I mean Columbia/Barnard/etc). Lanbo's article may have been uniformed, but it did not warrant this overblown response. Bye.

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HGM posted on

Yikes

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Anonymous posted on

Lanbo, this is... well, this is terrible. Just so very poorly written. Horrible argumentation. Really just... upsetting. I'm going to invite you to go ahead and take a seat. Maybe don't write for a while. Maybe just... well, think about what you've done.

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Essential Logic posted on

Yes, and your post is so well written with excellent argumentation. Perhaps you should accept your own invitation - take a seat and don't write for a while. Think about how your Barnard education has helped you.

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BC Alum posted on

"Having never used the advising, health, career, or any other support services at Barnard—and to be honest, having barely used the ones at Columbia either—I can’t speak to whether tangible differences exist between the two. "

This in itself is one major difference. Unlike CC students, Barnard students build the legitimate relationships with their advisers etc. that only a small liberal arts college can provide. Barnard provided me and continues to provide its students and alumni with truly remarkable levels of support throughout and following their four years, especially compared with the experiences of my CC and SEAS friends.

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Essential Logic posted on

Then why do you need Columbia? If Barnard is so wonderful and shouldn't be merged into Columbia, why not just separate from Columbia altogether?

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Anonymous posted on

So depressing that this dude is majoring in economics and history, as he appears knows nothing about either discipline.

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Anonymous posted on

So depressing that this dude is majoring in economics and history, as he appears knows nothing about either discipline.

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Anonymous posted on

It could be worse. He could be a woman.

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Lanbizzle posted on

Lanbizzle, I can imagine you sitting back smugly and thinking, "haha, I really did it! If everyone hates me, I must be doing something right!"

This isn't one of those things. I hope these columns keep you from getting jobs, finding a life-long partner, and from getting anything else good in life... It is already clear that you are a horribly unhappy person, so I guess I can't wish that on you. Too bad.

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anonymous posted on

...well that escalated quickly...

I agree, the article was dumb and misinformed. But really, it's just a column... definitely shouldn't warrant prevention from "finding a life-long partner..." jeez.

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Anonymous posted on

Prevent him from getting jobs and getting anything good in life? Let's not kid ourselves, it may be a poorly written article, but it's not like he's a Barnard student or anything.

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Essential Logic posted on

Wishing someone perpetual unemployment and a bad life because he expressed an opinion with which you don't agree? Yes, your Barnard education has definitely turned you into a happy, well-adjusted and confident person capable of leadership.

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B posted on

yes let's do a student poll to look at how many Columbia students want Columbia to merge with Barnard.

it's totally not PC to hate on Barnard girls, but let's face it - no one gets shit talked more than the Barnard girl that puts Columbia in her Facebook education.

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Anonymous posted on

I got it tattooed on my upper thigh. Is that more or less offensive?

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Anonymous posted on

Just one comment on this--back when I was at Barnard (I'm an Old), Facebook didn't even HAVE Barnard listed as a college and the only thing we could put was Columbia if we wanted it to link to anything instead of it looking shady (believe you me, we griped a bunch about that). Thankfully, that was fixed and my college history now says Barnard.

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Essential Logic posted on

No doubt that when you are looking for a job, your resume would read that you graduated from Barnard College/Columbia University. If you are so proud of Barnard, then you should support the separation of Barnard from Columbia.

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B posted on

Seriously Barnard, go away, I don’t need to be reading about how “strong” you are. If you really were as “strong” and “independent” as you say you are, you’d stop casually dropping Columbia’s prestigious name in conversation when asked about where you go to school. If you’re really proud of the school you go to then I don’t know why you have to mention Columbia at all, they’re 2 separate schools.

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AT posted on

Really? That's funny. I have never, in the last four years, said that I attend Columbia.

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Essential Logic posted on

Yes, but no doubt when you are looking for a job, you will place Barnard College/Columbia University on your resume.

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Anonymous posted on

We don't merge because Barnard doesn't want to be CC. If you won't to Barnard, you'd understand why.

"You think everyone is in love with you!" -Janis Ian Dyke

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Anonymous posted on

*went

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Essential Logic posted on

Sure, less competition and an easier curriculum at Barnard.

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y posted on

Lanbo probably introduces himself by saying he goes to "the College."

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y posted on

Lanbo probably introduces himself by saying he goes to "the College."

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Anonymous posted on

I am a BC student and I happen to disagree, but I don't take offense to this. The extremely strong, hateful words being used to describe the writer are so unnecessary. He has an opinion based on the Barnard women he knows and his own experiences. You disagree? Ok. Cool. Calm the fuck down. Dont call him a "horrendous, irrational abomination." You are all discrediting yourselves and your points when you react so violently.

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Anonymous posted on

That's really offensive. You need to understand that women by nature are incapable of controlling their emotions. Learn some PC next time.

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Anonymous posted on

Though I personally completely disagree with the argument of this article, the main issue here is the fact that the spec would publish a piece in which the argument is completely unfounded. All claims in this piece completely ignore factual and historical information, and fail to even bring in the experience of the writer who himself states, "Having never used the advising, health, career, or any other support services at Barnard—and to be honest, having barely used the ones at Columbia either—I can’t speak to whether tangible differences exist between the two." How can you have an opinion and compare the two, if you yourself cannot speak to facts about the institution?

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Essential Logic posted on

In his article he states that even if the advisement services at Barnard are superior to the advisement services at Columbia, is that a good reason to maintain separate schools? Besides, if Barnard women are so smart, why would they need that much advisement?

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Anonymous posted on

Could not agree more

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Anonymous posted on

I transferred to Barnard from a large public institution in my home state. I had given up opportunities at big name schools outside of my state which had admitted me to go to that large public institution because it was the most affordable option. In the end, I hated it because it was so large there was no community and I felt like academics were not taken seriously enough. I transferred to Barnard because I wanted to go to a school where I knew I would be challenged, but that I would not be ignored by my professors. At Barnard I have been encouraged, given personal attention, and really fostered relationships with my professors, advisers, and deans. I have never felt like a number, and I have never felt as though my professors were trying to make things difficult or that they did not have time to speak to me about my concerns or just my interest, in fact, I have had professors invite the entire class to their homes on the weekends to have dinner or brunch. Additionally, at Barnard I am able to be in a class with anywhere from 9-15 people only--this gives me the opportunity to really express myself in the classroom and intimately engage with the material, something I have noticed does not always happen in my Columbia classes. The bottom line is, I transferred to Barnard because I knew it was an institution that would care about my personal growth and support me in all of my academic and professional endeavors and I could not be happier. I do not understand why it is continually assumed that Barnard women came to Barnard because we wanted to attend Columbia. Certainly, it is nice to have access to Columbia if I ever feel the need to take a class there, but the reality is for me, personally, I came to Barnard because of its unique setting. I never even considered applying to CC, indeed it was not on my radar when I started my transfer applications. I was not aware how integrated the two schools were. When I came here and found out how fluid the campuses are, I was shocked. My best experiences have been at Barnard. My best professors are Barnard professors. The accomplishment that I am looking forward to completing most in my undergraduate career--writing my thesis, is something I would have not been able to do if I had gone to CC. If you want to know why Barnard College has not merged with Columbia entirely, just ask the students who go here.

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Essential Logic posted on

Let's see how many students will go to Barnard if the affiliation with Columbia ever ends. Close to $50,000 in annual tuition for such a small campus? The only people who would ever pay that much money for extra attention are the daughters of rich people who couldn't care less where they go to college as long as they are happy. But even they have a limit.

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G posted on

As a CC student with many friends at Barnard, I'm always perplexed about why Columbia students think it their place to question the very existence of a school they don't go to. Being a first year at Carman, I can definitely tell you the residence halls at Barnard are a hell of a lot better. Nevertheless, I'm not calling for the destruction of Columbia... If we Columbia students are proud of our own school, why do feel the urge to tear down the community around us? Columbia students are extremely insecure and should stop trying to justify their existence by demeaning that of others.

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Anonymous posted on

Your comment is so refreshing to read

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Anonymous posted on

Amen to that!

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Essential Logic posted on

Dorms at Barnard are better? Small, crowded with 3 women sharing a room in some cases? For the price Barnard charges and the claims about how Barnard gives women extra attention, each female student should have her own spacious dorm with a queen-sized bed, walk-in closets as well as a full kitchen and bath.

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Essential Logic posted on

If Barnard students are so secure, then they should end the affiliation with Columbia.

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Anonymous posted on

You don't think the experiences had at Barnard differ from Columbia?
Our professors are tenured at COlumbia but actively choose to teach at Barnard, a thing they wouldnt do if the departments were the same. Primary health care service, well-woman, and Furhman counseling center focus on uniquely women's mental, physical, and emotional needs. The center on women's research and the Athena scholar program focus on making contemporary women's issues known and give our students the skills to combat them, which is only benefited by our women focused career dev office which was voted second best by Princeton review. Despite Columbia's seemingly endless financial funds they just can't seem to compare to the Barnard adviser program. And exactly which side of the street would you want to be on if you had an emergency? because frankly i prefer living where there are respinsible RAs, public safety that actually know the names of the buildings, and graduate hall directors who will accompany you to the hospital. Everyone from Pres Spar who's in the middle of hosting literally all seniors in increments for desserts in her apartment, first year class dean Hollibaugh who was seen in pjs at the first year class slumber party themed dinner 2 weeks ago, to the access attendants who, if u read their bios put in res life's monthly installment on the back of every bathroom stall, say how much they love the students and barnard. Barnard might have been founded based on a separate educational philosophy and mission, or what the previous article thought of as meaningless rhetoric, but Barnard remains separate from Columbia because of the woman's focus, community, and people.

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Anonymous posted on

Many people are happy with the Columbia advising program. Besides, if Barnard and Columbia students are so smart, how much advising would they need? How do you know that the Columbia RAs aren't responsible? Many co-ed schools offer research center on women's issues. And what about men's issues? Men are more likely to drop out of high school and college, be laid off, commit suicide and become homeless. Why aren't these issues important? I don't see what a President who hosts dessert functions in her apartment is going to do for your career. What happens when you enter the real world and people just expect you to work hard without offering any personal attention? Finally, why can't Barnard be co-ed and offer the benefits of a small, liberal arts college to men and women?

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Jenna Hamilton posted on

Is there value to saving Barnard if it is becoming a non-self sustainable and a failing institution? Why not close the school after the next incoming class graduates and sell the property. Those professors tenured at Barnard are already tenured at Columbia and those not tenured and whose contracts are being evaluated could have priority interviews for jobs in other Columbia schools. The Barnard students will have graduated and not be displaced, and CC and SEAS class enrollment would not rapidly increase by whatever percent. Less of a bureaucratic nightmare. Is this what is already being proposed? I'm a bit confused by the use of the word "merger."

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Anonymous posted on

I would rather Barnard swallows its pride and merge than to have it go under.

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Anonymous posted on

Had I known that I would be treated as unequal for attending Barnard, I would not have chosen this school.

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Anonymous posted on

You probably should not have considered a women's college ANYWHERE for that matter, if you couldn't handle a little "rivalry"

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Anonymous posted on

As a Barnard student who was accepted not only to CC but to Upenn, Cornell and Dartmouth, I stand completely behind my choice to go to Barnard. I'm appalled not only by the blatant disregard of Barnard women by Columbia students but also by Barnard girls who have absolutely no pride in their school and delude themselves into thinking they go to Columbia.

I am not rich, white, nor do I have connections. While a majority of Barnard girls do fit 2 or more of these criteria, it's not right to generalize the entire population. I chose Barnard because they didn't require first-years to dorm and I fell in love with the charming traditions and quaintness of the institution. I couldn't be happier here, especially when I see my CC friends...

Barnard and Columbia are two separate entities yet they are one. It's like a complicated soap opera family. I think Barnard girls should embrace their school and have some school pride and Columbia students should back off and stop being so petty and spiteful. It's disgusting. Reading these comments... why can't we just be one happy dysfunctional family?

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Essential Logic posted on

Because a dysfunctional family is not a real family. A real family loves you regardless of who you are. Barnard chooses to exclude men from its admissions. That's not a family.

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Barnardlover2341 posted on

Do I want to give this redundant argument the satisfaction it hoped to invoke? Or do I just acknowledge my unhappiness with the article, via social networking platforms? Decisions...

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Frankly posted on

I don't agree with Lanbo's assessment, but I also don't think it's an unreasonable question to pose nor a baseless argument. It's a little ridiculous how vitriolic people become on both sides when discussing the matter, but I also find its presence as this perpetual "third rail" in cross-street relations incredibly frustrating.

I'm a male student at CC. I eagerly await the charges of my complicity in the misogynous patriarchy, but I honestly think we should be past the age of single-sex higher education. The notion that girls' colleges have a "right" to exist in the absence of their male counterparts seems incredibly sexist. Yes, HBCUs continue to exist--even some male-only HBCUs!--but they certainly aren't apt comparisons to the seven sisters which were, at their inception, little more than sister schools to the Ivies for equally privileged women. If I were a woman--yeah, I get it, I'm not, but as a queer male and a minority I'm here to tell you that y'all bitches don't have a monopoly on marginalization--I would consider their existence to be an affront to my intelligence and capabilities in the first place.

I'm sorry, Barnard. I love you. I love your dining hall. I love so many of your students. I've had the privilege of attending a few of your classes and making use of your wonderful facilities, and to the extent that I can I've experienced first-hand the uniqueness of your college experience. But it's time for you to go. You can't have your cake and eat it too; you can't be a part of Columbia when it's to your advantage, and disappear when it counts. You can't deny the fact that you have a separate admissions process and maintain your own academic departments and resources, walk in our graduation ceremonies, and then turn the other cheek and tout yourself as an independent women's liberal arts college. I can't respect that.

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um posted on

this comment is all over the place, but I'll try and piece together some response:

"turn the other cheek and tout yourself as an independent women's liberal arts college." We *are* an independent women's liberal arts college. We have separate finances, separate administration, separate student body. We pay you guys for certain Columbia services

"at their inception, little more than sister schools to the Ivies for equally privileged women" Wait, so our privileged past is an affront to *you*, a CC student?

"as a queer male and a minority I'm here to tell you that y'all bitches don't have a monopoly on marginalization-" awesome, idk when this turned into a marginalization competition.

"I would consider their existence to be an affront to my intelligence and capabilities in the first place." My mother, a BC alum and a highly successful woman, has nothing but gratitude towards BC for instilling within her a sense of personal empowerment and providing unique resources. I feel the same. It makes no sense that a institution that exists to empower, not coddle, women, should be an "affront" to our intelligence. Maybe you're jelly? Sucks to suck.

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Really Now? posted on

"Maybe you're jelly? Sucks to suck."

I'm not sure how to respond to that, so I'll choose not to. Well, I will say this: if you mean to imply that as a member of another marginalized group I'm "jealous" to the extent that, should such institutions exist for women, the lack of equally affirmative programs for other "oppressed minorities" seems indefensible, then you are correct. What you interpret as a "marginalizaton competition" is a valid point given the nature of arguments in favor of women's colleges you YOURSELF made, which I'll get into in a bit. It's almost comical how oblivious are are to this irony. Lastly, if this fundamental inequality is just a "sucks to suck" situation for you, then I don't have much else to say because chances are you're a basic bitch and an overall shitty person. But I digress.

I apologize if you had difficulty processing my comment--my intention was simply to be thorough--but perhaps the fault lies not so much in my lack of clarity as in your lack of basic reading comprehension skills. Please, do try and keep up.

Barnard is *not* an "independent" women's college, in any holistic sense of the word. Aside from your own students who seek to assert as much, factually speaking this is not the case. I've participated in NSOP for three years now, so perhaps I ought to remind you that there are *four* undergraduate schools at Columbia, one of which is Barnard. This is why you will be roundly condemned if, as a CC student, you introduce yourself as going to "the college." Barnard students benefit from Columbia's services in a way that a school that wasn't part of Columbia never could. Congrats on paying for them! This isn't the YMCA, though, and last time I checked Tufts can't just pay Harvard a membership fee to access virtually ALL of their resources. Barnard students hold positions of influence in organizations that nominally fall under Columbia's jurisdiction; many of you live in our dorms; you attend our classes; you eat in our dining halls using your own IDs, and access our libraries at all hours. All of this would seem to suggest a pervasive lack of independence, no? There are other structural linkages between schools, such as the Claremont Consortium and the tri-school relationship between the LACs in suburban Philly. The tremendous imbalance in the Barnard-Columbia relationship makes it unique.

I'm by no means personally affronted by "privilege," and fail to see where I suggested as much. Barnard's privileged past is, however, an affront to any justification for your continued existence that's predicated solely on historical oppression. Numerous comments have alluded to the lack of women in positions of power (vis-a-vis government, business, etc...) as a factor necessitating the school's existence, in order to rectify this injustice. To which I respond: how many openly LGBT professional athletes are there? Very few. How many Hispanic-American CEOs? Asian-American senators? Should we create special colleges solely catering to the needs of these groups, and smugly assert the infallibility of our efforts to change the tides of society *regardless* of the fact that such communities in no way reflect the way the world actually works? I don't believe in single-sex higher education in the first place, which necessarily invalidates Barnard from my perspective. This is by no means an ill-considered or illogical position.

Please let me know if there's anything else I should clarify. Do you though, girl, do you.

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Anonymous posted on

^ Damn straight.

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Anonymous posted on

Oh, noooooo, I made fun of your writing skills. Oh, I'm sorry I made you so sad. All that Lit Hum, and for NOTHING. Really. Here, have a handkerchief.

"Barnard students hold positions of influence in organizations that nominally fall under Columbia's jurisdiction; many of you live in our dorms; you attend our classes; you eat in our dining halls using your own IDs, and access our libraries at all hours."

So can you for the exact same Barnard resources.

"There are other structural linkages between schools, such as the Claremont Consortium and the tri-school relationship between the LACs in suburban Philly. The tremendous imbalance in the Barnard-Columbia relationship makes it unique."

They have more immersive relationships than other schools do. That does not make it "imbalanced." Hence the existence of caps on access between the colleges: Barnard students cannot eat at JJ's, live in CU dorms, take CU classes willy-nilly, and vice versa. If any Barnard student can theoretically spend her entire BC undergraduate experience without involuntarily placing as so much of a toe on CU's campus, then yes, the college is functionally independent. As is currently the case. There are some CC students whom I see on Barnard's campus nearly EVERY DAY, but I think CC is pretty independent, don't you?

"To which I respond: how many openly LGBT professional athletes are there? Very few. How many Hispanic-American CEOs? Asian-American senators? Should we create special colleges solely catering to the needs of these groups, and smugly assert the infallibility of our efforts to change the tides of society *regardless* of the fact that such communities in no way reflect the way the world actually works?"

Lol. Why the fuck not? Go for it.

"I don't believe in single-sex higher education in the first place."

Why did you even bother.

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Anonymous posted on

(also, in the past few weeks, half of CCSC has been camping out on Lehman Lawn on nearly a daily basis. The irony.)

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Anonymous posted on

Why shouldn't CC students use Barnard's campus? Barnard students can use the CC campus but not the other way around? And Columbia is independent because I never heard anyone say that Columbia University is a constituent college of Barnard College. So you believe in segregation? Okay, perhaps Columbia should stop admitting women. After all, there is a need for men's colleges since men make up on average only 40 percent of college students and are more likely to drop out of college. Perhaps Columbia should go back to educating only men. And Barnard will educate only women. Yeah, like the Barnard students won't scream sexism at the top of their lungs and file lawsuits.

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Essential Logic posted on

Well, since both Barnard and Columbia students use each other's resources, why not merge?

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Essential Logic posted on

In that case, Barnard should break up into a black women's college, a Hispanic woman's college and a lesbian college. Hey, you said go for it. Lol.

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Rachel CC 16 posted on

That was beautiful. Thanks.

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BC '15 posted on

You're an idiot.

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Delighted Onlooker posted on

This is the best article that has ever been written for Spec. Not because of the subject material (who gives a shit), but because of the sheer amount of anger it brought out. It's impossible not to laugh when I imagine all those flustered faces slamming away at their keyboards with the delusion that their buttfrustrated opinions will actually do anything. Keep the comments coming. Your tears are delicious.

And downvote this opinion all you want, but here's a fact: Barnard benefits much more from the Columbia-Barnard association than Columbia does. Don't fool yourself into thinking that the average Columbia student would give a single shit if our sister school got shut down or absorbed.

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Anonymous posted on

Actually, I think you would all care, since many of us would no longer be admitted to Columbia if we had to also compete with the Barnard pool of students, particularly those who apply to Barnard early admission. I got rather tired as a cc student of having my butt kicked in class by Barnard students. And yes, I studied.

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Anonymous posted on

You talk as if the Barnard pool of students would be any real competition to begin with. In reality, most would be rejected, as most already were to begin with.

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oh... posted on

The irony of praising Spec, an organization practically overrun by Barnard students, for publishing an anti-Barnard column. That is all.

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Anonymous posted on

Lanbo, while I appreciate your opinion, you should have done a little more research and actually talked to some Barnard students before writing this article. Despite our financial situation, I am confident that if the Barnard community was to vote again whether or not they wanted to merge, it would be shot down again. There is something about being at Barnard that is beyond the curriculum offered. If you really care to understand the situation, I encourage you to reach out to your Barnard classmates and ask them what they think makes Barnard so special.

Furthermore, I am constantly overwhelmed and saddened by how many comments are so nasty and derogatory. We are better than this.

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Essential Logic posted on

I doubt that Barnard would shoot down a merger. When Barnard refused to merge with Columbia in the 1960s, Columbia was not doing well. When Columbia sold Rockefeller Center for $400 million, that's when Columbia began to grow again. Today, it is Barnard that is not doing well. If Barnard does shoot down a merger and Columbia ends its affiliation, Barnard will most likely not survive. And there have been many complaints from Barnard students that the institution is not worth the money, especially since CUNY offers more programs with more impressive facilities at a cheaper cost. Yes, there are a lot of strong Barnard supporters but they clearly are not enough of them to place Barnard in a stronger financial position than it currently is in.

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BC 2015 posted on

I truly love Barnard and I love being in a women's college. I feel empowered and I feel I have learned incredible things from my peers. The community atmosphere trumps Columbia any day. But lets be real here: sometimes it's redundant. Why are there 2 student government organizations doing the same things for the same people? Why do we have two seperate endowments when Barnard is suffering and Columbia is doing just fine? Why are there 2 departments for every subject with different requirements when I can take classes in both?
And finally, WHY CANT I GET SWIPE ACCESS TO COLUMBIA DORMS?

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Essential Logic posted on

Well, if Barnard's community atmosphere trumps Columbia, then why do you want to swipe access to the Columbia dorms? I will never understand why a number of Barnard students claim that Barnard is superior to Columbia but refuse to end the affiliation with Columbia.

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Anonymous posted on

We need schools like Barnard specifically because sexism is still a huge issue. There are plenty of ways that Barnard can fix its cash flow problems without essentially shutting down as an institution. Also, to all the comment trolls that come out of the woodwork every time someone whispers "barnard-columbia relationship", I am sure you would love for our two schools to merge. No better way to shut us annoying, SAT failing girls up right. Keep strong Barnard, if you are making the trolls feel uncomfortable then you are doing something very right!

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Essential Logic posted on

I fail to see how Barnard solves any sexism issues when it engages in sexism itself by refusing to admit men. The solution to sexism is diversity not segregation.

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Jeanine posted on

Why not read a book or two before posting an article like this?

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Anonymous posted on

This article is horribly written and poorly researched. It also brings up nothing that hasn't already been said in the ongoing Barnard v. Columbia debate. As a Barnard senior with a 3.6 GPA, a job at a prestigious NYC research institution secured before graduation, and a wealth of tremendous experiences and accomplishments over my four years, I can honestly say that it was Barnard and not Columbia that helped me achieve this level of success. I barely even stepped foot on the Columbia campus until halfway through college. I've taken maybe 5 classes at Columbia. Every year this debate explodes, and my only question is why. Columbia is still prestigious. Barnard is still prestigious. Just like you all slave away and waste your time competing over being stressed and who stayed up longer all night in Butler, you're wasting your time having a meaningless debate when you could just be grateful for the education and opportunities you have while being here. Plenty of people would give anything to be in most of our positions, and we should be humbled by that. Also, what else is it going to take to make you feel confident about yourselves?? You got into Columbia -- do you still need to bash other people to feel good about yourselves? It's pathetic.

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Anonymous posted on

As a fellow history major, I am glad to see that your studies have really enhanced your ability to think through a situation historically, and then completely dismiss any effect its history might have on it. Well done.

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Anonymous posted on

This isn't an argument about which school is better because it's not an argument! Columbia students cannot weigh in on Barnard, because they're two different schools. Columbia especially cannot argue that Barnard should merge because NO ONE ASKED COLUMBIA ITS OPINION and Columbia has no right to weigh in. Barnard has a separate endowment and isn't asking for any money from Columbia. Thus, LANBO'S OPINION IS INSIGNIFICANT. It's as if I decided to take up a position on whether or not parochial schools or HBCUs should exist. My opinion doesn't matter because I'm not Catholic or black. So Columbia can run its mouth all it wants, it's just noise that no one is listening to. The only reason Barnard gets to weigh in on Columbia is because Barnard students are burdened with the Columbia name on the diploma.

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Essential Logic posted on

And should Columbia ever decide to end the affiliation with Barnard, let's see who will be running their mouths and making all of the noise. And if you really believe that your opinion on any issue doesn't matter just because you belong to a certain religious or racial group, that is proof that Barnard's segregationist policy isn't helping anyone.

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Anonymous posted on

When are men going to get a nurturing environment?

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Anonymous posted on

The Columbia men generally speaking like having Barnard around ( who wouldn't.) They date and interact all the time. It is generally the women who don't get along.

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Anonymous posted on

All of these comments are so incredibly petty...

I'm attending CU next year and while no, I'm no expert on the Columbia-Barnard relationship, it seems to me that both Columbia and Barnard students are incredibly insecure and just seek to put the other school down. It's comment threads like this that show the shallowness and pettiness of both schools. All the comments are CU students putting down Barnard students, and Barnard students slamming CU students. All for incredibly insecure and dumb reasons. Let's just move on... both schools are incredibly unique and prestigious in their own right. That seems like it should be enough.

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Anonymous posted on

I completely agree with you. As a freshman here, I have to say that this rivalry between the two colleges is extremely immature and only helps drive the wedge deeper. Last year, after choosing this college from among my options, the infamous bwog commencement comment thread was well underway and I took the time to skim through some of the comments. Let me just say, I was horrified to see the things people were saying, from both sides of the street. I hated the way Barnard students were trash-talking CC and I was disgusted with the hatred thrown towards BC by CC/SEAS students. I was literally ASHAMED to know that this was the school I would be attending. Before that, I felt honoured and proud to be able to say that I would be going to one of the most prestigious universities where I would be surrounded by some of the most intelligent and engaging students in the world. But after seeing the display of misogyny, cruelty, insecurity, superiority, and downright immaturity, I was appalled at seeing what students at this university are actually like and I was ashamed to have any connection with the university and ANY of the schools within.
Thankfully, after being here for almost two full semesters, I have come to realize that the majority of the students I interact with on a daily basis are NOT the students that made me feel ashamed of our university last spring. Because, for the majority of the students on both sides, it really DOESN'T matter which school you go to because, really, they just don't care. We all go to Columbia University. Do the specifics really matter? BC girls can say they go to Barnard College OR Columbia University, just as CC students can choose to say Columbia College OR Columbia University. In the end, it's the same university. I have a good amount of friends in all of the schools and I'm glad that all this tension and rivalry and immaturity is mostly felt and seen on comment threads such as these. I don't feel ashamed to say I go here anymore because I know what the students are really like, not what they're like when they can sit behind the wall of anonymity and spew whatever they think will get the best reaction out of people onto threads like this.
CC, BC, SEAS, GS...Columbia University, I love you. And now I have to get dressed because I'm going to dinner with some friends (2 CC and 3 BC students, for those of you who care to know).

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Anonymous posted on

All of these comments are so incredibly petty...

I'm attending CU next year and while no, I'm no expert on the Columbia-Barnard relationship, it seems to me that both Columbia and Barnard students are incredibly insecure and just seek to put the other school down. It's comment threads like this that show the shallowness and pettiness of both schools. All the comments are CU students putting down Barnard students, and Barnard students slamming CU students. All for incredibly insecure and dumb reasons. Let's just move on... both schools are incredibly unique and prestigious in their own right. That seems like it should be enough.

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Anonymous posted on

Welcome. Don't worry, you can get your Kool-Aid during orientation week.

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Anonymous posted on

TROLL IN THE DUNGEONS

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Anonymous posted on

Barnard is a women's college for a reason. The Seven Sisters exist because they still have a good reason to.

Good luck, Columbia University. There are a lot of people - even juniors majoring in econ and history - that you still have to educate before you unleash them into the real world.

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