Article Image
@itsgabbyp / via Instagram

Dear U.S. News,

We need to talk about your National Universities Rankings.

We were getting along fine last year. We were happy placing fourth. We didn’t even care that we were tied with some rando West Coast college* because if you tie fourth with a non-Ivy, it really means you’re third. (Just go with that logic. Don't question it.)

Anyways, now, you bring that damn University of Chicago up to tie third with Yale, and then add insult to injury by placing us not only back in fifth, but also tied back in fifth with Stanford. Stanford. Who’s heard of Stanford? The only thing more insulting than dragging us down your ranked rungs of respectability is making us share our place with a fairly unknown non-Ivy.

* That rando West Coast college was also Stanford, come to think of it.

Yes, we’re bitter, but because we’re all pansies with no real athletic ability (since our sports complex is so far away), instead of engaging in a Brazilian jiujitsu match over the matter, we’ll just write an angry letter outlining why we really do deserve to be fourth this year. After all, so much has happened to justify this whiny plea...

We had our own campus superhero (for one day)

While New Yorkers will never forget Winter Storm Jonas, Columbians will never forget Flagpanties.

Sporting boxer shorts, donning a Columbia athletics vest, and carrying an American flag, Flagpanties took to the Jonas snowball fight on Low steps to baffle, amuse, and eventually spark an inquest into his identity. The discovery of his civilian alias was tremendously underwhelming and his notoriety fizzled within the next hour, but still, we technically did have one superhero for a few hours.

We hosted an on-campus sleepover

We’ll concede that our Bacchanal lineups aren’t cool enough to feature Janelle MonĂ¡e, but that doesn’t mean that social events for students aren’t “hip-hop-happening” (as the kids say these days).

Just last semester, Low Library housed an eight-day long slumber party for Columbia Divest for Climate Justice. Everyone came! Public Safety, Spec news reporters, Seamless delivery guys, and Executive Vice President for University Life Suzanne Goldberg. Unfortunately PrezBo couldn’t make it, but ya know. Anyways, just saying, name another Ivy that does high-profile slumber parties on that scale.

We’re really intellectual when it comes to art

One of the wildest nuggets of campus discourse from this year would have to be the discussion surrounding Henry Moore’s sculpture, Reclining Figure. Some people said it was ugly. Some people said it was deep. We said it was a dragon. In short, we’re all smart because we vehemently vocalized diverse, nuanced (or in some cases, nonsensical) opinions about things pertaining to #culture.


Our administration recognizes the sustainability and environmental friendliness of reusable menstrual cups. That’s why Columbia Health’s stopped throwing free tampons at everyone. They’re hinting that there are more eco-friendly methods. Catch up with our progressiveness, Brown.

Fine, Columbia Health isn’t giving out free menstrual cups now…but... like... it’s not as if we needed tampons anyway... I mean we only went coed in 1983, and the tiny restroom in Barnard’s Career Development office already has at least four free tampons in a little basket by the sink so who needs more? We’re fine. Everything’s fine…

Let us now return, U.S. News, to your inaccurate list. You know, I know, everybody knows that you need an environmentally progressive, artistically-cultured, slumber-partying, superheroic university to grace the upper echelons of your definitive ranking. Let us in. If you do, we’ll send you our last free tampon.

Sophia Hotung is Spectrum’s editor and a Barnard junior who has been told in many a Spec comments section, “YOU DON’T EVEN GO HERE!!” Why is she writing as if she goes to an undergraduate college of Columbia University? Reach her at to tell her to go back to her damn side of Broadway and stay out of the smart kids’ business.

Gifs via

us news rankings
From Around the Web