Summer in Review (June 29-July 28): Internships, street signs, and a party in Morningside Park

Posted by: The Lion 1 year, 1 month ago

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Bollinger cutting the ribbon at the opening ceremony for Columbia's Startup Lab | Photo credit: Columbia Engineering Young Alumni

Student Leaders

Think your internship at Goldman Sachs is prestigious? In the spirit of a NY Times wedding announcement or a Morgan Stanley ad, the White House has sent out a press release announcing the names and universities of its elite summer interns who made it through the rigorous application process. According to the press release, the internship will "make the White House accessible to future [student] leaders around the nation."

Not to be left out from such an honor, five of the 147 interns are Columbia students. Congratulations to all of them.

Akah, Victoria Hometown: Ann Arbor, MI; Columbia University in the City of New York, NY

Busby, Ronald Hometown: Potomac, MD; Columbia University in the City of New York, NY

Heinrich, Marc Hometown: New York, NY; Columbia University in the City of New York, NY

Mohtadi, Shahrzad Hometown: Edina, MN; Columbia University in the City of New York, NY

Singh, Harmann Hometown: Buffalo, NY; Columbia University in the City of New York, NY


In other political news, there may be a new party coming to campus.


Thanks to the U Senate IT Committee and CUIT, we now have Google Drive for Lionmail. While the university advises you to use Lionmail Drive for university matters, we advise you to do exactly the opposite, and continue using (or make) Google accounts. Because having your information stored by a large corporation has feels a lot better than having it stored by Columbia.

However, not all is sunshine and roses on the CUIT front. After an email was sent out with plans to offer more "personalized" email aliases, the three Columbia College University Senators, who had all previously met with CUIT on behalf of the student body, sent a follow-up email asking students for their opinions on the change -- which had made been made without telling them.


We, too, are "pretty excited" about the big changes coming to Lerner 5.

Student "Life"


Havana Central is finally closed, and Ding Dong Lounge is closing this Thursday. On the bright side, Columbia students can now look forward to a Halal Guys brick-and-mortar shop a mere 19 blocks away from campus. Thankfully, local businesses know quite well how important Columbia student patronage is to their business -- just ask Crumbs.


The late Andrew Hamilton (GS '13) was a member of a senior secret society.


Students struggling to stay afloat with rent this summer can rest easy knowing that an apartment within walking distance of Columbia has been listed at $10,500 a month.


A pigeon was murdered on campus.


@sarahholder511 witnessed a pidgeon murder on campus today @bwog @TheColumbiaLion

— Isabel Rothberg (@isabelrothberg) July 21, 2014

Around the City

Book Culture's Chris Doeblin has gotten a storm of media attention following his dispute with employees looking to unionize, not least from the New York Times. Flavorwire has an even less flattering take on the independent bookstore owner.

Kerry Henderson, who worked at the store for two and a half years before her temporary dismissal, recounted a conversation in which she says Doeblin attempted to dissuade her from union involvement. “He ended the conversation by saying, ‘You know, I’m not that bad of a guy, I just hired two new retards to work in the store,’” Henderson says, explaining that Doeblin was referring to a pair of mentally disabled workers placed at Book Culture by a third-party work experience program.

Henderson says she also witnessed Doeblin repeatedly making comments to a Hispanic employee about both her weight and her race. Doeblin allegedly prohibited the same employee from using the store’s elevator, requiring her to use the stairs; as she was eating lunch, he asked her, “Aren’t you on a diet?” Doeblin also mocked her accent: “He would walk down to the floor and talk to her in front of customers with a Spanish accent on,” Henderson says.



It's summertime, and the living is easy for the Columbia football team. In the middle of their pre-season training (pictured above), their incoming freshmen ("brawny young men," according to a local resident) did a community service project cleaning up Riverside Park, as reported in the Daily News on what was undoubtedly a slow news day.

“When you’re doing community service there is no extrinsic reward, but you’re giving back to the community and it makes you feel good,” said Dominic Perkovic, 18, a product of Detroit who is working at one of Jenny Benitez’ gardens in Riverside Park.


In late June, Morningside Park was trashed during an unauthorized party attended by hundreds of people. A contact listed as the party's organizer declined to comment to DNAinfo, telling the reporter that he had reached a wrong number.

It seems as though local residents are confused by the lack of an NYPD response — the event was sponsored by Hennessy, advertised on social media, and the city was even warned about the event by local residents.

The greenery wasn't the only casualty of the party.

A permitted all-female performance of "Romeo and Juliet" was drowned out by the event's loudspeakers, said Sarah Eismann, 36, artistic director of the Manhattan Shakespeare Project.

"We were screaming just to have the audience hear us. It sounded like the music got louder as the performance went on," Eismann said.

"It was frustrating to know that we had gone through the correct avenues and that we had permission and permits and they weren't supposed to be there."

This is not the first time that a large-scale trashing of the park has happened. A similar investigation by the NYPD was confucted following a 4th of July barbecue last year hosted by "Kanye West's protegee" Teyana Taylor.

So if you'd like to add to your list of reasons not to hang out in Morningside Park, you can now add "might come across a giant party."

The Bureaucracy

Remember that college tour Dante De Blasio went on last semester? According to Capital New York, there might have been a conflict of interest involved in its planning.

A Freedom of Information Law request posted by Capital shows that a city scheduler apparently used city resources (in this case, emails and a phone call) to get the First Family their college tour. Looks like it worked, though - they managed to reserve a VIP tour a mere two days in advance.

If you're somewhat bitter that Columbia rolled out the red carpet for someone who might snub us for Wesleyan, you can find comfort in the fact that they didn't pull out all the stops. One email sent by the city scheduler asked for "a quick meeting with the dean" following the Saturday tour. According to a university spokesperson, Dante met with Peter Johnson, director of Undergraduate Admissions, and Javier Plasencia his regional admissions officer, but wasn't able to get the Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, Jessica Marinaccio. He'll have to catch her in office hours, just like everyone else.


Former SEAS dean Feniosky Pena-Mora is working two jobs.


Next to Harvard, Columbia has the most top paid endowment portfolio and risk managers in the United States.

.@columbia has the 3rd & 5th best compensated endowment execs of US private units. @Harvard has 1st, 2nd, 4th, & 6th.

— The Lion (@TheColumbiaLion) July 21, 2014


We have an official response from Facilities regarding the asbestos abatement going on in McBain and Hamilton (bold ours).

As is true for many historic structures in NYC, some older buildings across campus have materials containing asbestos, which undisturbed, pose no significant health concern. Asbestos insulating material was used in the construction of buildings until the 1970s, and often it was infused into other building materials, such as floor tile, as a heat or flame retardant.


Standard University practice, which conforms to all local, state and federal rules pertaining to the management of asbestos-containing building materials, involves environmental testing performed by a third-party licensed environmental consultant, which was completed prior to summer renovations at McBain Hall and Hamilton Hall. At McBain, traces of asbestos were found in the vinyl floor tile underneath the carpet in two custodial service closets and in a drywall joint compound covered by paint or ceramic tile in the wall of a bathroom. At Hamilton, it was found in window caulking. In all instances, the materials found were intact, in good condition and posed no exposure to asbestos. A licensed contractor was hired to perform the asbestos abatement, and an environmental company was hired to oversee the abatement and perform air monitoring throughout each project. In all instances, the abatement was completed successfully and no additional asbestos material was identified.

Speaking of Facilities, the department appears to be upping its social media game. A new Twitter account ostensibly representing them has posted photos from the lesser-seen side of Columbia, including the infrastructure inside a Uris cooling tower.

As part of its 125th anniversary celebrations, Barnard has taken many steps to beautify its campus. Now, they're going one step further in a move that might raise a few eyebrows.
On July 9, Mayor De Blasio signed a bill into law that formally changes the name [DOC] of "the intersection at West 116th Street and Broadway" to "Barnard College 125th Anniversary," a name conspicuously lacking an odonym (ie. Street, Avenue, Boulevard). The renaming comes complete with a street sign, which is set to go up any day now. We're not quite sure why the city went with 116th St, in front of the Columbia gates, rather than 118th Street, in front of the Barnard campus proper, but given the ephemeral nature of an anniversary, the sign is sure to become dated very quickly.
Installing the new sign is expected to cost taxpayers $287.50.


  • alum 1 year, 1 month ago
    Points: 6

    these write ups are really good.

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