Every once in a while, The Lion posts a Community Editorial to capture the sentiment of the Columbia community. How it works is we randomly message students via Facebook or via email about a certain question and compile the responses. Our hope from this is to show the ideas and beliefs in the community rather than that of a specific publication’s concentrated editorial team.
For this Community editorial, we sent the following note to people:
I’m currently working on a piece about Columbia’s activism and I’m trying to gather a few thoughts about this (fairly open-ended) question: Do you think Columbia students complain too much? If so, why?
Your response would be anonymous unless you want it to be visible.
Here’s how people responded:
“I don’t think they complain too much. Obviously nothing will ever be perfect, but I think something I really like about being here is that people consciously make an effort to change things. “complaining” is usually accompanied by meaningful attempts at change, and even if it isn’t, it promotes awareness which is a worthy cause i think” – CC ’17
“I don’t think we complain too much!” – CC ’18
“Well, I wouldn’t say I have enough basis for comparison to express a well-informed opinion. However, I don’t think it’s “too much.” And my impression is that many people at Columbia don’t just complain but actually take action and attempt to reform the issues they encounter be they big or small.” – CC ‘18
“I think that Columbia students, like many people our age, are idealists who see black-and-white answers to many of the very real prejudices and systematically engrained issues in our society. Thus, while their advocacy is well-intentioned, much of it runs the risk of alienating potential allies at the expense of their causes. In short – I think that Columbia students do advocate a lot, rightfully, but that the style with which many of them engage in protest has the appearance of complaining because of the way its carried out.” – CC ’18
“I don’t think students complain too much. I think when people say that Columbia students complain too much, they’re coming from a position of privilege. Like, you would think that complaining about something like what pronouns people use to address you or what their name on SSOL is are complaining too much, unless you’e faced the same challenges transgender students do. I think that ignorance is part of privilege.” – CC ‘19
“I think Columbia students complain too much about each other. When many people come forward to express concerns or voice their complaint, there’s a ridiculous amount of backlash or complaints that happen in response to people’s experiences and issues.” – BC ’19
“In the beginning, I thought they did. I thought people were just creating commotion and trying to get themselves out there but after being here for a longer amount of time. I think I’ve learned more about what’s going on and the sever injustices that not a lot of people are taught. So I’m proud that I go to a school where people can gather over things they don’t think are fair. and really do something about it” – SEAS ’18
“I don’t think they complain too much. Yes, there are times when complaints may seem relatively insignificant and possibly unnecessary. But as a whole I think the activism on campus is well-intentioned and raises awareness” – SEAS ’19
Interested in helping discover unheard voices in the Columbia community? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to join The Lion team.