Still No Official Statement, Or Action

President Bollinger, and Columbia University, have yet to post an official statement on the Columbia website, and I know of no real steps being taken by the administration to address the concerns raised by the film. Quite simply, from what I know, none of the students in the documentary were contacted by the administration–in fact, no contact between the students and the administration was initiated by the administration. Isn’t that a bit weird?
Let me repeat this point: President Bollinger has yet to meet face-to-face with any student in the documentary even though over a week has gone by and he has found the time to meet with Abe Foxman of the ADL, Michael Bloomberg, and others–all of which provided him cover and justification. I’m not saying that the students are more important than Foxman or Bloomberg–but that it seems clear to me that proper action would be for the president of a University to meet with the students under his charge and work with them, and not other people who do not represent them, to solve a problem.
Why is that so important? Because when a student paper published a racist cartoon last year, the president rightly responded within 48 hours with a statement on the Columbia website, in order to make it very clear to the community that racism was wrong. But until now, more than a week after the issue has been made public, there has been no official statement posted to the Columbia community.
I have said again and again that this is an issue of students’ rights, a universal issue that affects everyone. But could it be that because the students affected in this particular incidence were Israel-affirming Jews, the University thinks it can ignore its responsibility to fight abuse? Isn’t it time that the administration issued a statement on the website and via email to all members of the Columbia community saying that the University will not stand for abuse and intimidation? Or that they do the very least and meet with the students affected by the abuse, and hear the stories from their own mouths? They did it in the past–why not now?
I’m starting to think that Bollinger is not cut out for this job. First he leads an administration that ignores testimonies of students and issues a statement that there is “no evidence of bias or intimidation,” and second, when he has the chance to deal with the issue, he ignores the students themselves. I’m starting to think that maybe he is part of the problem, and not part of the solution. I hope he proves me wrong.
And to those who say that Jews cannot feel intimidated on this campus because they have lots of money and therefore lots of power–please realize what that argument sounds like. I’m not calling anyone anti-Semitic, but I am saying that it seems that the people making this argument have not thought through the implications of their words. Fact is, Jews are nearly 1% of the population of the United States. If that is not a minority, I do not know what is.

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3 responses to “Still No Official Statement, Or Action

  1. A Little History on Columbia’s Ignorance of It’s Problem

    While one could go through the past twenty years of intellectual history to show the problems faced by Columbia and the many different ways those problems added up to create the situation of the present day, I wanted to go through a very quick timeline…

  2. A Little History on Columbia’s Ignorance of It’s Problem

    While one could go through the past twenty years of intellectual history to show the problems faced by Columbia and the many different ways those problems added up to create the situation of the present day, I wanted to go through a very quick timeline…

  3. A Little History on Columbia’s Ignorance of It’s Problem

    While one could go through the past twenty years of intellectual history to show the problems faced by Columbia and the many different ways those problems added up to create the situation of the present day, I wanted to go through a very quick timeline…