More Students Speaking Out at Columbia

By April 21, 2005

Once again, more exciting student news from Columbia!

A report from The Spectator, “Allies Aim to Foster Campus Dialogue,” talks about a discussion group organized on campus for different student groups to build bridges of understanding with each other.

The article reports:

The students were gathered as a part of the Allies Series, a discussion group organized to bring diverse campus groups together to talk about their differences and how they can better build a campus community. The series, which ran for six weeks, was attended by students from the Asian American Alliance, the College Republicans, the United Students of Color Council, Lionpac, the Chicano Caucus, and Everyone Allied Against Homophobia.

“A lot of groups on campus feel marginalized,” said College Republicans president Dennis Schmelzer, CC ’06 and a Spectator columnist. “Instead of waiting for something to happen, like the MEALAC incidents, student leaders should get to know each other and work together.”

…The Allies Series began in the spring of 2004 to address racial strife on campus. This year, it has dealt with the intensifying controversy surrounding the MEALAC department. The coordinators of [Respecting Ourselves and Others Through Education (ROOTED)], in collaboration with the Office of Multicultural Affairs, saw in controversy
an opportunity to begin a dialogue on campus between groups that they believed
didn’t often interact.

…“A lot of my expectations of these groups [participating in ROOTED] changed,” Schmelzer agreed. “If you get to know someone better as a person, even if you disagree completely on ideas, feelings can be the same.”

The Spectator also reported that graduate students held a “Rally on Academic Freedom” two days ago.

Schools: Columbia University