Columbia University in the City of New York

Race, Ethnicity & University Life: Voices from the Community

A sampling of comments and articles from across Columbia

Responding to the Race, Ethnicity and University Life Teach-In and Speak Out:

Witnessing the grief and distress of members of the audience has been important for me on my own journey towards becoming a better "listener" when it comes to my own oft-expressed biases and stereotypic thought patterns…I have had several conversations with colleagues and friends touching on the topics of race, identity, as well as respect and civil discourse with one another, something I truly believe is necessary on a much larger scale. As long as students, no matter their background, believe in a (self-) righteous version of the world that excludes other viewpoints as invalid--simply because they object to the way in which their worldview is challenged--I would argue the true value of higher education has not been realized. – J. Weber, Department of Psychology

It was an emotionally challenging experience, but it is important and I am glad to have had the opportunity to listen to other's experiences and be a part of the conversation. Considered, methodical, incremental change will have the most powerful and longest-lasting impact--we should clarify that change is slow, and perfection is an unattainable ideal. We can only strive to continually improve, consolidating and building on our successes, and learning from our failures. Let's keep this conversation going. – D. Keith Rada, General Studies '18 

I currently work as the Associate Director of Graduate Admissions. I am also a life long New Yorker and a first-generation American. My position and experience at Columbia has allowed me to interact with people from various backgrounds, including from countries all over the world. Being exposed to people of different backgrounds is extremely rewarding and valuable because it helps inform what we do and adds to our understanding. I am grateful for having such exposure. Many of our students do not have this experience. They may be getting exposed to different people for the first time at Columbia. I am glad that the Office of University Life is tackling this topic. J. Morales, Graduate School of Engineering and Applied Science

From the Executive Director of Columbia Journalism School’s Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma Bruce Shapiro (@DartCenter)
        • Don't Tell The Student Protestors at Yale to 'Grow Up'The Nation

From Columbia Associate Professor John McWhorter (@JohnHMcWhorter)
        • Closed Minds on Campus – The Wall Street Journal

From Columbia College junior Alexandra Villarreal (@allyevillarreal)
        • Ivy Leaguers need to stop with the PC obsessionNew York Post

From Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health (featuring Anjoli Anand, MPH '16; Associate Dean Linda Cushman, Associate Dean Marlyn Delva, Prof. Amy Fairchild, Aswini Periyasamy, MPH '16; and Vice Dean Roger Vaughn)
        • Building a More Inclusive Community – mailman.columbia.edu

Do you have a reaction/reflection to share? Send your thoughts to universitylife@columbia.edu.