November 15, 2007
Columbia Agrees to Some of Hunger Strikers' Demands
That group of Columbia University students staging a hunger strike is at least a little victorious, if starving, today.
Last night, the university agreed to a number of demands relating to the students' concerns that not enough was being down to encourage ethnic studies and understanding other cultures (especially in the wake of recent hate crimes). From the Columbia Spectator:
The University has committed to pay for the expansion of the Office of Multicultural Affairs and to transform the major cultures requirement of the Core Curriculum into a seminar-style class at a cost of $50 million,according to a statement released late last night by the ad hoc coalition in support of the strike. Currently, students choose their major cultures course fulfillments from lists of lectures and seminars across several different departments and regions.In spite of some other students' ridiculing the hunger strike, a number of student groups and professors voiced their support and, last night, a few hundred people held a candlelight rally for the strikers.
The Columbia Hunger Strike! website notes their satisfaction with negotiations, some students - who have been camped out in tents in the center of campus - are still on strike to protest the school's planned Manhattanville expansion: "Significant advances have been made, but much remains to be resolved until students return to their daily lives. The victories of the day show what power students organizing for justice can have. Today more than ever, the struggle continues."
Photographs from the "A Day in the Life of a Hunger Striker" photoset by Mira (on the wall) on Flickr By Jen Chung in News Link Comments (6) Recommend this! (1)
 11/15/07 01:03PM
Since when are you allowed gatorade on a hunger strike? Wimps....
 11/15/07 01:10PM
I've always thought that an obesity strike would be more effective. Can you imagine hundreds of students wolfing down big mac after big mac until their demands got met or somebody's heart gave out. C'mon, you KNOW it's a good idea!
 11/15/07 01:12PM
are they still allowing anorexic girls to join them?
 11/15/07 01:32PM
in 60 years they'll be able to tell their grandkids, "i was part of the columbia hunger strike in '07."
"but i never heard of that grandma.."
"well it was huge at the time; gothamist covered it every day"
 11/15/07 05:02PM
Granted, these kids may be a bit naive, and a hunger strike seems a bit dramatic for their goals, but I find it funny how pissed off people (esp. gothamist posters) about a little protest.
I'd much rather have college students be politically active, even if their tactics are a bit clumsy. Or I guess it's just better for college students to not care about anything but the price of a 24 pack of Natty Light.
 11/15/07 08:28PM
finally a true victory for justice in america.