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Columbia University

Dean offers counseling for those traumatized by ‘microaggression’

Members of a Columbia University sorority were dubbed insensitive – even racist – after they donned culturally inspired costumes at an Olympics-themed party.

The Feb. 22 mixer has since prompted politically correct pandemonium at the Ivy League institution – with its interim dean of student affairs going so far as to offer counseling for those who were offended.

A Latino campus group called the party “offensive,” saying “stereotypes are used to oppress marginalized communities.” The sorority in question also begged for forgiveness and promised to launch “social awareness” campus initiatives.

At issue is an Olympics-themed sorority/fraternity mixer at which female students wore costumes to celebrate the Beer Olympics, which is like the real Olympics but with less athleticism and more beer, maracas, potatoes and sombreros.

Some on the “French” team wore revealing, tight French Maid-inspired get ups, while a few on Team Japan wore pigtails and provocative schoolgirl attire that included chopsticks and high socks, according to photos published by Bwog, a campus news website run by Columbia students.culturalcostumes

(AT RIGHT – BWOG PHOTO COMPILATION SCREENSHOT)

One of the students who dressed as an Irish immigrant wore a T-shirt saying “kiss me, I am a famined potato.” And pictures of the Mexican team included young gals with fake mustaches and sombreros, a bottle of tequila, and an incomplete version of the Mexican flag.

It was all too much for campus administrators.

“I am incredibly saddened and disappointed to learn of students in our community participating in costume caricatures of several different nationalities,” Terry Martinez, interim dean of student affairs, said in a prepared statement. “It is our utmost responsibility to ensure that your living and learning environment is free from any act or behavior that degrades individuals or groups, including racially or culturally- based insensitivity.”

Dean Martinez pledged that the university’s “bias-related response team” would reach out to “potentially impacted communities to offer support and follow-up,” adding such “microaggressions unfortunately are pervasive … we need to continue our collective efforts to substantively address systemic issues that perpetuate such incidents.”

The Sorority Sisters begged for forgiveness as well.

“We – wrongfully and regretfully – used stereotypes a few days ago in a manner that we now recognize was insensitive and unacceptable,” they said in a prepared statement that included a pledge to launch multicultural initiatives on campus. “We were wrong, and we are truly sorry for our actions surrounding the weekend’s events.”

Complicating matters, however, is the fact that one of the offended campus groups – Columbia’s Chicano Caucus, the one that said caricature Mexican attire is offensive – also recently hosted a caricature costume party of its own, prompting allegations of hypocrisy, Bwog reports.

The Chicano Caucus on Feb. 13 participated in an event which, the Caucus argued, showcased Mexico through papel picado and face cutouts. During the ironically titled Glass House Rocks 2014 event, many Caucus members posted photos of themselves on Facebook with cutout images of Mexican immigrants wearing sombreros and fake mustaches, raising questions to the Caucus’s credibility on ferreting out negative stereotypes.

The Chicano Caucus, like the sorority, apologized in a written statement to those who were offended by the photos.

The statement, however, goes on to distinguish its Facebook photos from the sorority photos. The Caucus photos, the statement declares, were meant to pay tribute to “one of the many cultures within Mexico, combating the very issue of cultural unawareness,” while the sorority photos were meant to malign an oppressed minority through stereotypes.

College Fix contributor Christopher White is a University of Missouri graduate student and an editorial assistant for The College Fix.

RELATED: ASU Fraternity Suspended For ‘MLK Black Out’ Party – click here

RELATED: Sombreros, Nachos Deemed ‘Culturally Insensitive’ at Cornell University – click here

RELATED: Students Told Not To Drink Tequila, Eat Tacos on Cinco de Mayo – click here

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Columbia University’s Butler Library served as the backdrop for a pornographic feminist protest film released Sunday that supposedly aimed to “repulse” viewers, and included topless women kissing, smearing eggs on each other, smacking each other with riding crops, and licking chocolate off each other’s backs.

The film, titled INITIATIØN, aimed to explore “the rituals of American Ivy League secret societies, to the point of hysteria, highlighting our culture’s perception of female desire,” according to the caption on Purple TV, the website that premiered the video.

The three-minute film is intended to be “a feminist statement, meant to ‘showcase the ultimate hysteria state,’ and speak to the stigmatization and fetishization of women,” according to IvyGate’s Alexandra Svokos, who interviewed one of the film’s stars, Coco Young, a former model turned Columbia University student double majoring in art history and English literature.

Young explained the reason behind using the library as the scene for the video, saying: “Butler Library is particularly emblematic of the male-centricity at Columbia; there are, for example, only male authors’ names on the facade of the building, a historic point of protest.”

The film has an eerie sort of vibe. The young women writhe around surrounded by bookstacks in imagery that almost emulates some sort of ritual, and at one point it looks like they have a fake dead chicken inside their circle. The film jumps from scene to scene as the women pose in weird, yoga-inspired positions, kiss, and drag each other down long hallways. All the while, what sounds like gothic Latin choir music sung by children plays in the background.

The video included Columbia and Barnard College students and was filmed last November guerilla-style on “iPhones and a GoPro camera set up as a surveillance camera,” reported the New York Observer.

Young also told the New York Observer their intent in the pornographic nature of the video is to “repulse” viewers, not arouse them.

“Men get hooked because they want to see naked girls, but then we do gross things and are not attractive at all,” Young said.

The video has drawn mixed reactions, as demonstrated by comments posted on Columbia’s Bwog, an independent student-run website for campus news.

One commenter wrote: “Dude. Can I join? I’ll bring some more eggs. Organic AND cage free.”

Another comment criticized the film, stating, “… it’s a terrible film. Poorly shot, poorly executed, poorly edited. Being stuck at the library at some ungodly hour is depressing enough, this just makes it worse.”

College Fix contributor Julianne Stanford is a student at the University of Arizona.

IMAGE: Internet screenshot of film

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Reports indicate that a group of masked men invaded a residential building owned by Columbia University in New York and assaulted and robbed residents last week.

According to a scanner report, “Police are looking for three males with masks and armed with guns, and NYPD Mobilization 1 was requested.”

The suspects had pushed their way into an apartment, taking cash and cellphone from a resident. DNAinfo reports that the men assaulted the resident’s roommate “when he came home mid-robbery,” possibly with the gun. The roommate was taken to the hospital for his injuries

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Professor Mike Adams of the University of North Carolina-Wilmington has announced his plans to organize the first annual Penis Monologues on his campus, saying it will be a welcome addition to the academic discourse on private parts.

He billed his event as a counter-protest to the popular Vagina Monologues, performed annually at universities across America, a play that includes vignettes such as “The Little Coochie Snorcher That Could,” “My Angry Vagina,” “Reclaiming C*nt,” “The Woman Who Loved to Make Vaginas Happy” and “Because He Liked to Look At It.”

Adams, author of the 2008 book “Feminists Say the Darndest Things: A Politically Incorrect Professor Confronts ‘Womyn’ on Campus,” states:

“On June 6, 2014, at my university, UNC-Wilmington, I’m proud to be sponsoring our first annual penis monologues,” Adams declared in his original column for ClashDaily.com. “It will be complete with numerous monologues such as ‘The Little Hoo Hoo Dilly That Could’ and ‘My Angry White Hoo Hoo Dilly.’ We’ll even hang signs on the wall saying ‘Hoo hoo dillies unite!’ and ‘No cha chas allowed!’”

Adams continued:

The feminists have had a nice run for a few years. But as far as I’m  concerned, they can have V-Day all to themselves. We’ll have our revenge on D-Day. How dare the feminists dominate the realm of intellectual sterility, public indecency, and puerile vulgarity! There’s no better way to create equality than to have everyone take a dive into the academic cesspool.

Whether Adams’ proposal is tongue-in-cheek satire or he’s really planning to go for it, we endorse it.

Click here to read the entire column.

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IMAGE: Andy Medina/Flickr

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Columbia University – rife with racial tension?

Columbia University students – depressed beyond hope?

Seriously?! That’s how many students feel at the $64,000-a-year progressive Ivy League school set in the heart of the most diverse city in the nation?

Apparently so, if you are to believe the students who attended a fireside chat with University President Lee Bollinger on Tuesday.

A headline in the Columbia Spectator declares: “Bollinger: Administrators studying racial divide at Columbia.” The campus newspaper reports:

Gerardo Romo, CC ’14, brought up one of the more controversial topics of the night when he said that students of color at Columbia felt “a lack of support” in a “predominantly white environment.”

“At least, maybe, a fifth of my friends have had to take medical leaves because of depression,” Romo said.

Bollinger, visibly taken aback by the question, said the administration was addressing these issues.

“We don’t like hearing things like that, at all,” he said. “We really don’t want that to be the situation here.”

“We’re actually doing a kind of study to try to understand questions like this,” Bollinger said. “What you’re saying is very important for us to know. … I can say to you, categorically, that the motivation, the purpose, is certainly not to have statistics and so on,” in place of real change. …

After the fireside chat, students had the most to say about Romo’s question regarding racial tensions. Romo said he was not satisfied with Bollinger’s response to his question, and other students agreed.

“It’s definitely an atmosphere thing in part,” Javonni Judd, CC ’14, said of the issues she faces as an African-American student. “In part, it’s a matter of not knowing who to reach out to—and I don’t even mean if something is necessarily wrong.”

“The point about racial tensions was pretty accurate in my opinion—the question. The answer was not an answer at all,” Alex Nguyen, CC ’17, said.

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White vaginas need not apply.

That’s the long and short of a recent decision by producers of this year’s The Vagina Monologues annual joint-venture between Columbia University and Barnard College.

The decision, producers say, was based on white women being overly represented in the past during the play, as well as in mainstream feminist discourse in general.

“Barnard-Columbia V-Day is excited to announce that our annual production of The Vagina Monologues will feature an all self-identified women of color cast this year,” producers state on their Facebook page. “The Vagina Monologues has historically overlooked the empowerment of women of color, queer women, and trans* folk, among others—often replicating and perpetuating the same systems of power and privilege that prompted the playwright, Eve Ensler, to write The Vagina Monologues in the first place.”

“The marginalization and erasure of these groups in such a generative and influential feminist play speaks to a failure to consider the effects of power structures outside gender within the feminist community. We hope that an all women of color cast of The Vagina Monologues will continue a serious dialogue on campus regarding the shortcomings of mainstream Western feminism.”

The 17-year-old play consists of various monologues performed by women who aim to highlight all things vagina - including reliving sexual encounters, retelling molestation and rape survival stories, tales of orgasms and empowerment, soliloquies on the birthing experience and menstruation, lesbianism, and other similar topics.

In response to the decision, many comments posted on The Columbia Lion, which first reported the news, were critical of it, saying things such as ”discriminating against white people is still discrimination” and “this action flies in the face of Columbia’s discrimination policies, but I guess those policies only apply if you’re not white.”

Others were not so concerned: “Wow what a surprise, another thing white people demand to be included in, and pretend that it’s discrimination if they don’t get to be in it.”

Much of the discussion on the Lion comment section centered on whether white women are more likely to be sexual assault victims than women of color, and how those statistics played into the decision, if at all.

An apparent spokeswoman for the play commented on the Lion to defend the decision: “Not by the rules, but the original casts WERE majority not women of color, and feminism has also been mainly feminism for women not of color. So it’s frustrating to me when people talk about the demographics of white survivors of sexual assault being excluded, when historically, this play has already been not very inviting to the other 80+% of sexual assault survivors.”

Columbia University is no stranger to unique Vagina Monologues performances. Last year a performer was “swallowed up by the cast, having an orgasm on the stage,” the Columbia Daily Spectator reported. In 2011, Columbia and Barnard actresses and activists not only mentioned vaginas, but screamed, chanted, whispered and sung about them, according to the Spectator.

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