Last week there were two bombshells in campus news and they both involved invited speakers. Soon we will be republishing an editorial on the CUCR /Ahmadinejad scandal, but first we discuss Obama’s controversial decision to speak a Barnard College’s commencement.
“He just really didn’t like Columbia.” That’s the conclusion of Sean Udell, CC’11, the man who organized a yearly petition to try to get the president to speak at Columbia’s commencement. That’s just one of many opinions that the Columbia Spectator gathered for their recent article on the matter. Students seem to have mixed feelings. Barnard students are ecstatic, but Columbia students feel disappointed, and some even feel betrayed. “It seems like a slap in the face” said Emilio Fajardo, CC ’15.
But some, and the us at Cub Pub included, don’t see it as a snub. No matter how awful Mr. Obama’s time at King’s College was he’s a careful enough kind of guy that he wouldn’t do such things out of spite. Rather, he is using Barnard as a soapbox to talk about women’s issues in the election. The news has been inundated with it lately with the combination of debate over contraception availability and Rush Limbaugh’s capacity to stick his foot in his mouth. Barnard would be the perfect place for Obama to connect with young, liberal, feminist-minded voters who are interested in these issues.
However Some Columbians don’t see it as a good enough excuse: “As a Columbia woman myself, I find it disappointing that he wouldn’t have thought to bring these issues to his alma mater,” said Donia Abdelaziz, CC ’12. It seems just like his experience in Washington, there’s just no way for Obama to please everybody.
Update: The New York Times has published an article about the whole Columbia v. Barnard stink. Check it out here.