LOW LIBRARY – In a long-awaited announcement this week, President Bollinger declared that Columbia would divest from the education industry. “Prestigious universities have long cemented the career advantages of their graduates, bolstering existing socioeconomic inequality,” Bollinger argued in a university-wide email. “Heeding the demands of many students concerned with growing economic disparity in this country, Columbia has decided to take a leading position amongst this nation’s institutions in the fight against inequality.”
The Columbia Education Divest Movement was thrilled by the news. “Though this move has long been overdue, we are glad that the university is finally using its massive endowment in a socially responsible way,” said John Greenspan CC ’17, a member of the campus organization. “Excellent educations have long made Columbia alumni likely to earn far more than their less fortunate counterparts – no longer!”
Although Columbia’s latest divestment announcement may come as a surprise to some, it is not, in fact, the first Ivy League school to take such a position. Brown University has not channeled funds towards education since its founding in 1764.
Columbia is planning on cutting all academic departments, but will allow students to continue to eat in the dining halls, exercise in the Dodge Fitness Center, and take classes in gender studies. Student reception of the new university structure has largely been warm, but many protesters don’t think the measures go far enough. “This is really only a small step in the right direction,” said Mike Johnson, SEAS ’18. “Columbia will still be a regressive institution until it requires every student to leave a socially conscious footprint. That's why we're calling on the administration to make first-years live in tents on South Field and subsist on the stray cats in Morningside Park.”