Monday, April 03, 2006

SHOCC website now live

information and ways to get involved at shocc

Spectator Coverage Thus Far

Power Concedes Nothing
March 29, 2006
When students demand concrete commitments to diversity at Columbia, senior administrators provide little more than patronizing platitudes. After a long awaited meeting yesterday between President Bollinger and the students involved in Stop Hate on Columbia’s Campus, I am more convinced than ever of the truth of Frederick Douglass’ dictum that “power concedes nothing without a demand, it never has and it never will.”

STAFF EDITORIAL: Confronting Hate
March 29, 2006
Earlier this month, homophobic messages were found on the door of a suite in East Campus. The messages were particularly disturbing because one of the occupants of the EC suite is an active member of Columbia’s gay community. Dean of Student Affairs Chris Colombo took the first step toward proving that Columbia is taking this incident seriously by sending an e-mail to the student body yesterday. Nevertheless, it is troubling that it has taken the administration two weeks and pressure from the students, most notably those involved with the Columbia Queer Alliance, to make a public response.

SHOCC Calls Sudden Meeting
March 30, 2006
After meeting on Wednesday morning with University President Lee Bollinger and other administrators, Stop Hate on Columbia’s Campus held an emergency open meeting last night to address its demands and discuss its strategy for the future.

Hate Crimes and Fire Alarms
April 03, 2006
As far as I know, my boyfriend is not gay. He said the following to me: “How did people find out about the vandalism in EC? If someone had written something like “fuck fags” on my door, I just would have shrugged it off and forgotten about it.” His lack of concern may be due to his sexuality, but his ability to write off recent events as mere pranks is disconcerting—especially if it is indicative of greater campus sentiment. Certainly the tardiness of Dean Colombo’s explanatory e-mail implies that there are more pressing matters on the administration’s minds. Does this then mean that hate crimes are becoming common enough on campus to merit the same attention as an accidental fire alarm?

SHOCC Kicks Off Campaign
April 03, 2006
After another planning meeting Sunday night, the student coalition Stop Hate on Columbia’s Campus announced that it had finalized plans for a sweeping three-day awareness campaign beginning today and culminating in a large rally on the Low Steps on Wednesday, the day Lee Bollinger returns from a trip to Asia.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Template letter for Parents

Three template letter that parents can mail to President Bollinger:

Dear President Bollinger,
My child is a ______-year in your university and has told me about the hate crimes that are occurring on campus. I want to know why the administration has done no more than send out emails about the crimes? Why, when students have come up with proposals to change the system that seems to be encouraging or at least tolerating these actions, have you not taken action as well and supported them. I am disappointed with action up to this point and expect to see something concrete happen in the near future. This cannot be tolerated; and, an institution that takes no action against such crime effectively supports it. I would like to think that Columbia University is not such an institution and hope to see evidence of this soon

Dear President Bollinger,
I sent my child to your university to get a strong and open education. When my child tells me that hate crimes are committed at that same university and the administration takes no formal action to keep them from occurring in the future, educate the student body and faculty about multiculturalism, and update the university’s resources for targeted students, I am upset and concerned. Why has no action been taken? Emails about the incidents are not enough. The structure that allows this to happen repeatedly must change. A Columbia that stands by passively is not the school I sent my child to.

Dear President Bollinger,
I want my child to receive an education, but not one that teaches him/her/alternative pronoun to accept the problems and hate in that world passively. Yet for some reason you seem to have deemed this acceptable through your reaction to the hate crimes on campus over the past few semesters. Why isn’t your university teaching my child to work against injustice and ignorance? I am very upset with the model you provide by simply standing by as hate crimes occur on campus, as students you admitted perpetrate them against the rest of the community. The aspects of the university that contribute to this must change. Students working for a better community should be empowered and supported in doing so, not dismissed and ignored. I hope that I will receive better reports from my child about changes being made at your university very soon.

Recent Communication

There have been an ongoing back and forth with the President on his position and where SHOCC so far has thought his position has been inadequent.

For the collected documents of these communications please view the comments page of this post (these documents are too long to put up as a full post.)


I. We demand more safe spaces on Columbia Campus, both open access areas and special interest housing, with more support from the administration, and RAs who are connected to the missions of the houses. We reiterate the demand from Spring 2004 for an additional brownstone to become the housing component of the Intercultural Resource Center and for the current IRC to become an open safe space for all with swipe access.

II. We demand institutionalized, mandatory, full day training on issues of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, power and privilege for all incoming students, faculty, and public safety; and that the training focus on anti-oppression, rather than sensitivity and diversity; as well as significant student representation and control in the planning and implementation of the trainings.

III. We demand changes in Columbia’s Core Curriculum and Barnard’s requirements, including syllabus revision, and mandatory workshops for faculty and preceptors to make current texts more inclusive. Courses must be diversified, with a less western, eurocentric focus. Columbia and Barnard must create a classroom environment where all students feel valued by staff, other students, and faculty.

IV. We demand that Columbia’s Public Safety announce instances of hate crimes. We also demand that students be informed about what is going on in their community through a ‘know your rights’ campaign to educate both security and students on students’ rights at the university. Columbia Security also needs to participate in anti-oppression training addressing transphobia and gender policing, as well as broader issues of race, gender, and power.

V. We demand that the Office of Admissions more aggressively target students from underrepresented communities; and incorporate questions of diversity into the application process itself, including additional gender categories. (see the Finacial Aid Reform! Demands: here.)

VI. We demand more resources for Centers, Institutes and Departments that address ethnicity, gender, race, power and privilege; as well as more aggressive recruitment of tenure-track faculty from underrepresented communities. (see The Center for Study of Ethnicity and Race, The Institute for Research in African-American Studies & The Institute for Research on Women and Gender)

VII. We demand more advisors for cultural groups, and a separate advocacy and advisor office for LGBTQ students, as well as more collaboration between the Office of Multicultural Affairs at Columbia and the Multicultural Affairs Office at Barnard. We also demand that the OMA make itself from visible on campus and more available to students, and that the OMA play an integral role in the development of anti-oppression training for all student groups, including Greeks and literary societies.

VIII. A Vice Provost for Multicultural Affairs to administer and direct the University’s policies affecting students within all the schools of the University.


Provost Alan Brinkley: “We can commit to trying, we can’t commit to being successful.”

In the Fall of 2005, after the hate crime incident in Ruggles where a suite was vandalized with racist, homophobic, and anti-semitic epithets, a group of students got together to form an ad-hoc collective called SHOCC – Stop Hate on Columbia’s Campus. The group formed a list of demands to the administration to address the larger issues raised by marginalized students, particularly surrounding race and gender identity.

On this site you will find more information about the incidents, our demands for the changes we would like to see and updates on different ways you can get involved.