Ethnic Studies with professors and hiring power
Major Cultures with classes on colonialism and race
responsibly through community input
Increase administrative support

This is what we are fighting for. Support the strike & sign the petition. Contact us at

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Statement from Aretha Choi

It is 8.29am. On the day five that I wish I could have seen as a hunger striker. The fatigue from the 3:00 am return from the doctor is far from leaving me nor is the headache or the jello-like body, but I cannot stop thinking of those four days. In fact I have gotten used to the 8:30 am wake up call (often given by Crystal, David or the wonderful someone on duty) for the health service check up - I have gotten used to my life as a Hunger Striker.

So as I write this in the warmth of my dorm room, I regret over and over that I could not make it to today. And my disappointment increases as I remember the bitter tears that I forced down while being hauled out of the reading room in Butler library. That trip on the stretcher from room 209 to St. Luke's hospital was one of the longest rides of my life to say the least. Why? Because amidst the whispering voices of passersby, the asking of my date of birth and the flashing lights, I felt defeated. I felt utterly ashamed and I felt that I had let the four other strikers, the many supporters, and myself down. Only 4 days? Only 4 days? Only 4 days? That was the question plaguing me until I was laying with fluids running into my arm.

Lying in the starchy hospital bed, I was covered in self-disappointment. I could not help but wish God had given me more strength so that my body would have held out longer. I wanted to go back out to the tents. I felt like I had given up.

I must admit, I will never be content with the 4 days because I wanted to see demands made into realities. And no matter how much other strikers and supporters tell me not to feel this way, I am sorry but my selfish side will always wish that I could have made day five and the next and the next until needed.

Despite this feeling, however, I refuse to get lost or to linger too long in this feeling of "not enough." I refuse to because I still have demands I want. I refuse because I am mad that the adminsistration even waited long enough so I would be taken to the E.R. I refuse to because my family--my fellow students--are still out there and I WILL SUPPORT THEM.

Although I will not be able to be out at the tents right away, I do want to say that I will always be in Solidarity via thoughts and prayers until I go back to the tents as a supporter. And, I want everyone to know that although I am unsatisfied with 4 days, this is not the end. I want the adminstration to know that 4 days was obviously too long of a time for me to wait while they are on their little vacations to Cape Cod or wherever they go to escape their responsibilties. I want those students who taunt my fellow friends with nasty comments filled with disgusting ignorance, the member of the cava crew that mocked me and the entire hunger strike as I was hauled to the E.R, the unresponsive administration, and all those who just don't care because "it doesn't concern them" to know: I might have only made it to day 4 but WE, the students who care enough about Columbia University to want to change enough to starve and to hurt for it will remain strong.

With these words, I send my love and continual support for the students who actually care to do something because you are the change, you are my heroes, you are why I am here. I send my thanks for those who have given empathy, passion, and spirit to the cause.

Thanks for the four days...
4 days will always be too long--the adminstration should have responded before then
4 days will always be too short--I will always wish I could have lasted longer
4 days will always be with me to the end--I have learned to act and to love what I believe is Truth. I have learned that this University, this society, this world is a world worth caring about because the people who refuse to accept injustice as the norm and who take action to make change.
5 days, 6 days, and until the change: I am here to stay.

Solidarity, love, and justice
Yours always,

Aretha Choi