We should not accept a Core Curriculum that presents a top-down view of the development of "Western civilization" as a story of the evolution of the ideas of the ruling class, which misinforms us regarding the driving forces of history and the ability of ordinary people to affect it. We should not accept an Ethnic Studies program without the ability to hire its own professors, which cannot defend them from the attacks of the neo-McCarthyite right. We should not accept a University without a systematic or centralized way of responding to hate crimes on campus. And we should certainly not accept an expansion plan that places the costs of Columbia's growth on the shoulders of the working people of Harlem, a community already under assault by the neoliberalization of New York City policies on housing, crime, and education.
Columbia is a profit-seeking corporation, and substantive change will not come by rational argument or moral suasion alone. A hunger strike is a desperate tactic but a product of necessity. It is past time that progressive students at Columbia unite to force the administration to act.