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

Friday, November 9, 2007

Statement of Solidarity: Nell Geiser

Nell Geiser is an alum of Columbia and a former member of SPEaK (Students Promoting Empowerment and Knowledge).

The demands of CU Solidarity are not new. The power of this protest is that it demands a historical memory and legacy that Columbia administrators systematically deny to students by presenting the institution as always and already caring, inclusive, "diverse," and accountable. The power of this protest is that students have reclaimed the history of dissent and mobilization at Columbia and against Columbia. The administration cannot hide behind pleas of innocence and ignorance when it has dodged the same demands for President Bollinger's entire six year tenure, and for decades before that. Core reform, substantive support for Ethnic Studies, commitments to address institutional racism, and real accountability to the West Harlem community have been a very long time in coming.

During my time at Columbia we mobilized against racism in 2004 and won the Office of Multicultural Affairs, which has done important work but has little leverage in Low Library. In 2006 we fought to stop hate on Columbia's campus and we won very little. We drew on the legacy of 1968, 1985, 1996. This year, students are also drawing on the recent legacy of 2004 and 2006 to demonstrate the unmet promises and outstanding demands and they've harnessed momentum in a new way. I fully support the hunger strikers and the hundreds of students calling for a more just and accountable Columbia University.

-Nell Geiser, CC '06