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  • Writer's pictureThe Blue and White Magazine

Blue Notes, December 2018

Updated: Sep 4, 2021

New signs prohibiting animals on Columbia’s lawns may make caring for emotional support animals even harder for students. Columbia defines an emotional support animal as an animal that provides “therapeutic support to an individual with an identified disability.” Typically, emotional support animals can range from dogs to smaller animals like birds. Identified disabilities typically relate to mental health, though there is no definite list of disabilities that emotional support animals alleviate. While caring for an animal and having its companionship are part of the appeal of emotional support animals, attending classes, studying, and potentially working, in addition to caring for an animal may cause additional stress to students that are attempting to reduce anxiety or other mental health issues.

Especially in the case of dogs, not being able to take an animal out on the nearest lawn may pose a challenge to students who are already under severe academic pressure and are dealing with their own individual mental health situations. While Riverside and Morningside Parks are both near, the ability to walk a dog in a close, central location is important.

Illustration by Rea Rustagi

Animals are likely becoming more prohibited on campus because of dog owners who don’t clean up after their animals. This problem, however, may be caused by other residents of the neighborhood, not just students with emotional support animals. By prioritizing the look of the lawns, Columbia limits accessibility for those who have animals out of necessity.The unintended consequences of the new signs may have much greater impacts on individuals’ mental health than on a nice looking lawn. While Columbia has made an effort in staying up to date on new ways to support students with disabilities, this effort should be spread across the campus—not just on paper.

Annie Zavitz

Just a 30-minute walk or seven-minute cab ride from campus,The Shrine World Music Venue is a great spot to see live music. For Columbia musicians, it’s also a great spot to book gigs. Entering the music venue, which doubles as a bar and a restaurant, my friend and I ordered an early dinner after lugging our guitars and amps inside.

The all-male jazz band packed on the modestly-sized stage was phenomenal—a bit too phenomenal. “Uh, how the hell are we going to follow these guys?” I shriek-whispered in distress at Wyatt, the better half of our hastily cobbled together duo. “Hannah, chill. We’re fine.Let’s go hang downstairs until we’re on, ” he muttered under his breath, nodding at me and throwing an easy smile to the singer on stage, “No need to sweat.”

The downstairs of The Shrine is dim and full, dense with posters and albums diligently plastered across all accessible surfaces. Wyatt and I scanned the walls as we waited for the guys upstairs to wrap up their set, discovering a handful of our jazz and blues favorites.

Ten minutes until our time, boots knocking down the stairs halted our survey of the crammed walls. “Yo, you guys the next band?” came the question, followed by hesitant head bobs from the both of us. “Awesome. We’ll soundcheck as soon as these guys are done. Here are some free drink tickets for the two of you to use whenever.” We grinned abashedly atone another before stuffing the tickets in our wallets for later use.

Five minutes before we were on, we hucked two wooden stools on stage and took a seat in front of a prominent tapestry, the Shrine’s famous emblem. Indigo and deep green lights obscured the faces of a modest audience. Neither of us being enthusiastic conversationalists or storytellers, we broke between songs just long enough to catch our breath and meet the eyes of a handful of friends. TheShrine, an intimate, moderately-sized room, can accommodate approximately 100, depending on the audience’s willingness to sweat.

After our set, and before making our return to Butler, Wyatt and I shared a beer and nodded to the group soundchecking on stage. Most of our friends had ducked out already, and a new crowd filed in to snag their places.

Hannah Liberman

Illustration by Susie Steinfeld

On September 16th, the air conditioning system of C.V. Starr East Asian Library in Kent Hall leaked, filling the library stacks with water and damaging tens of thousands of books. The stacks have been closed since, and will likely remain such until next semester.

A front desk attendant at the library walked me through the damage. According to him, the damage is worse on lower floors: about a fourth of books in Room 250 were damaged, compared to half the books in 200 and 150, and all the books in 102. It seems 40 to 50 percent of books in the old stacks were damaged, or about 60,000

in total. These books have been shipped to Washington, D.C. for repairs. Kent’s library blog states, “We expect that very few, if any, collection materials are damaged beyond repair.” Those books still in the stacks are undergoing a comprehensive dehumidification process. The Blue and White was unable to confirm the price of repairs, nor whether the dehumidifiers in use are Muji or some lesser brand.

Rooms 105 and 106 sustained no damage, but are closed during the dehumidification process. On CLIO, damaged books are marked with Xs and presumably being dried in D.C. As to where students will study for finals, we may not be missing much: Kent’s desk attendant told me the stacks still stink.

Amad Ross


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