Letter from the Editor, December 2022
By Claire Shang
A peculiarity reveals itself in this month’s pieces. Maybe it’s just the ever-wistful advent of the semester’s end, but it seems like we’re sincerely happy to be here. How anti-Columbia of us!
Something like gratitude is stitched into the spine of this issue, our longest print edition yet. In its pages, Amogh Dimri thanks Roar-ee the Lion for his spirited service; Jazmyn Wang pens a lyrical essay, the second in our magazine’s history to adopt Dodge Fitness Center as backdrop; and Grace Adee and Sona Wink write an ode of sorts to the Lerner ramps. Though at times the mode is one of full embrace, it’s more so a gloriously extended tolerance: from Margaret Connor to truly repellent Brutalist buildings, from Josh Kazali to Columbia’s contentious undergraduate film major, from Adrienne deFaria to the individual possibilities within religious traditions.
Our writers are insisting that campus can be a meaningful site for self-actualization. Cole Cahill finds out as much in conversation with Elif Batuman, whose campus novels rank among the decade’s most skillful works of fiction. Such self-actualization can take the form of the political—like the anonymous student who looks for their place in the Iranian struggle as a member of the diaspora. In other capacities, Muni Suleiman speaks to the organizers who believe sustained mutual aid practices can make this place a home and Andrea Contreras converses with the public health professor trying to make campuses safer places to become sexual citizens.
There’s also room in these pages for purely unbridled joy. I’ll let you find it as you flip through the magazine in the coming weeks. It’s meant to be enjoyed.
Most importantly, congratulations to Sona Wink, BC ’25, who will begin her tenure as editor-in-chief of The Blue and White in January. Thanks for having me! The future of the magazine is startlingly bright.
Claire Shang Editor-in-Chief