Carlton Arms Falls into the Hudson River; Nobody Notices


Dear Students,

I’m writing to you today to convey some deeply troubling news: Carlton Arms fell into the Hudson River three weeks ago, and not one of you little shits noticed. To reiterate: one of Columbia’s dorms came loose, carved a swath through Riverside Park and slid into the Hudson, taking 40 honestly perfectly decent transfer students with it, and no one said or did a goddamn thing.

We here at Housing really aren’t sure what concerns us most. We know some will ask how our buildings are so structurally unsound that one could just fall into a river several blocks away . We know others will ask, perhaps hopefully, if McBain will be next. But I think the real failure here is not on the part of our structural engineers, but on yours, you heartless bastards.

Obviously, when Carlton went under we expected some blowback from the administration and the parents of the students who lived in the dorm, but we didn’t get a single call or email. We were totally ready for our Spec exposé – I even practiced my crying for sympathy points – but we didn’t get any requests for interviews or anything at all. At the very least, we thought that we’d get some complaints from the residents, but they actually seemed to be enjoying the fact that we’ve temporarily stuck them on the Manhattanville campus because, “my friends know how to find me now!.”

Three weeks went by, and not a word from anyone. Just yesterday I received an email from President Bollinger telling me to, “keep up the great work!”

Then we got to wondering, are the people at this university really so oblivious that they didn’t notice an entire building disappear? Are the students so self-obsessed that they didn’t know 200 of their peers are currently camping out on the floor of the Manhattanville campus like a bunch of refugees? Is Riverside Drive so godforsaken that not a single person has walked past the empty space that used to hold Carlton Arms and thought, “Hmm, something isn’t quite right”? It’s more than a little unnerving.

So I decided to do something, and that’s why I’m sending you this email. I know that it will only draw attention to what happened, and will probably cost me my job. But someone had to tell you all to get your heads out of your asses and become a little more self-aware. While of course, we recognize that we, Columbia Housing, are totally at fault here, at least we noticed that a building fell into the Hudson River.

Stunned by your total lack of empathy,

Joyce Jackson

Executive Director, Columbia Housing