On Monday, October 26, Barnard College announced plans to invite more students back to campus for the spring semester. Not to be outdone, President Bollinger sent his own email shortly afterwards, announcing when Columbia might announce when the school might know when students might return to campus.
“Dear Columbia Students,” the email began. “We are excited to announce that we may or may not be bringing none, some, or all of you back to campus this spring.” Bollinger continued “As of now, we could either bring back the first-years or the sophomores or the juniors or the seniors or any combination and permutation of the aforementioned groups. Or everyone. Or no one. Who’s to say?”
In paragraph 36 of the email, Bollinger discussed plans for classes saying, “classes may be entirely in person, entirely online, or we might just set up some type of Hunger Games system where you fight your classmates to the death for the one ‘Literary Texts, Critical Methods’ class that’ll be taught in person.”
When The Fed reached out to Bollinger to clarify some of his statements, Bollinger told us, “We will be able to offer more details sometime between now and January 12. As soon as we’ve made a decision, and then pondered it for a couple of weeks, and then re-debated it and then pondered it for a couple more weeks, we’ll let you know.” Bollinger’s advice to students trying to plan ahead was to “buy a plane ticket to New York, ship all of your possession to campus, and register for a full course load, knowing there’s a 95% chance everything will just be virtual.”
Bollinger concluded his email by saying “I know first hand how difficult the uncertainty of this pandemic is. Even though I have complete job security, a multi-million dollar salary, and a mansion to live in next semester, I lie in bed at night terrified that only a couple hundred people will participate in my annual fun run now that it’s virtual.” Bollinger plans to send a similar email next month.