While students at Barnard College are thrilled that President Obama will be delivering their commencement address this year, their peers at Columbia College were less than thrilled with the announcement. Several Columbia students recently posted comments on the school’s student-run blog, Bwog, that protested Obama’s decision to speak at Barnard instead of Columbia, his alma mater, and also that insulted Barnard students’ and their intelligence. Many of these comments were highly anti-feminist in nature.
Some of the comments were more offensive than others. A few of the most offensive were submitted to Jezebel.com, and refer to Barnard students as “c*m dumpsters,” “academically inferior,” and “feminazis.”
There has been a great amount of opposition from the student bodies at both schools towards these sexist comments. A Facebook group has been created to admonishes those who were making the comments and many administrators and students have been speaking out against them as well.
Debora Spar, president of Barnard College, and President Less Bollinger, University President, made a joint statement in which they showed their displeasure at the comments which were made in several online communities.
“We understand that, for some, there’s an entirely natural disappointment that today finds a convenient outlet in online comments, but we join in the sentiments expressed by so many of our wise and thoughtful students that disrespectful comments are not representative of our community,” the two presidents said. “Our collective undergraduate student body takes justifiable pride in the uniqueness of their individual schools even as they share so many of their collegiate experiences.”
Columbia College’s Student Council also made a statement that was condemning towards the statements: “We are outraged by the comments made by members of all associations and are embarrassed by our peers who hide behind a computer and use the Internet as a forum for malicious comments. We are all members of the same university community.”