This week, the Columbia community came together as students dealt with the results of the Presidential Election. We created safe spaces, organized rallies, and brought down the walls that normally divide students . We seemed to be taking the advice of Secretary Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama when, rather than give into the hate and gloom spurned by this election, we comforted each other and looked to the future.
Bwog’s recent uncovering of GroupMe messages sent by the Columbia Men’s Wrestling team provides a glaring depiction of the reality of hate and ignorance on this campus—a reality that is hard to accept for many of us. The messages, from 2014 and 2015, were examples of the hate that women, people of color, the LGBTQ+ community, and many other marginalized people face daily.
Equally as disturbing is the mockery of sexual assault that the wrestlers make in the messages. Columbia University is tied for the second-most open Title IX investigations with the Office of Civil Rights in the country and is the first school many think of when they hear thinking about sexual assault on college campuses; sexual assault is not a joke and should never be dismissed as one.
No Red Tape condemns the actions and behaviors of the Columbia Men’s Wrestling team and believes they should be held accountable for their words. We hope we, as a campus community, can use this incident to strengthen our commitment to prevention education and having discussions about inclusivity. Our nationwide discourse about justice and liberation begins with the rhetoric of those closest to us, and it is on all of us to hold each other accountable for bigotry.
We are in solidarity with everyone who has been affected by these messages. In light of the events that have unfolded this week, Columbia Psychological Services is holding extended walk-in hours. For more information, you can contact them at 212-854-2878.