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The Columbia Chronicle

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The Columbia Chronicle

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The Columbia Chronicle

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Columbia has to be more in touch with its diverse communities


Columbia quickly moved a new sensory corner from the designated prayer and meditation space on campus this week after students objected. But the controversy could have been avoided altogether if students had been involved in the decision in the first place.

The sensory corner, which was set up in the Reflection Space in the Student Center, was intended to be a distraction-free space for students, with a particular focus on neurodivergent students. But it disregarded the students who used the Reflection Space to pray.

It was made worse when they placed the sensory pad in the corner of the room, in the direction that Muslim students face the “qibla.”

The problem is not just about the ignorance over student’s faith and culture, but also how the school communicates with its student body.

We can see the intention was good, but like many mistakes at Columbia, it is a result of lack of communication.

For example, the student body is aware of the financial anxiety of Columbia, but if the college wants less outcry from students, they have to communicate more with them before making decisions.

If not, student resentment can become a crucial issue to the college. Problems that are grounded in simple solutions can quickly become more complex and rooted.

As McKay Davis, a senior marketing major, voiced to the Chronicle,” With the amount of money that has been misappropriated at this school, you would think you would find space for two different marginalized communities that aren’t overlapping.”

To the student body, not creating two spaces for this group feels like a cheap solution to students. Whether this is true or not, it is easy to see how students could perceive this. From the start, if students were more involved in the process, this whole controversy wouldn’t have been created.

Students’ critique and involvement is important, if the school won’t recognize this, the cycle of outcry will continue again and again.

Columbia has to become more communicative with its student body when making changes to spaces students have created a community to.

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