Reorientation Guide

In 2012, campus activists revived the early 2000s tradition of the ‘disorientation guide’ for new students. Published by Student Worker Solidarity, No Red Tape, Columbia Prison Divest, and other leftist groups on campus, the guide publicizes campus activism and offers a critical look at “Barnumbia’s” role in private prisons, gentrifying Harlem, land grabbing in Manhattanville, mistreatment of workers, and miscarriages of justice in sexual assault adjudication. This year, documents found in PrezBo’s shredder indicated scrapped plans for the university to publish its own rival ’zine, a ‘reorientation guide.’ What follows are excerpts from the meeting notes…

‘THEY SAY, WE SAY’: A DIGESTIBLE GRAPHIC STATING OUR POSITION

“They say prisons are bad. We say, not if you haven’t done anything wrong!” “They say we’re gentrifying Harlem. We say, we like artisanal flat whites!” “They say we called the NYPD on Black Lives Matter protests. We say, Public Safety IS the NYPD!”

LIES AND SMILES: KNOW YOUR STUDENTS

“Play student leaders off of each other. Make them seem like the brilliant ones for coming up with your idea. Then invite them for a fireside chat. Suckers.”

REAPPROPRIATION

“Oppressed groups sometimes reclaim slurs— ‘queer’ is one example. This is only OK when the group does it, not outsiders. Examples: it’s OK for us to say, ‘Fuck the deans,’ but when they say it, it’s offensive. A feature on when it’s OK to assign names like ‘Deantini and ‘Prezbo.’ Ideas on how to repurpose the term ‘red tape’—the tape restrains rapists? Suzanne to research.”

ADMIN ALLYSHIP 101, FOR STUDENTS

“How to leverage your privilege as a student, without drowning out the voices of a marginalized administration.” “Staying in your lane: students shouldn’t tell admins how to admin.” “Identities matter.”

CORPORATE SPONSORS?

“Ideas: JP Morgan. The Columbia Lions™. Google Alphabet. Dig Inn. Tara Hill Irish Tavern. Tinder. Barnard College.”

GRAPHIC DESIGN/CORPORATE IDENTITY

“Consult Jim on relevant Pantone colors. N.B. don’t use Athletics font, they get touchy about that shit.”

WHERE TO DISTRIBUTE?

“Columbia Bookstore (put next to Columbia sweatshirts for parents). Low Library. Barnard Zine library. IRC. Lerner Ramps CPS HQ. New Ferris staircase

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