Archive for entertainment

The BEST of Columbia University

One of the great things about being a SIPA student is that while students have access to the wonderful resources SIPA offers, students also have access to the resources of a world class university comprised of 21 different schools and affiliated institutions.  The following entry highlights some of the benefits.  The entry was written by SIPA student Carrie Dorn.


Gaining admission to the School of International and Public Affairs not only opens up your access to SIPA’s institutes, events and student groups— it also allows you to access to the rest of Columbia University.  Once you learn your way around the International Affairs building and find your favorite seat in Lehman library, students can get so wrapped up in SIPA life that they don’t venture out to explore the rest of campus.  Here’s a cheat sheet of resources to take advantage of during your time at Columbia.

Feed Your Brain: CLASSES

Did you hope to enhance your academic repertoire by learning about health literacy, media culture in China or land use law?  With SIPA’s flat rate tuition, you can cross register at other graduate schools and may be able to count relevant classes towards your concentration and specialization.

Cozy Up With Your Textbook: LIBRARIES

While SIPA’s Lehman Library has everything you need, why not vary your study environment?  Your CU ID gives you access to swipe into libraries all around campus.  Many students like Teachers College library, around the corner from SIPA on 120th St., which provides a relaxing environment for students to comfortably do group work.   Others enjoy the Social Work Library, located 3 blocks up from SIPA, where windows overlooking Amsterdam Avenue and 121st Street offer direct sunlight and some good people-watching.  Night owls may prefer to spend late paper-writing nights uptown in the Health Sciences Library at 168th St., which is bustling with medical students at all hours.   With some exploration you can find the perfect study environment for you.

Explore NYC’s Creative Side: CUarts

Even Columbia knows that you didn’t move to New York City to spend all of your time in the library!  That’s why the Arts Initiative at Columbia University works to make art and cultural events accessible and affordable for students.  Your student ID allows you free admission into more than 30 NYC museums and can get you discounted tickets to movies, restaurants and Broadway shows.

Refuel Your Day: GOOD EATS

Wherever you find yourself on campus, there is no shortage of places to pick up a snack.  SIPA students are lucky to have a café on the 6th floor to grab lunch and coffee in between classes.  Brad’s, located in the School of Journalism, is a great place to buy coffee, salads or baked goods to help get through your day.  You can also watch the buzz around the Morningside campus in their semi-open seating on warm days.   In the winter, a better option may be Lenfest Café in the Law school—accessible through the south hallway at SIPA—which offers a variety of sandwiches, sushi and other prepared foods.  On Thursdays and Sundays you can find locally produced cheeses, organic veggies and freshly baked bread at the Farmer’s Market while strolling down Broadway (between 114th and 115th Streets).

Relax Underground: MUSIC SPOT

Under the beautiful St. Paul’s Chapel, located right on campus between Avery and Buell Hall, the Postcrypt Coffehouse offers acoustic music every Friday and Saturday night during the school year.  In an intimate setting, you can unwind at the end of a busy week while listening to the tunes of local talent.


Columbia University Directory of CLASSES:

Columbia University LIBRARIES:




It’s Springtime at SIPA (and Columbia)!

The following was prepared by SIPA student Joshua Huneycutt, a second year MIA student concentrating in Energy and Environmental Policy.


To accompany the lengthening days and shedding of layers that takes place in Morningside Heights around this time of year, the SIPA and Columbia communities stage a number of fun events to coax students out of their study caves (i.e. Lehman Library)and into the spring air.


(Weird Flowering Branch Tree on Columbia Campus)

On SIPA’s home turf, the spring fun typically kicks off with the annual SIPA BBQ.  This year‘s “Business Cards and BBQ” theme encourages SIPA students to get to know each other better via SIPA students’ favorite pastime – networking! Here, kegs of beer and grilled meats (and veggie burgers) kick off the season of sitting in SIPA’s terrace in the sun, and continuing the fun, and postponing the pain of tackling term papers and exams, SIPA stages its premiere entertainment event – Follies – the following day.

An age-old tradition, this variety show parodies the school’s quirks and foibles through musical numbers, songs, skits, and [plenty of videos (link:  And if this wasn’t enough keep SIPA students going, the annual SIPA Gala (or SIPA Prom as it’s commonly known) takes place the following week, typically in a stunning venue with a top-shelf open bar to fuel the dancefloor.

If you’re burnt out on SIPA events, there are plenty of other things happening on campus.    This year’s annual “Bacchanal” party on Columbia’s main quad will feature none other than Wu-Tang’s own Ghostface Killah and psych popsters Of Montreal.  The following day, Barnard College’s radio hosts a more indie and metal-oriented day of free music and food, the WBAR-B-Q (link:  The dark synth-pop stylings of Cold Cave and brutal black metal of the Columbia alum-led Liturgy surely warrant a visit by Columbia and NYC music lovers alike.

vampireweekend(Vampire Weekend performs at Bacchanal 2009)

So while you might not be in the area for this year’s SIPA spring, rest assured that if you end up spending two years in these hallowed halls, the typical drudgery of exam season can end up being, well, kind of fun.

"The most global public policy school, where an international community of students and faculty address world challenges."

—Merit E. Janow, Dean, SIPA, Professor of Practice, International and Economic Law and International Affairs

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