Are you on the fence about joining SIPA in the fall? This list should make it easier for you to decide.
1. THE CAMPUS IS A REAL EYESORE
Seriously. Don’t even bother taking a campus tour. The grass is lush and beautiful for half of the year, then it’s blanketed in the fluffiest white snow you only thought you could find in your Winter Wonderland dreams.
2. THE CLASSES ARE SMALL
It’s graduate school. How are you ever going to learn anything if you’re in a classroom with just a dozen other students? Better yet, how can you take a nap in the back of the room without getting noticed? Sadly, you can’t do that at SIPA. THIS is what your average classroom looks like.
3. THE CLASSES ARE ALSO B – O – R – I – N – G
In addition to being stuck in a classroom with less students, you’re also not going to enjoy any of the classes you take next year. For example, the United Nations Studies specialization offers “A Day at the United Nations: A View from the Inside.” Students spend at least two days accompanying UN staffers to work at headquarters. Then our Seeples and their UN hosts (pictured above) share what the experience was like in a panel presentation at SIPA. Last year, speakers included Claudia Banz (third from right), a senior political affairs officer at United Nations, Department of Peacekeeping Operations and Jo Scheuer (second from left), the Director of Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction with the UNDP. What a snooze fest.
4. THERE’S NEVER ANYTHING TO DO IN THIS PLACE
This is what the average hallway looks like at SIPA. It’s plastered in flyers for social receptions, student organization meetings, and random events on and off campus. Among the 42 SIPA student groups, they host 12-15 events each week. With so many choices, it’s no wonder students can’t make time to attend the events and are left with nothing to do except explore the Big Apple.
5. AND THEY KEEP YOU TRAPPED ON THE GROUNDS
At SIPA, “on the grounds” can mean anything from taking a class in a Columbia University classroom to being forced onto a plane halfway around the world just to help bring an end to extreme poverty. That’s what Molly Powers, MPA-DP 2012, had to do as part of her Summer Field Placement when she interned with the Millennium Villages Project. It’s obvious by the photo she didn’t volunteer for the gig.
6. THE PROFESSORS ARE MEH
SIPA has more than 70 full-time faculty members and 200 adjunct faculty, professional practitioners and visiting scholars on staff. With so many experts to learn from, you’re hard pressed to find anyone who’s notable among the bunch. (Remember the saying about quality vs quantity?) David Dinkins is the former mayor of the City of New York; Claudia Dreifus writes “Conversation with…” in the New York Times’Tuesday science section; Paola Valenti consulted with World Bank’s Human Development Network and Social Protection Group; and Jason Bordoff joined SIPA after serving as the Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Energy and Climate Change on the Staff of the National Security Council for four years. Sorry, but that’s not an all-star lineup.
7. YOU’LL NEVER MAKE ANY FRIENDS
Last month, these three spent their Spring Break in Peru as part of their second-year capstone project. There’s nothing more awkward than spending time with other Seeples in a foreign country and then asking them to pose with you and pretend like you’re all actually having a good time…while jumping near the ledge of a cliff. You’re bound to fear for your safety, thinking that at any moment one of these two will push you over the edge—literally. With thoughts like those racing through your mind, can you ever really become friends? (Note: At the request of a student, a previous entry featuring students at the Dead Sea has been removed.)
8. YOU WON’T FIND A *STELLAR* JOB AFTER GRADUATE SCHOOL
Last year, our graduating Seeples worked in the private, public and nonprofit sectors. But they were working for some less-than desirable organizations. Brookings Institution, Clinton Foundation, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Kofi Annan Foundation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, PricewaterhouseCoopers and the United Nations Development Program were just a few of the terrible places our graduates ended up. Clearly, all of your hard work and the SIPA brand don’t get you anywhere these days.
9. THERE’S NOTHING WORSE THAN A SEA OF COLUMBIA BLUE
There are shades of blue everywhere you turn on campus. From Admitted Students’ Day and orientation week to sporting events and graduation. Blue, blue, blue, blue, blue. What kind of school has this much pride for a cool color palette?
10. SORRY, BUT IT’S JUST NOT WORTH IT LISTING ANOTHER REASON…
I warned you there were reasons you shouldn’t attend SIPA this fall. But don’t take my word for it. Confirm your enrollment today so you can see things for yourself.