New York City’s Columbia University’s wrestling team, which bills itself as the nation’s oldest intercollegiate program, has had its season suspended by the university while officials investigate text messages sent by team members that included the frequent use of racist, misogynistic and homophobic terms.
On Monday, Columbia released a statement saying that the university’s athletic department “has decided that Columbia wrestlers will not compete until we have a full understanding of the facts on which to base the official response to this disturbing matter.”
Columbia withdrew from a meet on Sunday at Binghamton after the university announced it would have “zero tolerance in its athletics programs for the group messaging and texts sent by several members of the men’s varsity wrestling team,” messages that the university described as “appalling.”
Bwog, an independent, student-run Columbia news website was the first to reveal the scandal after publishing screenshots of the offending texts.
One of the texts refers to a student as a “gay fuck,” while another reads, “We got a missing faggot no Jews back at Claremont.”
Another text referred to black staffers at a UPS store and Black Lives Matter protestors as “nigs” or “niggers.”
Misogynistic texts included one that reads “Columbia bitches feel entitled to something when in reality they are all ugly socially awkward cunts.”
On Friday and Saturday, students protested outside the fraternity house of Kappa Delta Rho, which counts wrestlers among its membership. A Change.org petition calling for the expulsion of wrestlers had 875 supporters Monday evening.
Other students were planning to spread fliers throughout campus Monday to “protest the culture that permeates Columbia’s men’s athletics teams,” according to the description of a Facebook group. Almost 500 students were listed as interested in or planning to attend the event.
Columbia’s wrestling coach, Zach Tanelli, and Peter Pilling, the university’s athletic director, have not been available for comment.
Kill Your Darlings, the directorial debut from John Krokidas, swiftly draws us into the creation of the Beat movement and the murder which thrust Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, and Jack Kerouac onto the path of literary and cultural revolution. Daniel Radcliffe stars as Allen Ginsberg, whose freshman year at Columbia begins as his mother’s fragile mental health deteriorates.
While the film takes some liberties with the libertine set’s involvement in the murder of David Kammerer, a compatriot of Burrough’s who was enamored with Ginsberg’s friend/crush Lucien Carr, the taut, painful coming age story lays bare the era’s anti-Semitism and homophobia, blowing apart the stultifying academic and social mores that the Beats–who originally dubbed themselves the New Vision–sought to overthrow. (It is worth noting that many cultural forces that cause change have sprung from the death of one of a specific circle: Stu Sutcliffe and Brian Jones come to mind–the energies unleashed postmortem propel societal change forward. Freaky? Makes me go all Golden Bough/Wicker Man). And Kammerer’s murder was the explosion that thrust the Beats into their creative maelstrom.
Still, despite the shift of certain facts and chronologies, Kill Your Darlings–which takes its title from a quote attributed to William Faulkner, who repurposed it from Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch’s On the Art of Writing (1916)
Whenever you feel an impulse to perpetrate a piece of exceptionally fine writing, obey it–whole-heartedly–and delete it before sending your manuscript to press. Murder your darlings
–seduces and inspires with language, camera, production design, and the force of the actors’ talent. The ecstatic scenes in a jazz club, Ginsberg’s fevered writings and yearnings for Carr, a library break-in, Kerouac’s home life, and the collision of sex, death and drugs at the film’s climax, all unfurl in a passionate vision .
At the start, and throughout the film, Carr’s murder of Kammerer weighs heavily. Kammerer is in love with Carr, and Carr is dependent on him to write his papers for school, as well as possibly for his life force. Perhaps Carr has drained Kammerer of his own originality and taken the older man’s ideas of literary revolution as his own, that concept is left bubbling beneath the surface. Carr is a tortured young man with ideas he cannot express and he turns to Ginsberg to help him shatter the prison walls of convention (and he hopes, prison). Carr seeks new sensations, new words, new worlds, constantly pushing and luring Ginsberg to more and more dangerous adventures, then cajoling and manipulating him into writing his defense statement.
Played by Dane DeHaan, Lucien Carr is a young, half-formed Lucifer, damned forever, capable of getting others to do for him close to, but never perfectly, what he wants, and is unable to do himself. (In real life, Carr served 18 months in a reformatory after claiming an “honor killing,” that is, the mid-20th century heterosexual self defense against an obsessed homosexual, to use the terms of that time; he spent the rest of his life as an editor at UPI, an appropriate end).
The characters of Kill Your Darlings embrace sex, drugs, thrills, and emotional, psychological and physical violence as means to liberation, to break the circle. Breaking the circle, disrupting the cycle of life, is a theme that recurs throughout Kill Your Darlings, drawn from Carr’s fascination with William Butler Yeats’ essays in automatic writing, A Vision (thus the name of Carr’s nascent literary movement, New Vision) And with Kammerer’s murder, Lucien Carr did break the circle, the circle of friends, the cycle of life. The New Vision circle reformed as the Beats, fiercely birthing the counterculture, and within that restructured shape shattered the literary and societal norms through to this day.
I want young audiences to know that the world is theirs and they can make their stamp. It’s time for them to start their own revolution
Hopefully it will come without circle-shattering traumas like that which ended Kammerer’s tormented life.
Kill Your Darlings, rated R, opens October 18. Starring Daniel Radcliffe as Allen Ginsberg; Dane DeHaan as Lucien Carr; Michael C. Hall as David Kammerer; Ben Foster as William Burroughs; Jack Huston as Jack Kerouac; David Cross as Lewis Ginsberg; Jennifer Jason Leigh as Naomi Ginsberg; Elizabeth Olsen as Edie Parker; Kyra Sedgwick as Marian Carr.
Kill Your Darlings is scheduled to release on October 18th nationwide.
*EXCLUSIVE – Openly Gay Chilean Exchange Student At Columbia University Loses Fellowship and Threatened With Deportation After Reporting Professor For Sexual Harassment
Alberto Leguina an openly gay Chilean exchange student and Fellow at the prestigious Columbia University in New York City had his ruined and his Fellowship terminated after lodging a sexual harassment complaint against Professor Qais Al-Awqati Professor of Medicine and Professor of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City.
Alberto claims that during his first week of work at Columbia University under Professor I Al-Awqati that he sexually propositioned him in an instant messages that asked if he would “date” an older man. After rejecting his advances Qais Al-Awqati told Alberto “You are out!” but later apologized to Alberto and presented him with a new Macbook that he bought with University funds. Upset by what was happening Alberto went through proper channels and made a complaint with Columbia University’s Human Resources which promised that a full investigation would be made,.
Three months later not only Columbia’s Human Resource Department NOT investigated Alberto’s sexual harrasment report against Al-Awquati. Unbeknownst to him Al-Awqati had sent a false progress report to the director of the PhD program at his home school of the Universidad Catolica in Chile claiming that Alberto’s performance in the lab was not “up to the expectations of a Columbia Fellow” and that “he was lazy”. A few days later Columbia University and the Universidad Catolica cancelled Alberto’s Fellowship and he was petitioned to return home to his native Chile and threatened with deportation.
With no other options left Alberto represented by the law firm of Philip’s and Philip’s and with the help of New York City’s Anti-Violence Project has filed a lawsuit against Qais Al-Awqati and the Board of Trustee’s of Columbia University for restitution and to also raise awareness of the Latino, LGBT, and scientific community about the discriminatory, unethical practices used by Columbia University and the whitewash that has been perpetrated upon him by to protect Professor Qais Al-Awqati