Behind the Scenes: Admissions Tours at Columbia University


By Dottie Kontopoulos

“Do you have a girlfriend?” is one of the various profound questions that Columbia University tour guides encounter when they show prospective students around campus. Though they may be more willing to answer academically-founded questions rather than personal ones, college tour guides are there to offer information about nearly anything.


Tour guides deliver welcome message first


By Dawn Rafal

Upon seeing people talking to themselves in a mirror, one might think they were crazy. But for Isabel Rothberg and David Miranda, it was necessary practice for their job training.

Rothberg and Miranda are tour guides for undergraduate admissions at Columbia University. Practicing with a mirror is only one step of their training, which also includes shadowing other tour guides, co-leading tours, and being shadowed themselves.

Welcome to Columbia: Tour Guides Share Their Viewpoint


By Rebecca Philip

A group of students circle around one person, hanging onto her every word. Parents don’t want to miss anything, either, because the tour guide, a student herself, is sharing information that could have a drastic impact on their child’s life.

After all, it is an admissions tour at Columbia University. Students want to know if this school is the right university for them.         

CSPA Assistant director of programs never expected to be in media


By Ainsleigh Caldicott

By Ainsleigh Caldicott

For Rebecca Castillo, journalism was the last thing that held her interest. So how is it that storytelling became her passion?

Castillo, who received her masters from the Graduate School of Journalism after studying Broadcasts and Digital Media there, never had any intention of meeting such a fate. Although she is now the Assistant Director of Programs at CSPA since 1994, she once aspired to go down a much different path.

Separate Yet United – Students At Barnard College & Columbia University experience fluid relationship


By Bella Hutchins

The divide keeps the two schools definitively separate in name, acceptance rate, and endowment, but when it comes to student life, though the line sometimes remains intact, it often blurs, merging the two together.

Barnard College, located just across the street from Columbia University, considers itself “separate and financially independent” according to its official website. However, students at each school can take classes at the other, can live on the same halls, can share libraries, and can utilize the same athletic facilities. Additionally, both Barnard and Columbia students are all given free tickets to attend Columbia University sporting events.

‘Sir’ Michael Layne continues to connect through music


By Anna Peng

Most college students have left Carmen Hall at Columbia University for the summer, but high school students quickly replace them. The stifling summer air is soothed by easy going music that drifts through. It starts as an upbeat Latin music and then a mellow blues. This is a sign that gatekeeper Michael Layne is at his post in the lobby, where he hasn’t missed a single day of work for the past thirteen years.

One Columbia University family wears a different blue


By Kate Leone

“I do the meet and greet. That’s the most fun part for me because I get to meet a lot of people, tell them where they gotta go,” security guard Pamela Alston said. All with the blue uniform, utility belt, and good posture, it’s easy for a passerby to group all the guards posted at the gates of Columbia University together. But it’s not so easy for the guards to do the same to the college students.