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Obamanard is the name given by Bwog to the uproar/ruckus surrounding President Barack Obama's decision to speak at the commencement ceremony (equivalent of Class Day for CC, SEAS and GS) for Barnard College in 2012. The name is a (strange) portmanteau of Obama and Barnard. The main issue with the event is two-fold: (1) the president's (or--as some people overlook--his staff's) choice of Barnard over Columbia College, his alma mater, and (2) the response from the student body on both sides of the street.


Initially, Barnard had secured Jill Abramson, the executive editor of The New York Times, as its commencement speaker for 2012. Her selection followed in the past few years' tradition of inviting particularly prominent non-alumnae to address the graduates. On March 3, however, Barnard President Deborah Spar announced that the White House had called her to offer the president as a speaker for the year. This offer is consistent with White House protocol of offering the president to speak at various graduations in the spring. It is, however, unusual for Columbia in that each undergraduate school (in its own method) is usually the one to extend the invite to the keynote speaker.

This announcement came after CC and SEAS had already selected their respective Class Day speakers for the year.


As soon as the story went up on Bwog, an outpouring of comments commenced.[1] These comments generally seemed to fall into two categories (though as the comments are anonymous, it's hard to tell for sure). Generally, the comments were seen as divisive and some even misogynistic.[2] Others from (supposed) Barnard students were seen as mocking to Columbia and generally retaliatory.

Eventually, other news sources (some more accountable than others), such as Jezebel and The New York Times, picked up on the stories, making an internal Columbia conflict incredibly public.[3][4]