From WikiCU
Jump to: navigation, search

A Speccie is a student who works extensively for the editorial section of, or is otherwise primarily associated with, the Columbia Daily Spectator.

Here's a list of Speccies.

Speccies form an idiosyncratic campus clique defined primarily by how their work for the Spectator affects the rest of their college experience. Among other things, Speccies commonly sacrifice part or all of their social lives, as well as a substantial amount of their sleep and class schedule, to furthering their work at Spectator.

How to identify a Speccie

While Speccies are a very well-adapted student species, able to coexist with and mimic almost any other feature found in a "normal" college student, there are a few telltale signs of a Speccie:

At a distance, any student walking down College Walk at 7 a.m. on a Wednesday with a Red Bull in one hand and a cigarette in the other WITHOUT TRYING TO BE IRONIC ABOUT IT is likely to be a Speccie. Speccies can also commonly be seen walking into their primordial den on 112th Street ("the Spec office"), walking quickly behind prominent University administrators while furiously scribbling down a notebook, or sitting in the back of a lecture unsuccessfully trying to hide their displeasure/boredom while writing on what their editor told them would be "a really interesting, controversial debate."

Certain subspecies of Speccies can be very easily and accurately identified in conversation. Depending on their genus, a Speccie may immediately become aroused and lurch into excited speech at the mention of either:

a) Bollinger's Global University Initiative
b) the 197-a Alternative Zoning Proposal
c) Next year's Cornell baseball lineup
d) Romanesko's blog post that day

Main Speccie Features

As mentioned, Speccies blend well in the campus environment. They generally speak and approach critical issues with a tinge of irony and self-deprecation, though some longtime Speccie scholars have suggested this demeanor is actually a bluff mechanism to cover their enthusiasm about Columbia and healthy ego.

Speccies reject being thought of as cool, but also don't consider themselves dorks. In reality, some Speccies are cool, and many are dorks.

Speccies have a love-hate affair with authority. They generally don't form cordial relationships with professors or administrators. When they do achieve a level of intimacy with any professor/administrator, they generally undo any closeness by writing something bad about said professor/administrator.

Most Speccies perform under their academic potential at Columbia, and sleep very little. While these conditions would cause most students to be depressed, Speccies see their lack of high GPA's and constant sleep deprivation as some type of merit badge. A common Speccie saying explaining this phenomenon goes: "School, Sleep, Spec. Pick two." Another common speccism is to claim to have "majored in Spec."


Speccies are generally social with other student species, but abhor mating outside their own kind. An old saying concisely describes this behavior: Speccies are friends with everybody, but only date each other.

Speccest, as Speccie dating is called, is in theory discouraged by the powers that be within the Spectator organization. In practice, it is so widespread that five of the last six Spec editors-in-chief, including the current one, dated other Speccies.

Speccest is particularly notable after a semimonthly gathering at which Speccies drink away the awkwardness until they black out, then make out and/or go home with people they didn't mean to, ensuring there will be enough awkwardness to go around during the next gathering. Such "Spectails," as the events are called, are commonly broken up before midnight, by which time several freshman Speccies have normally already been CAVA'd.