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Olivia Namkoong CC’23 Loves NSOP’s Energy!

Thursday, August 25, 2022
Olivia Namkoong CC'23

Photo: Emma Asher

Olivia Namkoong CC’23 (she/her/hers) is ready to welcome new students to Columbia! The creative writing – fiction major from Albany, N.Y., has been involved with the New Student Orientation Program for years and now, as a senior, is the communications coordinator for the NSOP Committee, working to get everything ready so the Class of 2026 begins their Columbia experience in the best way possible! We spoke with Namkoong in the weeks leading up to NSOP 2022.

CCT: What is your favorite part of working with NSOP?
ON: I think NSOP is really special because its goal is to create an environment that is a bonding experience for incoming students, who most likely don’t know each other. They’re forced to step out of their comfort zone and find friends and a community in a new environment. From my experience, that energy transcends what’s happening with the incoming students and is also part of the experience for the NSOP Committee and the student leaders. It’s a unique group in that you find that energy and really bond within the group in the same way that we are asking the new students to.

What has been your favorite class at the College, and why?
Interestingly enough, my favorite classes have been outside my major. I absolutely love the creative writing department, but I have found amazing gems of classes that I just happened to take. One was “U.S. Lesbian and Gay History” with Professor George Chauncey; I think he’s one of the greatest lecturers. The class was 300 people and yet I’ve never been so commanded in a large class like that. Another amazing class was “The Beat Generation” in the English department. It’s a small seminar with Professor Ann Douglas; she is such an interesting person and has so much information to share about this generation of writers.

What do you like to do outside of class and NSOP?
One of my favorite things is movies. I’m part of the Ferris Reel Film Society; we screen movies for free. We show new movies, old movies, small movies, big movies — all types of screenings on campus! Watching movies with other people is how I destress. My favorite screening we’ve done is The Rocky Horror Picture Show; we did that fall of my first year for Halloween and everyone was dressed up. I also do WKCR. I got involved my freshman year and it’s been great for connecting with people through music. I was a programmer in the new music department, which is experimental classical music, and also worked in the arts department, where I had two podcasts — one was talking to students about their favorite movies, and the other was producing a comedy podcast with my friends who do improv.

How do you like to take advantage of New York City?
My first year I found out about the AMC A-List, which is a membership you get with AMC Theatres to see multiple movies for a monthly price. I started going to matinees all the time, like on a Tuesday when I’d have time between classes. It was really fun. This year — and this summer especially — I’ve realized I still have some New York things I haven’t experienced, so I’m trying to do some bucket list stuff. I took the NYC Ferry to the Rockaways with friends, and I’ve been to Chelsea Piers and the Empire State Building!

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