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Hong Fincher and Lu defy Big Brother.

 On Wednesday, the Weatherhead East Asian Institute invited author Leta Hong Fincher along with feminist activist and journalist Lu Pin to speak on China’s feminist movement. The story is of two worlds: a radical activism operating between the progressive #MeToo movement and an Orwellian Big Brother society. Andrew Wang, who has only ever known big brother as an older sibling, was watching.

“Protect my rights, don’t keep me down; Why must I lose my freedom? Let’s break free from our heavy shackles, and reclaim our power as women!” sings Wei Ting Ting.

It is 2015, and Wei Ting Ting is detained underground, held by the Beijing police in a freezing room. She can barely see—the police had taken her glasses—and so she uses her voice, singing the anthem of China’s feminist movement. She and others had been handing out stickers on public transportation to raise awareness about sexual harassment in China. In response, the police conducted sweeping arrests across the country. They eventually focused their efforts on five women—later dubbed the Feminist Five—who were all brought to Beijing to be incarcerated. They were held for 37 days after immense international pressure.

Months later, above ground, China’s President, Xi Jin Ping—nicknamed Xi Da Da, or Xi Daddy—hosted a United Nations summit on gender equality.

Leta Hong Fincher told us this story as she read an excerpt from her book, Betraying Big Brother: The Feminist Awakening in China. From the get-go, we learned that China’s story of feminism is both like and unlike the western story. More from Leta Hong Fincher and Lu Pin



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Can’t wait to write in four of these today :))

Today is Columbia Registrar’s favorite holiday – Midterm Day! That’s right, folks, you know what that means: all of your midterms are today. Every. Single. One.

Some of you may be confused by this announcement, especially if you’re first years. That’s understandable. To help you navigate the most hectic day of the semester, here are some FAQs:

Q: My syllabus said my midterm isn’t for another two weeks. Are you sure it’s actually today?
A: Yes, I’m sure. It’s on the registrar calendar. They don’t make these things up.

Q: I thought I already took my midterm, why would I have another one?
A: Oh you sweet, sweet STEM students with your early midterms. That was a test run. STEM classes are basically one elaborate prank, so I’m not sure why you’re so surprised.

Q: I don’t have all my classes today. What do I do?
A: That’s no excuse not to take all your midterms today. This has been on the calendar for months. Drink a 5-hour Energy and sprint through campus until you find the location of your Wednesday seminar’s midterm.

Q: Are you sure this doesn’t just mean the day that marks the halfway point through the semester?
A: How do people even come up with excuses like this? Why would the registrar consider that important enough to put on their calendar? Sorry, you’re wrong and just haven’t been around here long enough.

Hope you’ve been studying! Time to get out those blue books.

the dreaded blue book via Columbia Bookstore



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Wear purple today!

Happening in the World: There have been dozens of attacks connected to an increasingly divisive presidential race in Brazil in the last month. Perpetrators have largely been supporters of far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro, who has used violent rhetoric on the campaign trail. (New York Times)

Happening in the US: Connecticut Police officer Stephen Barone was fired following after a video showed him warning people he was “trigger-happy” when he stopped them for suspected trespassing. The firing came after an internal investigation done by the police department. (NBC News)

Happening in NYC: Effective January, people born in NYC will have the option to change the gender on their birth certificates to a gender-neutral option, “X.” The change will not require a doctor’s note and will ease the process for transgender individuals seeking documented recognition of their gender identity. (Reuters)

Happening on campus: Today is Wear Purple Day at Columbia for Relationship Violence Awareness Month. Join Columbia Health and Columbia SVR in showing support and raising awareness for an important cause.

Place to nap today: The spacious tables of the SIPA library group study rooms. Pick a table in a cubicle for semi-privacy.

RVAM via Columbia Events



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Why buy something new when you can make do with with the junk you have already accrued underneath your bed or all over your floor? Bwog staff has compiled a list of ways to repurpose literal garbage in your dorm room.

  • Refill a soup container with water to use as a vase for flowers.
  • Use your blender as a water pitcher because filtered water is scarce and rare in the quad.
  • Sleep with your head inside your refrigerator during the summer and behind the refrigerator during the winter.
  • Hang clothes from a curtain rod to block the light coming in through your blinds.
  • Use a lamp as a drying rack.
  • Use your roommate’s mini steamer as a kettle to brew hot water for exactly one cup of tea.
  • Use a T-shirt as a pillowcase.
  • Take out your fridge shelf and use it as a pantry.
  • Use the flyers from the Milstein opening to make a lanyard of inspirational women. :’)
  • Use a cardboard box as a pot for your 3-foot tall plant you accidentally ordered on Amazon.
  • Stack all of your old disposable coffee cups from Ferris you forgot to throw away into a pyramid to use as a step stool to get onto your bed.
  • Use the tapestry you were too lazy to hang as a towel.

If you have any other interesting ways to reuse your old stuff to be useful in your room, let us know at because Bwog loves innovation.

Photo via Eva 



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Upon arriving to Columbia’s Campus, Bwogger Miyoki Walker noticed something strange. Instead of the North Faces and Fjallraven Kankens she was used to seeing in high school, everyone and their mothers were carrying canvas tote bags. Something else Miyoki noticed? The totes say a lot about the people wearing them.

So many totes, so little time.

The New Yorker Tote

You’re an English major who needs everyone at all times to know that you read the New Yorker—nevermind the fact that you actually only read the fiction section. Listen, there’s nothing wrong with being in it for the aesthetic. A real book heaux and possibly a Gemini.

The other New Yorker Tote

You’re definitely a Pisces. You’re currently undecided on your major, but everyone knows you’ll probably end up majoring in English. You tend to procrastinate. You waited a little too long to get the 12-weeks-for-6-dollars subscription deal, and now they went and changed the design. Yeah, it says New Yorker on the top, but does it really count?

Barnard Tote

You are cooler than the rest of us. Maybe a Scorpio, but you definitely know a lot more about astrology than I do.

The EcoReps Tote

You’re absolutely an Aquarius sun, possibly with a Leo rising. You started out as a poli sci major, but who knows where life will take you! You’re environmentally conscious, or at least you like people to think you are. You also noticed the new tote trend, but haven’t had enough time to go out and buy a more original one. Hey, who doesn’t love a free tote?

The Blue SVR Consent Tote

Big Libra energy. At least a little woke, or maybe you just like the color.

Solid Colored/Patterned Tote

Taurus. Reliable and grounded. You like to play it safe and you know what works for you. Probably majoring in something practical like computer science or anything else miserable sounding.

The “Shakespeare & Company” Tote

Hardworking and self-critical. Straight Virgo shit. Who am I kidding, I ordered this for $12 on Amazon as soon as I saw someone else wearing one.

Totes via Miyoki Walker (Yes, she owns every one of them)



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Staff-Writer-turned-Spelunker Henry Golub totally explored Columbia’s tunnel system and lived to tell the tale. He also likes inflating his word count and eating burritos.

Whoa. Tunnels.

Beneath Columbia’s campus—below Spec’s lair—lies an extensive tunnel system where the school used to run maze experiments on NYU students. Few people have since entered the labyrinth, but those who have tell of extraordinary sights: a secret entrance to JJ’s, Alexander Hamilton’s arm and leg (which he gave up for Hamilton tickets), and even witches.

Now, I don’t believe in Alexander Hamilton, but I could not resist seeing for myself the other wonders lying beneath Morningside. I had to find the tunnels.

Into the tunnels after the jump



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soup with rice and a little bit of sautéed zucchini on the side!

Today on Cooking With Bwog, we have Korean beef radish soup! Bwog’s resident Korean and EIC Youngweon Lee follows a recipe by YouTuber Maangchi

Do you just happen to have half of a giant Korean radish left over in your pantry from making dried pollack soup a few days ago? No? Just me? Well, regardless of whether you’re trying to take care of leftover radish or you went to HMart and bought one just for this soup, this is a great simple recipe. If I can make it and succeed, you can too, because I literally don’t know how to cook.


  • As much Korean radish (or daikon) as you want (it’s $0.99/lb at HMart on 110th I believe: super cheap and versatile for soups)
  • Beef – any cut with a bit of fat will do
  • Minced garlic
  • Soy sauce or fish sauce (I prefer fish sauce – also sold at HMart)
  • Salt
  • Scallions or green onions (optional)

Instructions after the jump



this guy definitely has a sleeve

We’ve done Barnard. We’ve done SEAS. The end is in sight but we can’t forget GS. Despite a wide variety of degree programs, we here at Bwog have managed to boil GS students down to an essence they all share. Take this quiz to determine how much you’ve got or if that kid who won’t shut up in your class is an obnoxious GS student living up to the stereotype, or just plain obnoxious. Share your results in the comments!

If you suspect you or someone you love of having BGE, start with a base of 10 points and go from there:

  • Is a MilVet (+5)
    • “but not one of those MilVets” (+4)
  • Is a former ballerina (+5)
  • Goes to Mel’s (+2)
    • know the bartenders at Mel’s (+5)
    • does shots with the bartender at Mel’s (+10)
    • has a mug at Mel’s (+15)
  • Only friends with non-GS people (-12)
    • Is under 21 (-8)
    • Buys alcohol for underage friends (+5)
  • Has a 4.0, qualifies for the maximum FAFSA contribution, and still doesn’t get any financial aid (+10)
  • Is over 50 (+2)
  • Has kids (+15)
    • Has to miss campus events because they can’t get a babysitter (+5)
  • Has a sleeve tattoo (+1)
  • Wears a suit on the first day of class (+2)
  • Eats in the dining halls (-8)
  • Has social media other than Facebook (-6)
  • Only sits with other GS students in lectures (+3)
  • Goes to Barnard science classes (+5)
  • Doesn’t get the “Core experience” because they pay by the credit and it’s cheaper to fulfill the requirements other ways (+4)
  • Drinks to forget that most the incoming CC freshman class were born in 2000 or later (+2)
  • Went to the Barnard/GS picnic last spring (+2)
  • “The three undergraduate schools of Columbia: CC, SEAS, and GS” (+3)
  • Participates very heavily in discussion sections (+5)
    • Is condescending to the TA when they do it (+3)
    • Is older than the TA (+2)

Finish your calculations and find out the results after the jump!



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Pictured are two GS students conversing about post-midterm fun

Tonight’s meeting was straightforward, as the council focused on fun upcoming events after midterms! GSSC Bureau Chief Andrew Chee sacrifices his Butler time to bring you this delicious recap.

Stephanie Jennings, a senior health specialist at Columbia Health Services, was tonight’s guest speaker, opening up a conversation about what students would like to see more of in the Columbia health insurance plans.

Students noted that they particularly desired :

  • Affordability, with regards to co-pay, medication, and premiums
  • Reliability
  • Partial coverage for out of network doctors
  • A larger network for out of state providers
  • A more affordable dental plan
  • Greater transparency regarding insurance policy benefits, termination, and fees
  • Additional option plans with lower premiums and higher out of pocket costs

If you have any comments or suggestions for the Columbia health insurance plan for future semesters, you can reach out to Stephanie at

GSSC President Updates

GSSC has two open positions: Senior Class Treasurer and Community Services and Sustainability Rep. Apply if it seems like it is up your alley!

Upcoming Events

  • Midterms Snack Attacks are still going on this week. Today and tomorrow (October 17 and 18), head over to the GS lounge for breakfast and lunch at 9:30 am and 12:30 pm, respectively.
  • The JTS Shabbat dinner is happening this Friday, October 19 at 8:15 pm in the GS lounge and will have kosher/Persian food. For this event, make sure you RSVP on the Google Form provided on the Facebook event.
  • The Homecoming Pep Rally will also occur on Friday, October 19 on Butler lawn at 1 to 3 pm. Lazy Halloween will be on November 1 at Mel’s at 7 pm.
  • Basketball Mania is on October 25. Prizes include $50k for a half-court shot, $10k for a three-pointer, and Columbia laundry bags. GSSC is looking for a GS student to partner up with the women’s basketball players for the three-pointer shot. You are eligible if you have not played basketball competitively in the last five years, so contact Sondra Woodruff at if you are interested!
  • Senior Class events
    • Oktoberfest on the 27th 1:30 to 4:30 pm in front of East Campus Plaza.
    • First Year Senior Year Lunch is on November 2nd in the GS Lounge.
    • Lerner Pubs

That’s all from GSSC this week! Check out these exciting events and unwind during the stressful midterms period!

Photo via Columbia Program of General Studies



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Petition to change the maple leaf to a weed leaf

Happening in the World: Canada is officially the second country in the world to legalize possession and recreational use of marijuana. The first country to do so was Uruguay, which legalized the cultivation of weed in 2014 and the sale in 2017 British Columbia will open up its first legal store this coming week (BBC News).

Happening in the US: Multiple states in the Midwest are preparing to vote on marijuana legalization in November. Michigan and North Dakota face the decision of whether or not the drug should be legal for ages 21 and over, similarly to alcohol. Missouri and Utah are taking baby steps, deciding whether or not to legalize the use of medical marijuana only (US News).

Happening in NYC: A house fire in the Bronx left a firefighter severely injured and led to a man’s arrest. Louis Roman, the 50-year-old resident of the house, was allegedly growing marijuana on his property. Reporters are referring to the scene as “a marijuana grow house” (abc7NY).

Happening on Campus: The SIPA Diversity Committee is hosting a panel regarding the influence of policy in voting and voter turnout. The event will be held in the International Affairs Building from 6:00pm-8:00pm. Panelists include former mayor of Philadelphia, Michael Nutter,  Alex Hertel-Fernandez, assistant professor at the School of International and Public Affairs, and more.

Quote of the Day: “Look, for a lot of people, life is just one long hard kick in the urethra.” – BoJack Horseman

Photo via Public Domain



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Hello my purest love

Only occasionally do I weigh in on the John Jay vs Ferris debate, but today I could not stay silent: John Jay is my jam. While shoving tofu cubes and hot sauce into my mouth during a meal with friends (actually with our dear EIC Youngweon and ESC boi Finn), a glistening blue tower in a corner caught my eye. A fat stack of Dasani water bottles quietly occupied a humble square foot of the back dining room, proving what I honestly already knew: our lovely CU dining staff has been filling the Coke touch-machines with bottled water. It only makes sense—the bright blue water button in the corner is just a digital symbol of its real bright blue presence in the corner of the dining room. What else could they possibly use all of those water bottles for? To hydrate NYC marathon runners? To draw a fine bottled water bubble bath for our fearless leader? To mobilize drinking water? Obviously not. Too many times have I heard people misdirect their praise to the drip of the Catskill/Delaware watershed: “Ah, wow, so refreshing. Isn’t it great that NYC has the best tap water EVER? (!!!)” But I always knew those extra electrolytes weren’t deposited by the fins of upstate fish. The Johnathan Jay Collective (praise for JJ’s too) has been providing us with only the purest, hydrating, best water money could buy. And for that, I thank them, endorse them, and love them.

splash via Amara Banks



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As the ancient proverb goes: “It be like that sometimes.”

The glaring red notification on your Mail app seems to glow just a little more intensely this month. You’re haunted by the drafted emails you’ve really only got as far as “Dear Professor” with. It’s been one week since you texted in Slack, five days since you emailed back, three days since you left your room–now Bwog is setting the ground rules for when “taking time for myself” is still appropriate and when it’s just plain ghosting. 

Major adviser: 4-5 business days

You freaked out and emailed the department head at 2 am, asking if you could meet with her outside of her office hours to discuss potentially majoring in her subject. Like the gracious and kindhearted person she is, she responded promptly on a weekend–a Saturday morning, even. You still haven’t responded because you are 1) ashamed at the nature by which you contacted her, and 2) don’t really know what you say at office hours. You consider changing your major to avoid the inevitable awkward encounter at department soireés. Dear reader, do not feel intimidated if you are responding outside of this timeframe. So long as it is not a time-sensitive matter (in this case, the approach of major declaration) this professor will still be kind and receptive even if you are emailing three weeks late.

Your regular hook up: Whenever

I would hope that you have established clear enough boundaries that a non-response is just as good as a “Nah, not feeling it.” You should shoot something off, ideally, but the typical expiration for a “wyd?” text is an hour. Neither of you are entitled to each other’s time, so don’t expect extreme timeliness when you’re the one shooting off that late night text three days later. Common decency says respond as soon as possible about what you’re feeling, but street rules don’t care about house rules: go crazy.

Friends asking you out to lunch: Within 30 minutes

If you don’t stop neglecting your friends right now, I swear to God. The only acceptable excuses are: my phone was dead, I was in class, I have already eaten–all of which need to be communicated! It’s not really about the food; it’s about the people, so even if you’re not feeling John Jay, sit with your friends on the lawns while you still can, meet them at Milstein, cook together. Your friends miss you even if they don’t explicitly say so. In turn, you’re also allowed to double, triple, quadruple-text them when you want to hang out and they want to go ghost.

Find out how long you can ghost a Buy Sell Trade Seller before you officially flake.



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We love Barnard! Thank you SGA

Today’s Tuesday, so that means another recap of the weekly Rep Council meeting of Barnard’s Student Government Association. Wait, you must be asking yourself, do those really happen every week? How could they possibly have enough to talk about? Great question. The answer is that they really don’t. Instead, SGA has been keeping with their tactic of bringing in student, faculty, and administrative guests to share information that may have better been conveyed in an email. Intrigued? Read on for Barnard Bureau Chief Dassi Karp’s summary of what went down last night.

All speakers spoke well, questions were asked intelligently, and the meeting basically ended on time, so I’d count it as a win.

Sonam Singh, adjunct lecturer in English and bargaining unit chair for the contingent faculty union. spoke first, to further elaborate on a current grievance the union has brought to the administration. He briefly summarized the situation during the open floor section of the meeting last week. The union, which formed about three years ago, successfully negotiated a contract last year. “Our campaign was a big success,” Singh said, explaining that the negotiated minimum pay for part-time faculty is among the highest in the country. “We’re incredibly proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish,” he said. “We’re setting a national standard and that’s amazing.” But his success doesn’t mean that all is well. The union has filed a grievance with the college about stipends for First-Year Seminar instructors. Previously, every instructor was given the same stipend, no matter their rank. This year, union members are no longer given the stipend, while tenured and tenure-track instructors still are. This “seems clearly discriminatory” in the view of the union. The college has responded that since this stipend is not specifically included in the negotiated contract, they are not required to provide it. “We think the answer is absurd and unfair,” said Singh. The matter will be taken to outside arbitration, which will be a long and expensive process.

More school politics after the jump



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we love nature and ecology!

As every week, Bwog’s dedicated and experienced Engineering Student Council Bureau Chief Finn Klauber reports everything going on in SEAS student government.

At the ESC meeting last night in the Satow Room, the Council covered some basic updates followed by discussions on the creation of an Ecology minor and a proposed mental health statement.

Cultivating An Ecology Minor
According to ESC President Ria Garg, a girl recently came to ESC to ask for a statement of support regarding the creation of an Ecology minor. While Garg was not sure “why she needs a statement of support,” she figured that the ESC should discuss the topic first. The response from ESC was general confusion over what they are supposed to do. The VP Communications Asher Goldfinger asked if there was a monetary commitment that has to be made, before generally asking why ESC should support a process about which they don’t know anything. 2019 President Izzet Kebudi then clarified that the creation of new minors falls under the purview of the Education Committee of the University Senate. There was general agreement that this affects SEAS as minors in SEAS are different from concentrations in CC, but nobody could agree on what exactly is the difference or how to proceed with the request. As such, the Council decided to table the topic until next week pending more research into the SEAS framework for minors.

Group Editing A Mental Health Statement
The majority of the meeting last night was oriented around the finalization of a mental health statement to be released to the Columbia community. After emailing Deans Boyce, Morrison, and Plaa about the administration’s response to the recent tragic suicide, Dean Plaa responded that SEAS faculty should know about what happened and how students are grieving. He suggested specifically that if any student needs academic support, they should go to their advising dean. To communicate this information to the student body, ESC decided to craft all the information they have on the situation—including the typical list of mental health resources we see on every email from the administration—in the form of an ESC statement.

What can ESC spend 50 minutes editing? Click here to find out



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at graduation you thought this was gonna be y’all. psych lol college changed you.

It’s that time of year… we’re not saying long distance is fake, but how likely is it that you met the love of your life at age 16?

It’s been approximately a month and a half into school, and you’re finally getting tired of those five hour-long Facetime calls where you watch each other do laundry and rant about your psychology professors. Despite enjoying the privilege of telling people “I’m dating someone” when a snap code is offered to you at EC, you’ve got to admit to yourself: you really, really didn’t mean it when you said that you’d be with each other forever or that they’re your moon and stars while you clutched your diploma and cigar at graduation. Here are the ten stages of breaking up with the person everyone back home thought you were going to marry:

  1. You’ve made a list of pros and cons of dating them. Pros: you can tell people you have a significant other. Cons: they’re really not that significant anymore.
  2. You listen to a lot of Party Favor by Billie Eilish.
  3. You draft your breakup letter to them with lyrics from Party Favor by Billie Eilish.
  4. You spend the early hours of your morning talking to your roommate about how “I just don’t really feel that special when we’re together. Plus, we’re not even that together.”
  5. You decide that a breakup letter is way too much effort, and they’d probably only get it in 3-5 business days anyways.
  6. You decide to break up over text with them.
  7. You google “How to break up with someone over text” and the first article you read tells you not to break up with someone over text.
  8. Great, now you have to call them.
  9. “In an ideal world, we’d be together right now… But it’s not you; it’s me” and all that other bullshit.” (But really, you know it’s neither them nor you– it’s really nothing. Just like your relationship.) You say as you eat Cheetos and curl up against the wall of your hallways, “Maybe you should try dating someone else to get over me. Branch out. How about that Samantha girl from your University Writing class?”
  10. You redownload Tinder.

your shattered hopes and dreams via pixabay

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