Feb

20

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Every Tuesday, Bwog brings you a recap of the previous night’s Engineering Student Council (ESC) meeting. This week was…interesting, to say the least. Luckily, fresh Bwogger and seasoned SEAS student Krithika Kuppusamy stepped in to cover it.

The ESC President, Aida Lu (SEAS ’19), has officially been removed from office, after successful impeachment during the general body meeting yesterday.

Background

At last week’s meeting, Montana St. Pierre (2019 Class Rep) moved to impeach Aida in the middle of the Professional Development Representative’s discussion. This may recall Montana’s similar move to impeach Austen Paris (the ex-VP of Finance) at the end of last semester.

Section IV. A. b of the ESC Constitution states that “the executive board is expected to exercise proper judgement before calling a member for formal review,” and Section IV. B. b. i. states that “the impeached member must be informed of the motion for impeachment.” At the time of last semester’s impeachment motion against Paris, President Lu and VP Qamar stated that the impeachment being motioned for in a public meeting fulfilled the second statute. Last week, when faced with a very similar move to impeachment, Lu recused herself from discussion after a speechless six seconds.

The Hearing

After about 10 minutes of reviewing its agenda, ESC removed media personnel from the room to hold a private 2.5 hour impeachment hearing, at the end of which it was revealed that President Lu had been impeached and replaced with Interim President Ben Barton (formerly VP Campus Life) who would hold the position until the general election cycle in April. Nothing useful was said regarding who will fill the now-vacant VP Campus Life position and by when.

As stated in Article IV, Section 3 of the ESC Constitution, a special impeachment committee, comprising of one rep from each class council and two members from the E-Board, presented the results of its investigative process during the hearing. Two members of the Election Commission were also present at the impeachment proceedings, apparently giving their testimonies – although their role was unclear, as again, the meeting was made private.

During the process, Lu was also sent outside, at one point even removed from outside of Lerner Satow Room and told to sit elsewhere. Finally she was allowed in to give her own testimony before a vote was held much later. The council then received the 2/3 majority needed to successfully (surprisingly) impeach. A council member I spoke with recalled that Lu “[wasn’t] aware of the motion [in advance], and neither were a good number of people.“

Council members stated that for now, the reasons for Lu’s impeachment were closed, and that only the announcement will be currently made public.

Dilemmas

Impeaching a president and not releasing the reasons as to why to the public student body seems both silly and rings of unaccountability. Additionally, the constitutional road to impeachment has certain contradictions – according to Section IV. B. a. “Grounds for impeachment include any conduct that could result in a formal review.” While I am still waiting back to hear if a formal review process was held, it does beg the question whether debating and reconciling differences with the President occurred prior to jumping straight into an impeachment procedure. It’s important to note that while the VP Finance resigned last semester rather than go through this process, it did bring up some confusion regarding the impeachment policy and triggered a constitutional review. With this information, it again begs the question whether such a process was made public and if so, can the student body continue to hold the council accountable if there is such constitutional flexibility?

Having two impeachments in one year (especially of the president) is somewhat unheard of (we checked) and does not reflect well on the student council’s image. This brings up several constitutional questions – whether proper judgment was exercised and what constitutes as proper judgement to move towards impeachment? What kind of precedent does this set for future councils? And how can newly elected candidates feel comfortable about the stability of their position? And most importantly, why has so much time been spent into 50/50 successful impeachments instead of focusing on issues of campus life?

Lerner via Bwog Archives

Feb

20

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Meet Anna Coerver, astrophysics student and Bwog’s very first profile for CU Women in STEM!

Bwog Science is bringing you a brand new column, CU Women in STEM! In this feature, we’ll be highlighting the amazing women in science at Columbia. Our first profile is from Anna Coerver (BC ’20), who is as bright and exciting as the stars she studies! 

Major: Physics

What subjects are you interested in? I honestly love most of physics, but I’m all about the astro side–I’m really interested in compact object theory (magnetars, black holes, neutron stars) and cosmology. Also, I love solar physics, anything with a weird magnetic field, anything that explodes, and light phenomena like rainbows and spectroscopy.

How did you get interested in astrophysics? I knew I liked physics in high school, but for some reason, I literally never thought about outer space. Both of my parents are art historians, so science wasn’t really a casual conversation topic in my house, and my high school didn’t offer anything astro-related. I took a class my first semester freshman year called “Theories of the Universe: Babylon to the Big Bang” because it sounded history-like and because I was interested in science history. Somehow, this class totally hooked me on space! The semester after, I took an astronomy class where I went on a spring break trip to an observatory in Arizona. The time in nature plus the astrophotography plus the stars were all I needed to push me into astrophysics as my main interest, and it’s snowballed from there.

What research have you done? I work with the NuSTAR group in the Columbia Astrophysics Laboratory doing high-energy astroparticle physics. I analyze X-ray and gamma-ray data of really energetic objects like pulsar wind nebulae and black hole binaries.

What are your career goals? I want a PhD in astrophysics, and I think I want to be a research scientist, hopefully with my own lab some day. Then again, I might end up living at an observatory on top of a mountain somewhere, and spend my days hiking and teaching kids about space.

Learn more about Anna here!

Feb

20

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If you check out Well Woman, this could be you.

Sometimes Barnard SGA meetings are pretty pointless—nothing gets learned, and nothing gets done. Last night was surprisingly different: Barnard Bureau Chief Dassi Karp reports on the good work of Nightline and Well Woman, as well as an exciting endowment proposal which hopes to increase the number of vegetables on campus.

Lena Denbro BC’19 and Albert Kohn GS/JTS’18, co-directors of Nightline, spoke about what Nightline’s purpose and how SGA can help. Nightline is an anonymous peer listening students run by Columbia undergraduates for Columbia undergraduates. They accept calls about any topic, every night. Listeners come from all four schools, and undergo a semester-long training and certification process. Denbro and Kohn are the only public figures of Nightline, and serve as the public ambassadors for their anonymous staff. Since they are public, they no longer answer the phones. Part of their presentation included addressing some common misconceptions about Nightline, one being that Nightline is mainly a type of suicide hotline. While listeners are prepared and have taken calls from suicidal students, these are only a small fraction of the calls they take. Usually, the co-directors explained, calls are about more everyday stressors, such as schoolwork and relationships. “There is truly no problem too big or too small,” Denbro emphasized. Additionally, Nightline Listeners do more than just listen. Kohn explained that callers can expect to have a genuine conversation. He acknowledged that “it is hard to pick up the phone, especially in those moments you’re feeling weak and unstable,” but encouraged students to do so anyway. Callers do not have to talk about anything they don’t want to, and can end the call whenever they want, “but sometimes just talking it out can really make a big difference.”

The Nightline directors asked SGA for help advertising. Unlike other clubs, most Nightline members cannot spread awareness of the service they offer, because they are anonymous. They also wanted support in becoming a more normalized resource on campus and getting included on lists of resources that are sent out by the administration. “I think that most students aren’t ready to call the Clinician On-Call,” said Kohn, adding that Nightline may be a good option for students, especially in difficult times, who don’t think they are in crisis but still need to talk. Denbro and Kohn also spoke about how there are all sorts of resources available for students who need them, both on-campus and off, and that sometimes students just need guidance about how to find those resources and make them work for them. They also had what I found to be a really insightful warning for those who have criticisms of health services on campus. Students should work to make these services better, they said, but must be careful to criticize in ways that are productive and does not discourage students from using these resources. Sure, people have problems with Furman—but people should still go. We have to be careful that in our efforts to make these services better, we don’t dissuade people from getting the help they need.

Learn more about SGA after the jump

Feb

20

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As midterms season has started and now will never end, Bwogger Idris O’Neill has compiled a 2 hour playlist for your pre-emptive L. 

Feb

20

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What’s Happening In The World: Reuters reports that Iran has been building up its military presence at bases in Syria for a possible war with Israel. By the way, the United States gives about $4 billion a year to Israel’s military, and both countries have nuclear weapons. It also isn’t clear who Russia would back. No, this doesn’t look bad at all… (Reuters)

This type of bones.

What’s Happening In The US: In unsurprising news, Mitt Romney has announced he’s running for the Utah senate seat left open by Orrin Hatch’s retirement. Slightly more interesting is that he accepted Trump’s endorsement after years of animosity between the two, but we all know Republicans have no spine. (Buzzfeed)

What’s Happening In NYC: Imagine living in your dorm room for four decades. That is a reality for nurse Derek DeFreitas, who has used a Hunter College room as a second home since 1980. According to a suit, it seems like Hunter finally got around to kicking him out, but what took so long? (NBC New York)

What’s Happening At Columbia: Today’s double entendre: The Department of Medicine is having a New York Bone Club meeting at the Marriott East Side tonight from 6:30 – 9. Go and flaunt your inner Ross Geller.

Overheard: “I couldn’t tie my shoes till I was 13. Don’t ask me to do anything.”

Feb

19

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Bwideo is back and better than ever! While our last installment was focused on the student population, we decided in this video to turn to Bwog writers by having them read the mean comments viewers have left on their articles. If you want to contribute to Bwideo in the future, please email us at bwogvideocolumbia@gmail.com with your name and skills, or come to one of our general body meetings at 9 PM in Lerner 510!

Video via Bwideo Staff

Feb

19

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Let’s talk about love!

I don’t know why, but this weekend was a love-filled drama for Bwog Staffers. Maybe it stemmed from the post-Valentine’s Day hype/blues, but nonetheless, Bwog Staffers experienced love, along with other things, in its totality. Anyways, here is a collection of this weekend’s stories, which you can be apart of as well! Send your own stories and weekend adventures to tips@bwog.com and we will add it to this list or put it on next week’s post!

Bwog in the City:

  • Went to Brooklyn to play Catan and eat vegetarian tacos.
  • Went upstate to hang out with my best friends. Played hide and go seek for an hour in her dorm.
  • Had enjoyable and childish fun that made this weekend feel like a dream! Was snapped back into reality when a random guy with a long red beard got a little too close to me on the bus.
  • Interpreted a stranger’s dream at Hungarian.
  • Met up with a friend from high school in Chicago, smoked in Grant Park, and laughed at the bean statue thing for forty minutes.
  • Went to Boston to visit my best friend!!!!
  • Ate two whole edibles at a concert. Felt like the entire world was inside out.
  • Went to three different graveyards.
  • Went to Chinatown to celebrate Lunar New Year with friends over Chinese food and bubble tea.
  • Ubered from 113th to 116th to avoid walking in the snow.
  • Saw Rico Nasty perform.
  • Went to a gay bar for the first time!
  • Went to Lush <3

More stories here.

Feb

19

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Nate Hickman should give us hype lessons.

Maybe you spent all weekend writing a 10-page paper, maybe you spent it sleeping. Either way, you missed an exciting few days for Columbia Athletics. No worries though, Sports Editor Abby Rubel is here to update you on what you missed.

Women’s squash: The Lions’ slim hopes of a national championship were dashed on Friday after another 9-0 loss to Trinity. They then faced Penn in the consolation bracket and lost 6-3. The team beat Penn for the first time in program history just last week, but couldn’t repeat the performance despite forcing all of their lost matches to four sets or more. Columbia finished the tournament on a high note with a 7-2 win over Cornell, good for seventh place nationally—the highest rank in program history—and fourth place in the Ivies.

Basketball: After a tough 74-62 loss against Penn that was close until the final minutes, the men’s basketball rebounded in a big way on Saturday, beating Princeton 85-60. After starting off their season with three wins, Princeton has lost its last six games. Additionally, the Tigers played a triple overtime game against Cornell Friday night before the long drive to Levien. Columbia dominated them, leading for 39:04 of the 40-minute game. Princeton never led, only tied it for under a minute. Four Lions scored double-digit points, and Quinton Adlesh now leads the Ivies in 3-point percentage with a completion rate of 48.1. Their victory puts them at 4-6 with a shot at making it to the Ivy League tournament. The women’s team had two tough losses this weekend, falling to Penn 75-39 and to Princeton 74-46. They now stand at 1-9 with no shot of making it to Philadelphia.

Lacrosse: Lacrosse dropped its first game of the season against Navy 21-10 on Saturday. Although the Lions were within 3 at the half, Navy scored seven unanswered points at the beginning of the second. The highlight was first-year Alexandria Absey, who scored five points in her first-ever collegiate game.

Women’s Swimming and Diving: The results from the Ivy League Championships are in, and Columbia placed fifth with 720 points, eight points ahead of sixth place Brown and 201.5 points behind behind fourth place Penn. Mary Ashby came in fourth in the 100 meter freestyle race and fifth as part of a 400 meter freestyle relay team that included Jessica He, Susie Zhu, and Kathleen O’Rourke. The team set a program record of 3:20.78.

Men’s Tennis: lost 4-1 away against Georgia, won 4-2 away against Baylor, won 4-2 away against Oklahoma State
Women’s Tennis: lost 5-2 against Kentucky
Wrestling: lost 18-13 against Harvard, lost 18-19 against Brown

Must have been a sick clap via gocolumbialions.com

Feb

19

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This weekend, Arts Editor Riva Weinstein sacrificed her sleep, sanity and occasional safety to participate in CMTS’ 24 hour musical. Actors were handed scripts and given 24 hours to learn blocking, choreography and music before the show went up at Lerner Black Box.

“Everyone was simultaneously delightfully glassy-eyed and manically energetic.”

6:00 P.M.

  • Arrived in Lerner.
  • Have managed to get sick on the single day of the year when it would present the greatest inconvenience.
  • Café East guy took pity on me and put some ice in my coffee. (Hot coffee for under-50 temperatures? I don’t know her.)
  • Due to copyright issues, director Maggie Vliestra (BC ’20) informs me I cannot say the name of the show in my article. Will henceforth refer to it as “Double Boiler! The Musical.”

7:00 P.M.

  • Singing about the most interesting state in the US.
  • I have nothing specifically against Iowa, it just scares me as a concept.

8:00 P.M.

  • Doing 50’s musicals is really just about cutting as much sexist and racist content as possible and grimacing at whatever’s too plot-relevant to cut.
  • Friend has brought a bagel slicer. Insists on calling it the “bagel guillotine.”

Read the descent into madness below

Feb

19

The food of the gods..and broke college students

You know when you have those two sad slices of bread left at the bottom of the bag, and no one in your suite seems to be eating them, and if you don’t make toast tonight tomorrow they’ll be stale pieces of petrified wood? Bwog is here with two solutions to turn them into a tasty, delicious dinner to keep you from letting your bread go to waste!

Garlic White Bean Spread 

Ingredients

  • Bread — Steal from Ferris to save extra $!
  • White beans — one can
  • Rosemary, thyme, sage — a generous sprinkling of each, crushed
  • Garlic — 2 cloves
  • Parsley — 1/4 cup, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sour cream, cream cheese, or greek yogurt — a few spoonfuls to taste

I make this with home with hard beans from scratch (raw beans? Unsure of the terminology but I really don’t like the phrase raw beans), but that’s super time consuming so feel free to go with canned Great Northern or Navy beans.

Pour a little olive oil in a pan on low and toss in the garlic, minced. Again, if you’re a garlicky person, add more! If you’re not a garlicky person, please don’t make this recipe, because garlic is in the title.

Let the garlic sizzle until it’s aromatic but not too toasty. Pour in the beans and let some of the liquid cook down. Add the chopped herbs and salt and pepper.

I like to mash the beans within the pan as if you were making refried beans, because I can continue cooking them down until they reach a thicker consistency. If you don’t have a masher, you can throw them in a blender or food processor and add your creamy element: sour cream, greek yogurt, and cream cheese all work well, as well as Parmesan cheese. Spread on bread, drizzle with olive oil, and enjoy! This is also a great dip for pita chips and crackers.

Cheese pulls after the jump…

Feb

19

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We love the environment! No carbon emissions!

We’re not in Kansas anymore. CCSC Bureau Chief Nadra Rahman reports on our fave student leaders, not from the Satow Room, but from the far less pleasant-sounding 476A. Oh, and the Roosevelt Institute is there and wants us to go green. 

For a change of pace, last night’s CCSC meeting took place in 476A, one of the rooms specially designated for student of color- or LGBTQ-oriented groups. Satow seemed to be occupied by a single student using a laptop. The room was also uncharacteristically crowded—packed with representatives from the Roosevelt Institute. These visitors had come to plead their case for the following ballot initiative, which they proposed be inserted in the upcoming election cycle for CC: “Columbia should commit to 100% renewable energy and carbon neutrality (net zero carbon emissions) by 2030.” A student would then be able to vote “Pass,” “Fail,” or “Abstain.”

This question had been workshopped at an open meeting earlier in the day and was intended to come across in the least biased way possible. At this meeting, representatives were to decide if the ballot initiative was objective, feasible, and in alignment with the mission of CCSC. (Throwback to the last heated ballot initiative on the table, where it was a little hard to focus on this.)

But is it actually feasible?

Feb

19

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The woman of the hour, probably not singing the national anthem.

Happening Around The World: Another plane has unfortunately crashed, marking the second commercial incident in the past week. Aseman Airlines Flight 3704 crashed an hour into the journey heading from Tehran to Yasuj. (BBC)

Happening In The Nation: While the NBA All-Star game was happening (I don’t know anything about sports nor will I attempt to try to analyze it), Fergie performed the national anthem in a… weird manner that I can’t analyze. Take a look at it yourselves. (Sacramento Bee)

Happening In The City: A Harlem resident passed away yesterday after falling out of her apartment. Quanneisha Baskerville, age 30, was a mother of three and lived on the fifth floor of an apartment on Lenox Avenue at the time of her death. (NY Times)

Happening On Campus: Interested in human rights? Want to know more about the field and its workers? ISHR will be hosting an event entitled “Careers in Human Rights: Insights from the Field” in 707 IAB from 5:00-6:30 PM! More information can be found here.

Overheard On Campus: “That’s definitely the guy” – two random dudes pointing at me in Butler 11 stacks. I still don’t know what they were talking about. I don’t even know them.

Fergalicious via Creative Commons

Feb

18

Look at this lil pupper!

Think it’s easy to distinguish between what people say about animals and what people say about other people? Think again.

Take the quiz here!

Feb

18

Written by

An astronaut is coming to our school?

Bucket List represents the intellectual privilege we enjoy as Columbia students. We do our very best to bring to your attention important guest lecturers and special events on campus. Our recommendations for this sparsely populated reading week are below, with no specifically recommended events. If you notice any events that have been left off the list, or a correction, please leave them in the comments.

Recommended:

  • The Eighth Annual N.T. Wang Distinguished Lecture: Growing Pains in the Chinese Social Security System’, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM, Schapiro CEPSR, Tuesday
  • Student Townhall With The Hon. Catherine McKenna, Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM, Faculty House, Wednesday
  • “Can America and China Avoid a Collision?” George Ball Lecture with Kishore Mahbubani, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM, Faculty House, Wednesday
  • Engineering: Astronaut Appearance, 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM, Butler Library, Thursday

Monday, Feb 19:

  • The Right to Difference: French Universalism and the Jews, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM, Buell Hall

Tuesday, Feb 20:

  • Whatever Happened to the Class Struggle? Comintern, France and Spain: the Front Populaire and the Frente Popular May-July 1936, 12:15 PM – 2:00 PM. International Affairs Building
  • The Eighth Annual N.T. Wang Distinguished Lecture: Growing Pains in the Chinese Social Security System’, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM, Schapiro CEPSR

Wednesday, Feb 21:

  • Talk: “Why Arctic Security Matters”, 12:15 PM – 2:00 PM, International Affairs Building
  • Student Townhall With The Hon. Catherine McKenna, Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM, Faculty House
  • “Can America and China Avoid a Collision?” George Ball Lecture with Kishore Mahbubani, 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM, Faculty House
  • Events in African Philosophy with Bruce Janz (University of Central Florida), 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM, Knox Hall
  • Brexit: A Leap in the Dark?, 6:30 PM – 7:45 PM, Low Library

Thursday, Feb 22:

  • Extreme Engineering: Astronaut Appearance, 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM, Butler Library

Friday, Feb 23:

  • Artificial Intelligence: Implications for Governance & Public Policy, 2:00 PM – 4:00PM, International Affairs Building

image via pexels

Feb

18

Written by

Dean Valentini in 2011 chewing a bite of a grilled chicken sandwich from Milano Market.

Why would a robot need to eat organic matter?

Do all emails from the Presidents and Deans sound the same to you? We’ve written before on some tendencies that we’ve noticed in emails coming from campus administrators. Practically the same email comes clogging up your inbox every week, and you can’t even reply-all asking to be taken off the listserv.

If they all sound so robotic, could we create an email of our own? Using Markov chain modelling, we generated an entirely computer-written email. For our input, we used fifteen emails from Dean James J. Valentini from the last year and a half. Then, we ran our programs, separated out the totally incomprehensibly chaff, and added a couple of punctuation marks.

What follows is… well, it’s English, mostly. The chain did have some issues, such as occasionally getting stuck in loops. Robot Valentini couldn’t keep track of admin titles, and so accidentally demoted Bollinger down to Vice President (Vice PrezBo, as the kids call him). The email also announces that the College will team up with the McBain Lounge to pilot a new program, the Columbia College Student Council! Check it out below for all the insanity.

Dear Students,

This summer, I spent time reflecting on the fifth floor of Lerner Hall, 100 Carman Hall, 600 W. 113th St, Room 2BB, and 102 Broadway Hall. I am devastated to be writing to let you know that we have many effective students at Columbia. I have developed new skills necessary to cope with the student health and wellness efforts. Staff from offices, including clinicians from Counseling and Psychological Services, is launching a new website and will schedule recurring trainings to remind you that you will one day tell stories about yourself and those around you.

Also, I encourage you to achieve the goals that Columbia College and Vice President Bollinger announced at the #StartupColumbia Festival in April. This is an opportunity to explore your world, to explore your world, to explore your world, and to explore additional areas of interest through elective coursework. More real and important updates after the jump!

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