Nov

21

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One of the things we’re thankful for: the velour track suits sold at the campus store

As is our tradition at the beginning of Thanksgiving Break, Bwog has compiled a list of the many things we’re thankful for this fall, ranging from parents to booze to cats. Comment what you’re thankful for below, if you feel so inclined – this is the last chance you’ll get to comment on one of our posts before Monday.

People

  • Big hugs from people who genuinely care about you
  • The fact that my relationship with my father has improved to the point where I’m actually looking forward to spending Thanksgiving at his house.
  • My therapist
  • The 110 security guards
  • All the people who have gone out of their way to make me feel super welcome here
  • Buds who will drop what they’re doing to take you to the doctors
  • The friends who pulled me out of a lake
  • My girlfriend
  • Finn’s roommate’s cat
  • People who comment on my fanfiction years after it was published
  • My succulents that have survived
  • The people who work at Ferris
  • My dog still being alive even though she’s 15
  • Family
  • My Lit Hum teacher/Lit Hum in general
  • Mutual crushes
  • Hand holding
  • All the first-years who’ve joined student groups I’m in & the enthusiasm they bring
  • My roommate
  • The fact no one from my high school goes here, so I never have to see any of those people again
  • Subway musicians
  • Best friends and new friends
  • My mom

Places & Things after the jump!

Nov

21

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Your SO flying back to school

If you’re one of the many who stuck with your high school sweetheart after graduation, you’re probably feeling ready to dump them just about now. Maybe you’ve found yourself ignoring their calls so you can go to that EC party. Maybe you’re sick of having to catch them up on all the slang that once sounded foreign but now rolls off your tongue–words like Prezbo, DSpar, SIPA, CAVA, etc. Maybe you’re just bored of a relationship that seems to exist solely of text messages and Skype calls where you run out of things to say after 20 minutes. You’ve also probably been dreaming of stacks hookups with your not-quite-so platonic study buddy. And now that you’ll finally be in the same place as your SO for the first time since August, there’s no better time to end it once and for all.

First, it’s absolutely necessary to see them in person. It will likely solidify your conviction that you and your soon-to-be ex have grown too far apart to make it as a couple. Plus, don’t be that jerk who breaks up with someone over text.

After you’ve broached the topic of your relationship, you might find that they’ve been feeling the same way. If that’s the case, you can both happily go your separate ways. If they don’t want to break up, than unfortunately, you’re the bad guy in this case. We recommend not telling them that you want to break up because there are way cuter people in much closer proximity. Instead, say you want to focus on academics, or the new clubs you’ve joined, or that you don’t want to be tied to your hometown anymore.

No matter what you say, they’ll probably be upset. Let them get out all their anger and hurt. This is the hardest part, but if it’s going on way too long you can always use the excuse of family obligations to leave before they actually run out of steam.

Congratulations! You’ve executed a successful turkey drop. If that sounds like too much emotional effort, you can always not say anything and hope they dump you first.

 

Nov

21

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Money Money Money – ABBA

Barnard Bwogger Dassi Karp covered this week’s SGA meeting which was rather interesting as it covered Barnard’s budget, expenditure and food insecurity. 

It’s the day we’ve all been waiting for: the return of the administrative guests. This week, Barnard’s Student Government Association welcome Chief Operating Officer Robert Goldberg and VP Finance Eileen DiBenedetto to explain to Rep Council about Barnard’s budget and revenue sources. This may seem like a dry topic. It is. And the information has not really changed since the Goldberg and DiBenedetto gave the same presentation last year. Its a really important topic, though. Students need to better understand what kinds of funds Barnard can and does access when they make demands of the administration. Many of the Rep Council members (about a third) were conspicuously absent last night, and didn’t get a chance to hear that sweet sweet info. But, as Goldberg explained, “right before break is a good time to talk about finances.” So here it goes:

Barnard’s budget this year was about $207.7 million. About half of that money goes to salaries and benefits for faculty, staff, and administrators. “This makes sense,” said Goldberg, “because this is a people-driven organization.” About a quarter of the money goes to financial aid. Because of Barnard’s need-blind admissions policy, there is no specific budget set for financial aid, and it changes according to the needs of that year’s students. A smaller portion of the budget goes to non-personal expenditures, like gas and electricity bills. Four and a half percent is spend on debt services on loans taken out in the past, for building projects such as Sulzberger Tower and the Diana Center. Goldberg was careful to note that the new Milstein Center (Barnard’s new library, whose wooden-look exterior gives it a decidedly Noah’s Ark vibe) was largely financed by private donations, and does not have more than a two percent impact on the yearly budget.

Goldberg and DiBenedetto also explained that Barnard’s revenue is largely tuition based, with 80% coming from tuition and student fees. Only 7% of revenue comes from the endowment, and a comparable amount comes from private giving. The rest is made up of state and private grants. Compared to its academic peers–such as other ivies and prominent liberal arts colleges, Barnard has a very small endowment.

They also tried to explain how tuition rates are set. Each year, Barnard’s financial team works to try to perdict expenses for the next year. Some expenses are fixed, for example built in salary escalations. They also look into recruitment and retention numbers and student services requirements. They present a report to the Board of Trustees in March, and work to refine the numbers through the spring. “We don’t want to charge any more money than we have to,” Goldberg tried to assure Rep Council (and whoever is listening to the livestream, and you, dear reader). The financial team tries to find places to cut back on expenses wherever possible. “Evie will know what this sounds like,” remarked Goldberg of SGA’s VP Finance Evie McCorkle.

Evie, who can be counted on to ask the hard questions, asked if Goldberg had any predictions for when the endowment will be big enough for a tuition freeze. He did not. He did explain that the College is not doing badly financially, and that the “future of funding is actually very bright.” Other questions from Rep Council members were answered in turn, including explanations from Goldberg that “we’re not making money on meal plans” (who is though? I think someone must be) and “we’re painfully aware that the infrastructure is aging” (looking at you, 600 pipes).

Besides listening dutifully to the financial presentation, Rep Council also voted to form an ad hoc committee about food insecurity. The proposed committee would work to determine the depth and instance of food insecurity and Barnard, come up with recommendations to combat the problem, and create a report of resources and findings. The motion to form the committee passed unanimously. Applications to join will be coming out soon.

  • There are a lot of other SGA Announcements:
    Rep for Academic Affairs Shoshana Edelman is leaving to study abroad next semester. Applications for her position will be out soon.
  • All Rep Council members are now required to make external announcements at meetings, even when they have nothing to say. I can imagine this may cause an interesting problem at some point. For now, it just served to make the announcement portion of the meeting a bit longer.
  •  Evie McCorkle announced the recipients of the fall capital investment fund, which is determined by members of the four school’s class councils. Money was awarded to eleven different groups, including the Columbia Super Smash Bros Club. I might have to go check that one out.
    In the Desserts After Dark survey, many students indicated that they were not aware of the options available to help them if they were food insecure. Rep for Student Health Services Val Jaharis had compiled a nice infographic that explains the options, which you can check out on Facebook.
  • Barnard’s emergency points program is open. If you are food insecure, you can go to Diana 301 and get yourself some points. First come, first serve.

Image via WikiCommons

 

Nov

21

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When Thanksgiving break comes quicker than the 1 train

Despite the short nature of this weeks ESC meeting and the fast approaching Thanksgiving break, Bureau Chief Finn Klauber does not disappoint with his report on this weeks happenings of the engineering community.

President Aida Lu

President Lu met with both Dean Brovman, SEAS Associate Dean for Undergraduate Student Affairs, and Scott Wright, Vice President for Campus Services. The discussion with Dean Brovman consisted of updates to the SEAS faculty tech talks, improvements to the SEAS study abroad experience, and concerns raised at last week’s meeting regarding Engineeers Without Borders’ funding issues. The discussion with Scott Wright, on the other hand, mostly related to Lerner updates. The Lerner space changes, which were discussed in the last few meetings of both CCSC and ESC, are continuing with renovations of Lerner elevators. Already, one elevator has been shut down for these renovations, which will continue for the next year at least; the elevators are being gutted entirely and modernized in succession. Furthermore, Wright is already investigating the implementation of a dishwasher in Ferris via an ongoing study. Finally, Summer projects for Columbia will include renovations of Woodbridge and Hartley, with the addition of disability access to Wallach and Hartley.

Vice President Policy Zoha Qamar

Although VP Qamar was absent yesterday, various council members took over for her updates. Regarding the Academic Success Program, Qamar met with Dean Morrison, SEAS Vice Dean of Undergraduate Programs. They determined that writing a proposal to expand ASP is the next best step. This proposal will outline the current objectives of ASP, what ASP’s future holds, student testimony, and pricing. VP Qamar also met with Dean Brovman regarding Global Programs and SEAS study abroad, who was enthusiastic about ESC’s “mock study abroad” pamphlets which outline how a SEAS student can organize their class schedule and requirements to study abroad at specific institutions.

VP Student Life Ben Barton

VP Barton discussed the first meeting of the new University Life Events Council—a new and well-funded body which is supposed to create new events and traditions for the “entire Columbia community.” They hope to maintain four large events per year. At the last meeting, specifically, they drafted mock ideas for new events.

University Senator Izzet Kebudi

Senator Kebudi also discussed the changes in Lerner, renovations which are supposed to begin imminently. The LGBT and student of colour spaces are almost ready, but instituting more changes would create a “domino effect.” Specifically, because they do not want to eliminate any reservable student space during construction, they plan to convert the Lerner computer room into reservable space to offset the elimination of the East and West Ramp Lounges. The computer lab, however, has to be moved into the AV tech room, where the air ventilation is less than ideal. A team of architects and engineers are currently working on this problem. When they finish—hopefully by April—the room switches can finally take effect.

Miscellanious Updates:

  • ESC is hoping to run a “TedX type of event” with about six presenters. This would be a short event, with a headliner, a professor, and then students or student groups. At the moment, however, it’s still just an idea.
  • Overheard during meeting: “When people heard [Got] FU’d they thought ‘got fucked up.'”
  • The Academic Freedom Resolution, which has been bouncing around the University Senate for about a year in one form or another, is delayed once again. It makes us wonder how hard it really is to plainly state Columbia’s policy regarding academic freedom.
  • The 2019 Class Council held a meeting with a 1968 alumnus, who recounted an old Columbia tradition from the 50’s and 60’s that the Junior class may try to bring back in a lesser form. Back in the day, the SEAS Junior class would spend the five weeks after school ended out in the woods, living and camping together. This was called “Camp Columbia.” Honestly, it sounds really fun.
  • Dean Brovman was interested in ESC’s input regarding future faculty tech talk ideas. Suggestions from ESC included: the 3d printing of food and soft materials, AI, modernization of healthcare, nano materials, 3d animation, digital health, cryptocurrency, organic electronics, and the use of nanoparticles to fight autoimmune diseases.

Nov

21

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How seniors dispersed wisdom before Bwog

Do you know a senior who did something monumental during their time at Columbia? A senior who went above and beyond to make their club or organization memorable? A senior who can always cheer you up with a hug or a bad pun? A senior who is graduating at the end of this semester?

If you know anyone who fits any of those above descriptions (but mostly the last one), they’re the kind of person we might want to give a Senior Wisdom. For first-years, transfer students, and any other folks new to Bwog: Senior Wisdoms are a series of short interview-type posts with graduating seniors in which they, well, share their wisdom. Take a look at some past examples if you want to get a better idea.

To nominate someone, hit us up with their name, school, uni, and a brief description explaining why you think they deserve a Senior Wisdom. Email us at tips@bwog.com or use our anonymous form. Remember that we are currently only accepting nominations for seniors who are graduating at the end of this (fall 2017) semester. The deadline is Friday, December 8 at 11:59 pm.

Wisdom via Wikipedia

Nov

21

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Happening in the World: Collapse of coalition talks within Germany has led to Chancellor Angela Merkel hinting at a potential election rather than work with a minority government. (The Guardian)

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? I know it’s definitely not my train!

Happening in the U.S: For a bit of doom and gloom before your holiday break, the Trump administration has decided not to renew Temporary Protected Status for nearly 60,000 Haitians. The Department of Homeland Security have defended this decision by asserting the conditions created by the 2010 earthquake no longer exist. (The Washington Post)

Happening in NYC: This one’s for all of you who have ever had the misfortune of using the subway. Following research into  New York’s failing transportation system which found delays were up by 4.5%, the Riders Alliance plan to distribute ‘subway delay action kits‘ in the hope of implementing change. (CBS)

Happening on Campus: If you’re not heading home for Thanksgiving Break, pop over to the Miller Theatre at 6pm to see the Brooklyn-based Brazilian band Regional de NY in concert.

Food of the day: Head on down to Milano Market’s deli counter and pretend you cooked a Thanksgiving brunch, literally everything there is so good.

Image via WikiCommons 

Nov

20

For context, this is the view from my home.

We’ve all been there – whether this is your first or last Thanksgiving break at college, there’s always a sense of wanting to maximize your time off and make a trip home worthwhile. Luckily, Bwogger Zoe Metcalfe compiled a list of ideas of things to do when back home on vacation so you wouldn’t have to think of it yourself. 

  • Marvel in the sheer number of snacks your parents have stocked the house with in preparation for your arrival: crackers and cheese? Yes please! Milk in the fridge that hasn’t clumped together from that one time you stole a couple of cups of milk from Ferris while under the assumption you would make cereal with the moldy box of Lucky charms you bought from Target during NSOP? Drink it! Vegetables? What are those but eat it!
  • Refill your underwear: somehow the number of pairs of underwear you have access to has slowly been decreasing over the course of this semester? Ponder that phenomenon and restock.
  • Enjoy baths?: honestly, you never really took advantage of your cramped bathtub during those high school days, but college has really filled you with the urge to gently achieve entropy in a tub of lukewarm water, so take a three hour long bath and avoid all that post-thanksgiving work.
  • Walk by a library without being accosted by the smoke from huddles of cold, smoking teenagers.
  • Gather the essentials you forgot: Hey! Did you forget your inhaler and have a bunch of asthma attacks? Find it! A coat? Heck yeah, you need that! The floss in your bathroom from circa 2007? Use it!
  • Collect as many hugs as you possibly can: you’ve been gone awhile! Your family missed you terribly! Run between members and squeeze some love back into your life.

More ideas here.

Nov

20

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Happy lil’ turtle free of plastic beer parts.

While many of you may have been packing and preparing to head off for Thanksgiving Break, we at Bwog started our weekend out right with a (somewhat) wholesome evening with our annual Symposium dinner. However, as you probably know, shit hit the fan and we went a little wild. Here’s a summary of this weekend’s endeavors by yours truly, the Bwog Staff.

Bwog and Food:

  • Made a pumpkin chocolate chip loaf!
  • Ate a Philly Cheese Steak on the subway on my way to be an educator for a Jewish kids program.
  • Went shopping for friendsgiving ingredients planning to spend $50 and spent $150.
  • Made an amazing friendsgiving meal using “borrowed” pots/pans/utensils.
  • Tried kratom tea, a borderline-legal substance that supposedly mimics the effect of opioids. Tasted like dirt and did not deliver.
  • Ended my vegetarianism and have not looked back.

Read more weekend horror stories here.

Nov

20

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No idea why this picture was in Bwog archives but here we are, a pair of handcuffs, symbolizing cuffing season

It’s cuffing season, and Deputy Editor Youngweon is back with her annoying tabloid-esque love-and-relationships articles. Here are the stages of getting cuffed in this city, a land barren of love, at this university full of emotionally unavailable sad people. 

  1. You arrive at Columbia, not yet having broken up with your high school sweetheart who is going to college in California. You shared an emotional and tearful farewell, where you promised to text each other every second of every waking moment, that you will see each other every possible break or long weekend, and that you will get married as soon as you both graduate.
  2. Some drunken nights later, these New Yorkers are looking real attractive.
  3. You go to some EC/frat parties and may or may not make out with someone and not tell your boo, depending on how (im)moral you are.
  4. But you receive news that your sweetheart cheated on you, so you kiss that ass adieu and start singling and mingling.
  5. Singling and mingling is….fun. Very fun. And goddamn, there are so many attractive people in this city.
  6. You become the anti-commitment archetype. You take pride in being the “emotionally unavailable” douche who doesn’t look back after a hookup, and you brag about ghosting people. You don’t text back. Or text first. And hey, live your best life! Don’t be an asshole, but you do you!
  7. Your friends who used to go on hoescapades with you start getting cuffed. You grow bitter and defiant. Relationship labels are a social construct! Sexual liberation is a necessary part of spiritual liberation! You are a free soul who won’t let the archaic conventions of typical relationships tie you down!
  8. Eventually, you may get too busy to hunt out a new hookup (or multiple) every weekend. You stop going to those hot, sweaty parties. Who has the energy to walk all the way to EC, anyway? You’re too tired to meet new people. Tinder sucks. Bumble has a BUSINESS feature now, what the fuck? It disillusions you and you delete both apps.
  9. Cuffing season rolls around. (Note: the time span between steps 6 and 8 may be anywhere from a few weeks to a few years, so a few cuffing seasons may have rolled around already. But another one comes, inevitably.) You meet someone (at 1020, a party, Tinder, a class, whatever) and hook up with them not once, not twice, not even three times, but more than that. All your friends are shocked. You are shocked, too.
  10. Congrats, you are cuffed! Everyone has different definitions of “being cuffed.” You might define “being cuffed” as hooking up more than twice, being exclusive, actually being in a serious relationship, or whatever else. It doesn’t matter what the objective definition of “being cuffed” is, as long as you’re cuffed according to your own standards.
  11. Then you’ll probably graduate from college, move across the country, break up, and repeat this cycle. I’m not sure how that works because I haven’t gotten there yet, but if any alums want to weigh in on this, please do!

Happy cuffing season!

Handcuffs via Bwog Archives

Nov

20

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Imagine this being a CCSC application.

Though she was locked out for most of the meeting, Bwogger Nadra Rahman is here to deliver you your Monday medley of CCSC news. This time, CCSC feels its own mortality.

CCSC won’t be the same next year, or for that matter, next semester—and that’s what last night’s meeting was all about. After lengthy deliberations, members appointed an Interim Columbia Elections Board (CEB) Chair, along with CCSC members to fill the Vacancy Committees (more on that to come).

Mo’ Applicants, Mo’ Debate

The Interim CEB Chair will help fill positions in CEB (currently dissolved), at which point their task will be complete. To President Nathan Rosin’s surprise, people actually applied, which is a good sign for the future of student government.

Trolls ahead

Nov

20

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The scene of the crime.

Happening Around the World: As tensions escalate in Zimbabwe, current president (dictator) Robert Mugabe continues to refuse to step down from his position, even after yesterday marked the final day in which his political party allowed him to reign. Protestors have been taking the streets the past few days calling for his impeachment and/or resignation. (BBC)

Happening in the US: Notorious serial killer and cult leader Charles Manson has died after living 83 shitty years on this planet. Manson is known for the creation of the Manson Family cult, which came into the spotlight after he and his followers murdered popular actress Sharon Tate in the 1960s. May he rot in hell forever. (LA Times)

Happening in NYC: It’s everyone’s worst nightmare: after bouts of heavy wind in the SoHo area, a major piece of scaffolding collapsed yesterday afternoon. The incident occurred at the corner of Prince Street and Broadway, where 6 people were injured by the collapse. One person was hospitalized for their injuries and is expected to make a full recovery. (CBS Local)

Happening on Campus: Columbia’s Middle East Institute will be holding “Beyond Fighting ISIS: Gender, Conflict, and Nationalism” with a discussion led by Professor Al-Ali and Latif Fas TONIGHT at 6:30 PM in Knox 509.

Overseen: Some fun butter laying on the floor in Brooks. To the person who left it there: what was your intentions? Why butter? Why Brooks? If you are the butter dropper, please contact Bwog so we can get to the bottom of this.

Butter churning fun via Bwog Staff

Nov

19

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We love turkey day as much as we love attending cool on-campus events!

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 week are below, and the full list is after the jump. If you notice any events that have been left off the list, or if you have a correction, please let us know in the comments.

Recommended

  • “In celebration of the 20th Anniversary of Dorothy Roberts’s groundbreaking book, Killing the Black Body” Monday, November 20, 4:15 – 6:45 pm. Barnard Hall, Sulzberger Parlor.
  • “Orhan Pamuk” Monday, November 20, 6:30 pm. Miller Theater.

Monday, November 20

  • “Data Science Institute Colloquium: Yann LeCun, Facebook AI Research & New York University” 11:30 am – 12:30 pm. Schapiro CEPSR, Davis Auditorium.
  • Book Talk: “Preventive Engagement: How America Can Avoid War, Stay Strong, and Keep the Peace” 12:00 – 2:00 pm. IAB, Room 1302.
  • “The Future of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights” 12:10 – 1:10 pm. Columbia Law School, Jerome Green Hall 107.
  • “Storytelling and the Geopolitics of Petroleum: Student Roundtable Discussion with Vahan Zanoyan, Author & Global Energy Consultant” 12:30 – 2:00 pm. School of Social Work.
  • “Metaphors and Models: The Neuroscience of Comparison – Seminars in Society and Neuroscience” 4:14 – 6:15 pm. Faculty House.
  • “Author Irina Reyn In Conversation With Anna Katsnelson About Her Novel
  • ‘What Happened To Anna K.’” 5:30 – 7:30 pm. IAB, Room 410.
  • “Poetry Reading. “Posts” By Tadeusz Dąbrowski” 6:00 – 8:00 pm. IAB, Room 707.
  • “Beyond fighting ISIS: Gender, Conflict & Nationalism. Nadje Al-Ali in conversation with Latif Tas” 6:30 – 8:30 pm. Knox Hall, Room 509.

Tuesday, November 21

  • “The Human Rights Crisis in Mexico: The Role of Mexican Law Schools” 12:10 – 1:10 pm. Columbia Law School, Jerome Greene Hall, Room 546.
  • “Pop-Up Concerts: Regional de NY” 6:00 – 7:00 pm. Miller Theater.

Wednesday, November 22 – Friday, November 24

Thanksgiving Break!

Turkey courtesy of the Public Domain.

Nov

19

Written by

My Adobe application of choice is Photoshop, not Illustrator, so my creations unfortunately only have a fraction of the beauty you all see above

At my first ever Bwog meeting in 2015, I made a pitch that to this day I have yet to top: campus figures as bowls of water. Shamelessly inspired by a Buzzfeed post someone had sent to me, I thought it would’ve been a perfect fit for this new thing in my life called Bwog. But the board looked at me like I was snorting eraser shavings and told me they’d “think about it” (which usually means slack message each other about wtf just came out this girls mouth). Until last week, I had given up on my pitch and only occasionally referenced to it as a way to encourage new writers to not be ashamed of their seemingly weird/unusual ideas. But then one morning as I did my Insta-toilet scroll, I came across an image on my feed: Disney Princesses as cement mixers. It was as if God himself were telling me not to give up on the pitch that started it all, but this time, better—campus figures as cement mixers.

 

Nov

19

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No room in Butler has even been this empty.

Sometimes in that mid-semester haze, we all forget there’s more places to study than Butler on this campus,and find ourselves lost when there’s not an empty seat in sight in Ref. Luckily, Staff Writer Kiana Taghavi has done all the hard work and compiled a list of alternatives. If you know any other great study spots, leave them in the comments!

It’s Saturday morning. You’re up before 11. You’re feeling somewhat motivated, with a grande iced coffee in one hand and Plato’s Republic in the other. You text your friend, and both of you begin your forty-four minute trek to find a spot to study. Just a single spot to study.

You’d think that at a distinguished university like Columbia, students would constantly be reveling in cozy nooks, aesthetic library ceilings, and spacious, ultra-modern tables. Instead, some students, like me, have been facing a pressing campus crisis: a lack of study spaces.

Every time I decide to work in Butler, I waste at least thirty minutes shuffling between floors, hunting down a single open seat. At this point, I’m pretty content with sitting down on the ground of Butler 5, laptop charger plugged into the wall, backpack messily strewn across the antiquated floor, infinite particles of dust hitting my face every time I turn a page in my poli sci textbook. It’s a look.

With the help of my lovely Bwog family, I have compiled a list of places that won’t require an odyssey to find a spot to sit at.

Find our suggestions after the jump!

Nov

19

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Thanks to Bwog meeting, you have an excuse to put off that essay for an extra hour tonight.

Come join Bwog at 9 pm in Lerner 510 to get an early start on your Thanksgiving break. We’ll provide a feast of epic snacks, you provide your best pitches. Honestly, it’s a win-win situation all around. Can’t wait to see you there!

 that background is wild via Public Domain

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