We Want Your Wisdom

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But are you this wise?
But are you this wise?

But are you this wise?


(and friends of seniors.)

It’s time for one of our greatest traditions to return: we’re starting our call for Senior Wisdoms. For freshpersons/transfers/people who don’t like one of the greatest things ever, Senior Wisdom is our annual features where we ask outgoing seniors to share the knowledge and advice they’ve culled from Columbia over the past four years. Responses are inevitably hilarious, slightly dangerous, extremely insightful, and generally awesome. Not to mention a fantastic procrastinatory tool during finals weeks.

How it works: nominate a graduating senior who you think is a fantastic human being and should have their wise words shared with the general public. Exercise your voting rights by using this form to give us some basic information about them, and we’ll get in touch begging their erudite messages. Then, sit back and bask in how funny/right about life your classmates are. A huge number of nominations come in each year, so move quickly — and give some great reasons — to see your friends’ names up in lights!

The original wisdom via Wikimedia Commons


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  1. hey  

    how come it's read only for me?

  2. Anonymous  

    I think you posted the spreadsheet instead of the form

  3. Ay Bwog  

    ¿Dónde está el form?

  4. Zach Hendrickson  (Bwog Staff)  

    We're working on getting the form fixed. Sorry guys! We should have it back up in about 30 minutes.

  5. Alexandra  (Bwog Staff)

    And apparently the great experiment needed a second trial --- but the form is now up.

  6. Sex or oral cheese: the statistics  



    I reviewed 222 Bwog interviews dating from 2006 to 2012 via their website and noted the preference for oral sex or cheese as well as the gender of the person answering. If the answer was unclear or if they refused to answer, I marked that as "no answer/unclear." 119 men's answers were recorded along with the answers of 103 women. Men represented 54% of respondents while women represented the remaining 46%. This roughly corresponds to U.S. News and World Report's demographic of Columbia as being 53% male and 47% female. Each undergraduate class has approximately 1500 students. Despite a relatively large size, I will discuss problems with the sample later. I compiled the results, broke them down into graphical presentations and then determined a confidence interval for a 95% confidence rate: approximately ± 9%.


    .....46% of women would rather give up oral sex than cheese, while 36% of men reported the same attitude.

  7. drunk in dodge  

    marry me pleeez

  8. Sexy cheesy oral stats continued...  

    Female Columbia Seniors (2006-2012)

    Willing to give up cheese before giving up oral sex: 26%
    Willing to give up oral sex before giving up cheese: 46%
    Avoided question or gave unclear answer: 28%

    Male Columbia Seniors (2006-2012)

    Willing to give up cheese before giving up oral sex: 32%
    Willing to give up oral sex before giving up cheese: 36%
    Avoided question or gave unclear answer: 32%

    Overall Senior Preferences (2006-2012)

    Willing to give up cheese before giving up oral sex: 30%
    Willing to give up oral sex before giving up cheese: 42%
    Avoided question or gave unclear answer: 28%

    Overall, a fromage-centric attitude prevailed through the sample, with a full 42% of seniors who answered the question reporting that they'd give up oral sex before giving up cheese. For those who said they'd give up cheese, lactose intolerance was commonly cited, as were other dietary restrictions.

    The percentage differences between the sexes don't change much if non-respondents and unclear answers are removed. Of those who answered the question directly, 64% of women and 53% of men said they'd prefer to give up oral sex in favor of cheese: 58% of seniors overall, then, would seem to prefer cheese to oral sex.


    The purpose of my conducting this as a formalized version of a survey was to avoid having a small sample size. Unfortunately, I cannot say that even a sample of 222 people is a representative sample, despite numerically representing 15% of an average class size of 1500. There are a few problems with this sampling method. Firstly, although the respondents have to be nominated, they are still a volunteer sample whose names and pictures appear in the interviews. Those who respond are likely to be relatively popular (hence their nomination) and may be playing to an audience or avoiding an honest answer to the question for fear of a loss of what Erving Goffman calls "face" or an upset in social capital. Despite the diversity of this sample, then, it is not truly a random sample. Another problem is that this data was gathered over six years. It is possible that social attitudes regarding not only the subjects of this question, but the questions themselves have changed. 2006-12 covers the end of a Republican presidency and the beginning of a Democratic presidency. It also covers the years that a vegan (vegans don't eat cheese) book--Skinny Bitch--was on the New York Times bestseller list. Six years is enough to make a difference: these results, because of the methodology cannot be said to represent Columbia seniors as a whole. They might only represent the last six years of Columbia graduating classes. Yet another problem is the GS factor. The School of General Studies is not counted in the "average class size" due to the fact that they often enter as part-time students with transfer credits. They easily account for another 200-300 graduates every May and are interviewed for Senior Wisdom, but their numbers are not included in the average class size. They are often older than traditional students and, therefore, may have different ideas about oral sex and cheese. At least one GS student seems to have been not asked the question at all, presumably out of respect for his age. Finally, there is the question itself. It's notable that a full 30% of those surveyed either refused to answer or gave resolutely ambiguous answers. It is likely that the question, in contrast with the more serious sounding questions, isn't given much weight. Answering it is a chance to appear clever or glib, without really considering the social effects created by making such a decision.

    In summation, one cannot determine the preference for cheese over oral sex at Columbia via this overview of six years of unscientific research. More formalized study would be needed in order to come to a clear conclusion about the preferences of Columbia's graduating classes.

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