Monthly Archive: March 2016

Mar

31

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Real people live here, too!

Real people live here, too!

In our final installation of Barnard Housing Reviews we present one of the more *unique* dorms: 601 West 110th Street (it’s 110). This dorm can be a bit of a gamble, but you might get lucky. Read on to find out just what makes 110 so special. 

Location: 601 W 110th St (Between Broadway and Riverside)

Nearby dorms: Mcbain and Nussbaum, as well as all the frats/srats on 113th. Your friends from Plimpton will likely crash with you after a long night out so be prepared for guests.

Stores and restaurants: You’re in the heart of Columbia’s “night life,” right across the street from Mel’s, a block away from the Heights, a block away from 1020, 3 blocks from Cannons, and right next to the subway. Oh and don’t forget you’re only footsteps away from Chipotle, Starbucks, Koronets, and Westside.

Cost:  $9,230 (multiples), $10,712 (singles), $16,000 (studio singles)

Amenities:

  • Kitchen/Bathroom/Lounge space: Generally the “living space” is decent. Every suite has a kitchen of some sort and 1-2 bathrooms, but not all have lounges.
  • Laundry: In the basement. You will have to get a new card, since you can’t use the ones from your first year.
  • Computers/Printers: You will have to bring your own.
  • Gym: None, but you’re only a block away from Riverside and a couple blocks from Central Park. You also have to walk a couple of blocks to get to campus so you’ll get some daily exercise in whether you like it or not.
  • Intra-transportation: Two relatively slow elevators whose janky-ness fit right in with the 110 vibe.
  • Wifi: Fast. You get your own router. (ProTip from a resident: write the password somewhere in your room and hang it up for visitors because you will not want to check it every time someone wants to access wifi.)
  • Hardwood/Carpet: Again, it depends.

But what are studio singles?!

Mar

31

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Watt?!

Watt?!

You might be surprised to know Watt exists–that’s what makes it so special! Our housing review series continues with a look at this less-mainstream option.

Location: 549 W. 113th Street (between Amsterdam and Broadway)

Nearby Dorms: Across the street form Symposium and McBain

Restaurants and Stores: You’re in the heart of Columbia University so reap in the benefits of all your faves (Milano, Dig Inn, Community, International, and Sweetgreen to name a few).  You can practically deplete your financial resources from your bed.

Cost: $10,120/year

Amenities:

  • Bathrooms: Private bathroom per apartment
  • AC/Heating: None (sad face) but there are large windows to let in a nice breeze if it’s out there.
  • Kitchen: Private per apartment – with a fridge, stove, and sink (YAAAS)
  • Lounge: None; which facilitate the fact that people don’t really know each other on their floors, which is either a blessing or a curse.
  • Laundry: One washer and dryer on each floor
  • Computer/Printer: One printer in the lobby
  • Gym: None, but McBain’s is very close and apparently spiffy.
  • Intra-transportation: One slow elevator for all six floors.
  • Hardwood/Carpet: Hardwood (one point for aesthetic Watt.)
  • Bonus: Apparently everyone in Watt gets a comfy desk chair. So that’s…pretty boring af cool!

But does the cool outweigh the boring af?

Mar

31

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Pantone 292 or no?

Pantone 292 or no?

This year, Columbia College and the School of Engineering and Applied Science received an unprecedented number of applications, totalling at 36,292. This is the largest applicant pool in Columbia’s history. Only 2,193 students, or 6.0%, were admitted this year, including students from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., the territories, and 85 other countries.

News of Columbia’s record low admit rate comes just one week after Barnard announced the lowest admissions rate in its history at 16%. Newly admitted CC/SEAS students can also take comfort in the fact that they were not exposed to the same fear as Stanford hopefuls.

At 3pm, the entire Office of Undergraduate Admissions gathered on College Walk to send out admissions decisions for all CC/SEAS applicants. Jessica Marinaccio had her usual blue coat casually slung over one arm and was sporting a matching blue dress (which, along with the coat, doesn’t seem to be exactly Pantone 292 but we won’t spoil this special day) . Deantini was also present, but was not wearing any blue (for shame). The event closed with a lively rendition of “Roar Lion Roar!”

You can read the full press release from the Admissions Office below, as well as a gallery of the grand mailing of the letters.

Total number of applicants: 36,292

Total number of students admitted: 2,193

Admit Rate: 6.0%

Statement from Jessica Marinaccio, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid

“Today, my colleagues and I are thrilled to welcome the newest Lions to the Columbia Class of 2020. This year’s 2,193 admitted students, selected from the largest applicant pool in Columbia’s history, amazed and humbled us with their exceptional accomplishments in and out of the classroom, their adventurous intellectualism and their commitment to a better society.

“The students admitted today, along with those admitted Early Decision, represent an extraordinarily diverse range of backgrounds and voices that we are excited to have at Columbia College and The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science. They come from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., the territories and 85 countries around the world. As our applicant pool grows, the process of selecting next year’s class becomes increasingly challenging. But we are confident that the Class of 2020 brings that unique combination of academic ability, leadership skills and personal characteristics that have distinguished Columbians over the years, and it makes today truly one of the most rewarding days for us in the Offices of Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid and Educational Financing.”

Photos via Mason Amelotte

Mar

31

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Brazil wants to free former Mexico from American rule. Never Forget!

Brazil wants to free former Mexico from American rule. Never Forget!

You know how Americans are reputed to be terrible at geography? Well, we asked international students to label American states on a blank map to see how they measure up in American geography! Do Columbia’s international students know American geography better than American Columbia students? We went on a quest to find out and featured some of the results.

Archetypes of Geographers:

1. The Desperate Geographer
“Which one is New York?”
“Is this a body of water or is it Canada?”
“Wait, I thought Virginia was short for West Virginia”
“What the F is Wyoming”
“How did I get in Columbia?”

2. The Memory Technician
“Think of the civil war, think of the civil war”
“Who seceded?!”
““Nebraska and Kansas have to be together because of that act”
“I only remembered Ohio because of glee.”

For more crazy cartographer archetypes, click here.

Mar

31

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Elliot Hall

Elliot Hall

We continue our yearly coverage of the incoming storm that is housing with Elliot Hall. Are you a Barnard student who badly wants a single? Don’t want the Quad meal plan? Want to meet some cool transfers and visiting students? Check Elliot out below. 

Location: 49 Claremont Avenue (Claremont and 119th)

Nearby Dorms: 47 Claremont (Columbia dorm), kinda near the Quad and 600s

Stores and Restaurants: nothing close enough to be excited about its vicinity, but MoWil, Vine, Sweetgreen, empty Ollie’s, etc.

Cost: $10,714 Singles, $9,230 Doubles

Amenities:

  • Bathrooms: One shared bathroom per “floor cluster”—aka 2 bathrooms per floor. Each bathroom has 2 toilets & showers, and 3 sinks. Cleaned daily, but still kinda gross. Showers not cleaned daily, so…yeah. Less nice than bathrooms in the Quad, if you’re looking for a reference point.
  • AC/Heating: Central AC, heating in all rooms.
  • Kitchens/Lounges: Each floor has two shared kitchens, one per cluster (just like the bathrooms). There’s only one microwave per floor, and no fridges in the kitchen, only in rooms. The kitchens do have stoves/ovens, sinks and pantries. One separate lounge per floor with a table, a TV, and some couches.
  • Laundry: Four washers and dryers for the building, all located in the basement. In high demand one weekends, so you’ll need to plan accordingly.
  • Computers/Printers: Yes—one computer/printer combo in Elliot Lobby.
  • Gym: Barnard weight room in Barnard Hall relatively close, but getting to Dodge is its own workout lbr
  • Intra-Transporation: One elevator, which isn’t awful but gets slow when busy. Two stairwells.
  • WiFi: Everyone’s favorite, Barnard Secure. Just pray it doesn’t abandon you when you desperately need it.
  • Hardwood or Carpet: Neither! Linoleum in rooms in kitchens. There is some carpet in halls and lounges, for when the linoleum feels too sterile.

But are the singles spacious? Find out after the jump.

Mar

31

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Look how happy this shark is! If only humans smiled like that.

Look how happy this shark is! If only humans smiled like that.

The human embodiment of Cathedral Gardens, our potential President Hillary Clinton, was just a few blocks away yesterday for a rally at Harlem’s Apollo Theater. Bwog was too lazy to go. (C-SPAN)

Want to spend a night surrounded by 35 sharks? Neither do we, but the masochists out there can delight in Airbnb’s newest contest that gives one “lucky” winner the opportunity to sleep in a Paris aquarium. Alone. “Fun.” (Yahoo)

On Bwog’s must-watch list for 2016: this new movie about Vincent Van Gogh, animated entirely through individual paintings. Each frame is a painting, adding up to about 57,000 paintings in total. (Upworthy)

The first transplants between two HIV-positive patients took place at Johns Hopkins University’s medical center this week, giving HIV-positive people a greater chance of surviving healthfully. (ABC)

Sharky Smiles via Terry Gross/CC-BY-SA-3.0

Mar

30

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Staff writer Shina Chetti returns with a follow-up to her original photo series, but this time shifts her focus to less wholesome, more personal experiences. Raw, unfiltered, HONY-style confessions (accompanied by photographs) are to follow, so consider switching tabs if you’re at work or around judgmental people.

“Tell me about something that’s been on your mind.”

With the sheer size of this campus, it is entirely natural that we go all four years of undergrad without getting to know a vast majority of the people around us. That in itself is a manageable, and an altogether unsurprising reality, but, seeing it from a different angle, this reality also implies a wealth of stories, moments, thoughts and experiences that will remain unknown to us, simply for a lack of familiarity. That’s what makes snapshots so intriguing, and perhaps, entertaining—a chance to be witness to someone’s insane story, mundane reflections and unvoiced fears. I was fortunate enough to have five amazing (and absolutely insane) conversations with students around campus, completely uncensored, when for a brief moment, I was offered a window into their lives.

As a preface to the first part of this project, it’s probably important for me to explain and perhaps justify the absence of a unifying theme or predetermined perimeter in the stories and anecdotes I’ve chosen to publish here. A lot of these accounts are—for lack of better words—brutally unrestrained, addressing indecorous subjects like drugs, sex, anxieties, and unconventional thoughts and convictions. However, it remains far from the purpose of this endeavor to present a series of extravagant stories for shock-value. The objective of “Columbia on My Mind” was to provide an outlet, or mechanism of expression, through which students would be given control; they were given the opportunity to relay a message or thought that was of significance to them, allowing them to create a personally defined window through which others could observe some of their innermost thoughts and experience from the outside in.

Glimpses into the secret lives of Columbia students, after the jump

Mar

30

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hewitt

We’re continuing with our coverage of Barnard housing with Hewitt (the dorm, not the dining hall), a so-called “very solid choice.” But are your numbers high enough? Check out our comprehensive review, along with the rest of our Barnard and Columbia coverage to really get ready for the blood-frenzy that is room selection. 

Location: Barnard Quad (3009 Broadway)

Nearby dorms: Reid, Brooks, Sulz, Sulz Tower

Stores and restaurants: EVERYTHING. Seriously, just walk onto Broadway. But in case you’ve forgotten: MoWillies, Vine, vacant Ollie’s storefront, sweetgreen, Starbucks.

Cost: $10,712 for a single, $9,230 for “multiples” (i.e. doubles and triples)

Amenities:

  • Bathrooms: One gender-inclusive bathroom per floor. Floors have fancy burnt orange tiles–none of those regular ol’ white tiles in these bathrooms! Cleaned daily by facilities.
  • AC/Heating: No AC, but it’s not terrible. Yes to heating.
  • Kitchen/Lounge: Each floor shares a lounge with Reid, Sulz, and Brooks. Lounges are spacious and include a kitchenette with a stove, oven, and microwave. Each lounge also has 2 large tables, several chairs/couches, and a TV.
  • Laundry: 1 washer/dryer set per floor in Brooks, 2 washers and dryers per floor in Sulz. The 8th floor of Sulz also has a lot more washers and dryers that the residents of Sulz Tower use.
  • Gym: Listen, Barnard has one gym, and it lives in the basement of Barnard Hall.
  • Intra-transportation: 2 generally reliable elevators, and 2 stairwells with tumbleweeds of dust/lint/we-don’t-want-to-know.
  • Hardwood/Carpet: Hallways feature strangely patterned carpeting to mask any spills or puke. Rooms have linoleum, because we can’t all be fancy.
  • Wifi: Old Faithful Barnard Secure. By which we actually mean, “Barnard Secure: Always Failing When We Need It Most.”

There’s more to love at Hewitt

Mar

30

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Imagine, in the middle of the night, a dorm swallowing up all of its inhabitants. It contorts itself, building beams straining for some greater purpose, brick and glass heaving and disintegrating, leaving behind…a 2016 presidential candidate. Which dorm is which candidate? What hall’s bones are infused with the gusto and idiocy of a dastardly Trump, or the cool hawkishness of a Hillary Clinton?

The Clinton Cathedral

The Clinton Cathedral

Hillary Clinton

  • Housing: Cathedral Gardens
  • Why: She’s trying to be the coolest dorm on campus. She’s definitely the fanciest, but she’s a little too far away from her target demographic. She’s also afraid to go out at night.
  • Other options: Theta brownstone or EC high-rise

Ben Carson

  • Housing: Harmony
  • Why: Quiet, removed, is it even a real housing option? This should be self-explanatory.
Classing up the bathrooms at the real Trump Tower

Classing up the bathrooms at the real Trump Tower

 

Donald J. Drumpf

  • Housing: EC Townhouse
  • Why: It’s just a big, aggressive, towering ugly thing with a surprisingly high number of supporters.
  • Other options: Beta House

 

Ted Cruz

  • Housing: Pike
  • Why: You know shady stuff has happened there.

Rand Paul (is he still a thing)

  • Housing: University Apartment Housing
  • Why: “We don’t need your damn RULES and RESTRICTIONS. A man or woman should be free from the codified tyranny of dormitory life.”
The sky's the limit

The sky’s the limit

Bernie Sanders

  • Housing: Hogan
  • Why: He’s the alternative candidate, and a pretty sweet deal.

 

 

 

 

Renovations via Bwog Staff and Wikimedia Commons (1, 2, 3)

 

Mar

30

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Dante's Inferno's got nothing on Wien

Dante’s Inferno’s got nothing on Wien

Do you hate your room? Do you really hate your room? We’re not just talking mild loathing, here—we want to know if you thoroughly, unequivocally hate your room. If your room caused you to fail a midterm, or lose a potential hookup, or gain a long-lasting injury. If your room is full of faulty heating vents, vengeful cockroaches, or megalomaniac poltergeists. If your room is basically the tenth circle of hell.

If any of this sounds familiar, Bwog may have just the relief for you. We can’t get you out of your room before the end of the semester—we’re not quite that powerful—but we can help you warn others not to make the same bad choices you did. Send your tales of housing woe (and pictures of housing woe, if you’re particularly inspired and/or angry) to tips@bwog.com. Take on a greater labor and be the Virgil you always knew you could be.

Misery and woe via George Romney

Mar

30

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lol never

on what day does it ever look this pretty

You might have the worst pick of the lot as a sophomore, but not all the options are terrible. McBain aka McPain aka Carman 2.0 might have a reputation that precedes it, but it’s still a very valid housing option and went quickly last year. After reading our review, feed your misery by checking out our other housing reviews for this year. 

WARNING! Columbia’s official online information about McBain is totally outdated, due to the recent renovations. A ton has changed about the building since 2014.

Location: 562 West 113th Street, on the corner of Broadway

Nearby dorms: Some brownstones on 113th, Watt, Hogan, and Broadway

Stores and restaurants: Deluxe, Amigos, Dig Inn, Tom’s, Chase, Milano, Symposium, Community, University Housewares, and ~International~

Cost: $8,166 (cheapest tier, same price as Broadway, Furnald, Schapiro, and Wien)

Amenities:

  • Bathrooms: On the second and third floors, disgusting, locker-room style bathrooms with little privacy. On the renovated floors, seven individual stalls with wall-length showers.
  • AC/Heating: No air conditioning. Heating is powerful, especially in the shaft.
  • Kitchen: Kitchen lounge on each floor. One or two ovens/microwaves/sinks per lounge, depending on the floor. The lower floors have much worse-looking kitchens than the renovated ones.

It doesn’t look too bad yet…

Mar

30

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and so are we

GSSC is a hard core Lions fan

GSSC was understandably consumed by basketball mania last night (s/o to a sports team that doesn’t suck!), but they managed to cram a lot of important information into the thirty minutes that they convened. Seasoned operative Romane Thomas reports back with everything you need to know about the election, upcoming gala, and fun events.

Yesterday night, General Studies Student Council exited Lerner only 30 minutes after the beginning of the meeting to witness Columbia basketball win at Dodge. As President Elizabeth Heyman put it: “Our team is kicking ass, everyone should go.” Thankfully we managed to get all the relevant deets down before they rushed out.

Vice President of Campus Life Dennis Zhao reminded the council that the Shabbat Dinner is taking place on Friday. He asked the council to help volunteer for the dinner and to spread the word about the event since 70 spots are still open. He also warned the council that their reserved spots for Gala would be given away to the general student population if they did not claim them soon.

Let’s cool it down a little…

Mar

30

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This is as far into the video as we dare to go

This is as far into the video as we dare to go

An innocent napper on the 7 train was awakened when a GIANT RAT crawled up his LEG and onto his NECK. All of this was caught on video, because people care more about views on YouTube than maintaining the dignity of a fellow human being. Excuse us while we never go downtown ever again. (PzFeed)

A nefarious New York nurse has lost her license for taking pictures of an unconscious male patient’s penis and sending the photos to her friends. She has plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge and will undergo three years of probation. S/o to her colleagues for turning this Upstate upstart in. (New York Post)

EgyptAir fliers were treated to some “old-fashioned type of terrorism” when their plane was hijacked by an “unstable” man with a fake suicide belt; he forced the pilot to divert the plane from its intended destination of Cairo to Cypress. According to officials, the hijacker is now in custody and the passengers are evacuated, but the photo that one Briton took with the hijacker will always serve as a memento. (CNN, Vice News)

It’s not out of the world that a Trump campaign manager in Jupiter, Florida would be arrested and charged for the simple battery of former Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields. Gross. (CNN)

Mar

29

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fix it Ben, you gotta

fix things Ben, you gotta

Earlier tonight, Bwog was tipped about various members of CCSC, ESC, and GSSC voicing concerns about the Columbia Political Union’s newfound influence over the upcoming student council election process.

The Columbia Elections Board (CEB), which was founded in 2013 “to conduct and publicize student council elections on campus,” is currently made up of four students, according to the CCSC Spring 2016 Elections Packet, of whom two are on the executive board of the Columbia Political Union (CPU). Given CEB’s founding just a couple years ago, CPU’s exact relationship with the group remains largely unclear to the student body.

According to Adil Mughal, CC ’17, CEB “might disqualify a quarter of the candidates, and they aren’t letting more people register.” If the Elections Board follows through with this action, CPU will essentially have control over this year’s ballot. There are currently seven positions on CCSC with candidates running uncontested, as well as eight positions on ESC and four positions on GSSC, both of which also contain an open seat on the University Senate.

In order to mitigate the number of candidates running for positions uncontested, student councils hope to allow students to re-register in parties. Mughal went on to clarify that “because you have to have a President and Vice President running together on the same ticket, [CEB] may disqualify the students running against CCSC 2017 candidates Jordana Narin/Brennon Mendez. The Elections Board didn’t specify that rule to candidates registering.”

Councils also took issue with the way CEB handled promotion of this year’s election registration. Because of past criticisms over student government exclusivity, councils were looking to expand their reach in the undergraduate community by encouraging a larger number of students to run this year. They believe CEB did a poor job of promoting candidate registration to the student body, inconsistently posting in different class-specific Facebook groups and failing to publish the registration link to their official Facebook page until hours before registration closed.

According to Mughal, CPU’s Membership Director “refuses to admit that the [Columbia Elections Board] did anything wrong, and thinks that [re-]opening registration is too much of a hassle.”

Update (11:51 pm): The original post contained misinformation from Spectator, which falsely reported that CEB chose not to use the University Senate listserv to share registration information for the first time.

Update (4/30, 11:03 pm): Emails from CPU have attempted to clarify the relationship between CPU and CEB; apparently, there have been no changes to the election process, but CPU has been hosting information about the elections on CEB’s behalf in order to promote civic engagement. CPU’s role is “purely publicity,” while we are told CEB is completely in charge of running the election, and is independent of CPU.

Fix it Ben via Ben’s Facebook

Mar

29

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Dorm upon a terrace

Dorm upon a terrace

Now that we all know our lottery numbers, take a glance at Plimpton, the Barnard dorm with the most singles and one of three Barnard dorms with AC! These two amenities might be crucial tradeoffs for you and your potential suite, even if Amsterdam seems “far.” Read up below on how you could be big plimpin’ next year. 

Location: 1235 Amsterdam (between 120th and 121st, crawling distance from Appletree)

Nearby dorms: Wien, EC

Stores and restaurants: Appletree is open 24/7!!!!, Flat Top, Max Caffe, Serrafina, Hartley Pharmacy, Subsconscious

Cost: TBD

Amenities:

  • Bathrooms: Private in each suite of 6 residents. Cleaned by your own goddamn selves because you’re adults with a cleaning chart.
  • AC/Heating: Yes to both! You can turn off your heating if it’s too hot!
  • Kitchen: Private per apartment. Stocked with an oven, gas stovetop, sizeable fridge, reasonable countertop space (though unknown countertop material), all other appliances to be brought in by students living there.
  • Lounges: One study lounge on the lobby floor with an adjoining computer and printing lab.
  • Laundry: Available in the basement, never really have to wait to use a machine. This is Barnard so it costs $$$ friends.
  • Gym: Kind of close to Dodge.
  • Intra-transportation: Two elevators that can fit at most 6 Barnard girls late to their 10:10. There are 15 floors so elevators can get packed quickly and often stop at each floor before classes.
  • Hardwood/Carpet: Both of these flooring options are a little too luxe for Plimp. Inconsistent grayscale tiling in every suite and in hallways.
  • Wifi: Barnard networks.

Click to find out why Plimpton is like the Harmony of Barnard

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