Fall 2016 Semester In Review
Written by Bwog Staff
This fall has truly been full of instability, both on and off campus. Bwog has recently seen its fifth Editor-in-Chief in as many semesters, Columbia students are realizing that their liberal bubble might not be as safe as it seemed, and Cannons is finally gone for good. Not all of these changes were bad, as The Reclining Figure found a home and Claremont finally got a crosswalk. Regardless of what happened, time passed as always. Before we head home to recharge over Winter Break, we want to recap the events of these past few months.
Our semester began with some drama on Broadway as Deluxe finally closed and has yet to be replaced. To contribute to the instability, Barnard officially declared the Magnolia tree dead. A new tree will be planted on the lawn in Maggie’s place, but we’re uncertain that any flowering bough will ever truly be able to replace our favorite crying spot on campus.
Even though an intro lecture was held in the Diana Event Oval, our painfully boring academic lives carried on. The then-thriving hole that was Barnard’s library was partially to blame for lack of classroom space, but construction seems to be on track as the TLC finally started to rise (that’s Teaching and Learning Center… no updates on the increased Tender Love and Care).
Then, the Columbia bureaucracy reared its ugly head, as we were informed Columbia wanted to keep track of its reporters during protests, so we signed a form and got some fancy lanyards. We also found out Columbia would no longer allow students to record audio during gender based misconduct hearings. And we interviewed Marjory Fisher, the new Title IX coordinator, who defended that decision and gave us insight into the legal proceedings of gender-based misconduct investigations.
Barnard hosted a panel of contributors to Cathi Hanauer’s new book on the struggles of being an aging, upper-class woman, “The Bitch is Back: Older, Wiser, and (Getting) Happier.” This panel included Barnard president Debora Spar, who faced protesters from among her students who criticized her for not using her platform to truly represent them. She later announced she would be stepping down to become the new matriarch of Lincoln Center, and has been temporarily replaced by a man. Barnard is soliciting student suggestions for its next president, and we hope they take some of ours into consideration.
Both Barnard and Columbia dorms fell apart this semester. Not only is Barnard “phasing out” the mirrors in dorms, its students can’t even trust their ceilings not to collapse in the middle of the night. They’re plagued by rodents in their rooms and continuing construction on campus. Meanwhile, Carman has grown mold, the bathrooms in Columbia upperclassmen dorms are more disgusting than the floors in Beta house, and Harmony might as well not exist, considering how few students know where to find it.
There have been some changes to Barnard dining this semester, as Diana late-night has replaced Hewitt late-night, and Barnard students are now allowed into JJ’s. Columbia students are mostly apathetic about these differences – except when they try to figure out how to use their swipes at the Diana.
The wrestling team said some offensive things in a GroupMe, and many students got pretty mad about it. The team later apologized, and while some wrestlers were suspended from competition, the team’s season was ultimately allowed to continue.
It hasn’t been a great semester for campus activism; CDCJ has quieted down, No Red Tape has settled for projecting slogans onto Low, and the campus Jewish population as much at war with itself as ever. A few students went to Standing Rock over Thanksgiving break, but most sympathetic students just “checked in” on Facebook or peer-pressured their friends to cancel their Citibank accounts. However, Columbia has been declared a “sanctuary campus” – so that’s at least one victory.
Barnard’s Contingent Faculty Union was in disagreement with its (lack of) contract this semester, and approved a strike against the college. Graduate workers also agreed to unionize after a campus-wide election.
On the social media front: Bored @ Butler shut down, leaving us all no choice but to actually study in Butler. Overheard @ Barnard has recently become a private group, less welcome to CC boys than ever. And Columbia buy/sell/memes is still thriving despite a post-finals decline in “Study the test, pupper.”
A fake book with connections to Dark Enlightenment was found on Butler stack 12, which sparked shock and controversy amongst the student body.
Because the War on Fun never stops, Ann Thornton tried to cancel Orgo Night by banning CUMB from playing in 209. Instead, The Band turned the event into a (freezing cold) protest outside of Butler, and tried to grow their audience by passing out flyers pants-less inside. They wrote an entire joke about us, which was exactly as flattering as it sounds.
And with that, we close the semester. Amara Banks will serve as Bwog’s spring Editor-in-Chief, joined by Managing Editor Betsy Ladyzhets and Internal Editor Finn Klauber. Our publishers Nik Huth and James Fast will continue to lead as additional board members. Until next year, Columbia– have a safe holiday.