Yearly Archive: 2017

Sep

20

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This past summer, the Columbia Daily Spectator was forced out of its old office space on Broadway between 11th and 112th Street. The publication has not yet found a permanent new home, but for the time being its staff has taken over a few rooms in Riverside Church. Whether or not this move uptown is part of Columbia’s Manhattanville gentrification expansion remains to be seen.

Since we learned of Spec’s new location, several Bwog staffers have made the only natural next step: attempting to infiltrate. We’ve bugged our friends (and our “friends”) in Spec, we’ve pleaded and cajoled, we’ve even gone to Riverside Church and knocked on the door a few times – all to no avail. Spec is keeping the insides of its new space more locked down than the buttons of their carefully pressed khakis. However, we did get enough information from our sources to develop the following artistic representation of the Spec office; we hope that this at least somewhat sates the curiosity of our readers.

Sep

20

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More stressful than any exam

Yesterday afternoon, Ken Burns himself visited Columbia’s hallowed halls to discuss his new documentary on the Vietnam War, along with co-director Lynn Novick, Dean Awn, and two veterans (one a GS alum who served in Vietnam and one a current GS student who served in Iraq and Afghanistan). We sent newly minted staff writer Abby Rubel to the event; her thoughts on both documentary and discussion are below.

Ken Burns is a documentary maker primarily known for his signature photo effect and secondarily for the thought-provoking, thorough documentaries he makes on subjects ranging from baseball and the national park system to the Civil War. His new documentary, co-directed with long-time collaborator Lynn Novick, covers the Vietnam War with a focus on providing perspectives from everyone involved, from the soldiers who fought it to the Vietnamese whose lives were destroyed by it.

On Tuesday, Burns and Novick stopped by Low Library for a forum focusing on one specific perspective on the war: that of veterans scarred by battle returning to college campuses hostile to the war. The panel consisted of Burns; Novick; Michael K. Heaney, JD, PhD, a Marine who served in Vietnam and spent a semester at GS; and Mark Franklin, GS ‘19, a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan. Dean Peter Awn (GS) moderated and President Bollinger made some brief introductory remarks.

In his introduction, Bollinger discussed the importance of the Vietnam War in shaping the worldview of his generation as well as the many ways in which it can inform us today. (Though he did not explain what those ways were.) He also discussed the importance of GS as an institution for veterans, a subject Awn also touched on briefly in his opening statement. Thankfully, these mentions were brief–there are few things more annoying than Columbia lauding itself.

What did the panelists talk about?

Sep

20

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We got acquainted with a new, highly diverse cast of characters in this week’s GSSC meeting

Each Wednesday, Bwog presents a recap of the General Studies Student Council (GSSC) meeting from the night before. Senior Staffer Alex Tang attended yesterday’s meeting and brings us the highlights.

Last night, the General Studies Student Council met for their second meeting of the 2016-2017 academic year. The main focus of this week’s meeting was on the introduction of nine new nominees for open GSSC positions. Having already applied and interviewed with the council, these nine GSSC students had been nominated for their respective positions. All nominees gave speeches briefly introducing themselves and their prospective goals for GSSC. During a closed vote by the council, all nine GSSC nominees were approved.

Without further ado, here are the new students we’ll be seeing in GSSC this year! Included in the descriptions below are interesting lines or tidbits from each of their presentations:

Click here to meet the new GSSC board members!

Sep

20

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Happening in the World: If you thought this summer’s season of natural disasters had finally ended, you’d be sadly mistaken – a 7.1 earthquake struck central Mexico yesterday. So far, at least 149 people been killed and hundreds of buildings have been destroyed. (LA Times)

Happening in the United States: A woman dubbed “the Mad Pooper” has been spotted defecating on the sidewalk in front of a family’s home in Colorado Springs. This isn’t an isolated incident; this jogger has allegedly pooped in this spot at least once a week for the past seven weeks. (Washington Post)

Happening in NYC: Hurricane José is expected to turn towards New York City this weekend. However, by the time it reaches the city on Monday, it will most likely be weakened to a tropical storm, resulting in a couple of inches of rain and some wind at most. (NY Post)

Happening on Campus: Barnard Student Life will host the third in a series of workshops on transitioning to college life today. Today’s event, led by two Writing Fellows, focuses on college writing (specifically, the differences between academic writing in high school and college), and will take place from 6 to 8 pm in Diana LL104.

Overseen: Someone braving yesterday’s rain in… socks?

This is about as far from rain boots as you can get

Sep

20

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Most bagels, when they turn twenty years old, grow stale and moldy, but not this one. Our own bagel is twenty years old and beautiful and thriving. She is a beautiful bagel and a perfect bagel in chief. Here is photographic evidence of her thriving. I found every single picture on my phone and computer that I could in my exhausted state. This is my favorite bagel and also my favorite titty. By my, I mean Bwog’s. Please wish her a happy birthday by texting her, messaging her, commenting, emailing tips@bwog.com, amara@bwog.com, editor@bwog.com, etc. Happy birthday, Amara! We Love You!!!

 

Sep

19

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Amara as a bowl of water

Tonight, we want to wish a very happy birthday to our Bagel-in-Chief, Amara Banks. Despite what the bouncers at 1020 may think, she’s now 20! Whether she’s sporting the dog filter, haunting the halls of Butler, or throwing bits of (actual) bagels at us, she’ll always be our beloved Bagel. Happy birthday, Amara!

Sep

19

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Mudd is honestly soul sucking, maybe you should renovate the hallways, too.

Every Tuesday, Bwog presents a recap of the Engineering Student Council (ESC) meeting from the day before. ESC Bureau Chief Finn Klauber recounts this week’s meeting, wherein ESC debates the ways in which it can preserve its institutional memory for future council members. Click below to read about other updates in ESC.

In the wake of the Engineering Student Council retreat this past weekend, the entirety of the substantive discussion yesterday evening concerned an informal proposal to streamline internal documentation of ESC action. This discussion was just the latest in a thread of discourse winding back to the concerns of former VP Policy Sidney Perkins regarding institutional memory. To recap, student councils at Columbia rotate almost entirely each year, with new members filling empty spots—and these newly filled positions usually have a year’s worth of action, planning, and deliberation which are almost entirely forgotten. President Aida Lu recalled, for example, how she didn’t remember everything she accomplished and learned as a freshman class representative while writing her end-of-semester report.

The reinstitution of this end-of-semester report is just half of the informal proposal presented by 2019 VP Asher Goldfinger and Technology Representative Andres Aguayo. The semesterly report is fairly self explanatory, as each member of ESC ought to summarize their experiences and connections, what worked and what failed over the year, into an easy-to-read document to be passed on to their successor. President Lu recounted how this report used to be filed each year, implying that, recently, the practice ceased. Various members offered suggestions regarding these reports, such as 2018 Representative Cristal Abud who said that “having a template for the transition document with key points of contact, how they helped…would be better.”

Read more about the ESC meeting here

Sep

19

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Madame President.

Each year, during the meetings of the United Nations General Assembly plenary, Columbia invites various international figures to speak in our hallowed halls. This series of discussions, often attended and moderated by President Bollinger himself, is known as the World Leaders Forum. Covering one of the first events, neophyte writer Sam Baron recounts his experience listening to the President of Switzerland, Madame Doris Leuthard. 

The start of the World Leaders Forum kicked off with a talk with Her Excellency Doris Leuthard, the President of Switzerland—the talk was moderated by none other than PrezBo himself. Switzerland, unlike the United States, does not directly elect a unitary head of state for a fixed-year term. Instead, the Swiss hold elections for a ‘Federal Council’ wherein the Executive branch is controlled by seven members, with each member heading certain departments within Swiss government. These members then rotate the official title of the ‘President of Switzerland’ every year. The current President, Doris Leuthard, is the Council member who heads the Swiss department of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications.

Wanting to get a better understanding of Swiss politics and society before the talk, I attended the forum with a friend from Switzerland. As it turned out, the Swiss consulate collaborated with Columbia to give Swiss-nationals who registered for the event ‘VIP’ treatment—a Swiss flag-pin, front-row seats, a handshake with the Swiss ambassador, and a private meeting with President Leuthard after the event was over. Thankfully, despite not being a Swiss national, I was able to enjoy three out of the four before PrezBo came onto the stage to begin the forum and introduce President Leuthard.

The theme of the talk was the “Rule of Law or Law of the Jungle,” and in her opening remarks, President Leuthard placed a heavy emphasis on the importance of implementing, expanding, and enforcing the current conventions of International Law. She spoke ill of the current strain of nationalism, populism, and economic protectionism permeating throughout the Western world—and in a subtle swipe at President Trump, warned that such movements threatened the security of the current international order. In the latter half of her speech, President Leuthard spoke of Switzerland’s efforts to foster diplomacy and open dialogue between leaders on an international scale. In her view, Switzerland is in a unique position to act as an international mediator due to the country’s long history of political neutrality and absence from NATO. Of particular interest was Switzerland’s efforts to diffuse tensions in North Korea—where President Leuthard claimed Switzerland is only one of two Western countries that the North Koreans have allowed into the country to administer humanitarian aide to its citizens (the other being Norway).

Click here to see what happens when PrezBo returns

Sep

19

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Did they custom order these?

Walked by 1020 recently? According to signs posted in the windows of the bar, Law & Order: SVU will be filming there today, and signs on street posts said that filming would start at 6am. 1020 will be closed all day, but should open back up tomorrow (so, unfortunately, there won’t be trivia tonight).

We don’t exactly know why 1020 would be so garish in their promotion of the filming of a show about sexual assault at their bar, but perhaps they believe no press is bad press.

We’ll update this post if we get photos from the set.

Sep

19

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Barnard apparel was the contentious subject in yesterday’s meeting

Interested in following what goes on in Barnard’s SGA, but don’t have time to go to the meetings? Every Tuesday, check out Bwog’s recap of Monday’s SGA meeting, penned by none other than Barnard Bearoness Dassi Karp.

This week, Barnard’s SGA finally got down to business. At Monday night’s Rep Council meeting, they welcomed members of Student-Worker Solidarity (SWS), a group that fights for “economic justice and workers’ rights at CU and beyond,” according to the group’s Facebook page. The visiting members spoke about some of the group’s current projects, which include:

  • Trying to get Barnard to affiliate with the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC), a labor rights monitoring organization
    • The WRC would help Barnard create and enforce a manufacturing code of conduct to ensure that its collegiate apparel was not being produced in sweatshop conditions. Close to two hundred colleges are currently affiliated with the WRC, including Columbia University since the 90’s. However, Columbia’s affiliation does not include Barnard College. SGA members questioned the necessity of joining WRC rather than having the College independently create a manufacturing code.
  • Supporting the Graduate Workers of Columbia (GWC) union in their attempts to bargain for a contract
  • Collecting information about student workers at Barnard regarding complaints about late paychecks
  • Continuing to support the adjunct faculty union, which negotiated a contract with Barnard last spring

More SGA news after the jump

Sep

19

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Check out more of Jacob Lawrence’s work at the Studio Museum of Harlem, from now until January 2018.

Happening in the World: After Harvey and Irma, the Caribbean braces itself for yet another hurricane. Hurricane Maria reached Category 5 status yesterday, and is expected to cause severe damage in Puerto Rico, Dominica, and other islands in the region. (CNN)

Happening in the United States: Politics took center stage in this year’s Emmys. The Emmys certainly addressed the racial inequality of America’s entertainment industry, and host Stephen Colbert made quite a few jabs at President Trump. (The New York Times)

Happening in NYC: Have some time for art this weekend? Check out the Studio Museum of Harlem’s ongoing exhibition – “Their Own Harlems.” The exhibition explores Harlem and the city as “a source of inspiration for artists across generations.

Happening on Campus: International leaders are descending upon Columbia for the World Leaders Forum. Today, the President of Mauritius is giving a talk at Low Library. Stay tuned for Bwog’s article on yesterday’s talk given by the Swiss president.

Overheard: (during a conversation about gay dating in New York City) “Why is it that the more downtown you go, the hotter and bitchier the guys get?”

image via the Studio Museum of Harlem

Sep

18

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A Snapchat of two people making out in a public lounge chair at 3:18 am.

Just you wait ’til the RA hears about this!

So there you are, at three in the morning on Saturday. You just had a great time getting covered in glitter in a Brownstone, and now you’re back in Furnald. But your roommate is asleep! You decide to be courteous and dry hump your compatriot in the public lounge. This is not courteous. Do not do this. If you see this, please send it to tips@bwog.com.  What we did wasn’t quite so debaucherous:

Food and Drink Rule Everything Around Us

  • Used a JJ’s swipe for just the smoothies at the Cool Zone.
  • Walked to 79th and back to get ice cream.
  • A waiter accidentally charged me the price for a non-spiked milkshake. Rejoiced.
  • Cooked cabbage soup for first time for my sick girlfriend.
  • Went apple-picking.
  • Spent over $100 on a single meal downtown.
  • Finessed my way through being carded at a fancy restaurant by pretending i knew something about wine.

Frats and Parties and Frats and Parties

  • Hooked up with a boy while sick, got him sick, got better, hooked up with him again, got sick again.
  • Talked about the meaning of human existence with frat boys.
  • Got a little too drunk on Friday, ended up hooking up with 2 different guys at 2 different parties.
  • Did not go to one single frat party the whole weekend and honestly felt great about it.
  • Went to The Meadows! Got my bowl taken away by security.
  • Pregamed for The Meadows on the 7 train. Ended up drunk, sweaty, and ambitious enough to dance to every Weezer and Red Hot Chili Peppers song played.

High Culture, High Society (more…)

Sep

18

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A picture on College Walk at night of roughly two hundred people holding lanterns marching towards Morningside Park.

A shot of the 2015 “New York Nocturne” procession

Morningside Lights is back! The annual procession of handmade torches continues in its sixth year with a “Secret Gardens” theme. For the uninitiated, Morningside Lights is a week-long project headed up by the Arts Initiative, and by Processional Arts Workshop. Members of the community are invited to sixteen different free workshops over the course of the week. These drop-in sessions are totally free, and you can stay for as long or as little as you want. On Saturday, September 23rd at 8 pm, the procession will begin at 116th and Morningside Avenue and progress around the campus and the neighborhood.

Anyone interested in making a lantern or marching in the procession should sign up on the Morningside Lights website. While you’re at it, get some inspiration from the Secret Gardens Pinterest Board. Artists Alex Kahn and Sophia Michahelles will lead this project. This year’s theme looks to celebrate community gardens in Harlem, especially in reclaimed spaces.

Photo via Arts Initiative/Karli Cadel

Sep

18

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Earlier this afternoon, Jomysha Delgado Stephen, President Beilock’s Chief of Staff, sent out an email to the Barnard community about immigration policy information sessions that will be held for students and other community members who are permanent residents, holders of visas, undocumented, or otherwise possibly affected by recent changes to the DACA program. These sessions will be led by legal expert David Ware; after each session, attendees will have the opportunity for private consultations. According to the email, Mr. Ware will “address the latest news on the DACA program, anticipated changes in enforcement practices, immigration status and travel risks, among other issues.”

The sessions will take place next Monday, September 24, from 11:45 am to 12:45 pm and from 1:30 to 2:30 pm. Consultations will be available the same day, from 2:45 to 4:45 pm. Registration for the sessions is available by emailing presidentsoffice@barnard.edu by this Wednesday, September 20; and registration for consultations is available by emailing mavelar@barnard.edu.

If any Barnard community member is unable to make the scheduled times next Monday, but is still interested in a consultation, Barnard will cover the cost a consultation with an outside immigration counsel – scheduled at that community member’s convenience.

Stephen’s email concludes: “The College remains committed to serving the immigration and travel needs of our community.”

Read the full email after the jump

Sep

18

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are we separated by more than a crosswalk?Bwog received an anonymous tip today about a petition which members of the Barnard Bartending Agency are releasing today. Over the last two months, Barnard College has worked to absorb the previously (ambiguously) independent BBA into the other programs overseen by Student Employment Services. BBA jobs could accordingly count as work study and receive support from the College. However, today’s letter alleges that many changes will undermine the purpose of BBA. Members of the group met with SES today, where these grievances were made known.

Most centrally, the five-page petition asks for the Barnard Bartending Agency to retain its… well, agency. Many responsibilities previously taken up by Student Managers will pass on to automated systems and professional mixologists, which BBA claims undermines its ability to meet its unique needs. “Barnard Bartending is not the same as “real” bartending.,” claims the letter. “In fact, many of our jobs are incredibly unique and the only proper method of preparation was to have that knowledge passed down through veteran Bartenders.”

Chief among changes made will be an automated assignment system (JobX) and an overhaul of the training course. The cost of training has gone dramatically down, from $120 to $25. The petition states that this change may bring under-prepared or under-committed students into the group, reducing levels of service. The courses will also be taught by professional bartenders, who the petition claims cannot meet all of the unique training needs required for the Barnard agents. The new job assignment system may also allow bartenders to compete against each other in the form of offering the lowest bid for a job. “Less experienced students are more likely to undercut their wages (cheating other students out of available work and fair wages unnecessarily) and not request cab fare home–a potentially dangerous situation.” Finally, status as work-study may prevent students who already have, or failed to qualify for, other work-study jobs to gain additional revenue from BBA.

The full petition is included below. Bwog has reached out to Student Employment Services for comment on the petition.

Update, 9/20/17, 8:30 pm: Earlier today, Student Employment Services Director Cynthia Meekins sent out a message to all of the Barnard Bartenders in response to this petition. This message asserted that the change to move the Barnard Babysitting and Bartending agencies into SES was “carefully considered for more than two years” and resulted from work with student managers. According to Meekins, the change is intended to increase student accessibility in the program, by decreasing bartenders’ fees from $120 for the course and $10 to $20 for each job to a one-time fee of $25. Meekins also wrote that application and hiring processes have been “streamlined”, for the Bartending agency as well as the Babysitting agency. You can read her full message below.

Read the full petition and response after the jump

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