Daily Archive: April 11, 2017



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Columbia has experienced a rash of suicides in the past four months. The crisis has made news in outlets from the New York Post to Gothamist. The suicides are shocking in their proximity, but the culture of overwhelming stress, competition, exhaustion, and hopelessness that contributed to them isn’t news to students. CC student Julien Reiman shares his thoughts, from the very personal to the broadly optimistic. Additional reporting by senior staffer Sarah Dahl.

I was in my Broadway dorm on December 18th when Public Safety found the body of Mounia Abousaid in the room next to mine. Through my door, I heard an officer call the NYPD: “We have a student death.” I rushed out to a friend’s spare bed, and brushed past eight police officers. One at the doorway of Mounia’s room said to a colleague, “Yeah, she wrote letters and everything.”

I didn’t fall asleep that night. I did not know Mounia, and I will never understand her experience navigating Columbia College as a queer student of color. But lying awake, I felt a sameness with her. Passive thoughts of suicide have grazed my mind in my two years at Columbia. I have thought about it in Butler, for instance, as I’ve run my fingers through my sweaty forehead, and in bed during sleepless nights when all I can think about is my GPA or a cover letter or an exam or my peers who always seem superior. Until December 18th, I never told anyone these thoughts. What if I had taken a step further? What if other Columbians, plagued by the same thoughts, did the same? If Mounia did, we all could. Amid my grief, I held a small hope that her death would help Columbia talk about suicide more honestly. A hope that in discussion, we could prevent this from happening again.

Grief turned to shock at 8am when I read an e-mail sent to Columbia College. We all read it, more of a memo than a remembrance, notifying us of her death but omitting mention of her suicide. Psychological studies show that discussing and reporting suicide does not increase the prevalence of suicide ideation within a community. MS Gould writes in “Evaluating Iatrogenic Risk of Youth Suicide Screening Programs” (2005) that those pondering suicide become “less distressed” after acknowledging self-harm as a problem in a social group. Why had Columbia hidden her means of death? I remembered that Columbia’s CommonApp was due January 1. Could the e-mail be a PR move?

Read more after the jump



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Hope y’all are getting ready for NSLOP.

This past weekend (post-Bacchanal) was Columbia’s first Days On Campus session. Hundreds of prospective students (aka “prospies”) flooded campus, wandering around like lost puppies in search of alcohol. Over the course of their 24 hour stay, we were asked quite some interesting questions. Here are a few of the most popular, as well as their answers. @PROSPIES: READ ON FOR THE ANSWERS TO SOME OF THE MOST OBSCURE, PERSONAL QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE ABOUT COLUMBIA.

Wait, you’re gay, right? …So how’s LGBT life on campus?

Yes, I am gay. So is everyone else. Being LGBT at Columbia is both empowering and confusing (because assuming someone’s sexuality when you start to hit on them can be an awkward moment for both of y’all). That being said, the Columbia community is extremely supportive of its LGBT students. Located on 114th street, Q House is a special interest living community for anyone who identifies as queer. Also, the Columbia administration recently announced that starting in the fall, there will be a space in Lerner dedicated especially to LGBT students and students of color. Oh, yeah, and there’s a gay bar on the corner of 109th and Amsterdam.

What’s the reputation of each freshman dorm?

Carman is the party dorm. John Jay is lots of singles for fun people who still ike privacy. Hartley and Wallach are decently quiet and are usually full of mysterious people. Furnald is quiet.

More on the Prospie after the jump



img April 11, 20172:41 pmimg 4 Comments

The potential victims of our Bwog math…

We all know a lot of people get CAVA’d at Bacchanal. But since our lovely friends on CU-EMS won’t tell us just how many, we will have to do the math ourselves. Bwog writer Gabrielle Kloppers is here to help for all you liberal arts majors.

Let’s list the assumptions of this equation:

# of people CAVA’d per 20 acres per hour: 1

# of Columbia acres: 299 (rounded to 300 because I’m an English major soooo)

# of hours of Bacchanal: 7 hours (assuming an average pregame time of 10am and a pass-out time of 5pm)

Therefore, we can assume that there are 15 CAVA calls per hour.

More hard-hitting math after the jump



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It’s almost graduation season…

It’s already an accomplishment to be a student at Columbia University, but it is even a greater accomplishment to be named the top students of the Columbia College Class of 2017. Not only have these students put in the time and effort to do well in class, but they’ve gone the extra mile by doing some unbelievable things.

The honor of being the valedictorian of the CC Class of 2017 goes to Michael Abolafia, an English and comparative literature major. Abolafia has been praised by faculty of the Department of English and Comparative Literature. He has co-edited poetry collections and scholarly periodicals, and his writing has been published in the New York Daily News, Brooklyn Magazine, Edison Literary Review, and more. Abolafia has conducted research and has made major literary discoveries. He plans to continue his studies and research at Oxford next year. He will have the opportunity to speak at Columbia College Class Day on Tuesday, May 16.

Hui Yu Wong has been named salutatorian of the CC Class of 2017. Wong is an art history major with a concentration in anthropology. She speaks English, French, and Mandarin, and is currently studying German. Wong has been recognized as teh 2014-2017 Loke Cheng Kim Foundation Scholar for Art History, and has done internships through the American Federation of Arts, the Asia Art Archive in America, and Singapore’s National Gallery. She is currently planning events and workships for the O.P.E.N. Festival in Singapore.

For more information on Abolafia and Wong, check out Columbia College’s announcement.

Congratulations again to Michael Abolafia and Hui Yu Wong!

Image via Wikimedia Commons 



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This week’s ESC meeting was a little uneventful. The current council members shared event updates and touched upon the lack of funding from other student groups. The final moments of the meeting touched upon some successful initiatives during this past year. 

Yesterday evening, Engineering Student Council met for one final melancholic meeting with the current council’s members. However, this wasn’t too sad given the election of many current members to new roles within the upcoming ESC council. As such, this short meeting focused on a few updates, while the council members then transitioned from a group hug into explaining any transition information to the council members-elect.

Final Events Updates
The Residence Hall Leadership Organization (RHLO) is hosting its annual send-off on Butler Lawns, Thursday April 10th, between 5:00 and 8:00 PM. They’re going to have inflatables, a pseudo-dunk tank (which will be “less dangerous”), and other activities. Similarly, April 30th is SEAS the Day, which “will be huge.” There will be a waffle truck, Shake Shack, giveaways for flip flops, tank tops, and SEAS shirts, drinks, food, a “beach-ish theme,” and (hopefully) good weather.

More on ESC



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Wanna throw us a bone Cuomo?

Happening in the US: San Bernardino has experienced yet another shooting. The 53-year-old husband went to his wife’s work at a primary school and shot two students, his wife, and himself. The shooter, his wife, and a student are dead, and the other student remains in critical condition at a local hospital. (The Independent)

Happening in NYC: Governor Cuomo announced that by Fall of 2017, New York college students will be able to go to a SUNY or CUNY college or university for free. The only catch: they must stay in the state for the number of years that they received the free education. Sorry Columbia students, but no free college for you. (NY Times)

Happening on campus: Today from 12:15-2 pm in the International Affairs Building there will be a presentation,  Writing the Soviet South into the History of the Cold War and Decolonization. It’s open to everyone and is free!

Overheard: Person 1: “I wanna get married at Low.”

Person 2: “That’s weird. What if your husband went to Cornell?”

Person 1: “What an awful hypothetical.”

Music Pick: With this beautifully warm weather, get into the festival mode! Here’s Spotify’s Ultimate Festival Guide 2017 to kick off your day.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

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