Daily Archive: May 2, 2017

May

2

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Houston, we don’t want Keenan to leave.

Taking some time off of studying? Blast off into another installment of Senior Wisdoms featuring the stellar Keenan Albee!

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Keenan Albee, SEAS, Mechanical Engineering, Boring, MD (Yes, it exists.)

Claim to fame: I was one of the founders and served as Co-President for the Columbia Space Initiative (shout-out to Julia and the space bois). We like to launch rockets, test tools at NASA, and send Roaree to altitudes where no sensible lion should go. I also helped set up Columbia’s Makerspace in its early days, though there are loads of talented people that have contributed more to the space since then. I even used to write for Bwog for a bit. Otherwise I’ve been burrowed in the depths of Mudd doing engineering things.

Where are you going? Heading to California for a bit, then starting my SM/PhD in Course 16 at MIT, then Mars?

via a Bwocket ship?

May

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Butler 209 will be hosting at least one thing this finals season.

A team of five sophomores from Columbia College and the School of Engineering and Applied Science is currently on course to endow the entrances to Butler 209 with bidirectional movement sensors to collect data for Seatz, a new Columbia Libraries seat-tracking app. An older app, CU Density, utilized WiFi data via campus routers to estimate the available space in various well-traveled areas, but has been plagued over the past years with spotty technical support, glitches, and UI issues.

Seatz, which instead utilizes data assembled from Raspberry Pi units and small processors installed at various doorways, will incorporate machine learning programs to analyze incoming data and estimate the capacity of each Library room. The largest challenge in such an endeavor, Project Leads Deniz Ulcay (SEAS ’19) and Lora Beltcheva (CC ’19) recounted in an interview this afternoon, involves the number of students who leave their materials in a room immediately after placing their belongings at an open space. While the bidirectional motion sensors will accurately record the number of students who have entered and exited the room, this statistic alone may not accurately imply how full the room is.

Ulcay’s team believes they “can statistically work around this,” given Butler Library’s Administration partnership with Ulcay in this project so far. In conjunction with the data analysis from the motion sensors, Butler Library’s VP for Digital Programs and Technology Services Robert Cartolano and Interim Librarian for Collections and Services Barbara Rockenbach have offered to collect real-time data on occupancy during Seatz’ beta testing period. “The libraries are trying to do a lot of stuff to destress students,” they explained, and “they’ve been quite supportive so far.”

We asked for a banana picture for size reference

May

2

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We know Butler doesn’t look like this, but it’s nice to dream right?

Today seems like the perfect day to get free stuff in the most unusual of places! Butler’s Room of Requirement has suddenly appeared and knows exactly what you need. In Butler from 6-10 pm tonight, Stressbusters will be in Butler to give free neck and back rubs! We know that your nose will be in a book for most of the day, but Bwog loves you, wants to take care of you and see you do well on your finals too. So take some time to get a massage and just relax in room 203. We know that finals are hard and scary, but you can get through it. Columbia, we believe in you.

Image via Flickr

May

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Early this afternoon, Barnard students and staff received an email from Interim President and COO Rob Goldberg on a new Council on Diversity and Inclusion. This Council is being established as a result of the Presidential Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion’s work over the past year. Its goals include to “expand the dialogue about diversity, inclusion and equity” and “advise Barnard’s senior leadership and the Board of Trustees on ways to create a more inclusive community.” If this sounds a bit vague, you can read the Council’s charter for more elaboration.

The new Council will consist of three students (representing the classes of 2018, 2019, and 2020), three faculty members (representing tenured, non-tenured, and renewed and renewable faculty), two administrative staff members, two collective bargaining unit staff members, two trustees, and two alumni. The students will serve one-year renewable terms, while all other members will serve one- to three-year renewable terms. Current plans are for the Council to meet on Thursdays starting on September 14, with times rotating between 9 to 10:30 am and 4 to 5:30 pm.

Nominations for the Council can be made from today until May 15 on this Google form. The committee members will then be selected by Interim President Goldberg and Debra Minkoff, sociology professor, Dean for Faculty Diversity and Development, co-chair of the Task Force, and initial chair of the Council. Any questions about the Council can be directed to presidentsoffice@barnard.edu.

Read Goldberg’s full email after the jump

May

2

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Look at all of that money that you won’t have!

This week’s SGA meeting closed out the semester. The meeting mainly focused on the financial standing of Barnard and also addressed students’ concerns over the tuition increase. For our high quality education, we’re really paying up for it. 

We’ve made it: the last student council meeting of the semester. At last night’s SGA meeting, our fearless Reps were really just ready to be done. And the newly-elected members of next year’s Council were there, lining the sides of the room and keeping the press company. Everybody was ready to just get out of there and wrestle somebody for their favorite seat in Butler. First, though, they had to spend an hour on everybody’s favorite topic: how Barnard spends its money.

Pay us more:

Interim President and Chief Operations Officer Robert Goldberg (RoGo? RGold? BertBerg? Please advise) and Vice President for Finance Eileen Di Benedetto joined the Rep Council to discuss the college’s finances and field student questions. Goldberg did most of the talking, with some clarifications from Di Benedetto. Most of what he said was a repetition of the last time he visited SGA back in November before he gained a fancier title and some spiffy new glasses. In short: Barnard does not have a lot of money, but it’s enough. “We’re in a pretty optimistic moment financially,” he assured, “but the money is still tight.”

The discussion then turned to the recent 4.2% tuition increase that was announced to students last week. The questions asked were polite and reasonable, but everybody seemed a bit miffed. Students sought assurances that their money was going to the right places. Goldberg did his best to assuage fears, noting that the raise represented “real-world fact of life costs,” such keeping up with faculty raises, and that the raise is not singularly because of the recent adjunct faculty union agreement. “It’s a pressure,” he admitted, “but it’s not the pressure.”

More on SGA after the jump

May

2

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Rage for the wage!

Need to feel empowered and confident in order to push yourself through finals? You’ve come to the right place. Bwog’s back today with more Senior Wisdoms. First one up, the amazing Nikita Singareddy! 

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Nikita Mary Singareddy, Columbia College. History major with a Statistics concentration. Lived all over (MI, MA, GA) but born and raised in Melbourne, Australia.

Claim to fame: Known for being short. Also interning too much (*cough* Koch Industries *cough*), leading the progressive Roosevelt Institute, fighting for $15 and a union, advising the Office of Student Conduct, and writing a Spec column. I went to Andover and still get grief for it. I run a pretty irreverent, pretty political Twitter account (@singareddynm) and was blocked by Martin Shkreli before it was cool.

Where are you going? The family just moved to Chicago, so I’ll be interning (see, I told you) this summer for the Department of Commerce with a focus on IoT, blockchain, and autonomous vehicles. I’m also planning a road trip along the western seaboard with my boyfriend. Then I’ll be back in Astoria – with Karim! – to consult for IBM.

The Koch Brothers!

May

2

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Getting up close and personal

Orgo Night in Butler 209 from Fall 2015.

This morning, Bwog received a tip from the CU Marching Band. Attached was a letter from the CUMB addressed to Ann Thornton as well as the Columbia community, demanding change after last semester’s act of censorship by the school which kicked the Band out of Butler 209. In their letter, CUMB stated its grievances yet again: Columbia tradition is fading, this act of censorship was neither negotiated nor discussed, and trying to get rid of Orgo Night proves that the administration is “actively trying to silence [their] voices.” According to CUMB, Ann Thornton has advocated for frisbee parties in the library, blatantly disregarding the Orgo Night debacle. Also, when CUMB alumni began creating a pamphlet in defense of the Columbia tradition, Thornton along with other administrators released a statement that claimed that they were collaborating with students for Orgo Night, which the Band claims to be false.

While the future of Orgo Night might remain uncertain, one thing seems clear: CUMB is not going down without a fight. Want to see the letter for yourself? You know what to do.

The full text of the letter is after the jump.

May

2

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Soon enough Columbia, soon enough.

Let’s face it: you’re tired, overworked, and for some reason you can’t seem to get your shit together and study. If you’re desperately searching for some excuse to fuck around  just one more time, then you’re in luck! On the Barnard Lawn (between Barnard Hall and Diana) there will be frozen custard and lemonade for free from our future neighbors, Shake Shack! It’s going to be pretty chill with nice weather, great food, and WBAR dropping some sweet beats, so save some time for self care and join in on the festivities today from 12-2:30 pm. The first hour is reserved for Barnard students, but don’t worry Columbia, we’ll try to save some food for the rest of you. Get there while supplies last kids. Custard, ice cream, music: treat yo’ self!

Image via Flickr

May

2

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There’s really nothing else to day besides believe in yourself.

Time to carpe diem and hit those books! Bwog is here to change things up for the last two weeks of the spring semester, presenting its first installment of Bwog in Bed, kindly nudging you to get out of bed and end the semester on a high note!
Bwogline: There appears to be a massive and mysterious die-off of humpback whales off the east coast. While some have appeared to hit into boats and died of blunt force trauma, the cause of death for the majority remain uncertain. (NY Times)

Study tip: Start studying now for that test in the middle of next week. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Music: Whether you need to be reminded of home, need something relaxing to listen to, or have to put some time aside to meditate, relaxing nature sounds are a good way to go.

Procrastination: Trying not to binge-watch during finals? Commit just 15 minutes of your day to some of the best scenes of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia instead. It’s good for a laugh.

Overheard: “You have a nudely white boy problem.”

Image via Pixabay

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