Daily Archive: September 12, 2017

Sep

12

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These alumnae got out and stayed out

SGA is back – complete with short meetings, free Pinkberry, and discussions that our Barnard Bearoness Dassi Karp will concisely cover, so that you don’t need to make your way to the Diana dining room on Monday nights yourself.

After a long summer of waiting, Barnard’s Student Government Association is back! Except… your Bold Beautiful Bureaucrats didn’t get straight to business as usual. Instead of, you know, governing, the Rep Council welcomed three Barnard alumnae to sit on a panel and discuss their college experiences and the time they spent working in student government.

The guests – Binta Brown, BC’95; Lara Avsar, BC’11; and Jyoti Menon BC’01 –  came with impressive resumes and true Barnard pride. They each served on the SGA as students. Brown now sits on the Board of Trustees, Menon is the President of the Alumnae Association, and Avsar has published a children’s book about a young DSpar (“it’s a passion project,” she said). These women were there to share wisdom and reminisce about the good old days, but mostly they just humblebragged. Their conversation, peppered with interruptions from their fellow panelists and full of laughter, covered everything from Snapchat (“I deleted it from my phone when I realized it stopped being popular with young people,” said Brown) to how great the nineties were (“We could let whoever we wanted come in to our dorm room,”Brown boasted. She continued, “There weren’t diversity issues necessarily… everything was very easy, very calm). Some things haven’t changed – Menon remembered that one of the biggest issues during her time on SGA was Barnard’s swipe policy, which remains unsolved.

In short: SGA’s meeting was taken over by some excited and surely well-meaning alums, who were good at talking about themselves and didn’t have much of anything useful to share. Here’s to hoping that next week our student Reps take back control.

Processional via the Barnard alumni site

Sep

12

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Our professors during office hours

We’re officially one week into the semester now – we’ve had all of our first classes, and all of our professors have had their shots at first impressions. These opening remarks range from the curious, to the sad, to the distressingly relatable.

Rashid Khalidi, History of the Modern Middle East: “I know sleep is more important for you than anything else, except maybe sex, so please try to drag your tired carcasses here for lecture.”

John Glendenning, Statistics & Research Design: “There’s no textbook for this course… I’m doing that in part because textbooks are ridiculously expensive.”

Achille Varzi, Metaphysics: “Do you know why kangaroos are called kangaroos?”

Irena Klepfisz, Contemporary American Jewish Woman Writers: “If you don’t understand the reading, it’s possible the author just isn’t a good writer.”

James Applegate, Earth, Moon, and Planets: “Office hours are usually the loneliest part of my life.”

Gil Hochberg, Theory & Culture: “Claude Levi-Strauss needed an editor. White men wrote too much. This could have been 10 pages.”

Hisham Matar, Fiction Writing: “Some people say they’re good with names, but bad with faces. Some say they’re good with faces, but bad with names. I am bad with both.”

Natasha Lightfoot, The Modern Caribbean: “You can’t do a film review of Pirates of the Caribbean.

Adam Cannon, Intro to Java: So many good remarks, we gave him his own post section last week.

Sad reacts only via publicdomainpictures.net

Sep

12

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Artistic representation of ESC meetings

Most of last night’s Engineering Student Council meeting consisted of discussions regarding resolutions, goals, and plans initiated at the end of last year or during the Summer. Of particular interest were informal resolutions on logistical changes and Fall elections. And, of course, ESC Bureau Chief Finn Klauber was back on hand to cover everything that went down.

Logistical Changes

If you try to keep up with each meeting of ESC using their livestream, you may have noticed that no live recording of the Council appeared last night. This was no oversight. According to President Aida Lu, the idea of the weekly livestream was “to increase accessibility of our discussion in ESC and general body meetings.”

However, as ESC meetings are already open, meeting notes are (allegedly) posted online each week, and few people actually utilize the livestream, the Executive Board has decided to suspend use of a livestream on a trial run basis. President Lu specifically claims that a lack of lively and diverse discussion in recent meetings could be attributed to the use of the livestream as “[it] might be making us more aware of the words we’re saying in meeting.” Of course, continuing ESC meetings after taking away a major avenue of transparency, regardless of the reasoning, may seem somewhat archaic—especially in comparison to CCSC. The presence of a livestream has not prevented previous statements of a controversial nature from being made by various council members, making it hard to understand exactly which parts of ESC’s discussions a livestream is consistently repressing.

And what’s going on with fall elections?

Sep

12

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They used all one font so you know it’s ~official~

If you stood in that exhaustive line for dinner at the Barnard Block Party last Tuesday, or even just glanced at the lawn outside the Diana, you probably noticed a table full of colorful T-shirts that various administrators and administrative hangers-on were shoving at students. Those shirts were Barnard’s annual advertising push for Convocation – that time-honored event in which all professors are required to wear unflattering robes and the first-years whose electric candles don’t work are cursed with bad lottery numbers for the rest of college.  (Students who attend the event are supposed to wear their new class color shirt.)

The next incarnation of this hallowed tradition will take place today, September 12, at 4:30 pm in Riverside Church. This year’s Convocation will be particularly notable, as it will be the first time President Beilock addresses the full Barnard community; all Barnard classes held around 4 pm tomorrow have been cancelled so that students can attend the event. The speeches will have a bit of a psychology theme, as President Beilock is expected to speak about her experience in psychology research, and the featured speaker is Carol Dweck, BC ’67, a leading scientist in the field of motivation and professor of psychology at Stanford.

At the same time this afternoon, the Barnard Contingent Faculty Union will be holding a “counter-convocation” rally outside the Barnard main gates. This rally will be in support of Georgette Fleischer, a leader of the union who was not reappointed as a professor this semester.

Convocation invitation via Barnard (Dean Hinkson’s email)

Sep

12

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We can feel our window of free time shrinking…

Happening in the world: As pressure has built on North Korea through sanctions by the US and China, Russians are weakening this economic power. Anonymous sources report oil and petroleum being smuggled into North Korea via Vladivostok, in the Russian far-east. (Washington Post)

Happening in the nation: A settlement has been reached on the rights to a selfie taken by a monkey named Naruto. It is not yet public knowledge to whom the photo legally belongs (the monkey? the photographer? PETA?), but hopefully that information will be released soon. (LA Times)

Happening in NYC:  A cyclist was run over by a dump truck yesterday at a particularly dangerous intersection in Midtown. Luckily, nearby bystanders pulled the cyclist out of from under the truck, and she was brought to Bellevue Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. (DNAinfo New York)

Happening on Campus: A new art exhibit is opening tonight at 6 pm in the Harriman Institute! This exhibit, Through the Eyes of Durdy Bayramov: Turkmen Village Life, 1960–80s, showcases photographs of Durdy Bayramov’s life growing up in Turkmenistan. Definitely worth schlepping to the twelfth floor of IAB for.

Overheard: On Low Steps: “I remember coming out. In kindergarten.”

Cracks in the concrete via publicdomainpictures.net

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