Monthly Archive: October 2017

Oct

31

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Info on University Rules

Yesterday evening Bwog received copies of two letters written by Columbia faculty members, in support of students disciplined for protesting the Columbia University College Republicans (CUCR) Tommy Robinson event on October 10.

The letters are the latest in a range of efforts by students to defend themselves from what they view as unfair disciplinary action for a just and rule-abiding protest. Shortly after the protest and subsequent notice of disciplinary action, students circulated an online petition, which has received 4,850 signatures so far. On Monday, students released a statement of defense.

CUCR held another heavily protested event on Monday.

Jared Sacks, one of the 19 students facing disciplinary action, says the first letter is signed by Sulzbacher Professor of Law Katherine Franke, and “explains in detail why [these faculty members] were outraged by the way [students] were treated during the disciplinary process and how the rules administrator broke Columbia’s own rules…The letter was sent to the Rules Commmitee.”

The second letter says much the same thing, and is signed by over 100 Columbia faculty members. It, too, was sent to the Rules Committee, as well as to President Bollinger.

Read both letters below.

Oct

31

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Hypothesis: Having a desk aesthetic improves your theses proposal performance.

Two years ago, Bwog celebrated thesis season by compiling a list of ninety-five prospective senior thesis topics that we imagined a Columbia student somewhere in the bowels of Butler might be writing. Today, on the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing the original Ninety-Five Theses (or, the shitpost-that-launched-a-thousand-arguments-about-God) to the door of a church in Wittenburg, we present a brand new list. Good luck to all you seniors working hard on their own theses, and happy Halloween!

1. Bullshit: My Thesis

2. Gone, Baby, Gone: The Rise of Inter-Ethnic Kidnappings in the Post-Colonial Global South

3. Out, Brief Candle! How Long Each Scent of Yankee Candle Takes to Melt

4. Outlets in the Diana Cafe: A case study in resource partitioning and instraspecific competition

5. I.M. GAY: Expressions of Sexuality in 2000’s Chatroom Culture

6. Love and Other Mugs: The influence of Feminism and Erotocism in Post-Modern Pottery

7. Bye, Bye Birdie: How Our Obsession with House Music is Destroying the Song Patterns of Avian Species

8. 50 Shades of Khaki: The Evolution of Modern Men’s Fashion

9. Needle-wise: Are Vaccines to Blame for the Rise in Murderous Clown Plotlines?

10. The Plight of Flight: A Comparative Analysis of Aerodynamic Conspiracy Theories and Government Fear Tactics

11. One Small Step for Man: How Neil Armstrong’s Shoe Size Made Him the First Man on the Moon

You know how many more of these there are after the jump

Oct

31

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Trust the circle

Bwogger Zoe Metcalfe went to the second conversation in the third annual ‘framing’ series put on by Barnard College, the event covered a range of topics including art mediums and  the roles and responsibilities of artists. 

Monday night brought me across the street to the latest installment in a series of talks put on by the Barnard art history and visual arts departments. The lecture itself was actually a discussion, with a mix of professors, students, and artists sitting in an intimate circle. The conversation was facilitated by Lizzy De Vita BC ’08, and featured Finnish visual artistRiitta Ikonen and curator and sculptor Vanessa Thill BC’03.

Coming into the space, I was curious to see how they would connect art and climate, as they seemed like somewhat disparate topics topics to me. The take-away I got was about highlighting the relationship between the artist and the subject: in this case, nature. Ikonen shared how she got into art in the first place after not wanting to return home to the current black sands of Christmas in Finland, when in her youth it had been a white Christmas every year. That visceral disappointment inspired her to explore the way nature fits into our world today. Conversely, Thill focuses on the artificiality of human made substances, creating sculptures out of things like detergents and soaps, melting them together into a viscous substance, and watching them as they gain a life of their own. In those undulating currents, she sees weather patterns and clouds, tiny microcosms of nature trapped the very unnatural.

More after the jump

Oct

31

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You can take this book out for a whopping two hours if it’s on a reserve list (let’s be honest, 99% of your books are) YAY.

This week’s SGA met with Mujeres, furthering the notion that SGA is actually going to achieve stuff this semester and impressing our Barnard Bwogger Dassi Karp who covered the the range of issues presented at the meeting. 

Barnard’s Student Government Association is really stepping up its game this semester, bringing in student groups or administrators every week and coming up with actionable items for SGA to pursue. And this week was no different. Leaders and members of Mujeres, Barnard’s cultural support group for Latina students and allies, presented ways that they hope to work with SGA to further their constituency’s needs.

Most of what Mujeres advocated for involved supporting first-generation low-income students, as those are identities that many members of Mujeres also share. First, they spoke about Barnard’s Peer Academic Learning Program (PAL), which works to assist first-generation first-year students with the transition to college with meetings and advising sessions. Mujeres hopes to partner with PAL next year, but first needs to obtain funding to support paying new PALs.

More after the jump

Oct

31

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Happening Around the World: Instead of viewing current events with our normal gloom, on a lighter note, scandal has erupted in the U.K as a British MP is being investigated for violating ministerial code by asking his former assistant to purchase sex toys for him and a colleague. (The Guardian)

The White House

Happening in the U.S: Facebook have released figures ahead of a Senate hearing which highlight the level of impact ‘Russian-linked’ posts had on American users, with findings indicating up to 126 million Americans saw the 80,000 Russian-backed posts. (BBC)

Happening in NYC: A bill to lift the prohibition-era ban on ‘social dancing’ today is being brought before the City Council. If the Cabaret Law is repealed, New Yorkers can dance to their hearts’ content (or until the booze wears off) as the approximately 24,000 establishments that don’t have a Cabaret Licence will not be subjected to raids – at least not in the name of ‘social dancing’. (NYT)

Happening on Campus: If you have free time – in that case you’re remarkably lucky – head on over to Jerome Green Hall as the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment and the Columbia International Arbitration Association are co-hosting a talk with Professor Jan Dalhuisen, where he will discuss the complex role of international arbitrators.

Food of the Day: It’s that point in the semester where you’re slightly broke and slightly dead inside, so treat yourself to a trip to Tom’s since they have student discount from Monday ’til Wednesday.

Image via Russavia

Oct

31

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Once entering campus, the protesters convened on Low steps.

Students and city residents protested a Columbia University College Republicans event tonight featuring alt-right leader and Pizzagate conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich, culminating in the alleged arrest of a student protester. This event follows a similar talk by Tommy Robinson, which was met with protests for which several students are now facing disciplinary action.

Hosted by a group called the Liberation Coalition, protesters gathered at 124th and Morningside Avenue, and began marching down Amsterdam towards Columbia at 7:30 pm. To the beat of a drum, the group of protesters engaged in chants such as “Hey Columbia, don’t you know? White supremacy’s got to go,” “No justice, no peace, fuck these racist ass police,” and “Punch a Nazi in the face, every nation, every race.” As they marched, a few local Morningside Heights residents passing by joined in these chants.

As part of its free speech month, CUCR had invited Cernovich to talk about “The Rise of Alternative Media.” In his speech in the Lerner Party Space, Cernovich mostly discussed misreporting and conflicts of interests among reporters for such outlets as CNN and the New York Times and how the “fake news media” is anxious over the rise of alternative media figures such as himself. He also took questions, both from CUCR members and other guests, about his previous statements on women, claims about diversity, and other topics of interest.

In the lobby, the protest group communicated with a few protesters that had already been in Lerner before obstruction of the entrance began.

After reaching Lerner Hall, the protesters were not allowed into the building itself. The protesters instead chanted in the lobby of Lerner for the rest of the protest. In fact, between 8 to 11 pm, Public Safety and NYPD officers barred every Columbia student, whether affiliated with the protests or not, from entering Lerner Hall, unless he or she was a registered attendee of the CUCR event. Students already inside Lerner at the time of the event were barred from entering the Party Space as well; elevators were locked on upper floors, and guards were stationed in stairwells so that only custodial workers and cafeteria staff would have access to the lowest levels of Lerner. Administration had not previously notified students of tonight’s obstructions of Lerner spaces.

Furthermore, according to multiple eyewitness accounts and an attendee of the event itself, one protester was body-slammed and arrested by NYPD and Public Safety at the corner of Lerner Hall and Broadway. The protester, who is believed to be a student, had allegedly taken the phone of a pro-Trump supporter outside of Lerner Hall and ran, before being taken into custody by the police. Witnesses, claiming that they had video of the event and the names of officers, also believe that the arrested protester is currently held at the 26th precinct.

More photos after the jump

Oct

30

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Innocent times, when Lerner space was the hot topic

Innocent times, when Lerner space was the hot topic

It’s the return of three hour CCSC meetings! Bwogger Nadra Rahman reports on Republicans, retorts, and well-meaning reports. Oh, and there are a few updates on Lerner space.

The Columbia University College Republicans (CUCR) have come under fire this semester, drawing attention for hosting white nationalist Tommy Robinson at a heavily-protested campus event, and for planning an event with the alt-right figure Mike Cernovich—controversially, protesters of the Robinson event are currently being disciplined by the University. In response to these actions, the Black Students Organization (BSO) drafted a statement asking the Student Governing Board (SGB) to derecognize CUCR and redistribute its funding to “SGB groups who are targets of this hateful ideology” such as Muslim, women/femme-focused, queer and trans, or people of color-focused groups. Last night, BSO asked CCSC to endorse their statement or consider entering into the SGB adjudication process alongside BSO.

Ultimately, CCSC did neither, but took a meaningful step in resolving to file a report on CUCR that will be reviewed by the Student Group Adjudication Board.

And how did they come to that decision?

Oct

30

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The entrance of Butler, otherwise known as the crime scene in question.

There are some things about Columbia that are just so inexplicably familiar: the sun beaming on Low steps, the worn wooden tables of John Jay Dining Hall, and perhaps most recognizably – that powerful gust of wind when you open the doors to Butler.

Yeah, you know which one. It’s such a quintessentially shared experience among Columbia students, it might as well be part of the Core. On the rare occasion, it’s a gentle breeze. Other times, you feel like you’re facing a literal Dyson hair dryer head-on, or maybe being personally targeted by a bag of winds let loose by Aeolus the wind god himself.

After some investigation, I discovered that the Butler gust of wind originates from the hidden air-conditioning units positioned right next to the double doors (see the picture above). But this answer seemed to be unsatisfactory to justify the sheer power of mph that I am simply accosted by every day. So, I took it upon myself to generate some potential answers to this everlasting, deeply unsettling question – why the heck is that gust of wind in Butler so powerful?

    1. It’s the hot air from students bullshitting essays being released. In physics, the law of conservation of energy says that the total energy of an isolated system must remain constant. Butler is definitely isolated, so the hot, hot air that I have personally typed up as a sorry excuse for a “LitHum essay” in the past must have had some consequence on the air system.
    2. It’s one final warning from the ghosts of students past. Butler is like quicksand – once you enter, it’s hard to come back as the same person. Who better understands this than the Columbia students of the past? Their ghosts are warning us that entering could impart potentially life-changing consequences on our lives, and are communicating with us through the only way they know how – the winds.
    3. Columbia ramped up the wind power of the Butler entrance AC as part of a health initiative. According to scientific studies, occasional refreshing stimuli can help students study more effectively, and Columbia, in an effort to turn students away from coffee, has decided to implement increased wind power at the entrance of Butler to further improve student efficiency.
    4. Climate change. The Butler library winds fit all the descriptions of climate change. Unusual weather patterns? Check. Adverse effects on the general population? Check. Climate change is real, y’all, and happening on our very own campus. If you need further evidence to prove your climate-change-denying relatives wrong, just invite them next year to Family Weekend and take them to Butler.
    5. The ventilation system is robust to get all the sex smells out of the stacks. This is just another reason out of many for you to please, oh dear god, stop having sex in the stacks! Stacks sex, although it may seem exciting and unusual and just so Columbia, ultimately contributes to a larger problem: the massive gust of air that attacks students every time they step foot into Butler. Please, please, just think of the children.
    6. Aeolus, the actual wind god, has cursed the Columbia campus. If you’ve taken LitHum and/or read The Odyssey, you know exactly who I’m talking about. If you haven’t, Aeolus is a god who helps Odysseus by giving him a bag of winds, which Odysseus’ crew later fucks up by accidentally opening it. The powerful air that blows once you enter Butler is definitely equivalent to a bag of divine winds, so a very real and very plausible answer could be that Aeolus has simply cursed Columbia by magnifying the power of the Butler AC.
    7. It’s just a really big fart. Nothing more to add on this.

Above: Live footage of me entering Butler Library.

Oct

30

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A dumb fucking ambulance

At least three times a day, whatever I’m doing is interrupted by that new, moaning siren sound. What the fuck is it?

You know what I’m talking about. It’s high-pitched, like a siren, but it’s long, drawn-out, and sad. It doesn’t sound urgent at all. If I heard that siren, I wouldn’t pull my car over to the side of the road.

The reason it’s so fucking annoying is that it’s not a typical, regular, New York City siren, so I can’t just tune it out. But it also doesn’t sound siren-enough to signal an actual emergency.

It’s a new sound, and it only started this semester. Why was it introduced?

I finally caught a glimpse of the siren source the other day, walking home from class. There it was: an ambulance, crawling up Broadway, with lights flashing, and that stupid fucking siren sound blaring from the speakers. Was this ambulance in a rush? Didn’t sound like it. Were cars moving out of its way? Nope. If this were a real emergency, that would be a really dumb fucking siren to use.

So, I want to know, whose idea was it to start using these sirens, why are they used, and when will it stop?

Please comment below if you have answers or, like me, you’re belligerently annoyed. Everyone else on Bwog thinks I’m crazy!

Toy ambulance via clipartview.com

Oct

30

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A visual representation of every bathroom in every dorm this weekend.

While Bwog is known for getting it on and having a wild time over the weekend, there isn’t a better weekend to go over-the-top than Halloweekend. Whether you’re attempting to recover from your weekend antics or need a good laugh, these Bwoglines are written and curated for you. So sit back, relax, and enjoy our shitty endeavors.

Bwog and Halloween:

  • Got kicked out of the Spirit Halloween store with a friend for trying on a costume in the manger’s room (we thought it was a fitting room).
  • Went to a low-key Halloween party with friends from high school; was the only one who showed up in a costume.
  • Threw a Halloween party with alcohol leftover from my suitemate’s Bat Mitzvah eight years ago.
  • My teenage self went to a Halloween house party in Brooklyn with too many 30+ year olds.
  • Did a 9-block walk of shame on Saturday morning in a dinosaur onesie. Two firefighters said they like my outfit: one said “Where’s the party,” while the other said “The party was last night and she’s just getting back.” I felt attacked.
  • Went to a Halloween party in bed stuy where a kid dressed up as LSD and was selling LSD!
  • Went to a NYU Halloween party and no less than 5 people dressed up as characters from indie documentaries.
  • Asked my mom to drive for over an hour just to bring me a sweatshirt for a Halloween costume; not only did she agree to do it, she also brought me lunch.  I love my mom.

More Halloweekend stories here.

Oct

30

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We already deal with the shitty pizza at Ferris outside of Halloweekend. Please do not dress up as it.

Written by Idris O’Neill, BC ’21

Year after year, we see the same slew of hastily thrown together, tired frat boy costumes and lazily constructed black cat outfits with makeup borrowed from your suitemate. It’s time to throw away your prop red solo cup, pastel shorts, and backwards caps and really step your game up. What’s a creative, CU-relevant costume you can rock this Halloween? Unfortunately, Bwog doesn’t have the answer to this. But what we do have are some suggestions of what not to do.

WALL STREET HUSBAND

What’s scarier: the men’s sports teams of Columbia dominating Hewitt during Meatless Monday or how much Barnard hates unions? Trick question – they’re both terrifying but only one is a plausible Halloween costume commentating on the campus’s political climate. This Halloween, opt for something less heavy-handed. The wound of DSpar is too fresh.

THE TENSION ON CAMPUS DURING ISRAELI WEEK
As terrifying as this one is, it’s not exactly the most pleasant thing to rock at an EC party. And it’s certainly not the kind of thing you want to discuss three cups into the mysterious Halloween-themed punch. Rejected for being too controversial. Also not tangible.

More ideas that may fuck you over.

Oct

30

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Columbia executes a tackle against Dartmouth

Barring brief periods in the sixties and mid-nineties, the Columbia Lions were consistently the doormat of the Ivy League, a team only a mother could love. This season, however, the team has gone 6-1, and no one is more excited for the team than the men who saw the program through some of its darkest times. Staff writer Abby Rubel spoke to four football alumni about the current team’s success and what it means for Columbia.

“Everybody used to want Columbia as their homecoming game because they were assured of a win at homecoming,” said Doug Jackson, CC ’75 and former running back for the Lions. But “it’s not going to be that way any longer.”

In his time as a Lion, Jackson set records in season rushing yards, career rushing yards, and tied the record for season rushing touchdowns. Columbia won only four games, including a spectacular win against Penn in 1975, in which Jackson scored three of Columbia’s four touchdowns to lead the team to a 28-25 victory. He spent time in the NFL with the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys, then turned to coaching.

John Witkowski, CC ’83 and former starting quarterback, remembered, “We were exciting to watch because we threw the ball all over the place.” The problem was that “we didn’t have a lot of depth” so “if anybody got hurt, it was hard to come up with something.”

Witkowski was one of Columbia’s greatest quarterbacks, despite winning only three games in his career. He still holds the top spots in season and career pass completions, passing yardage, and touchdown passes. Like Jackson, Witkowski went on to play professionally, becoming a Detroit Lion after graduation.

Reflections on the team’s success and why it matters after the jump

Oct

30

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Happening Around the World: With Catalonia now declaring independence for itself, Spain, its jealous older brother, has decided to take control of all institutions in Catalonia in order to prevent them from successfully starting their own country. This happens after months of conflict and weeks of independence talks and referendums. (BBC)

She was taken away from us too soon… gone but not forgotten.

Happening in the US: After Trump’s antics over the past few weeks, more and more individuals are beginning to see through his bullshit. A recent joint NBC-Wall Street Journal study reports that Trump’s approval rating has hit another all-time low, with only 38% of the nation supporting him. (NBC)

Happening in NYC: The Bryant Park Winter Village is now open! A holiday tradition in the city, the park has been transformed to a winter wonderland with 176 vendors, a free ice-skating rink (rental skates require fees), and a bunch of holiday cheer. (TimeOut)

Happening on Campus: Quarto Magazine, Columbia’s literary magazine, will be holding “Heal and Resist in the Face of White Nationalism” from 8 to 11 PM in Dodge 501. This event intends to combat the College Republicans’ decision to invite Mike Cernovich onto campus as a guest speaker for their Free Speech Month. 

What I’m Listening To: Pon De Replay – Rihanna (what a throwback)

Overseen: A sad umbrella suffering under the all-day torrential downpour that scared the fuck out of this young Californian.

Umbrella in the same shape as my GPA via Bwog Staff

Oct

30

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It’s that time of year again: a bunch of theater nerds send us an email at midnight announcing the people who have been budgeted an exorbitant amount of money to put together yet another mediocre Varsity Show. All we have to say is that our left titty could probably write a funnier show. Here’s the full creative team:

Director: Hazel Rosenblum-Sellers (CC ’19): Assistant Director, V122; Publicity Manager, V123
Producer: Emeline Bookspan (BC ’20): Assistant Stage Manager, V123
Writers: Shreyas Manohar (CC ’18): Actor, V122; Hayley Tillett (BC ’19)
Composer: Simon Broucke (CC ’19): Composer, V123
Lyrics: Alex Saltiel (GS ’19)
Choreographer: Christine Sedlack (BC ’19)
Production Designer: Yilun Ying (CC ’18): Assistant Set Designer, V122; Set Designer, V123
Stage Manager: Julia Zeh (CC ’18): Assistant Lighting Designer, V122

Oct

30

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Students protest against Tommy Robinson outside Lerner on October 10.

Nineteen Columbia students have collectively released a statement of defense to Columbia administrators, who are currently disciplining the students for their protests of white nationalist Tommy Robinson speaking at a CUCR-sponsored event.

Sixteen of the 19 students are still undergoing investigation for their alleged misconduct, and are, according to one member, currently stuck in a “disciplinary purgatory.” Furthermore, before the students’ meetings with administration, Provost John Coatsworth had banned them from attending future CUCR events.

Citing video footage, the students also point out that they had engaged in discussion respectfully during the event, and that the CUCR representatives had in fact allowed them to stand in the front of the room. The statement alludes to multiple sections of the Rules of University Conduct, in order to both clear their actions and to label CUCR’s actions as a “genuine threat of harassment.”

The students plan to defy the ban and protest the CUCR-sponsored Mike Cernovich speech tomorrow.

The full statement is included below:

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