Daily Archive: October 26, 2017

Oct

26

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Since the beginning of this semester, two Barnard RAs have been fired by Barnard ResLife. After learning about the ambiguous relationship between ResLife and RAs, Deputy Editor Victoria Arancio explores how RAs have struggled to be heard by administration. 

Since February, Bwog has been following the ongoing problems between Barnard Resident Assistants (RAs) and Barnard Residential Life and Housing (ResLife). Bwog recently reached out to several current and former RAs, and sat down with Alicia Lawrence, Executive Director of ResLife, to understand the various perspectives. Many RAs have remained silent about their experiences and frustrations in fear of being terminated by Barnard ResLife. Of our four student sources, two are no longer RAs and two currently hold the position.

After hearing the accounts of several Resident Assistants, all sharing similar experiences, it is apparent that each RA struggles to make sense of their ambiguous relationship with ResLife. RAs, despite efforts in the past to increase communication and transparency with ResLife, continue to question their job security and fear speaking candidly about their hardships in the position. As two RAs have lost their positions and one resigned this semester, understanding the changes to the position is worthy of investigation since in the wake of talks reevaluating RAs’ responsibilities and compensation.

So, what is really expected of Barnard RAs? According to a Barnard RA, the position is inaccurately advertised. Despite ResLife’s efforts to recruit new students last year, interest in the position diminished in the wake of talks between RAs and ResLife. According to the 2017-2018 RA Position Expectations and the 2017- 2018 RA Statement of Acceptance & Understanding, the documents given to each RA, they are expected to foster a community and enhance the quality of life for their residents. This translates into floor programs, attending meetings and trainings, sharing shifts in on-call duty, and more. With the possibility of ResLife adding new initiatives during the year, the expectations of the job can change over time, and a former RA stated that there was, “absolutely no support for RAs besides other RAs.” Recently, months after Barnard students requested that changes be made to the position’s expectations, ResLife “burned through the waitlist” to replace the vacant RA positions after three RAs terminated their employment.

More after the jump

Oct

26

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A much cuter way of describing what’s actually going on here.

Earlier this month, transgender filmmaker and activist Reina Gossett took to Instagram to allege that David France, creator of the Netflix documentary “The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson”, used her research to make his film. The post begins, “this week, while I’m borrowing money to pay rent, David France is releasing his multimillion dollar Netflix deal on Marsha P. Johnson.” France’s film examines the death of Marsha P. Johnson, a black trans woman known for her activism and role in the Stonewall Riots of 1969. Gossett has spent years researching and archiving content about Johnson and her fellow activist Sylvia Rivera; research she would later use to create the documentary Happy Birthday, Marsha! with collaborator Sasha Wortzel.

A statement released by the co-directors reads, “In the spring of 2013, we submitted a video application to the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership seeking funding for our documentary. This is the moment we believe David France first learned about our film. The Executive Director of the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, Jaime Grant, spoke to France about our project, urging him to put his support behind a trans-led film that was in progress. As Jaime Grant notes, not only did he choose not to, he said he was the right one for the project. Grant states:… ‘I told David about Reina and Sasha’s project and urged him to support it since they had been working on it for years. In my mind, in terms of the social justice leadership aspect of the work — Reina’s life experience and activism closely mirrored Sylvia and Marsha’s lives and work and hers was a project where trans women of color were telling their own stories. David responded by saying that the ‘right person should make it’ — meaning him.’”

More from Gossett after the jump…

Oct

26

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Talk about power!

This windy Wednesday, distinguished Athena Fellow and Fox News commentator Jehmu Greene came to Barnard to talk about the status of women in politics. She recounted her journey from high school voting advocate to progressive voice on Fox and her recent run for Democratic National Committee chair to Erin Vilardi, the founder of Vote, Run, Lead, a platform training and empowering women to run for office.

On Fox, Greene is the voice of the left, opposing the conservatives who she admits are “fabulous communicators.” She acknowledged some shortcomings of the Democratic Party’s current communication abilities, particularly their intense focus on hard facts rather than emotions. According to Greene, they lack the passion her colleagues on Fox possess. Bill Clinton described her role as such a visible member of the Democratic Party to counter this perception, to convey the “sparkle, tone, and smile” of the party’s platform. Rather than debate technicalities with the steadfastly conservative hosts and guests, her job is to appeal to the moderates watching in the hopes of swaying them to her side. The most effective way of doing this, she frequently mentioned, is by knowing your audience.

More about our government after the jump

Oct

26

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Recently, I asked my roommate what he thinks some slang words and acronyms mean that he wasn’t familiar with. Here’s how you’d use his definitions in a sentence.

An artistic rendering of a verbal achievement.

FOMO 

My roommate’s guess: “Forming mozarella”

“Yeah, working at the pizza place is really fun. The dough spinning is easy but I’m having a lot more trouble with FOMO, so my coworker has to help me out.”

What it actually means: “Fear of missing out”

“Every Friday night I’m not at 1020 or EC I feel such massive FOMO that I just drink wine in my room until I pass out.”

Stan

My roommate’s guess: “Pakistan”

“Can’t believe we found Osama in Stan, dude.”

What it actually means: “Am obsessed fan / to obsess over something or someone”

“I stan Sunil Gulati so hard.”

fr

My roommate’s guess: “Free response”

“I think I aced the mc’s but the fr’s really meated my mondays.”

What is actually means: “For real”

No, man, yeah, fr, fr.

Softboy/Softboi

My roommate’s guess: “Someone who’s very plushy and… fat?”

“Baymax from Big Hero 6 is the ultimate softboy”

What it actually means: “Like a fuckboy, but more *sensitive*”

“I knew he was a softboy when I got to his room and saw the vintage record player.”

Oct

26

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A poster featuring a breakdancing man that says "Fight the Power: a global conversation exploring hip-hop and global consciousness."

Row Row Fight the Power

When an all-star lineup of hip-hop dancers gathered in Columbia’s new Lenfest Center for the Arts, the Committee on Global Thought promised “a global conversation exploring hip-hop and social consciousness” in their “Fight the Power” event. The panel discussion, however, failed to live up to its name. While the performers adequately discussed their personal experiences with hip-hop, they and their moderator failed to properly discuss social consciousness and the dance genre’s ability to rebel.

The panel was led by Mamadou Diouf, the department chair of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (MESAAS). Joining him were some big names in hip-hop dance, each of whom was accompanied in their introduction by a video. First up was Jonzi D, the founder and Artistic Director of Breakin’ Convention, an event which was heavily advertised at Wednesday night’s talk. Talking next was Salah, a “living legend in the world of hip-hop dance.” Multiple panelists pointed to Salah, the solo-performing French dancer, as an inspiration. Following Salah was Lanre Malaolu, co-founder of the competitive dance group and established theater company Protocol. Last to speak was another French performer, the founder of the dance group Yeah Yellow, Bee D. The panelists combined to provide a multitude of experiences on beginnings and success in hip-hop.

The panel got off on the wrong foot when Diouf’s first question became impossible to discern. He asked to “actually have a conversation around the creative tension between the very fact that hip-hop culture was born in a specific place, expanded all over the world, and has been shaped and reshaped by different places in history,” but proceeded to tack on a few more questions onto the already complex topic. By the time Diouf turned the mic over, Salah was visibly confused. When he asked what exactly to answer, Diouf responded, tongue-in-cheek, “You take them the way you dance. Improvise.” Most of the performers discussed their origins in hip-hop in response. Many admitted that they started off by copying other performers they saw, until the hip-hop community began to chastise them for “biting,” or plagiarizing. “We all do that [biting] at the start, because you have to,” explained Malaolu. “You have to peel through that to find who you are.”

Find out if they fought any more power after the jump.

Oct

26

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Happening Around The World: Heightened racial tensions and hostile relations with communist nations? It really is the 1950s all over again. North Korea has warned of a possible hydrogen bomb test over the Pacific Ocean, a threat that apparently should be taken “very seriously”. Just as a reminder, the h-bomb is 1,000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. (The Guardian)

Come on everyone, it isn’t even Halloween yet.

Happening In The US: Can we call it the Weinstein effect? More and more powerful men are facing and in some cases being fired over sexual assault allegations – including famed photographer Terry Richardson, who’s been cut off by Condé Nast, and former President George H.W. Bush. Listen, if even one good thing can come out of this awful mess, I’m all for it. (People, Deadspin)

Happening In NYC: Even though it hit above 70 this week, Bryant Park’s Winter Village is opening this Saturday. Head there before noon and get free hot chocolate, if you want to wait on an inevitable line for two hours. And we thought the Ferris milkshakes were bad. (Gothamist)

Happening At Columbia: CMTS’ fifth annual production of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” takes place in the Diana Oval tomorrow at 9 PM. Get your tickets here before they sell out!

Overseen:


An extremely uncomfortable Barnard alum pictured with a glowing DSpar. How’s 66th St. treating you, Debora? Wait, do you even take the subway?

America’s Best Winter Markets via Pinterest

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