Daily Archive: October 31, 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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Pumpkin spiced pumpkin

It’s Halloweekend – the one weekend that has always provided you an excuse to dress up in some ridiculously exorbitant costume and party without the actual scariness and spook of the Halloween holiday. Or at least, that’s what you thought.

Dizzy from the spicy tequila mix you downed at your John Jay pregame, you walk into a Lambda party to find a huge crowd and blaring music. With some friends, you shove through the moving masses of people to grab a few cups of the frat’s “grape-flavored” (but only nominally) jungle juice, before Love on Top comes on the speakers. “This is our song!” you mouth to your best friend, and you both move to the dance floor. You’re having a great time dancing the night away, and then, you see it.

A group of your three……….FroSci classmates?

Wait, that can’t be right. Where are the terrible, terrible Powerpoint animations of Bob and Alice demonstrating the rules of special relativity? Where are the iClicker questions evenly distributed throughout the lecture? Where are this week’s key questions? Where are the back-of-the-envelope calculations? WHERE ARE THEY?!

You’ve only ever interacted with these classmates in the pure, holy world of academia; the possibility that you would have to interact with them in this tainted context of some dingy frat party is quite honestly, spooky as hell. You start to panic and fall back into the crowd in an attempt to blend in and avoid being part of this mess. It doesn’t work. Instead, something even spookier happens: you make eye contact.

As your classmates start approaching you from across the room, you swear you hear the Jaws movie theme song start playing. It only gets scarier as you realize the full horror of the situation. Is that a beer can they’re holding? Why is one of them shirtless? In the name of the academy, is there anything right and pure left in this world anymore? Finally, one of them says to you, “Oh, hey! You’re from FroSci, right?”

No. You did not come out during Halloweekend only to be recognized as a messy bitch by your classmates two days from now in lecture. No fucking way. You tell yourself that you will not be the stereotypical character from horror movies who runs towards the demon-haunted attic rather than away from it. You are getting yourself out of this situation, and fast. You shrug halfheartedly in response to the question and instead make a beeline for the basement. Down the weirdly white-lit stairs you run, like your life depends on it (because it does), almost tripping on Bud Light cans and a goddamn sock along the way. Finally, you reach the sticky floors of the basement, comfortably shielded from your classmates’ view, and you sigh in relief. You’re safe…for now.

Image via Evan Swigart 

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

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