Daily Archive: November 2, 2017

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“Awakening Our Democracy: Free Speech on Campus” was a panel that took place yesterday, Wednesday, November 1st at Columbia Journalism School. Bwoggers Aliya Schneider and Kiana Taghavi attended the event. Read what they have to say, and check out some photos.

On Wednesday, the Office of University Life hosted a conversation with moderator Jami Floyd (WNYC host and legal and media commentator) and panelists Jamal Greene (Columbia Law School Dwight Professor of Law), Suzanne Nossel (PEN America Executive Director), and Tanya Hernandez (Archibald R. Murray Professor of Law, Associate Director, Center on Race, Law and Justice at Fordham Law School). Four student organizations – Students of Color Association, Engineering Student Council, CU Speak, and White Coats 4 Black Lives – co-sponsored the event. Executive Vice President of University Life Professor Suzanne Goldberg introduced the speakers and the purpose of the panel.

The goal of the event was to address overarching concerns around free speech, both on the university’s campus and in the public domain. Questions were submitted by the audience.

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CU Reslife deceptively depicting the EC lobby as peaceful.

We were all jealous of the renovated Carman dorm rooms…but was it warranted? After one room’s ceiling fell in, they were relocated to another coveted Columbia housing option – East Campus. Bwogger Aliya Schneider investigated the move and the freshmen’s reactions.  

I didn’t think freshmen could live in EC, but two weeks into the semester, two Carman roommates’ room aesthetic changed beyond their control. They noticed something odd and brown on their ceiling. No, it wasn’t from shotgunning getting out of hand. Something was wrong with their renovated Carman double.

“We called Hartley Hospitality multiple times. We also sent a couple e-mails complaining about the brown stain and the odor it gave off, but they didn’t do much,” one of the roommates told Bwog. “It took multiple calls for them to actually come check out the stain. They fixed it, but that same night, the stain came back and became worse than ever.”

The freshman source told me that as the brown stain returned, it eventually dried up. Despite the frequent calls, hospitality was unresponsive until the roommates marched to Hartley Hospitality in person to show them photo evidence of the extent to which the brown stain had developed a new texture. Unable to ignore the aggravated freshmen, hospitality decided to provide temporary housing for them in EC, assuring them that their Carman ceiling would be fixed within a week. That night, the plaster on the ceiling fell off, deteriorating the ceiling of the renovated Carman double, making the hopes of a quick return diminish.

What happened next?

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This Wednesday, as part of the Alumni Speaker Series for the Institute for the Study of Human Rights, Columbia welcomed Matthew Kennis, Program Director at the Libertas Center for Human Rights. Kennis completed his M.A. in Human Rights from Columbia in 2011, and his work before and since has focused on torture victims and oppressive regimes in Guatemala and Kyrgyzstan. Staff writer Zoe Sottile went to check it out (and the free pizza served).
 
I was the youngest person at Matthew Kennis’ talk on Wednesday: most of the room consisted of either law students or graduate students studying human rights, and Kennis tailored his talk to them, explaining the steps that he took to turn his education into an active human rights career. In college, Kennis planned to study law, but after a year and a half of studying constitutional law, he shifted his focus to biological anthropology. Not wanting to go into academia and familiar with the civil wars in Guatemala, he traveled there to find opportunities for his new skillset. He connected with activist forensic teams in Guatemala digging up clandestine graves from the wars and identifying bodies as part of a burgeoning accountability process for the oppressive government. When he asked if he could contribute to the effort, he was told that the teams were plenty qualified on their own, but needed protection from the many violent threats made against them. So Kennis began the first part of his human rights career, as a nonviolent accompanying presence – essentially an unarmed bodyguard whose status as a white American helped protect the vulnerable scientists.
 
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Happening Around The World: Former leader of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont has turned up in Brussels and is now refusing to appear before a Madrid court. Puigdemont’s actions attempting to separate Catalonia from the rest of Spain were in violation of the Spanish Constitution, and could lead to a European arrest warrant. (NYTimes)

NPR news writing about firing the NPR news guy. Meta.

Happening In The US: Senior news editor Michael Oreskes is out at NPR – he resigned on Wednesday after two former colleagues accused him of sexually assaulting them while he was Washington bureau chief at the New York Times. Good riddance to him, to Kevin Spacey, and to whoever comes next. (NPR)

Happening In NYC: Sayfullo Saipov, the suspect in the attack downtown, has been charged with terrorism as well as “providing material support and resources” to the Islamic State. Trump has also expressed support for sending him to Guantanamo Bay, though this is almost definitely illegal. (BBC, Al Jazeera)

Happening At Columbia: Playwright and Columbia professor David Henry Hwang is speaking with Broadway director Julie Taymor (known for “The Lion King” and “Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark”) about their revival of Hwang’s “M. Butterfly”. The event takes place at the Lantern at the Lenfest Center for the Arts at 6:30 tonight.

Overheard: “Bumble is, like, a Mecca for softboys.”

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