Monthly Archive: March 2018



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Probably none of our destinations, but enjoy!

Just when you thought I couldn’t put out yet another grossly-generalized MBTI post, here I am, proving you wrong. This time, in honor of the ending midterm season, I decided to cast spring break vacations as Myers-Briggs personality types. This is the last post until the Monday after break, so enjoy, you crazy kids!

Cancun = ESFP. Flashy, cheap, but fun. No one wants to admit they like you.

Cancun, but, like, hipster (a.k.a. Cabo, Playa del Carmen, etc etc.) = ENFP. Same level as fun of ESFP, without the sell-out shame. Charming.

Staying on campus and doing nothing = INTP. Spends their entire break on the internet. Probably owns 10 different Gmail accounts. Plays too much Pocket Camp.

Staying on campus and exploring NYC = ENFJ. Really, really likes being around their friends. Will visit all the restaurants they wanted to visit during the school year, but never did. Idealist, a dreamer, yet focused on the now. The golden retriever option.

Going home = ESFJ. Popular, reliable, aligns with established traditions. The standard answer. Everyone likes you. The vanilla ice cream of spring break vacations.

Going to Europe = INFP. Reflective and emotional. Just wants to curl up in a London library with a good book. Didn’t really understand why everyone seemed so stressed during midterms season.

Exploring NYC for half, then going home for half = ENTJ. You maximize your options. You’re also kind of (really) annoying. Good for you!

Bwog’s dream destination via Public Domain Pictures




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ALMA (Advanced Lunar-Mars Architecture), a recent design by CSI RASC-AL – distant relative of Alma mater?

Today, Bwog Science brings you a clubhop on Columbia Space Initiative (CSI), “a group of students and professors dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge in near-space, space, and beyond.” Although the club is relatively new (started in 2015), it has already accomplished much, attending national competitions at Cape Canaveral and sending a stuffed animal Roaree up 100,000 feet into the atmosphere.

Once thought impossible, space exploration is a definite reality of our present time, with initiatives such as Elon Musk’s SpaceX (goal to settle Mars) and NASA’s ongoing investigations into life outside of Earth. Columbia Space Initiative represents an eclectic group of individuals united by a passion for space, who engage in a wide variety of activities that allow them to explore their interests. The club meets in Mudd 233 from 4-6pm on Fridays (with additional meeting times for various projects).

I recently sat down with four leaders of CSI: Current Co-President Leon Kim (SEAS ‘19), Incoming Co-President Leena Chen (BC ‘20), Outreach Director Cleo Payne (BC ‘21), and Co-Leader of CSI’s RASC-AL competition team Aaron Pickard (GS/JTS ‘20). Representing different schools and diverse majors (from engineering to pure math to the humanities), the four of them illustrated a vibrant community that has something to offer to anybody, from any background, with an interest in space.

Kim described CSI’s goal as “spreading the love of space within and outside of the Columbia community,” joking that they were building a “community of space nerds.” The board members emphasized CSI’s nature as an engineering club, focusing on tangible hands-on missions and projects, rather than as a science club, which largely focuses on research and literature review. Established in 2015, CSI is still relatively new, but has already accomplished impressive feats. The group successfully launched a stuffed animal version of Roaree into space, and designed a commercially viable space station that won them a trip to Cape Canaveral, Florida. Alumni from CSI have gone on to work in aerospace, including startups such as Infinite Orbits.

The board stressed the interdisciplinary nature of their club. Members have all sorts of interests, from education to hands-on projects for competitions, with skills as diverse as the ability to perform complex math derivations as well as effective communication for community outreach. The club primarily consists of students majoring in mechanical engineering, physics, computer science, and electrical engineering, but all students of any field are welcome (Payne, an ancient studies major, emphasized this fact).

Click here to read about the cool projects CSI is doing!



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Previously a critic of St. A’s, Bwogger Megan Wylie has stopped kidding herself and conceded that maybe – just maybe – they’re alright. 

I’m not quite sure why, but I have found myself writing two critical articles about St. A’s when in reality, I don’t have a problem with the group. Maybe the resentment is rooted in my subconscious due to the fact that I went to a B-list New York private school. Whatever the cause, this post is apologetic in its nature. I don’t want to criticize their spitting of a pig or the over-the-top themes; instead, I am here to give credit where credit is due. Of all the parties I have attended at this university, I have to say the playlist at the last St. A’s party was bomb.

Just imagine the security guard begrudgingly waiting in the foyer

It was definitely the whitest playlist that I have heard, but there was something about Taylor Swift’s ‘Lovestory’ played after ‘Knock You Down’ followed by ‘Unwritten’ that really brought out my best. I could have done without Vampire Weekend playing in the same room where their album was shot, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume it was an ironic gesture. Somewhere between ‘Hot N Cold’ and ‘Toxic’, I found myself jumping up and down and being handed a polaroid by someone I have never met. It was during ‘Mr. Brightside’ that I discovered an ‘Eyes Wide Open’ mask which would haunt my dreams later that night. A friend and I proceeded to jump up and down with a champagne bottle and an excessive amount of sweat that blurred the make-shift Harry Potter scar I had drawn in lipstick, and aggressively screamed along to the lyrics. We were so energetic in fact that my Apple watch chimed in that I had done my daily amount of exercise–a task that does not get completed when I’m in the secluded back booth of 1020 watching reruns of ‘Divorce.’

Anyway, the playlist made the trek….who am I kidding? the Uber down to Riverside Drive in the middle of a storm worth it. It brought me back to the days of middle school, with math teachers pulling apart preteens awkwardly grinding to T.I.’s ‘Whatever You Like.’

Photo courtesy of New York Big Apple Images



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Is it a bird? Is it a plane? I know it’s definitely not my train!

The Weekender is back! For those of you who are staying in New York this weekend, here are the service changes planned for this weekend. 

1: It seems like the 1 will be running normally. The usual inevitable delays aside, it will make stops at 110th, 116th, and those other stops that are important to us.

2: The downtown 2 will run local from 96th to Times Square from 10 pm Friday to 5 am Monday. No use transferring from the 1 when you go on that Tinder date downtown.

3: The downtown 3 is also running local. You might as well stay uptown since it will take about 2000 years to make it downtown with no express trains.

A: The downtown (Ozone Park/Far Rockaway-bound) A will skip every stop from 116th to 72nd during Late Night (which is defined as midnight to 6 am) from 10 pm Friday to 5 am Monday (normally, the A runs local at night). It will also skip some more stops south of 72nd but that’s not relevant to MoHi.

B: Service will end early at 9 pm this Friday (today).

C: On Friday from 9:45 pm to 10:30 pm the downtown (Euclid Ave-bound) C will be skipping every stop from 116th to 72nd.

D: From 9:30 pm Friday to 5 am Monday, the downtown (Coney-Island-bound) D will run local via the C from 145th to W 4th, which means it won’t do that sweet jump from Columbus Circle to 125th, but it will stop at 116th, 110th, 103rd, etc. on Manhattan Ave.

Subway via Bwog Archives



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Let’s hope this actually intimidates the other wrestlers.

While you’re catching up on sleep over break, Columbia’s teams are traveling to exotic locations like…Cleveland! And Texas! Sports Editor Abby Rubel brings you their spring break plans.

Wrestling: Three seniors will head to the NCAA Championships on March 17 in Cleveland. Markus Scheidel and Garrett Ryan earned auto-bids at the EIWA Championships last weekend and Tyrel White earned one of the at-large bids. As a sophomore, White won two matches in the 165 weight class, but did not perform as well last year, losing his first two bouts. Ryan went 1-1 on his first day, but lost the next day to finish the season.

Track and Field: Senior Sarah Hardie is the only athlete going to the Track and Field NCAA Championships in Texas this weekend. She qualified for the one mile race with a season-best time of 4:40.69 earlier in the season, good enough to put her in the first heat of the preliminaries. She’ll race at 6:50 pm, but only the top three times in each heat and the next fastest two times will go on to the finals.

Baseball: The 1-7 Lions will finish out their non-conference schedule over spring break with a series of games in the Lone Star state. They’ll kick it off this weekend with a four-game series against 5-5 University of Texas, San Antonio, then head to 10-2 Texas A&M Corpus Christi for a single game on Tuesday. Wednesday starts a series of games in Houston, where Columbia will face off against 6-7 Rice, 5-6-1 University of New Mexico, and 6-6 University of Houston. The Lions typically struggle more in the preseason thanks to a tougher schedule, but usually do well in conference play. That said, it would be nice if they went into their Ivy schedule with more than one win.

It’s hard to look bad-ass in a wrestling singlet via



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This school needs a Core class on how to properly ride an elevator.

Bwog Staffer Jake Tibbets is tired of all of you not knowing how to ride elevators with decency and no, he’s not going to write an op-ed about it. 

When, during my senior year of high school, I learned that I had been accepted to what some (i.e., Deantini) may consider to be The Greatest College in the Greatest University in the Greatest City in the World™, I was told by countless peers, educators, and relatives that I would be spending the next four years of my life surrounded by some of the best and brightest students in the world. When I first heard this, I believed it entirely. Upon setting foot in Furnald Hall for the first time during NSOP, however, I quickly realized that not everything was as it seemed. Sure, Columbia University is home to countless high school valedictorians and salutatorians, plenty of National Merit Scholars, masses of award-winning musicians, hordes of top-tier athletes, and (perhaps too) many aspiring entrepreneurs—all of whom are hard-working, resourceful, and intelligent. But underneath the student body’s skilled, accomplished surface, there lies a terrible, terrible problem: almost no one here seems to know how to ride an elevator.


To be clear, I’m not arguing that no one here knows how to use an elevator on a technical level. After all, riding an elevator is a fairly simple process that requires an individual to press one button, enter a metal cage, press another button, wait, and exit the cage. The problem, however, is that far too few people seem to care at all about the unwritten rules about elevator use that underpin interaction and relationships. When people fail to follow these rules, they, whether they know it or not, risk letting society disintegrate entirely. As Bwog’s resident social assassin, I have decided to take it upon myself to write down some of these unwritten rules in order to ensure that riding an elevator at Columbia is an enjoyable-at-best-and-insignificant-at-worst experience and to maintain order and therefore, you know, prevent everything from going to shit.

Rule #1: Let people exit the elevator before you enter. This rule is similar to the unwritten rule that dictates that you allow the car that stopped first at a four-way intersection to go first. People who are coming from the inside of the elevator have the right of way. If you violate this rule, you’re in the wrong, and people will judge you for it. Period.

Rule #2: Don’t use the elevator unless you’re travelling up more than two stories or down more than three stories. It should go without saying, of course, that this rule doesn’t apply for a.) disabled individuals or b.) individuals who happen to be carrying an item that can’t be transported via the stairway. If you don’t belong to either of those two groups, however, consider taking the stairway. By doing so, you’re saving the time of the people using the elevator who actually need to use it and you’re giving them extra space. Besides, every single one of us should seize the opportunity to burn off the caloric equivalent of a JJ’s mozzarella stick when presented with it.

We got more rules, we ‘count em



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Get like the Scooby Gang and head to Spooky Island this spring break

Happening in the World: Mo Farah, a four-time Olympic gold medalist, took to Instagram Live after allegedly being racially profiled at a Munich airport. Farah reports being pushed and harassed and being subjected to a security check, because he wore a hoodie. German Federal Police has released a statement saying that they were merely following protocol. (The Independent)

Happening in the US: Richard Jantz, a University of Tennessee researcher, has revisited the forensic findings of the Nikumaroro remains, believing them to belong to pilot Amelia Earhart after her mysterious disappearance. Though the remains’ whereabouts are currently unknown, Jantz believes the inadequacy of forensics during the twentieth century could have misled the initial examiner. While it is still unclear if the remains are Earhart’s, forensic analysts are using image scaling to determine the possibility. (NPR)

Happening in NYC: The John F. Kennedy International Airport unveiled a new mural in Terminal 4 of New York’s iconic sites among the five boroughs. The mural, drawn by British artist Chris Dent, is comprised of thirty-two illustrations, from yellow cabs to the Empire State Building. Travelers in this terminal are advised to spread their New York love once more before they leave. (Metropolitan Airport News)

Happening on Campus: Spring break begins today! Finally get your well-needed rest and relaxation after your exams. In between your mojitos and sangrias, be it abroad, back home, or in the heart of New York City, get the sleep you’ve been meaning to catch up on.

Overheard: “You won’t get kidnapped in Mexico – we hired a bodyguard.”

Bop of the Day:

all I wanna do is [cash register noise] sleep via Pixabay



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Electra and Chrysothemis argue over how to live with their mother’s treachery

Yesterday evening, Riva Weinstein and Betsy Ladyzhets (Arts Editor and EIC, respectively) braved the precipitation and the ridiculously large puddles to attend the 9 pm showing of Electra, KCST and Columbia HeForShe’s production of the Greek tragedy in honor of International Women’s Day. The performance was incredibly accomplished for its short time frame (about 35 minutes) and small space (a stage set up in the Lerner Party Space).

Last night, the King’s Crown Shakespeare Troupe (KCST) and Columbia HeForShe put on three consecutive performances of Electra, Anne Carson’s translation of Sophocles’ tragedy. This is the second time the two organizations have collaborated for such a performance, following last year’s production of Antigone. Columbia’s chapter of HeForShe works to “foster gender equality, encourage positive attitudes towards women, and create an activist space on campus,” from their blurb in the show’s program. Before the show began, president Celine Laruelle explained that HeForShe’s collaboration with KCST is meant to use the arts to “convey a powerful story of resistance,” and emphasized HeForShe’s commitment to intersectional, anti-racist feminism.

Set in the aftermath of the Trojan War, Electra tells the story of Electra (India Beer, BC ‘21) and Orestes (Daniel Kvoras, GS ‘19), two children of Agamemnon, a major player on the Greek side of the war. The siblings have been left in a ruptured family after their mother, Klytaimestra (Grace Henning, BC ‘20), murdered their father with her lover Agisthos (Jared Rush, CC ‘21). Years later, Orestes (now a grown man) sends a false story of his death to Klytaimestra and Agisthos, and Electra falls into deep mourning. When Orestes arrives and sees her grief, he reveals himself to her. She helps him kill first Klytaimestra, then Agisthos. The story appears to be a family tragedy, but it is full of the language of resistance, which KCST/HeForShe’s production emphasized through stage direction and lighting choices.

So, how was the production?



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A close-up picture of many boxes of food, including Hamburger Helper, oats, and canned vegetables.

Share Meals is working with the Columbia food pantries to make sure they’re fully stocked.

At the end of last semester, Bwog reviewed the Share Meals app, just one part of Share Meals’ effort to end hunger on college campuses. Senior Staffer Abby Rubel talked to Share Meals founder Jonathan Chin about the app, the organization’s other initiatives, and what it’s doing to have a bigger presence at Columbia.

Our initial impression of the Share Meals app was not particularly positive. It wasn’t well publicized and there wasn’t much activity. Chin defended the app, saying that Share Meals was reluctant to publicize the app until Barnard signed onto it. After Barnard signed on in early February, however, there still wasn’t much publicity surrounding the app. Chin admitted that there hasn’t been a corresponding increase in activity. As of press time, there were only 100 downloads on the Google Play store, just a few more than when we reviewed it.

Chin explained, however, that Share Meals is only just starting to get administrative support from Columbia. It’s much more popular at NYU, where it started, because “we’ve been able to work up relationships and we have far more educational support. We’re just getting that at Columbia,” Chin said.

Share Meals has also been expanding their efforts beyond the app. The organization is partnering with food pantries at NYU, Columbia, Rutgers, and Queensborough Community College to ensure that they are fully stocked. And at NYU, they’ve started a pilot program of community cooking classes. “We’ve been hosting a series of community cooking classes,” Chin said, “So we show people how to cook for themselves, how to shop, how to keep up with their nutrition.” These classes were recently adopted as a full program by NYU, and Chin is looking to bring those uptown as well.

Right now, their main focus is the “Hunger Action Series,” which will take place at NYU, Columbia, Rutgers, and Queensborough Community College. “It’s running concurrently at NYU, Columbia University, and Rutgers, and one of the sort of crowning events for that series is a community meal packing event,” he said. The series will start on March 24 and end on April 8, and the Columbia events will be organized and promoted by FLIP.

With the Hunger Action Series coming up in less than a month, however, FLIP has not posted anything on their Facebook page about Hunger Action Series events, nor has the event been publicized in other ways. It remains to be seen if Share Meals can be as effective at Columbia as it’s been at NYU, but that can’t happen unless they strongly push to increase campus awareness.

food pantry via Bwog Archives



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Butler Ref (300-level)

You know these people. I know these people. Everyone knows these people.

After spending an inordinate time in Butler this week to study for her midterms, this Bwogger has noticed that each person she shares a study desk usually falls under one of these following archetypes. Here are her observations:

  • The Eater. The Eater likes to open loud bags of chips, or paper-wrapped sandwiches, or maybe is shoveling a full-on, five-course meal.
  • The Old Person. They’re often sitting there reading a newspaper or sometimes a book. Oftentimes, they fall asleep and snore loudly. How did they get in here again?
  • The Couture Model, aka the International Student. They are often found sporting Yeezy’s, a Louis Vuitton purse, and some other expenny shit. Hanging off the back of their chair is probably their Canada Goose (or Moncler).
  • The Person Crying. Self-explanatory. If you’re this person, feel better, and consider following Bwog’s guide to places to cry next time.
  • The Non-Academic. This person is very obviously not studying. They’re probably suppressing a giggle while looking at their screen, or have been scrolling through their phone for the past hour.
  • The Academic. The person actually grinds hard, and kind of makes you feel bad about yourself.
  • The Frat Guy. The Frat Guy’s bros like to stop by the table. He is always talking. In fact, you don’t remember a time when he wasn’t talking.
  • The Accidentalist. This person accidentally opens a Snapchat with the sound on and it’s really loud. Some people around them snicker, and they get really embarrassed.
  • The Hoarder. Having brought perhaps their entire dorm with them, the Hoarder takes up way too much space at the desk. Their papers are….everywhere.
  • The Sus. This person is either really sus or is just watching porn. They could be watching horse porn. We can’t tell.
  • The marching band member in disguise. Remember Orgo Night?

Photo via Bwoggie Archives



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Columbia is a labyrinthine hellscape.

We’ve told you where the hell all the bathrooms were; now we’re back with what floor you end up on when you walk through the door (of all the major academic buildings at least). If we forgot any, let us know in the comments and we’ll add it to this list!

You’re running late for a meeting on the fourth floor of Pupin. You throw open the doors, run up three flights of stairs and start running down the hall. Quickly, you realize that all of these numbers are in the 800s and you’re in completely the wrong place. Why do you enter none of Columbia’s buildings on the first floor? We’re not here to answer that question, but we can tell you where you end up when you walk through the door.

1st Floor: Milbank, Knox, Avery, Barnard Hall, Diana, Uris

2nd Floor: Hamilton, Butler, Math

3rd Floor: Kent (both the main entrance and entering on the Philosophy Hall side), Fayerweather, Philosophy, Haverymayer, Lewisohn,

4th Floor: Mudd, Dodge (campus entrance), Schermerhorn, Fairchild, Schapiro CEPSR

5th Floor: Pupin

Weird Ones: 

  • Lerner: 2 from campus entrance; 1 from Broadway entrance
  • Altschul:  L (one floor above 1, 1 is actually the package center/tunnel to Milbank/connecting to Diana)
  • Dodge (not-gym): 1 from college walk; 3  from upper campus, by Lewisohn
  • NoCo:  4 n the campus side; 1 from 120th Street
  • International Affairs: 6 on the campus side; 4 from street level

are you on the 7th floor or the 14th via Bwog Archives



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L to R: Moderator, Spurlock-Evans, Bhatt, Langer, Ballou, and Biberman.

This Tuesday, the Barnard Center for Research on Women (BCRW) hosted an exhibit and panel called “1968 and its Afterlives: Reflecting on Campus Activism Past, Present and Future” in the Diana Event Oval. Arts Editor Riva Weinstein gives her thoughts below.

I had been looking forward to this panel for months. Obsessed with the cultural watershed that was the year 1968 in America, when war, protest, youth culture, and art came together in an explosion that would rock the boat for generations, I was excited to learn more about how Columbia, and especially Barnard, students had been involved.

If I had hoped to understand the 1968 protests by the time the panel was through, I came away disappointed. But what I did learn was far more fascinating and troubling–and more enlightening about the changing face of activist politics–than what I’d expected.

Panelists Elizabeth Langer ’68, Nancy Biberman ’69, and Karla Spurlock-Evans ’71 (all BC) had lived through the 1968 protests at Columbia, including a sit-in in Hamilton Hall in which many students were arrested. DaMonique Ballou ’17 and Krish Bhatt ’18 (both BC) represented the present generation, including the labor union protests. Their stories were presented anecdotally, through question-and-answer, which sometimes made me feel like I was missing the bigger-picture context.

The panel continued



img March 08, 20189:30 amimg 1 Comments

Will the Nightlife Ambassador come to 1020?

Happening in the World: Chilean actress Daniela Vega became the first transgender presenter at the Oscars last week. Upon returning home, she began speaking out about the inequalities the trans community faces in the country. A gender identity bill that would allow trans people to identify with their preferred names is being considered by congressional committee but an incoming conservative administration puts its fate in jeopardy. (BBC)

Happening in the US: The Department of Justice is suing the state of California for it’s so-called sanctuary immigration policies. Passed in 2017, these limit government officials’ and employers’ ability to help federal immigration agents and allows the state to review the conditions in which detainees are kept. (Vox)

Happening in NYC: The city has appointed its first Nightlife Mayor. Ariel Palitz will serve as the ambassador between the city and its bars, cabarets, and burlesques. At the beginning of her tenure, she’s promised to hold listening tours and listen to complaints of those bothered by nightlife in the city. (NYT)

Happening on Campus: Provided you can pull yourself away from your midterms long enough to trudge through the snow, head to IAB from 12 to 2 pm for a talk by Tamara Martsenyuk: Ukrainian Women at War: The Successes and Challenges of the “Invisible Battalion”. It focuses on the role women played during recent conflicts, it talks about how women in the country challenged traditional gender roles and their participation in these conflicts.

Overheard: “My RA hosted a study break where all we did was listen to Italian trap music.”

Word of the Day: Magari, an Italian word for “maybe” or “if only” or basically anything you wish will happen even though it probably won’t. For example, If only I had studied for my LitHum midterm, then I wouldn’t have to stay up til 8 AM. 

this is some fancy alcohol via Bwog Archives



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Earlier this evening, Columbia University announced the removal of Dr. Thomas Jessell, a prominent professor in the Departments of Neuroscience and Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics, as reported by the New York Times. Dr. Jessell is a renowned neuroscientist; his accolades include the Canada Gairdner International Award in 2012, the Kavli Prize for Neuroscience in 2008, and membership in the Royal Society of London since 1996. He received his doctorate in neuroscience from Cambridge University, then began his career in academia at Harvard before becoming a professor at Columbia in 1985. His research has focused on sensory-motor nerve circuits.

An official statement from the University stated that Columbia “has ended the administrative positions of Dr. Thomas Jessell and will be winding down the Jessell lab,” following “an investigation that revealed serious violations of University policies and values governing the behavior of faculty members in an academic environment.” Columbia will, however, help to continue the projects of the lab and the careers of its 25 other members, including graduate and postdoctoral students. The University statement also reinforced Columbia’s commitment to “protecting the welfare of all members of the institution and the integrity of the academic mission.”

Official reports do not state the reasons for Dr. Jessell’s dismissal. However, Bwog received an anonymous tip earlier today suggesting that these reasons may relate to sexual misconduct. When asked to confirm or deny this information, a representative of Columbia’s Office of Communications and Public Affairs replied, “We have nothing further to say.”

Read Columbia’s full statement after the jump



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Talk about amazing faculty work.

Barnard film professor Sandra Luckow recently released a new documentary, That Way Madness Lies…, which was seven years in the making. Staff writer Riya Mirchandaney went to check it out. 

“It is essentially the destruction of my family,” remarked Professor Sandra Luckow, by way of introducing her documentary “That Way Madness Lies…” Luckow’s comment was striking in its accuracy, for while the documentary was disguised as a story about her brother Duanne’s struggle with paranoid schizophrenia and the myriad of ways in which the systems in power failed him, the systems—that is, law and medicine—were only a backdrop for the story at the film’s core, a story of a resilient, desperate family drowning within itself, trying to cope with the series of traumas that hit them, without the luxury of being able to ask why any of this was happening.

Find out more about the film

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