Daily Archive: March 7, 2018



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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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We also love Dining, Public Safety, Housing, etc. Safe to assume we love everyone.

With midterms upon us and all our professors trying to kill us, one essay question at a time, Bwog decided to take a moment to reflect on our love for all the other people on campus (facilities, dining, public safety, and every other staff member) who work every day to make sure everything is operating and going above and beyond to make our lives better. If you have any stories, share them in the comments!

  • I was having a really bad weekend a few days ago and I lost my ID. I went to the Hartley Hospitality Desk to see if someone had turned it in. No one had and the woman at the desk said she would email if anyone had. About an hour later, I received that email and when I went down, I found out that the public safety officer at Hartley had gone to Butler shortly after I stopped at the desk and recognized me when someone turned in my ID that I dropped outside. He called the woman at Hartley Hospitality and she walked over to Butler to get it because she knew I lived in the building.
  • The facilities PR guy is super responsive and always provides info to us
  • One time I was coughing uncontrollably for like 5 minutes in the bathroom outside Ferris. I came out and one of the Ferris workers was there washing her hands and she told me like a home remedy tea to try.
  • Another time I was sneezing uncontrollably in Diana due to allergies, and this worker commiserated with me and recommended a new allergy pill to try.
  • Daron works the pasta station in Hewitt and is truly The King of Pasta. He’s always laughing and making conversation with people. He really cares about his job and genuinely cares about the food he serves to students. Once he went and specifically got me Shiitake mushrooms from the kitchen because he’s the absolute best.
  • Moussa also works at Hewitt and is just an absolute lad. Super funny. Love this guy.
  • All the people who work at JJs really but Johnny at the breakfast line in JJs literally is keeping me from going vegan because iIwould miss getting a quesadilla from him too much. He’s so nice and funny and remembers my order which is crazy because I don’t even remember my order
  • I had to get signed in because I forgot my Columbia ID and the guard accidentally gave me the wrong ID back. So when I found out a few days later, I ran to the dorm and was like “HELP MY ID” and the guard found it for me and calmed my hysteria.
  • On the first day of classes last semester, my roommate’s and my fridge broke. The facilities staff in 110 was able to get it replaced (with enough time for me to transfer all of our food to the new fridge) between the time she left for her 8:40 and the time I left for my 11:40. And they were so nice about it, too!
  • Freshman winter finals I got the stomach flu during my art history exam in Barnard Hall. Made it to the hallway and spewed everywhere. A really nice lady kicked into mom-mode: helped me to the bathroom, cleaned everything up, and rubbed my back.  I had to go back to finish my midterm and never got to properly thank her/learn her name, but she’s a real gem!

first logo i found via Columbia Facilities



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It’s a lot less intimidating than it looks!

If you’ve ever wanted to feel the warm embrace of a sheet of steel and a Koronet Pizza-sized gong, you got your chance on Tuesday night.

The Miller Theatre hosted one of its signature pop-up concerts on Tuesday, a casual event featuring some free drinks that invited its audience members onto the stage for an intimate affair. The concert eschewed a program and was free to the public in an effort to de-class classical music. Those who came late to the 6:00 pm concert could use Miller’s actual seating, even though it meant they couldn’t see every member of Yarn/Wire.

Yarn/Wire, the performance group for the evening, is a Queens-based ensemble consisting of two pianists and two percussionists. Each member of Yarn/Wire set up on one of the stage’s four corners. The two percussionists sat opposite from each other, one member playing a tam-tam (gong) and the other playing a suspended and curved sheet of steel. The pianists were set up at keyboards, where they manipulated filters and synths while they played their notes.

The evening’s piece, Curvo Totalitas (2016) by Catherine Lamb, was described by the Miller Theatre as “a 45-minute tour de force that seamlessly shifts perceptions, allowing the listener to get lost in its unique sound world.” The original 2016 composition clocked in at around 20 minutes, but it was edited and expanded for the Rainy Days Festival in Luxembourg.

But was it any good?



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A possible look at the upcoming GS Donuts Celebration.

For a brief change in pace, staff writer Zöe Sottile made her way to the Satow Room at 8:00 pm for General Studies Student Council. 

This week, GSSC’s main priorities were evaluating nominees for a few representative positions as well as the upcoming GS Gala. As someone who has previously covered ESC meetings, I was surprised by how many differences in how GSSC and ESC are run. GSSC felt significantly more relaxed – the meeting started twenty minutes after it nominally began, and there were many more members of the audience than at ESC.

Meet The Nominees

GSSC dedicated the first part of its meeting to hearing from the nominees for a couple student representative positions. Rachel Bartlett made her case for Veteran Representative. She’s a first-year in GS who has been in the Marine Corps for eight years and is passionate about community outreach and development.

Both Amy Faskus and Dan Burkhardt are nominees for GSSC’s new election commission. Since this is a new internal committee, it’s unclear what exactly the commission will look like and these nominees will likely have significant power to shape and guide the new elections process. Amy is a senior theater major who discussed her previous leadership experience in clubs. Dan is a senior studying information science who has facilitated the elections for MilVets for the past two years.

Finally, Irene Ku is a nominee for the new position of Dual-BA representative. Irene is in her final ear of the dual degree program with City University of Hong Kong. Her main concern is that dual-degree programs, who arrive as juniors, don’t feel like they get enough career development and information about job opportunities. She wants to host events with dual degree alumni to help alleviate this problem.

updates from GSSC after the jump



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Alma, surveying her snowy kingdom

If you were up until 3 am in Butler crossing your fingers for a snow day so that you wouldn’t have to take that 8:40 midterm, you were probably disappointed when you woke up to a bare ground. But good news: Barnard and Columbia have now announced that both schools will close at 4 pm today!

In an email sent to Barnard students at 12:40, public safety announced that due to the worsening weather conditions, the school will close at 4 pm and all classes after that time will be canceled. The email encouraged departments to send home all non-essential faculty after 3 pm.

A little after 1 pm, Columbia followed suit. In an email from the Columbia University Emergency Management Team, it was announced that due to the changing conditions, classes on the Morningside and Medical Center campuses after 4 pm are canceled. They noted that students should check in with their professors to see whether their classes will be held virtually.

While classes are canceled and other school and department operations are closing, the dining halls will remain open according to their normal schedule.

The emails from Barnard and Columbia can be read in full below. Advice from Bwog: take a study break and go play in the snow!

Update, 2:10 pm: Join us in celebrating the class cancellation with Bwog’s third annual snowball fight on Low steps! The fight will start at 4 pm and go until dusk. Or, whenever our arms get too tired to keep going.

Full emails after the jump!



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New York’s Hottest Club is…

An appreciation post for the soundtrack at the best dining hall on campus.

We’ve all been there. Squashed in between angsty adolescents, skin on skin, mouths rife with hunger and thirst. It’s hot, and you can vaguely smell ranch dressing and mandarin oranges. Gasolina by Daddy Yankee is playing loudly, its fervent bass shaking your insides. Are you at a frat on a Friday night? No. It’s 11:43 AM a Tuesday at Ferris Booth Commons.

Let’s say it: the Ferris Booth soundtrack is just one banger after another, and Bwog is here to show it some love. It’s no secret that Ferris Booth serves the best food on campus. We come for the Very Berry Salad, the warm biscuits, and the Italian wedding soups. But we’re also here for the ambience. We’re here to drop that ass in front of the cheesecake display case.

Here at Columbia, we’re beholden to various soundscapes in campus hotspots: Hewitt’s Natasha Bedingfield-esque easy listening playlist, fraught whispered conversations and accidental phone vibrations in Butler study rooms, and sad people music at Snock and Postcrypt. But it’s about time we admit that the one we just can’t get enough of is Ferris’s mix of salsa, merengue, and early 2000s reggaeton. We spend our classes learning about the verses of Homer, but we come to Ferris to learn about the verses to Ricky Martin B-sides.

We want to know who compiled this playlist. Could it be Alex, the legendary Barnard Public Safety shuttle driver who moonlights as a DJ downtown? (True story). Or is it Fausta herself? No matter what, there’s nothing else we want to hear as we wait for my corn on the cob. So Fausta, for all of us with #FerrisForever, please leak the most bumping playlist in Columbia history.

Photo via Columbia University



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Beautiful beautiful crêpes.

Feeling a little bit stressed? Midterm season has got you down? Take a quick study break and enjoy some French crêpes with this simple yet delicious recipe!


1 cup of flour
1½ cups of milk
2 eggs
Pinch of salt


Combine flour, milk, and eggs.
Add salt.
Heat a lightly greased skillet.
Spoon in about 2 Tbsp of batter; lift and tilt skillet to spread evenly.
To remove, invert pan over paper towel.
Lastly, fill with your favorite filling! We recommend jam or Nutella for those with a sweet tooth, ham and cheese for those who like their crêpes savory.

Voilà, you’re all set!

Image via Bwog Staff.



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Happening In The World: UNICEF released a report stating that a girl’s risk of marrying before the age of 18 has dropped by over a third in the last decade. The report attributed this progress to specific efforts made by India, where illegal child marriages are on the decline. (New York Times)

Happening In The US: The Justice Department, under the direction of Keebler elf Jeff Sessions, is suing the state of California over “sanctuary” laws that protect undocumented immigrants. The lawsuit alleges that three recent California laws obstruct enforcement of federal immigration law and damage public safety. (Washington Post)

Happening In NYC: A fucking snowstorm, that’s what. Also, Cynthia Nixon of Sex and the City fame – and a Barnard alumna – is reportedly considering a run in the Democratic primary against Governor Cuomo. But mostly, snowstorm. (New York Daily News)

Happening On Campus: Electra, a collaboration between Columbia University HeForShe and King’s Crown Shakespeare Troupe, is going up in Lerner Party Space. The show will run three times consecutively, starting at 8 pm, 9 pm, and 10 pm. Take a break from midterms and go check it out; a minimum $5 donation is required that will go towards UN Women.

Tinder Pickup Line Of The Day: “what are your thoughts on red lobster”

Image via Flickr.

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