Daily Archive: April 10, 2018



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The stairs aren’t here for your photoshoots.

The beauty of Columbia’s spacious campus is that there are a ton of convenient, non-intrusive places to stand. Clearly, a lot of people haven’t gotten that memo, so for those people, here’s a ranking of the worst places to stand on campus.

  1. In the hallway connecting the food area with the seating area in JJ’s. That hallway is very narrow and can only accommodate a few things. Standing is not one of those said things.
  2. Hamilton stairwell. We are all either late to class, or we’re trying to leave run away from it as soon as possible. Please do not stand here. Please.
  3. In front of the stairs/drink dispenser in Ferris. Let us get our freakin’ orange juice in peace!
  4. The middle of the NoCo escalator. Escalator etiquette is simple – stand to the right side if you’re not moving, walk up the left side if you are.
  5. The walkways around Lewisohn and Math. The Bwogger who compiled this ranking is not a STEM major, b
  6. The stairs between the Diana/Altschul and Milbank.  See #2.
  7. Next to the ATM in Barnard hall. Standing here gives us the feeling that you’re memorizing PIN numbers.
  8. More generally, anywhere in John Jay/Ferris that isn’t the line. If you aren’t actively getting food or moving, you are what’s wrong with the dining halls.



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gavel on stryker against white background

Can you be responsible and not responsible at the same time?

If you wander into Faculty House on any given weekday, you’ll probably find some great event you never expected to come across (unless you read our Bucketlists and Science Fairs). I, for instance had no idea that The Zuckerman Mind Brain and Behavior Institute existed, or that it partnered with the Center for Science and Society (CSS) and the Presidential Scholars in Society and Neuroscience to put on lecture and panel events. Monday’s event, “Responsibility, Punishment, and Psychopathy,” called upon an interdisciplinary panel of speakers to discuss how the law does and ought to treat psychopaths in regards to ideas of capacity responsibility and mens rea. Scholars from Columbia, Penn, and Elmhurst College gathered in front of a large crowd in Faculty House to muse on the subject and its implications for the legal system at large.

The talk was briefly introduced by Federica Coppola, a Presidential Scholar in Society and Neuroscience. As a Presidential Scholar, Coppola is mentored not only by neuroscience faculty but by interdisciplinary scientists and artists. She provided a quick rundown of the condition of psychopathy, in which people can have rational understandings of the world and society but can act cruel and remorseless. Psychopathy has existed as a condition for centuries, but the current medical definition refers to a package of antisocial symptoms and a lack of respect for morals measured using a variety of scales such as the PCL-R.

More on serial killers…



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img April 10, 20185:35 pmimg 1 Comments

It’s coming! (Hopefully)

Every Tuesday, Bwog brings you a recap of the previous night’s Engineering Student Council (ESC) meeting. This week brought updates to everyone’s favorite defunct Bwog sister website, WikiCU, as well as a vote on carbon neutrality and an exciting new cross-Ivy initiative. Luckily, SEAS-adjacent Deputy Editor Zack Abrams stepped in to cover it.

Carbon Neutrality Resolution

After a short friendly amendment period to clarify a few phrases, ESC passed a resolution encouraging Columbia to commit to 100% carbon neutrality by the year 2030, noting Columbia’s previous commitments to divest from thermal coal and its strong earth science research. The resolution passed by a large margin, with no votes against and only two abstentions. Jokes about the writing ability of SEAS students were made.

Inter-Ivy International Student Council

One idea proposed to the Council was an Ivy League International Student Council which would better tackle issues that international students face at the eight Ivy League institutions. While not specifically related to Engineering, board members were encouraged to reach out to contacts at Dartmouth and UPenn who may be interested in representing the international students of their school. No word on whether this would be done through in-person meetings or meme battles, though.

Alumni Association Dinner

The last Alumni Association Dinner of this year will take place at fancy UWS restaurant Café Luxembourg on April 26th. The Alumna has been involved in blockchain and cryptocurrency, which will be the theme of the dinner, though one excited ESC member said “I would go just for the restaurant.”

From the President

ESC interim president Ben Barton (’18) discussed some ongoing issues, including a problem in the mailroom that led to certain students not getting notifications for packages. He also floated an idea to implement package delivery service directly to dorms on campus for qualifying students with disabilities. Finally, Barton mentioned that CUIT is updating the UI for course evaluations and hopefully including a progress bar, though ESC may send out a survey in order to gain more of an idea of how the UI can be improved from the students themselves.

Student Life

Richa Gode (’19), interim VP Student Life, talked about upcoming events including the activities fair for Days on Campus this Friday from 12:30-3:30pm. Gode also mentioned the possibility of late night activities for days on campus: a mini version of “escape the room” is one possibility. Finally, Gode mentioned setting up a meeting with the Food Bank next week to organize a food drive before finals, when food insecurity can affect many students.

Finance (including WikiCU updates)

Ria Garg (’20), interim VP Finance, mentioned needing to decide internal spending for next year along with transitioning control of the finance website to someone new before the person in control of it now graduates.

As far as WikiCU, everyone on ESC is on board with managing WikiCU and transitions are set up; now there are 4 admin accounts for each of the student councils. However, due to security issues (including captchas that don’t display text or stop the user from advancing) the site is not ready for business just yet. However, ESC will publicize the generation of new accounts when they’re ready. Right now, the only way to create an account is to score an invite.


The 2020 apparel is on its way after a short delay.

The recent mental health town hall produced great student input, as the students felt they could speak their mind without administrators present. Most students feel that the Jed committee is too opaque and have felt discouraged after being turned away from joining steering committees. A meeting has been set up with Scott Wright for April 17th to debrief these matters of the mental health coalition.

KCLEA awards were given out.


That’s it for ESC coverage this week, see you next Monday!



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img April 10, 20184:24 pmimg 0 Comments

Coming out of our cage and we’ve been doing just… not that great

It’s day five of in-person room selection, and we’ve gotta be honest: choices are looking a little bleak. All large suites are gone except for a couple in Claremont, and the doubles options have been narrowed to primarily Broadway, Schapiro, Nussbaum, and McBain (the worst dorm on campus?).

But fear not, rising sophomores! Keep your heads up, keep your wits about you, and most importantly, keep reading Bwog’s housing coverage, and you’ll still be able to secure a housing option for next year that’s… well… not the absolute worst. Think of it this way: at least you’re not in the Barnard 1/2/3 lottery.

As with every other day of housing coverage, Bwog will be keeping running tallies of the remaining rooms and suites, and liveblogging the majority of picks (or, every pick for which people coming out of the cage tell us where they’re living and what their lottery number was.) Please be kind to the staffers on the Couch, if you see them today. We are getting a bit tired of shouting. And of pointing to the massive banner behind us every time someone asks who we are. We’ll still offer consolation if you need a shoulder to cry on, though.

Artistic representation of sophomores picking today via Pixabay



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img April 10, 20184:21 pmimg 1 Comments

Mercury in retro-gayde

It was finally time.

I took a deep breath and prepared myself.

“Mom, listen. I know you might have suspected this already, but I need to tell you something. It’s been put off for too long.” I started.

She nodded.

“Mom, I’m… an astrologer.”

So began the conversation in which I came out as into astrology. Oh, you thought I was going to say gay? No, my mom has known that for years, and so does anyone who spends more than five minutes with me. But both are part of why I have been so excited for Barnard Student Life’s Queer Astrology event on Monday.

The event was originally scheduled to occur over a month ago, but was postponed due to snow. Then, the new date was postponed again to a second snow day. Considering the fact that I had been planning on meeting my soulmate at this event, I couldn’t help but wonder whether it just wasn’t written in the stars, so to speak. But Mother Nature is probably queer, right? I was sure it was just because she knew that bringing a bunch of queer people together to talk about astrology would just be too powerful.

The snow finally lets up ahead



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Meet the subject of today’s CU Women in STEM profile, Francesca Garofalo, who’s shown here doing tissue culture

Bwog Science is back with CU Women in STEM, where we highlight the amazing women in science at Columbia. Today’s profile is from Francesca (Frankie) Garofalo (CC ’18), whose interests lie in academic medicine and the evolutionary biology of the human species!

Major: Biology with a concentration in the evolutionary biology of the human species (EBHS)

What subjects are you interested in? Most topics within biology. I’m interested in how human populations differ and why they became that way. Bioarchaeology is also really interesting. Another topic that interests me is medicine in society, like biomedical ethics and pharmaceutical politics.

How did you get interested in your subject? Can you remember the moment that got you hooked? I became interested in biology and medicine when my dad showed my his medical anatomy books as a child. I thought it was so cool that someone could ‘fix’ babies and women (he is an obstetrician and gynecologist.)

Most important research/extracurricular experiences so far: Hard to choose! I first did research in high school on ovarian cancer, and from there I knew I wanted to do both research and medicine in my life. It was a great experience to learn so much so young and to also form a strong relationship with a post-doctoral researcher, my mentor. She is still a mentor to me today. In my first two years at Columbia, I did research on campus, and it was more ‘basic’ biology on an important cancer protein called p53. I learned a lot about myself then – about my interpersonal communication style, what I want in a career, and more. I decided definitely on the MD (as opposed to MD/PhD) track. Finally, I have had a great time this year interning at a public health firm helping out on a large research study and doing my own secondary research. I’m thankful I’ve been able to learn about the larger scope of medicine and about the crosstalk between medicine and public health.

What are your career goals? Medicine! I am going to medical school shortly after graduation. I am not totally sure what kind of physician I would like to be, but I know at some point I want to contribute to academia in some way, whether that is as a leading scientist or as a medical advisor to research studies.

Read Francesca’s advice here!



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A 30-year-old Hispanic man was stabbed outside of Suite on 109th and Amsterdam last night around 1 am (early morning April 10th).

The victim was standing on the corner when three unknown men approached him, according to an NYPD spokesperson. One of the three men stabbed him, and all three fled the scene.

The NYPD stated that the victim sustained several stab wounds to the torso and was “not cooperative with investigators.” He was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital and will likely survive his injuries. The suspects have not been caught and no arrests have been made at this time. It is unclear if the victim is a Columbia student or not.

Amsterdam Ave via Bwog Archives




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Maybe one thing we can all agree on?

At long last, Barnard’s Student Government Association’s meeting centered on a topic relevant to all students: food. Last night, our resolute representatives heard from the Food Advisory Board; the ad hoc Committee on Food Insecurity; Simone Harper-Register, Regional Aramark Manager; Lauren Scocozza, Director of Dining Services; and Gail Beltrone, Vice President for Campus Services. Questions were asked, and some were even answered. Sound enticing? Read on.

Sarah Broniscer, SGA Rep for Food and Dining Services and head of both the Food Advisory Board (FAB) and the ad hoc committee on food insecurity (AHCFI? let’s go with that), was joined by members of both of these groups to discuss what they’re working on. Gabrielle Finestone, BC’21, explained that a lot of the work done involves connecting administrative offices with students and gathering feedback. Yeliz Sezgin, BC’21, who is a member of the AHCFI as well as the First-Generation Low-Income Partnership’s (FLiP) committee on food insecurity explained that part of what AHCFI had to do was define what food insecurity looks like on Barnard’s campus. They settled on “the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.” She noted that this problem is compounded on Barnard’s campus, as many students are unfamiliar with how to manage eating in New York City and are unaware of what resources are available for them.

Delicious improvements after the jump



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img April 10, 201811:33 amimg 2 Comments

Zoha Qamar, looking professional

As the second full day of student council voting kicks off, Bwog is taking a moment to endorse Zoha Qamar for University Senate. After meeting with her Sunday to discuss her platform, we were impressed by her dedication and passion in improving Columbia on a whole-university level, despite some reservations about her goals regarding the housing lottery.

As VP Policy of ESC this year, Qamar worked to publicize study abroad programs for SEAS students and propel mental health training initiatives through collaboration with the Jed Foundation and the Mental Health Task Force. We particularly appreciated her successful work in installing forthcoming wellness vending machines around campus that will include emergency contraception, as well as her active commitment to stocking bathrooms with free pads and tampons despite university pushback – actions we believe demonstrate her passion for the community.

More aspects of her platform after the jump



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Putting the “no” in Nom Wah.

What’s Happening In The World: An air base in Damascus was hit after the devastating (and illegal) chemical attack on Sunday. The air base attack was apparently attributed to the U.S., but was then revised to Israel – though, given that we spend billions on Israel’s military, they weren’t totally off with their first guess. (NPR)

What’s Happening In The US: Special Counsel Robert Mueller ordered a raid on Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s office. We don’t know why yet – Stormy Daniels? Russia? Both?  – but we do know Cohen and Trump are really mad about it, citing “privileged communications.” Someone tell either of them who Richard Nixon was, please. (BBC)

What’s Happening In NYC: Assholes shouldn’t be rewarded with dumplings, but that’s exactly what Nom Wah founder Wilson Tang is doing by accepting Bitcoin at his newest location, a bar called “Boys Don’t Cry.” Um, they do when their Bitcoin value goes down. (Futurist)

What’s Happening At Columbia: Academic Freedom Week continues with an event called “Fuck White Supremacy.” You’re already interested. It’s in IAB 1201 from 12-1 pm today.

Overheard: “I get hit on by more straight guys at Suite than anywhere else.”

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