Daily Archive: April 27, 2018



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Marcellus is awesome.

Shakespeare nerd and Senior Staffer Abby Rubel couldn’t resist checking out KCST’s spring production of  Hamlet

Editor’s note, 4/28 2:15 pm: One line in the review about Hamlet and Horatio’s relationship and the caption of the photo depicting these two characters have been changed; this line and caption utilized a homophobic trope.

Anyone who knows any line of Shakespeare knows at least part of Hamlet’s famous soliloquy: “To be, or not to be, that is the question,” goes the speech. As powerful as it is written on the page, it’s somehow even more compelling delivered on the steps of Earl Hall, with Hamlet, played by Bailey Coleman (BC ’19), lit dramatically from below.

Every year, the King’s Crown Shakespeare Troupe puts on a production of Shakespeare using Columbia’s campus as the set. Ensemble members lead the audience from location to location. This year’s show, Hamlet, is much more well-known that last year’s As You Like It, and there’s baggage that comes with that. After all, how could you possibly deliver the same lines as Kenneth Branagh?

Hamlet is the story of a prince of Denmark whose uncle, Claudius, kills his father and marries his mother. Hamlet’s father’s ghost appears to him and asks that Hamlet revenge him. Hamlet agrees. What follows is, of course, a tragedy. Hamlet pretends to be mad and kills Polonius (the king’s advisor), which drives Ophelia (his lady-love) insane. In revenge, Ophelia’s brother, Laertes, conspires with Claudius to kill Hamlet in a fencing match. As backup, Claudius poisons a glass of wine. Unsurprisingly, the whole scheme goes wrong and everyone dies except Horatio, Hamlet’s best friend. But you already knew that.

Read more about ghosts, gays, and color theory after the jump.



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Classical Whines is back for whines about the classics and a wine rec. This time, it’s about Ovid’s Metamorphoses; a work that was once on the LitHum syllabus but has since been eviscerated from the Core. As a disclaimer, we are aware that LitHum syllabi may differ slightly between sections, but for our intents and purposes, this article will discuss the standard syllabus from the Core website. Also, Bwog does not endorse underage drinking; the wine recommendation is only for readers who are of legal drinking age.

Dr. Lake, who was my Latin teacher in high school, once said that Ovid’s Metamorphoses is the second most influential piece of literature for western art, after the Bible. I haven’t taken Art Hum yet, so I can’t vouch for this myself, but Dr. Lake said it, so it must be true. But you don’t even need to take Art Hum to see the range of influence that Ovid had on western art. If you’ve ever seen any of the paintings in the gallery below, you have Ovid to thank for the inspiration. (Botticelli’s Birth of Venus isn’t a story that is actually in the Metamorphoses, but this article from the Uffizi Gallery in Florence cites the work as an inspiration for the theme.)

Why is the Metamorphoses so important?



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In addendum to the ongoing strike and with no clear end in sight, a petition has been drafted to extend the strike. Student workers predict, should the strike be extended, it will continue until the end of the term. 

Graduate and undergraduate students march in solidarity on Low Plaza

A petition has been circulating among graduate student workers which calls for a vote on extending the graduate students’ strike until the end of the semester.

The petition argues that the strike has gained enough momentum to continue, and that ending it on Monday “risks turning our strike into a symbolic protest.” It calls for graduate workers to instead “send the union-busting machine that is Columbia a clear message: time is up.” It cites the struggle of NYU graduate workers and the West Virginia teachers’ strike as examples that prove that an extended strike is the only way to force Columbia to the bargaining table.

The petition clearly lays out what an extended strike would mean for the university: “As TAs, that means while we will agree hand over all relevant teaching materials, we will refuse to proctor exams and refuse to grade any course materials. As RAs, we will continue to withhold twenty hours of work as we are doing right now, affirming that the quality of our research depends on our living conditions and the level of respect given to us by the administration.”

Although the petition argues vehemently in favor of extending the strike, its stated purpose is calling a vote on the matter. “In the interest of democracy and collective power, we as rank and file members call on the union to facilitate a vote on extending our strike until the end of term.”

According to a tip, a vote will be called if the petition gets 916 votes. Right now, it has 183 signatures from graduate workers, seven from professors, and 365 from “allies.”

The text of the petition is below.



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Ready for anything

Classes are almost over, the strike is (maybe) almost over, and most Columbia teams are finishing up their regular season! 

Men’s Tennis: If Columbia (16-4, 5-1 Ivy) wins at Cornell (10-10, 3-3 Ivy) on Saturday at 1 pm, they’ll split the Ivy title with Dartmouth (20-5, 6-1 Ivy). Dartmouth, however, has already clinched the Ivy’s automatic berth to the NCAA championships thanks to a victory over Columbia on April 15, which snapped the Light Blue’s 22-match conference win streak. Columbia has won the Ivy title for the past four years, although it was shared with Cornell and Harvard last year. Dartmouth hasn’t won a title since 1997 and has only ever won three titles. Columbia and Cornell both dominated last weekend, winning both matches.

Softball: The Lions (19-18, 11-7 Ivy) will face off against Cornell (12-21, 7-8 Ivy) this weekend to determine if they’ll head to the Ivy League Championship Series. Right now, the Lions are in third place behind Harvard and Dartmouth. Only the top two teams go to the series. Harvard also ends its regular season this weekend, while Dartmouth will also play a series against Brown next weekend. The Light Blue will need to have a better record than at least one of those teams to go to the series; they lose a head-to-head record tiebreaker. Regardless of what happens this weekend, the Lions are guaranteed their first winning record in program history.

Lightweight Rowing: The crew team will row its last race of the regular season on Saturday with a home race against Drexel. Following last weekend’s victory over Dartmouth, the varsity eight has won all official cup races this season for the second time ever, and the first time since 2003. Drexel’s varsity eight lost to both Temple and Saint Joseph’s last weekend in the Bergen Cup race. They also lost to Columbia last season in the first two varsity races, but were triumphant in the third.

Another sports photo via



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Friends, countrymen, Columbia students, lend me your ears. I come to raise awareness of the Varsity Show, not to praise it.

You’ve probably heard of the Varsity Show already. After all, the characteristic yellow T-shirts, water bottles, and sweatshirts have been all over campus in the past few weeks, to say nothing of the endless promotion on Facebook and enormous banner hanging in Lerner. You’ve probably already made plans to go, gotten a ticket, and even figured out how you’ll sneak some libations into Roone. But just in case you’ve been laid low by a mysterious illness or holed up in Butler, here’s the spiel:

It’s here! It is time once again for Columbia’s oldest performing arts tradition: The Varsity Show. The 124th Annual Varsity Show is an original student musical that lampoons this year at Columbia. Come to Roone Arledge Auditorium on April 27th, April 28th, and April 29th to join in a beloved Columbia tradition and laugh at this year and all that came with it.

Check out the Facebook event for more info and ticket links to each show. And if you’re in the balcony tonight, keep your ears out for the Bwog contingent’s inevitable laughter whenever Spec gets mentioned.

That sounds kinda ominous? via the V124 Facebook event



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The Barnard Academic Award recipients were announced on Tuesday, April 24th. Over 175 students were awarded this year from a number of disciplines. The recipients are as follows:

  • Abigail Feinberg: Faculty Recognition Prize for Distinguished Achievement in Psychology
  • Abigail Kempf: B.G. Segal Intern Fund
  • Aining Ma: CJC Grant
  • Alana Taub: Foundations of Neuroscience Prize for Outstanding Research Achievement
  • Alexa Pinsky: Foundations of Neuroscience Prize for Outstanding Research Achievement
  • Ali Oshinsky: Howard M. Teichmann Writing Prize, Peter S. Prescott prize for Prose Writing
  • Aliza Isaacs: Sylvia Kopald Selekman Prize
  • Allison Emmet: Lucyle Hook Travel Grant
  • Alya Al Sager: Intellectual Frontiers Prize for Distinguished Accomplishment in Psychology
  • Alyssa Furber: German Scholarship Fund prize
  • Amara Jaeger: Margaret Kenney Jensen Prize
  • Amarelis Raudales: Faculty Recognition Prize for Distinguished Achievement in Psychology
  • Ambar Kleinbort: Foundations of Neuroscience Prize for Outstanding Research Achievement
  • Andrea Jo: Helen Prince Memorial prize
  • Andromeda Urquilla: Barnard Chemistry Dept. Award for Excellence in Research
  • Angela Montero: American Chemical Society’s Division of Analytical Chemistry Award
  • Anisa Tavangar: CJC Grant
  • Anni Wen: Fulbright Scholarship
  • Aubri Juhasz: Ann Barrow Hamilton Memorial Prize
  • Audrey Crane: Lucy Moses Award
  • Ayana Renoldi Bracco: Bettina Buonocore Salvo Prize

Discover who the other recipients are after the jump.



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President Higgins speaking in Rotunda on Thursday.

Even with the protests on campus, many people found themselves in the tightly-packed Rotunda in Low Library. Yesterday, Managing Editor Victoria Arancio had the privilege to hear Michael D. Higgins, the President of Ireland, speak about student activism, climate change, academia, and more. 

Yesterday, the Columbia World Leaders Forum invited Michael D. Higgins, the President of Ireland, to speak at Columbia University. Although a ceremonial position in nature, President Higgins preparedness and eloquence was evident throughout his address. While he primarily focused on multilateralism (the idea that supports nations coming together for a shared goal), His Excellency stood in front of his young audience, bringing his understanding of the United States, and more specifically, New York City into his hour-long address. Higgins addressed relevant issues between the youth and politics, as well as spoke of the political divisiveness on the global stage.

President Higgins, a poet, academic, and former broadcaster, demanded the undivided attention of the audience in the overheated Rotunda. With his academic career leading him away from University College Galway to the United States at Indiana University, it was clear that Higgins strongly values the connection between the United States and Ireland. Calling often on the events that unfolded on campus just over 50 years ago, Higgins recalled some of the most influential people during that time, quoting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and referencing Robert Kennedy in an address that he hoped would inspire the youth and push for discourse in the academic community.

What is multilateralism?



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Cursed image of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, somewhere between life and death

Happening in the World: The new royal baby has been named Louis Arthur Charles, a huge shock to everyone who didn’t know the Duchess of Cambridge was pregnant again. Prince Louis is fifth in the line of succession after his sister Charlotte thanks to the 2013 Succession to the Crown Act, which protected women’s claim to the throne. Yay for imperial feminism and congrats to Princess Kate! (CNN)

Happening in the US: The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, located in Montgomery, Alabama, had its grand opening yesterday. The museum, dedicated to preserving the history of lynching and racial trauma from antebellum America to the Black Lives Matter movement of today, is a $15 million private project by Bryan Stevenson, a 1995 MacArthur grant recipient. (Washington Post)

Happening in NYC: Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a letter of cease-and-desist to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), threatening further legal action for the aggressive methods. Cuomo’s statement was prompted by the over 200 arrests made in an ICE operation earlier this month. (NPR)

Happening on Campus: “1968 in 2018: Geographies and Temporalities of Mai 68” will be held in Buell Hall from 1:00 to 5:30 PM. The event will reflect on how the 1968 revolutions and resistance shape the activism of today, expanding the usual Paris to New York line to include Dakar, Tunis, and Madagascar. More information on the event can be found here.

Bop of the Day:

i had to use this uncomfortable Cuomo pic because lynching was too much via Wikimedia Commons

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