Daily Archive: May 1, 2018



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Bwog loves our SEAS students.

Looking for some wise words to get you through your day of studying? Charles Harper has some reassuring tips to get you through the rest of your time at CU. 

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Charles Harper; SEAS; Environmental Engineering; Dallas, Texas!

Claim to fame: I’ve probably harassed you about the planet, either through EcoReps, ESC, or the Roosevelt Institute’s carbon neutrality campaign. Also I occasionally portray birds in Latenite Theatre.

Where are you going? Hopefully staying Up North to work in environmental policy! AKA not going back to Texas.

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2022?

1. Take advantage of all the cool professors and classmates you have now. Go to office hours, even if you aren’t in their class. As an underclassman I would always chicken out and tell myself I had more time, but now I’m graduating and I wished I’d started taking advantage of all the awesome people we have at this school sooner. The biggest benefits of going to a good school like Columbia or Barnard aren’t in the buildings or the resources, although those are nice, but in the concentration of brilliant people. You might learn more from going to a panel/speaker event or club meeting or staying up late talking to your neighbors than you will in your actual classes, and that’s fine. Make the most of it.

Charles the Wise!



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Meet Shruti Varadarajan, this week’s CU Women in STEM subject, neuroscience researcher and Shakespeare-lover!

Bwog Science is back with CU Women in STEM, where we highlight the amazing women in science at Columbia. Today’s profile is from Shruti Varadarajan, BC ’19, who does research in neuroscience!

Major: Cell & Molecular Biology

What subjects are you interested in? I’m a cell & molecular biology major, but I work in a neuroscience lab so I’m also interested in the brain. I really try to take at least one class outside my major every semester, so I’ve really enjoyed exploring other subjects with classes about Shakespeare and Origins of Human Society and Public Health – I might try to get into related classes for my last year!

How did you get interested in your subject? Can you remember the moment that got you hooked? I’ve been interested in biology since high school, but I think I really solidified my interest when I took AP Bio my junior year of high school. Cell biology is infinitely complex and interesting and it really wasn’t hard for me to pick my major– it also helps that the Barnard Biology department is fabulous.

Most important research/extracurricular experiences so far: Working at Professor Rae Silver’s neurobiology lab over the past three years has been a really enriching experience for me. I end up spending several hours in Schermerhorn’s basement (everyone’s always surprised to find out there’s a lab there) studying the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus – a region of the hypothalamus that regulates circadian rhythm. I’ve done the Summer Research Institute at Barnard for the past two summers, and I plan to continue for my third summer. I also have a paper being published soon, so that’s very exciting!

What are your career goals? I want to go to medical school – and I’m currently trying to get through the application cycle!

Click here for Shruti’s advice and class suggestions!



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Yes, we gave him the ‘fuck Spec’ sticker in exchange for this interview

The Core Scholars program is an annual competition that invites students to submit a reflection on the Core. If selected as a winner, you get fame, glory, and your work featured on Columbia’s website. The university will give you two hundred dollars and a close-up picture of your face will be awkwardly placed in Hamilton Hall. Basically, all your hopes and dreams will come true.

To give our readership an inside look into the process, staff writer Danielle Mikaelian sat down with Gabriel Agostini, SEAS ‘21, who won for his satirical version of Cards Against Humanity, “Cards Against Sappho.” Gabriel, an Applied Math major, defied STEM stereotypes through being chosen as a Core Scholar. He hopes to show the world that one does not have to be in CC to know how to read.

Bwog: How did you come up with the idea for Cards Against Sappho?

Gabriel: So, last semester my LitHum instructor (shoutout to Sarah) gave us the option of doing a “final creative project” instead of a final paper. As you probably presumed given that I am in SEAS, I can’t write – so I went for the former. Unfortunately, I can’t draw either, so art was out of the question. I realized that the only thing I’m good at is making terrible jokes. At least, I hope that’s true. The Core Office apparently thinks so.

Like anyone who reads Sappho (Because there’s no Sparknotes version), I was aggravated when the most prevalent word in the poem was not even a word…but just empty brackets. Who is she longing for? Why does she simply want to be dead? A lot of blanks were in my mind as I read it, so I thought I ought to fill them. Luckily, there’s a game that does exactly that, and you probably played it while plastered, gentlemen.

Bwog: Can you tell us some rules of the game?

Gabriel: It’s played almost like the original game, with a Sapphic twist. The player who has had the most recent breakup begins as Zeus and is the first judge (so unfortunately one person will probably start the game for a long time in your friend group). Just print the cards, read the instructions, and invite your friends for a Symposium.

What are some of the cards?



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Free at last.

Missed the last SGA meeting of the semester last night? No fear! Barnard Bureau Chief Dassi Karp was there. She reports back on college budget changes, meal plans, and what will almost certainly not be the last advancement in the CUAD divestment discussion. Also, zines.

Last night’s Barnard Student Government Association meeting was the last of the semester, but that didn’t stop Rep Council from getting stuff done. Chief Operating Officer Robert Goldberg, VP Finance Eileen DiBenedetto, and VP Campus Services Gail Beltrone joined SGA to talk about the budget for the upcoming year.

If you’d like to understand how Barnard’s budget works, you can read about the last time SGA had this discussion. Or the time before that. Surprisingly, though, the presentation was actually pretty informative.

what Dassi learned…



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So radiant, so wise, so Nicki.

Feeling knocked down by finals? Nicki Felmus knows just what to say to get you back up and running in no time.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Nicki Felmus, CC, American Studies and Education, Richmond, Virginia

Claim to fame: NSOP lady, president of Roosevelt, CCSC class rep, spams you to buy challah, I didn’t pee for 30 hours on my COOP trip, and that education girl

Where are you going? Washington, D.C. to teach middle school humanities

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2022?

1. Get off campus. My freshman year I barely left campus and I really struggled with mental health/ succumbing to stress culture. Sophomore year, I vowed to myself that I would leave campus at least once a week and I’m a much happier and healthier person for it. Whether it’s going to Riverside for a walk, a coffee shop to work on reading, or exploring the East Village, you will thank yourself for hopping on the 1.

2. Advocate for yourself. There are so many resources on Columbia’s campus, but none of them will reach out to you. You need to do the research to find the resources and use them. I found my first two years to be very frustrating because I never knew which office to ask about what. Additionally, i had a really difficult Junior fall and I wish I had been more communicative with my professors.

3. Columbia tends to knock you down, but you can and will get back up. Everyone faces a lot of troubles and stresses. Sometimes you feel as if you can’t get back up from falling. I’m here to tell you that you can. You can still be a leader of a club if you lose an election. You’re still a fantastic human being if you didn’t get into the group you applied for. You are worthy, you are strong, you are brilliant, and you can get back up.

Get back up and read more here



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Be. That. Guy.

Done learning for this year? Think again: hear about what Ben Gersten has to say about his unique Columbia experience. 

Name, School, Major, Hometown:

Ben Gersten, GS/JTS, Neuroscience & Linguistics (CU) / Bible (JTS), Roseland, NJ

Claim to fame:

  • As a TA for Science of Psych, during a guest lecture about the auditory aspects of different letters, I accidentally said, “You might want to measure this sound’s ‘P’-ness.”
  • For 5 semesters I was a dedicated participant in the group fitness Zumba, Cardio Kickbox, and Step Aerobics classes at Dodge… and I never saw another guy in one of my classes. Do you lift bro?
  • Past CoChair of KOACH, the traditional egalitarian community at CU/BC Hillel and still riding that wave.

Where are you going? Washington, DC. I will be working at the National Institutes of Health in a lab that studies the interaction of cancer drugs and hearing loss.

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2022?

1. A email address is powerful. Even though we can all name about a hundred things we wished Columbia could give us, the one thing it did give us was an email address that means something to people beyond Morningside Heights. The worst that someone can do to a cold-call message that came out of the blue from a plucky undergrad with a can-do attitude is delete it. Master the art of the perfectly worded message and own it. “Dear Role Model, Hope all is well. Can you do me this favor because I hope to be successful someday?” You can create your own opportunities and take control of your own success just by hitting “Send.”

Be What Guy?



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Our most faithful friend.

Bwogline: John Kelly definitely didn’t call Trump an “idiot”. Hm, I’m having déja vu…

Study Tip: According to the wise words of one Bwogger, if you’re writing a paper, just take it 100 words at a time.

Music: Or follow the rules of this classic bop.

Procrastination Tip: Mourn your chances of getting with your hot TA even when they might be literally the same age as you. If you are a hot TA, mourn your chances of ever finding love.

Overheard: “That mix of hair and dust is just so *clenches fist* … college.”


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