Aug

30

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At Columbia we are all eternal painters, expressing the emptiness of our hollow shells via glimmers of what were once our social lives.

At Columbia we are all eternal painters, expressing the emptiness of our hollow shells and glimmers of what were once our social lives.

The first night where the sum total of the freshmen class was united has passed, but how do you feel? Tired? Homesick? Extremely hungover? Well, there’s no better cure to all of these problems like early morning mandatory academic events. Remember, you suffer through the patronizingly mandatory events of the day to get NSLOPPY at night, so keep trudging on. Remember to send anything of note to tips@bwog.com so we can share your degenerate, Carman (paint) party experiences with the rest of the student body.

Today’s Events Of Interest:

  • SEAS Academic Assembly, 9:00-10:30 AM, 309 Havemeyer Hall. Dean Boyce of the School of Engineering, joined by members of SEAS faculty and alumni, will lead a mandatory discussion on your role at Columbia, your future, your opportunities—all that good stuff. Don’t be too disheartened, though. Besides those pesky mandatory track events, this is the only required SEAS event for the day.
  • CC Academic Assembly, 9:00-10:15 AM, Roone, and LitHum: The First Class, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM, Roone. Yes, CC frosh, you have two required lectures at Roone where first Deantini will introduce you to the inspiring academic culture which flourishes at Columbia, and then your peers will try and rip that apart in a covert competition of “Who can ask the lecturer the most contrived question?”. We all went through it. A piece of advice, don’t ask any questions. Soon you’ll be in your actual LitHum seminar, after all.
  • Floor Night Out, 10:00 PM – 12:00 AM. Today’s theme is “required events which might be meaningful, but will probably get in the way of partying,” and this last event of the night doesn’t stray away from that. Your RA will travel with you somewhere in the city for a casual night of fun and talking to the people on your floor. If you have a good RA, he or she might even let you off a little early for your NSLOP needs.

Another Thing To Do Before Graduating: Try every sandwich at either HamDel, Milano, or both. Remember to ask for a loyalty card at HamDel, though. Those free sandwiches are brief monuments to your commitment to eating “Absolutely Fine Food”.

From The Archives: Didn’t know what we meant when we referenced a “paint party” above? Acquaint yourselves with one of the most legendary Carman parties to have ever been thrown. Can you outdo the Carman paint party? Well, you probably shouldn’t.

Aug

29

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missed u shutterstock

Overseen: Group of first-years at a Carman party

NSOP isn’t complete with a handful of pregames being thrown on your floor, and we know that even the worst vodka can be made better with a good playlist. To help you make your pregame the “most lit” in Carman, we bring you two hours of hype music to get you excited to go out after a long day of useless programming. We even offer some comments on a handful of the songs.

  • Pick Up the Phone – Young Thug, Travi$ Scott, Quavo: Your phone is now full of nameless phone numbers telling you where you should go for the night’s festivities. Pick up the phone and decide where to partake in harmless libations and spirits.
  • My Shit – A Boogie Wit da Hoodie: Just like you, A Boogie is an rising star in rap hailing from the Bronx. Soon enough you’ll be opening for Drake, or navigating John Jay without taking 30 minutes to decide what you want to eat.
  • Bitch Better Have My Money – Rihanna: It’s not going to take long for you to realize that you will spend too much money going out every night of NSOP. Make sure your friend pays you back for covering their fake in your group order so you’ll be able to afford your Vodka Cranberries at Mel’s.
  • No Role Modelz – J. Cole: We hate to break it to you, but your OL is probably not going to bed at 8pm every night this week. Know that everyone is going to be hungover each morning. No one is safe from NSLOP.
  • Again – Fetty Wap: Columbia experienced a tragedy last year when we didn’t get Fetty to play Bacchanal. Join us in mourning what could have been.
  • Antidote – Travi$ Scott: We understand that you’re going to want to try our your roommates herbal remedies they brought from home, but be smart about the odor drifting from your room to your RA’s door. As Travi$ would say, “Don’t you let out that antidote.”
  • Bound 2 – Kanye West: You can never go wrong with this song as your closer before you head out to the bars. You’ll also get used to hearing it on campus as it’s one of the only 3 songs CUMB knows how to play.

Aug

29

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Not an ideal outfit for sweating under the convocation tent

Welcome to your first full day of NSOP! While the heavy-lifting (literally) of moving in is over for many of you, the more local students still have to haul shit into their rooms. Either way, there is more awkward social interaction to come! (The socializing is worth it if it gives you access to free alcohol later tonight.) Be sure to send the weird/exciting things you see/do to tips@bwog.com for a chance to be featured/mocked on our website.

Today’s Highlights:

  • Convocation, 2:30-4:00pm, Low Plaza. All 1,500 of you first years will gather under a tent on Low Plaza to awkwardly sit and sweat with your parents and new classmates. Random “student leaders” will give meaningless speeches, and Dean Valentini will deliver the same “Pantone 292” joke as he does every year.
  • Cookout Dinner, 5:30-7:00pm, Van Am Quad. This is the best food you’re going to get all week. In past years, all NSOP food has been served outside, but this year you have to eat in the actual dining halls for most of the week. Relish the semi-decent seafood and yummy frozen desserts while you can.
  • Class Act, 7:00-8:30pm, Roone. We are curious to see what “many traditions” Columbia claims we have–all the “traditions” that we’re familiar with revolve around the stress of finals! Anyway, we’d love if some of you first years could report back to us with your findings.

One Thing To Do Before Graduating: Get your ass to Brooklyn (or just Lower Manhattan). Use your abundance of free time before classes start to explore the city.

From The Archives: Here are our first Field Notes from last fall. If you’re already tired of Carman parties, you can use our weekly Field Notes series as nightlife guidance. Try not to get CAVA’d this week!

Aug

28

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The cover of this year’s zine

The Disorientation Guide is back for NSOP 2016. Made by student activists, the “zine’s” purpose is to familiarize new students with campus activism and educate them on the various causes and how they can get involved.

You can check out the 2016 guide here. This new version pulls from the 2014 iteration, re-purposing content such as a timeline of Columbia’s “colonialist history” and an explanation of corporate feminism, but also contains updates on the activist groups’ work from the past two years (such as the formation of the Barnard Columbia Solidarity Network, the launch of the Apartheid Divest campaign, and Columbia Divest for Climate Justice’s Low sit-in). There is also a page dedicated to how the Marching Band “does not make Columbia a safe space,” as well as a useful guide on the Administration (with the subtitle “Your guide to who to complain to and who to go to for money”).

On the back cover of the zine, there is a list of upcoming events such as an “Activist Meet and Greet” and a “Civil Disobedience Training”–notably missing is a party at Potluck (probably because they got in trouble for having a guillotine at their Disorientation party in 2014). The students behind the guide will be creating Facebook events for these meet-ups soon.

Aug

26

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Soon to be a Dunkin? ;)

According to West Side Rag, Deluxe has closed for good. Its furniture was sold in an auction on Tuesday, and the phone rang off the hook when we tried to call today. The 113th St. diner’s closure comes nine months after it briefly shut down in December 2015 before re-opening a few days later due to protest from the MoHi community. Hey, it’s probably difficult to run a diner on the same block as Seinfeld-famous Tom’s (no matter the sogginess of their fries or the drunken rowdiness of their clientele).

First Cannon’s, now Deluxe–which mediocre establishment in the Columbia vicinity will close next? And what bougie business will take Deluxe’s place? Another farm-to-table restaurant? A SoulCycle? One Bwogger hopes that the space will become home to the Columbia Dunkin Donuts that Sweetgreen should have been.

A New England Bwogger can dream via West Side Rag

Aug

24

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The summer is coming to an end, and you can no longer pretend that the school year isn’t about to start. Here’s a playlist to stop procrastinating and start packing (unless you’re already at CU for COÖP–have fun putting up with puerile poop jokes and not showering for four days–or as an OL–don’t get CAVA’d!).

  1. Fuck With Myself by Banks – “I fuck with myself more than anybody else”–a song for those of you moving into singles this year
  2. For Free by DJ Khaled feat. Drake – Mentally prepare for your first night back on campus with this song, and take solace in knowing that you won’t be ending your night at Cannons.
  3. You Know I’m No Good by Amy Winehouse – “I cheated myself like I knew I would”–for when you’re packing that dress you bought on clearance that you know you’ll never wear.
  4. Bird Song – Diplo Remix by M.I.A. – Attempt zipping up your over-stuffed suitcases with this beat in the background
  5. America by First Aid Kit – Listen to this while driving through the middle of nowhere on your way back to the city.
  6. Back On Road by Gucci Mane feat. Drake – A tune for trying to shove all of your stuff into the trunk of your mom’s car
  7. Gemini Feed by Banks – An ode to why you should avoid your various exes on campus.
  8. Only U by PARTYNEXTDOOR – “It’s only you/Nobody can catch my eye”–a song for the 115th halal guy now that you’re living closer to the 116th cart.
  9. My Body’s Made of Crushed Little Stars by Mitski – “I better ace that interview/I should tell them that I’m not afraid to die”–an aggressive rock tune for your return to Columbia’s stress culture.
  10. The Five of Us Are Dying – Rough Mix by My Chemical Romance – For when your suite group text is wondering how gross your new living situation will be. (Seriously, how many Columbia dorms have mold in the walls???)
  11. Faker by Elissa – Yeah, you’re living in isolated-ass Claremont this year, but at least you’ll be closer to Knox for your daily Arabic classes.
  12. Everything Is You by Empress Of – See number 7.
  13. Not Nice by PARTYNEXTDOOR – “You’re not nice/You’re rude”–a song for readjusting to the rudeness of New Yorkers.
  14. No One by Alicia Keys – For being reunited with your roommate–because nobody gets you like they do.

Aug

24

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First tip: stuff those move-in carts as high as you can

First tip: stuff those move-in carts as high as you can

If you’re reading this, there’s a pretty good chance you attended NSOP. And if you attended NSOP, you almost definitely hated NSOP. Hating NSOP is, as the class of 2020 will soon discover, an integral part of the Columbia experience, just like parties in Carman doubles and forgetting we have a football team. This year’s orientation, kicking off with move-in this Sunday, will surely be no different.

But just because incoming freshmen will probably hate NSOP doesn’t mean they can’t make the most of their first week on campus by making friends, exploring the city, and acquiring fakes. Bwog is going to help the freshmen out by posting one or two NSOP tips on our Twitter each day.

If you want to contribute some tips (help freshmen get CAVA’d during their second week instead of their first week), send them in to tips@bwog.com!  And keep a look out for the posts on Twitter–we’ll be tagging them #BwogDoesNSOP.

An already-crowded campus via 2014 Bwog

Aug

23

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Columbia_University_-_Low_Memorial_Library-DThe National Labor Relations Board ruled on Tuesday that graduate students at universities across the country will now be able to unionize. The case involved grad students at Columbia, and overturned a 2004 precedent in a case involving Brown University.

This ruling comes after two years of Columbia graduate students pushing for the right to unionize. A petition of theirs was denied by the NLRB back in February 2015.

According to Politico, Columbia may appeal the board’s decision. The University has yet to release an official statement.

You can read the NLRB’s full ruling here.

Update, 4:47pm: Caroline Adelman, Media Relations Director for CU, gave a statement to the New York Times disagreeing with the ruling. In it she said, “While we are reviewing the ruling, Columbia — along with many of our peer institutions — disagrees with this outcome because we believe the academic relationship students have with faculty members and departments as part of their studies is not the same as between employer and employee.”

Update, 8/24/2016 at 2:25pmColumbia has released their official statement on the NLRB ruling in an email from the provost. You can read it below:

Read the statement after the jump.

Aug

22

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Bwog continues its Houses and Homes series with Amara’s family vacation to Hawaii. If you, too, would rather write out the details of your summer surroundings rather than force yourself to engage in conversations about your future, snap a pic and send your five senses to tips@bwog.com!

Where: Maui, Hawaii

Sight:

image

Smell: Tourists always smell like SPF 900. Wailea was no exception.

Sound: People saying “mmhmmm” but in different accents. Grandma again asking about my damn major.

Taste: The karma-acid from eating 2 whole pineapples and not sharing

Aug

20

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What if Columbia has to mortgage Butler???

What if Columbia has to mortgage Butler???

Despite being in the middle of wrapping up his summer legal internship, Arts Editor Gowan Moise took the time to look into the latest legal allegations against our great University. 

Last Tuesday, a proposed class action lawsuit naming Columbia University was filed in the New York federal district court. In the complaint, the unnamed plaintiff (“Jane Doe”) accused the university of allegedly overcharging administrative fees for participation in its retirement plan. In addition to this allegation, Doe claims that Columbia improperly managed the investment options and selected poorly performing options over alternative investments, thereby reducing the retirement assets of university employees. These actions by the university allegedly caused participants in the university’s retirement plan to lose hundreds of millions of dollars, leading the beneficiaries to ask the court to judge Columbia liable for $100 million in damages.

The complaint against the university seeks class action status, as it represents a proposed class of 27,000+ participants in Columbia’s retirement plans. The suit claims that the university breached its fiduciary responsibility according to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by allowing participants in the retirement plan to pay unreasonable fees for administrative and investment services in relation to the retirement plan. Because Columbia also allegedly “selected and retained expensive and poor-performing investment options that consistently and historically underperformed their benchmarks and similar funds,” according to the complaint, “Columbia University caused … plans, and hence participants, to suffer hundreds of millions of dollars of staggering losses to retirement savings.”

Columbia has yet to make any official statement regarding the filed lawsuit. Provided that the summary judgement is not reached in favor of either party, the university will ultimately either address its fiduciary responsibility to participants by either settling with the plaintiffs out of court, or face trial.

In addition to Columbia, eight notable universities have been recently named in similar proposed class action lawsuits relating to retirement plan mismanagement and breach of fiduciary duty. These universities include NYU, Yale, the University of Pennsylvania, and MIT, among others.

For the legal-minded, the initial complaint of the lawsuit filed against Columbia and other related court documents can be accessed online through this site ($5 per document with the 14-day free access trial).

Aug

19

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It’s that time of year again…time to reevaluate what “home” means, as you pack up your summer life and head back to MoHi. Where was your home these past few months? Parents’ place? Summer house? Sublet? Tent? Hostel? Wherever it was, we want to know! Bwog is running its annual Houses and Homes series. Send tips@bwog.com a picture of your home. Include where it is, and what it sounds, smells, and tastes like. Add personal flourish! First up is Bwog’s own Sarah Dahl, who spent the summer teaching kids in Hong Kong, and, according to Twitter, living her best life.

Where: ~70 sq foot apartment just inside Hong Kong’s Mongkok district, which is the most crowded place in the world (according to Guinness).

Sight: 

"Happy Day" bedspread

“Happy Day” bedspread

Sound: A/C, my neighbor’s phone convos and drumming, rain, Spotify blasting Mitski, PWR BTTM, or the Marie Antoinette soundtrack.

Smell: Fish or cigarettes, depending what my neighbors are cooking/smoking.

Taste: Soy milk, sushi, peanut butter-covered waffles, discounted Toblerone and Cadbury’s, daily breakfast of cornflakes and blueberries, ramen.

Aug

18

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View of one bed

Home sweet home

Listen, first-years—we know that you’re beyond excited to start your academic career at the Columbia University. However, one of your first big decisions you will have to make for school is what you will pack and bring to your new and depressing dorm room. We’ve put together our list of college essentials that aren’t listed in the Bed, Bath, and Beyond pamphlet. Enjoy!

The essentials

  • An ID (which may or may not be fake): Columbia’s social life for first years largely revolves around going to bars in the area after pregaming in your Carman double. You’ll want to make sure that you can sit on the 1020 pool table or sip on a margarita at The Heights during NSOP, so find a group now (or when you get to campus) to go in on a group order for IDs. You can absolutely have a fulfilling social life at Columbia without an ID, but your night out is going to feel incomplete if you don’t end up going to the bars with friends around midnight. Invest in a good product and you’ll be set until junior year.
  • A sleep mask: Columbia doesn’t give a shit about your quality of sleep, and you will find that you have some pretty crappy shades in your dorm room. You will also likely have a roommate who wakes up at inconvenient times and insists on turning on all the lights. A sleep mask will afford you a few extra hours of sleep/some help getting over your hangover.
  • Your old pair of white Converse: No Columbia betch has ever been caught in a frat without their trusty pair of white Converse. By the end of the year, they will be thoroughly covered with sticky alcohol, puke, dirt, and shame. It’s almost like a scrapbook of all your favorite memories!

More things you’ll need to shove into your duffle bag next.

Aug

18

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It’s about that time again… so we’ve prepared a playlist! Whether you’re bummed about summer’s approaching end, or you can’t wait for school to start again (despite the inevitably crushing workload), here’s a soundtrack for your transition back to Columbia (and the anxieties and insecurities that can come along with that).

  1. T-Shirt Weather by Circa Waves – As summer comes to a close, this song is perfect to play with your windows rolled down (maybe for the last time this year?)
  2. You’re Not Good Enough by Blood Orange – You’ll need a song to prepare yourself for re-entry into the land of Imposter Syndrome, aka CU. Dev Hynes will help you get ready to doubt yourself again!
  3. It’s All in Vain by Wet – For when ya gotta tell that summer fling, “baby please, let go of me, let go of me.”
  4. ADHD by Kendrick Lamar – This will only remind you how much you’ll have to concentrate soon once classes start back up, but who cares, at least the beat is great.
  5. Super Rich Kids by Frank Ocean – CU, is that you? We’ll keep jamming to this song until we stop being bitter about the fact that Frank has yet to release new music… so forever, basically.
  6. Summer’s Over Interlude by Drake – Speaks for itself.
  7. Don’t F**k With My Money by Penguin Prison – Time to be a broke college student again!
  8. Pay My Rent by DNCE – For all of us returning to Columbia, but not to on-campus housing this fall, this song is particularly relevant.
  9. Girls ft. Chance the Rapper by Joey Purp – Q: Where all the girls at? A: Barnard, probably.
  10. Oblivion by Grimes – As summer starts to fade, Grimes will provide the soundtrack to transition into fall.
  11. Too Much by Geographer – For those who have “been here just lying in the basement” waiting to go back to school.
  12. Lite Weight by Anderson Paak – If you’re tolerance went away this summer like ours did… also, you better refresh your memory on all those jams that mostly white boyz like, and Malibu a good place to start.
  13. Please Ask For Help by Telekinesis – Make sure the froshies are reaching out when they need assistance! Come on, lend a hand. Be one of the nice upperclassmen.
  14. I Want You by Marian Hill – “I spent the whole summer sleeping, you’ve been staying up all night….”
  15. Paris by The 1975 – They may be describing the French city when they say “not enough noise and too much racket,” but which city does that really remind you of?
  16. Sunny Spell by Basic Tape – A bop, honestly. Perfect for background music while you stuff your suitcase, or for walking down the MoHi sidewalk for the first time since May.
  17. Same Old Song by The Weeknd – If you think this year’s gonna be soooo different… let us know how that works out!
  18. Finger Back by Vampire Weekend – In which Ezra sings about Jerusalem… ya know, “the one at W. 103rd and B’way?” It’s a falafel shop, for all you first years. Get pumped to be back on Broadway.

Aug

17

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but actually what is this logo

NSOP mission #1: find four cans of paint and splatter them on the ground.

NSOP is just two weeks from now! If you haven’t heard, this year’s theme is NSOP Out Loud. If the NSOP Committee’s promo video is any indication, first-years will be expected to take a bunch of Snapchat videos, hopefully making friends along the way.

Undergraduate Student Life released the schedules for all undergraduate NSOP’s this week. Barnard’s Guidebook is here, CC & SEAS can find their schedule here, and GS’s supplementary material is here. With the schedules so full, we want to highlight some of the exciting (and non-mandatory) events available to first-years. What should you do during NSOP?

  • This year’s NYC Event is Take Me Out to the Ballgame on Thursday night. This collective NSOP outing will let you spend some time with your new friends and force you to awkwardly explain to your Orientation Leader how you bought that beer you’re drinking. The New York Mets will host the Miami Marlins at Citi Field in Queens, so you should allot an hour to travel via the 1/2/3 and 7 trains. Columbia will host a tailgate party in the parking lot, and the first 1,000 students there will get to be on the field before the game. If you’re a sports fan, or if you’ve never witnessed the American Pastime, go out with the Class of 2020 on Thursday.
  • The EcoReps Green Sale goes on twice during NSOP, 9 am-4 pm on Thursday, August 31st and Monday, September 5th. If you need a fridge, a fan, some hangers, some art, or anything else for your dorm room, the Green Sale is a fantastic option. Everything sold by EcoReps was collected at the end of the last school year, and most prices are either low or negotiable. If you want to do some shopping in Wien Lounge, we suggest going on Thursday. If you wait until Monday, you’ll be fighting with all of the returning students. (Pro Tip: If you wait until 3 pm on Monday, EcoReps will start giving away whatever’s left for free!)
  • If you want to feel intellectual early, consider the #BarnardReads series. All week, Barnard professors will lead discussions based on books, plays, and TED Talks. These one-hour sessions in Sulzberger Parlor of Barnard Hall include topics such as “Can creativity save us?” and “How and why have feminists participated in Occupy Wall Street and #BlackLivesMatter?” NSOP asks that students interested in these discussions familiarize themselves with the material before arriving (just like for any other class). For more information, check out the Barnard First Year Blog.
  • Between Saturday and Sunday, NSOP will offer thirteen Neighborhood Tours to show you around New York City. If you want some good food, load up your Metrocard and take the Just Desserts or Cheap Eats tours downtown. For gorgeous views, consider the Brooklyn Bridge Night Tour, the Chelsea and Highline Tour, or the Central Park Photography Tour. If you want to spend a whole day out, the Coney Island Beach Day could be for you. That weekend is light on programming, so try to get out and see the city you wrote so much about on your college essays!
  • Make sure you go to the Activities Fairs! Both of them are from 12-4 pm during the first week of school–Barnard’s is on Wednesday and Columbia’s is on Friday. Hundreds of student groups will table and attempt to court you with free candy in order to get you onto their interest listservs. This is the best place to learn about clubs and find your new extracurriculars. At the very least, you’ll come away with a few extra stickers for your laptop.

Aug

7

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T.I. and JT rap about your mailbox woe

T.I. and JT rap about your mailbox woe

There were some things you thought you could count on at Columbia. One of them was that plinth for Henry Moore’s statue. But the plinth is finally gone, and now your mailing address is, too.

In an email to students on Friday, Columbia Housing announced that you should start addressing all mail/packages to:

Your Full Name, ####
70 Morningside Drive
New York, NY 10027

The hashtags represent your mailbox number. The email instructs, “Never write ‘box’ before the number.”

But wait! Don’t stop reading! The Package Center has also moved. Indeed, Housing informed us in their lengthy email that the package center is now in Wien. Use your long walks to the Package Center to compose angsty poetry about how you can’t trust Frank Ocean or Columbia.

Did you already order some Prime goodies to your old address? Not to worry, Columbia Mail assures they “will ensure it gets to the proper location.” How long that may take is another question…

Good luck memorizing your new address. Just one more thing to remember in a long slew of facts for this year.

Greatest rap duo ever via Wikimedia Commons

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