Fire At 600 West 116th

A fire has broken out at Barnard dorm 600 West 116th Street. New York fire department is currently on the scene, and the building has been evacuated. A tip reports that smoke reaches all the way to 121st and Broadway and the entire quad is now being evacuated into Lefrak gymnasium. Email if you have any additional information about this emergency, and follow Twitter for information as it comes.

Please remember this is a serious incident thus everyone should exercise caution in the area. Students should feel safe going to Lefrak if they live in the area/the quad.

Update: 11:27 PM: “Ollie’s Broadway walls burst, with shrapnel hitting bystanders. Spectators closed off from Broadway 115-116.”

Update: 11:33 PM

Update: 11:36 PM: Video of the fire courtesy of David Pincus

Update: 11:51 PM: According to a tipster living in Elliot Hall, RAs in the dorm have been telling residents that students living in 600 and the Quad will have to sleep in Lefrak gym tonight. Elliott is offering up lounges/floor space to alleviate crowding in Lefrak.

Update: 11:53 PM: A spreadsheet has now begun circulating amongst Barnard students offering temporary housing for students living in 600. If you are willing to offer up space for the displaced students, you can find the Google Doc here.

Update: 12:10 AM: All residents of the Barnard Quad have been let back into the dorms.

Update: 12:24 AM: Email sent to residents of 600 from Director of ResLife Ann Aversa below:

Update: 1:13 AM: The fire is officially under control. Separately, one Barnard RA reminds us: “Lounges in all Barnard buildings are open to residents and residents are encouraged to find housing for the night as it is unlikely for the building to open until much later.”

Hold On, We’re Going Home

Magnolias in Medford

No matter how long you’ve been at Columbia, going home still feels weird. Bwog Babe Rachel Deal did just so this past weekend and tells us about her feelings on the relationship between being in college while also retaining a sense of belonging to your home.

I went home this past weekend for my siblings’ tenth birthday, taking the 1 train to Penn Station and then a five-hour bus to Cambridge, Massachusetts. I arrived at my house at a little before midnight on Thursday. My parents hugged me and heated up some leftover Chinese food, and I gave my slumbering siblings two big kisses on their foreheads, not wanting to wake them up on a school night.

I live in a suburb of Boston called Medford—the home of Tufts—on a dead-end street where there was once an orchard. My neighborhood is currently cloaked in snow—my dad, who towers over the rest of my family at 6’4”, is barely visible as he shuffles down our slippery walkway, snow piled high on either side of him. In a few weeks, the snow will melt and our magnolia tree will bloom just in time for my birthday in late April. None of my friends at home live near me, really—I went to school in Cambridge, bordered on either side by Mt. Auburn Cemetery and the Charles River and not far from Harvard, with kids who commuted from towns like Newton or Belmont or Wellesley, suburbs of Boston much wealthier than my own.

It was my first time home this semester, the first time in about six weeks (which, I’m sure, doesn’t feel like that long for those of you who live far from New York). I saw family and friends and former love interests. I did little work. I took my sister out for ice cream. I got ramen with a pal at the new place in Harvard Square. I went to a party on my friend’s floor at MIT. When I got back to campus on Sunday night, though, I felt drained—my head ached, my skin was peeling, and I thought that maybe I shouldn’t have gone home. Maybe I just felt like that because my bus ride through the snow took seven hours, but home also felt different—temporary—and I wondered if I would ever start referring to the city (or, maybe, to my dingy Carman double) as “home” instead.

All of the feelings after the jump.

BunsenBwog: Kids These Days

Yeah science, bitch!

Even though it’s March, the “new year, new us” mindset is alive and well. We’re bringing back an element of our past with the revival of BunsenBwog—a brief review of some of the science-related findings and contributions done by members of our campus community. We enlisted the assistance of Bunsen Burner Belle Briana Bursten to enlighten us with her scientific wisdom. 

Everyone knows that a cellphone is the number one item in a millennial’s starter pack, so we think it’s pretty smart that Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health and College of Physicians and Surgeons decided to capitalize on the usage of this technological necessity for health purposes. Earlier this year, kids were sent text messages reminding them to get their second flu vaccination. The results? Text messages both increased the receipt of the vaccination and also brought children to receive their vaccinations sooner.

A new magnetic technology developed by doctors at Columbia known as MAGEC (MAGnetic Expansion Control) is now being used to treat early-onset Scoliosis in children. While growing rods are effective in correcting the curvature of the spine for children with Scoliosis, the child is also subjected to multiple surgeries throughout their youth in order to adjust the size of the rod. However, the MAGEC permits surgeons to lengthen the rods with a handheld external magnet, thus avoiding surgery and additional costs for parents.

According to a CUMC study, children and adolescents with autism have an excessive amount of synapses in the brain. This excess affects cognitive development, particularly during the “pruning process.” Knowledge of this neurological finding can perhaps lead to a cure, as there are drugs available that may work to restore synaptic pruning.

Outbreaks of Kawasaki disease in Japan, a rare childhood condition that causes inflammation of the blood vessels that later leads to heart disease, may be traced to wind currents coming from northeast China. A study by Mailman School of Public Health reveals that instances of the disease peaked when winds that originated from a region with “vast cereal croplands” swept over specific locations.

Missin Walter White via Shutterstock

A New Re:vision On Campus


Is there a Serial-shaped hole in your life? Finally getting sick of blasting 1989 on repeat all day? (xoxo love you Taylor.) Bwog’s got the midterms fix for you. Our friends over at The Blue and White (specifically: Managing Editor Hallie Nell Swanson, Layout Editor/Publisher Jessie Chasan-Taber, and Culture Editor Alexander Pines, all CC ‘16) are launching a new literary podcast called “re:vision.”

Re:vision, which is interview-based, will feature Barnard/Columbia undergraduate writers in conversation about their writing lives—where they work, thoughts on the literary community in New York and on campus, rants about Girls, and more. For now, the podcast will be released once every two weeks and focus on writers working in fiction, poetry, literary nonfiction, longform reportage, etc.

Re:vision’s first interview will be up later this week on Soundcloud and Tumblr. Know any writers on campus you think are amazing? Nominate them by emailing re:vision here.

SGA Learns About Barnard BLUE Program

The Barnard BLUE Program’s mission is to present workshops and dialogue for the promotion of social justice and equity

It’s almost the halfway point in the semester, which means we’re moving into Stage 2 of Midterm Stress: Anticipatory Stress (Stage 1 was Anticipation of Anticipatory Stress; Stage 3 will simply be Oh-Shit-I-Guess-This-Is-Happening). During this time of turmoil it’s nice to know that SGA continues to run its meetings like a well-oiled machine. Barnard Bearoness Maddie Stearn is back to report on the agenda that featured presentations on Student Life initiatives, the Quality of Life survey, and JCCC updates.

Associate Dean of Student Life Alina Wong regularly attends SGA meetings as the group’s advisor, but on Monday night she was present in a slightly different capacity. Dean Wong and her colleagues—Assistant Dean Jenn Wells and Program Coordinator Luz Ovalle—provided SGA with a general overview of the Office of Student Life and gave an update on current initiatives. The majority of the presentation was devoted to discussing Barnard BLUE (Building Leadership and Understanding Equity). This relatively new program has three components: 1) the Barnard BLUE Summit, 2) the Barnard BLUE Series, and 3) Discover Barnard BLUE. The summit will take place later this month and will focus on how individuals can incorporate a wide variety of experiences, backgrounds, and identities into leadership development.

In the meantime, Student Life has been sponsoring the Barnard BLUE Series, a set of dialogues and workshops that promote the practice of social justice and equity. Last month the Series sponsored “BLUE Actions: Addressing Racial Microaggressions,” a workshop where participants shared experiences with microaggressions and how these instances can be prevented in the future. The next Series, “Leading Through Transition and Change,” will be held on March 11th at 6:30pm in Diana 302. The workshop will cover how students retain the culture of their club/organization during changes in leadership.

More SGA news after the jump

Bwoglines: #Artsy Edition

grab the money and go? more like grab the monet and gogh!

Although the internet has been buzzing about that white/gold/black/blue dress (we even wrote an entire Bwoglines about the damn thing), artist Nelson Shanks admitted in an interview that he painted the shadow of Monica Lewinsky’s blue dress in his 2006 presidential portrait of Bill Clinton. See if you can spot the addition on the left side of the image by following the link above. (MSNBC)

A Picasso painting stolen back in 2001 was recovered by customs this past weekend at the Newark airport. The piece, entitled “La Coiffeuse,” was worth more than $2.5 million at the time it was stolen. It is set to be returned to the French government after legal matters are settled. (

In a video released by ISIS this week, members are shown destroying numerous archaeological relics. This is just an addition to the trend of radical groups destroying pieces of art— both the Taliban and the Khmer Rouge have been known to deface and destroy various ancient sites. (

The world really does not appear to be just one big canvas… at least that seems to be the view held by HuffPost and numerous environmentalists. After notable street artist Mr. A spray-painted one of his designs onto a rock in Joshua Tree National Park and then posted the finished product on Instagram, people became outraged at the artist’s vandalizing behavior (HuffPost).

lol art puns via Shutterstock

Field Notes: Media Edition
Bwog in the limelight for its devotion to Netflix

Bwog in the limelight for its devotion to Netflix

It’s March, and there’s still snow on the ground and treacherous sludge to dodge while you walk to your 8:40. All we want is spring, and the sun these days doesn’t melt any of our wintry sorrows away. In response, we’ve taken to devoting our free time to screens in addition to the usual shenanigans. Whether winter continuing means Netflix is your most visited site or not, never feel shy to share what you’re up to on the weekend with

Hiding under covers and behind screens:

  • “Finished House of Cards by Saturday night. I will never be the same.”
  • “Drank whiskey while playing online trivia in a friend’s room. Her bf said that ‘What Does the Fox Say’ reminds him of ‘Big Bad Wolf.’ Watch at your own risk.”
  • “Had a late Valentine’s Day. Everything at the AMC was sold out, so we got pastries from Hungarian and watched Netflix.”
  • “Saw the premiere of my friend’s mom’s new documentary at a grimy theater in SoHo BUT everyone should see The Hunting Ground.”

The usual shenanigans:

  • “Realized Saturday would be the last chance to do acid in a month. Committed myself. Realized I had too much work. Started a book instead. Essentially the same thing…”
  • “Went to Amigos for dinner Friday night. Apparently their cuisine is now some Mexican-Barbecue fusion they refer to as ‘Mex-I-Cue.'”
  • “Made out on the L train.”
  • “Saw NYU at its worst, waited for half an hour with two/three hundred of my closest friends for the 1/2/3/any uptown train to arrive at Times Square, and stood guard as my pal peed on Alma Mater for the sake of his bucket list.”
  • “Was sober this entire weekend LOL!”
  • “Bought a reed diffuser for my room. Neglected to think about how dumplings might not go well with ‘Aloha Orchid’ scent.”
  • “Met Bret Michaels of Poison fame.”
  • “Reached a new low when I slipped on the snow outside Butler in front of all the smokers.”

What else are the weekends for via Shutterstock

Chairs On Campus

An ode to the chairs helping us get through each day on campus.

More of our beloved chairs next.

Getting To Know Liberty Styles
Try and find yourself in the crowd!! Except you probably don't want to see what you looked like yesterday.

Leaving the Bacchanal crowd & taking to the stage

Bacchanal is now a month away and one component of the annual concert of good jams before us is now common knowledge. At the Battle of the Bands on Friday night, Liberty Styles scored itself the spot as the student opening gig for undisclosed headliner at this year’s Bacchanal.

To become tight with the newest on-campus celebrities, Music Junkie Lili Brown caught up with the band members about their recently dropped music video (embedded below), their work together, and what’s on their minds for Bacchanal and beyond.

Correction (9:14 pm): In addition to Liberty Styles, Bacchanal also awarded Morgan Hughes aka Trill Mah a spot in the opening lineup for this year’s concert. Liberty Styles will not be the only student act as eluded to above.

Bwog: When did the band get together?

Liberty Styles: We all started playing shows at the end of last semester, after months of informal but pretty off-the-hook free-style jamming.

Bwog: What element do you think tap dancing adds to your music?

LS: Tapping is like any other instrument, and it can really do a lot. The real dope thing about it is that it’s sweaty and hard-hitting… you go in, all or nothing. Tap can be angsty, silly, boss, whatever. It’s a party, it’s a celebration of the body. The dancing adds contrast, too — especially when our melodic swells cut out and it’s just feet and swinging arms and a baseline.

Bwog: Is Liberty Styles looking for gigs in the city outside of Bacchanal?

LS: We are definitely looking for gigs and have been very busy performing this semester! Earlier this February we performed a set at The Shrine in Harlem, and we look forward to lots more NYC shows in the coming months.

Check out the rest of the interview and Liberty Style’s new music video here.

An App We Can Get Behind: Callouts
Real social drinking

Real social drinking

We recently met with a gang of three GS guys — Roy Hermann, Gideon Mendels, and Luca Springer — who have created an app called Callouts. It launched this past week, and they’re celebrating its release at this week’s Senior Night.

Basically, you connect to Facebook (though they promise nothing will ever be posted to your account) and, whilst drinking, you start a game with your friends. You’re prompted with a random superlative, and you have to choose one of your friends. When we met to test it out, Luca was voted for “Biggest Toe” and would at this point be forced to take a drink. The idea is that you’re able to hang out with your friends, yet still be on your phone (as we’re generally inclined to be).

Get your phones out, kids

Get your phones out, kids

Roy answered some more questions about Callouts for us:

When did you begin working on Callouts? Where did you get the idea for the app?
We began working on Callouts approximately 8 months ago, when Gideon and myself (who are friends) were at a pre-game and noticed the completely anti-social environment that filled up the room – everybody was on their phones, texting or taking selfies, instead of interacting with each other. Since we are both CS majors, we thought we can and should come up with a modern solution to this problem. We wanted to use the phone as a means to eliminate the anti-social environment that it creates, while still taking advantage of the many technological benefits it provides, all to create the fun and entertainment we expect from a night spent with friends. That’s when Callouts was born!

More information, and what it looks like after the jump.

Drop Deadline and Swipe Access Proposals Passed at CCSC

Passing on the proposal baton

CCSC said “yes!” to two major proposals last night, on which Joe Milholland reports with equal enthusiasm. 

The Columbia College Student Council debated two proposals on Sunday night. First, they talked about a proposal to extend the CC drop deadline from 5 weeks to 7 weeks in the semester. Academic Affairs Rep Grayson Warrick argued the change was mostly for “fringe cases” of students who unexpectedly go through “high levels of stress” in the middle of the semester. Senator Marc Heinrich agreed, noting that mass droppings from classes is “not a legitimate concern” since students need to complete a certain number of classes for graduation and their major.

Part of the drop deadline proposal is that students must meet with their advisor if they drop a class after the add period. Warrick noted that CSA likes for students to come in more frequently.

The proposal passed unanimously.

The other proposal CCSC tackled was swipe access for commuter students. Council members took some time to rebut possible arguments from admins. CCSC President Peter Bailinson said the issue of commuter swipe access does not have a typical standard among peer institutions. Senator Jard Odessky said he thought excessive build-up at places to sign in would be more of a security risk than letting commuter students swipe in.

Swiper no swiping!

Bwoglines: Censorship Edition
Didn't get parent's permission to visit that site

Didn’t get parent’s permission to visit that site

The aftermath of the murder of Boris Nemstov in Russia continues, which brings uncomfortable culture-profiling validity to House of Cards’ Putin-counterpart and the Pussy-Riot-like band he invited to dine (and dash) with President Underwood. (Reuters)

There’s no comfort of hiding behind a computer screen for 6,000 Chinese Internet users after the government removed and disabled their pseudonym usernames from entry into portals this weekend. The impetus for real names to replace nonsensical letter and character combinations is, most importantly, stripping Chinese teens from the rite of passage of having pubescent, semi-sexual conversations in chat rooms. (The Tech Portal)

Bloggers who use Google Blogger as their internet platform of expression will now have their unlimited venting rights taken away if their blogs sport any “sexually explicit or graphic nude images or video.”  (ZD Net)

The local police of a small Western Mass town deleted a Facebook page that promoted a fundraising event called the “Polar Plunge,” where a canine-resident of Wilbraham, Massachusetts entered freezing cold water with a spectator following. Bottom line, no consent for this dog’s long-delayed ice bucket challenge makes this reek of animal cruelty. (WTKR News)

It’s all fuzzy from here via Shutterstock

CUSS Presents: Your Basic Action Movie

Take a study break and watch CUSS’ latest episode: It’s sexy, dangerous, and most importantly, basic. Want to stay up to date with CUSS? Go like their facebook page here.

Basic Action Movie – Trailer (2015) from Bwog on Vimeo.

Midnight Dog Salon

Just how I like it

Wondering what could possibly be going on behind the closed doors of the former Uni Cafe, Bwog Detective Henry Litwhiler takes a stab at uncovering a secret dog grooming scheme in the abandoned store.

I’d been waiting for three months to see one of those miserable establishments fade into memory. When the Uni Cafe finally breathed its last, I sharpened my scissors and steeled my resolve—what happens to a dream deferred? It waits for its opening, of course. It sits on soiled streets under the promise of opportunity. It stalks Riverside for inspiration, for the wretched motivation of a job poorly done.

Ours is a city of hacks, quacks, frauds, and delusional messiahs. They meet the canine form in its divinity but can see only a slab of clay in its place. Are they truly so blind as to see no suggestion in its sensual curves? Or are they so maddened by pride as to place their designs over those of God himself?

And it isn’t just the unholy trimming! The shampoo, the bows, the dyes, the brushing—nearly every trick in the modern canine cosmetologist’s toolbox seems bent on perversion. But not mine. No, I’m no modern furdresser. I belong to an older tradition, one built on a kind of humble grit that the modern professional so often lacks. The sight of a hound spurs me to enhance, never to profane.

As I saw the last gravel-caked van drive off with the last piece of detachable furniture from that ill-fated cafe, I made my way from my post at the bus stop to m2m. My gaze was steady and professional as I approached the counter.

“Health department,” I said, flashing my HamDel loyalty card.

A harrowing tale of redemption after the jump.

Where Should You Go For Spring Break?