Sep

21

Even Homer can’t handle this bullshit.

After having been back at Columbia University for a few weeks, Bwog is once again struck by how little attention their classmates have paid to the assigned readings- or logic in general. Here, Bwog Senior Staff Writer Gabrielle Kloppers recounts a few choice excerpts.

“I know these are statues, but like…the Greeks…didn’t actually fight centaurs, right?” – regarding the Parthenon. Art Hum truly is illuminating!

“Plato’s use of censorship in the Kallipolis is like, totally like the core office picking only white men for the CC syllabus.” Yes, Plato was thinking of us.

“I thought this was Egyptian Architecture.” – Economy and Society

“Mencken would have been a Trump supporter.” Mencken would have decried the democratic system that allowed Trump to come to power.

Even more idiocy

Sep

21

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Ah, youth

Sometimes, in our daily lives at Columbia, we see another student do something so inspiring that we feel compelled to share their story with everyone on campus. Managing Editor Betsy Ladyzhets had such an experience a few nights ago.

At first glance, she seemed unassuming. Just another student milling through the Monday night JJ’s rush, her blonde hair bouncing above her shoulders. Only some aimless first-year, seeking fried food and easy procrastination material before returning to some Lit Hum paper.

But then, I looked closer, and realized that this was no typical JJ’s patron. This student was not eyeing the curly fries, joining the omelette line, or even partaking in the slightly questionable salad bar. No, this girl had a goal. A desire. A purpose. She passed lines and snack stations alike in a beeline to one corner, where the popcorn machine stood red and gleaming in the low fluorescent lights.

There is something oddly poetic about the JJ’s popcorn machine. It doesn’t quite fit with the sleek aesthetics of the rest of the dining hall, seemingly pulled from an old movie theater or a country fair. But this student didn’t waste any time pondering the machine’s metaphorical ramifications – she simply pulled open the glass door, popped the top of the take-out tray she was carrying, and began to fill the entire thing with buttery popcorn.

Let me repeat: she filled an entire take-out tray with just popcorn.

An entire take-out tray with just popcorn!

Sep

21

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I’ll have the cava, please.

When most Columbia students hear the word “CAVA,” they immediately conjure up images of drunken freshman passing out in Carman. But not every call to CAVA is for a late night rescue! Sometimes, people at Columbia actually fuck up (while sober) and need some legit help. Here’s a brainstorm of some obscure injuries that might call for CAVA (not that I’ve experienced any of these…)

Falling down the stairs.

This one is real, y’all. One day you’re racing down the steep, uneven steps of your brownstone on your way to your 2:40 and then BAM! You trip and fall on your ass, bouncing thud thud thud down the stairs. Before you know it, you’re being hauled onto a stretcher and sent away to St. Luke’s where you’ll get an xray of your ass. It’ll be super painful and super embarrassing, but at least you avoided the ambulance fee if you would have just called 911.

Tripping on Low Plaza.

Ahh, another beautiful day at Columbia! It’s the late afternoon and students are crowding Low Steps enjoying the sunshine. From a distance you hear Bodak Yellow playing from someone’s speakers, and when you look toward Alma, your friends wave you over. As you skip in excitement to join in on the fun, all of a sudden SPLATYou’re on the ground. Twisted ankle. Bruised knees. Everybody stops and stares (even that fucking feet-bottle-throwing guy). A few minutes later and you see that familiar CAVA truck come scuttling down College Walk to your rescue. Note to self: walk slower next time.

More embarrassing injuries after the jump

Sep

21

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What ever happened to predictability?

Happening in the world: With allegations of tampering with the results of the Kenyan presidential election, the Kenyan Supreme Court ruled that the election be “re-run” within the next 60 days. The voting irregularities found convinced the court to dismiss the election results. This is the first time that an African country is redoing an election. (BBC)

Happening in the United States: Cities in California are suing oil companies for the environmental damage that is being inflicted on their cities. Both Oakland and San Francisco are seeking money to protect homes and city property from climate change. (Buzzfeed)

Happening in NYC: After being completed, the 2nd Avenue subway failed to finish the final steps of safety testing. Although the line is under a “temporary safety certificate.” Introducing an $800 million plan to fix problems with the overall subway system, Cuomo has been criticized for starting new projects instead of solving current problems. (NY Times)

Happening on campus: The President of Costa Rica is coming to the World Leaders Forum! If you’re unable to see His Excellency speak in person, Columbia is live streaming the event.

Overheard:

Person 1: “I’m more into the fruity ice cream, like sorbet.”
Person 2: “That sounds like gay ice cream.”

Person 3: “Sorb-gay.”

 

 

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Sep

20

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This past summer, the Columbia Daily Spectator was forced out of its old office space on Broadway between 11th and 112th Street. The publication has not yet found a permanent new home, but for the time being its staff has taken over a few rooms in Riverside Church. Whether or not this move uptown is part of Columbia’s Manhattanville gentrification expansion remains to be seen.

Since we learned of Spec’s new location, several Bwog staffers have made the only natural next step: attempting to infiltrate. We’ve bugged our friends (and our “friends”) in Spec, we’ve pleaded and cajoled, we’ve even gone to Riverside Church and knocked on the door a few times – all to no avail. Spec is keeping the insides of its new space more locked down than the buttons of their carefully pressed khakis. However, we did get enough information from our sources to develop the following artistic representation of the Spec office; we hope that this at least somewhat sates the curiosity of our readers.

Sep

20

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More stressful than any exam

Yesterday afternoon, Ken Burns himself visited Columbia’s hallowed halls to discuss his new documentary on the Vietnam War, along with co-director Lynn Novick, Dean Awn, and two veterans (one a GS alum who served in Vietnam and one a current GS student who served in Iraq and Afghanistan). We sent newly minted staff writer Abby Rubel to the event; her thoughts on both documentary and discussion are below.

Ken Burns is a documentary maker primarily known for his signature photo effect and secondarily for the thought-provoking, thorough documentaries he makes on subjects ranging from baseball and the national park system to the Civil War. His new documentary, co-directed with long-time collaborator Lynn Novick, covers the Vietnam War with a focus on providing perspectives from everyone involved, from the soldiers who fought it to the Vietnamese whose lives were destroyed by it.

On Tuesday, Burns and Novick stopped by Low Library for a forum focusing on one specific perspective on the war: that of veterans scarred by battle returning to college campuses hostile to the war. The panel consisted of Burns; Novick; Michael K. Heaney, JD, PhD, a Marine who served in Vietnam and spent a semester at GS; and Mark Franklin, GS ‘19, a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan. Dean Peter Awn (GS) moderated and President Bollinger made some brief introductory remarks.

In his introduction, Bollinger discussed the importance of the Vietnam War in shaping the worldview of his generation as well as the many ways in which it can inform us today. (Though he did not explain what those ways were.) He also discussed the importance of GS as an institution for veterans, a subject Awn also touched on briefly in his opening statement. Thankfully, these mentions were brief–there are few things more annoying than Columbia lauding itself.

What did the panelists talk about?

Sep

20

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We got acquainted with a new, highly diverse cast of characters in this week’s GSSC meeting

Each Wednesday, Bwog presents a recap of the General Studies Student Council (GSSC) meeting from the night before. Senior Staffer Alex Tang attended yesterday’s meeting and brings us the highlights.

Last night, the General Studies Student Council met for their second meeting of the 2016-2017 academic year. The main focus of this week’s meeting was on the introduction of nine new nominees for open GSSC positions. Having already applied and interviewed with the council, these nine GSSC students had been nominated for their respective positions. All nominees gave speeches briefly introducing themselves and their prospective goals for GSSC. During a closed vote by the council, all nine GSSC nominees were approved.

Without further ado, here are the new students we’ll be seeing in GSSC this year! Included in the descriptions below are interesting lines or tidbits from each of their presentations:

Click here to meet the new GSSC board members!

Sep

20

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Happening in the World: If you thought this summer’s season of natural disasters had finally ended, you’d be sadly mistaken – a 7.1 earthquake struck central Mexico yesterday. So far, at least 149 people been killed and hundreds of buildings have been destroyed. (LA Times)

Happening in the United States: A woman dubbed “the Mad Pooper” has been spotted defecating on the sidewalk in front of a family’s home in Colorado Springs. This isn’t an isolated incident; this jogger has allegedly pooped in this spot at least once a week for the past seven weeks. (Washington Post)

Happening in NYC: Hurricane José is expected to turn towards New York City this weekend. However, by the time it reaches the city on Monday, it will most likely be weakened to a tropical storm, resulting in a couple of inches of rain and some wind at most. (NY Post)

Happening on Campus: Barnard Student Life will host the third in a series of workshops on transitioning to college life today. Today’s event, led by two Writing Fellows, focuses on college writing (specifically, the differences between academic writing in high school and college), and will take place from 6 to 8 pm in Diana LL104.

Overseen: Someone braving yesterday’s rain in… socks?

This is about as far from rain boots as you can get

Sep

20

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Most bagels, when they turn twenty years old, grow stale and moldy, but not this one. Our own bagel is twenty years old and beautiful and thriving. She is a beautiful bagel and a perfect bagel in chief. Here is photographic evidence of her thriving. I found every single picture on my phone and computer that I could in my exhausted state. This is my favorite bagel and also my favorite titty. By my, I mean Bwog’s. Please wish her a happy birthday by texting her, messaging her, commenting, emailing tips@bwog.com, amara@bwog.com, editor@bwog.com, etc. Happy birthday, Amara! We Love You!!!

 

Sep

19

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Amara as a bowl of water

Tonight, we want to wish a very happy birthday to our Bagel-in-Chief, Amara Banks. Despite what the bouncers at 1020 may think, she’s now 20! Whether she’s sporting the dog filter, haunting the halls of Butler, or throwing bits of (actual) bagels at us, she’ll always be our beloved Bagel. Happy birthday, Amara!

Sep

19

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Mudd is honestly soul sucking, maybe you should renovate the hallways, too.

Every Tuesday, Bwog presents a recap of the Engineering Student Council (ESC) meeting from the day before. ESC Bureau Chief Finn Klauber recounts this week’s meeting, wherein ESC debates the ways in which it can preserve its institutional memory for future council members. Click below to read about other updates in ESC.

In the wake of the Engineering Student Council retreat this past weekend, the entirety of the substantive discussion yesterday evening concerned an informal proposal to streamline internal documentation of ESC action. This discussion was just the latest in a thread of discourse winding back to the concerns of former VP Policy Sidney Perkins regarding institutional memory. To recap, student councils at Columbia rotate almost entirely each year, with new members filling empty spots—and these newly filled positions usually have a year’s worth of action, planning, and deliberation which are almost entirely forgotten. President Aida Lu recalled, for example, how she didn’t remember everything she accomplished and learned as a freshman class representative while writing her end-of-semester report.

The reinstitution of this end-of-semester report is just half of the informal proposal presented by 2019 VP Asher Goldfinger and Technology Representative Andres Aguayo. The semesterly report is fairly self explanatory, as each member of ESC ought to summarize their experiences and connections, what worked and what failed over the year, into an easy-to-read document to be passed on to their successor. President Lu recounted how this report used to be filed each year, implying that, recently, the practice ceased. Various members offered suggestions regarding these reports, such as 2018 Representative Cristal Abud who said that “having a template for the transition document with key points of contact, how they helped…would be better.”

Read more about the ESC meeting here

Sep

19

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Madame President.

Each year, during the meetings of the United Nations General Assembly plenary, Columbia invites various international figures to speak in our hallowed halls. This series of discussions, often attended and moderated by President Bollinger himself, is known as the World Leaders Forum. Covering one of the first events, neophyte writer Sam Baron recounts his experience listening to the President of Switzerland, Madame Doris Leuthard. 

The start of the World Leaders Forum kicked off with a talk with Her Excellency Doris Leuthard, the President of Switzerland—the talk was moderated by none other than PrezBo himself. Switzerland, unlike the United States, does not directly elect a unitary head of state for a fixed-year term. Instead, the Swiss hold elections for a ‘Federal Council’ wherein the Executive branch is controlled by seven members, with each member heading certain departments within Swiss government. These members then rotate the official title of the ‘President of Switzerland’ every year. The current President, Doris Leuthard, is the Council member who heads the Swiss department of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications.

Wanting to get a better understanding of Swiss politics and society before the talk, I attended the forum with a friend from Switzerland. As it turned out, the Swiss consulate collaborated with Columbia to give Swiss-nationals who registered for the event ‘VIP’ treatment—a Swiss flag-pin, front-row seats, a handshake with the Swiss ambassador, and a private meeting with President Leuthard after the event was over. Thankfully, despite not being a Swiss national, I was able to enjoy three out of the four before PrezBo came onto the stage to begin the forum and introduce President Leuthard.

The theme of the talk was the “Rule of Law or Law of the Jungle,” and in her opening remarks, President Leuthard placed a heavy emphasis on the importance of implementing, expanding, and enforcing the current conventions of International Law. She spoke ill of the current strain of nationalism, populism, and economic protectionism permeating throughout the Western world—and in a subtle swipe at President Trump, warned that such movements threatened the security of the current international order. In the latter half of her speech, President Leuthard spoke of Switzerland’s efforts to foster diplomacy and open dialogue between leaders on an international scale. In her view, Switzerland is in a unique position to act as an international mediator due to the country’s long history of political neutrality and absence from NATO. Of particular interest was Switzerland’s efforts to diffuse tensions in North Korea—where President Leuthard claimed Switzerland is only one of two Western countries that the North Koreans have allowed into the country to administer humanitarian aide to its citizens (the other being Norway).

Click here to see what happens when PrezBo returns

Sep

19

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Did they custom order these?

Walked by 1020 recently? According to signs posted in the windows of the bar, Law & Order: SVU will be filming there today, and signs on street posts said that filming would start at 6am. 1020 will be closed all day, but should open back up tomorrow (so, unfortunately, there won’t be trivia tonight).

We don’t exactly know why 1020 would be so garish in their promotion of the filming of a show about sexual assault at their bar, but perhaps they believe no press is bad press.

We’ll update this post if we get photos from the set.

Sep

19

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Barnard apparel was the contentious subject in yesterday’s meeting

Interested in following what goes on in Barnard’s SGA, but don’t have time to go to the meetings? Every Tuesday, check out Bwog’s recap of Monday’s SGA meeting, penned by none other than Barnard Bearoness Dassi Karp.

This week, Barnard’s SGA finally got down to business. At Monday night’s Rep Council meeting, they welcomed members of Student-Worker Solidarity (SWS), a group that fights for “economic justice and workers’ rights at CU and beyond,” according to the group’s Facebook page. The visiting members spoke about some of the group’s current projects, which include:

  • Trying to get Barnard to affiliate with the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC), a labor rights monitoring organization
    • The WRC would help Barnard create and enforce a manufacturing code of conduct to ensure that its collegiate apparel was not being produced in sweatshop conditions. Close to two hundred colleges are currently affiliated with the WRC, including Columbia University since the 90’s. However, Columbia’s affiliation does not include Barnard College. SGA members questioned the necessity of joining WRC rather than having the College independently create a manufacturing code.
  • Supporting the Graduate Workers of Columbia (GWC) union in their attempts to bargain for a contract
  • Collecting information about student workers at Barnard regarding complaints about late paychecks
  • Continuing to support the adjunct faculty union, which negotiated a contract with Barnard last spring

More SGA news after the jump

Sep

19

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Check out more of Jacob Lawrence’s work at the Studio Museum of Harlem, from now until January 2018.

Happening in the World: After Harvey and Irma, the Caribbean braces itself for yet another hurricane. Hurricane Maria reached Category 5 status yesterday, and is expected to cause severe damage in Puerto Rico, Dominica, and other islands in the region. (CNN)

Happening in the United States: Politics took center stage in this year’s Emmys. The Emmys certainly addressed the racial inequality of America’s entertainment industry, and host Stephen Colbert made quite a few jabs at President Trump. (The New York Times)

Happening in NYC: Have some time for art this weekend? Check out the Studio Museum of Harlem’s ongoing exhibition – “Their Own Harlems.” The exhibition explores Harlem and the city as “a source of inspiration for artists across generations.

Happening on Campus: International leaders are descending upon Columbia for the World Leaders Forum. Today, the President of Mauritius is giving a talk at Low Library. Stay tuned for Bwog’s article on yesterday’s talk given by the Swiss president.

Overheard: (during a conversation about gay dating in New York City) “Why is it that the more downtown you go, the hotter and bitchier the guys get?”

image via the Studio Museum of Harlem

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