In Defense Of: Not Studying Abroad
Where the hell am I?! Prague?! London?!

Where the hell am I?! Prague?! London?!

Many students are off on their glorious study abroad trips for this Spring semester, and the feeling of being left in New York may bring some students down about. While studying abroad may feel like the latest trend, it is not necessarily the best decision for everyone. New York Lover Courtney Couillard defends deciding not to study abroad while at Columbia.

Your instagram is flooded with pictures of old buildings in Europe. People won’t stop tweeting about how their experience is the most “life changing experience they’ve ever had.” And here you are: sitting in your small dorm room and staring out the window at dreary New York weather. The beginning of Spring semester can be rough given the time of the year and post-holiday apathy towards school, but seeing pictures and hearing stories about your friends studying abroad doesn’t help. You shouldn’t feel down about not being abroad! Missing that info session about studying in London to instead drink boxed wine was one of the best decisions you’ve made. Just because all of your friends have decided to study abroad doesn’t mean that you are obligated to in your four years at Columbia; perhaps, deciding to not study abroad is the most “life changing experience” you will make.

My biggest critique is the fact that we live in New York City. For most, including my New Hampshire soul, attending college in this city is like studying abroad every semester. New York provides endless opportunities to have fun, learn outside the classroom, and escape your comfort zone. While it may be bold or scary living abroad for a semester, it is also those things deciding to create a life in New York. Your friends may be bragging about their great weekend trips to every country in Europe, but you can do just the same exploring the different boroughs and neighborhoods outside of Morningside Heights. Just like your abroad friends, it is up to you to take advantage of the new territory you are staying in and get as much as you can out of it during your time here.

Hear more about how living in New York can be like studying abroad here.

What Television Show Could You Watch By Dropping A Class?
It was difficult to find a non-sexual "laptop in bed" photo

It was difficult to find a non-sexual “laptop in bed” photo

So, we have reached the middle of the second week of school. By Friday, students will no longer be allowed to add a new class. However, they are still free to drop any class up until the 24th of February. Bwog humbly presents a Back of the Envelope Calculation proving that you should instead drop any extraneous classes IMMEDIATELY.

Had you chosen to take one fewer class overall at the beginning of the semester, you would have saved:

  • 2,025 minutes for 75 minute classes
  • 4,860 minutes for 2 hour classes

After a total of two sessions for T/R classes and either 2 or 3 sessions for M/W classes you are now sitting on:

  • 1,875 minutes for T/R 75 minute classes
  • 1,800 minutes for M/W 75 minute classes
  • 4,620 minutes for T/R 2 hour classes
  • 4,500 minutes for M/W 2 hour classes

Now, Bwog asks you to consider what that time would be better spent doing. The answer is certainly not “doing work for other classes” or “trying new things” or “actual being a social human being.” The answer is Netflix. Without even counting the time saved by not having additional essays to write or exams to study for, how much progress could you make in your netflix queue by dropping, say, the Intro to Java course you took to appease a comp-sci friend or the comp lit class you decided to try to force yourself to read more?

TV Shows you could Complete (Bwog’s Recommendations)

  • 73.5% of Gilmore Girls (2 hour class) or 29% of Gilmore Girls (75 minute class).
  • 93% of Gossip Girl (2 hour class) or 37% of Gossip Girl (75 minute class).
  • All of Scandal twice, once with wine and once without (2 hour class) or all of Scandal once (75 minute class).
  • All of House of Cards twice, with enough time to account for third season starting mid-February (2 hour class) or all of House of Cards including the third season (75 minute class).
  • 93% of Lost (2 hour class) or 37% of Lost (75 minute class).


  • Drop at least one class, maybe two
  • If you have to pick between Gossip Girl and Lost (the same time investment), pick Lost. The ending makes more sense.
  • This calculation does not include lab classes, which are 5 HOUR WEEKLY COMMITMENTS and should be avoided at all costs.

There is nothing sexual about lying in our crumb-covered beds wearing the same outfit for the fourth day in a row watching Netflix via Shutterstock

Live At Lerner: Chelsea Reject

Have you always wanted to go to Live at Lerner on Wednesdays but you’ve always had class? This semester, have you found yourself with an open schedule from noon to 1? Live at Lerner is back for their first show of the semester with their first rapper in a while (possibly ever? Their head coordinator isn’t quite sure)–Chelsea Reject. Check out her website and SoundCloud, and watch her music video below:

The performance is today from noon to 1pm, and free lunch (Italian food this week!) will be served. Check out the Facebook event for more information.

Bwoglines: After The Storm Edition

Is snow in NYC ever actually this white?

Check out this recording of Bill DeBlasio dramatically reading a post from The Onion satirizing his storm warnings. (Huffington Post)

Also, here’s a round-up of six times that New York City either over- or under-prepared for a big storm. (New York Mag)

This past weekend, a New York Times columnist recounted how Yale police confronted his son at gun point. Here are more stories of unsettling encounters with police on college campuses. (Gawker)

Did staying in to stay out of the snow make you hate everyone around you? This app could help you identify which of your friendships are “toxic” by monitoring your heart rate. (Huffington Post)

Don’t get your hopes up via Shutterstock

Juno Got Us All Feelin’ Some Type Of Way

photo1We received a tip earlier today that gives us a clue into what students have been up during this lovely Juno grace period. Drawing a phallic image in the snow? Now c’mon guys… that’s just a dick move. Read the tip below, and send us pics from your snow day activities via email at

Hello Bwog!

Last night my friends and I got really drunk and decided to pace onto Butler Lawn. In the snow, we traced PrezBo’s imagined size of his own dick! We thought that you would enjoy!

Gossip Squirrel


Rooms Fall Apart (And So Do We)

Carman? McBain? 616? All the above?

As our incredibly long three-and-a-half week winter break winded to a close, many of us were anxious to get back to campus to chill with pals and be free from the hands of our parents who are still stuck in the days of high school micromanagement. However, a return to campus meant the departure from our childhood bedrooms and the return to dorms that have as many quirks as the city itself. Hey, at least your current discomfort will make for a good future story?  

The Creative Solution

  • “My bathroom’s ceiling has a large hole in it from leakage and we now have a large black tarp separating us from the damage. When you pee it feels like a dementor is looking over you.”
  • “The lights in my dorm shorted out, and maintenance just gave us a cheap floor lamp as a replacement.”

The “Maybe Maintenance Is Trying To Hit On You?” Problem 

  • “My room is not. At all. In any way. Falling apart…YET they have torn apart my entire shower twice to retile because the ’tiles were messed up.’ If anyone would like to admire my beautiful and new (not to mention unnecessary tiles), please, feel free to pay a visit.”

The Danger Zone 

  • “The radiator leaks all over the floor and also occasionally spouts boiling hot water about a foot into the air from a leak on the side.”
  • “A piece of my wall in Brooks broke off and fell on me while sleeping last year. Woke up nursing a hangover and a dirty piece of dorm room paint.”

See pics after the jump!

We Tried The Ricardo Morales Diet

And the bite tasted oh so good!

While the Peter Bailinson Diet allowed Rachel to destress and simultaneously get in touch with her inner rustic New England side, Bwog’s own Lili Brown took to the Ricardo Morales Diet in hopes of strengthening campus security and building her network of (Public Safety) friends. Her gastronomic endeavors allowed her to reap the rewards that were only previously known by Ricky Roo. 


Dear Public Safety Friends,

Given Ricardo’s dedication to constantly filling our inboxes with exclusively pertinent information, I’ve figured that his food consumption is in a linear relationship with the amount of crime he dutifully reports. I check my inbox and lookie here—there’s already an email from Mr. Morales at 10:42 am, which means he’s probably already downed two cups of coffee and eaten a doughnut hole and a half, à la the real policeman he is. To match this policeman diet, I choose a grungy Morningside Heights coffee shop/borderline convenience store called Broadway Au Lait close to 122nd and Broadway for breakfast; I chug black coffee and stuff my face with pastries with the comfort of knowing that the Columbia community has been served yet another morning.

Empty inbox for the rest of this snowy afternoon – aka empty stomach for Ricky Roo and me. Meals are only meager rewards for successfully fighting crime.


Dear Public Safety Friends,

The 20 inches of snow has left Ricky Roo stranded at home in the Bronx and me stuck in the secured gates of the Barnard Quad. We are dismayed to find that 20 inches of snow basically obliterates all possibility of crime (but we are still looking for you with our email apps at the ready!). Since we were forced to cancel the Self Defense Class last night, disappointment fills our stomachs rather than real sustenance.

Just kidding, we both deserve this weekday break and are going to binge our sorrows away. Say hello to a day of Law And Order: SVU and endless bags of Skinny Pop from Costco. Next week’s episode will be guest starring Ricky as Stabler and yours truly as Olivia Benson (I’ve been told I look like Mariska Hargitay – I was born to be Ricky’s partner in crime).


Dear Public Safety Friends,

We’re back at work this morning and thus back on the scene. I slept in to celebrate Ricky Roo’s reunion with his desk, but also because I awoke too full from yesterday’s completion of all available SVU seasons on Netflix. I got to my 11:40 class and grabbed a light snack of ants on a rod afterwards (because Ricky is traditional like that and misuses memes often).

My phone lights up at 1:16 pm to denote that my newest email is from none other than Mr. Morales. I obviously don’t read it, dismiss the subject line (“Self Defense Class Rescheduled: How To Fend Off Burglars 101″), and run back to Hewitt to have my first meal in days with the comfort that Ricky Roo’s still looking out for us. I click my phone off with a smirk on my face as smug as McGruff the crime-fightin’ dog, the staple of Ricky Roo’s email signature.

McGruff the crime-fightin’ dog via Our CubMail Accounts


The Official Lit Hum Drinking Game

(Lit Hum) club goin up!

It’s only the beginning of the semester, so you still have a fair amount of time before you really have to buckle down and get serious in order to please your parents (who are spending over 60k a year on tuition) (hahaha capitalism) and get those As. Before the stress settles in, how about combining your love for learning and your love for altering your cognitive processes by playing a simple yet effective Lit Hum drinking game? We asked two staffers to recreate and modify the legendary game we all know and love, and the results are sure to bring out your drunken Ancient Greek side. To be played in-class.

The Warm Up:

Take a sip of your drink when…

  • …someone says society or societal construct.
  • …someone makes a connection to the Iliad.
  • …someone says something is sexist.
  • …there is a sexual reference, innuendo or sexual imagery.
  • …the teacher laughs at something because it’s just so incorrect.
  • …the teacher tries to make what you’re reading relevant.
  • …someone brings in a personal experience.
  • …someone falls asleep.
  • …someone says the word “irony.”
  • …someone compliments the teacher.
  • …someone references something from a reading that is not yet due.
  • …someone relates something random to glory.
  • …you see someone online shopping during class.
  • …someone says the text is “striking,” “interesting,” or any other bullshit adjective.
  • …someone obnoxiously uses a literary device term that they probably don’t understand.
  • …someone talks to themselves whilst someone else makes a point.
  • …it’s just so obvious someone it just saying something for participation points.
  • …the prof loses everyone (shit gets confusing).
  • …someone thinks they know the content better than the teacher

Keep playing after the jump!

Bwoglines: You’re Fired Edition


Upon hearing news that the Mel’s bouncer known solely by the name “Magic” has been fired by the Morningside Heights burger bar after students filed complaints against him regarding sexual harassment, students hope his replacement will balance personal respect with ID leniency. (Spec)

When crashing sounds that were louder than lightbulbs falling off shelves filled a Home Depot in the Flatiron District a few days ago, customers and employees alike soon found the cause of the commotion to actually be quite dark. Recently fired employee Calvin Esdaile Jr. shot and killed his supervisor before shooting and killing himself in the W. 23rd Street store on Sunday. (NY Daily News)

A high school teacher in Indiana is suing his school district after he claimed that he was fired for being an atheist. The superintendent of the school district replied to the lawsuit file, claiming that the teacher was not fired for being an atheist, but rather for simply being bad at his job and for also not believing in the father/the son/the Holy Ghost in rural Indiana. (Elkhart Truth)

Kelvin Cochran, the former Atlanta fire chief who was fired following the controversial publication of his book Who Told You That You Were Naked earlier this month, also filed a lawsuit this past week in response to his professional dismissal. In his book, Cochran compares homosexuality to bestiality– a major faux pas, as Atlanta is home to the largest population of gays and lesbians in the South. (LA Times)

Not Magic the Bouncer via Shutterstock 

Winter Storm Juno Survival Guide
Spike that

Spike that

Across the lands and waters he was battered

beneath the violence of the high ones for

the savage Juno’s unforgetting anger.

It appears Virgil said it best, as winter storm Juno is finally upon us. According to Mayor Bill de Blasio, this “potentially historic” snowstorm might be the worst this city has ever seen. Thus, in order to prepare the freshmen community for the next 24 hours, Momma Bwog brings you our own snow day survival guide for tomorrow, January 27, 2015. Contained in the guide is a collection of information regarding openings and closings around campus (courtesy of Columbia Preparedness) as well as advice on how you should spend your snow day tomorrow. Enjoy and send tales of your adventures to

Morningside Campus
  • All classes (including CU Medical Center classes) have been canceled
  • All events schedules through University Event Management are canceled
  • Dodge Fitness Center will remain open during regular hours (6:00am to midnight)
  • Group fitness classes at Dodge have been canceled
  • Faculty House will be closed
  • The Diana Center will maintain regular hours
The following gates will be closed for snow removal
  • College Walk pedestrian gates on both Broadway and Amsterdam (main gates to remain open)
  • Chapel gate
  • Earl Hall gate
  • CEPSR 120th Street gate
  • The exterior staircase of NoCo onto 120th Street
Transportation services have been suspended for Lamont, Fort Lee, and the Intercampus Shuttle
Dining Halls
  • John Jay: 8:00am to 8:00pm
  • Ferris: closed
  • Hewitt: regular hours (8:00am to 3:00pm, 4:00pm to 7:45pm, and 8:30pm to 11:00pm)
  • JJ’s place: closes at 8:00pm tonight; closed tomorrow
  • Blue Java Cafe, Butler Library: 8:00am to 6:00pm
  • McIntosh Student Dining Room: closed
  • Liz’s Place: closed
  • Columbia AND Barnard Library facilities (i.e. reserves, stacks, circulation): closed
  • Butler Library: Open during regular hours as study space only
  • Barnard Library in Lehman Hall: Open during regular hours as study space only
Around the neighborhood
  • Starbucks: open at 9:00am
  • Morton Williams: open unless conditions worsen
Emergency Phone Numbers
  • Public Safety (emergency): 212-854-5555
  • Public Safety (non-emergency): 212-854-2797
  • Hartley Hospitality Desk: 212-854-2779
  • Crackdel: 212-280-7329
Campus-wide snowball fight to take place at 3:00pm. Or take up The Blue & White‘s challenge starting at 2:00 pm!
You should be drinking via Shutterstock
Field Notes: Back Out Our Coma

Bwog rly feels this aesthetic, hall of Barnard dorm

Spring 2015, we’re back out our winter break coma, and we look to none other than Kanye on how to properly get back into the demanding upkeep of the Columbia social scene. Whether you can hold your liquor or not, send in next weekend’s flops and successes to

Can’t hold your liquor/weekend flops:

  • “Got off at the 14th street L stop, thought I was seeing things because there are these creepy little bronze gnomes all over.”
  • “Got my fake taken away by a real smug bouncer at Webster Hall (precautionary tale for everyone). He claimed he’d give it back to me for a cute service fee $40.”
  • “Went to Amir’s where I encountered a woman dressed entirely in beige, who was having a long (and loud) conversation with herself about demons, transubstantiation, hell, etc. She paid for her meal in coins.”
  • “Went to Mel’s on Thursday for the first time ever. Drunk me thought it was cute to buy a $34 bottle of champagne.”
  • “Ate Morton sushi. Slump is too real.”
  • “My roommate left for a party explicitly saying to herself, ‘I am not bringing my fake so I can go to sleep at a reasonable hour!’ Returned to our room two hours later to retrieve ‘omg I am so drunk how could I forget my’ fake and then went on to Mel’s.”
  • “Watched CU men’s basketball team put up a tough fight against Cornell (also got a free shirt out of it).”
  • “Got a little too into a Britney Spears singalong.”

Can hold your liquor/tales of success:

  • “Slept through a ski team bus!”
  • “Actually had a good time at Carman party? Maybe that is because I peaced after a little over an hour.”
  • “Did my laundry for the first time since being back.”
  • “Prepped for interviews. Talked to the guys in my hall about interviews. All is interviews.”
Opening Remarks
Not your Music Hum professor

Won’t you stay in your 8:40???

Though we’re still well in to the Shopping Period, some professors have gone above and beyond to accomplish a rewarding retention rate for the first week of classes by making you feel welcome/uncomfortable/curious where the line between student and professor stands. Whatever the intention or the response, we’ve compiled some of the best memories from Spring 2015’s first week of classes with professors who need a full lecture hall for personal validation. 

Edward Mendelson

“[PrezBo] was taken over by Martians 15 years ago.”

Homa Zarghamee, Economics of Gender

“Unfortunately you can’t really pick a husband off a menu.”

Brendan O’Flaherty, Principles of Economics

“I could be at home playing with my cats.  I’m here because I’m getting paid.”

 Gareth Williams, Intermediate Latin II

“Ovid is the closest you will find in the Roman literary canon to Belgian chocolate.”

The Real MVPs

Not your Music Hum professor via Shutterstock

Announcing New CC/SEAS Dean Of Undergraduate Student Life

shutterstock_56365900It was announced today at 2pm that Cristen Kromm is to be the new CC/SEAS Dean of Undergraduate Student Life. Kromm is replacing interim CC/SEAS Dean of Undergraduate Student Life Todd Smith-Bergolio, a position he has held since Columbia began their search last summer for a new Dean once Dean Martinez left us for Johns Hopkins. We are thrilled to welcome Dean Kromm into her new position.

Press release for Dean Kromm can be found below.

Columbia College and The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science Announce new Dean of Undergraduate Student Life

Cristen Scully Kromm has been appointed Dean of Undergraduate Student Life for Columbia  College and The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, effective Feb. 1, 2015.

Kromm currently serves as Associate Dean of Residential Life for Columbia College and The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, where she is responsible for residential life within the College and Engineering and is actively involved in the co-curricular life of students. Kromm has worked closely with students and partners throughout the University to develop programs such as Responsible Community @ Columbia (RC@C), a peer-facilitated conversation about alcohol and drugs during NSOP (in collaboration with Alice! Health Promotion), and the popular “Puppy Coalition” study break during finals (in collaboration with students). She has collaborated with Athletics, Fraternity and Sorority Life, and Student Engagement to ensure consistency in hazing prevention education across student groups, and with Housing and Facilities to create the Production Advisory Board, which gives students an opportunity to provide direct feedback about residence hall conditions.

More on the press release after the jump

Gear Up For Bacchanal Battle Of The Bands 2015

Want to leave an equally infamous Bacchanal legacy as that of Fountain Girl & Co? Have something to brag to your kids about when you speak of the college wonder years by submitting a sample of your very on music to the Bacchanal Committee to put you in the running to start off the one day a year Columbia kids get drunk before nightfall. The deadline is Friday, February 13th at 11:59 pm so start assembling your broken up band/suitemates and get back in the zone of dropping some sick beats together (or solo). Battle of the Bands will be held on February 27th at 7:30pm.

For more information, refer to the Facebook event and pirate a copy of School of Rock to re-familiarize yourself with the millennial’s dogma on how to rock.

CCSC Learns About Step Up Bystander Intervention

CCSC members are leaders makin’ a difference!

Campus politics guru Joe Milholland is back with the latest CCSC report; last night CCSC designated their first meeting of Spring 2015 to discuss next steps in the Step Up program on our campus. [Trigger warning: post mentions terms and topics related to sexual assault.] 

In their first general body meeting of the semester, the Columbia College Student Council dedicated their entire meeting to witnessing and responding to a presentation from Sexual Violence Response (SVR) prevention coordinator Paul Carbini on the Step Up program. The Step Up program is bystander intervention education that is used by colleges and organizations across the nation to prevent sexual assault.

Council members generally approved of the presentation. CCSC President Peter Bailinson will be meeting with groups in coming weeks to encourage the groups to go through with bystander intervention training. 2016 Class Council Vice President Anne Scotti mentioned that she has experienced Step Up training before and found it beneficial.

“For sexual assault, most of the sequence happens in public – at parties, at bars, in the dorms,” said Carbini as he explained the need for bystander intervention. The goal of Step-up is to transform bystanders, who do not intervene, into pro-social bystanders, who do intervene. Carbini said that the steps of intervention were to notice what’s happening, interpret it, assume personal responsibility, know how to help, and then intervene.

Carbini then went through the intervention process. People often do not interpret certain actions as red flags because of situational ambiguity or conformity. Students can improve their interpretation by asking others and investigating ambiguous events further. Furthermore, in large groups, diffusion of responsibility can cause nobody to intervene because everyone assumes someone else will intervene.

More on what Step Up has to offer after the jump.