Overseen: A Poop In Lerner

Much has been made of the modern architecture of Lerner Hall, but the true reflection of the function of a building can be seen in how its occupants actually use it. A tip early this afternoon shed some light on precisely what purpose Lerner serves these days.

IMAG0626

Quoth one Bwogger: “Can this building get any shittier?

Academic Awards Committee Recognizes Columbia Professors
Professor Khalidi is teaching History of Modern Middle East in the fall.

Professor Khalidi teaches History of Modern Middle East in the fall.

Every year, the Academic Awards Committee of Columbia awards the Mark Van Doren Award for Teaching to a professor with exceptional “humanity, devotion to truth, and inspiring leadership.” This year, it went to Professor of Mathematics Robert Friedman, who has taught in the math department for over 20 years. He chaired the department for three years and was recognized for his clarity and mentorship skills.

The Committee also presented the annual Lionel Trilling Award to Professor of History Rashid Khalidi. The award, given to a faculty member who’s published a book in the last year, was in recognition of Khalidi’s book Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East. Khalidi is presently the editor of the Journal of Palestine Studies, and the book discusses the relationship between narrative and perception of the US-Israel-Palestine dynamic.

The official awards ceremony will be on May 5, from 6-7:30 p.m. in Faculty Room in Low.

Access the brilliance in your backyard via Columbia

A Shifty Look At Secret Societies

A couple weeks back, the Internet (i.e. IvyGate) blew up a list of this year’s Sachems, to much discussion of how much secrecy exactly is involved and needed. Chief of Staff Writers Julia Goodman tells you why, despite their philanthropy and goodwill, Columbia senior societies neither have nor need full secrecy.

It’s been a few weeks since IvyGate revealed a list of the members of the Sachems. And a lot of people are still wondering what exactly the big deal is about senior societies. Well, for one thing, they’re secret…at least more secret than St. A’s, which isn’t saying much. But unlike St. A’s, or other exclusive “societies” like frats and sororities, most Columbia students don’t hear much about the Sachems and Nacoms. Nacoms traditionally take the secrecy element much more seriously than Sachems, which may be why a member of the Sachems leaked the list of members, but no matching Nacoms list has surfaced.

Ostensibly, the “secrecy” is really just an enhanced version of privacy—the societies want to remain secret so that first-years don’t start campaigning for the position, or so that they know their members are not just joining to put it on their resumes. In fairness, this is a problem that plagues many other positions of power in student groups. But then again, many graduating members do put the affiliation on their resume, and some Sachems, at least, don’t keep things secret once they graduate. So, why all the secrecy for current members? For one thing, it’s cool to be in a secret organization fighting for good! Isn’t that why the X-Men do it?

In all seriousness, though, before 1952, Spec published the list of new members each year. They stopped doing it as a form of protest against the societies, not because the societies themselves insisted on it. That protest seems to have actually increased the societies’ power, though, or at least their mystique to the rest of the student body. The “secrecy” is a way of maintaining a low profile, but if it only serves to make people more curious, then it is not serving its intended purpose. It shouldn’t really matter if the members are secret, as long as they keep a low profile. If the Sachems and Nacoms once accepted a more open way of doing things, why shouldn’t they still?

Perhaps the privacy has helped the groups do more good while on campus, and it can certainly be argued that they’ve done a lot. Though, again, they tend to keep things private, the Nacoms are known to have donated a CAVA ambulance, while the Sachems started a scholarship fund and helped found the Double Discovery Center (a tutoring organization). And, through secrecy, the groups have managed to avoid some of the pitfalls of campaigning that CCSC and ESC have fallen prey to. Then again, that could also be because no one except current members gets to decide the next group, and there are often “lines,” which tend to pass down to the same position, such as whoever is president of a particular student group. Those who are not part of those lines, or don’t catch the eye of the senior societies for other reasons, will never even be in the running.

So, what should we do about it?

Where Art Thou?
Is this what u were talking about, Claytie?

Is this what u were talking about, Claytie?

Scheduling is the worst/best thing ever. Shrug off some of your extreme class FOMO with other ways to learn cool things (they exist!), courtesy of Arts Editor Madysen Luebke.

Wednesday:

  • The New York Historical Society is holding an after-hours viewing of their Bill Cunningham Facades exhibit, along with a screening of Bill Cunningham New York, all for free with an RSVP!  The event starts at 6 pm.
  • Columbia Stages presents The Big White Door by Claytie Mason Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 pm at Riverside Church room 5T.  Tickets are free!

Thursday:

  • Columbia Classical Players and The Piano Club are holding their second event together Thursday at 8 pm in the Wallach Lounge!  Come hear pieces that these musicians have been working on all semester, and then join in the jam sesh and make music with them afterwards!  Plus, the event is free!
  • Miller Theater presents Tower + Bach, an evening of music by these two composers.  So if you need one more performance to write that Music Hum paper about, get your $7 ticket with CUID and get to the theater for the 8 pm show!

And the weekend’s hardly started.

Bwoglines: You Thought It Was Over Edition
shutterstock_88434241

Not today, you crazy young thing you.

Remember last year’s Gillian Flynn craze? Well, they’re making a movie (shocker), it’s being directed by David Fincher, and it has Ben Affleck. Here are some enlightening thoughts on the 96-second trailer. (Vulture)

Oppose de Blasio, and support the horse carriages!.. a sentence we never thought we’d hear ourselves say. (NY Daily News)

NYPD just said it would shut down its “Demographics Unit,” which basically just spied on Muslim groups. How very 2003. (NPR)

Someone thinks SAT scores actually matter. We know. We’re weirded out too. (Slate)

And of course, the requisite weather reference: It snowed/hailed last night, and you sighed exasperatedly, looking nostalgically at your sweaty Bacchanal attire. Put the Hawaiian shirt away, kiddos; it’s sub-50 today. (NY Times)

This man is why normcore exists via Shutterstock

Summer Storage Showdown
They look too fuckin' happy

There’s just nothing like storage!

If your NYC friends won’t let you leave all your crap in their home and you live farther than driving distance, summer storage is probably the way to go. But how do you choose what company should have the privilege of handling your precious belongings after housing kicks you out promptly on May 17th? The Housing website does an unsurprisingly lackluster job of providing info on storage. So Bwog presents a complete breakdown of summer storage options:

Hudson Storage

You probably recognize this storage company as the burly men in jumpsuits shooting boxes up and down ramps during move-in week, but they are actually Manhattan’s premier storage service.

As a well-established company that runs a massive operation, Hudson is definitely not the best bargain around. That said, if you’re looking for reliability regardless of the price tag, Hudson is the way to go.

Cost: Hudson offers 48″ x 28″ x 24″ bins that cost $350 for the whole summer (tax included). If you really want to spring, Hudson will store your junk in a 5′ x 5′ x 5′ personal room for $187.50 per month (that will be about $600 for the whole summer).

Convenience: Curbside bin pickups take place May 14th-16th from 9 am to 4 pm. Hudson will be on campus May 7th-16th taking applications, selling boxes, and passing out bins to the people who already registered. In the fall, curbside delivery happens Sept. 2nd-4th.

Security: We’ve gotten a few reports of crushed boxes from past years’ displeased commenters. Storage is in an ADT-secured fireproof warehouse.

Extras: You can access your stuff Monday through Friday during regular business hours (8 am to 5 pm) by appointment.

Yeah, we know there are better options.

ESC: Fun with Dean Kachani
Dean Kachani—a sparkle in his eye

Vice Dean Kachani—a sparkle in his eye

This week’s ESC meeting featured a guest appearance from Vice Dean of Columbia Engineering Soulaymane Kachani.  Of course, he was only the second most important guest at the meeting next to Bwog’s own Joe Milholland, here to give you a recap of this week’s exciting meeting.

After first commenting that there should be food for the council members at their meetings, Kachani praised the council and President Bhatt for their work. In terms of recent issues ESC has tackled, he said that implementing the honor code will require SEAS to “change the culture” and that time will tell whether removing the requirement for professional courses is a good idea. He also noted the lack of feedback for the pass/fail implementation, which he said is only a “two year pilot” that he wants data from at its conclusion.

Kachani gave some statistics related to SEAS. A study put SEAS #2 on return on investment, and the US New & World Report ranked Columbia Engineering #1 for best online grad program.

He then related some of the projects he and other SEAS administrators are working on. SEAS is investing in a WeWork building on 175 Varick St.. SEAS will have a third of the space for the startups of young alumni. Columbia Engineering will engage in the research into personalized medicine. Kachani is also looking at globilization, overseas programs, and freedom of expression. Kachani concluded his speech by saying “It has never been a better time to be a geek.”

What questions did Kachani take from council members?

BwogSports: Baseball and Softball Play Opposites Against Princeton

Arc + speed + movement = strikeout

Now that the weather has finally changed and become seasonally-appropriate, baseball and softball season sounds about right.  Sports lover Max Rettig gives the latest exciting lowdown on these two teams—and more—below.

Baseball: The Lions swept Princeton in a display of offense and defense over the weekend, coming from behind in a 9-6 win and then following up with a 13-3 rout. In the day game, Jordan Serena and Rob Paller enjoyed three-hit performances, while reliever Thomas Crispi pitched five solid innings to earn the win. The Lions took the lead in the fourth inning and never really looked back. Rob Paller knocked in three runs, and Serena scored four times.

In the second game, the Lions collected 13 runs on 14 hits, along with eight walks, small-ball play, and strong base-running, to complement starter Kevin Roy’s fantastic showing. He finished with 7 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, and 6 K. The Lions are away, but still in New York, for the next five, with a game against St. John’s and a four-game set at Cornell. This is the first time the Lions have swept all four games against the Tigers since 1993, when Ivy League division play began.

The team is 16-15, 9-3 Ivy League.

Softball: The underhand-throwing Lions were not as fortunate as their overhand-throwing counterparts, getting swept by Princeton while scoring only two runs per game. Columbia fell victim to great Tiger pitching, and the Tigers took advantage of defensive ball-control problems to take the 3-2 win. Liz Caggiano was a bright spot for Columbia, homering in her third straight game. Tessa Kroll struck out five and allowed no runs, but nonetheless took the loss.

In the second game, Columbia allowed the Tigers to take an early lead, which Alyssa Rodia nearly erased, but her blast to center was caught near the wall. Kayla Shimoda led off the third inning with a round-tripper, but the Lions left women on base too often (11 overall), and Princeton took advantage of its opportunities to take the 6-2 decision.

The Lions are 16-18, 5-7 Ivy. They play Thursday at Saint Peter’s.

Track runners win cool honors below.

Prison Divest Hosts A Week Of Engagement
The official flyer

The official flyer

This week, Columbia Prison Divest is holding a Week of Engagement along with several other schools throughout the country.  From Monday to Friday, CPD will be holding events in a variety of locations around Columbia in order to publicize their cause and to talk about the issues surrounding mass incarceration.

Earlier this semester, a group of students from CPD entered PrezBo’s office and read a letter demanding an end to Columbia’s significant investment in companies involved in the prison industry.

Students Against Mass Incarceration (SAMI), AlterNATIVE Education, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), cIRCa, Radical College Undergraduates Not Tolerating Sexism (Radical C.U.N.T.S.), LUCHA, Columbia Prison Reform & Education Project (PREP), Freedom School, O.G., and Potluck House will also take part in the events of this week in connection with CPD.

You can see the schedule below.

SGA: Passover And Democracy
Requiescat in pace, eBear

Requiescat in pace, eBear

Monday’s SGA meeting was cut really short due to Passover this week, but Barnard Bureau Chief Lauren Beltrone was there anyways to keep you in the loop.

Before delving into the real stuff, here’s a reminder to vote (again) on my.barnard.edu today. Probably because too many Barnard students were having separation anxiety and didn’t successfully transition out of using eBear, your vote yesterday didn’t count. As per SGA’s email, voting began today at 9 am and will be extended until the 21st at noon for those of us celebrating Passover.

After all the voting drama was squared away, the Senior Class Council talked about their proposition to translate this year’s commencement speech into other languages. Even though it seems totally reasonable to translate the speech into Mandarin and Spanish (our two most represented languages other English), the SCC is running into some opposition.

According to Dean Hinkson, Cecile Richards could make significant changes to her prepared speech as she’s giving it, and for that reason we shouldn’t translate the speech into Mandarin and Spanish beforehand. While the SCC is still working with the administration to provide translations in coming years, this year’s speech will be Google translated into every language imaginable and made available online after the ceremony.

eBear in a better place now via Shutterstock

Overseen: We Found The Missing School Spirit…

…and it’s on this kid’s sneakers!  In case your eyes don’t have the zooming power of a microscope, these rad kicks read “Columbia 2017″ near the heel.  We can only hope there’s some sort of irony involved.

IMAG0626

New spring fashion?

Bwoglines: Forbidden Love Edition
"Not in front of the airplane!  He's my ex."

“Not in front of the airplane! He’s my ex…”

So you probably missed the blood moon last night (like we did), but you can still check out some awesome pictures (and find out what a blood moon actually is). (Space)

Former Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi is sentenced to a year of community service for his crimes, which for some reason sounds kind of comical to us. (Time)

We want to go to there. (NY Daily News)

So airplane porn is a thing now somewhere. (USA Today)

We think the Daily News needs to update its definition of the word “masterpiece.” (NY Daily News).

Love triangle via Shutterstock

AskBwog: Spark@CU
Such tasteful iOS 7-style blurring.

Such tasteful iOS 7-style blurring.

We’ve been receiving several tips over the last week or two about a possible “Columbia/Barnard Tinder” site, Spark@CU, so we decided to investigate. Some of you may have received emails from Spark@CU similar to those sent out by DateMySchool last year, such as this one:

Subject line: Spark@CU
Hey there! We have exciting news for you. Another Columbia/Barnard student added you to their list on Spark@CU. Log in to make your own list, and see who you’ll let sparks fly with!
Register and start your list at http://www.sparkatcu.com/

We also got this question from our anonymous tip form:

mama bwog, so is spark@cu a thing or am i being catfished. my bullshit senses are down after an all nighter

much love, zzzzz

Two of your friendly editors went over to the site to see if phishing was amok. Our verdict? Seems pretty legit. We registered, entered each other’s UNIs, and quickly received emails from the site first saying that we’d been added by someone else, and then a second with the UNI of the mutual connection. We were invited to respond to the email to get the conversation flowing.

So there you have it. Go forth and find love in a hopeless place, fellow Columbians.

Post-Bacchanal Roundup

Now that Bacchanal is over we feel it is our duty to tell you all the other things that have happened.  The following is a collection random snippets, photos and tips that we’ve received over the past few days.Oh, and then there are those prospies and their shenanigans. 

Prospies make people not so prosperous:

  • “Two prospie girls in my LitHum this morning. One left early, the other talked too much. Like more than people in the class. Super awkward”
  • Email subject: “If those are prospies screaming” Email text: “Violence is going to happen.”
  • “Lerner elevators stopping on EACH floor (for me to get to fifth) to let kids in/out, I am asked EACH TIME if I’m ‘also a prospective student’ (this makes four times asked).”
  • And this: “Girl tries to get into Lerner and doesn’t realize that they have a special turnstile. Person working at desk tells the people arriving behind her about the turnstile. Her response: ‘Shoot! Why didn’t you tell me about that?! Now I ain’t choosing Columbia.’”

Click to see other things!

Which Famous Columbia/Barnard Grad Are You?