Barnard Holds Title IX Focus Group

Leading lady

Earlier this month, Barnard was listed along with 93 other colleges and universities on a list of institutions undergoing federal investigation for their handling of sexual violence reports.  As part of a continuing response, SGA held an open forum today and Bwogger Henry Litwhiler attended.

In response to the investigation, Barnard SGA organized a community discussion on Title IX compliance. Billed as a chance for Barnard students to provide feedback and ask questions about the college’s response, the focus group featured Barnard Assistant Dean for Equity Amy Zavadil and SGA’s Vice President for Student Government Sarah Shuster and Representative for Campus Policy Sienna Walker.

The hour-long session attracted a total of six attendees from Barnard’s student body. It was suggested that winter storm Juno had hampered efforts to get the word out, but since there was room for only a few more students in the conference room, expectations must not have been high. There was consensus towards the end of the meeting that another focus group would be in order, as turnout at previous events had been much better.

Zavadil fielded questions from students at the table, offering at times some of her own. Her emphasis, she explained, was on policy changes that could be brought about at Barnard to supplement efforts already underway at Columbia’s Sexual Violence Response.

The first point raised by a student was that, contrary to a provision of Title IX prohibiting colleges from charging students for services related to an assault on campus, Barnard caps sessions at the Furman Counseling Center at eight per semester, forcing survivors to seek expensive off-campus services instead. Zavadil countered that Furman is intended to serve students’ short-term needs and that assistance is provided to help students transition into long-term therapy. She admitted, however, that there should be more flexibility and that further discussion is warranted on the issue.

The discussion progresses after the jump.

Sharing Bwog’s Standards And Practices Policy

In the interest of full disclosure, Bwog has reformulated our Standards and Practices. As a publication we aim to honestly report events without bias or judgment and these new practices reflect that aim. These standards are formed with consideration given heavily to and adapted from the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics, a group dedicated to free media and its own critical self-regulation. As always, the comments section is meant to act as a forum for discussion on these policies and our decision to release them to our readership.

Taylor Grasdalen, Editor in Chief

1. Seek truth and report it.

  • Test and research all sources’ information.
  • Never misrepresent or distort through story, quotation, or image.
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  • Tell the story of the diversity and magnitude of the human experience boldly, even when it is unpopular to do so.
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PSA: Tomorrow Is The Last Day To Add/Change Classes To Recieve Advisor Approval
Probably shouldn't choose an 8:40 class....

Probably shouldn’t choose an 8:40 class….

If you have spent the last two weeks shopping classes, today is the day to settle, and choose your official spring 2015 course load. Tomorrow, January 30th, is the last day to receive advisor approval on your program, for both Columbia and Barnard students. So, weigh the pros and cons of all your classes, and decide which ones are the keepers.




Image via Shutterstock 

#TBT: This Day In History, Off The Columbia Campus
Man's best friend

Man’s best friend

Given that it is Thursday, it is only appropriate that we throw out a #tbt. While your Instagram feed will be full of baby pictures and vacation pictures with captions like, “cutest baby #fatrolls” and ” take me back #summer2014,” Bwog would like to fill your feed with some historic moments in history that took place on January 29th.

  • 1845-Edger Allen Poe’s “Raven” is published for the first time
  • 1861-Kansas secedes from the Union
  • 1886-Karl Benz patented the first successful gasoline-run car
  • 1929-The seeing eye dog organization is formed in the United States
  • First baseball players elected to the Hall of Fame: Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson, Ty Cobb, and Walter Johnson
  • 1959-Walt Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty” was released
  • 1988-United Airlines flight flies around the world in 36 hours, 54 minutes, and 15 seconds
  • 1996-The play “Cats” is officially performed 6,138, and becomes the longest running Broadway musical
  • 1995-The 49ers win the Superbowl for the fifth time
  • 2011-Taco Bell begins a campaign defending their questionable beef after being sued for selling beef that was actually only 35% beef
  • 2014- Scientists figured out how to produce stem cells from normal cells in mice
  • 2015- We will see


Canine eyes via Shutterstock


Bwoglines: Girl (Squirrel) Power Edition
shutterstock_154557827 (1)

A cute squirrel

Who you gonna call? The new Ghostbusters movie, set to be released in the summer of 2016, has announced the female dominated cast. Funny gals Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, and Kate MicKinnon are negotiating their contracts as we speak. (Time)

Stepping up the traditional Girl Scout cookie selling game, Alyssa Carter, an eight year-old girl from South Africa,  is selling homemade chocolate to save the rhinos. So far she has raised $23,000, which she has given to Kruger National Park, to purchase sniffing dogs that supposedly have the capability sniff out poachers. When CNN asked Alyssa why rhinos she said, “They’re nice and, with their big-horns, they look beautiful, and I like looking for them in the wild.” (CNN)

There are rumors circulating that Sarah Palin is thinking of trying to make a 2016 run. Are we potentially ready for Hillary, Warren, AND Palin? (The Washington Post)

Everyone knows that Beyoncé is queen, but Cooper Union is offering to give you an intellectually stimulating conversation that will solidify this given notion. Politicizing Beyoncé. Mark your calendars for February 4th and join the Facebook event.

Running the world via Shutterstock

So You Want To Be A Spy
Are they spies or members of ADP????

Are they spies or members of ADP????

Earlier this week, we were tipped a document stating that an alleged Russian spy was recruiting at a “major” NYC university…perhaps Columbia? Inspired by this McSweeney’s column, our top conspiracy theorist Joseph Powers describes the double life of a Columbia student turned secret agent.

You begin preparing for your life in the shadows in the second week of your freshmen year, with a trip to the college career center. They advise you include more action words in your resume. After several more sessions, and your constant reassurance that, no, really, you’re not interested in investment banking, sighing, the assigned counselor finds you a shiny pamphlet: YOUR MISSION IF YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT.

You begin a grueling course load in anticipation of your triple major: Economics, Political Science, and East Asian Languages and Culture. You also plan to finish at least two years of each of the languages recommended by your guidebook: Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Hebrew, Spanish, and Russian. (So alright, Russian wasn’t actually recommended, but the geopolitical landscape can shift at any moment and it doesn’t hurt to prepare for world of tomorrow. Besides. Bond beats Bourne any day). You could tell your RA was trying not to laugh when you told him, but he doesn’t know you. You were valedictorian of your class and took mostly APs. You know what you’re getting yourself into.

As for your physical preparation, you are trusting that to your practices with the squash team. Your time as a student athlete, you have already begun to realize, will also help prepare you to handle a grueling schedule, competing demands on your loyalty, and a workload invisible to those around you.

Two years later, all in one jump!

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