Written by Nadra Rahman
Editor Nadra Rahman comes to you with a heart full of lamentation. Today, instead of preparing for an intimate night by the fire with fluffy-haired CU dreamboat Prezbo, she sits alone and thinks of what might have been.
The Chain of Events
On Friday, January 2, 2016, I received an email about the fireside chat, an “opportunity to have a candid conversation” with President Bollinger. “Okay,” I thought as I filled out the lottery form. “Whatever.” In the space where we had to type in a question to ask the president, I drew a blank and hastily typed, “Do you believe in miracles?” which was neither clever nor funny, but was in the interrogative form.
The following Thursday, I was notified of my selection. I confirmed, mildly confused by my own luck and excited at the prospect of skipping my chemistry lecture. Here is where it gets confusing: the next day, at 1:03 pm, I received a rejection letter, not an uncommon occurrence for me. The email read, “As you know, interest in these events is high and we are unable to extend an invitation to all entrants…” What? I ignored this second message, but I’m not sure how I was able to dismiss it so easily.
Written by Raji Ganapathy
This update on the actions and elections of the SGA are brought to you by Barnard Baroness Raji Ganapathy as well as the Super PAC Bwog™, “fighting for better news since 2006”.
This week’s SGA meeting was decidedly election-themed. We kicked things off with a presentation by the Columbia Elections Board. The CEB is an independent council that oversees elections held by CCSC, GSSC, and ESC, although technically it views itself as a subsidiary of CCSC and receives its funding from them. The council was formed three years ago in order to combat corruption and conflict of interest in the election process, which was formerly headed by each respective student council. The CEB emphasizes impartiality, independence, and fairness in the election process. In the case that the CEB is unable to resolve an issue, such as determining whether a candidate should be accused of misconduct, the CCSC judicial board is able to intervene and make a final decision.
On Monday’s meeting, the CEB made its case as to why Barnard should also start using their service. The presenters, CEB co-chairs Kate Welty (SEAS ‘18) and Sam Henick (CC ‘18), pitched the CEB to SGA members and fielded questions about the transition process. Barnard’s elections are currently handled by the Elections Commission, a group consisting of four SGA members (typically SGA president, junior and senior representatives to the Board of Trustees, and the University Senator), as well as a member of the Honor Board. With the changes proposed by the Columbia Elections Board, all aspects of the elections, including candidate promotion, information sessions, candidate mixers, rules meetings, ballot counting, debates between candidates, and promotion of the voting process would be handled by the CEB.
Tags: "applications are still open on a rolling basis" wow barnard's government is legit, sga, tbt to when barnard had a mission, the CEB obviously doesn't work given cheating during elections, the fact that CEB didn't have barnard students is so typical of columbia lol, why didn't CEB kick out pantone292 for cheating
Written by Ross Chapman
Listen, we’re not on a high horse here. Campus media has a lot of problems. And you have problems too! So which of us do you most resemble? Answers to this quiz include Spectator, Spectrum, Bwog (that’s us!), The Fed, The Lion, and a special mystery response. Try to find them all!
Did you get your free Chipotle code today? The Mexican dining eastblishment closed its I,899 or so stores. There have been reports of E. coli spreading, especially related to kids eaying at Chipotle and suffering intense bouts of sickness. (USA Today)
At the U.N. Security Council, North Korea’s latest launch attempt was, unsurprisingly, called out. Experts believe that you might be able to see a North Korean rocket with a heavy payload by way of Alaska or Hawaii in the near future. (CNN)
Bashar al-Assad’s regime might soon prove a triumphant regional actor in Syria-Iraq. His forces are surrounding Aleppo, a huge city divided between government forces as rebels. With Russian support, the government troops are edging in, while increases in refugees on the Turkish border are becoming worrisome. (Al Jazeera)
Yesterday was the first day of the new Chinese Year of the Monkey. Apparently, it’s also a year linked to the element of Fire. According to traditional Chinese beliefs, this year may match the excitement of the last two fire-monkey years: 1956, the year of the brutal Soviet crushing of the Hungarian uprising, and 1776. (NBC)
As you’re probably painfully aware, the SuperBowl was yesterday. And, as you are also probably painfully aware, the most recent problematic short-lived meme is calling the SuperBowl the Superb Owl. As a patron of sports, owls, and (occasionally) memes, Bwog has titled this week’s field notes accordingly. Predictably, some of us are more superb than others.
This week marks Islam Awareness Week, a series of events and guest speakers sponsored by the Columbia Muslim Students Organization (MSA) that both helps Islamic people on campus celebrate their faith and educates other members of the community. This year, the week’s theme is Reclaiming Muslims Narrratives, which, according to the event’s official Facebook page, “aims to deconstruct distorted and false narratives of Muslims in an effort to bring back and take agency of our own narrative ourselves.” There will be events every night this week, all of which are open to CUID holders. (Non-CUID holders can contact the Columbia MSA to RSVP.)
The schedule for this week is as follows:
Fancy design via the event’s Facebook page
Written by Betsy Ladyzhets
We all know that feeling: the reading for this class was really long and really difficult, and nobody could work up the motivation to actually get through it. But, unfortunately, your class is a seminar of fifteen people, and the professor is going to expect you to have a meaningful discussion about something literally nobody read. What do you do? Bwog writer Betsy Ladyzhets has answers. (And not because she didn’t do her First-Year Seminar reading for last class – she totally did. She promises.)
It’s five minutes before the seminar starts. The classroom is slowly filling up, students stifling yawns and balancing coffee cups as they squeeze around the overly large table and slump into seats. A few take out books or packets of paper and frantically flip through the pages, highlighting arbitrarily and scrawling messy notes, but most just turn to their phones, taking advantage of the last few minutes they have before they’ll have to pretend to be academically inclined students on top of their lives. And then, someone asks the question:
“Did anyone do the reading?”
Everyone in the class looks around – heads are shaking, polite smiles are drooping into frowns, and frowns are disintegrating into nervous laughter. The murmurs begin quietly, but are soon clearly audible:
“I tried, but I fell asleep.”
“I got through, like, the first ten pages? Maybe?”
“It was so dense, I could barely understand it.”
Tags: it's 2016 why doesn't speed-reading technology exist yet, mentioning donald trump is an effective way of getting literally any conversation off track, seminar problems, seriously though how do profs expect us to do 80 pages of reading in two days, we have lives to live and bwog posts to write, yeah we had to sneak in a hamilton reference - it's kind-of instinctual at this point
An email from Barnard SGA to the Barnard student body this morning announced that the student-voted referendum they released earlier in the semester has passed. Their email provides the voter breakdown:
SGA recently conducted a referendum on Fossil Fuel Divestment. 23.82% of the student body participated, and of that number, 95.92% voted in favor of divestment. As per our Constitution*, this referendum has passed. Thank you to all those who participated!
If you have feelings about the referendum results, DSpar, or the environment, be sure to attend the panel discussion later today at 4 pm in the James Room in Barnard Hall. The event is the first of its kind by the newly assembled Presidential Task Force to Examine Divestment.
Compelling graphic via Barnard College Instagram
Next Saturday, February 20th, from 7 to 10pm, the CU Chinese Students Club will present its 37th annual Lunar Gala, an event that celebrates the Chinese New Year through showcasing food, fashion, and performances. This year’s event theme is Flux, and the headlining guest performer is Jason Chen, a Taiwanese-American pop singer. Many student groups are performing, including Wushu, Radiance, CU Gen, and Raw Elementz; you can check out the full line-up on the official event Facebook page.
Tickets go on sale today – they’re available right now in Lerner, and will continue to be available every weekday until the event from 11am to 8pm. You can also Venmo CSC’s treasurer Raymond Li and pick your tickets up at the table, or purchase tickets online. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $15 for a special VIP package including a buffet-style dinner.
CSC describes this event as a “breathtaking fusion of Chinese and Western art and culture.” It’s proven to be both exciting and entertaining in the past, and with over one hundred students coming together to make the Lunar Gala possible, we’re sure this year will be no different.
Jason Chen showing off his backwards T-shirt via event Facebook page
Tags: celebrating the new year with food and fashion and student performances - the chinese clearly know how to party, csc lunar gala, the food's not free so it better be really delicious, we just want to know about the mysterious afterparty mentioned in the facebook event, will the moon also make a special guest appearance
Yesterday during the Super Bowl, there was apparently some confusion over what, exactly, a catch is. Jerricho Cotchery of the Carolina Panthers appeared to haul the ball in early in the game, but the play was ruled incomplete. Many football fans (and CBS officiating expert Mike Carey) thought this was an incorrect ruling, and aren’t exactly impressed with the Super Bowl referees. (SB Nation)
Meanwhile, in Spain, seven people were arrested for allegedly supplying cash and weapons to ISIS and other jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq. This group, consisting of five Spanish nationals and two foreigners of Syrian and Moroccan origin, sent the supplies from Spanish ports disguised as “humanitarian help.” (TIME)
According to recent research, newer forests of the “wrong type of trees” in Europe may actually be contributing to Global Warming. After the Industrial Revolution, areas formerly occupied by broadleaved species (such as oak and birch) have been re-forested with faster-growing, more commercially valuable conifers (such as pine and birch) that consume less carbon and absorb more solar radiation. (BBC News)
And finally, some good news: Governor Andrew Cuomo has plans to rebuild Penn Station! The plan is quite optimistic, aiming to both increase convenience and safety for commuters and become a commercial destination comparable to Grand Central Terminal. But it’s difficult to say how willing contractors will be to actually build the new station. (NJ News)
An example for those European conifers via the Barnard website
Tags: bwog is suddenly very worried about the role of maggie the magnolia in relation to climate change, bwoglines, construction at barnard then at penn station - what's next? construction at lerner?, maggie must be the right type of tree though. how could she be anything else, okay tbh we wouldn't be entirely opposed to construction at lerner, the trees are contributing to global warming? the trees ... betrayed us?, what is a catch? is it a football play? that cute girl you almost talked to in your polysci lecture?
The beginning to a new semester. A fresh start for all. Barnard’s been busy over winter break, what with tearing down the library (which is still standing) and opening a new office space with classrooms and and reserves. The LeFrak Center is home to part of Barnard’s library, as well as study spaces, a digital classroom and two seminar classrooms on the first floor. And here is where we reach the problem: those two seminar rooms. Bwog investigated the situation and came up with our own “solutions” to the problem.
In addition to the beloved green tunnel across campus, students returning to Barnard this semester were met with another, more subtle surprise – the renovated LeFrak Center with new hidden treasures: seminar rooms 117 and 118. Lovingly called the “New Hamilton Elevator” by some, and met with claustrophobic distaste by others, the seminar rooms consist of four white walls, an enormous television screen mounted on one of the walls, and an illogically-large table. Every week, Barnard freshmen completing their First Year Seminars squeeze past clunky plastic chairs, making their way around this table to find a spot against the walls.
While likely another initiative on the part of Res Life to further first year bonding, or a reminder from the NSOP committee that #YouAreHere (and can’t move anywhere else, anyway), the seminar rooms, with their tropical climate and exotic construction noises, have been making us wish we were anywhere but here.
All of this begs the question: What can you fit in there? In the hopes that Barnard will find a more suitable place to store their budding scholars, here’s a list of shit (aside from Barnard first-years) that can fit in the seminar rooms:
LeFrak is Back via The Barnard Website
Tags: barnard be mad, barnard itself not so much, first year sems are always a disaster no matter what, lefrak is back and better than ever!!, literally built yesterday like wtf, not, seminar rooms, seven geese a laying, shit to fit should be a new series, this is beginning to look a little like the 12 days of christmas, well barnard students be mad
Written by Maham Karatela
Shashi Tharoor is an Indian politician, writer, and former diplomat. He is a member of the Indian National Congress, currently serving as Member of Parliament, previously served as Minister of State in the Government of India for External Affairs. And he’s got almost 4 million followers on Twitter. Last Friday, he came to speak to students, and Bwog sent Maham Karatela to cover the event.
On Friday at 6 pm, Indian parliamentarian Shashi Tharoor made a visit to campus, speaking to a completely sold out audience at Barnard Hall. Tharoor made his debut on the global political scene in 1978 as a member of the United Nations, working first with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva. He subsequently spent 29 years in the UN, occupying various roles and ultimately becoming the UN Under-Secretary-General. Currently, he works as a member of the Indian Parliament, well versed in issues of foreign policy, education, and generally issues related to the betterment of India.
Written by Finn Klauber
Bucket List represents the intellectual privilege we enjoy as Columbia students. We do our very best to bring to your attention important guest lecturers and special events on campus. Our recommendations for this week are below, and the full list is after the jump. If you notice any events that have been left off the list, or a correction, please leave them in the comments.
Last Tuesday night, the Columbia College Student Council held a closed meeting to appoint a new representative, and the opening was not announced via a class-wide e-mail. Bwog looked into this incident and the reasons behind it earlier this week. If you’d like to know more about the appointment process, the details are discussed here. This Friday, a class-wide email was sent out by CCSC 2017 President, Ravi Sinha, explaining the situation, apologizing for any confusion it may have caused, and announcing the council’s decision to reopen the application for class representative.
Hey, hey, hey, all you football fans out there! We know you’ve been deprived of good football since coming to Columbia (no shade). In order to remedy that, Bwog has decided to accommodate your need for football fanaticism. We know that our usual meeting time (7pm in Lerner 505) conflicts with the 6:30pm SuperBowl tonight. So we’ve changed the time of today’s meeting to 3pm in Lerner 505. So come hang with us! Bring the pitches and we’ll bring the snacks. And then go watch the game – or alternatively, go watch the Puppy Bowl instead.
Soirée SuperBowl via Guillaume Capron/CC-BY-SA-2.0
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