What To Expect When You’re Expecting (To Begin COÖP)
Screen Shot 2014-08-19 at 12.31.01 PM

One with nature

COÖP move-in is tomorrow, so get ready to have a fun few days in nature and spend the next four years reminiscing nonstop about it. We asked COÖP Queen Daniela Lopez to share some insight about the program.

First thing’s first: what is COÖP?

COÖP stands for Columbia Obese Owl Protection Columbia Outdoor Orientation Program and it has three divisions: Hiking, River Canoeing, and Biking (also known as the vaguely adorable HÖP, RÖP, and BÖP). Because it starts the week before the mandatory Columbia orientation, COÖP can be thought of more as a pre-orientation program. Like other Columbia pre-orientation programs (e.g. CUE and ISOP), COÖP is optional and, currently, only for incoming Columbia College and SEAS freshmen.

What’s the schedule like?

Students move in Wednesday the 20th, 4 days before NSOP. Take advantage of your early move-in time by staking a claim on the better half of your room before your roommate arrives. We also recommend using this extra time to throw empty vodka bottles, general effluvia, and a liberal amount of trash all over your future roomie’s bed to make a great first impression.

After move-in, all 200-ish participants take part in an awkward orgy super fun group bonding activities for the afternoon before breaking up into smaller groups and programs for the evening. To get you pumped for the glory that is the coming days, you’ll all sleep together under a huge tarp on Butler Lawn — how picturesque and snug. In your next four years, the only other time you’ll get to sleep on Butler Lawn will be after Bacchanal and you won’t remember it. So enjoy this.

Students then spend 3 days in the great outdoors (hiking in the Catskills, river canoeing on the Delaware River, and biking in the Hudson Valley) in small groups and bonding over delicious meals made memorable by meatstick, bean juice, mac ‘n’ cheese, hummus, and Nutella (sometimes all combined if you’re feeling like you’re the worst person ever adventurous). By the time your return to Columbia, you’ll have most likely turned into a disgusting dirt-monster. On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is squeaky clean and 10 is Pigpen fucking a disinterred body, expect to be around a 12.

How could anything follow that image?

Free The Lawns!
Everything the light touches is our kingdom.

Everything the light touches is our kingdom.

This year’s convocation will move from South Lawn to Low Plaza, according to a statement released by CU Facilities’ Dan Held. This means you’ll get to play frisbee on the pristine lawns for an extra six to eight weeks. It’s almost like they listen to us. Here’s the statement:

Columbia University Convocation 2014, scheduled for Monday, August 25th, was relocated this year to Low Plaza from its previous location on the South Lawn. The move enables the South Lawn, which typically requires a closure of six to eight weeks after Convocation for restoration, to remain open for student use during the beginning of the semester, weather permitting and consistent with University Outdoor Space Policy guidelines.

“This change, which we implemented in response to student feedback with input from partners across the University, will allow our University community to enjoy our beautiful campus outdoor space more during the beginning of the semester when the weather is nice,” said Vice President of Operations Frank Martino.

Columbia’s New Gender-Based Misconduct Policy For Students


President Bollinger has announced Columbia University’s newest Gender-Based Misconduct Policy for Students, which can be found here. We’ll try to break down his email, which mostly mimics what was sent out a few days ago by deans, below:

  • Goals of the policy:  “to strengthen confidence in the University’s handling of reports of sexual assault and other gender-based misconduct, to ensure fairness for all parties involved, and to provide more assistance to students in need.”
  • Improving key personnel: students will no longer serve on hearing panels, and advisors or attorneys may now accompany students to any meetings or hearings related to investigations.
  • Navigation: Case managers will guide students (both “complainants” and “respondents”) through the process, and help with living arrangements.
  • Logistics: They’ve added six new staff members to the Office of Sexual Violence Response and will open a new Rape Crisis Center location on the seventh floor of Lerner. Undergraduate orientation training has been “expanded.” PrezBo reminds us that Suzanne Goldberg is his new “special advisor.”
  • Pats on the back: “Today’s new policy is one among many reforms we have initiated to try to deal with what is most certainly a national issue.”

Yes, this is a national issue, and this is a new policy, but much of it is the same. Appeals (page 17-18) will continue to be made to the dean of the respondent’s school, and the timeframe for resolving reports is still 60 days, yet there is no check placed on this (page 12). We’ll be looking into the more minute differences between the new policy and the old policy (as updated in August 2013), and will update accordingly.

Update (11:20 am): The introduction from DSpar’s email to Barnard is also included below.

Update (11:35 am): See a statement from several student groups, calling it “misrepresentative for Columbia to characterize these reforms as a response to student concerns,” below. The letter expresses disappointment that the Executive Vice President of Student Affairs did not get to oversee the process, and that student input was not considered. It continues: “The policy does not guarantee accommodations like housing and academic changes for survivors, it does not establish clear or useful sanctioning guidelines, it does not sufficiently improve the training for staff members who interact with survivors, and it leaves the appeals process in the hands of Deans with no expertise, inadequate training, and a clear bias.”

Read the full text of the email sent, after the jump.

2018, Your NSOP Schedule Is Here
Columbia encourages getting high

Columbia encourages getting high

Drumroll, please. Class of 2018, your newly-announced NSOP theme is “Reaching New Heights Together.” Today, Columbia issued the NSOP schedule for CC and SEAS, and here are Barnard’s and General Studies‘ if you missed them.


  • The collective Thursday night outing is the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum, which is on the USS Intrepid, “a decommissioned aircraft carrier on the Hudson River overlooking the NYC skyline.” For reference, past years have been at Victorian Gardens, the Bronx Zoo, and Governor’s Island, so this is pretty sick.
  • Neighborhood tours: Brooklyn Bridge, Downtown/Financial District, the Met, East Village, West Village, Park Slope, Williamsburg, “Just Desserts” (a tour of bakeries throughout the city), High Line/Meatpacking, South Street Seaport, Chinatown/Little Italy, Destination: NYC (famous landmarks), Soho, Brooklyn Heights, Harlem,  and 5th Avenue/Rockefeller Plaza. It’s worth going on at least one of those, and to explore the rest over your next four years.
  • Info sessions for pre-health, sciences, maths, on-campus jobs, and study abroad, a LGBTQ snack break, a “Native and Indigenous” mixer, and a Greek life cookout.
  • Required events are Under1Roof, Step Up!, a session on Sexual Violence and Gender-Based Misconduct, Reaching Healthier Heights, a security forum, academic assemblies, your first Lit Hum class (for CC students), convocation, your advising appointment, and a few other things. We’ll let you decide how mandatory these are.

There’s just over a week until you 2018-ers will be on campus for the first time together, drunkenly stumbling up to the Mudd roof reaching new heights. Frosh, send any questions you have about moving in, registering for classes, freshman year, or anything else to tips@bwog.com or our anonymous tip form, and we’ll do our best to answer them!

Eager freshmen via Shutterstock

PrezBo Officially Accepts Term Extension
PrezBo secretly wishes he had a balloon animal.

A man of the people

As we reported earlier this summer, we’ll have our dear old President Lee Bollinger at least through 2018, according to a statement sent out to all students this morning.

The chair of our board of trustees noted that “Columbia is performing at a level and achieving a standing it has not enjoyed in many years,” citing the undergrad schools’ selectivity, the growth of Manhattanville, PrezBo’s efforts at globalization, and fundraising success. PrezBo, blushing and internally debating how to redecorate his office in Low, responded: “I am privileged every day to witness the extraordinary accomplishments of our faculty, students, alumni and staff.”

Bollinger has been our president for 12 years, and by the time this term expires, his tenure will have been the longest since Nicholas Murray Butler.

Full statement below.

Deans Issue Statement On Bacchanal Cancellation

This will not be you in a couple of weeks.

Amid a storm of student outrage over the cancellation of a fall Bacchanal, the University deans have issued a statement attempting to explain the reasoning behind the decision.

Two days ago, a letter was issued by the Bacchanal committee, the student councils, and a few other student organizations that revealed Columbia had canceled what would have been our first fall Bacchanal, and put the spring concert under review. It states that the deans vaguely cited “safety concerns associated with drinking and sexual harassment” in their meeting with student leaders as an excuse for the cancellation.

Columbia’s statement alleges that the concert “was never officially scheduled or approved,” whereas students leaders had said that three artists were booked by July 8th for a September 14th concert. Despite claims made by those student leaders, No Red Tape, and CASV, PrezBo’s regime firmly asserts the following: “the decision not to move forward with this concert is not a response to the issue of gender-based misconduct and sexual assault on campus.” No, rather, the timing was poor, as students would have still been “settling into their coursework, which, of course, is the primary reason they are at Columbia,” and there were safety concerns. The statement then goes on to repeat all of the steps the administration has taken to address our Gender-Based Misconduct Policy, because this cancellation definitely wasn’t related to that at all.

We might not be back at school yet, but the war on fun rages on. The full statement can be found below, emphasis ours.


Houses and Homes: Canada

Continue on our tour of your classmates’ summer houses and homes. And send your own to tips@bwog.com! Today’s location is very summer-appropriate…

Where: Sauble Beach, on Lake Huron in Ontario, Canada



Sound: Waves crashing and kids shouting. And that swing set on the right is incredibly creaky.

Smell: Wet sand, wood smoke, and sunscreen.


Breaking: Baccha-no-more?
We feel the same way, sad family pet.

We feel the same way, sad family pet.

Just as Public Safety gears up for another round of NSLOPPY first-years, Bwog has received word that the spring concert organized by Bacchanal (a student organization run through ABC that is also responsible for Lowlapalooza) is under administrative review.

Citing “safety concerns associated with drinking and sexual harrassment,” the four undergraduate deans have officially cancelled a proposed fall concert (which would have taken place in September) and are considering canceling the annual spring event. Student leaders have told admins that “canceling Bacchanal was a misguided way to fight sexual assault, because it simply distracted from and disguised the underlying causes of sexual violence, rather than creating a campus culture in which students could safely participate in school­wide, community events.”

The full press release from multiple student executive boards—including the valiant battle between student leaders and the administration, some financial issues, and typical communication problems—is under the cut, along with a response from the Coalition Against Sexual Violence and No Red Tape.

It’s a very detailed press release.

Houses and Homes: Jordan

Your fellow students come from near and far (#diversity). They also spend their summers in a wide range of places. We’re highlighting as many of them as we can before we’re all back in Morningside Heights for the fall. So send a pic and a few details about your summer accommodations to tips@bwog.com. Today’s home is from Danielle S., a grad student…

Where: As the news anchors and Op-Ed contributors continue to report on escalating violence and outright misery here in the Middle East, I’ve spent my summer in the eye of the storm—Amman, Jordan. Every morning I wake up in my three-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment to the Adhan, or Muslim call to prayer. I am spending my summer in Jabel Al-Weibdeh, a beautiful neighborhood crawling with Arabic students, NGO interns and local artists.


Sound: In Weibdeh, the Adhan emanates five times daily from the nearby King Abdullah Mosque in Al-Abdali. The muezzin’s melodic voice has become an important feature of my time here. However, though I’m not a morning-person, I find myself looking forward to the normal beep of my iPhone alarm clock.

Smell: Typical of the region, the smells of cumin, coriander, sumac and shwarma greet me as I walk up the narrow pathway to my apartment.

Houses And Homes: Ukraine

Bwog wants to know where you are this summer. So that we can build our community, or maybe just because we’re nosy. Exotic or mundane, impressive or depressing, send a picture and a few details to tips@bwog.com. Our first location, from Jordan L. GS’16…

Where: Kyiv, Ukraine, in a building owned by the U.S. Embassy.



Sound: Can’t hear you, the refrigerator motor is too loud.

Smell: My grandparents’ house, because of the old furniture.

Innovative CUIT Introduces New Email Aliases
Like Jennifer Garner (jgarner1@columbia.edu?), but a little less threatening.

Like Jennifer Garner (jgarner1@columbia.edu?), but a little less threatening.

CUIT emailed Morningside campus students today with information about our new email aliases. CUIT says that they “heard and understood” the concern that “UNI-based email addresses are impersonal and can seem unprofessional in certain contexts.”

For all returning students and incoming freshmen, the aliases will take the form of “<Initials of First and Middle + Last Name><UNI#>@columbia.edu” (emphasis CUIT’s). So, for example, defurnald115@columbia.edu. CUIT tried other methods that would have made the aliases seem more personal/professional but found that there were too many “collisions,” or combinations that, with the UNI removed, would be exact matches. 

Disclaimer: You can use your alias for email and communication purposes (email will automatically be forwarded to your LionMail) but don’t forget your UNI just yet—you’ll need it to log in to LionMail and every other University log-on, including printing. 

Get the scoop on what else your alias can (or can’t) do

Where Are You Spending The Summer?
yo dawg I heard you like bwog posts so I put a bwog post in your bwog post so you can read bwog while you read bwog

Figure 1.

Before summer ends and we’re all back in Snoringside Heights for another semester, Bwog wants to highlight your Houses and Homes!

Send a picture of your sweet summer getaway/tiny apartment in the city/suburban mansion to tips@bwog.com, as well as the following information:

  • Where you are
  • What it smells like
  • What it sounds like
  • What it feels like (optional)

Why? So we can feel like we’re all there with you. And so you can make us jealous of your awesome hometown (see Figure 1.)


Protest On 113th

Here’s a slightly blurry explanation of that enormous blowup insect reading “Shame on You” on 113th street, and it’s all because of McBain:

their pink pamphlet

The Dog Days
One month left.

One month left.

The summer is sliding by.

  • Morton Williams is boycotting Turkish products. (Gothamist)
  • This guy turned his GS admissions essay into a Kindle book, so we bought it. Highlight: “I have never smoked a cigarette, drank beer, or used any illegal drugs.” (Amazon)
  • All old campus buildings still have asbestos, and are continuing treatments begun this spring.
  • Spec was threatened. (Post)
  • The f***ball team is really turning itself around. (Daily News)
  • More Manhattanville, more demolition. (Commercial Observer)
  • Gulati is a badass, and his birthday is coming up in about a week. (CNBC)
  • Columbia’s startup incubator location will have free beer. (Capital)
  • Our school is expensive. (University Herald).
  • We offer our sincere condolences to Luciano Rebay’s family and friends. (Boston Globe).

Update 3:11 p.m.: PrezBo just sent out a press release announcing his appointment of Suzanne Goldberg, Herbert and Doris Wechsler Clinical Professor of Law, as Special Advisor to the President on Sexual Assault Prevention and Response.

Professor Goldberg is currently the director of the Law School’s Center for Gender and Sexuality Law and head of its Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic. As PrezBo’s Special Advisor, she will help develop programming for students, faculty, and staff, and create the organizational structure for the new office of the Executive Vice President of Student Affairs (identity: still unknown). Read his press release:

Read it…

What’s Up With Those Email Aliases?
Something's not quite right here...

Something’s not quite right here…

Columbia College University Senators Jared Odessky, Marc Heinrich, and Ramis Wadood sent out the below email regarding the new email aliases sent out to students this morning, and they’re not happy.

They’d previously been in contact with CUIT about creating new email aliases “especially for trans* identified students who wanted to display a name different from the one on their official documents” and to “create a more public-friendly alias.” CUIT told them it couldn’t happen this summer, then shocked us all with our new aliases this morning. Check your inbox, but we don’t see how the new aliases are any better than what we currently have (as most seem to follow a first initial, middle initial, last name, 4-digit UNI number format), and students have no choice in the matter.

If you’d like to give feedback to your senators as they continue to pester communicate with CUIT, you can do that.

An email from JO-MH-RW after the jump.