CUMC Doctor Diagnosed With Ebola
Tl;dr of the article

Tl;dr of the article

Earlier tonight it was announced that CUMC physician Craig Spencer was officially diagnosed with Ebola, making him the first patient with Ebola in New York. Although De Blasio earlier told us all to calm down because they’ve got it handled, PrezBo also sent out an email to the Columbia community tonight addressing the issue. PrezBo confirmed that Spencer is currently being treated at the Bellevue Hospital. He also reminds us that the threat of contracting Ebola here at Columbia is very low, but you’re welcome to contact Health Services for answers to any of your paranoid questions.

Read PrezBo’s full email here:

Dear fellow members of the Columbia community:

As you may have seen in the media, Dr. Craig Spencer is being treated for Ebola at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan.  Dr. Spencer, an emergency department physician at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, recently returned from a humanitarian mission with Doctors Without Borders to one of the outbreak areas in Western Africa.  We admire and appreciate all of those willing to do this vital and selfless public health work around the globe.

It’s critical to bear in mind what our public health and infectious disease experts have emphasized – that the risk to people in New York City and at Columbia remains extremely low.  If you or anyone has any concerns, please visit the University’s Ebola Preparedness site or the New York City Department of Health Ebola update page.  You may also contact Student Health Services at 212-854-2284 or Workforce Health and Safety for Faculty/Staff with Hospital Responsibilities at 212-305-7590.

We must keep Dr. Spencer in our thoughts and wish him a full and speedy recovery, as we do the vulnerable populations he serves.  We will also continue to keep the Columbia community informed as we learn more from City, State, and Federal health officials.

Lee C. Bollinger

The truth via Shutterstock

Get Pumped For This Year’s HALLOWEEN CONTESTS
Don't just be another kitty in a world of lions

Don’t just be another kitty in a world of lions

We know that you’ve spent any time you’ve had free in the past couple of weeks thinking about your perfect Halloween costume. To pay off for your hard work and brag about your bravery for standing in line at Ricky’s for an hour, Bwog has brought back our annual Halloween Costume Contest. Put those blurry selfies and badly lit photos in the corner of your room to use by sending them to

But wait! There’s more! We’re also bringing back our Pumpkin Carving Contest this year. Send in those pictures of the pumpkin you stole from outside the stores on Broadway and tried to poorly carve a face on with your steak knife in your kitchen. We’ve received some pretty baller pumpkins before, so step up your game this year.

All submissions for both contests are due by November 3rd. We will be posting submissions as we go, so get ready to get *Bwog famous.* Winners take home a coveted six pack (of your choice) and an entire Koronets pizza. May the odds be ever in your favor.

We look the same at 2am via Shutterstock

Ferris Reel Film Society Presents: Ghostbusters
"Who you gonna call?"

“Who you gonna call?”

The Columbia University Ferris Reel Film Society is hosting a free screening of Ghostbusters, cosponsored by Columbia College Student Council (CCSC), tonight at 10:30 in the Roone Arledge Cinema in Lerner Hall.

Entry is free with a CUID, so be sure to get there early grab the good seats.

In the spirit of Halloween, organizers have announced that costumes are welcome! (Note to first years: if you are debating wearing a costume, just know that everyone in college wears costumes given the slightest opportunity and you will definitely stand out if you haven’t spent at least 6 hours painstakingly recreating Dr. Egon’s jumpsuit. Start now.)

Event details, along with a plot synopsis and trailer, are available through the Facebook event.

Now, we don’t expect Bill Murray to be there. But Bill Murray is likely to be where you don’t expect him these days.


Ghostbusters posters via WikiCommons

#TBT: A Bit Of Optimism (In These Dark Times)

Bwog is well aware of how sick and tired everyone is from the hellish two weeks we call midterms, so we decided to bring you a bit of optimism: It appears we have it much better than previous generations. Throwbacker Paula Pineros brings us this week’s edition of #tbt.

Not only do we have a much better chance of actually making it to graduation (note the great difference in numbers), we apparently do so with much more enthusiasm (and class, obviously) Note the lack of smiles (and/or life?) on the impressibly mustached faces. Perhaps exams sucked the life out of them, or this is just the psychological response to the lack of emotional release. After all, they didn’t have Yik Yak to complain, Cannons/1020 to let lose, or StressBusters to massage them, so we should probably give them a bit of leeway. Regardless, they look beat.

So, just think of it this way: you’re half a semester closer to the glorious feeling of self-actualization (and shaking PrezBo’s hand—an achievement in and of itself!) Or be really disappointed and stare of into distance with a beautiful ‘stache, which is just as fulfilling, apparently.

Photos via the Columbia Archives

PSA: Sexual Assault Resource CUID Stickers Available Today
Much like your ID, but more helpful.

Much like your ID, but more helpful.

Stickers with phone numbers for the Rape Crisis Center and Psychological Services, intended for the back of CUIDs, will be available today in Lerner from 5:00pm to 6:00pm.

These stickers are the result of efforts made by Lauren Cardenas, SEAS’16, and the SIC Community Health House. Realizing that mental health facilities and rape crisis resources were not included among the emergency information on the back of student IDs, Lauren has been working since this summer with the Community Health House to organize the order of stickers.

Fitting perfectly on the back of ID cards, there are plenty of stickers available; Res Life has funded the order for 8,000 stickers, which fit on the blank space on the back of the IDs.

Plans are in place to distribute the stickers through CPS, Kent, and Go Ask Alice!, but in the meantime they are available at the Community Health House and at events like today’s. Stickers were also distributed to RAs on Tuesday.

While currently available only to students with a CUID, the stickers should eventually be printed with Barnard numbers and for GS students. The ultimate goal of Lauren and the Community Health House is to have these numbers printed on the backs of IDs for future classes.

Bwoglines: Yes. It’s Still Happening Edition
You thought he'd forgotten, but they're still out there lurking, waiting for you to remember. He was young when you knew him.

Waving to you, a man who was young when you cared about these issues. But they’re still there, just like him.

Oscar Pistorius. Man. Remember that guy? Well, it doesn’t matter; his existence does not rely on your faith. He persists, and his five year prison sentence may soon mean house arrest. (The New York Times)

There was a while when we were all mildly interested in Ebola. Then terrified. Then generally okay, because we moved on. Well, it is still out there, to the degree that the United States is worried enough to monitor travelers from Ebola infested nations. (The New York Times)

Didn’t this already happen, you ask yourself. Certainly, we say, but this is how you get old and jaded, so pretend you’re still excited. A man hopped the white house fence, and is now in police custody. (CNN)

Bedbugs. Trendy for a while, but, like your high school friend at homecoming, still here even though you’ve decided it’s not cool any more. Nonetheless, here’s some tips on how to deal with your revolting little friends. (Gothamist)

It’s self defense, the officials say. We don’t want them to take any more territory, they say. Decide for yourself, whether U.S. statements on Syrian involvement, particularly it’s military training program, are accurate, or old hat (hint: see title). (Washington Post)

Remember Blackwater? Well a jury finally found at least some Blackwater employees guilty. Of crimes committed in 2007. Talk about a throwback Thursday. (Huffington Post)

Happy old man reminding you of all you’ve forgotten, via Shutterstock

ESC: Renovations And Innovations
More outlets, pls!!!!!

More outlets, plz!!!

ESC convened on Monday night to discuss building renovations, Prezbo’s Fireside Chat, upcoming events, and more. We sent Bureau Chief Aparajita Maitra to get the scoop.

ESC was up to its usual business Monday night.

In a meeting with Dean Boyce, ESC talked about a channel for alumni to donate straight to student groups that they care about. Carleton Lounge will be going through renovations and will be closed for a short time, the dates of which will be announced soon in the Mudd Renovations Timeline. More outlets are needed in places such as NoCo and Joe’s.

The post-renovated Carleton is looking to become Butler Café-esque without a kitchen, and it will stay open later. A microwave and a panini maker will be the highlights. Uris, however, will have a full kitchen. In opposition to closing the kitchen in Carleton, one member complained, “I have to take the elevator down from the 10th floor, walk to Uris, wait in line for a sandwich, and walk all the way back.” Also, Uris Café meals are a dollar more expensive.

At the Fireside Chat with President Bollinger, the expansion of the Core Curriculum was discussed. The proposition is that the Core Curriculum include more than just Western/European philosophy. Students believe that adding diversity and adding books with different authors is necessary. University Senate Jillian Ross noted that, “the Core is our foundation for this school, yet there are no people of color and only one woman represented.”

More about the Fireside Chat, small project grants, and announcements below:

Catfish Comes To Columbia

Bwog Video, aka B-Roll Productions, is at it again, and this time they’re delving into the colourful world of reality television. 

If you like to spend your free time photoshopping Channing Tatum into photos of the Catalogue Room, email us at

In Passing: Reflections On Visibility From A Transgender Man
Illustration by Alexander Pines, CC '16

Illustration by Alexander Pines, CC ’16

Continuing to honor our Athena-like relationship with our mother mag, The Blue and White, we’re rolling out a preview from the upcoming fall issue, hopefully available in wonderful blue print on campus next week. On the cover this issue,  former Bwog features editor and B&W senior editor Alexander Pines, CC ’16, wrote a sequel to his piece about identity and transness from last year

“Do you have blood in your semen?”

This question, the last in a long line posed by my doctor at Columbia Health Services, was what made me realize why no one believed me about my UTI symptoms; everyone from the lady at the reception desk to the two dubious nurses to the doctor assumed that I had a penis. I don’t. Awkward.

“I’m trans,” I said.

He blinked.

So this is what passing really means, I thought. “I still have a vagina,” I said.

“Oh! Then you could definitely have a UTI! You just looked, well, like someone…” he said, trailing off and muttering about getting a urine sample.

Who ought to pee standing up? I finished for him, wishing at that moment that I could, in fact, pee standing up. It would’ve made taking that urine sample a lot easier.

Most of the time, I pass as a cisgender (non-trans) man and my transness is something I am not forced to think about. Moments like this remind me that for most people, trans identities—and, by extension, experiences—don’t exist. In this case, by the time I received treatment for the UTI, it had already progressed into a full-blown kidney infection.

Passing, in the trans sense of the word, is being constantly read as the gender I identify with—in clothing stores, restaurants, airports, bathrooms (always vital in bathrooms), and so on. Most don’t see the needles, the pools of blood that form on my thigh when I mess up a shot, the oily residue I later wash off my hands in the bathroom, the vial of amber liquid, hormones, I keep next to my birth certificate and the social security card on my desk.

Before I came out as trans, I used to jokingly call myself a “hundred footer”—you could clock my queerness from across a room. Short hair, Ani Difranco tee shirt, the works. In other words, I was used to being visible. Once my gender presentation became more intentionally male, this visibility became an anxiety that twisted in my stomach throughout my day—cashiers, security guards, and professors all fumbled for pronouns and stared. Now, I look like any other white guy on line at Starbucks.

His continued genderfeels.

Bwog’s Declassified Butler Survival Guide: Displacing The Camper
Not the kind of camping we're talking about here

Not the kind of camping we’re talking about here

It’s midterms season, and you know what that means—Butler is full of  backpacks, books, and Blue Java coffee cups. Why? Because the students to whom those items belong are going to class whilst occupying an empty seat you so desperately need. Brave Butlerites Robert Sheardown and Claire Friedman tell you how to deal with the infamous Butler Camper. 

Picture this: you walk into Butler late on a Sunday night with a paper that needs to be done for a Monday morning class. Your bag weighs roughly one thousand pounds, and you’re not totally sure why you spent last night watching Netflix instead of working. The security guard starts to give you shit for the five coffees you’re carrying, but stops when he sees how utterly dejected you are.

You make your way up to the reading room only to find out that you are far from alone in your procrastination; the room is packed with people and the air is stale with a deathly BO-desperation combo. You move on to the next room and then the next, but, like a bad horror movie, each room is completely packed—or so it would seem. Many of the desks are occupied not by actual human beings, but by depressingly large stacks of books, even more depressing snack food wrappers, or artfully arranged coats and backpacks. You, brave traveler, have stumbled upon the infamous Butler Camper (scientific name: Butlericus Campericus).

You swallow your rage-sadness and decide that enough is enough; you’ve passed the same pile of books twice in the past 30 minutes and you’re 80% sure nobody is actually sitting there. Still, you cannot summon the courage to make a move. You wait because maybe they’re in the bathroom, running to pick up food, or crying in a nearby stairwell. After fifteen minutes later, you begin to suspect something much more malicious at work; maybe they’re talking with a friend, cackling at the seatless masses roaming Butler. Perhaps they’re making an extended run to Chipotle, or playing a cruel trick on you personally. Almost involuntarily, you start forward. Still, you wonder: am I doing the right thing?

Yes. Today is a day for justice—displace the camper. Feel no guilt as you sweep their detritus to the side. Instead, feel vindicated as you toss away abandoned books (probably not even being read anyway) and claim the territory as your own.

Displacing a camper takes courage. Here are some tips on how to successfully fight the Butler Camper scourge:

  • Wear horse-blinders to avoid catching shade from those sitting in the same area.
  • Bring rubber gloves, in case you have to pick up something gross in your displacement efforts (i.e. a used tissue or an apple core).
  • Put in headphones, even if you’re not listening to music, to throw off the perfect unapproachable vibe.
  • Prepare a sharply whispered argument in case your camper comes back. Examples might include variations on “sucks to suck” and “finder’s keeper’s.”

Camping, but in a much darker and less beautiful place via Shutterstock

Bwoglines: College In The City Edition
Attending a university in the City of New York

When you attend a university *in the City of New York*

Desperate for an escape from midterms? Try faking a coma for two years like this guy did. (Gawker)

Taylor Swift wrote an ode to New York for her new album, and it’s not great. (Gothamist)

The war on smoking continues! It may cost more for you to fill your prescription at a pharmacy where they also sell cigarettes. (Huffington Post)

Is there something you wish you could say to your roommate (you know we have plenty)? Watch these college roommates tell each other what’s on their minds. (The Cut)

Check out this interview with “Superwoman” DSpar. (Refinery 29)


~Opportunities in the city~ via Shutterstock

UNI Was A Jolly Good Café
In UNI we trust

A terrible angle for a terrible loss.

The rumors are true: UNI Café is shut down. When attempting to get our daily udon soup and large sugar cookie, Bwog was confronted with dark windows, an eviction notice, and hopeless despair. To remember our most honored Columbia hangout, UNI enthusiast Josh Dillon composed this heartbreaking eulogy.

Note: this is best read with tissues and boxed wine (preferably white as it induces hangovers and general unhappiness).

“I still find it difficult to believe that you are really gone. It felt like it was only yesterday that you were branded UNI Café after the previous café, Pinnacle, was shut down. Life isn’t going to be easy without you, but thanks to all of your coffee and late-night pizza, I know that I at least got one A in college.”

“As most of you already know, my friend UNI was a hard worker. Whenever I would roll out of bed five minutes before class, UNI already had my bagel order ready, probably because I was the only person who ate there—this is something I cannot thank it enough for.”

“Although it is gone, I’m sure that UNI will never be forgotten. UNI was a loyal friend and colleague who only wanted to be quirky and interesting.”

“One of the most precious memories that I’ll remember forever of UNI Café is that time that it was shut down. Your “B” health rating and rat infestation were the only reasons why you weren’t always crowded with students. I love you for that.”

“Cafés like my UNI Café don’t come around often. As I said before, it’s difficult to believe that you’re gone. Not a day is going to go by that I won’t think of you. So until the next café springs up in your spot, I love you.”

Legal possession

HeForShe At Columbia

Preach it, Em

Her Campus Barnard is bringing a new wave of feminism to Columbia and Barnard, encouraging men to get in on the action of gender equality. Inquisitive investigator Lili Brown met with the brass of Her Campus Barnard to discuss the recent movement and its role on campus. 

Her Campus Barnard yesterday morning released a photo campaign on their website to encourage the Columbia/Barnard community to join the HeForShe movement. If you aren’t familiar with the latest pro-feminism movement, you clearly aren’t following almost-Columbia student Emma Watson as much as you should be; Watson’s speech on behalf of the campaign at the UN in late September brought HeForShe to the limelight.

HeForShe, a global organization that is part of the umbrella UN Women organization, invites men to support the idea that gender inequality is a global issue by participating in grassroots Internet activism. With the photo campaign, Her Campus Barnard strives to “share this message with the Columbia and Barnard community both to encourage a positive dialogue and show that there are men on this campus who are committed to inspiring change.”

To get some more insight on the motivations and goals for the publication bringing HeForShe to our campus, Bwog reached out to Rachel Bernstein and Tali Weisner, Editors-in-Chief of Her Campus Barnard.

Bwog: How did the males you photographed get involved? Did you approach them, or was there a more open mode of contact?

Her Campus Barnard: We reached out to them. Initially, we wanted to target fraternities and athletic teams in particular – groups that are typically considered “unfeminist.” We wanted to showcase the men in these communities who are dedicated to inspiring change. Ultimately, our reach extended beyond those communities, to other campus organizations like SHARP, and men who aren’t athletes, or members of greek life, because the campaign does and should go beyond that.

Bwog: What’s your intended time-goal with the campaign – as in, is this a stepping stone to become a larger, long-term association or cause, or is it geared towards a temporary awareness project?

HCB: We of course intend to extend the reach of this campaign as far as possible. We don’t consider it a stepping stone so much as an attempt to open up a dialogue on campus and do it in a public forum that is conducive to a campus-wide movement. By inviting other male students to join the movement and publicly show their solidarity, we think this campaign will extend beyond its temporary virality.

Explain the photo campaign for us please

Jack And Eliza Are Columbia’s Hottest New Act

Playing music and such

A few moons ago, resident music critic Anna Hotter made the trek to Williamsburg to check out Columbia and NYU duo Jack and Eliza. After coming to terms with her own lack of artistic accomplishment, she is now finally ready to report from the field.

When someone told me about a “really successful indie-rock band” on campus called Jack & Eliza, I was skeptical. It’s never easy to hear about other peoples’ success. Especially at Columbia. Especially when your idea of a great accomplishment is doing laundry before you run out of underwear. Intrigued and mildly irked, I looked them up online, only to find with great horror that Eliza Callahan, CC’17 and Jack Staffen, NYU’17 weren’t only every bit as celebrated as my friend promised, but also a whole year younger than me.

Two weeks ago, they played a show at Baby’s All Right in Williamsburg, and so, equipped with my MetroCard, a friend, and an unbecoming bitterness, I boarded the M train.

The venue hilariously describes itself as a “hip music venue with elevated pub grub,” but once you get past the Brooklyn-ness of it all, and the exceptionally friendly bouncer, it’s actually very nice. The drinks menu boasts an “illegal mescal” cocktail called the “Ai Weiwei,” which my friend and I felt very plainly pandered to our demographic. It almost worked, until we realized that neither of us wanted to shell out $11 for a drink named after a political activist. You’re mostly paying for the name.

Sweet melodies and more on their live performance after the jump.

Weekend Sports Wrap: Tennis Regionals Pit Lions Against Lions
look that's us maybe

US Open or Lions tennis?

In another edition of Weekend Sports Wrap, tennis titan Ross Chapman brings you the scoop on Columbia’s performance in the regional tournaments and other sporting news, like what our awesome field hockey team is doing. 

The Columbia men’s tennis team stamped their domination of the northeast into the record books this weekend. Six Lions reached the round of 16, four reached the quarterfinals, and three reached the semifinal round. And after Winston Lin defeated Dorydas Sakinis of Dartmouth in two sets in his semifinal match, CU guaranteed a Lion vs. Lion final match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, home of the US Open in Flushing Meadows, NY.

Meanwhile, the women up in New Haven placed three players into the quarterfinals, marking the first time the women’s team has ever achieved the feat. While none of the three advanced to the semis, the women, like the men, also earned recognition for their doubles victories at the ITA Northeast Regional tournaments, with Kanika Vaidya and Rima Asatrian representing Columbia in the doubles finals.

While the current tennis information infrastructure still makes this information hard to find—Bwog had to first discover Lin’s semifinal victory through a Dartmouth Twitter account—we’ve figured just about everything out by now. Ashok Narayana (who defeated Mike Vermeer, another Lion, in the quarters) and Dragos Ignat faced each other in the semifinal on the other side of the bracket from Lin, and Narayana came away with a win. Max Schnur and Eric Rubin also made it into the round of 16 in the main draw. Narayana and Schnur participated in doubles competition, but fell in the semifinals. Basically, a record-breaking number of Lions are running around Flushing Meadows. Rima Asatrian, Tina Jiang, and Kanika Vaidya (first-year, sophomore, and junior respectively) were the women who appeared in the singles main draw in New Haven, while Asatrian and Vaidya teamed up to reach the finals of the doubles draw. They will battle a Yale team for the championship.

These huge performances put Columbia in great position as it heads to Orlando during our election day break for the ESPN/Florida State Invitational. The team should have no doubts that it can perform at the highest level, even after a sub-par performance at the ITA All-Americans two weeks ago. We’ll update this post once the Northeast Regionals have finished for good with the final podium results.

Edit (2:41 PM): Winston Lin defeated Ashok Narayana in the finals 7-6, 6-3 and earned an automatic bid to the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships, and Rima Asatrian and Kanika Vaidya defeated Yale’s Hanna Yu and Ree Ree Li 6-2, 6-2 to claim the doubles title!

Wins, losses, and some things in between after the jump