Apr

28

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He has the key to a bottomless pit, but who has the key to my heart?

Happening in the world: On Wednesday, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft captured the closest-ever pictures of Saturn’s atmosphere. It also found a quote unquote “giant hurricane.” (Space.com)

Happening in NYC: Cutting bathroom tissue as the inaugural ribbon, the toilet authorities of NYC opened a public bathroom that cost nearly $300,000 to make (it has imported tiles and classical music). (TIME)

Happening on campus: Later today at 3 pm in the Satow Room on the 5th floor of Lerner, the Office of Financial Aid will host a party of sorts concerning reapplying for financial aid. There will be useful information and dim-sum.

Overheard: “Something was put into a bank vault and never put again.”
“Sometimes I quote myself in Bwoglines.”

Health goth tip: “Don’t buy a bag of Doritos at 2 am in the morning because you’ll end up eating half the bag.” – Anonymous

The Angel with the Key to the Bottomless Pit by Albrecht Dürer via the Met

Apr

27

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My personal favorite.

One of the best ways Bwog gauges campus impressions of our content is by reading our comments from lovely viewers like you. And we read everything—from angry slurs, to defensive anecdotes, to half-assed praise. Here are a few of our favorites from this semester. 

 

Most Underrepresented:

Always looking to support underrepresented viewpoints on campus.

 

Best Mathematical Calculations:

…Bernard?

 

Most Helpful:

Thank you, Amanda!

 

Most Romantic: 

 

Best Mom:

Thanks from Bwog, mom. For all that you do.

 

Most Blunt: 

Good question.

 

Most Genuine: 

We smiled!

 

Most Spiteful:

 

Most Unnecessarily Salty At Spec, Too:

 

“Best” “Quotation” “Marks:”

“Thanks.”

 

Most Vague: 

???

Apr

27

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I spent way too much time making this

Rafael Ortiz, memer supreme, was recently elected as the Pre-Professional Representative of CCSC. We don’t know about you, but Daily Editor Youngweon Lee thinks this is…fishy. Here is her conspiracy theory.

Around the end of last semester, columbia buy sell memes was created by a group of edgy meme-y students. As it quickly became everyone’s new favorite method of procrastination, some memers started to stand out more than others, mostly for their prolific posts, sometimes funny, sometimes not. First it was Rasmi, then it was Rafael Ortiz. I don’t know why Rasmi just kinda stopped posting; he was funny. My personal opinion on Rafael’s memes is that they’re hit or miss, and mostly shitposts, but then again, that’s pretty much an exact description of my Bwog articles, so I can’t judge.

So everyone (including me) thought Rafael didn’t have a life outside of memes, but then he friended everyone in this school on Facebook and announced his CCSC campaign. I mean, like, what? Where did that come from? And he ran for pre-professional representative, of all things. Who even runs for that? Rafael Ortiz, that’s who. And he won.

What’s the conspiracy?

Apr

27

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Should you see the Varsity Show for 50 bucks?

Columbia’s famous musical theater tradition, the Varsity Show, is happening this weekend. Though there are a few ticket options, the most pricy are $50 “VIP” tickets, which promise “front row seats as well as VIP Treatment.” Though we don’t know what that quite entails, Bwog had some ideas as to what would make that ticket worth 50 dollars.

  •  Champagne on tap
  • A foot servant
  • A roasting from Kate McKinnon
  • An apology letter
  • An overpriced designer scarf from Barnard Buy Sell Trade
  • Ear plugs
  • A sleeping mask and melatonin
  • Free laundry while you watch the show
  • The styrofoam reclining lady from last years show
  • Your time back
  • A Canada Goose jacket
  • A paid summer internship
  • Subsidized Barnard tuition
  • Unlimited meal swipes
  • A studio single in 110

 

V123 via Varsity Show Facebook Event

Apr

27

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How do dictatorships and secret police connect?

Bwog Staffer and a Taiwanese student who can not wait to get the heck back to his country, Timmy Wu, shares his experience at a talk at Weatherhead Asian Institute, on the topic of dictatorship and secret police of authoritarian regimes in Taiwan and the Philippines.

Taiwan has not always been a democratic boba tea fairyland under the constant pressure of a giant authoritarian neighbor. While it has been portrayed in the medias as the first Asian “country” (if I may call it so), to ever democratized (and in a month from now, perhaps to legalize same-sex marriage), it was not without incidents of massacres, bloodshed and shady disappearances of pro-democracy activists that it finally came to be what it is today, a country more free than the land of the free. In fact, I have always considered it quite a miracle, how within the time span of thirty years, Taiwan would be able to transform from a society that was infiltrated by probably the highest density of intelligence personals from an authoritarian regime of Chiang Kai-shek, to a full-fledged democracy. In the talk today with Sheena Chestnut Greitens, Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department of the University of Missouri, on her book: Dictators and their Secret Police: Coercive Institutions and State Violence, I was able to get a fresh take on how such drastic transition from authoritarianism to democracy might have gone down.

And just how did the transition go down?

Apr

27

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Soon you’ll have to pay for this beautiful view!

Happening in the World: Turkey has deported four foreigners who were working with and giving aid to Syrian refugees. (Washington Post)

Happening in NYC: Mayor Bill DeBlasio approved a plan to potentially allow the Met to charge an entrance fee for non-New Yorkers. (New York Times)

Happening on Campus: Check out the lecture: “Kompromat: What It Is, and What It Means for U.S.-Russia Relations” in SIPA, Marshall Shulman Seminar Room with Professor Keith Darden, Miriam Elder, and Dr. Katy Pearce.

Overheard: “That’s why I’m a capitalist … I’m not greedy, but when you have money and want to make money…”

Bad Joke: Why did the stadium get hot after the game? All of the fans left.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Apr

26

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who is he

It looks like our beloved VaJJ’s is dealing with some difficulties tonight, as the dining area is closed due to an unconfirmed issue. One observer speculated a possible roof leak, but the official problem has yet to be determined. Don’t worry, the grills are still going—patrons are just asked to take their chicken strips to go.

Apr

26

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Panicked? Tired? We get it.

It’s the end of the semester, and everyone’s getting tired. We’re tired, the dogs who sometimes meander across Low are tired, even Prezbo’s weather machine is tired (of making it look as though summer has come early for Days on Campus). But few people are more tired than our professors, who have had to give lectures, grade papers, and put up with our bullshit for the entire semester.

As our professors get more tired, we know they’re going to slip up. Maybe they’ll switch their lecture notes and their grocery list, or tell a wild story about their time studying abroad in Amsterdam (the city, not the street), or answer a phonecall from a pornographic film producer in the middle of class. Whatever happens, we want to hear about it.

Send your professor’s weird shit (a.k.a. closing remarks) to tips@bwog.com by 11:59 pm next Monday, May 1. You can also send them through our anonymous form, or leave them in the comments on this post. It’d be helpful if you could include your professor’s name and the name of your class, if possible.

Apr

26

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On Friday night, a few Bwoggers went down to NYU to hang out with our good ole’ friends at Local. Our night of revelry was in full swing until a particular NYU boy and his friend asked, “What, exactly, goes down at Columbia?” Well, we thought, there was only one way to find out. Here is the story of a night in the life of a displaced NYU boy— told from his perspective. 

“So what do you guys even do up there for fun anyways? Like, study and shit?”

The two girls grinned ominously.

“If you really wanna find out, come uptown with us!”

I looked at my buddy who was visiting me from back home. Well, I thought, what the hell did we have to lose? So we agreed, stubbing out our cigarettes, while one of the girls called an Uber for way uptown.

More of this unfortunate NYU boy’s unfortunate adventures after the jump

Apr

26

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Bye bye GSSC! It was nice to know you <3

Last night was the last GSSC meeting of the year and our beloved Bureau Chief Romane Thomas’ last coverage. We will miss you, Romane and GSSC!

Last night, General Studies Student Council met in the Satow room to review the constitution and launch the GSSC App.

President Larosa started us off by announcing that the food bank was recognized by the broader Columbia community. He motioned for the GSSC food bank special committee to be dissolved.

VP of Policy Silin Huang announced that the Teaching Excellence Awards have just been released. She also shared her work in the Ivy Policy Conference and stated that she had learned a lot from other schools about improving mental health policies.

More updates after the jump

Apr

26

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Looks kinda haunted, why would you wanna have sex here

Daily Editor Youngweon Lee was inspired by the strange late-night sounds and noises in the stacks while writing a Greek history research paper and started thinking: what if someone is having sex on a book she needs in the stacks? Here is the results of her pondering.

Here is the scenario. It’s 2:37am on a Tuesday night. You’re in the stacks – say, level 7. You have a 20 page paper about Thucydides and human nature to write. You have a list of 8 books you need scattered all throughout the stacks of Butler Library. You look them up, one by one, on library.columbia.edu, and write down their call numbers. According to the call number guide, you have to go to stacks level 8, 5, and 3. You go to level 8 and pick up the books you need. Check 3 off your list. You go to level 5. There are still a few people working. Feeling a vague sense of camaraderie, you check another book off your list. Then you head down to level 3.

What the fuck happened on stacks level 3?

Apr

26

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Happening in the world: A San Francisco federal judge, William H. Orrick of United States District Court, temporarily blocked Trump’s measures to withhold money from sanctuary cities, using his own words against him. This is the third such judicial measure against Trump’s immigration orders in his first 100 days on the job. (NYT)

Happening in NYC: Mayor Bill de Blasio has committed $100 million to filling a gap in the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway between 41st and 61st Streets by the East River, where only a highway runs by. Construction will begin in 2019 and is expected to take 3 years. $5 million more will be spent filling smaller gaps in East Harlem and Inwood. (NYT)

Happening on campus: Ken Ofori-Atta, the Finance Minister of Ghana, will be speaking today at 8pm at the Columbia Law School (Room 104). RSVP required.

Overheard: (at the ESC meeting) “Just put Beta mixer in the SEAS the Day description so people will come.”

Old celeb tweet: 

I really wanna know the context for this

Apr

25

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April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month!

On Monday afternoon, CU Dems Member and Bwog Events Editor Lexie Lehmann attended an open lunch with Marjory Fisher, Columbia’s Title IX Coordinator. The event was hosted in honor of April, which is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Yesterday, Columbia Democrats hosted a public lunch meeting as an opportunity to discuss the resources available to students on Columbia’s campus, as well as to address concerns about how Title IX might change during the Trump administration. As the group nibbled on some gourmet Westside-Italian catering, Ms. Fisher introduced herself as well as her colleagues, Sarah Swan, a representative from Columbia Law School and Jeri Henry, Associate Vice President of Columbia’s Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards. Ms. Fischer explained that before coming to Columbia, she was the Senior Managing Director of the Sexual Misconduct Consulting & Investigations Division at T&M Protection Resources. Before that, she was the Bureau Chief of the Special Victims Bureau in the Queens District Attorney’s Office.

Marjory Fisher began by explaining the history of Title IX, reminding us that it used to be just a protocol regarding sports equity. Under the Obama administration, however, Title IX was reinterpreted to address gender-based discrimination at private and public schools receiving federal funding. Columbia University, for example, receives around 1 billion dollars annually from the federal government. The purpose of the Title IX office, therefore, is to ensure that all complaints of misconduct are addressed through quick and thorough investigations.

More on Title IX after the jump

Apr

25

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New leaders, new Barnard?

Well, to be honest, nothing groundbreaking happened at this week’s SGA meeting. The meeting basically confirmed everything previously believed: Barnard loves Asia, GS, SEAS, and complaining about how double swipes don’t already exist. 

This week’s SGA meeting was supposed to be a changing of the guard: old members welcoming new on the eve of the elections results. Of course, no such thing occurred. Because of a miscommunication, BCIT closed down voting Sunday night instead of Monday afternoon. When this mistake was discovered, voting was put back up and extended until Monday at midnight to compensate.
So this meeting was short, and had nothing on the official agenda. But our bold, beautiful Rep Council made up for it with a deluge of announcements:

SGA loves collaboration:

  • SGA and ESC 2019 class councils are joining to host a lawn party in the near future. Together we will revel in our lack of swim test requirement.
  • The Barnard/GS Picnic is happening this Thursday on Lewisohn Lawn. Says SGA VP Campus Life Angela Beam, come to “celebrate our favorite undergraduate colleges in Morningside Heights.” We feel that.

Academic Affairs gets things done:

  • Everybody’s favorite Rep for Academic Affairs announced that Barnard is close to approving three new minors: East Asian Studies, South Asian Studies, and Middle Eastern Studies. If you are really into regional studies but not, like, that interested, this is for you.
  • Hannah also discussed everybody’s frustration with myBarnard, the new system imposed on the students last year for choosing and registering for classes. It looks flashy, and only kind of works. If you’ve encountered any specific problems (say, with using the search bar for anything at all), alert BCIT. They’ll have a look when they’re through inadvertently tampering with the elections.

More on SGA

Apr

25

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And they’re like, it’s better than yours.

This week’s ESC meeting focused on getting others involved in the Mental Health Task Force and collaborating with CCSC in the future. Oh, and we’re all hoping for JJ’s milkshakes.

Note (April 26, 2017): In a previous version of this article, specific references were made to the efforts of CC University Senator Sean Ryan under the influence of his participation in the Mental Health Task Force to transform the Schapiro Gym, a space open to all Columbia students, into a semi-privatized space for one specific community at Columbia, efforts crassly referenced in the irreverent tags of the article. While some of these tags were almost immediately removed by Bwog staff as they could possibly be seen as hostile towards said community—and I want to clarify that in no way were such criticisms intentionally meant in a hostile manner against any private person—I want to explain the purely political criticism of said University Senator’s endeavours to privatize this space.

This transformation under the University Senator was first raised in an aside at a previous ESC meeting, and was determined with minimal democratic participation of the student body in making such an impactful choice—especially given the earlier commendable decision to turn unused space in Lerner into a new semi-privatized area for this specific community. In the opinion of this specific journalist in the role of a political correspondent, the manner in which the transformation of the Schapiro Gym was determined has infringed upon the values which our Student Councils hold dear; that a democratic consensus ought to be attained, whether in the discussion of an elected and representative body or in legitimately gathered data, before instituting such wide-reaching policy and space changes. No announcement has been made to the student body of this plan, as far as I am aware, beyond the confines of my ESC coverage—despite the massive impact on all students who use this space already and the potential impact on student choice of dorms in Housing Selection. It may be that this change in status of the space is necessary and proper. However, the process of restricting access should impose a reasonable burden of proof upon those seeking limitations upon what is now a decidedly public area.

This criticism is launched against the University Senator not out of personal hatred or bias, but out of anxious concern from a Columbia College constituent and journalist who covers the efforts of the Mental Health Task Force and has found severe fault in such endeavours as led by the University Senator—endeavours the University Senator publicly defended on the most-watched conservative news show in America. This issue was brought to mind given the discussion in ESC of a desire to expand the Mental Health Task Force beyond undergraduate students in Columbia College and, specifically, those students primarily active in Columbia College Student Council and student government. As a journalist in a privately funded, staffed, and maintained news organization, who is intimately familiar with the mechanisms of student government, I desired to express the full magnitude of these concerns, which, while aimed at the University Senator, are intended to be based in a purely political context. Furthermore, Bwog may travel in satire, but it is never our intent to engage in satire which is either unnecessarily or undeservedly critical.

Budget and Policy Reconciliation

VP for Policy Zoha Qamar reported her meeting with CCSC’s Nicole Allicock regarding future collaboration between councils. As there are now multiple positions between the two councils with the same goals (i.e. diversity reps, Student Services, etc.) there will be closer interactions between CCSC and ESC. Starting next semester, there will be at least one joint CCSC-ESC policy-wide meeting, so as to further this collaboration.

In terms of budgetary reconciliations, VP for Student Life Ben Barton explained how there is a lot of intertwining debt among the different school councils, with councils having accrued a certain level of debt so as to hinder interactions and planning between them. Therefore, there will be a giant meeting with the VPs for Student Life from across the three Columbia schools, their counterpart in Barnard’s SGA, and the council advisors. The goal is to “have everything fresh with no debt.”

More on ESC

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