Bwog Does The Sexual Respect and Community Citizenship Initiative (And Tells You About It)
This is what Lerner looks like right?

This is what Lerner looks like right?

By now everyone has heard of the newly required Sexual Respect and Community Citizenship Initiative. But how many have actually completed the requisite seminar, art project, movie screening, or “activity?” Bwog Internal Editor Britt Fossum managed to get a spot and reports back on the effectiveness of the session.

Sick of hearing classmates and friends complain about the Respect workshops they weren’t registering for, I decided to make my life easier and fulfill the requirement as far ahead of the March 13 deadline. The option that fit best into my schedule and seemed the most relevant for me was called a “Mindfulness Group” on Tuesday of this week. The description on the website was simply, ” For students interested in cultivating non-judgmental awareness and being more present for one’s experience,” which appealed to me. I didn’t want to sit through something as passive as a film screening and all the workshops had filled up within the first few days of availability, so this seemed the perfect choice.

The group was held in the Lerner CPS office conference room, and even though I thought I knew my way around I still got lost looking for the right room and was almost late to the 11:00 session. Thankfully I made it on time: a sign on the door said that the room would be locked starting right at 11 although the leader of our session let people in up to the ten minute mark. Attendees sat in chairs arranged in a rough circle around the wall. Most of the people attending the session seemed to be a bit older than college aged–mostly graduate or law students based on the conversations.

Our leader introduced herself as one of the psychiatrists at CPS and that she had chosen to lead several sessions of mindfulness workshops for survivors and those whose lives are effected by sexual violence. She assumed at first that our group was supposed to be made up of survivors as well–the group quickly corrected her saying that the description on the website was open to anyone who wanted to cultivate mindfulness. She was a bit surprised but then said that the meditation we were going to do would be useful for anyone. She asked the room if anyone knew what mindfulness was. Several people called out answers and she came to the conclusion that mindfulness is “intention, acceptance, and completely non-judgmental.” She then asked if anyone had a meditation or yoga practice. Several people, myself included, raised their hands. She smiled and said that we probably already knew what to do but that she was going to guide everyone through a meditation for the rest of the session.

Read on after the jump.

Say What? Global Edition

Because Nick Magazine never took any of our submissions (and we’re still a little bitter about it), we wanted to give the Columbia community the opportunity to play a very special edition of our favorite Say What? series.  In the comments section, give these two figures of global import something to think about, and our favorite response may get something special in return.  You have the power!

 Image courtesy of Columbia College Today

#TBT: Politics And Protests

The Columbia University Archives currently have a fantastic online exhibit about the protests of ’68. Anna Hotter brings you some highlights of the action.

Faculty and administrators gathered in 301 Philosophy to discuss the situation.


Occupation of Hamilton and President Kirk’s office below

Bwoglines: The Faux Edition

Xzibit is “going to go down to hell to kill the devil so he can make some Satan skin boots.”

We all knew it, but didn’t want to admit it. Unfortunately, the Huffington Post made it official; Pimp My Ride was 100% fabricated. Huff reveled that there was no surprises involved in Xzibit’s pimping. Everything was staged. In fact, the homes that the contestants were filmed in, were often homes rented by MTV to act as a set. That being said, none of the contestants have a bad word to say about the Xperience. (Huffington Post)

Yesterday, the police arrested three men charged with plotting with the terrorist group ISIS. Two of the men were traveling from JFK airport to Istanbul and then continuing on to Syria, and the third was funding the trip from Florida. One of the men, Abdurasul Juraboev, tipped Homeland Security by posting on a pro-ISIS website, threatening to kill President Obama, as well as bomb Coney Island. (NBC)

Botched butts. Last year Kimberly Smith was as arrested for performing illegal butt enhancing surgeries, yet the problem somehow still prevails. Doctors have been injecting silicon into patient’s rear end’s to archive the “Kim Kardashian” look, but unfortunately, this is extremely dangerous. There have been cases where the injected silicon (sometimes diluted with motor oil) has traveled to the heart, bloodstream, and lungs. Also the end result doesn’t even look good. (NBC)

Donald Trump is “more serious than ever” about running for president. To quote Trump,“People around the world are laughing at us. Look at China, they’re killing us, taking our jobs. We have weakness in the Middle East and with ISIS. We have incompetent people running the country and I’m tired of it.” Sorry Donald,  the entire country is rolling their eyes. (Washington Post)

Keeping it real via Shutterstock

Diners, Love, And Columbia
Your view in every diner in NYC.

Your view in every diner in NYC.

As your day comes to it’s close, and your all-nighter comes to it’s opening, Bwog offers you a late post to distract yourself with. Joseph Powers, not so unfamiliar with procrastination himself hopes this story will fit nicely between the latest Buzzfeed video and your next Parks and Recreation tribute.

I get there around 4:30, just in time to catch the sunset. I am shown to my booth. Maria looks exactly like she did when I first came in: a titian haired grandma in a 50s pink polo. I like to think she’ll stay that way for years, for generations of customers. I hope so anyway. As always, I ask Maria if she remembers me remembers me. As always, she passes me my menu with only customary politeness and says, “Of course, dear.”

There is nothing at all special about this diner. The seats are tacky, the silverware greasy, the menu unremarkable. It is every diner in New York City. There is the mirror, massive, behind the counter. Old wood, chiseled and polished, gorgeous, it’s an old school bar mirror, the silver behind the glass a tarnished. (Brought in for an abandoned renovation maybe? Or just left behind from a failed former business.) But then every diner in New York has something special. Tom’s has Seinfeld. (Could never stand Tom’s. So few Columbia traditions and I had to hate one. Can’t help it: the booths are too crowded and the fish too questionable.) There is nothing special about this diner, except that it belongs to me.

Some time spent in a diner, after the jump.

Global Notes From The Fireside Chat
We waited in line for this

Britt Fossum and Taylor Grasdalen happily represented Bwog last night

Last night, we were invited to President Bollinger’s first undergraduate fireside chat of the semester. Editor in Chief Taylor Grasdalen attended, and reports back here. (Please note that Internal Editor Britt Fossum also went, having won a seat by submitting the question “Do you read Bwog?”)

I must acknowledge that this was not my first Fireside Chat, though it was my first amongst other undergraduates. That said, the questions asked of President Lee “Ask Me Anything” Bollinger were nearly identical to those that I’d heard from graduate students. This tells me that whatever your school or year within Columbia, whatever your area of study, we’re ultimately concerned with the same things.

Let’s get “right into the thick of it,” then, as the first student to raise a question began. He asked about the difficulties of receiving a good or service from elsewhere in the University, particularly for a club, and how “departments have a monopoly on their own service.” Not only are costs incredibly high, but there’s an irrational amount of administrative work required. Bollinger had no answers, “[knows] nothing about it,” but had plenty for the next student.

This young panderer asked about the role of transparency in free speech, politics, and western democracy. Bollinger was happy to respond: “Every society has to discuss this kind of balance.” How much information are you willing to allow the public, after all? He considered the press and the public’s own roles in government transparency; while the press may publish whatever it can “get its hands on” with full constitutional protection, the “leaker” (he used Edward Snowden in example) may be prosecuted and receives no First Amendment rights under the Espionage Act. He felt that there’s been a shift “in favor of too much openness,” though citizens — the press included — must too be charged with representing the best interests of the government, for the sake of the country. It’s not only the editors in chief of The New York Times and Washington Post who have information today, but too the likes of Julian Assange, who certainly has no interest in protecting the United States. And on that note, the original asker said, “I’ll just take your class.”

Columbia Prison Divest, Manhattanville, money, and more transparency after the jump.

LectureHop: His Excellency Mehdi Jomaa
President Bollinger looking down upon baldness

President Bollinger looking down upon baldness

Yesterday morning, Mehdi Jomaa, former Prime Minister of the Republic of Tunisia, gave a lecture through the World Leaders Forum event series. We sent Maghreb maniac Mason Amelotte to Low Rotunda to report on the lecture.

The morning began the same way most World Leaders Forum events do: with overbearing security guards scattered throughout Low Library and a coat check that assured I felt like a child for not wearing my finest Emenegildo Zegna suit. After taking my rightful seat in the very last row, however, my deflated feelings were relieved as the woman who checked me in at the entrance kindly asked me to “move forward a row because there were too many chairs.” (Why am I even forced to register for these things then?)

At precisely 11:00AM, President Bollinger came out alongside Former Prime Minister of the Republic of Tunisia, His Excellency Mehdi Jomaa, followed by both of their wives and a delegation of Tunisian officials. PrezBo described how it was his honor to be introducing Former Prime Minister Jomaa as a speaker in the World Leaders Forum event series before going on to give a brief account of Tunisia’s history over the course of the past four years. With all that said, President Bollinger opened the stage to His Excellency Mehdi Jomaa, who would speak on “Leading Tunisia’s Democracy Start-up.”

The Former Prime Minister was greeted with a round of applause, to which he responded by first wishing the audience a good morning. He boasted the fact that this was his fourth interaction with Columbia, though he simultaneously exuded a sense of humility as he described how lucky he was to be speaking here. He explained to the audience how during his lecture, he hoped to answer the questions “What makes Tunisia’s newly formed democracy difficult?” and “What impact will Tunisia have on its surrounding region in the future?”

Tell me more about Tunisia!

Live At Lerner & International At Columbia: What’s In A Name?

“And don’t assume, because I don’t respect assumptions, babe”

Instead of bringing you local live music, this week Live at Lerner is partnering with International at Columbia to bring you “What’s In a Name? Navigating Name Conventions in Today’s Global Society,” an interactive session led by Dr. Athena Trentin on name conventions in a global society. The discussion aims to break down assumptions and stereotypes based on names while also educating on global naming conventions and on strategies for pronouncing unfamiliar names.

As usual, lunch will be served. The session is from noon to 2pm in Lerner 555. You can check out the Facebook event here.

I’m just tryna connect with something, baby / Swangin’ via Shutterstock

Bwoglines: Rejection Edition
"I'm just sayin', you could do better / Tell me, have you heard that lately?"

“I’m just sayin’, you could do better / Tell me, have you heard that lately?”

Yesterday, President Obama vetoed a bill pushing forward the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline. (New York Times)

Canadian customs wouldn’t allow Chris Brown to enter the country, and people on Twitter seem to think Drake is behind it. (Complex)

Reddit, one of the main websites involved in the celebrity nudes leak last fall, has finally banned sharing nude images of someone without their consent. (Washington Post)

Going through a breakup? Maybe you should try some self-contemplative activities, like journaling or taking a walk. (New York Times’s Op-Talk)

Going through a breakup and don’t feel like actively and constructively trying to get over it? Put down that glass of wine, put on this Drake throwback, and cry yourself back to sleep.

Nice stubble via Shutterstock

A New Morningsiders EP Dropped And We Rejoice

Remember that cool band that went to Columbia and played at Bacchanal? No, we’re not talking about Vampire Weekend. Instead, we’d like to share some new music from the Columbia alum band called Morningsiders. You may remember them making some music while they were here as undergrads, but they’ve now put out an official EP. You can listen to all of the songs on Soundcloud, but you’ll have to pay what you think is fair ($4 recommended) to download the EP via Bandcamp. We think these dudes are cool, so check out what life after Columbia is like when you decide to make music with your degree. If it worked for Ezra Koenig and the boys, it can work for anyone.

Latest Blue And White Issue Available Now!

Check out that design though…

Rejoice! The Blue and White has just arrived on campus. You can find a copy in your dormitory, Butler, Lerner, and the Diana.

For those of you impatient to get your hands on the real deal, here are a few highlights from the issue:

Barnard discusses opening admissions to trans women

Should university administrators be earning more than $1 million?

George Joseph is a Campus Character

CC And SEAS Class Day Speakers Announced
Mayor Garcetti

Mayor Garcetti

Columbia College has announced that L.A. Mayor, Columbia Urban Experience founder, and All My Children actor Eric Garcetti (CC ’92) will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Class Day. After graduating from the College, Garcetti went on to SIPA, where he earned his master’s degree in International Affairs. He followed this up with a stint in East Africa and professorships at USC and Occidental College before finally finding his way into Los Angeles politics.

From the announcement:

“We are honored that Eric Garcetti CC’92 has accepted our invitation to return to campus to speak to the graduating class of 2015. Eric was on the Columbia College Student Council, performed in the Varsity Show, and rowed freshmen crew. He left a special legacy at the College, as the founder of CUE, which has introduced generations of Columbians to the city and the community,” said James J. Valentini, dean of Columbia College and vice president for Undergraduate Education. “Eric, now the mayor of Los Angeles, the nation’s second largest city, is one of our most distinguished former students. We are looking forward to welcoming him back to campus for Class Day.”

Ben Horowitz

Ben Horowitz

SEAS, meanwhile, went with Ben Horowitz (CC ’88), a tech executive and venture capitalist who has had a hand in such great successes as AOL and Netscape. Horowitz is now a parter at his own VC firm, Andreessen Horowitz, and serves on the Columbia University board of trustees.

From the announcement:

“We are very pleased to have Ben Horowitz as our Class Day speaker this year,” said Mary C. Boyce, dean of Engineering and Morris A. and Alma Schapiro Professor. “As a Columbia College graduate with both a BS and MS in computer science, as a Columbia College parent, and as a Columbia University trustee, Ben epitomizes the intersection of academic scholarship with the vibrant entrepreneurial spirit that permeates not just Columbia Engineering but also the University. I know he will inspire our students to take what they’ve learned both inside and outside our classrooms and work hard to transform our world.”

For a preview of Horowitz’s wisdom, look no further than “Ben’s Blog,” where he posts his darkest fantasies business musings.

SEAS’s class day will take place on May 18th and CC’s the day after.

Overseen: Law And Order: SVU Films Episode Near Campus

We received two tips earlier today after students witnessed Law and Order: SVU cast and crew filming an episode near campus. Continue to send us information of what’s going on around this part of town by emailing us at 

Tip #1: “Law and Order SVU is currently filming the ‘protesting outside of Prezbo’s house’ scene for their Mattress Girl episode. [They are] filming at 147 Claremont Ave.”

Tip #2: “Law and Order SVU filming Columbia episode near campus.” This tip also included a photo of the scene, which can be found below:

Drinking With Bwog: Frontiers Of Drunkenness Edition


We sent two baby Bwoggers to their 11 am FroSci lecture as they guzzled a bottle or two of the cheapest white wine International had to offer (−OH, ya feel?). Throughout the lecture, they managed to develop a drinking game AND learn about black holes (though we all know that their consumption induced them into their own black hole of drunkenness). Read about their experience and the innovative drinking game that you can now replicate (isn’t repetition a part of the scientific method anyway?). 

We walked into FroSci lecture yesterday morning (right past the security guards harassing other froshies for bringing in chamomile tea and Starbucks tiramisu lattes) toting two iClickers, a box of granola, two nondescript containers (a Minute Maid apple juice bottle and a Blue Java travel mug) filled with a bottle’s worth of pinot grigio, and a genuine love for science. The lecture started with the lecturer saying that they would start cracking down on cell phone use in lecture…but what about drinking?

We played at pacing ourselves–drinking games are great ways to do that, right? Predictably, the rule list got long enough after the first ten minutes that it was more a dash to the finish than anything else. Here were the rules:

Drink when…

  • Someone asks a question
  • Everyone collectively flips the page of the lecture slide packet they printed out
  • The lecturer describes the FroSci “team” as “data-driven”
  • The lecturer plugs the Twitter (@FoSColumbia #FroSci)
  • You have to use your iClicker (not nearly often enough for the $40 price tag!)
  • You get the iClicker question wrong
  • You get the iClicker question right
  • The lecturer describes a ridiculous scenario (like dropping your keys in an elevator to test if you’re in a building or in space?)
  • Some asshole gets up to use the bathroom and makes you pull in your legs
  • An athlete falls asleep

Read more about drunken FroSci after the jump!

Bwoglines: Things That Begin With The Letter “M” Edition

not Eminem, but M&Ms

Your concerned parent probably sent you this article already via email (or maybe that’s just us?), but ten students and two visitors at Connecticut’s Wesleyan University were hospitalized this past weekend following their consumption of a bad batch of molly. Two remain in critical condition, while another two remain in serious condition. (Rolling Stone)

Surprise!! Researchers in Southeast China found a 1,000-year-old mummy inside a gold-painted statue of Buddha. The remains are believed to belong to Liuquian, a high-status Buddhist monk. (LiveScience)

Khloe Kardashian was able to make it to the Oscars on Sunday despite her involvement in a car accident that happened just one day earlier while on a family vacation in Montana. Although North West was in the car, it was Kim who was the baby in the situation… Khloe said that “Kim was screaming and crying” the entire time. (NY Daily News)

Following a terrorist threat from Somali militant group al-Shabab, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson called for increased protection at Minnesota’s Mall of America. (Washington Post)

Melts in your hand, not in your mouth via Shutterstock