Jul

25

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image1

This Honorary Bwogger understands our summertime sadness.

Bwog is hanging onto July as long as possible (because August is just too close to September), so we’re using our monthly round-up as a way to prolong the summer. Maybe that logic is lacking, but it’s hot and we’re trying not to think about the fall. Let’s all just take a page out of Demi’s book and stay cool for the summer.

Meanwhile, our campus might look dead, but things are still happening. We present to you July’s news in conveniently packaged bullets.

  • Columbia will be required to change some of its sexual assault policies as a result of Governor Cuomo signing “Enough is Enough” legislation into law. (CBS)
  • Barnard Contingent Faculty-UAW reached an agreement with the college that will allow non-tenure-track faculty to unionize. (UAW)
  • Ferris is getting a new staircase this summer–but for some reason the old one is staying, too. (Columbia Dining)
  • Turns out the MTA cleaned the tracks of the 116th Street Station only once in the past 12 months (the goal is once every three weeks). (WNYC)
  • Bwog has a Wikipedia page now.

But what strange adventures are bwoggers having?

Jul

1

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Bwog is gardening this summer

Bwog is gardening this summer

As we say a heartfelt farewell to the days of June, Bwog would like to take a moment to reminisce about the weird, the wild, and the wonderful events of this past month.

In case you have not left the Netflix cave you created for yourself in May, here’s what you may have missed:

  • Columbia’s Board of Trustees announced that the school will divest from the private prison industry and will ban future investments in private prisons.
  • Barnard became the most recent women’s college to admit trans women after the Board of Trustees approved a new admission policy.
  • Vikas Arun (SEAS ’17) was on So You Think You Can Dance on Monday night as one of the top 36 stage dancers. (Facebook)
  • Three Columbia Lions were picked in the MLB draft, the most players ever selected from CU in a single year. (Spectator)
  • Song of Solomon will be one of the new additions to the 2015-2016 LitHum syllabus, marking the first time a living author will appear in the LitHum curriculum. Toni Morrison will also be the only author of color on the syllabus. (Columbia)
  • A Columbia alum released an app called SayWhat that brands itself as a video version of Urban Dictionary. Maybe you can finally explain to your mom what “on fleek” means.

What are Columbia students up to?

Jun

23

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Columbia Divests from private prison industry

Columbia Divests from private prison industry

Yesterday Columbia became the first university in the United States to divest from the private prison industry. This news comes as a major victory for Columbia Prison Divest, the student group that has been campaigning since February of 2014 for Columbia to divest. The Board of Trustees also announced that the school will create a policy that will ban any future investments in the private prison industry.

Full statement from Columbia Prison Divest after the jump.

Jun

4

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This morning, Barnard’s Board of Trustees approved an admission policy for trans women.  Barnard will admit all “applicants who consistently live and identify as women, regardless of the gender assigned to them at birth,” according to the College’s official statement, beginning in the fall of 2016 (the Class of 2020).

Officially, Barnard will continue to use feminine rather than gender-neutral pronouns to reflect its “identity as a women’s college.”  Barnard will also deny admission to applicants not selecting “female” on the Common Application and to trans men.

Those who transition from female to male while attending Barnard will remain eligible for a Barnard degree, and “the College will offer guidance and resources” to help transitioning students who find that Barnard no “longer offers the appropriate educational environment” for them.

You can read the full statement below:

Dear Members of the Barnard Community —

At its June 3 meeting, the Barnard College Board of Trustees discussed and approved the following policy regarding enrollment for transgender applicants:

Since its founding in 1889, Barnard’s mission has been to provide generations of promising, high-achieving young women with an outstanding liberal arts education in a community where women lead.  Every aspect of this unique environment is, and always will be, designed and implemented to serve women, and to prepare our graduates to flourish and make a difference in the world.  This mission is powerful, and remains vital today, perhaps more so than ever.

In furtherance of our mission, tradition and values as a women’s college, and in recognition of our changing world and evolving understanding of gender identity, Barnard will consider for admission those applicants who consistently live and identify as women, regardless of the gender assigned to them at birth.  We will also continue to use gendered language that reflects our identity as a women’s college. 

This admissions policy does not affect students who transition during their time at Barnard. Once admitted, every student will receive the individualized support that is an essential part of the Barnard experience. If, during a student’s time at Barnard, the student decides that Barnard, as a women’s college, no longer offers an appropriate educational environment, Barnard will offer guidance and resources to assist in making choices that are best for that student.

The vote on this policy is the culmination of a full year of conversations. The Board, led by the Committee on Campus Life, discussed the issue of transgender enrollment at each of its meetings this year. Members of the Board and the administration read through extensive materials; consulted experts, including members of the Barnard faculty; and sought out the broadest possible range of perspectives. And hundreds of members of our community—students, faculty, alumnae, parents, and staff—participated in five town hall forums and one virtual forum. In addition, an online form collected over 900 responses.

What came through most strongly was that our community shares a deep love for Barnard and a desire to do the right thing for this institution. As expected, a wide range of passionate and deeply held beliefs were discussed and debated. But on two main points, the responses were compelling and clear. There was no question that Barnard must reaffirm its mission as a college for women. And there was little debate that trans women should be eligible for admission to Barnard.

Following these months of discussion, a policy was recommended by the Chairs of the Committee on Campus Life, reviewed by the Executive Committee, and approved by the full Board on June 3, 2015. Over the course of the upcoming academic year, our staff will develop a plan for implementation that will go into effect for applicants applying for admission in the fall of 2016 (the Barnard Class of 2020).

We want to thank all of you for being a part of this effort, especially our students, who pushed us to think broadly and to stand behind our commitment to diversity. We also want to extend a special note of gratitude to Frances Sadler ’72 and Diana Vagelos ’55 who thoughtfully shepherded the Committee on Campus Life as they considered this important issue.

On the occasion of our 125th anniversary, it is fitting that we have come together to recall our history and reexamine our core values.  We educated and challenged each other, and Barnard is that much stronger for it.

Sincerely,

Jolyne Caruso-FitzGerald
Chair of the Board of Trustees

Debora Spar
President

Jun

1

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RIP indefinitely, old friend

RIP indefinitely, old friend

…eventually gets posted on Bwog in an update-style post for our loyal summer readers! For those of you who have spent the last three weeks under the covers with your eyes glued to Netflix, here are some thing that have happened around campus.

  • Emma Sulkowicz, CC ’15, with the help of four other seniors, carried her mattress across the graduation stage during this year’s Class Day. (Twitter)
  • Two GS students recently discovered they were sisters after taking the same literary-reporting class in Kent. (NYT)
  • senior visual arts thesis has popped up from the alleged “Adam” from Paul Nungesser’s gender-based misconduct case. (Tumblr)
  • The Columbia baseball butts team has “emerged as a striking force” according to one New York Times article that came out after the Lions made it to the 2015 NCAA Baseball Tournament. (NYT)
  • Caleb LoSchiavo, BC ’15, is calling Barnard College to admit transgender women in a recently published article. (Refinery29)
  • Additionally, a video by Luna Adler has recently surfaced calling for the Barnard Board of Trustees to allow transgender women to be admitted into the College. (Vimeo)
  • Our favorite local Morningside Heights eatery, Chipotle, has been officially shut down until further notice by order of the NYC Commissioner of Health and Hygiene. RIP Chipotle.

Photo courtesy of anon

May

15

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75093_1376351192633922_1902545825_nIn an email sent this afternoon, PrezBo announced his support for the University’s divestment from companies engaged in the operation of private prisons.  A recommendation will come before the Board of Trustees in their next meeting in June.

On March 31, ACSRI (the Advisory Committee on Socially Responsible Investing) voted to recommend prison divestment to the Trustees, and this represents, in the words of PrezBo, the “culmination of thoughtful analysis and hard work by ACSRI and by…students, faculty, and alumni.”

PrezBo also touched on the issue of fossil fuel divestment, which ASCRI has been discussing since 2013, in today’s message.  He vocalized his hope that the “conversation” on climate change remain in the forefront, and he alluded that at an “appropriate time during the next academic year” this issue too will come before the Trustees.

You can read the full email below, after the jump.

May

14

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Our fellow Columbians, another year has come and gone. It was a rollercoaster, but now we can finally retire back to our quiet abodes. Whether you aced your finals or barely stayed in school, you can still come back next year with a (mostly) clean slate. Have wonderful summers made of fulfilling internships and lovely friends. Thank you so much for your support and readership through these last two semesters.

We here at Bwog are going to be recharging our batteries everywhere from New Hampshire to SoCal, but before we go, we have to have our last suppers. While they’re hardly painting-worthy, they really show what it means to go to Columbia. Check in every now and again for summer updates, but for now, Bwog out.

More of our last suppers!

May

14

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Farewell

Farewell

You’ve done it. You’ve completed your final year of college, or your first, second, or third. A lot has happened in these months since late August, and Editor in Chief Taylor Grasdalen reviews them for you here. (And wrote her own byline.) Enjoy and remember.

September ushered in controversy and action, from the Students for Justice in Palestine protesting on 9/11 to the advent of the Carry That Weight movement. No Red Tape and other anti-sexual violence groups began to make more noise; “rape shouldn’t be part of the college experience,” though Columbia’s own data illustrated the campus reality. It also turned out that Barnard students were never supposed to be in JJ’s in the first place. And you might have heard some things about Bwog, but don’t mind us.

In October, there was one very sketchy Town Hall. Questions were asked and askers were asked to ask their questions. “BoSchwo” arrived (thanks, Alex Chang), though we too now call it “Bernie’s.” We saw the first Carry That Weight Day of Action, and Columbia released some choice words in response:

We understand that reports about these cases in the media can be deeply distressing, and our hearts go out to any students who feel they have been mistreated. But galvanizing public attention on an important societal problem is very different from a public conversation about individual students and cases, which colleges and universities do not discuss.

A doctor from the Columbia University Medical Center briefly had ebolaWe lost UNI Café. We tried to host an open forum. The University Senate began to review the Rules of Conduct.

November brought us Beta-induced anger, an impostor amongst the Class of 2018, and some contentious fines for the Carry That Weight demonstrators. Students sought to give President Bollinger the raise he deserves. …Speaking of PrezBo, he’s been disappointed with the football team for a while. CCSC and ESC considered raising your activities fee by $4.50. And Bwog might not have an official office, but at least we don’t have to worry about finding feces in our elevator.

December was busy and painfully cold, if nothing else. We lost Joshua Villa. Another student fell from the eighth floor of Wien. We began to talk about mental health. The Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases led to a “die-in” on College Walk, the night of the Tree-Lighting Ceremony. Orgo Night made people upset. Carry That Weight protested their fine. CUSS arrived! (And so did I.) Beta annoyed.

But what happened during the Spring semester?

May

14

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The 0-2 pitch from George Thanopoulos...Strike Three!

The 0-2 pitch from George Thanopoulos…Strike Three!

Last weekend, the Columbia Lions baseball team won its third consecutive Ivy League championship after defeating Dartmouth in a 3-game, 2-day series. Two of the players so instrumental to the victory were pitcher George Thanopoulos and first baseman Nick Maguire. Bwog’s resident baseball fan Max Rettig sat down with George and Nick to get their thoughts on the season, the championship and the upcoming NCAAs.

Max: First off, congrats on the Ivy League championship. Three years in a row is pretty incredible. What do you think has gotten the team that far each year? What is it about the Lions that makes you guys so successful on the baseball diamond year after year?

George: I’d say it’s really just a matter of trusting in each other and trusting your teammates. It’s also buying into the process our coaches have set up for us, and taking it day by day. We say we want to get one percent better each day. It’s really just trusting our preparation, trusting our abilities, and going out there and having fun.

Nick: It definitely has a lot do with trust and preparation. You know, I’d bet you a lot of money we’re the most prepared team in the league. It comes down to our coaching staff, the players’ will to get better and work, and our preseason trips in February when it’s 30 degrees out. The more situations we get into, the more Game 4’s against Penn or Game 3’s against Dartmouth, it doesn’t get easier every year but we become more battle-tested.

M: What is the daily grind of the season like for you? The team starts out in Houston, Florida, sometimes California in February and March when it’s way too cold for baseball in New York, and then you play 20 straight games against Ivy League opponents. How much does playing ranked teams in Houston prepare you for the Ivy slate? 

G/N: It’s very good preparation, starting out in Houston. Obviously, playing ranked teams doesn’t hurt. Houston was a really positive thing for us, being able to go and beat the No. 6 team. UCF was really tough, but you have to shake the losses. Houston was great, but you can’t get too high on wins or too low on losses. When we get back here and are playing 4 games a weekend, one or two games can make a huge difference in the season. I look to that series against Princeton where we lost the first game, but won the next three. That showed our resilience.

It’s also that we don’t really see Houston as the No. 6 team in the country. We see them as our opponent for the day and we go in with the mindset that our team is equal. We’ve gotten Top 25 votes before too, so it’s really that we go into each game with the mindset that we can win. Most players on the team will cross that No. 6 out and just see Houston. That mindset has been the biggest change over the past few years. There’s no team we can’t hang with.

Get the juicy details of the Ivy season after the jump

May

14

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The demolition of the Barnard Library is drawing near, but Bwog has some more important matters on the mind: namely, what will happen to Maggie the Magnolia? We’ve heard rumors that Maggie will be moved, but where? With the help of Bwog’s collective imagination, Barnard Bearoness/Amateur Photoshopper Maddie Stearn whipped up some snapshots of Maggie’s next adventures.


But where else would Maggie go?

May

14

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tbh this is bwog and you tho

Don’t let this be Bwog and you this summer!

While it’s not the last day of exams, too many members of Bwog are falling victim to the wonders of spring and the lures of home for us to keep publishing. It’s our last full day with you, and we’re going to give it our all, starting with today’s Bwog in Bed.

Bwogline: Even after a full year of protest against police actions, a majority of New Yorkers still support the “broken windows” philosophy of cracking down on minor crimes. (cbslocal.com)

Study Tip: We normally try to find ways to get you out of Butler, but if you’re looking for a place to buckle down, our venerated library is finally clearing out. Today, you’ll have a much easier time finding space than you would have a week ago, so don’t use that as an excuse to try (and fail) to study in your room.

Procrastinate: Go all over the city and follow the New York Post’s guide on design events to check out. See one today, and keep going until your procrastination needs are complete.

Chill out with some music we found thanks to a Bandcamp link posted on Butler:

Broken love via Shutterstock.

May

13

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Minding his own business, a Bwogger, having only just finished after a rough session of finals, came upon a most curious object in the stairwell of Carman: a finals celebration interrupted, perhaps.  A size-9 foot placed naively beside reveals the impressive size of this fallen, bi-headed plaything.

Anyone lusting to come forth and snatch this thick rubber must penetrate the depths of Carman’s back stairwell.  In the meantime, we’ll be keeping this rubber sword warm in its proper sheath.

May

13

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Alexandra Avvocato

Alexandra Avvocato

As the year comes to a close, we present you Bwog’s last Senior Wisdom of the Class of 2015 by our former Managing Editor Alexandra Avvocato.

Name, School, Major, Hometown: Alexandra “Avv” “Ahhvvvvv” Avvocato, CC, English, New Rochelle, N.Y. aka Westchester aka Bestchester

Claim to fame: Managerially edited this publication for 2013 with the incomparable Alexandra Svokos (love you, miss you), during which I wrote some of the best, or worst, puns of my writing career, and consumed an absurd amount of cheese sticks. Some of my credits include: Poopin’ in Pupin; A Day in the Life of an Engineer; a Power Suite that had to get taken down and resulted in a meeting with the dean; a How to Make Your Own Ving Key post that almost had to get taken down and resulted in a meeting with the Office of Judicial Affairs; and a Blue Note that also had to get taken down and resulted in accidental sacrilege of the Catholic mass. I’ve also helped to continue the Alexandras-in-digital-blogging tradition by briefly taking over IvyGate, which is really just like Bwog but more irreverent and usually about Dartmouth. Also, my last name is Avvocato.

Where are you going? To assume my place at the bottom of the totem pole in the legal corporate hierarchy, which is ironic since I’ve spent four years majoring in Unemployability Studies. I’ve asked some friends to keep an eye on me and let me know when I start transforming into a soulless robot. Since I’ll be living in Prospect Heights, maybe I can become a painfully self-aware post-hipster robot instead.

What are 3 things you learned at Columbia and would like to share with the Class of 2019?

1. Despite popular opinion, you totally can meet your best friends for 4 years (AND COUNTING HI GUYS) during NSOP.

2. The power of sunlight is real. Don’t let the apocalyptic winters get you down; everyone sucks a little or a lot more when they haven’t bathed and are wrapped up in three Canada Geese. Basically, you may as well write off the whole winter.

3. Everyone is posturing, all the time. And while it’s tempting to use that knowledge to play affectionate games with people, it’s much better to hammer away at the posturing until you get to the much more interesting person underneath that. Keep in mind while you do that that you’re probably also posturing.
3b. It is so much healthier, more freeing, and more glorious to remove yourself from stress mirroring, and when someone tries to enact their stress and misery at you, to respond with something totally off topic.
3c. The sooner you stop caring what people are saying about you on the internet (and they always are), the better.
3d. Always always always engage, except for when it’s better not to engage.

 

Back in Avv’s day…

May

13

Home sweet home

Home sweet home

The beloved Barnard Library will be torn down this coming December as work on the new Teaching and Learning Center will commence during Winter 2015. This means that this finals season will perhaps be the last time Barnard students can stress out during their final exams in the library. Regardless, we are already emotional about losing barnlib, and Barnard Babe Courtney Couillard brings us a proper farewell to the library.

Oh, Barn Lib. I thought I would never want to study in you when I could just study in Butler across the street, but your humble charm has grown on me these past couple years. I’ve strolled through your stacks, forgetting whether or not N-Z was on the second of third floor, scribbling call numbers on a sticky note. While I know that Butler houses a much larger collection than your own, there is something about finding myself in the section of books about women and politics that took my breath away. I enjoyed finding past Barnard students’ notes in margins of your books, and I always knew that you would have a copy of the book I was searching for when it was checked out in the Columbia libraries. I am happy I ended up giving you a chance.

You offered me refuge after pacing through every floor of Butler during Reading Week, unable to find a seat. While you may not be the prettiest building, I can’t deny the feeling of triumph when I find a seat open in front of the windows, allowing me to procrastinate while watching people sit out on the lawns instead of finishing my paper. Even those tight cubicles on the third floor created that good ol’ Barnard community we know and love. Most importantly, not a single man dares to study in Barn Lib, so it’s pretty much just a girl party at all times on every floor.

Even more emotional memories to come.

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