What Is The Meaning Of Life?

Whether you celebrated 420 or Easter, you probably spent Sunday pondering the significance of your existence in one form or another. Inspired by the glorious weather, Bwog Video ventured out onto our sunny campus and asked some very happy Columbians the question of questions: What is the meaning of life?

The Most Fun You’ll Ever Have At An ESC Meeting
ESC, upon the entrance of VShow

ESC, upon the entrance of VShow

This week’s ESC meeting was especially eventful with a surprise Varsity Show ambush. The ever ebullient engineer Aparajita Maitra gives you the lowdown.

Yesterday’s ESC meeting had some exciting hidden surprises, starting with an appearance by the Varsity Show. No wonder ESC looked unusually enthusiastic in their SEAS gear. ESC was told to stand in one giant clump and pretend to be friends while Varsity Show publicity chairs filmed them for their promo video. Bwog joined, of course, not wanting to miss out on the festivities. President Sidd Bhatt assured everyone that was the most amount of fun they were going to have at an ESC meeting.

Other visitors included a representative from Lion Credit Union initiative (the people who have been outside of Butler tabling over the past 6 months) to talk about a resolution, as there were over 1200 responses and an overwhelmingly positive response rate to credit union.

Alpha Kappa Psi—a pre-professional fraternity with over 60 students—stopped by as well, looking spiffy in suits, to talk about their issue of getting recognition and how they want support from ESC and CCSC. They have been trying to get recognition for two and a half years, and ABC and ITC have both been resistant. Who doesn’t want to be legitimate on campus?

Click for other updates.

The Home Stretch And Other Sports Puns
Clearing that hurdle

Clearing that hurdle

In honor of the gorgeous weather earlier today, here’s the weekend roundup for your favorite Columbia athletics teams from Bwog’s favorite sports fan, Max Rettig.

Baseball: The Lions spent their weekend taking apart Cornell in pursuit of a program-record win streak and a boost in the standings. Kevin Roy pitched the Lions to a third straight shutout of Cornell before the team broke out the bats in the second game of Sunday’s doubleheader, which saw scores of 2-0 and 8-4 in favor of Columbia. Roy’s second consecutive one-hitter and first shutout of the season, coupled with two of Gus Craig’s five series RBIs, gave the Lions the day-cap win, while small-ball, bad pitching by Cornell, and Craig’s homer (his 5th RBI) powered the Lions to victory under the lights.

The team has won a record 13 straight games, besting the 1987 team’s 12-0 start, and has swept Cornell for just the first time since 1994. The Lions are 21-15, 13-3 Ivy League, tied with Penn for the conference lead going into next weekend’s away-and-home series. Keep an eye out for a preview of that matchup later in the week as the Lions try to capture their second straight Ivy title.

Men’s Tennis: The men served up a sweet Ivy League title when they defeated Princeton 4-0 on Sunday, bringing home their first conference championship since 2010. The 19th-ranked team beat the 61st-ranked team to secure both an 18-match win streak and the program’s first undefeated Ivy League record since the beginning of the 21st century. The Lions won two of three doubles matches and three of six singles matches to take the victory, with Ashok Narayana enjoying strong performances in both types of competition. The men now wait until April 29, when the NCAA will announce Columbia’s regional playoff, and April 30, when the NCAA will announce singles championships.

Read on for softball, rowing, and track and field.

Meet The CC Valedictorian And Salutatorian

Yesterday afternoon, Columbia College announced its 2014 valedictorian and salutatorian. Bwog interviewed this year’s CC valedictorian, Margarete Diaz Cuadros, and salutatorian, Samuel Walker, soon after.

valedictorian

Margarete

Bwog: How did you find out you were valedictorian, and how did you celebrate?

Margarete: I got an email from Deantini but initially ignored it because I did not realize it was meant for me personally. When I finally read it, I was tremendously surprised and also happy. The first thing I did was tell my boyfriend and forward the email to my parents. I think they were more excited than I was!

B: And that you were salutatorian?

Samuel: I had been up all night editing my senior thesis, which was due on Monday morning, and was about to get a couple hours of sleep before classes started when I happened to see that I had an email from Deantini. Unfortunately, I had class all day and then all I could think of doing was sleeping for hours and hours, so the celebration had to wait until today. It will probably consist in me catching up on my reading for Fred Neuhouser’s course on Hegel and then getting a drink or two with some friends

IMG_1763

Sam

B: Do you feel different? Has anyone treated you differently?

S: I certainly don’t feel like a different person in any way, but I do feel thrilled, shocked, grateful, proud, and a little bit nervous about the speech. I don’t think that people who know me are treating me any differently (though family, friends, and professors have all been extremely kind in congratulating me), and I wouldn’t want them to. The strange thing is the attention I’m suddenly getting from people I don’t know (like you, faithful reader of Bwog). I’m a pretty low-key fellow to begin with, but I think the fact that I took a year off between my sophomore and junior years and that most of my close friends graduated last year has meant that not that many people on campus know who I am. I haven’t gotten this much attention since I played Humpty Dumpty in a 5th grade musical rendition of Alice in Wonderland. It’s weird.

M: I don’t really feel different, it is just very strange to be getting this much attention. It honestly makes me a little uncomfortable because I am such a shy person. It is also great to get congratulations from people that I met a couple of years ago but had not spoken with in a long time.

Did they find Alma’s owl?

PeopleHop: It Hurts Being Becca Barnard
cool chicks

Lauren and Amelia

Columbia is no stranger to cool and alternative web shows and radio stations that make us wish we were as angsty and hip as the hosts. Swimming—better yet, doggy paddling?—in the pool of Internet broadcast, Amelia Arnold and Lauren Beltrone, BC ’16 and BC ’17 respectively, have started their own podcast titled “I’m Too Skinny and Too Many Boys Like Me.” SoundCloud Sweetheart Courtney Couillard caught up with the ladies about what inspired them to create the show and more on their genius creativity.

Bwog: How did you both meet? Any good NSOP awkward stories?

AA: We met in the Sulz 6 gender-inclusive bathroom. I was showering in the handicap stall, playing “Mariner’s Revenge Song” by the Decemberists and Lauren started belligerently singing along. Our friendship bloomed from there.

Bwog: What made you ladies want to start a podcast?

LB: We both have weird, distinctive voices and relatively weird faces. And we had shit to say, so we decided on a podcast as our artistic medium.

Bwog: What extensive thought process went behind coming up with the name “I’m Too Skinny and Too Many Boys Like Me”?

AA: Michaela Fischer.
LB: Yeah, so our friend and producer of the show, Michaela, was the first one to come up with the name. It comes from the problem that a lot of Barnard students have to endure: having too many opportunities, in all facets of life.

Figure out who Becca Barnard is and if Coachella is in the ladies’ future.

Plant A Tree, Save A PrezBo
The automobile in question.

The automobile in question.

This bold and beautiful Earth Day got Bwog wondering: how does PrezBo measure up to the judging green eye of environmentalists?  We decided to dust off the old math textbook and do some calculations of our own.  Just how much CO2 does PrezBo emit as he drives along the Columbia campus?

Assumptions:
  • PrezBo travels back and forth from the President’s House to Low Library once a day, 300 days a year.
  • A New York block is about 250 meters wide.
  • Prezbo travels 500 meters to get to school, 500 to go back. So 1km a day.
  • 1 km a day 300 days a year = 300 km a year
Calculations:

Conclusions:

  • Bwog can’t do math without the help of external websites.
  • We should start a campaign for PrezBo to plant trees in place of those damn commencement bleachers.
  • If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, it’s probably because PrezBo went for his morning drive.
  • Note: we did not calculate the environmental impact of his various hair products.  This is too daunting a task for Bwog.
Bwoglines: A Morning Squirrel Edition

This teen survived a five hour flight stowed away in an airplane’s wheel well.  We were impressed, although we admit we had to look up wheel well first.  (ABC News)

Trigger warning for GoT spoilers: George R.R. Martin distances himself from the events of Sunday’s episode.  We can’t believe they actually worked to make GoT more upsetting. (Gawker)

So baby academies are a thing now.  Finally your infant can read Plato right after pooping her pants! (Gothamist)

No hot dog left behind! (ABC News)

And finally: one sophisticated squirrel. (@cherylfoong)

Just enjoying a croissant.

Lécureuil courtesy of @cherylfoong

Finals Are Really Getting Real
Romans rule, anyway

This is actually “Ulysses,” not “Odysseus”

You’re Odysseus and you’ve been sailing nearly 10 years around the Mediterranean. You’ve lost all of your friends, you’ve slept around a bit, you’re weary, and you just want to take a break. Finally, you spot land! You spot home! But wait—you’ve got to deal with those cocky suitors before everything goes back to normal?! Eurymachus and Antinous are your finals, and extra study space in Butler is your enormous bow…or we think that’s what the sign at the Circulation Desk in Butler meant:

Beginning at 11 pm on April 21st, select graduate reading rooms* on the 5th and 6th floors will be open 23 hours a day, making approximately 150 additional seats available for late night quiet study. Each room will be closed from 5am-6am for daily maintenance.

The asterisk notes that rooms 601, 602, 603, and 604 are excluded from this (they’re all of the north-facing reading rooms). In addition, Lehman library will be open until 4 am until the end of finals.

In addition, CCSC, ESC, and GSSC presidents sent a letter to the University Senate Libraries Committee that deplores how Watson sits “half-used” and calls for the continuing of the study space conversation on the Senate level.

Kick some butt, take care of yourself, and tip dark nights of the soul. We all know how the Odyssey ends, unless you’re in SEAS.

Badass mermen whom we don’t think Odysseus slept with via Wikimedia Commons 

 

Field Notes: Strike That Edition
Hallowed be thy alcohol

Hallowed be thy alcohol

Some say that strikethroughs are stupid tasteful. Some say that Bwog overuses them doesn’t use them enough. And some just don’t give a shit don’t give a fuck. What are your feelings? Anonymously share them below and live in Bwog infamy. (And send in your tips to tips@bwog.com, or use our anonymous tip form.)

When isn’t the band weird awesome

  • “I heard there was a stripper pole in an EC suite last night, and the band might have been involved.”
  • “Two bandies got fake married on the steps of St. John the Divine. It was awkward because people were streaming out of a late Easter service, and there were two NYPD officers who came over when the band’s singing got too loud. The reception did indeed have a stripper pole, which was surprisingly sturdy.”
  • “I challenged a guy to fight because he was heckling me about how I RESCUED ( not stole) his Matsuri goldfish at a previous party and now I have a bruise above my right eye. But I won.”

Alcohol won’t flunk you

India Business Conference 2014: Successes, Shortcomings and Limitless Potential

Last week, the annual CBS conference on business in india happened. CEOs and experts from a variety of fields that do work in India spoke and it was, for Bwog India Correspondent Max Rettig, an excellent experience. Read on for his views on the conference.

Columbia Business School’s annual India Business Conference, a day-long program about India’s business climate, took place this past Friday. This year’s event featured a lineup of very distinguished people, including MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga, Accion CEO Michael Schlein, Professor and Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz, and Deputy Director of the India Planning Commission Dr. Montek Ahluwalia. The day was filled with presentations, panels, networking opportunities and food. But most importantly, the day was filled with discussion of India’s successes, its shortcomings and ideas on how to realize its seemingly limitless potential.

The conference started at 9 am with an introduction by Dr. Gita Johar, the Senior Vice Dean of the B-School. Her main point was the issue of creativity and dynamism. She talked about constraints on innovation and how they can spark a type of reverse creativity (think of architects making the most of really small spaces). Teams need to be changed up in order to keep different ideas flowing. She specifically mentioned that companies with women in a top-level position leads to success that other companies don’t have, a common theme in the news lately. Alas, Dean Johar gave the podium to Dr. Ahluwalia.

Tell me more about Indian Business!

Barnard SGA Election Results Are In!
"I'm a future world leader!"

“I’m a future world leader!”

Barnard’s SGA election results were just announced via email.  Not all posts were filled, so some will be available for application in the coming weeks.  Below are the positions, names and UNIs of the new officers.

SGA President
Julia Qian | jq2210@barnard.edu

VP for Student Government
Sarah Shuster | scs2173@barnard.edu

VP for Campus Life
Shivani Vikuntam | sv2399@barnard.edu

VP for Finance
Pascale Dugue | pjd2121@barnard.edu

VP for Communications
Emily Klein | esk2154@barnard.edu

University Senator as well as several other positions are below.

It’s Teatime
From left: Bwog, Tanay

From left: Bwog, Tanay

The commencement bleachers have gone up, we’ve posted our call for Senior Wisdoms, and in one short week it will be May. For many seniors, this means that the time to say goodbye to Columbia and the relationships formed here is quickly approaching. One senior, Tanay Jaipuria, SEAS ’14, decided that he wants to make the most of his last few weeks here and has set up a website—Tea with Tanay—to help him do just that.

The website allows anyone who so desires to sign up to get tea—and hopefully enjoy some good conversation—with Tanay for half an hour.  The site is aesthetically simple and thus very welcoming, which we later learned was a deliberate choice by Tanay.  For those who aren’t easily convinced, he links to his Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn profiles to reassure you that he is in fact “quite normal.”  He even gives you conversation ideas, from speakeasies and Marcus Aurelius to Taylor Swift (kindred spirits) and selfies.  Enthused by his techniques, we sent our resident tea teacher Eric Cohn to talk to him.

Bwog: What gave you the idea to start this?

Tanay: A big part of it was that I’m a senior…and I realized that I’m not going to see a lot of these people again, especially the ones moving away from New York. Also the fact that I made some of my really good friends in senior year.  And I realized: what if there are more people like that, who I would never get the chance to see again?  Most people have a group they hang out with, and, especially once you’re a junior or senior, you won’t really go out of that group that much.

B: How has the response been so far?

T: Last I checked, there have been like a 110 responses.  About fifty are complete strangers, like people on campus I have never seen before.  Another fifty are acquaintances and some of my really close friends who signed up to support me early on.  And then there are about ten or thirty random Russian ones which I think was just spam because they randomly found it.

Has it been mostly seniors, and why did he choose tea? Click to see the rest of the interview.

Congrats To The CC Val And Sal!
Hats off to you

Hats off to you

Columbia College announced today that Margarete Diaz Cuadros and Samuel Walker have been named 2014′s Columbia College valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively.

Margarete hails from Lima and is majoring in biochemistry. She’ll be continuing her current research and going for her Ph.D. in molecular genetics. Walker is a comparative literature major from Westchester whose senior thesis “is so advanced, it reads like the first draft of a doctoral thesis.” They both have very impressive and glowing bios, which you can read below the jump.

Congrats!

Read about your talented peers.

CCSC Debates About Constitutional Review
All of this is very esoteric

All of this is very esoteric

Every week, CCSC meets and talks about very important things.  This week, those thing included reforms to their constitution—particularly about the sections dealing with the filling of vacated seats. Much talk was had about transparency, efficiency, and fraternity, all of which our Satow Room Bureau Chief Joe Milholland was present to cover.

On Sunday night’s Columbia College Student Council meeting, the council addressed various constitutional reforms they will be voting on next week. The most prominent was discussing how and when CCSC should have special elections for seats vacated mid-term. Before, CCSC, like Columbia’s other undergraduate councils, has appointed new members after resignations. This academic year, however, their have been two special elections that have chosen a new University Senator and a new class council member.

VP of Policy Bob Sun said that having two ways of filling a vacancy was “not efficient” and that the council should choose between either going back to having only appointments but with a defined, “transparent” process or go exclusively to special elections.

Jeremy Meyers, Chair of the Elections Board, told the council that he was able to experiment with new things during this year’s special elections, but the special elections were hard on the board because they had to “drop everything for 2-3 weeks.” Because of this, Meyers does not think it is “sustainable” or “possible “ for the Elections Board to keep doing special elections, especially when considering the difficulties to recruit new Elections Board members. According to Meyers, in order to carry out special elections, the board needs to organize mixers, approve posters, organize voting, and answer questions from candidates.
Read on for elections and frats.

2girls1snack: Holy Guacamole Edition
Ugh, yum.

NOMZ

As Passover nears its end, those of you who observe Passover have likely exhausted all Matzo cracker combinations and get mad whenever your friends suggest going out for a meal. However, this edition of 2 Girls 1 Snack is Passover-friendly as long as you substitute chips with Matzo crackers. Even if you’re not Jewish, there are so many places near campus that offer chips and guac that we thought we’d help you make informed decisions just in time for Cinco de Mayo! Note: One of these Bwoggers is an immigrant Latina and grew up with authentic guacamole so the standards are set pretty high (5 is reserved for her homestyle guac).

Amigos: $9.80, includes fresh guac, fresh chips, and home-made salsa
Though it is the most expensive and requires you wait 5 minutes, Amigos’ guacamole undoubtedly has the best texture and taste. It has the perfect mix of flavors: lemon, avocado, tomato, onion, and it is all fresh. Not like made-that-morning fresh, I mean they make each batch from scratch the moment you order it, meaning you can customize it and chose any level of spiciness (Bwog wasn’t feeling too courageous so we went for medium). With regards to their chips, they are saltier than Taqueria’s but are so thin they are bound to disappoint those of you who try to heavy-load your chips (a few of Bwog’s chips snapped in the guac, but not the Matzo crackers–that stuff is sturdy like a brick). All in all, it is definitely worth the money as the guac not only tastes and feels the best (and probably has the best quality ingredients), but also because the small side salsa that automatically comes with the chips is AMAZING.

Rating: 4.8/5
Pros: Customizability, freshness, perfect combination of ingredients, comes with salsa, Amigos ambiance
Cons: Most expensive

Read on for ever more deliciousness.