SGA: No But Really, Barnard Cares About Your Health
"Alternative milk sampling"

“Alternative milk sampling”

As the school year starts to wind-down (but more like wind-up, amirite???), we all need to take a little time to think about our health. Lucky for all of us, Monday’s SGA meeting was dedicated to discussing what Barnard does (and doesn’t do) to promote health on campus. Barnard Bearoness Lauren Beltrone reports.

The meeting featured the trifecta of Barnard health administrators: Jessica Cannon, Well Woman Program Director, Mary Joan Murphy, Executive Director of Student Health and Wellness Programs, and Mary Commerford, Counseling Center Director. Cannon was the first of the trifecta to speak, filling us in on all the cool stuff Well Woman does. If you still haven’t hung out at Well Woman office hours or attended a program, you should seriously go. Well Woman offers all kinds of programs (yoga, non-competitive running, alternative milk sampling…) and is obligated to give you chocolate and tea when you enter the office.

Murphy brought up Barnard’s Primary Care Health Service, announcing that BPCHS is working to offer in-clinic IUD insertions thanks to the Affordable Care Act. Currently, students have to get the IUD inserted off-campus by a Barnard-approved practitioner. If all goes well, the new IUD system will be up and running by this coming fall. Murphy also addressed BPCHS’s letter to the editor written in response to the op-ed by Paulina Pinsky, BC ’16. According to Murphy, weight (along with dozens of other factors like family history, blood pressure, and heart rate) is an important health metric. She went on to reiterate that weight plays a part in determining the efficacy of a medication, including birth control. For that reason, BPSCH is required to record a student’s height and weight. If you don’t want to know your weight, just say it, recommends Murphy.

Commerford, the Counseling Center Director, addressed concerns about the low level of satisfaction with mental health services on Columbia’s first-ever University-wide Quality of Life (QoL) Survey. Alluding to her own skepticism in regards to the survey, Commerford recommended taking Furman’s questionnaire offered at the Furman Counseling Center.

The meeting ended with a quick pitch by Francine Kershaw, GSAS ’15, and Katharine Celentano, GS ’17, from the Columbia University Family Support Network. The two reps discussed the group’s proposal to provide undergrad students with children the same benefits as parents at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Following in CCSC and GSSC’s footsteps, SGA approved the proposal. Finally, expecting Barnard mothers will receive enough funding to send their children to the Center for Toddler Development!

Girl drinks milk or yogurt in glass cups and gesticulating with the eyes as it is tasty via Shutterstock.

Columbia Ends Sexual Violence By Baking A Cake
If it were only so simple.

Miniature version of the cake: a cupcake.

Bwog reader Chelsea Carrick submitted the following essay to us in what we find to be an incredibly timely response to recent events

New York, NY—Administrators responded to students’ requests for increased transparency and improved policies surrounding sexual violence at Columbia University by baking a cake. The cake, red velvet, was tastefully decorated with fondant roses and writing stating “Sexual Violence Prevention” in elegantly scrawled red cursive letters.

Terry Martinez, Dean of Student Affairs, told students Tuesday upon the presentation of the cake in Ferris Booth Dining Hall, “I think we heard you. I think what this cake is saying is that we heard you. We heard you.”

Students were initially frustrated by the lack of progress being made by administrators, but students and faculty alike seem to think that this cake is a step in the right direction. Carmen Velazquez, a Columbia student, told reporters, “It looks like we can have our cake and eat it, too. I asked for the slice with one of the red roses and my friend asked for the T from the word assault. Not to mention I feel totally safe now.”

We were able to reach President Bollinger for comment while he was out canoodling with the students (as he is known to do) on the steps right outside of his office in Low Library. “I would have made the cake myself if my schedule wasn’t so overburdened. This cake addresses all of the students’ demands. What have they been asking for? Sexual violence prevention. What did we give them? Sexual violence prevention. Written on cake. Excuse me while I go run a quick 5K in the park with some of my undergraduate pals over here.”

Let’s discuss that cake, though.

Group Files Title IX And Other Complaints Against Columbia

no red tape
It’s been a busy few months for the topic of sexual assault at Columbia. There have been protests and controversial responses, New York Post articles and Blue and White articles, one town hall and another town hall, and the significant use of our tag “sexual assault.”

The latest development: a group of 23 students under the name of “Our Stories CUis filing Title IX, Title II, and Clery complaints against Columbia University for its handling of sexual assault on campus. On April 3, the same thing happened at Harvard. The press release below notes: “students allege that the university has failed to comply with federal laws to ensure equal access to education, respond adequately to reports of sexual assault, and provide accommodations based on disability status.”

Examples of the violations claimed by the group in their 100+ page complaint include allowing perpetrators found guilty to remain on campus, showing hostility to victims based on gender identity, and deterring a student placed on academic and disciplinary probation—allegedly for being a “mental health liability”—from receiving mental health services.

The press release continues that “Columbia is more willing to silence and punish survivors and their supporters than serial rapists.” Read the full text below the jump.

Update: Bwog also received a tip about a Title IX Teach-In today at 4 PM in 754 Schermerhorn Extension: “If you want to know more about Title IX, come to a teach-in TODAY with Annie Clark (End Rape on Campus), Elischia Fludd (a sexual assault policy advocate), Dana Bolger (Know Your IX), and Christina Brandt-Young (Legal Momentum).”

The release after the jump.

Bwoglines: Stop The Presses! Edition
Not so fast...

Not so fast…

Fleet Foxes is still on hiatus, guys. Just give the kids some time to tend to their Columbia education. (Pitchfork)

We don’t know about you, but we’re Ready for (Grandma) Hillary. (The Washington Post)

The Folk Art Museum’s destruction is the MoMA’s pet preservation project. (The New York Times)

The Supreme Court recently upheld Michigan’s ban on affirmative action. What does this mean now? (Politico)

And lastly, let’s take a moment for a #tbt – throwing back to the days when Speccies could rely on consistent publication. (Bwog)

Print journalism, oh my! via Shutterstock.

Spec Goes Mostly Digital


fbv807: “Abby, Michael, and Steven announcing the exciting next phase of @columbiaspec at an all-staff meeting: it will be the first Ivy paper to drop its print edition in favor of a web-first journalism reality. Paper will print weekly starting fall 2014.”

Spec is currently holding a huge meeting in its office. According to a tweet from Finn Vigeland, former managing editor of Spec, and other sources, the Columbia Daily Spectator will be daily no more—it’s dropping down to one weekly print issue in the fall of 2014, and the Eye will become an online magazine. An encouraging quote from the editor at the meeting: “We will be even more daily”

Peter Sterne’s article in Capital notes that it will be published every Thursday. It continues:

Abrams said the move was not forced by the paper’s current finances, but rather driven by the desire to “make the decision while Spectator is still in a strong place.”

“This is not something that we have to do,” she said. “It’s a choice.”

Furthermore, Jill Colvin, Senior Political Reporter at The New York Observer commented on the major decision:

But is it final? Has it fallen? Read more updates after the jump.

Dining Hall Reviews, Core-Style

If the Core has taught us anything, it’s the universal applicability of the texts we so dedicatedly devote our lives to. Every fleeting, ephemeral moment of everyday life is in fact a manifestation of the ideas, ideals, and ideologies the Core inspires us to study. Accordingly, what better reflection of these minuscule microcosms of Beauty and Truth than Yelp reviews of  that hallmark of campus life, dining halls? Here we bring you your daily eating experience, courtesy of Homer, Dante, Darwin, and Plath.

Homer reviews John Jay

Homer reviews John Jay Dining Hall

Dante reviews Ferris

Dante reviews Ferris Booth Darwin and Sylvia Plath after the jump.

Gillian Lester To Be New Law School Dean

facultyPhoto2.phpIn a press release this afternoon, PrezBo announced the next dean of the Law School, Gillian Lester. Lester presently serves as the acting dean of Berkeley Law and will “bring accomplished scholarship, admired teaching and first-hand academic leadership experience at a great peer institution to her new role at Columbia.”

Lester’s work has dealt primarily with employment law and policy. She’s earned degrees from Stanford and University of Toronto, and she’s also taught at Harvard, Georgetown, USC, and UChicago.

Said Lester, “I’m honored to take on the leadership of Columbia Law School at this pivotal time. I’m looking forward to working with its distinguished faculty, talented students and accomplished alumni.”

Dean Lester via Berkeley Law

Let Them Eat Cake

God only knows Ferris can grow stale in its weekly cycle of a menu. We know. We have the dining app and tear up a little every time we refresh the menu. But today, in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, they’ve decided to live it up while they can and have given us this little gem. Dig in!

Update (6:25 PM): Statement from Vicki Dunn, Executive Director of Columbia Dining:

Columbia Dining supports Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Denim Day NYC (April 23). Today, when many employees are wearing their Denim Day pins, some members of the Dining staff wanted to also show recognition of the initiative. The cake was a well-meant, but inappropriate gesture by an employee in recognition of this important cause. The cake was removed almost immediately. We believe sexual violence is a serious issue not to be taken lightly in any form.


Downright gruesome (and sickly sweet to boot) dessert via Anna Bahr

Where Art Thou?
A whole new interpretation of "home stretch"

A whole new interpretation of “home stretch”

You’re in the home stretch. Stick it out; you’re almost there! Motivate yourself to actually write that paper due last week with this week’s cultural campus offerings, courtesy of achingly artsy Arts Editor Madysen Luebke.

All Weekend:

  • Black Theater Ensemble and CMTS have teamed up to bring Passing Strange to Columbia!  You can see this rock musical Thursday, Friday, or Saturday at 8 pm in the Glicker-Milstein Theatre for only $5 with CUID.
  • The Barnard Dances at Miller are back and better than ever!  This semester will feature works by Twyla Tharp, Robert LaFosse, and a restaging of a Martha Graham piece!  Catch it in Miller Theatre Friday and Saturday at 7 pm or Saturday at 2 pm for only $12 with CUID.
  • The Tempest
  • It’s that time of year again when Senior theater majors need to direct play for the thesis!  You can catch Alejandra Duque’s production of Fear and Misery of the Third Reich in the Minor Latham Playhouse Thursday at 7 pm, Friday at 8 Pm or Saturday at 4 pm, all for free.
  • Another senior thesis play is Far Away, directed by Lilla Goettler. You can find it in the Minor Latham Playhouse Thursday at 8 pm, Friday at 9 pm or Saturday at 7 pm, all for free.
  • But wait!  There’s another senior thesis play in the Minor Latham Theater!  This one is called Hamletmachine and is directed by Naomi Boyce.  Show times are Thursday at 9 pm and Saturday at either 2 pm or 8 pm.  Again, still free.
  • The Final senior thesis show is The Love of Don Perlimplin and Belissa in the Garden directed by Alexis Wilcock.  It’ll run in the Minor Latham Playhouse Friday at 7 pm or Saturday at 3 pm and 9 pm.  For Free.
  • Columbia School of the Arts presents Cafe, a new play by Raquel Almazan.  Catch is in the Schapiro Theater Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:30 pm and Saturday at 2 pm.  Tickets are free with reservation.
  • Catch some end-of-the-year Jazz with the Columbia Jazz Ensembles end of the year concerts!  They’ll be held in the UTS social hall Saturday at 7 pm and Sunday at 2 pm.  Both shows are free.

Gimme gimme more

What Matters To YOU?
Post-420 woes

Post-420 woes at Columbia

Maybe you’ve seen the enigmatic flyers around campus urging you to text some number to “find out what Columbia is really talking about.”  Bwog did and was intrigued by the app behind the posters, Matter, which offers its users an anonymous environment to share their thoughts and to read the thoughts of others.  We set up a long-distance interview with one of its founders, Ben Sigelman, who gave us his insights on Matter, Internet anonymity, social media, and human relationships.

Bwog: What, in your own words, is Matter?

Sigelman: It’s a place where people can feel completely comfortable being completely candid.  There’s a lot of places online right now where you can be anonymous, and that’s definitely important I think, but it’s sort of necessary but not sufficient to be comfortable being candid.  I think oftentimes anonymous places are also not very safe places.  Even if your identity isn’t associated with what you post, you’re still kind of vulnerable to people being abusive, and I think with Matter what we’re trying to do is take all of the ingredients that are necessary to make people, you know, comfortable sharing something, which certainly includes, but is not limited to, being anonymous… So the goal with Matter is to allow people to totally find an antidote to what I think is presently happening in most of social media—which is fine—but it’s a very different experience where it’s more focused on creating a personal brand for yourself, which is the opposite of being candid I think.  I have no problem with it, but it’s not real.  I think the pressure of maintaining an identity online is starting to wear on people and I think Matter is a reaction to that, or at least for me it is.

B: What role do you see Matter playing, or what do you think the benefits are of having it on a college campus or in a setting like Columbia?

S: One of the things about colleges that I think is so important is that, to me, if I know someone went to my college, I immediately feel like I can identify with them.  [Matter is] partly about sharing your experiences, for sure, but it’s also partly about reading the experiences of people that you can identify with.  And if someone’s having boyfriend or girlfriend troubles or something like that, and you don’t know who they are: that’s one thing.  But if they’re at your school and you might be passing them on the street, I feel like that becomes a lot more compelling.  So [Matter] becomes a place where you can potentially, you know, raise things that are of interest to your immediate community, instead of just to humanity in general, which is a very broad target.

What is the ultimate goal of matter? Click to read Ben’s answer.

Bwoglines: Lots Of Feelings Edition
Would u watch this movie? y or n: comment plz

Would u watch this movie? y or n: comment plz

You thought the only controversial ramps around here were in Lerner? Silly you. Apparently they’re also a type of onion, and people have weird amounts of feelings about them. Here are some dishes around town that feature the feisty little buggers. (Grubstreet)

Peeps: you eat them once a year and promptly forget everything about their existence. Well, Adam Rifkin (made Underdog, irony or nah?) wants to bring these bad boys back to your consciousness via “family epic.” (Vulture)

The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that an anonymous phone tip is enough to warrant a police search. Predictably (and rightfully, we’d say), people are mad. (NPR)

Also Supreme Court: in a 6-2 split, the court endorsed anti-affirmative action legislation in Michigan. Said Kennedy, who voted with the majority, “This case is not about how the debate about racial preferences should be resolved. It is about who may resolve it.” (NY Times)

We love us some Avril, but her new video “Hello Kitty” features a little too much cultural appropriation to go down smoothly. Damn, we’ll still always have a soft spot for her though. (Youtube)

Bwog’s seen some pretty shitty movies but this one takes the (cup)cake via Shutterstock

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 ever 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.



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



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?