Catfish Comes To Columbia

Bwog Video, aka B-Roll Productions, is at it again, and this time they’re delving into the colourful world of reality television. 

If you like to spend your free time photoshopping Channing Tatum into photos of the Catalogue Room, email us at video@bwog.com

In Passing: Reflections On Visibility From A Transgender Man
Illustration by Alexander Pines, CC '16

Illustration by Alexander Pines, CC ’16

Continuing to honor our Athena-like relationship with our mother mag, The Blue and White, we’re rolling out a preview from the upcoming fall issue, hopefully available in wonderful blue print on campus next week. On the cover this issue,  former Bwog features editor and B&W senior editor Alexander Pines, CC ’16, wrote a sequel to his piece about identity and transness from last year

“Do you have blood in your semen?”

This question, the last in a long line posed by my doctor at Columbia Health Services, was what made me realize why no one believed me about my UTI symptoms; everyone from the lady at the reception desk to the two dubious nurses to the doctor assumed that I had a penis. I don’t. Awkward.

“I’m trans,” I said.

He blinked.

So this is what passing really means, I thought. “I still have a vagina,” I said.

“Oh! Then you could definitely have a UTI! You just looked, well, like someone…” he said, trailing off and muttering about getting a urine sample.

Who ought to pee standing up? I finished for him, wishing at that moment that I could, in fact, pee standing up. It would’ve made taking that urine sample a lot easier.

Most of the time, I pass as a cisgender (non-trans) man and my transness is something I am not forced to think about. Moments like this remind me that for most people, trans identities—and, by extension, experiences—don’t exist. In this case, by the time I received treatment for the UTI, it had already progressed into a full-blown kidney infection.

Passing, in the trans sense of the word, is being constantly read as the gender I identify with—in clothing stores, restaurants, airports, bathrooms (always vital in bathrooms), and so on. Most don’t see the needles, the pools of blood that form on my thigh when I mess up a shot, the oily residue I later wash off my hands in the bathroom, the vial of amber liquid, hormones, I keep next to my birth certificate and the social security card on my desk.

Before I came out as trans, I used to jokingly call myself a “hundred footer”—you could clock my queerness from across a room. Short hair, Ani Difranco tee shirt, the works. In other words, I was used to being visible. Once my gender presentation became more intentionally male, this visibility became an anxiety that twisted in my stomach throughout my day—cashiers, security guards, and professors all fumbled for pronouns and stared. Now, I look like any other white guy on line at Starbucks.

His continued genderfeels.

Bwog’s Declassified Butler Survival Guide: Displacing The Camper
Not the kind of camping we're talking about here

Not the kind of camping we’re talking about here

It’s midterms season, and you know what that means—Butler is full of  backpacks, books, and Blue Java coffee cups. Why? Because the students to whom those items belong are going to class whilst occupying an empty seat you so desperately need. Brave Butlerites Robert Sheardown and Claire Friedman tell you how to deal with the infamous Butler Camper. 

Picture this: you walk into Butler late on a Sunday night with a paper that needs to be done for a Monday morning class. Your bag weighs roughly one thousand pounds, and you’re not totally sure why you spent last night watching Netflix instead of working. The security guard starts to give you shit for the five coffees you’re carrying, but stops when he sees how utterly dejected you are.

You make your way up to the reading room only to find out that you are far from alone in your procrastination; the room is packed with people and the air is stale with a deathly BO-desperation combo. You move on to the next room and then the next, but, like a bad horror movie, each room is completely packed—or so it would seem. Many of the desks are occupied not by actual human beings, but by depressingly large stacks of books, even more depressing snack food wrappers, or artfully arranged coats and backpacks. You, brave traveler, have stumbled upon the infamous Butler Camper (scientific name: Butlericus Campericus).

You swallow your rage-sadness and decide that enough is enough; you’ve passed the same pile of books twice in the past 30 minutes and you’re 80% sure nobody is actually sitting there. Still, you cannot summon the courage to make a move. You wait because maybe they’re in the bathroom, running to pick up food, or crying in a nearby stairwell. After fifteen minutes later, you begin to suspect something much more malicious at work; maybe they’re talking with a friend, cackling at the seatless masses roaming Butler. Perhaps they’re making an extended run to Chipotle, or playing a cruel trick on you personally. Almost involuntarily, you start forward. Still, you wonder: am I doing the right thing?

Yes. Today is a day for justice—displace the camper. Feel no guilt as you sweep their detritus to the side. Instead, feel vindicated as you toss away abandoned books (probably not even being read anyway) and claim the territory as your own.

Displacing a camper takes courage. Here are some tips on how to successfully fight the Butler Camper scourge:

  • Wear horse-blinders to avoid catching shade from those sitting in the same area.
  • Bring rubber gloves, in case you have to pick up something gross in your displacement efforts (i.e. a used tissue or an apple core).
  • Put in headphones, even if you’re not listening to music, to throw off the perfect unapproachable vibe.
  • Prepare a sharply whispered argument in case your camper comes back. Examples might include variations on “sucks to suck” and “finder’s keeper’s.”

Camping, but in a much darker and less beautiful place via Shutterstock

Bwoglines: College In The City Edition
Attending a university in the City of New York

When you attend a university *in the City of New York*

Desperate for an escape from midterms? Try faking a coma for two years like this guy did. (Gawker)

Taylor Swift wrote an ode to New York for her new album, and it’s not great. (Gothamist)

The war on smoking continues! It may cost more for you to fill your prescription at a pharmacy where they also sell cigarettes. (Huffington Post)

Is there something you wish you could say to your roommate (you know we have plenty)? Watch these college roommates tell each other what’s on their minds. (The Cut)

Check out this interview with “Superwoman” DSpar. (Refinery 29)

 

~Opportunities in the city~ via Shutterstock

UNI Was A Jolly Good Café
In UNI we trust

A terrible angle for a terrible loss.

The rumors are true: UNI Café is shut down. When attempting to get our daily udon soup and large sugar cookie, Bwog was confronted with dark windows, an eviction notice, and hopeless despair. To remember our most honored Columbia hangout, UNI enthusiast Josh Dillon composed this heartbreaking eulogy.

Note: this is best read with tissues and boxed wine (preferably white as it induces hangovers and general unhappiness).

“I still find it difficult to believe that you are really gone. It felt like it was only yesterday that you were branded UNI Café after the previous café, Pinnacle, was shut down. Life isn’t going to be easy without you, but thanks to all of your coffee and late-night pizza, I know that I at least got one A in college.”

“As most of you already know, my friend UNI was a hard worker. Whenever I would roll out of bed five minutes before class, UNI already had my bagel order ready, probably because I was the only person who ate there—this is something I cannot thank it enough for.”

“Although it is gone, I’m sure that UNI will never be forgotten. UNI was a loyal friend and colleague who only wanted to be quirky and interesting.”

“One of the most precious memories that I’ll remember forever of UNI Café is that time that it was shut down. Your “B” health rating and rat infestation were the only reasons why you weren’t always crowded with students. I love you for that.”

“Cafés like my UNI Café don’t come around often. As I said before, it’s difficult to believe that you’re gone. Not a day is going to go by that I won’t think of you. So until the next café springs up in your spot, I love you.”

Legal possession

HeForShe At Columbia
emma-watson-he-for-she-speech-1

Preach it, Em

Her Campus Barnard is bringing a new wave of feminism to Columbia and Barnard, encouraging men to get in on the action of gender equality. Inquisitive investigator Lili Brown met with the brass of Her Campus Barnard to discuss the recent movement and its role on campus. 

Her Campus Barnard yesterday morning released a photo campaign on their website to encourage the Columbia/Barnard community to join the HeForShe movement. If you aren’t familiar with the latest pro-feminism movement, you clearly aren’t following almost-Columbia student Emma Watson as much as you should be; Watson’s speech on behalf of the campaign at the UN in late September brought HeForShe to the limelight.

HeForShe, a global organization that is part of the umbrella UN Women organization, invites men to support the idea that gender inequality is a global issue by participating in grassroots Internet activism. With the photo campaign, Her Campus Barnard strives to “share this message with the Columbia and Barnard community both to encourage a positive dialogue and show that there are men on this campus who are committed to inspiring change.”

To get some more insight on the motivations and goals for the publication bringing HeForShe to our campus, Bwog reached out to Rachel Bernstein and Tali Weisner, Editors-in-Chief of Her Campus Barnard.

Bwog: How did the males you photographed get involved? Did you approach them, or was there a more open mode of contact?

Her Campus Barnard: We reached out to them. Initially, we wanted to target fraternities and athletic teams in particular – groups that are typically considered “unfeminist.” We wanted to showcase the men in these communities who are dedicated to inspiring change. Ultimately, our reach extended beyond those communities, to other campus organizations like SHARP, and men who aren’t athletes, or members of greek life, because the campaign does and should go beyond that.

Bwog: What’s your intended time-goal with the campaign – as in, is this a stepping stone to become a larger, long-term association or cause, or is it geared towards a temporary awareness project?

HCB: We of course intend to extend the reach of this campaign as far as possible. We don’t consider it a stepping stone so much as an attempt to open up a dialogue on campus and do it in a public forum that is conducive to a campus-wide movement. By inviting other male students to join the movement and publicly show their solidarity, we think this campaign will extend beyond its temporary virality.

Explain the photo campaign for us please

Jack And Eliza Are Columbia’s Hottest New Act

Playing music and such

A few moons ago, resident music critic Anna Hotter made the trek to Williamsburg to check out Columbia and NYU duo Jack and Eliza. After coming to terms with her own lack of artistic accomplishment, she is now finally ready to report from the field.

When someone told me about a “really successful indie-rock band” on campus called Jack & Eliza, I was skeptical. It’s never easy to hear about other peoples’ success. Especially at Columbia. Especially when your idea of a great accomplishment is doing laundry before you run out of underwear. Intrigued and mildly irked, I looked them up online, only to find with great horror that Eliza Callahan, CC’17 and Jack Staffen, NYU’17 weren’t only every bit as celebrated as my friend promised, but also a whole year younger than me.

Two weeks ago, they played a show at Baby’s All Right in Williamsburg, and so, equipped with my MetroCard, a friend, and an unbecoming bitterness, I boarded the M train.

The venue hilariously describes itself as a “hip music venue with elevated pub grub,” but once you get past the Brooklyn-ness of it all, and the exceptionally friendly bouncer, it’s actually very nice. The drinks menu boasts an “illegal mescal” cocktail called the “Ai Weiwei,” which my friend and I felt very plainly pandered to our demographic. It almost worked, until we realized that neither of us wanted to shell out $11 for a drink named after a political activist. You’re mostly paying for the name.

Sweet melodies and more on their live performance after the jump.

Weekend Sports Wrap: Tennis Regionals Pit Lions Against Lions
look that's us maybe

US Open or Lions tennis?

In another edition of Weekend Sports Wrap, tennis titan Ross Chapman brings you the scoop on Columbia’s performance in the regional tournaments and other sporting news, like what our awesome field hockey team is doing. 

The Columbia men’s tennis team stamped their domination of the northeast into the record books this weekend. Six Lions reached the round of 16, four reached the quarterfinals, and three reached the semifinal round. And after Winston Lin defeated Dorydas Sakinis of Dartmouth in two sets in his semifinal match, CU guaranteed a Lion vs. Lion final match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, home of the US Open in Flushing Meadows, NY.

Meanwhile, the women up in New Haven placed three players into the quarterfinals, marking the first time the women’s team has ever achieved the feat. While none of the three advanced to the semis, the women, like the men, also earned recognition for their doubles victories at the ITA Northeast Regional tournaments, with Kanika Vaidya and Rima Asatrian representing Columbia in the doubles finals.

While the current tennis information infrastructure still makes this information hard to find—Bwog had to first discover Lin’s semifinal victory through a Dartmouth Twitter account—we’ve figured just about everything out by now. Ashok Narayana (who defeated Mike Vermeer, another Lion, in the quarters) and Dragos Ignat faced each other in the semifinal on the other side of the bracket from Lin, and Narayana came away with a win. Max Schnur and Eric Rubin also made it into the round of 16 in the main draw. Narayana and Schnur participated in doubles competition, but fell in the semifinals. Basically, a record-breaking number of Lions are running around Flushing Meadows. Rima Asatrian, Tina Jiang, and Kanika Vaidya (first-year, sophomore, and junior respectively) were the women who appeared in the singles main draw in New Haven, while Asatrian and Vaidya teamed up to reach the finals of the doubles draw. They will battle a Yale team for the championship.

These huge performances put Columbia in great position as it heads to Orlando during our election day break for the ESPN/Florida State Invitational. The team should have no doubts that it can perform at the highest level, even after a sub-par performance at the ITA All-Americans two weeks ago. We’ll update this post once the Northeast Regionals have finished for good with the final podium results.

Edit (2:41 PM): Winston Lin defeated Ashok Narayana in the finals 7-6, 6-3 and earned an automatic bid to the USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships, and Rima Asatrian and Kanika Vaidya defeated Yale’s Hanna Yu and Ree Ree Li 6-2, 6-2 to claim the doubles title!

Wins, losses, and some things in between after the jump

Live at Lerner: Tim Miller
Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 10.43.15 AM

Today’s performance

Live at Lerner is back today for lunch and music, but they’re throwing you a curveball: the event today will be held in Lerner 555, not the usual Piano Lounge. If you’re wondering what could possibly inspire you to climb those extra flights of stairs, prepare to have your socks knocked off by today’s performer: Tim Miller, a queer solo performance artist who had his NEA grant revoked following pressure from conservative Congress members who claimed his work was “obscene.”

Prepare to be moved. Soup and salad will be on the menu.

Kickass flyer via Live at Lerner

Bwoglines: “That’s Crazy, Bro” Edition

He’s literally screaming “That’s crazy, bro!”

Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, a professor at Columbia’s Mailman School of Health, said about a group undergraduates who created a protective suit for Ebola patients as part of Lipkin’s design challenge, “But the undergraduates! People talk about ennui and apathy in undergraduates? I don’t see it. They came up with some fantastic stuff.” More succinctly, Columbia undergrads are crazy smart, bro. (The New Yorker)

Oscar-winning fashion designer Oscar de la Renta died at 82 yesterday, only a month after designing newly-wed Amal Clooney’s wedding dress. The designer also fashioned Jacqueline Kennedy a few elegant outfits. That’s crazy sad, bro. (USA Today)

The World Series starts tonight with the San Francisco Giants visiting the Kansas City Royals, who haven’t won, or even been to, the Fall Classic in 29 years, yet enter it having won the minimum seven games needed to reach the Series in the first place. That’s royally crazy, bro. (ESPN)

Apparently, the Orionid meteor shower peaked last night early this morning, with the rocky remnants from Halley’s Comet zipping through space at a pace of 3-4 per minute. That’s cosmic crazy, bro. (Huffington Post)

How is that even possible? via Shutterstock

A Note On Change

To the members of the Columbia community,

We owe you an apology.

This Saturday we received a tip regarding a “strategy document” that had been circulated to leaders of many Columbia student organizations. It was our understanding that the names included in the document were on the public record. Students who spoke at the Town Hall were instructed to speak their names and affiliations on the recorded microphone; the transcript of this recording will be released by Columbia shortly. However, it was brought to our attention by multiple student activists that there were individuals named in the document who did not speak on the public record at the Town Hall.

Due to a miscommunication, the post went up before we were able to confirm that all of the individuals listed in the document had their names on the public record. When we became aware that several students in the document had not spoken at the Town Hall, we immediately redacted all of the names of student activists in the post in the interest of protecting their safety and privacy.

Bwog exists, first and foremost, to serve the students on this campus and to provide a forum for safe, open discussion. In this instance, we have failed to live up to those responsibilities.

When Bwog was founded in 2006, it was primarily a source for stories that warranted immediate attention, such as free food alerts and breaking news. As our readership grew, we evolved into a preeminent independent source of student news and information. After the events of this weekend, we are reevaluating our responsibilities to the Columbia community and we would like all of you, our readers, to be involved in that process.

We would like to actively change what information is posted on Bwog, the factors that inform such decisions, and how we present that information to you. We will be meeting personally with many of the student activists who were most affected by this weekend’s events in order to get their input. In addition, we invite any student who wishes to contribute to the redefining of Bwog to send an email at editor@bwog.com, or to attend our open forum next Sunday, October 26th, from 8-9pm in the Lerner SGO.

We deeply regret the events of the past few days, but embrace the opportunity to look critically at ourselves and reaffirm our commitment to our readers. We look forward to beginning what we feel is a necessary process in ensuring that Bwog has a role in the Columbia community.

Respectfully,
Julia Goodman, Editor-in-Chief
Claire Friedman, Managing Editor
Maud Rozee, Internal Editor
Jake Hershman, Publisher

Field Notes: Unmet Expectations Edition
IMG_2455

Looks fun from up here

This weekend was in the wake of midterm season – and what did we do to work off some steam? Columbia falsely answered our prayers and decided to host a festival full of inflatable obstacle courses and balloons on College Walk for…children. So we were forced to put our middle finger dismay away and wind down elsewhere. Bwog always wants to know what/where you’ve been over the weekend, so send your next weekend grind on over to tips@bwog.com. 

CU is for kids

  • “I wanted access to the moonbounce and I was denied :(“
  • “I thought the kids’ field day was homecoming…?”
  • “I thought it was Fall Bacchanal.”

Finding fun elsewhere:

  • “My roommate did not trash my room while I was gone for the weekend… This is a huge step forward in our relationship. Success.”
  • “My ex came to visit saturday night, but luckily (?) I was too busy vomiting to engage in any behavior that I would probably later regret :/”
  • “A friend forced me into McDonald’s for the first time in what has been a really long time to eat shitty mozzarella sticks.”
  • “I joined a co-op and received 40 pounds’ worth of bananas for $10. I’ve never been so elated.”
  • “I found three unattended drinks at 1020 and drank one of them because I love to gamble with my life apparently.”

Kickass aerial shot courtesy of Anna Hotter

Midterms Monday In Emojis

If your midterm is in five minutes, if you forgot how to read full sentences, if you never even ordered the Lit Hum books, don’t panic – say hello to your new best studying companion. Here for your enjoyment/minor alleviating of midterms anxiety are full summaries of the Lit Hum books covered on the upcoming midterm in trendiest translation yet: emoji. We all know that emojis are there for us when words just can’t do us justice, and now they’re there for you when you cannot read one more list of ancient Greek ships.

 

Alma Mater And The Chamber Of Clandestine Secrets
Can you spot the entrance?

Can you spot the entrance?

Tunnel Explorer and Potions Master Britt Fossum thought she had what it took to be the heir of Slytherin. She quickly realized her mistake.

Every Columbia student knows the legend of the owl nestled among Alma Mater’s robes, who will bless the first student in each year to find it with the title Valedictorian. But only a select few are party to the greater secret hidden in that statue’s beneficent smile. She sits in front of Low Library, and directly on top of the entrance to the biggest secret at this school.

Long ago, the builders of Columbia were not the most generous of men and wished to only admit pure-blood wizards legacy students. They shook their fists at the construction of Butler Library, which threatened the status quo with stacks upon stacks of new liberal books and frowned at the slightest alteration of the Core Curriculum. So they took it upon themselves to lace the bowels of the school with dozens of tunnels, allowing them to keep an eye on the organization of student protesters and sneak out of important meetings. Some say these tunnels even link up to the President’s House on Morningside Drive and Low Library, and that late at night, the eyes of the administrators glare eerily out from chinks in the wall and bathroom pipes.

The key to unlocking more secrets is clicking on this jump…!

At CCSC Meeting, Andrew Ren Presents Plan For College Days
Pool party on College Walk!

Pool party on College Walk!

Even as midterms loom, CCSC champ Joe Milholland dutifully reports on last night’s CCSC meeting.

“I know I’ve got work, but College Days is happening; I can’t miss it,” said CCSC VP of Campus Life Andrew Ren of how he hoped students would react to events at College Days, which he gave a presentation about at Sunday Night’s Columbia College Student Council meeting. College Days is a week-long celebration (from Sunday March 29 to Saturday April 4) of Columbia College and its core curriculum. Ren’s goals are for College Days to be “a single, unified publicity front for the week leading up to Bacchanal” and to be fun. Much of it is still in the works, but Ren shared a broad outline for what he wants at College Days.

Sunday will be Lit Hum day, where Deantini and several prominent CC alumni will give talks. Monday will be Contemporary Civilization day to recognize Columbia’s community service and political activism. CCSC will be partnering with Community Impact, for community service, and CU Dems, CUCR, and Veritas for the political side of things. There will also be a panel with professors. Tuesday, Art Hum day, will focus on “Art of Columbia and around NYC.” Wednesday, Music Hum day, will have musical performances, and possibly a cappellas singing at the sundial between classes. Thursday, the Global Core/Science day, will feature partnerships with multicultural and science/engineering groups. On Friday, the Swim Test day, RC@C will give a presentation to “promote safe, smart, responsible behavior” at Bacchanal. There may also be a pool party. Saturday is Bacchanal.

College Days for days after the jump!