Too Good To Be True? Columbia Maker Space Opens Its Doors, Checkbook
maker space 1

~get creative~

Feeling crafty? Have you thought of a cool way to pimp your dorm room (pipe cleaners!!!!)? Bwogger Henry Litwhiler takes us to the newly opened Maker Space to talk about the innovative opportunities that are now available.

For those currently harboring detailed blueprints for an erotic tea set under their floorboards, Columbia has launched a surprisingly generous initiative to make those and other friendship-straining dreams come true. Called the Columbia Maker Space, the new workshop is situated on the 12th floor of Mudd and features a wide array of equipment and materials for all manner of projects. The room features two large and two small 3D printers, a drill press, three rather high-tech sewing machines, an assortment of power and woodworking tools, a soldering bench, a vinyl cutter, and a bike station. A laser cutter is expected to arrive soon.

With the blessing of Dean Boyce and under the advisement of Professor John Kymissis, the Space has opened its doors to students at CC and SEAS, regardless of major. When asked about a certain affiliated women’s college, Professor Kymissis said that the organizers were “working on Barnard” and that “nobody’s really sure.” One organizer indicated that the Maker Space has been “hesitant” to open itself up to graduate students for fear that they’d overrun the place for research.


Bwoglines: Innovation And Addiction Edition
Controllin dat cell phone consumption

Controllin’ dat cell phone consumption

There’s a new app that will tell you how many times you check your phone throughout the day. (We weren’t on Tinder–we promise!) (Gawker)

According to a national survey on drug use, American teens are apparently using drugs less and less often…really?? (Washington Post)

There’s a proposed high-speed gondola (called the East River Skyway) that would connect Manhattan to parts of Brooklyn and the Bronx. It’s said to be safer, greener, and prettier!!! (Gothamist)

From the night of the Benghazi attacks on September 11, 2012 to early May of this year, Fox News aired 1,098 segments covering it. Additionally, when Fox was interviewing members of Congress, they asked Republicans about the attacks 144 different times, while only doing so five times with Democrats. (Huffington Post)

This guy paid $65 for a jug of Starbucks Pumpkin Spice syrup and put it on basically everything he ate. (Grub Street)

Image via Shutterstock

Clued In At The Call Center
Following the money.

Following the money.

A few weeks ago, we at Bwog received an interesting and moderately disturbing tip about the Columbia Calling Center, a fairly popular place for first years to work to earn a little bit of extra money:

“Could you investigate what’s going on with the columbia calling center? There’s this thread on b@b that’s talking about this columbia-run calling center that has students ask alums for money. The entire thread is here:

The post that got my attention was this one: ‘the callers are majority poor african american students, at least when i was there. many of them would not be able to pay for tuition without the job. to make matters worse, alums on the phone tended to respond better to my phone habits/diction/tone/general phone presence, so i easily got more donations and was praised by their supervisor. it made me feel shitty and out of my element, especially since i was basically just there for beer money.’”

We knew it was our duty to investigate these allegations and ensure that no scandal was overlooked nor false rumor propagated. The Columbia Calling Center, located on 113th street, advertises itself (as places looking to attract employees are wont to do) as a “fun, student friendly atmosphere” and a “meaningful and worthwhile cause.” Much more appealing to the students who apply, however, is the advertised pay of $12.75 an hour. One of our anonymous interviewees described his job as “I make calls to alumni attempting to get them to donate to our annual fund, mostly for financial aid and scholarships.” It is a necessary job, even if it is somewhat uncomfortable to ask strangers for money. With a basic understanding of the structure and function of the Calling Center, we began to ask about the workplace environment.

One friend of Bwog gave an account of life at the calling center over the Internet which corroborated some of the claims from the anonymous tip: “I heard they used to make people stand up if they didn’t get alums to donate but they stopped doing that once I joined… If anything the alums were just pretty bad and would sometimes say racist things or hate on Columbia.”

Read on for the rest of what we heard.

WTF Columbia: Package Center
Oh, the humanity!

Oh, the humanity!

In case no one loves you enough to send you mail you haven’t been to Lerner lately, this is a PSA about the package center. It is a madhouse. Bwog has received photos of some monster package center lines, and below are some of the worst stories we’ve heard. Please stop ordering things from Amazon until this public hazard is under control. (Ed. note: The package center was open for extra hours this past Sunday; no word yet on whether or how long this will continue.)

Money troubles:

“I need my passport so I can get paid at my new job. It was supposed to be here LAST MONDAY and it is still not here and I still can’t get paid.”

That’s why you never buy textbooks:

“I only needed a book for one class of the semester for my seminar, but it took 7 days to process it once it arrived at the package center so I wasted that money :(”


“I went there last week because I got an email notification.  Waited in line for like 30 mins and then when I got to the front they told me they couldn’t find my package and to come back later….so I came back the next day, waited again in the monstrous line only to have them tell me I never had a package and the notification was a mistake. oops.”

The Kevin Chen affair:

“They gave my books to one of the other four Kevin Chens at Columbia. It took weeks to track down who had them since I’ve only met two of them.”

Mixed messages:

“I was told I had to go the Manhattanville Post Office because they wouldn’t redeliver my package to Lerner. After waiting in line for 30 minutes the post office told me that they didn’t know where my package was and I had to wait til it got to Lerner.”

ADI Presents “Columbia Plays Mario”
ADI should serve these tonight

ADI should serve these tonight

ADI (Application Development Initiative) is hosting a “Columbia Plays Mario” event, similar to Twitch Plays Pokemon, in Lerner Cinema tonight.

ADI is putting a spin on this past February’s rather successful social experiment, which sought to have people from all across the world play Pokemon together, each from their own individual computer.

Bwog encourages you to embrace your inner child and collaborate with other Columbians to race to the checkered flag, collect coins, avoid koopas and shells and do other fun things with your favorite highly pixelated video game man.

The deets:

9 – 11 pm in Lerner Cinema

Bring your laptops and/or smartphones!

Also take a peek at the Facebook event!

In the meantime, get pumped up with the Mario theme music!


Bwog is a child once more via Wikimedia Commons

PSA: Free NYT Mobile Through Housing
Four score and seven years ago, the New York Times app didn't exist.

Four score and seven years ago, the New York Times app didn’t exist.

Columbia Housing offers a full complimentary subscription to the New York Times website and mobile apps. You must have a valid Columbia email address to access the subscription, but that shouldn’t be a problem, should it? Basically, you can finally stop paying for your own subscription or hacking into using your parents’ account to access “All the news that’s fit to print,” or in this case, publish online and send to your phone.

Here is CCSC’s blurb about all the features you can use, including off-campus access, as well an instruction video and link to activate your subscription:

Undergraduate residential students have full complimentary access to and NYTimes mobile apps, thanks to a subscription offered by Columbia Housing. Users must have a valid Columbia email address to access. covers a variety of topics through breaking news articles, blogs, videos and interactive features. In addition, you will be able to share content on social networks, save articles of interest, subscribe to email newsletters and set up personalized alerts. Your access to is available from any location, on or off campus.

Watch this video or follow these simple instructions or to activate your pass.

Old articles, new apps via  Wikimedia Commons

Bwoglines: Mistakes, Missteps, And Miscues Edition

But…what did we do wrong?

Miss Nebraska, Megan Swanson, accidentally revealed a bit too much to the cameras during the 2015 Miss America pageant on Sunday. What was the host, Chris Harrison, talking about? Revealing too much. (Yahoo!)

Rush Limbaugh decided that, in cases of sexual consent, no can mean yes “if you know how to spot it.” Yea, okay, whatever you say, Rush. (Gawker)

Speaking of…Robin Thicke admitted to being “high on Vicodin and alcohol” when he recorded “Blurred Lines,” the song that he also admitted he took too much credit for writing. Oops. (New York Daily News)

Urban Outfitters “deeply regrets” that their Kent State sweatshirt, featuring a bloody design, was “perceived negatively.” In trying to defend the item, Urban dug themselves a bigger hole. Should anyone be surprised? Probably not. (Washington Post)

The NFL and its associated teams are still confused about where they stand on domestic abuse. Hint: They don’t seem to care thaaat much. (USA Today)

Brown boxes of embarrassment via Shutterstock

Field Notes: On Vs. Off Campus
Caption contest, anyone?

Does a flamingo hat get you into bars better than a fake?

Second weekend at school and we’ve already got some campus clingers and some city goers amongst us (even if the 1 was shut down this weekend). Columbia students will always find a way… Send along your adventures next weekend wherever they may be to

On-campus hijinks:

  • Classic hipsters: At Postcrypt, it’s full. Organizer says, ‘we made a Facebook event this week, that was a mistake.’”
  • Ominous tip about R.A.’s quotas: “That’s it. I hear they’re getting mad quotas this year, and it’s no stretch of the imagination to figure out which students will be targeted.” 
  • I went to a party/fundraiser for a North Dakota abortion clinic #mylifeisBarnard”
  • “I semi-soberly knocked over a table (with FOUR drinks on it) at the Dam while trying to high five my friend and caused a ruckus.”
  • “The girl who was walking around with her DSLR camera at ADP is named Sandy Kim and she’s a ~~well known~~ photographer. She’s doing an undercover piece for NY Mag. … a few sophomores got her into the party as “‘visual arts major who lives in Nussbaum’.”
  • Do we have a poopetrator on our campus?

"although this specific action wasn't *prohibited*..."

“although this specific action wasn’t *prohibited*…”

Off-campus adventures:

  • Drank some champagne (discreetly) on the High Line followed by going to a show at Upright Citizens Brigade, as classy ladies do.”
  • “Downtown at a speakeasy drinking out of a glass shaped like a MOTHERFUCKING SKULL”
  • “Update on the skull goblet: I may or may not have taken it and now I own a skull goblet. I ate cereal out of it this morning because I love it so much.”
  • “Drank, drank some more, went to the Chromeo concert in Central Park, which was awesome.”
  • “Went to the 9/11 memorial. walked from 96th st. to campus with friend, getting Koronets and a Tom’s milkshake on the way.”
This Week’s Bwog Comment Awards

We’re bringing back a short-lived tradition from last semester, our comment awards, because you are all special snowflakes who deserve recognition.

Most Jaded Accurate:

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The Sherlock Holmes Award for Exceptional Sleuthing: 

Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 4.45.30 PM

Most Unimpressed: 

Most Surprisingly Helpful:

Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 4.57.50 PM


More worthy comments after the jump!

Party Testimonial: ADP
But aren't frats a new plague?

Even literary societies frats get good turnouts

If you have FOMO from missing a party you chose not to go to over the weekend, we gotcha covered. Shreyas Manohar (AKA, but just for that night, Sober Hero Shreyas Manohar) shares a bit of his experience at Columbia’s literary society, Alpha Delta Phi, host of a little get together in their luxurious home on Frat Row last Saturday. 

“You haven’t seen a crowd till you’ve travelled in a Mumbai local,” I always brag, showcasing the exotic and fascinating struggles I have grown up with. After yesterday’s frat party, I’ve lost the right to use that line. Now I tell my Mumbai-local-travelling-struggling friends, “You haven’t seen a crowd till you’ve been to a frat party.” ADP’s house was really well furnished and spacious just making me hate my John Jay single even more. However going from my JJ 13 room to the ground took me less time than climbing down one flight of stairs at this party. SO. MANY. PEOPLE. So, I said something then which nobody has ever said and nobody ever will again, “So JJ elevators aren’t that bad.”

Drinks were for $2. The only reason people were still there was the music. It was the first time that a frat party had music which you could dance to even if you were sober. Shout out to that DJ cheerfully giving 3 first bumps per minute to the even more cheerful drunk people. Giving out drinks at the door is too mainstream. Giving out condoms at the door is the in thing. The condoms were so well received by the public that I even found fellow John Jay residents playing water balloon fights with the orange flavoured condoms at 2 am with classy jazz music in the background.

I have a friend who takes photos of everything. Everything. His Instagram is filled with photos of toilet seat(s), crumbs of food, crumbs of food on toilet seats and everything else you can think of. I wish he had been at the party because he would have found his soulmate. There was this girl with a DSLR who going around taking photos of every imaginable thing. Her photo reel includes a girl coughing, another dude tying his shoe laces and a person pretending to text by vociferously tapping on his blank touch screen. Highlight of the evening was how she captured a couple that was humping and making out on this comfortable couch I so badly wanted to sit on. She actually cleared the space by pushing people away and took different shots from different angles, moving around the room and kneeling down on knees at one point. It takes tremendous amounts of confidence and perseverance to be so blatantly creepy, skills which will help her in getting a solid job. Columbia is not well represented in Porn Videography anyway.

Thoughts you resort to when finding yourself at frat party via JoyReactor

Culinary Diplomacy On CCSC

It’s all about the triangle cut

The most important position on CCSC has graciously extended its deadline to submit an interest form from yesterday to tonight at midnight for all those who have yet to hop on to the CCSC Sandwich Ambassador bandwagon.

Interested candidates should heavily contemplate topics for their two State of the Sandwich speeches on the sundial (your love of the sandwich/free food/feeding hungry college students better translate rhetorically). This is your gig if ensuring that Columbia students get a cheaper and all the while tastier eating experience in Morningside is something you’d consider to be your calling. Responsibilities and credibility to run not limited to interest exclusively in sandwich opportunities in the area.

Campaigning starts Wednesday so add this dense elections packet to your reading for this week before clicking submit on that interest form. Sandwiches mean business!


This entree better not be over $10 via Shutterstock

Breaking: Columbia A Finalist For Obama’s Presidential Library
Just how Obama looked when he was studying in Butler back in the day.

Just how Obama looked when he was studying in Butler back in the day.

Along with the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the University of Hawaii, Columbia University was issued a Request for Proposal by the Barack Obama Foundation earlier today, placing us in the running for Obama’s Presidential Library.

Due on December 11, this requires that Columbia “submit a formal proposal that includes detail on the proposed management and organization of the project, site development plans, community partnerships, potential for academic collaboration, marketing and attraction strategy, and information about any financial and other commitments from the host or other partners.”

The Obamas will decide in early 2015 which site will get the presidential library.

Obama and Columbia go way back. He graduated (well, depending on who you talk to) from CC in 1983, and spoke at Barnard’s commencement in 2012, which caused a bit of a stir that we termed Obamanard. Typically, though, he has focused more on his connections to Hawaii and Chicago than his school years at Columbia. Our fingers are crossed, but our hopes aren’t high.

Overseen: The Winning Candidate

Elevator-goers of John Jay are already curious about Mr. Silverstein’s political agenda. We only hope that he will deliver as a representative of his fellow residents.

Give us meth or give us death!

Making Space For Students That Make Stuff
Arts tools > crowns

Arts tools > crowns

Left your sewing machine or electrical screw driver at home? Don’t want to pay for woodworking classes downtown with NYC moms who have too much free time? No fear, Columbia’s now got the arts & crafts space for you!

Columbia Maker Space wants to provide a place for students of all kinds to pursue their inner artist/creator/engineer, in whatever fashion that might mean to them. Learn more about reserving times to work and what this hip space has to offer at its two info sessions this week: today and tomorrow at 5:30 in Mudd 1220.

Add it to your Facebook calendar here. 

Bwoglines: Constitution Edition
The Smithsonian has the original pen from 1788, too!

The Smithsonian has the original pen from 1788, too!

We’ve got a national holiday this week, but it awkwardly falls on a Wednesday. No canceled classes for a non-Monday, rather unknown commemorative day. (Springfield News-Leader)

Is there an Establishment Clause in China? (Yahoo!)

Bill Clinton makes an old jeer at the Constitution during a rally for his wife—and by rally we mean a community BBQ. (New York Times)

Learn how to sound like the most knowledgeable of your comrades at the Constitution Day 2014 party. You go to Columbia (and probably want to major in poli sci), after all. (Washington Post)



The real deal via Shutterstock