Written by Eric Cohn
In 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.
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.
Written by Taylor Grasdalen
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.
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.
After a restful winter break, AXO knocked it out of the park. Emma Sulkowicz attended the State of the Union as a guest of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. We took some less-than-crusty advice from an apparently-crusty alum. Barnard held its first open discussion on the transgender policy, and held its first Title IX focus group. We tried the Peter Bailinson Diet, which seems notable as any diet might be in history. We leaked an email from Bwog’s own rush chair. We’re also working on some things, and I feel good about that.
In February, we realized that Professor Dorian Warren had disappeared. Students were ignored elsewhere. No Red Tape returned to make an appearance in a prospective student information session. Michelle Obama and daughter Malia dropped by. We completed our Sexual Respect and Community Citizenship Initiative requirement, however problematic.
March was a minefield of Bacchanal-related notifications, emails, explanations, and bureaucracy. We coined what is in retrospect a super-lame name for the whole thing (“Breaking Bacchanal”). For ease of reading, here is a chronological list of our articles, breaking news, and received statements on this year’s Bacchanal:
Some other things happened, too: Barnard (and Ollie’s and Vine) suffered a fire, didn’t let anyone know about it. A shirtless student in Carman was put in a “chokehold” (not actually a chokehold). We endorsed the unfortunately unsuccessful Community Party for a Better Tomorrow. Bwog Weather returned! (We love you, CUSS!)
In April, No Red Tape arranged for the projection of “RAPE HAPPENS HERE” upon Low — converging again with prospective students (who weren’t even allowed a little V-Show). Paul Nungesser filed his lawsuit against Columbia. We all weathered housing. Only a few of us ultimately weathered Bacchanal. Lit Hum might soon be changing.
Finally, May and its flowers. And many, many bees. And the Varsity Show, which was perfect; I occasionally see Skylar Gottlieb on Barnard’s campus or in CUSS videos and tear up a little. We released our first Power Rankings this month. Orgo happened. Barnard unveiled the design for its new library. And lastly, Bwog unveiled the design of its new website (which everyone must certainly realize by this point to be imperfect and fluid and yet in flux).
From our deep, deep hearts here at Bwog, we wish you a great summer and the good sense to join us come fall.
Written by Max Rettig
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.
Written by Maddie Stearn
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.
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.
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.
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.
Written by Courtney Couillard
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.
Written by Briana Bursten
Looking for a perfect way to mark the end of finals? DJ Breezus has you covered. Using her WBAR magic, Breezy has compiled a highly sophisticated playlist for Columbians who just want to celebrate their freedom. Even if your finals aren’t quite over, go ahead and listen to some music that will make you feel like the bamf that you are.
Summer is here! Whether you’re studying for your last final, packing up all of your belongings, or reading Bwog from the comfort of your own bed @ home (lol), we have compiled a final list of songs to send you off. Enjoy, and we’ll be back with more tunez in the fall!
Brief moment of pure joy until your summer job starts via Shutterstock
Tags: #DJBreezus, freeeeeeeedom, how many exams did Bwog collectively take?, JK Bwog still has 3 papers to write, Missy Elliott knows what's up, this pic is called 'Free Happy Woman Enjoying Nature Beauty Girl Outdoor Beauty Girl Over Sun And Sky', what's Breezy going to do from 4-6am now that WBAR is done?
President Bollinger sent an email to students this afternoon announcing that Senior Executive Vice President Robert Kasdin will be leaving Columbia at the end of June. Kasdin will become the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Johns Hopkins Medicine. Both former Dean Terry Martinez and Dean Kevin Shollenberger left Columbia in the past years to accept positions at Johns Hopkins, prompting a trend of admins leaving Columbia for the health care system. The real question is: which admin will Johns Hopkins scoop up next?
President Bollinger explains that this is “a time of significant change in our nation’s health care system” as Kasdin moves into his new position. He also asks for the Columbia community to congratulate Kasdin on his new role. President Bollinger did not name a replacement for Kasdin in his email.
Itching to get off campus? So sick of John Jay and Ferris that you’d literally eat anything else? Bwog’s very own EIC and contributor to The Blue and White Taylor Grasdalen, BC ’17, went on a freegan adventure to satisfy your dumpster diving curiosities. Pick up a copy of the May issue on campus now!
I realized, all too late one Saturday as I began to dress for what I was calling a “night out,” that I was on my way to meet several people whose real names I did not know, to a neighborhood downtown where I had never been, to rummage through stores’ bagged and curbed unwanted goods.
The dumpster diving community in New York is surprisingly large. There are comprehensive directories online for the city’s “freegans,” a portmanteau of “free” and “vegan” and a title they generally prefer over “dumpster divers.” New York City focused Facebook groups and message boards boast hundreds of members with niche diving needs or interests: specifically vegan, vegetarian, junk food-inclined, or leftist, anarchist, anti-consumerist. In Brooklyn, you can take Freeganism 101 or a Trash Tour, put on by a freegan collective on the domain name freegan.info.
This crowd is a mixed bag. I find a couple already rifling through some found garbage bags at our meeting place, almost certainly students; an older man and woman discussing the weather, united by their identical and endearingly frizzed silver hair and floral patchwork jackets; and a few others, prepared in boots and gloves with backpacks or small carts and reusable bags, in their late twenties to fifties. None of them are homeless. “We’d just rather not see food still very good for eating make its way to a landfill,” says Rosa, the woman in the floral patchwork jacket.
There are eight here altogether. Everyone has met before, save myself and one tallish guy in a Dartmouth sweatshirt. I learn that everyone here readily self-identifies as vegan or vegetarian, and that taking animal products is considered risky. None of them have ever gotten sick from their finds and a few exclusively eat only what they can “forage.” Bread is a common favorite, and easily found. A girl named Leah crosses her fingers for a loaf of good sourdough. Rosa wants to find blueberry muffins.
Tags: bwog is eating a blueberry muffin right now but we went to westside because we're not that bold, D'Agonstino is consistently mediocre aren't they, everyone has that one vegan cousin don't they, finals issue, freeganism, from the issue, reading this makes bwog so hungry, tbh would never pay full price for whole foods, the blue and white
Oops [we] did it again…and by did it again, we mean we slept through our alarm. Anyway, on the second-to-last day of finals, Britney Spears has got us thinking about space.
Bwogline: NASA’s Curiosity Rover took photos of a blue-tinged sunset on Mars. (NASA)
Study Tip: We always find it calming to take a break from Butler and go lie on the Sundial and stare at the sky. Unfortunately, the graduation tents are blocking the Sundial’s view of the stars, but you could also try one of the patches of grass along College Walk.
Procrastinate: Did the FroSci astrophysics section give you an existential crisis? Check out this simulation of the 100,000 stars closest to us.
While finals continue to plague some students, things remain terrifying on campus as people slowly start to reach emotional death. Although we posted a Dark Night of the Soul post earlier this past weekend, we found a few more gems we just had to share with you. Enjoy.
Notes from the field:
– “Saw someone too drunk to navigate JJ’s”
– “I just went to get a pencil from my backpack and a moth flew out of it”
– “There is a dog next to me in Butler and I don’t know what to do”
– “A literal dark night in Starbucks right now most of the lights are turned off.”
– “Either I am having some primo stress-induced hallucinations or I just saw a fucking tribble skitter out from behind my wardrobe…dear god, I need sleep”
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