Aug

17

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If everything you’re bringing to CU fits in one suitcase, you’re probably doing something wrong

Packing for college can be a pain, especially if you’re trying to fit it all into the back of an uber from JFK. We all skimped out on at least one of these things before coming to campus, and deeply regretted it shortly into NSOP. You’ll want to scan over Bed Bath & Beyond’s checklist so you don’t forget important things (like pillowcases!), but even our all-knowing housewares store left a few essentials off of its list:

For your social life…

  • Fake ID – Unlike your friends who go to, like, Dartmouth, your social life is going to revolve around bars. After a night of pregaming in Carman and running around to different EC parties, you’re going to end up in line outside 1020 or Mel’s. Here’s the deal: if you don’t already have a fake, find a group to order with when you get to campus. Do not spend more than $100, get TWO IDs, and make sure that shit scans. Also, be wary about shipping your new IDs to the package center–they’ve been known to intercept orders!
  • Contraception – Don’t wild out too much during NSOP–especially when it comes to your health. You can also get free condoms and Plan B at Health Services.
  • Fanny pack – Drag us!!!
  • Cleaning supplies – The floor of your Carman double will get sticky. Invest in a Swiffer, some Clorox wipes, or some cleaning spray and paper towels (we like the smell of Meyer’s). One Bwogger would also like to stress the importance of roach and ant traps for when you don’t clean your floor fast enough.
  • Speakers and Spotify Premium – If we have to hear one more Spotify ad during a pregame we will SCREAM.
  • Corkscrew and bottle opener – Once upon a time, we were first-years desperately running from MoWil to Duane Reade to RiteAid trying to find a corkscrew for an NSOP pregame. Just invest in one now (and make sure you actually know how to use it).

What about the rest of your life?

Aug

17

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Shake Shack, Unshackled

In honor of the long-awaited opening of Shake Shack’s Morningside Heights location happening soon, we bring you a conspiracy theory on why Shake Shack is replacing Ollie’s. 

The campus has been in an uproar for the past few months, ever since it was announced that Shake Shack will be taking over the spot where Ollie’s once stood. The lot, once abandoned and sadly decrepit, is now bustling with construction work; you can even see the new Shake Shack menu inside now. It’s as though Shake Shack swooped in like a guardian angel of hungry college kids and turned a wasteland into a paradise of overpriced burgers. (No offense to Shake Shack fans, but let’s be real; it is quite overpriced.)

But what if that wasn’t the case? What if this was a carefully orchestrated plot all along? What if Shake Shack fully intended to kill Ollie’s and take its spot from the very beginning? Bwog received a tip that linked us to an article by DNAinfo, which quoted Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti saying, “I have said for years before that this spot, the only spot I really want, is that old Ollie’s spot on 116th and Broadway.” The article also said that Garutti told the Spectator that he has wanted to open a Morningside Heights location for seven or eight years.

At this point, readers, you might be asking, where is this article going? What is this conspiracy theory trying to say? How could Shake Shack possibly intentionally replace Ollie’s, a well-loved Columbia staple, an established Morningside Heights business, a part of the community? The answer is simple if you just pay attention; Ollie’s was displaced by a fire in 2015. Do you really think that fire was accidental?

And now for the actual conspiracy theory

Aug

16

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So it’s the middle of August, the Sunday of summer. As you wind down your internships and wild international adventures, we welcome back our end-of-summer series on where we spend our time and what home is to us this summer. Want to be part of the fun (did you mean: childhood nostalgia)? Send your Houses And Homes submission to tips@bwog.com, including a pic and your five senses. 

Where: Mercer Island, WA

Sight:

Dystopian aura brought to you by wildfires

Sound: Rapid-fire dialogue of The West Wing Season 3, my cat announcing she’s killed another bird, my parents asking if the cats have been fed.

Smell: The grill, some hipster’s BO, Seattle’s signature weed fragrance, and very out-of-place pollution.

Taste: Copper River salmon, blueberry pie, and homemade frosé

Aug

14

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Do they sell these at the bookstore?

This afternoon, the Columbia class of 2021 released a letter in their Facebook group addressed to “the students of the University of Virginia and Charlottesville Community.” The letter condemns the violence of the “Unite the Right” rallies and expresses support for marginalized students. So…that’s pretty much how the class of 2021 is going to go. We’ve included the full statement below.

Shortly after Barnard President Sian Beilock emailed all of her students a statement on the riots in Charlottesville, VA, the incoming Columbia class of 2021 decided it was time to release their own statement, too. Yes, that’s right. Somehow the entire class of 2021 was able to discuss, debate, and then consolidate all of their mutually agreed upon opinions into a one-page letter. That they posted on Facebook. And signed “Class of 2021, Columbia University.”

There’s even a hashtag.

The letter opens with a proclamation: “Columbia University’s Class of 2021 stands in solidarity with students who were marginalized by the events that occurred on August 11th and 12th.” The focus of the letter was support for UVA as an academic institution, “a sanctuary for young learners.” It warns of the consequences if the US “continues to normalize hateful speech and actions.” We wonder what PrezBo—a staunch defender of (and expert on) the First Amendment—will say.

While, of course, a formal statement from a group of several hundred students who’ve never met IRL won’t be perfect, the most profound aspect of 2021’s letter isn’t necessarily its content—it’s the significance of making such a statement. The class of 2021 is setting the tone for their time at Columbia pretty early. The organizers of this letter are certainly making themselves and their peers known as a class that will not remain silent. But is that really how every member of the class of 2021 wants to be known? It’s a risky move to imply that the entire class agrees with the views expressed in the letter, let alone attach such views to the University itself.

We’re not saying the contents of the letter are good or bad, we’re just saying that the whole move was pretty yikes.

Here’s the statement, for your reading pleasure:

Update, August 16, 1:45 PM: Bwog wishes to clarify that we are not condemning the contents of this letter or any members of the class of 2021’s stance against the white supremacist and neo-nazi demonstrations in Charlottesville. This article was intended to call attention to the context of this letter and the manner it was written and signed.

Aug

4

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Monday marked the tragic end of July – a steamy and dreamy month that seemed to have begun yesterday. July gave us 31 days of sweat and stank (especially if you are spending it in the armpit of the U.S. that is the mid-Atlantic), but it also gave us hope that summer would never end. In its place, July leaves us August, a month even hotter and nastier than its predecessor, with a stinging reminder that papers, problem sets, and Paw Print are close. But before we get caught up in the fate of our dissolving summer, here’s what happened to Columbia in July:

  • Next Tuesday, the Southern District Court of New York will hear the oral arguments for  the Roskin-Frazee v. Columbia University case. Here’s an overview of what has happened so far. 
  • Speaking of lawsuits: Columbia’s suit with Paul Nungesser has been settled, two years after it was filed.
  • Theodore de Bary, a former Columbia professor and well-known sinologist, passed away.
  • New Barnard president Sian Beilock was briefly on campus, made an introductory video, then left NYC again.
  • Spec is moving! Temporarily to Manhattanville, and then after that, who knows. (Wall Street? Bushwick? Jersey City? Mars? Hopefully?)
  • Columbia is giving out fidget spinners to new students, and has already started with some trial spinners handed out in Low. We’d love to review them, if we could get our hands on one…
  • We saw Meryl Streep on campus, blocking off Low and participating in a staged protest for Steven Spielberg’s new movie Pentagon Papers.
  • Barnard’s new magnolia tree seems to be faring much better than its predecessor, at least so far.
  • The CU Republicans are in a bit of a bind, after Martin Shkreli, whom they secured as a speaker for next semester, has been found guilty of fraud. They will more definitely be hosting Ed Kox, Mike Cernovich, and other notable conservatives.
  • Shake Shack is getting closer and closer to its opening date… A menu can now be seen through those tantalizingly open doors.

Construction updates, field notes, and more after the jump

Jul

26

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This summer, filming has started for Steven Spielberg’s new movie Pentagon Papers starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks. The film is about the Washington Post and their publishing of the Pentagon papers, detailing US involvement in the Vietnam War. And, today, they were filming on campus! Check out these shots we got of Meryl struttin’ her stuff around Low. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find Tom… maybe he’s just not in this scene.

 

 

Sexy shots of Meryl from Lily Drabkin & bottom right photo of Low from Ana Jimenez

Jul

24

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Okay but when is the Columbia Daily Spectator going to get an office?

The Columbia Daily Spectator, Columbia and Barnard’s lovable weekly “daily newspaper” and perpetual op-ed machine, is to shortly move out from their old building at 2875 Broadway, which was located between 111th and 112th—conveniently adjacent to the Heights. According to an email sent earlier this evening to Spectator alumni, which is appended below, “the landlord has asked the University to relocate the various student organizations in the building, but made a firm decision to no longer allow students to occupy space in the building this year.” The email speaks little of the landlord’s motivation in removing Speccies from the building, but sources familiar with Spec’s now-defunct office space refer to ongoing construction within the building as perhaps the primary reason for the landlord suddenly ejecting the Spectator from their offices.

As far as what the future holds for Spec, little is certain. The announcement circulated to Spec alumni claims that while “the University has shown [Spec] a few spaces to relocate to, we have yet to find one that adequately meets our space requirements, and we are moving into a swing space at the end of this month as a permanent home for Spectator is finalized.” Nevertheless, Bwog received a tip earlier this week describing Spec’s imminent move, characterizing the relocation as “their landlord kicking them out,” and alleging that “it’s a sensitive subject for everyone working there.” However, Bwog couldn’t locate any public eviction records, implying that the move is more-or-less wholesome in nature.

While the alumni email does not deign to mention the specific location where Spec will be temporarily located, our source claims that Spec will be housed in the Nash building at 133rd and Broadway. The Nash building is located across from the Studebaker building, on the eastern side of Broadway, and Columbia’s interactive Manhattanville map identifies it as an office space which is part of the new Manhattanville campus. Whether Spec will suffer from its new location in this transition space, which some consider annoyingly far-removed from Columbia’s undergraduate population, remains to be seen.

Click Here To Read The Email Spec Sent Out

Jul

18

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This afternoon, Barnard students, faculty, and other community members received a welcome email from the college’s eighth president, Sian Leah Beilock.

Beilock expressed her enthusiasm at jumping into her new role, noting that “settling in slowly is not an option at Barnard.” She spoke highly of the college’s students, faculty, location, and alumnae, extolling Barnard’s “unique – and singular – position as a small women’s college associated with a major research university” and its commitment to “challenge assumptions, broaden awareness, and hone abilities to think critically.” Beilock also specifically spoke to the intellectual capabilities of Barnard students and the “lifelong community of women” that they form.

“I look forward to hearing from you, listening to you, and engaging with you,” Beilock wrote. “Together, we will demonstrate the power of intellectual leadership in the lives we lead, academically, professionally, and as citizens of the world.”

The email also included a video (which you can find after the jump) of President Beilock introducing herself to and talking with a few members of the Barnard community. Like the students she will soon lead, she walked through Altschul and the Diana, hung out in the quad, and tried a slice of Koronet pizza. New college presidents: they’re just like us!

Read Beilock’s full email after the break

Jul

13

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Update: The Bwog Editorial Board later received an email with the University’s statement on July 13, at 9:29 PM. We’ve appended the full text of the University statement at the end of this article, and have rectified any statements premised upon not having received this private statement.

According to the docket of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, “The parties in the above-referenced case [Paul Nungesser v. Columbia University] have filed a stipulation withdrawing this appeal pursuant to FRAP 42.” As related by the documents included below, the settlement was officially reached on Monday, July 10. Paul Nungesser, CC ’15, gained fame and notoriety two years ago in conjunction with a rape allegation against him by Emma Sulkowicz, CC ’15. Nungesser’s case, originally filed in April 2015, alleged that Columbia had committed a Title IX violation in allowing Sulkowicz to receive academic credit for her “Mattress Performance (Carry That Weight),” a performance art piece in which Sulkowicz carried her mattress with her around campus in order to call attention to Nungesser’s lack of punishment by the university. This case was initially thrown out by the court on the grounds that Nungesser’s complaint did not fulfill Title IX qualifications, but was then re-filed last spring.

Although we have included the documents relating to the withdrawal of Nungesser’s appeal below as evidence of the settlement, there is no publicly released statement regarding this settlement from either the press release archive of Columbia University, the official statements of the Office of the President, or the statements of Columbia’s law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, which has released two press releases in the past regarding the initial dismissal of Nungesser’s suit.

In a Columbia Daily Spectator article released earlier today, two official statements are included. The quotes contained are now understood to have originated in a private statement transmitted by the University. Although we can now confirm the source of these statements, our journalistic judgement at the time of publishing relied upon the Spectator’s lack of citation of the source of this statement. This led us to confirm the settlement via publicly available court documents—documents which we found journalistically prudent to reproduce as evidence of our organization’s statements.

If any new information is received, Bwog will update this article accordingly.

Read the court documents after the jump

Jul

3

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Editor’s Note: This article describes and discusses details of sexual assault. All documents provided are Public Domain and come from the docket of the Southern District Court of New York.

According to the docket of the Southern District Court of New York, Defendant Columbia University and Plaintiff Amelia Roskin-Frazee will voice their oral arguments on August 8th regarding Roskin-Frazee’s lawsuit against the school. Though scantily covered by Spec and the New York Daily News, both the physical documents of Columbia’s most recent Motion to Dismiss Roskin-Frazee’s suit as well as Roskin-Frazee’s counterarguments against Columbia’s Motion remain unprovided and underreported. In this article, we will cover the full background to this case, the recent developments, and provide copies of all documents related to the suit.

Roskin-Frazee’s Complaint Against Columbia

Roskin-Frazee first provides a background to Columbia’s history of sexual assault, wherein the plaintiff alleges that Columbia “has a history of violating Title IX when responding to reports of sexual misconduct,” pointing to the 23 students in April of 2014 “filing administrative complaints with the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (‘OCR’), alleging that COLUMBIA violated Title IX”; as well as the general history of Emma Sulkowicz and her “Carry That Weight” project; No Red Tape; and the protests against Dean Cristen Kromm in March of 2016. She further establishes the policies regarding Title IX and the University’s Gender-Based Misconduct Policy and Procedures For Students, which Columbia is alleged to have violated. These include standards of reporting any suspected incidents to the Gender Based Misconduct Office, the Office’s requirement to investigate “regardless of whether a complainant wishes to report the incident or not,” and the various accommodations intended to provide support and relief. These accommodations, specifically, include the moving of a student’s residence, the changing of a student’s schedule, the allowing of a student to withdraw from or retake a class without penalty, and the providing of tutoring or other academic assistance.

The specific incidents Roskin-Frazee’s complaint alleges to have occurred begin with an October of 2015 sexual assault in her Hartley dorm room. At the time, the doors to at least some of Hartley Hall’s suites did not automatically lock, leading Roskin-Frazee’s suite to leave their suite door unlocked. As a result, the plaintiff reports that an unidentified man gained access to her specific room and committed sexual assault against her. Roskin-Frazee claims in her complaint that she attempted to schedule an appointment with the Women’s Health department of Columbia’s Medical Services, but could neither schedule an immediate appointment online, over the phone, nor as a walk-in patient. Exasperated, Roskin-Frazee scheduled an appointment for “flu-like” symptoms, where she then claimed to be “experiencing genital pain,” only to be told that she “shouldn’t have such rough sex again.” As a result of her lack of treatment, Roskin-Frazee contacted Columbia’s Sexual Violence Response Hotline (SVR), where she claimed that the SVR representative advised her to contact the police, and commented that “even though Plaintiff is lesbian, she should have been on birth control.” The SVR Staff Advocate she was later connected to “was unaware of Plaintiff’s rights and options under Title IX or any ability to receive academic or housing accommodations.” Despite this, the Staff Advocate set up a meeting with Roskin-Frazee the next day.

Click to continue reading the details of the lawsuit

Jul

2

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With May and June behind us like a booty, some of us may have forgotten about the nice little mole at the top of the Upper West Side. Sweet Columbia, we miss you like we miss the smell of fresh mulch in April. Okay seriously, for those of you who have been wondering about the happenings of our New York City college town, here’s an update:

  • Arguably, the best thing about June is that it’s Pride Month. The city is full of rainbows and celebrating its LGBTQ+ population. Columbia celebrated by lighting up the columns on Low Library in rainbow colors, as well as by opening a new exhibit at the Rare Books and Manuscripts Library called “Pride of Lions.” The exhibit showcased the historic role that LGBTQ+ groups have played on Columbia’s campus – highlighting the fact that the very first collegiate LGBTQ+ organization actually started at Columbia, way back in 1966.
  • Columbia Law School broke the internet on June 8, the day of James Comey’s congressional hearing. During the hearing, Comey said that he had confided in a “good friend” about the going on of a shady meeting with President Trump. All Comey said about the identity of this “friend” was that he is a professor at Columbia Law School. Within minutes, the Columbia Law School faculty page had crashed. Oops.
  • Shariq Jumani’s Gofundme has reached 83% of its goal. In the last update posted by his friends and family two weeks ago, he had a tracheostomy to help with his breathing. However, he is recovering, and even woke up to interact with them.
  • Barnard has a new president (and a new Title IX Coordinator).
  • Vine closed!!!! In their voicemail, they said it’s just for renovation. Hopefully, they renovate their attitudes in addition to the countertops.
  • There is some construction happening in front of Butler. Facilities wouldn’t tell us what’s up, but we’re hoping for a moving sidewalk connecting Butler to College Walk. Updates to come.

Pictures and field notes after the jump!

Jun

19

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Junzi is jamming

Junzi Kitchen, MoHi’s latest spot for fast casual food, had a soft opening last week. We sent Senior Staffer Sarah Dahl to check out Junzi’s Northern Chinese cuisine. The restaurant is having its official grand opening today (Monday), and also opened a New Haven location near Yale’s campus in October, 2015 (Columbia’s is obviously better!).

I’ve been eyeing Junzi’s windows all semester, waiting eagerly for it to open – and it didn’t disappoint. Junzi Kitchen offers a unique spin on fast casual dining. Different from other campus spots such as Sweetgreen, Dig Inn, or the Westside salad bar; Junzi serves up make-your-own noodle and bing dishes in Northern Chinese style. Bing is a type of wheat dough unique to Northern China, where it’s difficult to grow rice. Bing noodles and rolls (chun bing) are the bedrock of traditional food in Northern China, where Junzi’s founders are from.

Typical Chinese food in New York, and around the US in general, includes rice, different from the bing-only Northern Chinese style. Northern Chinese food also tends to be less spicy and somewhat lighter, according to several members of Junzi’s PR team with whom I spoke.

So how was the meal?

Jun

10

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Our thoughts are with Shariq and his family

Last week on June 5, rising second-year student Shariq Jumani was hit by a car as he crossed Riverside Drive and 115th. After being rushed to St. Luke’s, he has had open-brain surgery, abdominal surgery, and orthopedic surgery for the broken bones in both of his legs. Jumani will undergo many operations and a year of rehab, but doctors are optimistic about his recovery.

However, this tragedy will leave him and his family with a high stack of medical bills. To offset the costs, his friends created a Gofundme today, encouraging his other friends, peers, and generous strangers to contribute. Jumani is described as an excellent scholar, kind community member, and “full of joy.” We encourage you to visit the page, where you can read more about him and contribute to his cause.

May

22

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See you next fall, President Beilock!

After a seven-month search, Barnard has a new president. Sian Leah Beilock, a former professor of Psychology and Executive Vice Provost at University of Chicago who focused on women’s success in STEM fields and performance under pressure in sports, will serve as Barnard’s eighth President beginning this fall. Beilock has won numerous accolades, including the 2017 Troland Award from the National Academy of Sciences, has published two books and over 100 publications, and has worked in education and public policy on a national level.

“Having spent my career investigating how people can perform at their best, I am thrilled at the prospect of leading a college focused on ensuring women have the tools to succeed in any path they choose,” Beilock said.

Barnard’s former president Debora Spar announced her resignation last November, and it came as a shock to many students. However, the announcement also inspired hope among students for a president more representative of the student body. Incoming President Beilock definitely falls outside of the corporate feminist classification that many students criticized Spar for, hailing from a very academic background. Still, many were hoping to see a woman of color as Barnard’s president. Maybe she’s at least intersectional? She’s also participated in a Reddit AMA, so she’s in with the millennials! See you next fall, President Beilock!

Read the full email from Barnard after the jump:

May

12

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Gonna miss these sunrises

This spring has been full of drama. From CCSC overtimes to shit in unexpected places, Columbia doesn’t seem to be able to agree on anything. Bwog has been here to cover all of the action, whether it’s debates on the value of John JJ’s (*vajj’s) or students suing their school. Here’s a recap of this semester’s highlights, before we peace out for the summer.

To kick off the semester, we stirred things up a bit by changing our Bwoglines format. Columbia stirred things up more by flooding JJ’s Place. A back-up was created by converting John Jay to John JJ’s – more seating, less fooseball. We tried to come up with a better nickname than John JJ’s, but it didn’t really stick.

Barnard dorms were infested with mice, and Barnard contingent faculty were infested with anger at the administration. They threatened to strike, but a deal was reached before the deadline hit. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet talked to Columbia students. Our basketball team played some games (well, but not well enough to make it to the Ivy League Championship). Sorority and fraternity recruitment happened, and we tried to explain them.

Spec columnist and Federalist founder Neil Gorsuch, CC ’88, was nominated (and eventually selected) for the Supreme Court. The only people at Columbia truly happy about this decision was the Fed, which briefly marketed itself as “Columbia’s Only Newspaper Founded By a Supreme Court Justice. Seriously.” Meanwhile at the more local level of government, ESC VP of Policy Sid Perkins, SEAS ’17 tried – and failed – to get Legos installed in Carleton Commons. This failure pissed him off enough to initiate a long resolution on stress culture and student government’s relationship with the administration.

While we celebrated our eleventh birthday, students protested Trump’s Muslim ban, in what was perhaps the largest rally on campus this semester. The administration also expressed anger at the ban, albeit in a quieter and more formal manner.

We also had February, March, April, and a lil bit of May

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