Aug

31

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While we were off campus this summer, CUSS was working with Columbia to produce a new fire safety video to replace the horribly outdated video they’ve been using for years. First-years may recognize this video from NSOP events, but we wanted to share the video with the rest of Columbia to remind them the importance of fire safety. Put those marijuana cigarettes out and stay safe, folks.

Also, if you like what you see and want to join CUSS, check out the CUSS Facebook page for information on board applications and auditions!

Columbia Fire Safety from Bwog on Vimeo.

Aug

31

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This afternoon Barnard College sent students a summary of changes made to the Policy against Discrimination and Harassment. One update is that any case of gender-based misconduct with allegations charged against a Barnard student will now be handled through the Barnard Title IX office. The process for obtaining legal assistance and appealing a case has also been updated.

The full text of the email is included below:

Dear Members of the Barnard Community,

With the beginning of the new academic year almost upon us, we are writing with an update on two important developments from the College’s Title IX and Equity Office. As always, our aim is to maintain a respectful learning and working environment and to ensure the health and safety of every member of the Barnard community.

First, the College has updated our Policy against Discrimination and Harassment and related gender-based misconduct procedures. These updates reflect changes in New York State law, passed in early July, as well as ongoing efforts to strengthen the support that we provide to all Barnard students.

The primary procedural change is that the investigation and adjudication processes for gender-based misconduct involving Barnard students will now be managed fully by Barnard’s Title IX and Equity Office. The affiliation of the respondent (whether Barnard, Columbia University, or another institution) will determine the procedures that govern the investigation and adjudication of each matter. What this means is that for cases where the respondent (or accused) is Barnard-affiliated, Barnard’s Title IX and Equity Office will wholly manage the matter. This includes cases that occur between two Barnard students, as well as those that involve allegations against a Barnard student by another member of the University community.

For cases where a Barnard student is the complainant (or accuser) and the respondent is an affiliate of another institution, Barnard’s Title IX and Equity Office will support our student through the other institution’s process from beginning to end. It is important to note that anyone who believes they have been subjected to sex or gender-based discrimination or harassment of any kind is encouraged to report the incident to Barnard Title IX Coordinator Amy Zavadil (azavadil@barnard.edu), who will respond promptly, provide care for the affected student, and take whatever next steps are appropriate.

DSpar further explains the initiatives next.

Aug

31

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The balloons are up on the gates, new students have piled into their Carman and John Jay doubles, and the first day of NSOP has already come and gone. While you were busy dodging Housing carts, lost first-years, and hyper OLs, we were tweeting the entire day’s worth of hilarious scenes. Check out all that went down before you even woke up along with a few notes from the field. If you are on campus already and saw the commotion that was move-in day, send pics and quotes to tips@bwog.com or use our anonymous tip form to get in on the action!

Moving In and Exploring Morningside:

  • Apparently Secret Service was on campus and almost ran over 10 pedestrians. It certainly wasn’t for the Obama family, but what other famous person would require such high security? If you know, tell us! We want the gossip!

More on the first day (and night) next.

Aug

31

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You, ready for your first day as a Columbia University student!

You, ready for your first day as a Columbia University student!

Yesterday’s schedule of cart-hauling and forced social interactions is thankfully behind all of you first-years, but don’t think having your stuff all settled in Carman means that you’re free for the week — formal NSOP programming begins now. Your OLs will only up their pep, you will find yourself in more icebreakers, and you might tonight still be scrambling for some inebriated fun with loosely titled “new friends”. Happy first Monday of college, and we here at Bwog hope all of you over-eager NSOPers continue to exert yourself enough that everyone you meet sends along all the ridiculous/pretentious things you say at tips@bwog.com. And if anyone still sees a lingering dad offering the best set up for their kid’s room or running across Broadway with a fan, we want him too. 

Today’s Highlights:

  • Convocation, 2:30 – 4:00 pm, Low Plaza. Your first formal event with all 1,500 first years in the same room will consist of sweating together in Low while unfamiliar though business casual-clad people talk up Columbia and all of your possibilities on this here campus. We will be impressed if you ever see who you sit next to on campus ever again. This session is followed by more sweaty awkwardness as everyone splits into their OL groups. We will be impressed if you open GroupMe once this week.
  • Cookout Dinner, 5:30 – 7:00 pm, Hamilton Lawn. This cookout dinner kickstarts the various free outdoor meals you’ll be served this week, all of which are purposefully and significantly better than anything you’ll be served in the dining halls. Don’t get used to the seafood selection that might appear later in the week, nor an seemingly endless supply of mobile Popsicle freezers stationed across campus.
  • Class Act, 7:00 – 8:30 pm, Roone. The string of performances during Class Act have the goal of showcasing all of Columbia’s fun and funky traditions, but be mindful that that only takes an hour and a half. “We have a lot of campus traditions” is really just an exaggeration of the approximately four or five traditions that the administration prides itself on.

One Thing To Do Before Graduating: Find the mythical and surely legendary outlet that Alma Mater is rumored to boast. We think it may only exist in our dreams, but the Columbia University Admissions stats tell us that you might be just the right first-year class to solve this mystery for us.

From The Archives: Field Notes: The First Weekend, which will familiarize you with our weekly Field Notes, and make you less likely to be notoriously CAVA’d during NSOP weekend.

Thumbs up for NSOP (NSOP!) via Shutterstock

Aug

30

Bwog has been all over the world but also close to home this past summer. To continue our Houses and Homes series, Managing Editor Courtney Couillard shares with us her experience living in a Carman Hall dingle as an RA for the Columbia High School Program. If you went somewhere special (or normal) and want to share your experience, email us at tips@bwog.com with a picture and description of these five senses. Cheers to the end of summer!

Where: Carman 1313A. What is usually a spacious double became my even more spacious dingle for the summer.

Sight:

Morningside from above

Morningside from above

Sound: High school students disrespectfully trying to sing along to “The Hills” and my Turkish resident laughing (which I always thought sounded like her crying.)

Smell: Lots of B.O. because high schoolers don’t know how to shower on the regular. On the other hand, far too much Axe body spray and perfume in the elevator.

Taste: Nussbaum bagels every Sunday morning, Skinny Pop, insomnia cookies (ordered by my residents every night,) and crappy iced coffee from Ferris.

Aug

29

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A letter from editor emeritus Taylor Grasdalen:

It is with great sadness that I tell you that I am leaving Bwog. Personal circumstances have necessitated my leaving Barnard, Columbia, and New York. Consequently, I have to forfeit my role as Editor in Chief. I knew I would join Bwog from the day I was hit in Lerner by a paper airplane which, when opened, told me the time and date of the first meeting (and included a screen shot of a nasty comment). I was intimidated but excited and Bwog quickly became my favorite thing about college. I know we’re widely criticized (and often fairly so), but that never made me love writing for — and later running — Bwog any less.

This thing is in good hands as I step down. Britt Fossum has been here as long as I have and now takes my place; Courtney Couillard is brilliant and so, so sharp, and continues as Managing Editor; Joseph Powers, one-time UVA transfer and all-around verbose arts writer, is the new Internal Editor. Most of our staff will stay this year and do even more. I’ve loved my time with them and I’ve loved my time with you. Have a great semester and say hello to the woman at the newsstand on Barnard’s side of 116th for me.

Sincerely,
Taylor Grasdalen

Aug

28

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NSOP is approaching, which means most first years are frantically trying to fit as much stuff as they can into the trunks of their parents’ cars. No fear, though, if you still haven’t touched your suitcases (especially if you’re an upperclassman who doesn’t have to move in until the fifth)–here’s an hour-long playlist that will get you motivated to shove all your random shit into boxes!

  1. Tell Your Friends by The Weeknd – Hype yourself up to start packing with this song (produced by Kanye!) from The Weeknd’s new album.
  2. LA Hallucinations by Carly Rae Jepsen – “There’s a little black hole in my golden cup/So you pour, and I’ll say stop”–a reminder to pack your mason jars, and that it’s okay not to drop a ton of money going downtown every weekend.
  3. Black Mambo by Glass Animals Please don’t try to keep your dog in your dorm room…
  4. Beyond Love by Beach House – A sleepy song from Beach House’s new album for when you want to lie down on your bed, but alas, it’s covered in all the clothing you still have to pack.
  5. Henry by Squirrel Flower – A tune for folding clothes and dreaming about that boy who works in your favorite room in Butler.
  6. All I Do by Majid Jordan – Zone out to the beat as you pack your whole life away.
  7. Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien by Edith Piaf – Let Edith Piaf’s resoluteness motivate you to keep shoving random shit into boxes.
  8. Breathing Underwater by Metric – “Is this my life? Am I breathing under [all the dust that is now fluttering around my bedroom because I’ve gone digging through piles of stuff that I haven’t touched all summer?]”
  9. Sparks by Beach House – “You go to school/You follow all the rules,” except for when it comes to the size of your mini fridge.
  10. Gooey Rework by Glass Animals & Chester Watson – See #6.
  11. Queen by Perfume Genius – A song with frantic energy for when you’re trying to zip up your suitcases.
  12. IT G MA REMIX (feat. A$AP Ferg, Father, Dumbfounded, Waka Flocka Flame) by Keither Ape – Check out the original version too.
  13. The Wanderlust by Metric – “I never wanted to go home/Wanderlust will carry us on”–as much as we hate the word “wanderlust,” the sentiment is there.
  14. Say My Name – Hermitude Remix by ODESZA & Zyra – “I need the coat and your jacket/And the remnants of your cigarette packet”–for when you’re trying to get clothes back that your friends from home have borrowed.
  15. Symphonia IX (My Wait Is U) by Grimes – A song for when you’re all packed and ready to leave, but your parents are taking forever.
  16. Campus by Vampire Weekend – Listen to Ezra Koenig sing about his days at Columbia (where can we nap on a balcony???) as you prepare for another semester in Morningside Heights.

Aug

27

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Beginning in September, laundry will be free across Columbia.  Free laundry was debuted this morning in first year dorms and EC, and will expand to the rest of CU come September 12.

The possibility of free laundry was announced last semester at CCSC, where it was said that room and board costs would be raised by $30 to account for the free laundry.  Housing has since told us that there will be no additional room and board fees to fund free laundry.

Housing even released a swanky new video to explain the laundry system to naive first-years.  Watch for yourself below—but be sure to wait until the end to hear this very special announcement.

Update, 8/28/15: After reaching out to Housing, we learned that the free laundry will not apply to Barnard students unless they live in Columbia housing.  Free laundry has also begun today—several weeks ahead of schedule—in all dorms except Nussbaum.  Housing also told us that there will be no change to housing rates as a result of this change.  See their full response below.

Free laundry will only be open to students living in Columbia undergraduate residence halls. If Barnard students live in Columbia undergraduate buildings, then yes, they will have free laundry.

As of today, August 28, all undergraduate residence halls have free laundry (ahead of original projected date) with the exception of 600 W. 113th St. and Carlton Arms. Students assigned by Columbia Housing with a contract to live in 600 W. 113th and Carlton Arms will instead receive Smart Chip Cards loaded with a laundry allowance. LaundryView will be offline until further notice as we update our system.

There will be no change to housing rates in the future to cover laundry service. This initiative is funded out of summer conference and intern housing income.

Aug

25

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Earlier this evening, we received an anonymous tip of a poster from the new Sexual Violence Response consent campaign. The poster says “CONSENT IS BAE #BeforeAnythingElse.” The slogan will be featured in the presentations on sexual respect that all first-years are required to attend during NSOP. In the words of the tipster, some students on campus believe “this poster both trivializes consent and appropriates African American Vernacular English.”

With first-years beginning to move in tomorrow for pre-orientation programs, these posters could likely be one of their first impressions of SVR and its attitude toward sexual violence. Last year’s campaign, which compared consent to traffic lights, was similarly criticized for its juvenile concept and disconnect from student experience. We have reached out to SVR for comment on the poster campaign. We will update this post with any response we may receive.

Update, 8/26/15: We received the following response from SVR in regards to their poster series. They also sent us another poster being used in the campaign, which can be seen below.

Sexual Violence Response (SVR) seeks to promote healthy sexuality and positive behaviors. Historically, SVR has approached its consent education campaign from a constructive, encouraging, and fun perspective. This is also consistent with the tone at the national level, most recently with the affirmative consent legislation.

The Consent is BAE poster was developed in conjunction with SVR student staff and was specifically created to speak to students in a more conversational tone, rather than a lecture. It was designed to engage students on the topic of consent and drive to SVR social media channels to learn more. It’s the first in a series of educational communications that will be used this year. We hope students will continue to think, learn and participate in discourse about this topic beyond this one message.

Check out the posters here.

Aug

24

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sweetgreen won't you come our waaay

sweetgreen won’t you come our waaay

We know you’ve been jonesing for a small plate from Dig Inn all summer (chicken as the protein, duh.) However, you won’t have to rely on just Dig Inn for healthy eating options in Morningside anymore. The former location of Uni Café (RIP) on 114th and Broadway is finally being filled by sweetgreen! Most people won’t know about this chain if they’re not from Boston, Philly, or DC, but sweetgreen offers a huge selection of salads and other healthy “bowls.” We all love our Milano’s salads, but sweetgreen will be a nice alternative to the normal neighborhood spots when we’re trying to not eat Ferris pizza for every meal.

Amsterdam also has its own new addition–Friedman’s is officially up and running for the fall semester between 118th and 119th St. If you’re getting sick of going to Mel’s every time you want a burger, this might be a good spot to check out. According to a friend, the prices are no worse than any other restaurant in the area. That’s always positive!

Finally, we bring a culinary miracle on our own campus. JJ’s Place will now be open until 1 AM every night. Now we can eat curly fries and drink Jamba Juice every single night post-Butler!

Aug

21

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stressed packing freshman

“I hope all this unnecessary shit fits into my John Jay single!!”

You’ve read Columbia’s official packing list, you’ve cross-referenced your own list with those of your friends and the other kids on the Columbia Class of 2019 group—now what? Bwog put together a list of a few items to bring that you may not have thought about to help with everything from party preparation to actually passing your classes.

For your social life…

  • A fake ID – Seriously, you need it—a night out at Columbia will usually end in bar-hopping. Yes, they’re expensive, but well-made fakes are a good investment in the next three years of your social life. If you’re more tech-savvy, check out Reddit’s fake ID subreddit for possible places to purchase. There will also be lots of other first-years scrambling to order during the first few weeks of school, so either organize an order or get in on one. Make sure to check out how credible your vendor is (people do get scammed!), and be careful if you decide to ship the IDs to your Lerner address (we’ve heard of the package center confiscating fake ID orders if they figure out what they are).
  • Speakers – How else will you bump Drake or Kanye or The Weeknd at the many parties you’ll be throwing in your Carman double?
  • Cleaning supplies – How else will you clean up all the sticky patches of spilled red bull and vodka from the night before on your floor?
  • Inexpensive shoes – You’re going to be walking around and frat-hopping a lot during NSOP—pick up a pair of cheap sandals (some schools would call these ‘frat flats’) to use during the first few weeks of school, and just toss them when they start to break down. In our experience, you don’t generally have to worry about ruining your shoes post-NSOP (unless it’s snowing or you really like frats or something). Also, for winter—get an inexpensive coat that doesn’t look like everyone else’s. Too many people lose their coats at Cannon’s (ugh)! Don’t be one of them!
  • A corkscrew and a bottle opener key chain – The former for wine nights and the latter for spontaneous parties when you’re on the go.

Don’t forget about your academics…

Aug

20

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We’re continuing our annual Houses and Homes series with another Bwogger’s vacation destination. Ross Chapman ran off to Switzerland for a little while and wishes he had a better camera. If you want to show off your summer house, awesome room, or favorite bowling alley, send a picture and five-sensed description to tips@bwog.com

Where: Montreux, Switzerland–a bench on the grass along a pedestrian road circling Lake Geneva.

Sight: 

yes the title says it's geneva but that's because it's lake geneva

No smoke on Lake Geneva’s water

 

Sound: Parents speaking French to their children and a beat-boxing didgeridoo player.

Smell: Lots of tobacco smoke, a little bit of marijuana smoke, and flowers everywhere.

Taste: Gourmet steak sandwiches, overpriced sparkling water, pistachio ice cream, and Heineken flowing like a river.

Aug

20

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Move-in is approaching! As we all prepare to return to school, here are some songs on leaving home and returning to life at Columbia University in the City of New York (a name that, as Drake would say, sounds “very important and very pretentious”).

  1. Hotline Bling by Drake – An ode to the old flame, and a reminder to leave the ex with whom you “reconnected” this summer in the past.
  2. Sleep Talk by Diet Cig – “Being home never felt so bad/Why is everyone here so mad?/Only here under obligation/It’s hard to pretend this is a vacation”
  3. jasmine (demo) by Jai Paul – “Can I meet ya Friday? Saturday?”–a tune on returning to New York Tinder.
  4. Warm Blood by Carly Rae Jepsen – Warm blood, fresh sights–welcome to Columbia, hot first years!
  5. 679 (feat. Remy Boyz) by Fetty Wap – A song for when you’re pregaming with your friends in your tiny Nuss double on your first night back. Don’t spill Franzia on your new rug!
  6. Wild by Beach House – Listen to this while lying on the steps or across a bench in Riverside (and inevitably slump back to an air-conditioned building ten minutes later).
  7. Are You Sure You’re Really Busy? by Blood Orange – A reminder to hang out with your pals before you all get stuck in the “busy” trap a week or two into classes.
  8. New Person, Same Old Mistakes by Tame Impala – You killed your internship this summer, you read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and you’re convinced that you’re going to ace this semester. Alas, you still find yourself ferociously tapping out your first CC paper an hour or two before it’s due, rummaging through your messy notes trying to find just the right quotation. Whoops! Maybe next semester!
  9. No Tellin’ by Drake – “Please do not speak to me like I’m that Drake from four years ago/I’m at a higher place”–a song for seniors trying to avoid the annoying energy of NSOP.
  10. Making The Most Of The Night by Carly Rae Jepsen – A song to remind you to balance the time you spend at Butler with the time you spend at 1020.
  11. Youth Without Youth by Metric – For those late nights in Butler when you’re scrolling through your newsfeed and see pics of all your friends from home having so much fun at their state schools.
  12. New Year by Beach House – This one’s pretty self-explanatory.
  13. Excuse Me by A$AP Rocky – For when all the sorority girls in Mel’s try to push past you to order another vodka soda or something.
  14. Crystal Ball by Grimes – Ruminate over all that is to come this school year with this song’s nervous energy.
  15. High By The Beach by Lana Del Rey – Summer may be over, but you can still get high in Riverside.
  16. Back To Back by Drake – Lerner: ramps back/to/back/to/back/to/back (and you know the package center line will wrap around at least one of them).
  17. Break From Toronto by PARTYNEXTDOOR – Take a break from Morningside Heights and (wait for it) go downtown–especially while you have the time before classes start!
  18. Don’t Wanna Be Your Girl by Wet – For when you’re trying to remind your parents that you’re no longer their “little girl,” and that they need to stop calling every day.

Aug

19

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Before the summer ends and we’re all back in Boringside Heights, Bwog wants to highlight your Houses and Homes! Send a picture of your vacation spot/triple-monitor set-up at work/tiny apartment in the city/sprawling backyard in the middle of nowhere to tips@bwog.com, and don’t forget to include where you are, what it smells like, what it sounds like, and what it tastes likeFeel free to also tell us what you’ve been up to this summer! Our first submission comes from Bwogger Rachel Deal–though she spent most of her time working in Boston, she also took a quick trip to Canada to visit a friend.

Where: Fort Erie, Ontario–right on Lake Erie.

Sight: beach in canada

Sound: Wind in trees and the dog barking next door.

Smell: Last night’s bonfire on the beach and sunscreen.

Taste: Maple syrup, Tim Hortons, (my first legal sips of) white wine, and sunscreen.

Aug

19

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You Are Here!!!

You Are Here!!!

We forgot NSOP was actually a thing, but the schedule for NSOP 2015 was released on Guidebook and we’re feeling all nostalgic for some reason. This year’s orientation is themed “You Are Here,” and includes many of our favorite NSOP programs such as Community Forum, Open Mic Night, and the Gender-Based Misconduct lectures!

To access the official guide, download Guidebook from your smart phone application store of choice. Register a free account or simply search “Columbia University and Barnard College Orientation 2015.” From there, you will have access to a full breakdown of this year’s orientation schedule. One can view Barnard’s orientation schedule online here, as well as the CC/SEAS schedule here (once it is posted online).

This year’s orientation will follow a different schedule in terms of OL group division. Each group is made of 10 members, all of whom are from the same residence hall. Each group (i.e group 7-A) will be paired up with another group (i.e 7-B) from a different first-year residence hall. These two groups will be meeting together at all times and will follow the same tracks.

This year, there are five mandatory tracks aptly named after the five boroughs of NYC for CC/SEAS students. Barnard students are divided into 3 tracks named after some main Barnard bitchez—Magnolia, Milbank, and Millie. Students and groups are expected to attend the given events within their track, i.e. groups 7-A & 7-B are to follow the Brooklyn track! The main events like the New York City event, Community Forum, and the Class of 2019 photo include all first-years and occur at the same time, regardless of group or track.

All of these events may seem fun now, but we’ll let you know which scheduled events you should actually go to during NSOP. Regardless, get excited and start meticulously filling your Google Cal with all these events as you prepare for the sloppiest week of your Columbia life!

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