Show Up To Write Up At Wikithon Tonight!
It's time we got Barnard Bearoness on WikiCU

It’s time we got Barnard Bearoness on WikiCU

Days on Campus have passed, which only re-emerges memories of how you once spent your days anxiously awaiting to become a Columbia student. This undoubtedly included stalking our beloved WikiCU, and as a result you arrived on campus for NSOP feeling like you had all the special knowledge on the ins and outs of Morningside.

Reward your prospie self and go to the Wikithon tonight in John Jay Lounge to ensure that WikiCU is forever relevant and up to date. It’s a great two hours to pretend like you’re a respected contributor to our campus life on a Monday night.

Bwog may or may not distribute a prize to a lucky Columbia student who assumes the responsibility to update the Bwog WikiCU page to the best of their ability. The prize will most likely follow prize trends of contests’ past, like Koronet’s pizza and some room temperature beer (both never rewarded). Write at your own risk!

See, with WikiCU anything is possible via Shutterstock

A Call For Actual Wisdoms
As much of a spiritual experience as the midnight bike ride

As much of a spiritual experience as the midnight bike ride

As the entitled undergraduates that we are, we might think that valuable wisdom rests only in the hands of our fellow classmates. They’ve successfully wafted through their time here at Columbia, they understand what it’s like to be the small species in the big university kingdom, and we one day hope to be as cool as them.

Graduating seniors are only a fraction of the readily available wisdom present on this campus, and for the rest of the whole we should look to the hardworking, sometimes underpaid, and scholarly people that make up the professors at our school.

If you have a professor that you want to honor or ensure that their message is shared with those outside of your classroom, nominate them for an Actual Wisdom to tips@bwog.com by Friday, May 1 at 11:59 pm. They, too, will enjoy being prompted with the notorious oral sex vs. cheese question, so romantic motivations for nominating a professor are not discouraged. Be sure to include a short description on why said professor is deserving of a spread on this undergraduate news site, and we plan to start contacting these (most likely) old and wise academics soon!

This must be on your CV if you want to be a (well-liked) professor via Shutterstock

PeopleHop: Eye Master
haha googles

No delays on the 1 train? Positively shocking!

A male Columbia student’s version of Their Eyes Were Watching God: taping googly eyes all over our divine campus. Ross “Four Eyes” Chapman noticed these hidden staples with his heightened prescription vision and decided to put a face (and fingers) to the mysterious all-black pupils. 

Where have you seen them? The lion reliefs in front of Butler? On the doors of Carman? On the faces of CCSC campaign posters? This semester, Columbia has been the subject of one student’s rampage of googly eyes. This student, who asked to be either anonymous or referred to as the “Eye Master,” has taken his huge collection of grade school art supplies to the streets and classrooms of Morningside Heights.

“It looked like a balloon,” he recounted, thinking back to when a yellow padded envelope arrived at the package center for him after spring break. The Eye Master, with the help of some floormates, purchased 4,000 18 millimeter googly eyes from China on eBay. After shipping, they cost him just one cent per eye. He opened his package and the first small bag of eyes within it, and decorated a paper recycling bin in Lerner as his very first act of googly vandalism.

The Eye Master really is an expert at what he does. As we ate in JJ’s, discussing the finer parts of plastic eyes, he was passively and easily preparing the adhesive on the back of the eyes. Two went on the wall, and another two on the condiments caddy of the table. When I went to get some Jamba Juice, I came back to see two on my laptop case and another two on the computer itself. He has a talent for subterfuge, and he uses it for art. The Eye Master was inspired when he came across a community on Reddit, r/eyebombing. According to the Subreddit, “Eyebombing is the art of sticking ‘googly eyes’ onto an inanimate object in the public sphere.” Popular posts on the page include googly-eyed tattoos, refrigerators, and famous pieces of art.

The Eye Master’s favorite stories and motives after the jump

Here Are The Changes To CCSC’s Constitution
And that's why we have constitutional review fun, folks

And that’s why we have constitutional review fun, folks

We know you’ve waited all week to know how CCSC’s Constitutional Review went down, and you loyal constituents now have the answers at your fingertips. Joe Milholland gets a  big-ol’ Hancock for this CCSC recap.

On Sunday night, the Columbia College Student Council voted on constitutional changes. They made the following decisions:

  1. They unanimously approved an impeachment process whereby a council member is automatically up for impeachment if they have 3 general body absences or 6 overall absences. In that case, the VP of Comms would start the impeachment process. A council member is automatically impeached if they have 4 general body absences of 7 overall absences. An appeals board made up of 5 randomly chosen council members who are not the VP of Communications can overrule an impeachment through a 3/5ths majority if the impeachment was based on faulty attendance data or if the impeached council member had extremely extenuating circumstances for their impeachment. Finally, if a council member has two absences, two other council members can bring impeachment proceedings against them. The proceedings would go forward on the next CCSC general body meeting.
  2. The council did not approve any changes to the Sandbassador. However, they approved the creation of an Inclusion and Equity Representative, a new position on CCSC that would focus on issues students face based on “marginalized identities.”
  3. The council voted not to cut down on the number of representatives in class councils.
  4. The council voted to change the duties of the pre-professional rep to focus more on a broader variety of post-graduation opportunities for students. However, the name of the position is unchanged.
  5. The council voted to give some guidelines in the constitution as to the role of appointed council members.
  6. The council voted against changing the council terms from one academic year to one calendar year.
  7. The council voted to allow the executive board to decide whether they want liaisons to other councils. The Communications Committee will in charge of appointing the liaisons.
  8. The council voted against changing the date of constitutional review.

Several of these decisions involved extensive debate amongst council members. VP of Policy Sejal Singh supported the Inclusion and Equity Rep, saying that she wants to keep its responsibilities vague and that the SGA Inclusion and Equity Rep has worked well. Class of 2015 Rep cited the Blue and White article on gender representation in CCSC as an argument against cutting down the number of class reps. Usenator Ramis Wadood brought up that if the dates of council terms were changed, members of CCSC would have to resign their positions in order to become senators.

Suprise, they also talked about things besides the Constitution

Bwoglines: Anarchy Edition
Red carpet smiles because anarchy is just a TV concept, right?

Red carpet smiles because anarchy is just a TV concept, right?

What kind of power does Obama have without the security of private email? Turns out some Russian hackers discovered an even larger trove of Obama-communication than previously thought, which brings the trouble of his BlackBerry back into the limelight. The presidential inbox hosts an eclectic array of email topics, ranging from “his golf game” to “the struggle with Congress over the Iranian nuclear negotiations.” (NY Times)

The peaceful intentions of a protest in Baltimore Saturday night spiraled into violent outcomes when some the of protestors left the main group and began to throw and vandalize things. (Reuters)

Grey’s Anatomy fans are legit up in arms about the events in last week’s episode, and this fan-made petition to the writers goes beyond the emoji-prolific statuses and tweets about how many tears have been shed courtesy of this episode. To victims of this overrated heartbreak, the damage has been done. (TIME)

Current students are left to pursue education elsewhere after last night’s closure of all its remaining campuses nationwide. These students will be compensated by the federal government if they have student loans, but money does not fulfill requirements for a completed degree. (Sacramento Bee)

Anarchy logo lurks behind the smiles… via Shutterstock

CUSS Presents: LoveBugs

Are you desperately waiting for Bachelor In Paradise? We have a quick fix for you. Be sure to check out CUSS on Facebook and Instagram—new videos coming very soon!

LoveBugs from Bwog on Vimeo.

Chopped: Italian-And-Freegan-Inspired Edition

Bwog Chopped is back after a long hiatus with Internal Editor Britt Fossum attempting to create a culinary masterpiece out of the bare cabinets of Arts Editor Joseph Powers. This week’s recipe is for those with a strong constitution and an excess of tomato soup.

Pappa al Pomodoro al Bwog

Pappa al Pomodoro al Bwog

I was told that all I would have to work with as ingredients today would be a 12 pack of Campbell’s tomato soup and some (high quality) vinegar and my wits. It turns out that my wits saved the day: I noticed an abandoned plate of deli sandwiches and a handful of ketchup packets on the table that proved to be key components of a “Pappa al Pomodoro” style soup served with cheesy toast. This is good comfort food for when you are seriously desperate, lazy, or procrastinating studying during finals week.

Ingredients and Kitchen Tools:

  • One can Campbell’s tomato soup
  • Tomato paste (if you’ve got some) or 8 ketchup packets (if you don’t)
  • One packet easy mac cheese powder
  • 2.5 abandoned deli sandwiches with cheese, tomatoes, and cold cuts
  • The dregs of a package of dry roasted edamame
  • Good olive oil and vinegar that Ina Garten would approve of
  • One spoon
  • Grater
  • Microwaveable bowl

Recipe:

  • Pick apart the sandwiches that you found laying on a table in Schapiro. Discard the meat and lettuce, keep the cheese/bread/tomatoes (ed note: this was when Joseph ducked out saying, “I can’t look at food that looks funny.” his loss.)
  • Chop the tomatoes finely and mix with some salt and vinegar to marinate.
  • Grate all three bottom halves of the sandwich rolls into your bowl and one of the top halves. Try to avoid slicing off a finger and discard any chunks of bread that are too soggy. Mix with the packet of cheese powder for depth of flavor.
  • Open one can of tomato soup and pour directly into bowl. Add olive oil by the Bwog shotglass until the mixture is smooth. Using olive oil instead of water helps disguise the MSG flavor of the canned tomato soup.
  • Microwave on high for 3 minutes, covered with a bit of paper towel to avoid splattering.
  • While the soup is heating up, turn the oven on pre-heating. Arrange the two remaining pieces of bread on a napkin and lightly brush with olive oil. Arrange the pieces of cheese salvaged from the sandwich to cover the entire surface of the bread. Place directly on oven rack.
  • Remove soup from microwave and stir. Stir in marinated tomatoes and heat for another 2 minutes until it reaches the temperature of molten lava.
  • Remove cheese toast from oven either when lightly browned on top or when you start smelling burning cheese.
  • Garnish soup with a bit of olive oil and a small handful of roasted edamame, for crunch. Artfully place cheese toast on top.
A Haiku About The Bwog Meeting Tonight
"That's a great fucking haiku"

“That’s a great fucking haiku”

A haiku about the weekly Bwog meeting that’s taking place tonight, which is open to the public, meaning that everyone should attend, especially because the semester is ending soon, and finals are coming, and you need to procrastinate more, and I need one more line otherwise the formatting on this post looks terrible:

Bwog meeting tonight,

At 7. Room 505,

Of Lerner. With snacks.

Daenerys Targaryen approves of this poem via Wikia

Bucket List: Parenting, Science and Responsive Cities
Is NYC a responsive city?

Is NYC a responsive city?

Bucket List represents the immense academic privilege we enjoy as Columbia students. Gear up for the last full week of classes with these enriching educational programs. Our recommendations are below, and you can find the rest of the list after the jump. As always, if we’ve made a mistake or left anything noteworthy off the list, please let us know in the comments. 

Recommended

  • “No-Regrets Parenting: Making the Most of the 940 Saturdays of Childhood.” Tuesday 6:00 pm, James Room (Barnard Hall). Harley Rotbart.
  • “The Responsive Cities Initiative.” Tuesday 6:30-8:00 pm, Brown Institute for Media Innovation (Pulitzer). Lev Gonick, Brett Goldstein, Elin Katz, Jim Baller, Oliver Wise. Register.
  • “Writing About Global Science for the International Media.” Thursday 6:30-8:30 pm, 516 Hamilton. Naomi Oreskes, Lesley Jane SeymourRegister.

Learn about getting saved by a martyr, among other things, below the jump

From the Issue: Lerner’s Glass Ceiling
Illustration by Leila Mgaloblishvili, CC '16

Illustration by Leila Mgaloblishvili, CC ’16

As ever, honoring our dearest Mother Magazine, Bwog presents Blue and White contributor Mariam Elnozahy’s, BC ’16, investigation into CCSC’s demographic misrepresentation.

The Columbia College Student Council (CCSC) is elected by the student body (or the 40 percent who vote) every April. Its 25 members are tasked with representing Columbia College students. They are often invited to closed University functions and meet regularly with administrators to discuss policy changes, the campus climate, and the school community. At the end of every year, the council oversees the allocation of every student’s activity fee to student groups and uses part of the allocation to put on events. CCSC, in short, structurally possesses power and influence. The granting of this power is justified through the collective ritual of elections, which purports to involve all students at Columbia.

When students vote in council elections, they hope to vote for the candidate who best represents them: demographically, ideologically, and with regard to pertinent issues. Skewed demographics prevent the council from representing students adequately in terms of ideology or issues. CCSC’s demographics and Columbia’s demographics have not mirrored each other in recent years. But this year, the disconnect is more stark than ever, and the clearest gap between council demographics and the student body at large is gender. (For the purposes of this piece, the terms “men” and “women” refer to cisgender men and women.)

On April 1st 2015, as this issue went to press, the incoming CCSC executive board was elected. It was 80 percent male (and 100 percent Greek). This is a new trend: if we look at demographics from the past decade, we see that CCSC has, generally speaking, historically been constituted nearly equally of women and men. But the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 classes’ demographic makeup looks different. Columbia College women, who constitute 51 per cent of the student population, made up a little bit more than a third of the 2014-2015 CCSC membership. While they represent 44 percent of the 2015-2016 CCSC, in neither year did CCSC have a single female class president. In 2014-2015, there was no female at-large representative; in 2015-2016, there is just one.

“Confidence and fear”

An important part of the equation is who actually runs in the first place. At an Elections Board information session for the upcoming CCSC and Engineering Student Council (ESC) elections in March, of the 28 individuals in the room, only two prospective female candidates who were new to council came to find out how to get involved. In between bites of the free pizza and cozy banter amongst the individuals in the room (who mostly seemed to know each other already), prospective candidates (all male) inquired about the “perks” of being on Council and the privileges given to those who are elected. Neither of the female prospective candidates asked questions.

According to University Senator Jared Odessky, CC ’15, who has been involved with council for four years, “Confidence and fear play a big role in who decides to run or not run.” His choice of words is telling: a 2014 article in The Atlantic, “The Confidence Gap,” surveys social scientific literature of past decade to locate trend in literature women are less likely to sign up for opportunities than men, who are less likely to doubt themselves. While less likely to independently put themselves out there, women will take on those same responsibilities when asked.

When the time to run came this Spring, 16 women and 28 men ran. What had happened to the 28 to 2 men-to-women ratio of the interest meeting? Odessky observed that there’s “definitely a tokenization factor” in CCSC party formation. Rather than women independently deciding to run for class council or executive board and then forming a party, he said, “Often the people at the helm of a class council party will be white men who have the confidence to run at the head.” They then proceed to “select a vice president who diversifies their ticket,” he says. Odessky ran as president, with a female vice president, his freshman year. For the 2015-2016 academic year, this was only true of one of three classes; for 2014-2015, it was true of nobody. In both years, all of the class presidents were men.

Odessky says that these men “usually try to incorporate at least two women on their ballot.” These women are overwhelmingly class representatives (which constitute 54 percent of positions), rather than president or vice president. The trend prevailed this year: only one of the five candidates for class president was a woman, while nine of the twelve candidates for class representative were women. Correspondingly, out of all the eight candidates for at-large representative positions (which do not run under parties), two were women.

Click here to read more after the jump!

Bwoglines: Chain Reaction Edition
Setting off volcanoes around the world like

Setting off natural disasters around the world like

We’re not trying to freak you out or anything, but that magma expanse under our nation’s very own super volcano…Yeah, it’s a lot bigger than people thought. “How big can it be” you’re probably asking yourself. Well, scientists think there’s enough magma to fill the grand canyon more than 14 times. (CNN)

A magnitude 7.8 earthquake nearly leveled the country of Nepal on Saturday, leaving over 1,900 people dead. Additionally, four of the seven Unesco World Heritage sites in the areas were completely destroyed. (NYT)

As a result of that magnitude 7.8 earthquake in Nepal, several smaller earthquakes rippled through the region near the base of Mt. Everest, killing at least 17 climbers and injuring 37 others. (NYT)

By now you’ve probably already heard about Chile’s Calbuco Volcano, which shot out a plume of volcanic ash more than 6 miles high into the air. Pyroclastic flow. Lahar. Oh my. But did you know, scientists estimate the volcano will be actively erupting for several months? (Weather)

These might not all be correlated via Shutterstock

Health and Social Activism of Self-Identified Gay Men in Post-Socialist China

tiantianOn Thursday evening resident Bwogger Maddie Stearn attended a talk hosted by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute. She may have been there for a class, but she got a lot more out of the experience than a few extra credit points.

“Health and Social Activism of Self-Identified Gay Men in Post-Socialist China”

Don’t let the lengthy title scare you off. It’s actually a little surprising that the title wasn’t longer, considering that Tiantian Zheng has amassed such an incredible trove of knowledge from her fieldwork in China. Dr. Zheng, a professor of Anthropology at SUNY Cortland, visited the Weatherhead East Asian Institute to present her most recent work with an HIV/AIDS organization in Dalian, China. The talk was moderated by Dorothy Ko, a Professor of History at Barnard and affiliate of the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies department.

During her presentation, Dr. Zheng covered far more than health and social activism, weaving in discussions of police brutality, government intervention, and the complexities of identity. However, each topic is intricately entangled in the subtleties of the others, so her presentation never strayed from its original subject matter.

“When One Person Becomes Gay, the Whole Family Becomes Glorious.”

Dr. Zheng saw this quote on a poster during a gay rights march in Dalian. The quote is a parody of a government slogan that reads, “When One Person Becomes a Soldier, the Whole Family Becomes Glorious.” According to Dr. Zheng, not only is it not “glorious” when a family member comes out in China, but the family is usually shamed in the process. Dr. Zheng elaborated on this sense of shame, saying that a son’s primary duty is to have children, making it difficult for gay men to come out because they are effectively discontinuing the family line. Furthermore, the Chinese government essentially renders the gay community invisible, so the poster that Zheng saw was a way of reclaiming the gay identity by appropriating and disrupting government discourse.

Meanwhile, during that very same march the HIV/AIDS organization that Dr. Zheng was working with did not identify themselves as affiliated with the gay community. Prior to the march Dr. Zheng received warnings from friends, telling her it was unsafe to attend the event, as there was a high chance of violence. Dr. Zheng’s experience was quite the contrary, largely because so few organizations actually voiced their affiliations with the gay community. The intent of the march was to show solidarity with the global gay community, and some organizations even held up rainbow flags during the march (Dr. Zheng noted that rainbows are not related to gay rights in China), but the event was not really recognizable as a gay rights march and proceeded without much outside attention. Considering past issues with police in particular, it appears that such ambiguity is a survival technique.

“These people should be arrested and sent to jail.”

In response to police raids on gay hangouts, the leader of a gay rights organization released a surprising statement in which he condemned the victims of these raids. The leader was also a self-identified gay man, so his damning words seem counterproductive to say the least. During her presentation, Dr. Zheng read a portion of the press release from the organization:

Gay men visiting these types of places should be arrested. It is these gay men who have brought stigma to the gay community and created a bad image of the gay community. These people should be arrested and sent to jail. I need to speak the truth because I have been to these places and seen ugly scenes. I myself am a gay, but I know that as a gay we need to know decency.

This statement is even more astonishing considering the that police were known to use violence during their raids. The fact is, however, that this organization’s opinion was not even in the minority. Dr. Zheng spoke to the leader of the group she was working with, and he agreed with the other organization’s statement. These reactions, according to Dr. Zheng, speak to the Dalian moral order and self-censorship within the gay community.

“Mutual benefits and fragility”

Some of the tension between gay-rights organizations and the gay community can be attributed to the strenuous relationship that these same organizations have with local government. To begin with, these organizations’ affiliation with the gay community is hidden from the public sphere, as they are only allowed to exist in the name of AIDS prevention. Dr. Zheng also mentioned that only a handful of AIDS prevention organizations are able to legally register, and once they do they are prohibited from applying for global funding. The small number of registered organizations must then engage in a relationship with the local government characterized by “mutual benefits and fragility.” Local officials proceed to take credit for the successes of these grassroots AIDS prevention groups, while the groups in turn rely heavily on local officials to prevent the shut down of AIDS prevention operations.

 

Dr. Zheng’s work in Dalian is just the most recent of her fieldwork on the politics of sex and gender in post-socialist China. Her published works include Red Lights: The Lives of Sex Workers in Post-Socialist China, Sex-Trafficking, Human Rights, and Social Justice, and Tongzhi Living: Men Attracted to Men in Postsocialist China, among others.

Tiantian Zheng via SUNY Cortland

Challenge: Knobs And Handles

Take on the ultimate door knob and handle challenge. Test your knowledge of campus aesthetics! Impress your friends! Kill a minute!

Experiencing The Serpent At Minor Latham Playhouse
They're getting it on

It’s exactly what you think it is.

Thorny thespian Ross Chapman returns with another Barnard theatre review. Skewer him!

Today is the final day of the Barnard Senior Thesis Festival, where three seniors showed off their directing skills in three very different shows. I chose to see The Serpent, and another Bwogger should tell you about The Crazy Locomotive soon. The Serpent is certainly a showcase for a director, as it’s as subversive a play as you’ll see all year. Directed by Andrea Marquez, this show was more of an experience than a stage production. From the start, something was amiss. As people on stage where getting the set ready (the previous senior thesis play, Woyzeck, had ended ten minutes ago), the members of the cast were mingling with the audience in a noticeably uncomfortable way. They were talking to people who seemed to want privacy and stretching using the chairs of unsuspecting spectators.

Suddenly, drumming started from the stage, which whipped the face-painted actors into a frenzy. For most of the first scene, I had the suspicion that this play was an experiment in making the audience uncomfortable. If you want to see it tonight, you should make sure you’re not too jumpy. Most of the scenes are chronologically independent from each other, but the one structural touchstone is the Bible. The title denotes the serpent from the Garden of Eden, and the story continues (in some manner) from there until the story of Cain and Abel. Even these scenes, though, are hardly literal, and each biblical episode is broken up by other, often angsty scenes.

But what has happened to the theatre!?

Bwoglines: Addition Edition
Nothing so large!

Nothing so large!

Comcast + Time Warner = who cares? It isn’t happening. The $45 billion merger foundered in the face of harsh criticism from regulators and advocacy groups alike. Most arguments against the deal centered around the fact that, combined, the companies would control an outright majority of the broadband Internet market. (Christian Science Monitor)

Abercrombie & Fitch models + shirts = who cares? In an effort to refocus on its core products (i.e., not models’ chiseled abs), A&F will move towards selling clothes rather than attractive people. We’ll see. (Christian Science Monitor)

18 + 3 = Hawaii’s future smoking age. The state’s legislature passed the bill by a wide margin and it now goes to the state’s governor for final approval. If the bill is signed, Hawaii will become the first state to raise its smoking age to 21. (AP)

You + 10 grams of marijuana = a fine in Illinois. The state’s house passed a bill that would treat marijuana possession as a fineable misdemeanor rather than something warranting a court appearance. (Illinois State Journal-Register)

Dream child via Shutterstock