Search Results for: semester in review

Jan

17

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SGA <3 vegans

Our SGA Bureau Chief Dassi Karp summarizes what happened last semester in SGA to start a fresh new semester. 

I’m excited for a new semester of Barnard SGA meetings, because who doesn’t love sitting through hours of administrative guests, policy arguments, pointless votes, and occasional discussions of the work that’s actually getting done behind the scenes? Alas, Rep Council has not reconvened yet, so there’s no meeting to cover this week. But that can’t stop us from checking in with our revolutionary Reps! At the end of last semester, SGA released a mid-year report about what they’ve accomplished, and what work they hope to continue this spring. Here are the highlights:

Under the keen guidance of President Angela Beam, SGA greatly improved its meeting structure this semester. Instead of inviting guests at seemingly random intervals to have unproductive discussions, as they have in past years, many Rep Council meetings have centered on bringing together student leaders and administrators to start meaningful discussions that produce actionable items (there were exceptions, of course).

Rep for Food and Dining Services Sarah Broniscer, along with Beam, worked to establish an ad hoc committee on food insecurity. The committee will start its work in the coming weeks, and hopes to find “tangible solutions to combating food insecurities on campus.” This semester, Broniscer was also successful in increasing Barnard dining’s Halal, Kosher, vegan, and allergen-friendly options. That’s a lot of options!

In a move that increased transparency with astonishingly few technical malfunctions, VP Communications Rhea Nagpal spearheaded the decision to livestream all SGA meetings on Facebook. SGA reports an average of 320 views per meeting, which is impressive. I doubt the representativeness of that number (someone needs to only tune in for a few seconds for Facebook to count it as a view), but still. If you combine that number with the number of people who read Bwog’s reporting on meetings, that’s about 322 people who know what’s happening in their student government!

The student academic advisory community, under the brilliant guidance of former Rep for Academic Affairs Shoshana Edelman, worked to increase communication between administration and students about course offerings, major options, and academic diversity. Because of their bizarre handling of appointments at the end of last semester, there is currently no one filling this position. My prediction: SGA will try to spend another few hours of meeting time trying to pull this off at the beginning of next semester. By the time whoever they pick joins the council, the semester will be too far over for any meaningful work to get done. Prove me wrong, SGA–do something reasonable for once.

The Seven Sisters Committee, led by Rep for Seven Sisters Relations Julia Pickel, has a really detailed and complex subcommittee structure. There are almost as many committees as there are Sisters, which is just an impressive feat of bureaucracy.

The class councils did all of the normal class council stuff. There’s been an interesting trend of the first-year class representatives tending to focus on programming and discussions that explicitly center on diversity and inclusion of under-represented groups. This is true to the platforms of both FY President Sara Morales and Vice President Tina Gao, who won their positions in elections with a record-breaking turnout this fall.

To summarize this summary: the SGA did some things, and didn’t do others. Overall, meeting structure and timeliness has improved, though actual results seem similar to past years. So far, I’m generally impressed with our student leaders, who all seem to genuinely want to make Barnard a Better place to Be. Here’s to another semester, SGA. I’ll be watching you.

Check out the report here to learn more about what SGA did last semester.

Vegetables via Bwog Archives

Dec

21

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img December 21, 20177:39 pmimg 1 Comments

The sun sets over another semester

So much happened this semester, from protests of CUCR speakers to sexual assault scandals to marching band victories. As you head home for winter break (or finish up your last final paper), take a moment to relive it all with our bi-annual semester in review.

To start the new semester, we decided to change up our Bwoglines format so that it now includes national and international news. The dirty Carman that we remember got an unexpected upgrade (or at least, some of it did). Spec was forced to leave their 111th street office, and later moved to Riverside Church. Suzanne Goldberg and Barnard’s new president, Sian Beilock, ensured the protection of undocumented students’ physical safety and personal information.

Bwog does videos now! Barnard students are only allowed in JJ’s until 1 am. We tried to brainstorm ways to handle being trapped in a hurricane during one of the worst seasons in history. We investigated the new Halloween pop-up store on Broadway and found some pretty creepy things. Before Columbia Crushes, there was Barnard/Columbia Missed Connections. Law and Order: SVU also decided that 1020 was worth having on their show.  We tested Columbia students to see how much they really know about their university. Ferris started cracking down with a new bouncer. Apparently there was a gorilla in the package center?

But that’s just September…

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

Dec

22

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We wish for more fun in 2017

We wish for more fun in 2017

This fall has truly been full of instability, both on and off campus. Bwog has recently seen its fifth Editor-in-Chief in as many semesters, Columbia students are realizing that their liberal bubble might not be as safe as it seemed, and Cannons is finally gone for good. Not all of these changes were bad, as The Reclining Figure found a home and Claremont finally got a crosswalk. Regardless of what happened, time passed as always. Before we head home to recharge over Winter Break, we want to recap the events of these past few months. 

Our semester began with some drama on Broadway as Deluxe finally closed and has yet to be replaced. To contribute to the instability, Barnard officially declared the Magnolia tree dead. A new tree will be planted on the lawn in Maggie’s place, but we’re uncertain that any flowering bough will ever truly be able to replace our favorite crying spot on campus.

Even though an intro lecture was held in the Diana Event Oval, our painfully boring academic lives carried on. The then-thriving hole that was Barnard’s library was partially to blame for lack of classroom space, but construction seems to be on track as the TLC finally started to rise (that’s Teaching and Learning Center… no updates on the increased Tender Love and Care).

Then, the Columbia bureaucracy reared its ugly head, as we were informed Columbia wanted to keep track of its reporters during protests, so we signed a form and got some fancy lanyards. We also found out Columbia would no longer allow students to record audio during gender based misconduct hearings. And we interviewed Marjory Fisher, the new Title IX coordinator, who defended that decision and gave us insight into the legal proceedings of gender-based misconduct investigations.

DSpar, Carman mold, and more after the jump

May

13

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Reflecting on the semester via illustrations

Reflecting on the semester via illustrations

In our last Semester in Review, we noted that this was the fourth semester in a row in which a new Editor-in-Chief took the helm of Bwog. We never could have anticipated that we would be saying something similar only a few months later.

At the end of each semester, we look back at the most significant events that swept through the Columbia community. Yet this time we also take stock of the tides that have swept through Bwog itself. As many of our readers reflect on who they want to be when they return in the fall, so too will Bwog.

We present this Semester in Review much in the same way as we have in the past, reminding our readers of controversies they may have forgotten and ones that they cannot forget. Internally, Bwog will continue to look back as we plan for our future.

Until fall, 

Rachel Deal, Editor-in-Chief
Maddie Stearn, Managing Editor

The semester started off tragically with a bus crash in Honduras that killed two Columbia students and one CUMC nurse. The campus came together to mourn their passing.

Later in January, we criticized the sorority recruitment process, and then Theta proved our point.

January 30th marked Bwog’s 10th birthday! Several of our past Editors-in-chief wrote letters to Bwog throughout February, telling us to be nicer, to never get old, and that we messed everything up (so help me Bwog!).

What else happened at CU this year?

Dec

15

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Editor's note: This image has been altered due to safety concerns.

Editor’s note: This image has been altered due to safety concerns.

Fall 2015 marked the fourth semester in a row in which a new board took the helm of Bwog: in August we lost former Editor in Chief Taylor Grasdalen to Duluth, Minnesota. Britt Fossum, CC ’16, took Grasdalen’s place as EIC. Joseph Powers, CC ’16, took Fossum’s place on the board as Internal Editor, with Courtney Couillard, BC ’17, continuing as Managing Editor. Our triumvirate’s time is up: we are replaced by the dynamic duo of Editor in Chief Mason Amelotte, CC ’18, and Managing Editor Maddie Stearn, BC ’17, long may they reign. We are additionally sad to say farewell to Publisher Jake Hershman, GS/JTS ’16, who is graduating this semester and heading off for the greener pastures of business. He is replaced by a new team: Publisher James Fast, CC ’19, and Associate Publisher Nikolas Huth, CC ’19. Courtney will continue her active involvement on Bwog as Alma Bwogger, a position that basically entails making snarky comments at meetings. Britt and Joseph are seniors and need to start getting their shit together with regards to post-college life.

The Semester in Brief:

Some things around here got better.

Psychological services on campus attempted to make improvements.

Laundry became free for Columbia students (sorry Barnard).

Football won a game or two (and Bwog lifted its ban on the f-word after a semester on probation).

In related news, Homecoming was Lit (and for once, Bwog went).

Just in time to save us from the stress of midterms Beta Jam returned from the grave.

The dreaded tarps are notably still absent.

Barnard’s Board of Trustees approved changes to the school’s admissions policy, beginning in Fall 2016, that allow trans women to be admitted to the College. Meanwhile Columbia Board of Trustees voted to divest from prisons.

FLIP introduced new initiatives and the Swipes application.

Luca Springer became our first Rhodes Scholar in a LONG TIME (and first ever GS Rhodes Scholar).

Sweetgreen sux tbh but it’s here to stay. Also Deluxe left and came back but still sucks as much as it always has. Also Friedman’s took campus culture too seriously and started assaulting people.

Barnard Winter housing policy somehow blindsided everyone even though Barnard has never provided winter housing. Seriously, they just got a bit stricter about it.

The Tab: Columbia arrived on campus, The Lion appointed a staffer to the position of editor-and-chief, and Spec ed-board changed. Farewell Michael Omelette.

But wait there’s more

Jan

5

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just like all of you

Cute little guy

A new year, a new perspective. Today we take a moment to look back on the first half of the year and think on what’s to come. 

If last fall was about exploring how we talk, this past semester was about putting our learned lessons to use. With no massive scandal or campus-wide debate abyss, we found that the topics that typically brought tons of vitriol, blurring the line of acceptability per our comment policy, instead passed by with relative silence. We figured there were three possible reasons for this:

  1. All the trolls graduated in 2013.
  2. Everybody stopped reading Bwog.
  3. We actually learned from past mistakes.

To any of these cases, we say good riddance. Rather than sling poop at each other like we used to, we’ve learned how to have reasoned arguments (with the exception of the 4:33 paper response, which we assume was caused in part by finals-induced stress). This culminated in the (mostly) thoughtful discussions found here, where each argument had a considerate counter-argument seemingly written after 10 seconds of deep breathing.

All of this progress did not come without mildly frightening repercussions. Rather than acting like student groups, student groups began acting like administrators and businesses. Activist groups acted for change by writing petitions and making Facebook events to get their friends to sign it online. When mistakes were made, involved groups issued official statements. We weren’t innocent in taking to considered words (or lack thereof) on things we want to see improved—but then again, we’re a website.

As we become increasingly sensitive and PC-oriented as a nation, Columbia has become more careful as an insular community. We’ve been tamed. We can only imagine what our 1968 alums think about us now. Would it be weird to say we miss the excitement of unfiltered reactions?

Luckily (?) that’s not for us to officially worry about anymore. We’re proud to announce that Bwog has been taken over by one of the finest editorial teams we’ve seen yet. Quick-witted and animalloving Sarah Faith Thompson is our new Editor-in-Chief; clever and adventurous Claire Friedman is Managing Editor; the brilliant Alexander Pines takes on Features Editor; and humorous and attentive Maud Rozee, reppin’ Barnard and Canada, rounds out the team as Internal Editor. We’re pumped to see what they have to bring and know that we’re leaving you in more-than-capable hands.

In the words of our predecessors, “it was…fun…”

Alexandra Svokos

Alexandra Avvocato

Time travel through the past five months

Jan

4

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img January 04, 201312:00 pmimg 16 Comments

Sated by parent’s box-wine and home-cooking, Bwog now casts a nostalgic gaze backward, and tries to connect the dots of news from this past semester. Here is Bwog’s song of the year for some musical accompaniment. 

The diversity of experience ensures a diversity of historical interpretation, but Bwog, unable to take off its “new media” goggles, sees this semester as a drawn-out, dialectic competition between differing valuations of speech, anonymous and authored. Although Bwog is a partisan in this fight, our community is far from a definite conclusion. If last semester/year was about wellness, this past semester was all about how we talk about wellness, and every other issue. (Fingers-crossed that next semester gets even more meta.)

There appear to be two camps forming: the liberty-loving anonymites and the welfare-concerned nice police. Two news stories exemplify this debate: the whale-of-an-issue Brownstone Review Committee, and KevSho v. Orgo Night. We originally suggested that the BRC didn’t pass the smell-check, and commenters agreed. Unfortunately, some of them used bad words to agree, and then we had vitriol, vitriol, vitriol. b@b posterized their sentiment, and the admins/CCSC got testy. Some may say that the anonymous discussion did more harm than good, but the issue was progressed, and the direction of campus sentiment was mapped. Who is to say that the same couldn’t have been done in a tepid, poorly-attended town hall? I mean, people obviously cease being asshats to each other when they talk in person. Obviously.

In the most prominent example of campus comment moderation, the administration seemed to strong-arm the marching band into apologizing for one of their Orgo Night advertisements. It did not go over well. Campus quickly factionalized via Facebook statuses and Butler dialogues. Protests were organized, and everyone enjoyed one perfect-storm of finals distraction. This episode highlighted the kernel of controversy behind the BRC, the need for more specific discussion about speech liberty on campus, and the difficulty in separating disagreements over method from content. Ostensibly, CUMB actually wanted to insult SJP, minorities, or sex-workers, but most people wanted to be able to joke about SJP, minorities, or “sex-workers.” We may moderate anonymous comments when they get particularly nasty and personal, but here we had a well-known campus organization making a “comment” with no serious political pretense. If that isn’t acceptable to an administration “dedicated to freedom of expression,” then what can be said in defense of the thousands of comments in Columbia’s digiverse?

There is a lot left to be settled, but the notion of any firm conclusion in this debate seems like an unrealistic expectation. We’ve seen thousands of names fight the good fight. We’ve seen thousands of anonymous people crush on thousands of names. We’ve obsessed over the work of one anonymous loon who voluntarily claimed authorship after-the-fact, and criticized the rant of one partisan who claimed authorship but should have practice anonymity. Bwog got involved—it ended The Dark Hand’s anonymity. Comments don’t grow on trees, but we now have the ability to divorce the message from the messenger. That may allow us to operate in a free market of ideas where intellectual merit is the only determinate of success, or it may result in speech that is not only divorced from its relationship to the author but also from its relationship, and responsibility, to the audience. This digital Ring of Gyges is ours to play with, and this semester was a step in the evolution of our community’s speech ethics.

But enough editorialization for one semester. Bwog is excited to announce that a new team will take the helm for the new year. The ever-capable Alexandra Svokos takes over as Editor-in-Chief; Alexandra Avvocato, as sharp as she is chic, is now the Managing Editor; and the inventive Marcus Levine inhabits the newly created Creative Editor position. The past year has been transformative for Bwog, and we’re all looking forward to seeing what the future holds for our new staff.

“It was… fun…”

Alex Jones

Brian Wagner

Peter Sterne

 

The Semester in Brief:  Now let’s take a brief tour of the semester past!

Dec

31

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It has been a big year, both at home and abroad. We appreciate your sticking with us during this era of crumbling regimes. Bwog, we can assure you, shall continue to flourish in the exceedingly capable hands of Ella Quittner, who will serve as Bwog Editor for the coming year. Alex Jones, Conor Skelding, and Brian Wagner will aid her with vim and vigor accompanied by faux-corporate titles that can in no way encapsulate the depth of their dedication and dexterity. Expect plenty of innuendo, brazen commentary, and inimitable news coverage.

Bwog is the collective voice of all of us; of our professors (whether they like it or not), of the squirrels, of the cheerless emails, and most importantly of our readers. Editing Bwog has been remarkable, and challenging, but I am most grateful for the amount I have learned from the incredible talent and creative spirit that pervades everything going on around me, not least of all through your eternal commentary. And nothing at all would have been possible without the immense talents and wonderful spirits of Carolyn Ruvkun and David Hu. Thank you for all of it!

Love always,
Claire

This year’s excitement began long before the glowstick-wielding 2015ers took campus by storm—weeks earlier, former Dean Michele Moody-Adams “unexpectedly” announced her 2012 resignation plan via email to trustees. Reactions to MoodyGate were complicated, and we got to use another “BREAKING” headline only days later when PrezBo ruled that her resignation would become effective immediately. Meanwhile, the East Coast was rocked by an actual earthquake, and before we knew it Convocation was cancelled, Operation Ivy League had a fictionalized debut, and Lerner’s ATMs emerged from their cocoons to be brighter and more weirdly laid out than ever before. No sooner than Deantini became CC’s interim dean were we forced to wave goodbye to NSOP 2011 and our best friend/campus tormentor Hawkma.

A bout of laptop theft hit Columbia, starting at 114th street, moving slightly north, and then making its way back down to the brownstones before Public Safety caught the bad guys in a joint operation with the 26th Precinct. Amidst a horde of celebrity sightingsfreshpeople took the time to learn new things about one another and we continued our time-honored tradition of making questionable puns. At some point, our “balls” puns gained focus as we implemented some long-overdue sports coverageDADT came to an end, beckoning plans for the reinstatement of ROTC to commence.  In what was perhaps the most groundbreaking and controversial post in Bwog history, we elucidated some long-standing mysteries regarding one integral Columbia institution. Despite CIRCA’s absence at the dinner table, Ahmadinejad once again came and went (much faster than September, it’d seem).

October began with a little less chaos, granting our weary fingers a rest from frantic Bwogging—we used the time off to join Steve Brill for an edible adventure in Central Park. That is, until Morningside Heights’ “annual autumn incident” reared its head, Occupy Wall Street made its way uptown to Columbia, and Steve Jobs passed away. Barnard made major changes to its tuition policies, “coningbecame the new “planking,” senators and spectators gathered to discuss the proposed smoking ban, and meanwhile, we were probably the only ones laughing as we made lots of dirty jokes. In an aggressive act of defiance, 1020 did absolutely nothing to celebrate 10/20. Just days before Halloween, Columbians awoke to the season’s first snowfall and the most harrowing snow penis South Lawn has ever seen.

On a serious note, October was also visited by tragedy, and we’d like to take a moment to reflect on the loss felt by the Columbia community.

Our Hallowinners got some much-deserved attention in early November—but certainly not as much as Jersey Shore cast-member Vinny, who stopped by to speak on behalf of an anti-bullying campaign. We unleashed our army of Butler Archetypes, International unleashed Chocolate-flavored wine, and HamDel unleashed two sexy and elusive signature scents. Columbia got excited about a homecoming, for once—that of Cornel West. The safety of our very own stretch of 114th was once again threatened, but we still managed to find a few things for which to give thanks.

We returned from Thanksgiving “vacation” to break the news that Amy had left HamDel, and finals were fast-approaching. Luckily, we had Hardcore, Actual Wisdom, and a snow-drawing generator to help smooth the transition. And, we were proud to see that our newest community members learned about time management on their own. SEAS Dean Peña-Mora didn’t have it so easy—the NYT brought his leadership under scrutiny in an investigative piece, citing low faculty morale and letters of no-confidence. In more SEAS-onal news, we made the final four in a competition for a new applied-science campus, but didn’t beat out Cornell. And speaking of competitions, Peter K. Manguarian was announced as Columbia’s new football coach.

As the semester came to a close, so too did our collective sense of joy and ability to shower—but the endless stream of dark nights and even darker days in Butler was alleviated by a reminder that tons of soon-to-be Columbians can’t wait to be in our shoes a year from now.

Dec

31

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Woosh! Before finally bidding farewell the most awkwardly named decade ever, please allow a moment to reflect on the madness that was these past few months. Starting tomorrow, the overwhelmingly talented, lovely and British (expect some ‘u’s in words where you don’t usually see them) Claire Sabel, CC’13, will be your Bwog Editor. Claire will reign over this website with tag-queen, Yiddish-master and exactly who we are talking about when we say Bwog is actually a person, Carolyn Ruvkun, and reporting/Internet/headline Emperor David Hu, who will ensure not only that this website exists everyday but also that, in the words of Jay-Z, the best of our todays are the worst of our tomorrows. A promise to you: the world has not seen a triumvirate this capable since Octavius, Marc Antony, and that other one.

Thank you, always, for reading, for commenting, and for tipping. We are always here for you, Columbia-galaxy, and thank you for being there for us. Editing Bwog this year has been an honor, a privilege, and a delight.

Love,
Eliza

The semester began with technological innovations, most importantly our own, but also MTA’s. The rest of the neighborhood remained fairly recognizable. Commencement was sweaty and on video. ’14ers were more prepared for their new lives than ever before – equipped with our definitive guide to safe sex and a healthy (“These will not be the best years of your lives”) dose of cynicism. Nor was NSOP’s theme the least of the mysteries.

The rest of September saw celebs Rufus and JGL, equally coveted Wi-Fithe launch of BwogWeather (DVD box set coming soon!) and the announcement of pre-professional degrees. We thought that petty crime, and the undercover arrest at the bookstore would be the only notable entries in the annals of Morningside Misdemeanors, and that the Zenawi protest would be the major news of the semester–ha! Also we realized that we live in a jungle. Meanwhile the Vag chronicles continued. (more…)

Dec

31

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bwogIt’s New Year’s Eve! But before you go popping the champagne corks, strap in for an announcement and a look back at the last semester of the Aughties/Naughties/Zeroes. First, starting tomorrow, former daily editor and current magazine senior editor Eliza Shapiro, CC ’12, will be taking over as Bwog editor; joining her as deputy will be three-semester (!) daily editing veteran Anish Bramhandkar, SEAS ’11. Once again, it’s been a privilege to edit this blog for y’all this past year – thank you.

– JCD

The year began with improvements: JJ’s got WiFi; the JSchool got shiny. Then 2013 took the 2 train too far uptown and taught us all a thing or two about forced friendship.

After the fresh-people were tucked in to their tiny Carman beds, the hot-button issue of the Fall semester exploded. As the leaves turned, Marky Mark stopped by Happy Hour at 1020. Plus: famous people hung out in Low; PrezBo looked funny. Westboro protested at JTS. The Columbia Bartending Agency re-opened and the War on Fun was pretty much unaffected.

During midterm season, the hot dog saga continued. Everyone went swine-crazy. The Community Food & Juice Inferno ’09 finally stopped raging, 6 months later, and we all guzzled $5 hot chocolates in celebration. (more…)

Dec

28

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Before you relive your halcyon days of Fall 08, an announcement: As of January, James Downie (of Political Weekly and Sports… on Bwog! fame, and the fantastic reporter and writer behind our NROTC coverage, among other things) will be taking over as Bwog Editor. Many daily editors and other staffers will be staying on, but expect new faces in that arena as well; Hawkmadinebwog Editor Courtney Douds has already begun to do tremendous work with the hawk blog.

On behalf of the entire Fall 08 staff, it’s been a pleasure and an honor that you’ve all hung out with us every day. We are truly humbled and grateful that you do.

JNW


August/September:
The year began with an Orientation Week of cancellations and showdowns. Upperclassmen learned that the Global Core was much, much simpler than Major Cultures, and that the much beloved Hawkmadinejad was in fact several Hawks-madinejad. Freshmen experienced the last three weeks of the Kim’s Era (before it was inexplicably replaced by a costume/cosmetics establishment), though its DVD collection will live on.

The biggest event of the semester, the McBama Summit, was here and gone within two weeks. The first Wednesday night of school, PrezBo sent out the announcement email, and student groups, governing boards, and press outlets quickly moved to get their share of the action. Everyone entered the ticket lottery, and 99% failed to get in. Bwog elbowed its way into the Low steps crowd, and livebwogged the entire evening extravaganza (including Dean Shollenberger looking dapper, Tobey Maguire looking stoned, feeds continuously going out, and a near entrance of Obama along College Walk). Not to be outdone, Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton held her own press conference at Barnard.

(more…)

Dec

10

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There are so many performances on campus in the lead-up to finals that it can be hard to keep track of them all. Bwog is here to give you hand; we sent Bwogger Aliya Schneider to photograph (and eventually review) Orchesis’ semesterly show, because chances are you have at least one friend in it who will want to talk to you about it.

I love Orchesis’ presence on campus. They make an obvious effort to include anyone who wants to be a part of their community. They accept everyone who auditions, so the show consists of dancers from a range of experiences, yet every dance was impressive and interesting. Due to the inclusive nature of the club, some of the dances were huge, so you may expect them to drag on and look like a jumbled mess. But they didn’t. It worked. It worked really well.

Orchesis’ semesterly shows are always spins off of the word “Orchesis”. In the past they’ve done “Work Work Work Work Workesis” and “1, 2, 3, Fourchesis.” This year, the theme was “Love is an Open Door-hesis”. Some may roll their eyes at how hard the group tries to make puns with the name, but I find it endearing. The theme is picked after the pieces for the show are chosen, so the pieces don’t necessarily match the theme. To tie in the theme, dancers volunteer to stage interludes throughout the show. So in between serious dances with professional-looking costumes, dancers came on stage wearing t shirts and even a onesie, dancing to Frozen songs. Some interludes were impressively choreographed, others a bit messy. They were all fun. Some of the dancers seemed to take the interludes seriously, while others took it more as a joke. The interludes clash with the professional nature of the rest of the show, but it still works. It’s a tradition, and keeps things light. The dancers clearly have fun with them, which makes them interesting to watch.

See photos and find out more about the show!

Dec

6

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A beautiful poster for a beautiful show

The Nutcracker is one of the most famous ballets in the world today—especially around the holiday season. This semester, Columbia University Ballet Ensemble (CUBE) has been working hard to choreograph and produce their own version of this classic show, and Bwog was lucky enough to be able to send Arts Editor Sarah Kinney to sit in on dress rehearsal Tuesday night.

CUBE, known for both its incredible talent and inclusivity, casts every dancer who auditions. Because of this, the show featured dancers of every level—from beginners to ex-professionals. The curtain opens on Kayla Glaser (BC ’20) en pointe as young Clara, who then welcomes all of her friends and family to her family Christmas gathering. Many of the dancers portraying her friends are only beginners, but with Clara leading them in simple yet elegant movements, the scene is engaging and uplifting. This pattern continues throughout the show; with roles from children to mice to bakers to sugar plum fairies, the the whimsical tone of The Nutcracker lends itself well to incorporating dancers of all levels. Glaser’s portrayal of Clara herself is lively, inviting, and technically advanced, making her the perfect leader for the entire show.

The set, however, is somewhat lacking. With cardboard clocks and blow-up turkeys, the set certainly toned down the professionality of the production. That being said, the costumes—although not crafted specifically for this show—were creative and striking. The choreography was modeled after CUBE artistic director Elizabeth Neureiter’s (BC ’18) hometown studio production, but the student choreographers for each specific piece were granted artistic discretion to make changes as they saw fit. What ended up coming together was a genuinely student production—in a good way.

Some more bitchin’ ballet after the jump

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Oh Christmas tree oh christmas tree

Every Tuesday Bwog brings you a recap of the previous night’s ECS meeting. Bureau Chief Finn Klauber recounts this week’s ESC meeting which covered a range of interesting topics, from the tax bill to home destruction. 

VP Policy, Zoha Qamar

VP Qamar discussed the “wellness machines,” vending machines with health products such as emergency contraception, with Dr. Bernitz of Columbia Health, who was fairly receptive to the idea. Contraception such as Plan B would be offered for $25, which is half the price demanded at Duane Reade. Columbia just has to make sure they’re allowed to sell contraception without a pharmaceutical license, so they’re working with a Cornell unit to determine if they can sell these products without breaking federal or state law. If everything works out, ESC could begin stocking products within the school year.

Qamar also met with other members of the Mental Health Task Force to discuss the Residence Hall Leadership Organization’s (RHLO) proposal to place peer advocates in every resident hall. This plan would begin with Wien and Broadway, two dorms specifically selected by RHLO. Generally, RHLO would like to focus on dorms with upperclassmen, as there are fewer residence hall activities and a resulting lack of community. This plan is stymied, however, by the fact that freshman dorms would not be able to responsibly have freshman peer advocates. Other issues include space requirements, which vary from dorm to dorm, and the fact that instituting a peer advocate plan without optimizing CPS will just exacerbate the current mental health issues relating to that department.

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