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Dec

6

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what better place to show off your favorite holiday sweater than at tomorrow’s holiday sweater party?

Bwog’s GSSC (General Studies Student Council) Bureau Chief, Alex Tang, brings us a recap of last night’s meeting, the last one of the semester!

This week’s eventful GSSC meeting, the last one of the semester, included a visit by the new incoming dean of GS, updates on the reorganization of the GSSC elections process, and speeches by new council nominees.

The meeting began with a presentation and Q&A with the new dean of the School of General Studies, Lisa Rosen-Metsch, who will take over Dean Awn’s role in January. The incoming dean arrived early, greeting council members and meeting attendees. Introducing herself as an alumna of the GS Jewish Theological Seminary Joint Program, Rosen-Metsch will be the first GS dean who is also a GS graduate. Trained as a sociologist, Rosen-Metsch worked at the Mailman School of Public Health, focusing on the social determinants of health, specifically on issues such as HIV prevention and substance use prevention. Rosen-Metsch highlighted the unique identity of GS, with “no other school like it in the Ivy League or in the world,” and emphasized her desire to maintain a close relationship with GSSC.

When asked about what she sees as being the biggest challenges that GS faces, Rosen-Metsch mentioned the limited availability of financial aid for GS students, as well as affordable housing and food insecurity. During her first semester as dean, Rosen-Metsch plans to meet as many students and faculty as possible. Rosen-Metsch encouraged GSSC to share student concerns with her as often as possible, noting that the student council is a place for the dean to present initiatives and to get genuine student feedback.

Read about the new elections process and meet the new council members!

Nov

29

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img November 29, 201711:50 amimg 0 Comments

ceremony of sparkly lights thanks to our student councils

Happy Wednesday! Bwog’s GSSC (General Studies Student Council) Bureau Chief, Alex Tang, is back with updates on last night’s council meeting.

This week’s GSSC meeting was one of a nitty-gritty, technical nature, focusing mostly on structural and financial matters regarding the council.

To start, GS President Sam Demezieux introduced the plan for the four Columbia undergraduate student councils (GSSC, CCSC, ESC, and Barnard SGA) to form a four-school fund. Since there are certain events that all four schools share (including Tree Lighting and Glass House Rocks), creating a common fund would make logistics much easier. Allocations for funds would be set up in the beginning of the term, saving discussion time during student council meetings. At the earliest, the four-school fund would be implemented by the coming spring semester.

VP of Policy, Raisa Flor, introduced and passed two bylaw amendments to the current GSSC constitution. Firstly, the removal of any associate of the GSSC must now require a majority vote by the executive board (rather than at the sole discretion of the committee chief). The GSSC policy committee will also add a health/wellness position, due to the immediate importance of the issue at Columbia.

Click here for GSSC’s plan to revamp its elections process, as well as other updates

Nov

15

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img November 15, 20172:30 pmimg 0 Comments

so many things to look forward to, such as tree-lighting season!

Now that we’re two months deep into the semester, and with Thanksgiving coming up next week, many of us are sleep-deprived, swamped in work, and losing steam. Luckily, for the officers and the attendees (including yours truly), last night’s General Studies Student Council meeting was short and sweet. Bwog’s GSSC Bureau Chief, Alex Tang, brings us updates for upcoming initiatives, events, and food giveaways.

To start off the meeting, GSSC’s Students with Disabilities Representative, Jonathan Criswell, introduced the council to the new Students with Disabilities Survey. The survey will be sent out to the GSSC community, and is aimed at pinpointing any “financial issues, issues of accessibility, issues of morale and discrimination, and any potential issues” that affect GSSC’s population of students with disabilities. The council briefly reviewed the survey, and certain members suggested semantic changes in the language of the survey. After further review, the survey will be sent out to the GS student body, and all respondents will be entered into a raffle for a $50 gift card.

Under the guidance of Julia Hewitt, the Family and Working Students Representative, GSSC is also working on a survey for students with families. This shorter survey (also with a $50 gift card raffle) is aimed at granting GSSC a better understanding of the demographics and circumstances of the population.

Finally, the council approved funding for the First Year Dinner, which will happen on Friday, December 1 from 6-8pm at Amity Hall. The event is intended for first-year students to reconnect after their first semester at Columbia. GSSC will work with Amity Hall to make the dinner open to all students 18 and over.

Click here for fun events with free food!

Nov

1

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Tonight, Bwog’s GSSC Bureau Chief Alex Tang brings us updates from last night’s GSSC (General Studies Student Council) meeting, featuring attendees in costumes and lots of free candy. 

Last night, GSSC held a festive Halloween-themed town hall meeting, which included GSSC officers and some audience members in Halloween costumes. The lively cast of characters at this meeting included Superman, Catwoman, and Wednesday Addams.

The meeting ended with a costume contest. Check the GSSC Facebook page to vote on the best pair, funniest, and scariest costume categories. Voting closes on Monday.

The meeting itself was relatively short, with only a few announcements.

Click here for said announcements

Oct

25

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what we think next week’s GSSC meeting will look like

Today, Bwog’s General Studies Student Council (GSSC) Bureau Chief, Alex Tang, brings us updates from last night’s GSSC meeting. Read about GSSC’s latest initiatives, concerning an upcoming Halloween costume party, transparency within the council, and the rights of students with disabilities on campus.

Halloween is happening on a Tuesday this year, which doesn’t sound too lit until you find out that you can party with GSSC! GSSC is hosting a Town Hall meeting next week in an effort to allow the General Studies student body to interact with the council. Free snacks and candy (including lots of international brands) will be provided. Come dressed in your costume, as the meeting will include a costume contest, with categories for the scariest, funniest, and best costume pair. GSSC plans to splurge quite a bit during this event, so do show up! As a GSSC council-member quipped, “What better event to go big than Halloween?”

During the meeting this week, GS Student Services and Academic Representative Yona Kornsgold introduced a resolution aimed at achieving greater transparency for GSSC within the GS community. Kornsgold acknowledged that GSSC has done a great job promoting transparency so far, through its live-streaming of weekly meetings and its creation of a policy tracker, which tracks the status of current and upcoming GSSC policies and initiatives.

Read more about transparency and other updates

Oct

18

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img October 18, 201711:30 amimg 1 Comments

it’s that time of the year again!

Happy Wednesday! Bwog’s GSSC Bureau Chief, Alex Tang, is back with updates from yesterday’s meeting. This week, GSSC specifically acknowledged the fact that we’re all in the midst of midterms season. In the words of GS VP of Policy Raisa Flor, “remember to take care of yourselves during midterms week. Eat, drink, get enough sleep, and don’t be too hard on yourself.”

Today is Columbia’s annual Giving Day! The bulk of the General Studies meeting was focused on publicizing Giving Day and the various events that are happening on and off campus. Prizes (such as Flex points) will be given away throughout the day for specific challenges. Here are some ways GS students can enter to win prizes today:

  • Post a photo of yourself and/or your pet in Columbia blue. Use #ColumbiaGivingDay and be sure to call out GS. The winner will be posted by CAA on Twitter/Facebook when announced.
  • Show us the next generation of Columbians – Post a photo of your baby or child (nieces, nephews, grandkids, or friends are fine too!) wearing Columbia gear. Use #ColumbiaGivingDay and be sure to call out GS.
  • Send a Snapchat to @columbiagiving calling out GS. The winner will be posted by CAA on Twitter/Facebook when announced.

Furthermore, the Giving Day Celebration, hosted by GS, is taking place today between 5:30-7:30pm at the Penn/Columbia Club on 44th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues. Get your tickets here, and show up to meet fellow alumni and students and to grab some free refreshments.

GSSC President Sam Demezieux started the meeting by reviewing the purpose of Giving Day, characterizing it as an “opportunity for the Columbia community to come together in friendly competition” to see “who can raise the most funds for student initiatives.” Demezieux went on to state that a significant part of the funds raised by GS on Giving Day would go towards student scholarships, a large priority for the school. The president encouraged alumni and friends of GS to donate, while at the same time stating that students are not explicitly expected to donate.

Read the other talking points from yesterday’s meeting here

Oct

11

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img October 11, 201710:39 amimg 0 Comments

Guastavino’s looks bougie enough for this bwogger

Each Wednesday, Bwog’s GSSC Bureau Chief, Alex Tang, gives us a brief summary of the previous GSSC meeting. This week, GSSC approved the venue for the 2018 Spring Gala and introduced a new initiative for GS first-years.

This week, the General Studies Student Council (GSSC) hosted a relatively short meeting, focusing mainly on updates for upcoming events or initiatives. The meeting took place at 8:15 in Lerner 5, during the protests against right-wing speaker Tommy Robinson. As a result, this week’s meeting was different in that it was punctuated periodically by the rallying cries and cheers from just a few floors down. Yet, every speaker spoke slightly louder than usual, and the meeting proceeded smoothly.

The bulk of the meeting was spent on selecting the venue for the annual Spring Gala. VP of Campus Life Dennis Zhao introduced his favorite contender, Guastavino’s in East Midtown. Guastavino’s has a much larger capacity than previous gala venues, and Zhao mentioned that up to seven hundred students might be able to attend this year’s gala at Guastavino’s, more than in previous years. The Spring Gala has been criticized in previous years for its limited capacity, as not all GS students were able to attend the galas. Senior Class President Roya Hegdahl, who attended her freshman Spring Gala at Guastavino’s, noted that the venue was incredibly spacious and well-organized, allowing for a natural flow of events. More importantly, hosting the Spring Gala at Guastavino’s would mean cheaper gala tickets for attendees, as well as the extra benefits of hors d’oeuvres and a larger “beverage” selection. GSSC unanimously approved Guastavino’s as the 2018 Spring Gala venue.

Read about GS’s new first-year initiative

Oct

4

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img October 04, 201710:56 amimg 0 Comments

the Welcome Back Party venue looks pretty glamorous tbh

Today is Wednesday, which means that Bwog’s General Studies Student Council (GSSC) Bureau Chief Alex Tang is here with a summary of yesterday’s meeting. If you’re interested in what goes on in General Studies and can’t make it to the weekly GSSC meetings, check back weekly for convenient updates!

GSSC held a fairly short meeting last night. Members of the council took turns giving updates about various events and initiatives related to the School of General Studies.

Most importantly, the annual GSSC-hosted Welcome Back Party is coming up tomorrow, Thursday, from 7-9pm at the Hudson Terrace, a rooftop lounge in Midtown. The Welcome Back Party is one of the biggest events that GSSC hosts each year, and is a major highlight for many GS students. A limited number of tickets are still available, so check the link above if you’re in GS and want to turn up tomorrow!

In anticipation of Homecoming, the annual Columbia Homecoming Banner Showdown is happening next week, on Thursday October 12 from 12-4pm on the Lerner Ramps. Each of Columbia’s four undergraduate schools (CC, SEAS, Barnard, and GS) will be given empty canvasses on which to propose their own version of the Homecoming banner. The banners will be posted during the pep rally, and the best banner will be voted upon by the student body. VP of Campus Life Dennis Zhao encouraged as many GS students to attend as possible. Zhao noted that other schools have been talking smack about GS, quoting that GS students are “too old” and lack the “steady hands” to make artwork. Let’s show all the haters wrong!

Here are the other updates covered during the GSSC meeting:

  • The Faculty Mentorship Program website is now live, and can be accessed here. The program is open to all juniors and seniors in CC and GS, who will be able to choose certain faculty members as personal mentors. Through the program, each faculty member will act as “an experienced ally who can provide personal and individual guidance and support on academic, professional, and social issues, helping their mentees not only achieve but also identify or clarify their goals.”
  • GSSC will be hosting monthly awareness panels geared towards different student populations within GS. In October, there will be a Dual BA/Joint Programs Students Panel. In November, in partnership with GS Alliance, GSSC will host a Transgender Students Panel.
  • There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Food Bank at Columbia today at 4:30pm at the Food Bank in Lerner. The School of General Studies played a big role in actualizing the food bank, and GSSC would like to invite any interested students to check out the ceremony.
  • Community Impact works with high schoolers in the community around Columbia, and is currently looking for GS volunteers who can dedicate an hour per week to show students what it’s like to be a college student. Contact the council for more information.

We saw several new faces at the meeting as well, as the council heard (and approved) the nominations for two previously vacant positions. GSSC’s two new council members are:

  • Lou Abramowicz (Senior Class VP): A student from the Dual BA program at Sciences Po, Abramowicz is excited to coordinate GS’s most cherished events and traditions.
  • Eren Villa (Social Chair): Villa emphasized his interest in the role as coming out of a “love for the community,” rather than as a means of gaining “social capital.”

Senator Ramond Curtis also introduced two new legislative assistants and three new administrative assistants, who will help him interface with the Columbia administration. The role of the legislative assistants, Patrick and Moth, will be to do research, draft memorandums for the University Senate, and to advocate for direct policy changes. The administrative assistants, Daniel, Alejandro, and Christopher, will meet with administrators and draft official emails. All five assistants will be working associate non-voting positions, but will be active members of the board.

Hudson Terrace via pinterest

Sep

27

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img September 27, 201711:05 amimg 3 Comments

subject of the most heated part of last night’s GSSC meeting

Each Wednesday, Bwog brings you a brief summary of the General Studies Student Council (GSSC) meeting from the night before. In today’s update, Bwog GSSC Bureau Chief Alex Tang highlights the pizza-based drama that went down last night.

In last night’s meeting, the General Studies Student Council (GSSC) had a relatively heated talk about pizza, which, believe it or not, spiraled into a debate about the fair delegation of responsibilities among Columbia’s four undergraduate student councils. After providing updates of several upcoming events and hearing the speeches of three new nominated board members, GSSC discussed whether or not they should bail out the rest of the Columbia community in the upcoming Lerner Pub event by fronting money for the pizza budget. Detailed information about the pizza drama will be provided at the end of the article.

GSSC also heard the speeches of three nominees for vacant board positions. All three nominees were subsequently approved. The three new board members are listed below, along with memorable lines or tidbits from their speeches.

  • Julia Hewitt (Family and Working Students Rep): As a single mother, Hewitt hopes to make GS more inclusive to those with “time-restrictions [and] who can’t make it to all the events.” Hewitt’s proposals include shared babysitting among GS parents, as well as more GS events that cater toward children.
  • Sitara Herur (Social Media Representative): Herur wants to make sure that all GS students hear about and are therefore able to participate in all events, whether they’re “in or out of the [GSSC meeting] room.”
  • Eric Lunzer (Treasurer): A former Marine with an extensive background in finance and budget management, Lunzer will manage the GSSC budget in the coming year.

Other Updates from GSSC:

  • The GS Latinx Block Party will happen this Thursday, September 28 from 5:30-7:30pm on the Lewisohn Lawn. “Despacito” will not be playing on repeat, as Dennis Zhao joked during the meeting.
  • The GS Welcome Back Party at Hudson Terrace is still scheduled for October 5, from 7-9pm. Tickets will be released in two waves – the first at 8pm this Thursday, and the second at 1pm this Friday. Tickets ($20) sell out fast, so be sure to be on the website at those times! Limited subsidized tickets will also be available.
  • The first Lerner Pub of the year is happening this Thursday, from 9pm-12am. Lerner Pub is open to all seniors from all four schools, regardless of age (you don’t have to be 21+).
  • The Faculty Mentorship Program website will launch at noon on Tuesday, October 3. The program is open for GS and CC students, who will be able to choose faculty mentors from a variety of subject areas. Registration closes on Friday, October 20.
  • The Columbia University Mental Task Force meets at 2pm on Sundays to discuss policy initiatives for improving mental health. The task force is currently looking for more GS representation. For more information, contact GS VP of Policy Raisa Flor.
  • The GS Columbia Peer Advising website has been updated. Students may now make appointments here.

And now for the pizza drama…

Read about the pizza debate

Sep

20

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We got acquainted with a new, highly diverse cast of characters in this week’s GSSC meeting

Each Wednesday, Bwog presents a recap of the General Studies Student Council (GSSC) meeting from the night before. Senior Staffer Alex Tang attended yesterday’s meeting and brings us the highlights.

Last night, the General Studies Student Council met for their second meeting of the 2016-2017 academic year. The main focus of this week’s meeting was on the introduction of nine new nominees for open GSSC positions. Having already applied and interviewed with the council, these nine GSSC students had been nominated for their respective positions. All nominees gave speeches briefly introducing themselves and their prospective goals for GSSC. During a closed vote by the council, all nine GSSC nominees were approved.

Without further ado, here are the new students we’ll be seeing in GSSC this year! Included in the descriptions below are interesting lines or tidbits from each of their presentations:

Click here to meet the new GSSC board members!

May

6

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walk into the ref room like this

Bwogline: Yesterday, The Metropolitan Museum of Art filed a proposal to charge admission for out-of-state visitors. But don’t worry, Barnumbia, you’ll be ok thanks to the Columbia Arts Initiative. (The New York Times)

Study Tip: Have a final for a language class soon? Try listening to some pop music in that language – it’s fun and it’ll be a way for you to practice! Some of my favorites include:
Cámara Lenta” by Zoé (Spanish)
后来” by 刘若英 (Chinese)
Dernière Danse” by Indila (French)

More Music (In English): Bring out that uptown pride with Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl“, about a bougie uptown girl who attracts a down-to-earth guy from downtown.

Procrastination: The Met just opened its new fashion exhibit, “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons – Art of the In-Between,” for spring/summer 2017. It’s fabulous and avant-garde, and you should definitely go see it! Read more about it here.

Overheard: “If I had a daily subway commute, I would take the F and transfer to the L.”

Commes des Garçon model via fashionising.com

Apr

29

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Happening in the United States: President Trump failed to repeal Obamacare within his first 100 days in office, as he originally promised, when House Republicans were unable to draw enough votes. (The New York Times)

Happening in New York City: Amtrak plans to undergo major repair work at Penn Station this summer to fix the station’s crumbling 40-year-old infrastructure. Expect major delays at Penn Station in the next few months. (CBS New York)

Happening on Campus: Go see the 123rd Annual Varsity Show tonight at 8pm! Tickets start at $8.50.

Overheard: “I don’t want to be pre-med anymore. I want to be pre-sugar baby.”

Study Tip: Studying for finals? Listen to some Mozart! Classical music has been shown to reduce stress, among other benefits.

Apr

22

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Art expresses the full range of human experience, in all its beauty and aspirations. No matter your interests or background, you are guaranteed to find in the city of New York art that speaks to you. Earlier today, Bwog posted arts events happening on campus. In this post, Bwog describes art exhibitions happening in Manhattan, most of them free to Barnumbia students.

For the fashionista: The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Rei Kawakubo / Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between

May 4 – September 4: FREE

The Met seems to have it all: Monets, Japanese calligraphy, even an Egyptian temple. However, most visitors don’t know that the Met has a constantly changing fashion exhibit, featuring the most important developments in fashion. In May, check out the Comme des Garçons exhibit, which “will examine the work of Japanese fashion designer Rei Kawakubo, known for her avant-garde designs and ability to challenge conventional notions of beauty, good taste, and fashionability.”

No need to fly halfway across the world to see these bad boys

For the history buff: The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Age of Empires: Chinese Art of the Qin and Han Dynasties

Through July 16: FREE

The Qin and Han dynasties witnessed the formation of the Chinese identity, consolidating the language, artistic traditions, and many of the values still present in Chinese society today. Here’s your chance to see some of the famed Xi’an terracotta warriors, as well as some works of art that have never before been displayed in the United States. Bwoggers who have been to this exhibit give the experience a 10/10.

For the activist: Whitney Museum of American Art: The 2017 Whitney Biennial

Through June 11: $17

Every two years, the Whitney Museum puts on an exhibition that highlights the current state of American art. This year’s biennial is especially poignant, as it “arrives at a time rife with racial tensions, economic inequities, and polarizing politics. Throughout the exhibition, artists challenge us to consider how these realities affect our senses of self and community.”

Click for Helen Frankenthaler and Joan Miró

Apr

22

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make everyone jealous by walking into class with this fabulous drink

Happening in the United States: The University of California, Berkeley reversed its decision to ban conservative author Ann Coulter from speaking on campus, rescheduling her talk on campus in early May. (The New York Times)

Happening in New York City: Check out the Met’s latest exhibition: The Age of Empires. Explore artwork from ancient China (Qin and Han dynasties), including various terracotta warriors and other treasures never before exhibited in the United States. (The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Happening Near Campus: Celebrate Earth Day by participating in the March for Science between 10:30am and 4pm at 64th and Central Park West.

Overheard: “If I started a fraternity, it’d be Eta Omicron Epsilon. HOE for short.”

Treat Yourself: Wondering about all the hype surrounding the Unicorn Frappuccino at Starbucks? Check out this Buzzfeed video to learn more about this beverage.

Unicorn frappuccino via news.starbucks.com

Apr

15

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Happening in the United States: United Airlines‘ publicity nightmare just got even worse. Lawsuit experts have all but guaranteed a sound victory for the doctor dragged from the flight, if he decides to sue the airlines. (NBC News)

Happening in New York City: New York State is unacceptably behind on its promise to resettle mentally ill adults from independent housing into supportive adult housing. One federal judge noticed. (The New York Times)

Happening near Campus: It’s cherry blossom season! Check out these gorgeous trees near you in Riverside Park or around the Jacqueline O. Kennedy Reservoir in Central Park.

Overheard: “Being forced to read this entire book in a week is a crime and punishment.”

Music of the Day: Did you know that George Gershwin’s famous Rhapsody in Blue was written on the corner of 110th and Amsterdam? Give this jazzy masterpiece a listen!

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