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img March 23, 20181:30 pmimg 1 Comments

The Barnard Store, former home of the elusive Barnard Dad Hat

A few weeks ago, the Athena Film Festival team gave director J. J. Abrams one of the famous Barnard Dad Hats, which have been out of the school’s store for over a year despite enduring popularity with students. This event inspired EIC (and Barnard Dad?) Betsy Ladyzhets to look into the source of the hat’s disappearance, and wax poetic on what they have meant to students.

Even if you think you’ve never seen one, you probably have: adorning a hapless father figure on move-in day, hung backwards on a bedpost in a Plimpton double, or accompanying a harried student grabbing lunch in the Diana Center. You’ve seen that rustic off-white fabric, that characteristic blue font, that proud brim. Even the CC first-years reading this will subconsciously recognize what I’m describing: the Barnard Dad Hat.

When I was a first-year two short years ago, these hats were everywhere. I could barely walk into Hewitt or scroll through my Instagram feed without catching sight of one, much like how I could barely do a lap around the Quad without hearing someone singing along to the Hamilton soundtrack. There was an air of pride about these hats, as though wearing one (especially backwards) signaled that you were truly embracing the Barnard spirit – not only wearing your school’s name with pride, but also offering to share it with those around you, as any good Dad should.

And yet now, I go weeks, or even months without catching sight of these elusive accessories. They have been out of stock in the store since spring 2016, and officially discontinued since the fall of that same year. The hats are now an endangered species, as the Barnard Dads who wear them grow older, graduate, or move on to newer, hotter baseball cap options.

But why were the hats discontinued, and how did J.J. Abrams get one?



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img March 20, 20181:43 pmimg 2 Comments

Where will we get our hangover bagels now?

At about 12 pm today, Nussbaum & Wu was closed due to NYC Department of Health violations. Prospective patrons were asked to leave, and the sign pictured at right was placed on the door.

But don’t fear: the closure is only for two or three days, as a Bwog reporter was told by Nussbaum staffers. Nuss has maintained an A health rating for some time, and is only closing temporarily today because 15 animal droppings were found in the basement. Staffers did not say which animal, but as Nuss’ previous sanitary violations include “evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas,” we’re guessing that mice are the culprits. (See the screenshot below for more information on Nuss’ health rating.)

Nussbaum & Wu has long been a favorite breakfast and lunch location for Columbia students, conveniently located at 113th Street and Broadway – just below the dorm that is colloquially named after the café. This closure comes after Absolute Bagel, another Upper West Side bagel favorite, was similarly temporarily shut down by the Department of Health in October.

We have reached out to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for confirmation and more details, and will update this post upon receiving a response.

See Nuss’ current record on the NYC DOH website after the jump



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img March 07, 201811:15 pmimg 19 Comments

Earlier this evening, Columbia University announced the removal of Dr. Thomas Jessell, a prominent professor in the Departments of Neuroscience and Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics, as reported by the New York Times. Dr. Jessell is a renowned neuroscientist; his accolades include the Canada Gairdner International Award in 2012, the Kavli Prize for Neuroscience in 2008, and membership in the Royal Society of London since 1996. He received his doctorate in neuroscience from Cambridge University, then began his career in academia at Harvard before becoming a professor at Columbia in 1985. His research has focused on sensory-motor nerve circuits.

An official statement from the University stated that Columbia “has ended the administrative positions of Dr. Thomas Jessell and will be winding down the Jessell lab,” following “an investigation that revealed serious violations of University policies and values governing the behavior of faculty members in an academic environment.” Columbia will, however, help to continue the projects of the lab and the careers of its 25 other members, including graduate and postdoctoral students. The University statement also reinforced Columbia’s commitment to “protecting the welfare of all members of the institution and the integrity of the academic mission.”

Official reports do not state the reasons for Dr. Jessell’s dismissal. However, Bwog received an anonymous tip earlier today suggesting that these reasons may relate to sexual misconduct. When asked to confirm or deny this information, a representative of Columbia’s Office of Communications and Public Affairs replied, “We have nothing further to say.”

Read Columbia’s full statement after the jump



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img February 25, 20185:04 pmimg 1 Comments

Betsy on Low the next time it’s warm out

At last week’s meeting, one Barnard Bwogger came to the pitch table with an honest question: how does one make guy friends at Columbia? EIC and fellow Barnard student Betsy Ladyzhets (who has made some very good guy friends at CU) is here to answer that question. Note: some pieces of this advice are more serious than others.

1. Join a student group with guys in it. This tactic is most successful if the group is a. related to something you’re passionate about and/or b. a group that has a significant time commitment, such as long field trips or frequent rehearsals. The first will help you make friends because other people in the group will have similar interests to you (always good grounds for friendship), and the second will help because spending a significant amount of time with someone always leads to bonding.

2. Hang out in Ferris a lot. Don’t just eat in Ferris. Study in Ferris. Nap in Ferris. Live in Ferris. Camp out at one table for an entire Saturday, and wait for guys to ask if they can sit with you when peak hours hit. When they do, strike up a conversation — by the end of the day, you’ll have befriended at least one.

3. Follow Columbia guys on Twitter. You can tell a lot about someone from their Twitter account, including whether or not they’re friend material. Because most Columbia students are proud enough of going here to include that information in their bios, it’s not too difficult to find a few potential friends with a quick search. Like a few tweets, DM a couple of vaguely Columbia-relevant memes, and soon you’ll be getting invites to their Carman parties.

More advice after the jump



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img February 11, 20186:54 pmimg 3 Comments

Definitely the best-dressed presidential candidate we’ve ever seen

On Thursday evening, the Russian community of Columbia came out in high numbers to listen to and challenge Ksenia Sobchak, one of the opposition candidates running against Vladimir Putin in the upcoming Russian election. Betsy Ladyzhets, EIC and interested party whenever someone challenges Putin, was there to take copious notes and write belated coverage.

When I stepped into the Kraft Center on Thursday, I momentarily thought I had stepped into Moscow. I saw Russian newspapers, heard Russian voices, and sat in front of Russian TV cameras. Although the event, a conversation with Russian presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak, was sponsored by the Harriman Institute and NYU’s Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia for the ostensible purpose of increasing conversation about Russian policy issues in the U.S., it felt more like a campaign stop for Ms. Sobchak. She spoke in English and referenced American issues, but the most powerful moments of her talk were her addresses to Russian members of the audience, and her responses to their questions.

Ms. Sobchak is, in her own words, an “unusual candidate.” She first entered the public eye in Russia by hosting a reality TV show, Dom-2, then went on to host several more reality shows and act in a few movies before creating her own show, Sobchak Live, on which she challenges the dominant political opinion spread by the Kremlin’s intense media control. She is also a successful businesswoman, with her own fashion lines, and has been called “Russia’s It Girl.”  She has never run for office before this current presidential campaign.

Many Russians are skeptical of Ms. Sobchak’s campaign, suggesting that she is only allowed to run as a distraction against Alexei Navalny, the leader of Russia’s Progress Party and one of President Putin’s biggest critics. Mr. Navalny has not been allowed to run in this year’s election. Ms. Sobchak, critics believe, is only in the race to increase voter turnout and maintain the illusion of democracy.

So what did she say at Columbia?



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img February 06, 20185:58 pmimg 16 Comments

Last week, it came to the attention of No Red Tape (NRT) that a member of the Student Governing Board leadership (SGB) is currently under investigation by the Student Conducts and Community Standards (SCCS) office for multiple allegations of sexual assault. These accusations include an alleged rape perpetrated against a general body member of NRT. SGB, as the umbrella organization responsible for managing Columbia student groups organized around religious, spiritual political, ideological, humanitarian, or activist concerns, is in charge of managing NRT’s funding, approving events, and controlling discipline, as well as other administrative responsibilities. Specifically, SGB requires all student groups in its domain to send representatives to the Town Hall meetings it holds at least once a semester, at the risk of cutting funding to the groups who do not attend.

Sources have confirmed that the accused individual was asked to leave his fraternity as a result of similar allegations, and has stepped down from other leadership positions on campus.

“For obvious reasons, we at No Red Tape are profoundly uncomfortable with this individual having any power or say in No Red Tape actions, funding, discipline, etc.,” a member of NRT wrote in an email to the group’s faculty advisor. Besides the responsibility that NRT’s leadership feels towards its members, this student explained, it constitutes a “wild conflict of interest” for an anti-sexual violence activist group to be required to attend meetings with an individual undergoing investigation for gender-based misconduct. They, therefore, asked that NRT be excused from Town Hall meetings at which this individual would be in attendance. The NRT member further requested that SGB student leadership, or the Columbia advisor in charge of SGB, “ask this individual to recuse himself from any and all decision-making related to No Red Tape, if there ever comes a time when SGB has to vote on a No Red Tape-related matter.”

This morning, the NRT member who wrote this email met with NRT’s and SGB’s faculty advisors to discuss the student’s concerns. At this meeting, it was agreed that the alleged perpetrator would be “quietly” removed from financial decisions involving NRT. However, it is less certain whether NRT can be exempt from Town Hall meetings. SGB’s advisor can make this request on the behalf of NRT, but if the advisor tells the reason for the request to the student chair of SGB who would actually make this decision, the NRT member involved in SCCS’s investigation could be charged with retaliation.

SCCS’s Gender-based Misconduct Policy and Procedures for Students document states that, during a disciplinary investigation, both the “complainant” (alleged survivor) and “respondent” (alleged perpetrator) have the right to “privacy to the extent possible consistent with applicable law and University Policy.”  A member of NRT calling attention to the existence of the investigation and information about the respondent violates this confidentiality policy, which is crucial to ensuring a successful investigation and a fair trial for both the complainant and the respondent. Such violation could warrant a retaliation charge, which would hinder the ongoing investigation and potentially result in disciplinary action for the complainant. As such, neither NRT’s leadership nor either advisor can call for the alleged perpetrator to be removed from his SGB position or otherwise rescind his responsibilities related to managing NRT without the possibility of disciplinary action.

“The University has an obligation to warn the campus community about potential ongoing safety threats,” Bwog’s source wrote. “I argue this falls under that category. Leadership positions over other students are a privilege, not a right, and if you’re under investigation for multiple rape allegations, I think you (at least temporarily) forfeit that privilege.”

Bwog has reached out to both SCCS and SGB for comment and has been notified that SGB will send us a statement tonight or tomorrow morning. We will update the story when we receive it.

Update 2/12/18, 4:45 pm: In a statement issued via its Facebook page, SGB has declined to comment on the article above, instead only restating relevant policies regarding members with conflicts of interest.

According to SGB, members with conflicts of interest “should” ideally “remove themselves” from voting processes; “the board” can also remove these members from discussion. In regards to the actual presence of the individual accused of sexual assault at meetings where NRT is also in attendance, the statement more broadly stated that there are “exceptions for town hall attendance as circumstances demand.”

This announcement came six days after the original article was published on Bwog. The full statement is available here.



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img January 30, 20188:11 pmimg 1 Comments

Tag yourself, we’re the ‘Yes, this is data’

Bwog Science was active yesterday – while new writer Riya covered a film about autism, EIC Betsy Ladyzhets went to a visiting Yale professor’s talk on quantum computing. She has little knowledge of both quantum physics and computing, but was still inspired by Prof. Steven Girvin’s self-described miraculous solution to the problem of quantum computing error.

Quantum physics (i.e. the physics of atoms and subatomic particles) is full of paradoxes. Perhaps the most famous of these is Schrödinger’s cat, a thought experiment devised by Erwin Schrödinger in response to the concept of quantum superpositions. According to this principle, a quantum system such as a photon can exist in multiple states of energy at the same time – until it is observed by the outside world, when it will collapse into one of the possible superimposed states.

Schrödinger demonstrated why he found this principle ridiculous by constructing a feline analogy: imagine a cat is placed in a sealed chamber, along with a measurement device containing a small amount of a radioactive substance and a relay system linking this device to a vial of poisonous acid. An atom of this radioactive substance might decay, which would cause the relay system to shatter the vial, poisoning the cat. But with equal probability, the atom might not decay, in which case the vial would remain intact and the cat would remain alive. However, because the whole thing is inside a sealed container, nobody could know if the cat is dead or alive until they opened the box. In this analogy, the cat is a photon, technically existing in both dead and living states (0 and 1 states) until someone checks on it.

Steven Girvin a professor and vice provost at Yale who studies the quantum mechanics of large collections of atoms, started his talk on quantum computing yesterday by calling attention to paradoxes like that of Schrödinger’s cat. “Is quantum information carried by waves or by particles?” he asked. The audience (of, I gathered, almost entirely physics students), chucked as he announced the answer: “Yes.” Quantum mechanics has come a long way since Schrödinger metaphorically killed (and didn’t kill) a cat, but it hasn’t gotten any less difficult to wrap one’s head around.

What does any of this have to do with computers?



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img January 26, 20189:14 amimg 0 Comments

Overseen in LeFrak

Happening in the World: In Russia, Vladimir Putin is basically running for president against himself, and seems poised for reelection on March 15. The Kremlin is struggling to make the campaign interesting, however; current organizations attempting to “generate buzz” include “I Really Like Putin!”, “For Putin!”, and “Putin Team.” (NYT)

Happening in the US: An Amtrak engineer in Washington state made a fatal mistake yesterday when he failed to sufficiently slow down before going around a curve. The train derailed at a bridge in DuPont, killing three people and injuring 62. (USA Today)

Happening in NYC: In October, 2017, Taylor Swift purchased a townhouse in Tribeca for $18 million. Now, Douglas Elliman, the brokerage firm that facilitated the sale, is suing her for skipping out on its $1 million commission. (Curbed NY)

Happening on Campus: The Black Theater Ensemble is holding auditions tonight and tomorrow night for its spring one act festival! This semester’s theme is “Black to the Future” (or, Afro-futurism). Find more information in their Facebook event.

Overseen: See right. We are all either entirely chill or not chill at all.

Plant of the day: Welwitschia mirabilis is a unique plant that is endemic to (i.e. is only native to) the Namib Desert. It consists of only two leaves, a stem base, and roots, yet can grow to over five feet tall and live up to 2,000 years, and draws all of its water from the desert’s fog. Two samples of this incredible plant currently live in the Barnard Greenhouse!

Photo via Bwog Staff



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img January 19, 20184:44 pmimg 2 Comments

You shall not pass (until you show your ID)

You’ve seen them. You’ve walked past them. You’ve talked to them, albeit briefly. The Public Safety officers who work the Barnard main gate have a hard life, sitting out in the cold for hours on end and bothering drunk students to show their IDs before they can get back to the quad. Betsy Ladyzhets imagines what an eight-hour shift might look like handling this tough job. Please note that Bwog does not condone underage drinking, Sudoku, or wearing flip flops in below-freezing weather.

9:55 pm

Time to start my shift! I’ve got two full cups of coffee, a bag of hand-warmers, and a book of Sudoku to pass the time. What could possibly go wrong?

10:12 pm

I try to start a Sudoku puzzle, but it’s honestly really hard. I scroll through Twitter for twenty minutes instead. Nobody seems to know what’s going on with the Kardashians, which is weird considering there’s an entire TV show about them.

10:36 pm

Bathroom break number one. Maybe I should’ve only had one cup of coffee instead of two.

11:04 pm

The gate into the quad closes at 11 pm. It always has closed at 11 pm, and always will close at 11 pm. The group of angry first-years to which I am politely explaining this information don’t seem too happy about it, but they eventually show me their IDs and stomp on through.

11:47 am

I try to work on a Sudoku puzzle, but whenever I get close to figuring out one of the boxes someone comes up to the gate and I need to check their IDs. Maybe this is a sign that I’m not meant for solving Sudoku puzzles. I’m meant for something greater. Or something involving much less math.

Two hours down, six to go



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img January 19, 20182:13 pmimg 0 Comments

Our former ESC Bureau Chief hard at work

Some Bwoggers cover theater events. Others write comedic shortforms. Still others conduct interviews with interesting students or dig deep into polarizing issues at Columbia. The best and bravest of us, though, are those who take on the ultimate challenge: covering student government.

Bwog has four Bureau Chiefs, one for each of the four undergraduate student councils (CCSC, SGA, ESC, and GSSC). These reporters attend weekly meetings of their respective councils, then describe the meetings in posts that go up on Bwog the next day. This can sometimes mean sticking with CCSC for three hours, parsing through polite debates between SGA and the Barnard administration, or explaining why Legos are just so important to Sid Perkins. Whatever the student councils are discussing, covering their meetings is a noble duty, bringing news of the slow progress of student government to the rest of Columbia. And being a Bureau Chief is an easy entry point both into writing for Bwog (because as long as you take good notes and write clearly, it’s hard to go wrong with student council coverage), and into the Columbia community at large (because you’ll learn a great deal about events and initiatives on campus through the position).

This semester, we have openings for two Bureau Chiefs: ESC (Engineering Student Council) and GSSC (General Studies Student Council). ESC meets on Monday evenings at 9:30 pm, and GSSC meets on Tuesday evenings at 8 pm. You don’t have to be a member of a school to cover their student council (our last ESC and GSSC Bureau Chiefs were both CC students, for example), although sometimes it helps.

No formal application is required for these positions; simply email with the student council you would like to cover and why you’re interested in the position. You should also attend our open meeting this Sunday to talk to our current CCSC and SGA Bureau Chiefs, ask questions, and learn more about the roles.

King of the Satow Room via Betsy Ladyzhets



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img January 18, 20183:30 pmimg 0 Comments


There are two things Bwog can never get enough of: green grapes, and Staff Writers. While Dailies are the backbone of our structure, Staff Writers are the backbone of our content – they pitch ideas for articles, attend events, and generally keep our creative juices flowing.

Staff Writers can be anyone from first-years looking to dip their toes in Columbia journalism to seniors who have a little too much free time their final semester, and anyone from art history majors procrastinating on reading about columns to biology majors who come up with weird conspiracy theories when they’re peering into microscopes for hours. Staff Writers are “required” to write ten posts per semester. This spring, Bwog is particularly hoping to recruit STEM-minded staffers, as we have big plans for expanding our science coverage – email to learn more about those plans.

If you’re interested, come learn more about Bwog and bring your biggest, baddest pitches to our first open meeting of the semester this Sunday. Then, if you like what you see, fill out the application below.  Applications should be sent to by 11:59 pm on Friday, January 26 in the form of a Google doc or .PDF document titled “*First Name* App.”

About Bwog:

  • Tell us about one Bwog post you liked, one post you didn’t like, and why for both.
  • What is your favorite tag?
  • Come up with three sample post ideas that you would like to see on Bwog.
  • Draw Bwog.

About you:

  • Why do you want to join Bwog?
  • What do you think Bwog is?
  • You’re taking Bwog out on a date! What would you do? Where would you go?
  • What about Columbia might you be interested in writing about?
  • Send us a screenshot or list of the bookmarked Favorites on your browser.

Those grapes were green before we de-saturated them for printing purposes, we swear via Betsy Ladyzhets



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img January 17, 201811:38 amimg 2 Comments

Become a Daily and receive nice comments like this one!

Daily Editors are the backbone of Bwog. They assemble our Bwoglines, they write our tags, they keep our site running when the rest of our staff is slacking. Without Dailies, we would be merely a group of forty students crammed around a table in Lerner, shouting dumb pitches at each other. And this semester, we need new people to fill these esteemed positions. (Exact number of new Dailies needed is TBD; it will be announced at Sunday’s meeting.)

Each Daily Editor is responsible for managing Bwog on one day each week. This includes sending out a lineup the night before, writing Bwoglines, announcements, and breaking news posts, editing and scheduling posts by staff writers, and cross-posting to Facebook and Twitter. Yes, it means you get to write the tags. Dailying is a great position in particular for first-years who haven’t yet sold their soul to any particular student group and are looking to get more involved at Columbia; through the position, you would learn a great deal about what’s happening on campus.

If you’re interested, fill out the application below and send it to by 11:59 pm on Friday, January 26 in the form of a Google doc or .PDF document titled “*First Name* App.” But before you do that, you might want to come check out our first open meeting this Sunday, January 21 at 9 pm in Lerner 510.

Here’s the application:

About Bwog:

  • Tell us about one Bwog post you liked, one post you didn’t like, and why for both.
  • What is your favorite tag?
  • Come up with three sample post ideas that you would like to see on Bwog.
  • Draw Bwog.

About you:

  • Why do you want to join Bwog?
  • What do you think Bwog is?
  • You’re taking Bwog out on a date! What would you do? Where would you go?
  • What about Columbia might you be interested in writing about?
  • Send us a screenshot of the open tabs on your browser.
  • What three days work best for you to Daily?

Poster via former Daily Betsy Ladyzhets



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img January 16, 201811:37 amimg 0 Comments

Roone is the most northern Broadway theater, right?

Are you invited to approximately 900 student productions on Facebook every semester? Do you spend chilly weekend mornings in midtown rushing Broadway shows? Have you ever read a Bwog arts review and thought, “Wow, I could do so much better?” If you answered yes to any of those questions, we have the position for you.

Bwog is currently seeking a new Arts Editor, to help us get more in touch with our artistic side. In the interest of improving our relationships with performing arts groups on campus, we’ve opened up applications beyond Bwog’s current staff and are hoping to find a new Arts Editor who is already connected to the performing arts community.  However, there are no requirements for the position; anyone with writing skills and an interest in the arts is welcome to apply.

The basic responsibilities of the Arts Editor are as follows:

  • Compiles Where Art Thou each week.
  • Responsible for editing arts posts and ensuring writers are properly covering those events.
  • Responsible for preparing writers for new or challenging arts posts and reviews, by providing examples, advice, and formatting help.
  • Fosters positive relationships with arts communities and initiatives.
  • Attends weekly staff meetings (Sundays at 9 pm in Lerner 510) and occasional editors meetings (also Sundays, at 8:30 pm in Lerner 510).
  • Stays sober enough during the Varsity Show to write a review afterwards.

The application is embedded below, and can also be found here. Applications are due at 11:59 pm on Friday, January 26, and should be sent to in the form of a Google doc or .PDF document titled “*First Name* App.”

Any questions can be directed to or asked in person at our first open meeting of the semester this coming Sunday, January 21.

Our favorite street via Public domain pictures



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img December 19, 20172:38 pmimg 0 Comments

Yesterday, Dr. William Harris, a Columbia professor of Greco-Roman history, retired, as was announced in an email to students in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. This retirement was part of the settlement of a sexual harassment lawsuit filed in October. An anonymous graduate student alleged that Dr. Harris repeatedly kissed and groped her, requested sexual intercourse, and disparaged her to other members of the department when she refused. She reported his behavior to colleagues and university officials, then sued the university when she was unsatisfied with the response she received. Several other students have since come forward with similar accusations against Dr. Harris.

The lawyer representing this anonymous student claimed that this retirement is a victory, as the New York Times reported. But it is in actuality more of a formality, as Dr. Harris stepped down from teaching and student advising on October 30, after news of the lawsuit became public.

In the email announcing Dr. Harris’ retirement, GSAS Deans David Madigan and Carlos Alonso wrote that they are “deeply committed to supporting all of [their] students, protecting them from harassment of any kind, and ensuring that [their] academic community is a safe and respectful place.” But these words ring hollow when one considers the fact that Dr. Harris “continued to spend time” in the history department offices in Fayerweather after he stepped down from teaching, yet did not face any consequences from Columbia, according to Kellen Heniford, a student of this department.

“I cannot overstate what a punch in the gut it has been – what kind of literal, visceral pain it has caused – to me and to other female students to have seen Richard Harris in the physical spaces of the [history] department over the past several months,” Heniford said.

Dr. Harris was teaching an undergraduate lecture course earlier this semester, and stepped down from it along with his other academic duties on October 30. He is listed in the Columbia directory as a professor in the history department, not a graduate-specific professor. However, undergrad students were not notified of Dr. Harris’ retirement, and were generally kept in the dark about the ongoing lawsuit.

UPDATE, 3:20 pm: We have received a statement from Olga Brudastova, a PhD student in Civil Engineering and GWC Bargaining Committee Member, on behalf of the GWC-UAW union. Brudastova wrote that the way in which Columbia has handled this case “further highlight the flaws in the existing system that so often fails to protect members of the Columbia community against sexual assault and harassment.” She also expressed that the graduate student union hopes to negotiate for “stronger protections and recourse against sexual harassment,” and will do so if Columbia recognizes their vote to unionize.

Read the email sent to GSAS students and the full statement from GWC-UAW after the jump



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img December 17, 20172:39 pmimg 7 Comments

Ben, Doug, and guests Gabby and Yasmeen recording an episode

When new EIC Betsy Ladyzhets learned about StarBites, an astrophysics podcast run by several space-minded Columbia undergrads, she knew she had to interview them for Bwog. StarBites was started by Douglas Grion, CC ‘20, Ben Hord, CC ‘18, Andy Tzanidakis, GS ‘18, and Brian Smallshaw, CC ‘19, but its episodes (all of which are now up on SoundCloud) feature several other members of the Columbia astrophysics department, discussing space-related topics from E.T. to women in STEM. In this interview, the podcast’s creators explain how they started StarBites, how episodes are put together, and their plans for future expansion.

Bwog: What is StarBites? Give me a short summary.

Ben Hord: It’s a podcast about space for people who love the cosmos,.

Doug Grion: It explains stuff about astronomy that we think is cool in a way that other people will be interested in it.

Andy Tzanidakis: We want to give the perspective that, as undergrad students in astronomy, we can explain things to other people that are maybe a bit simpler to understand, while also going in depth enough to make things interesting.

Brian Smallshaw: When we say “astrophysics,” it’s a pretty daunting subject for most people, but when you break it down subject to subject without the math, it’s pretty easy to understand. So, the podcast is a way for us to have fun and talk about stuff we like to talk about with each other, and also for us to show other people what those conversations are like and what we do.

Bemoaning the size of a Schapiro single, nearly burning down Pupin, and more after the jump

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