Author Archive

Oct

5

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Schermerhorn Extension is frightening enough.

Science of Psych is a rite of passage for all potential psych majors and so are its psych studies that all students are subjected to. Having to to undergo 9 hours of testing, one is never fully in control of what one is subjected to. You hope that you might be participating in one relating to food, but most of the time you are sorely mistaken. 

Our story begins one chilly October evening as I made my way to the catacombs that are Schermerhorn Extension. The imposing, ugly structure cast a dark shadow as I ambled through its heavy, wood doors. With the location on my phone, I navigated the labyrinth to the psych study room. There is no one there. Then, I saw something that made my blood run cold.

A water bug, the size of a cinnamon bear, crawled out of a grate on the floor. Waiting impatiently, I wandered towards the water fountain for a drink. Pressing the button, brown liquid flowed out warmly across my cheek. I shuddered and backed into a wall of rusty push pins. Slightly bothered, I scurried back to the room, which I thought was the location of the study.

but I didn’t die

Oct

3

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It must be aliens

If you are one of the few fortunate souls who are able to get into Mel’s on a Friday or Saturday night, then you definitely would have suffered through this travesty.

It’s past midnight, the line outside of Mel’s is out of control. The apartment party ran out of booze and tequila shots are just what you need. You use your Mel’s hookup to cut the line and before you know it, you are thrust into the sticky, claustrophobic, and  off-kilter throng. But hold on, something’s off. Is the floor stickier than usual? Is the lighting especially bad? Did someone just yack? No! You were dead wrong. It’s the music!

Green Day! Then another Green Day song. You brace yourself for Bowling for Soup’s “1985.” A few lackluster Nelly songs from the early 2000’s blares as you choke down another tequila shot. Then the unexplainable occurs. Blink 82’s “All The Small Things” plays. You pinch yourself, look around, and make sure of your surroundings. The lacrosse team and FIJI brothers reassure you that you are in fact at Mel’s, but something is definitely off.

At around 2AM, you are sufficiently angry. Not one jam from this year or this decade have played yet. You want to let loose but you can’t exactly groove with your friends to “Welcome to the Black Parade.” After losing patience, you manage to bust a move to Avril Lavigne. As the sweat drips down your back and a smile breaks out on your face, the music choice no longer matter. As the Mel’s crowd disperses and makes its way to 1020, so do you.

Running almost, you arrive at 1020. There is no line. For a second, it seems that the stars have aligned. The bouncer greets you with a smile as he stamps “Approved” on your hand. At this point, you casually stroll in looking for an empty booth. But then you clutch the closest wall and mouth agape, slide to the ground dumbstruck. Your friends lift you up, waving hands in front of you, trying to wipe the look of shock off your face.

Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” reverberates throughout the tight space. You look around at the theatre majors, creative writing majors, and architecture students for any signs of confusion. Everyone is content. Then, you turn towards the big screen in the back. This time, unable to contain your shock, you pass out. Above your head, the music video is playing in sync with the song. The theatre students and RATROCK club members sing along un-ironically as you are wheeled into a CAVA ambulance.

 

Image via Rama 

Oct

2

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Only people who don’t drink enough water say these taste differentl

Are you a FIJI lover? And no, I’m not talking about the Frat, I’m talking the close to $3 bottle of water. The water that apparently is sourced from volcanic springs and has become synonymous with  luxury. If you are, eschewing the pragmatism and convenience of  Poland Spring, then you will most likely seek out those more luxe watering holes. At Columbia, not all water fountains are created equally, which mirrors the many nuanced differences between the two bottled water brands mentioned above. Seek out the playful comparisons below to see what water fountain would most likely be the bottling source of your favorite water bottle brand.

Schermerhorn Ext. (Crystal Geyser) – If you are lucky enough to find a working water fountain, this water will dribble out somewhat warmly and sporadically. Like Crystal Geyser, you are better off sterilizing your own urine.

Altschul (Ozarka) – This water stinks. No, it really smells. Its decaying background and proximity to a moldy wall may have something to do with this.

(more…)

Sep

27

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We don’t just enjoy guilt trips. We run the travel agency.

Leo Bevilacqua, resident New York Jew, is back with a revamped edition of “The 7 Deadly Columbia Sins.” This month has given us a lot to be thankful guilty for! Without further a do, here’s the article brought to you by ‘Feh!’ and ‘Oy vey!’

In honor of the highest of high holidays, Yom Kippur (a.k.a. The Hunger Game for the Jews), Bwog is hear to explain why you might have missed the mark for ‘The Book of Life.’ For those readers who are not well versed in the various agonizing rituals that constitute The High Holidays, God apparently inscribes the name of all the good people of the world into a book so they may live out the next year. Unfortunately, even the good are subjected to all the screwballs and Gulati pop quizzes that life and Columbia seems to throw on the regular. In other words, “may the odds be ever in your favor.” In anticipation of the 25-hour fast, Bwog wants to give every student regardless of creed the chance to fess up their transgression in the spirit of ‘Jewish guilt.’ Tis the season to be sorry!

  1. Gluttony – Skipping class so that you can avoid the long line at Shake Shack, a.k.a over-priced JJ’s a.k.a why you currently (or will soon) live in sweatpants.
  2. Lust – Hooking up with that kid in your anthro class during the class trip to the Natural History Museum.
  3. Greed – Stuffing three Passion Planners into your backpack despite the long line behind you at whatever Diana Hall give-a-way you’re currently attending.
  4. Pride – Correcting a professor on a translation of a Greek/Latin word because your 11th grade Latin teacher at Exeter said so.
  5. Wrath – Filing a lengthy complaint against your seamless delivery guy because they could not find you in NoCo fast enough.
  6. Envy – Eviscerating a club that rejected you in the company of another friend that was accepted by said club.
  7. Sloth – Ditching your 2:10pm Film & Politics seminar so that you can nap, despite this being your only class of the day.
  8. *Despair – Getting featured on @sadcolumbiaboys and refusing to smile in any group picture because it “ruins your aesthetic.”

*According to the Greek Orthodox Church, there is an 8th deadly sin, which is quite possibly the most quintessentially Columbian.

May

6

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Grant’s Tomb decked out for the 195th birthday celebration of Grant.

History is everywhere in Morningside Heights, if you choose to explore it. Today, Bwog writer Leo Bevilacqua shares his impressions of Grant’s Tomb, a national memorial dedicated to Union General and 18th President of the United States.

EDIT, 6:20 PM: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that President Grant signed the 18th Amendment; he actually signed the 15th Amendment.

Besides Low Library, there’s another neoclassical rotunda that looms in Morningside Heights. Grant’s Tomb, which holds the remains of former president Ulysses S. Grant and his wife Julia Dent, stands despite signs of age. Constructed two years after Low Library in 1897, this structure bears a striking similarity to the architecture of the then-developing Morningside Heights campus of Columbia University.

As a general in the Civil War, Grant fought to consolidate the Union. As the 18th President, he passed the 15th Amendment, which granted the right to vote no matter “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” It is fitting that such an impressive figure in American history would deserve such an impressive tomb.

However, the location, New York City, feels like an odd choice for an Ohio native and a resident of Wilton, NY upon his death. Julia Dent, his wife, clarified the choice by remarking:

Click here to find out why President Grant was buried in NYC

Apr

6

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The marble lobby, which is both aesthetically pleasing and eco-friendly

Sometimes called Carman 2.0 and sometimes called McNasty, McBain’s short lived geotag on snapchat displaying mice pretty much sums up this fun, whimsical dorm. Its recent renovation may give a nice exterior, but its facilities are still old and ramshackle

Location: W 113th St at the corner of 113th and Broadway, New York, NY 10025

Nearby dorms: Watts, Broadway, Greek Row

Stores and restaurants: Dig Inn, Milano’s, Amigo’s, Nussbaum & Wu, Community, Korean Mill, International, and University Housewares.

Cost: Standardized to $9,292/year

Amenities:

  • Bathrooms: Six shared, gender inclusive, private bathrooms per floor as well as a handicapped one.
  • AC/Heat: No AC; you’ll remain toasty year round unless you have a shafted room.
  • Kitchen/Lounge: One shared lounge-kitchens on every floor, complete with seating, television, oven, microwave, vacuum cleaner, and dishwasher. RA’s usually host themed nights with baked goods and DIY decorations.
  • Laundry: Located on the first floor with twelve washers/dryers, all free.
  • Computers/Printers: A computer and a Paw Print Computer and Printer is located in the lobby beneath the staircase.
  • Gym: Two treadmills, a television screen, and one elliptical make up this claustrophobic ‘fitness room.’
  • Intra-transportation: Two elevators and one stairwell for eight floors.
  • Wifi: Yes.
  • Hardwood/Carpet: Hardwood.
  • Facilities: Bathrooms are cleaned every week day by janitorial staff, and trash/recycling is removed on a daily basis during the week.
  • Bonus: Study spaces as well as a larger lounge is found to the left of the security desk in the lobby.

Still curious about McBain?

Mar

26

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seriously, what WERE you thinking…

Being in New York City, Columbia students have a myriad number of ways to deplete their bank accounts. City life is not cheap, which is why charting it might be a good idea. Staff writer Leo Bevilacqua takes us through the cause of your being broke. Please note that Bwog does not condone any type of fiscal irresponsibility.

It’s Saturday night! Are you tallying all of your expenses for tonight? If not, Bwog will keep track for you.

5:00 P.M.: Blue Java Café earl grey and/or apple (-$7) because all this studying has made you drowsy and you need a break. Hot water with a stale tea bag is a lot more expensive than is believed.

6:00 P.M.: Strawberry Lemonade Svedka (-$17) from International and Simply Lemonade/Gatorade (-$10) from Duane Reade as well as Red Solo Cups (-$10) because you’re having a pregame in your shafted McBain double and your friends cannot be trusted with choosing the alcohol (i.e., no Fireball, Smirnoff Ice, or Malibu).

8:00 P.M.: Thai Market Pad See Ew With Beef (-$12) because it’s the weekend and you and your friends want to treat yourselves before another week of Ferris Salads and John Jay quinoa. But hey, your friends want to split the check evenly, even though your alcoholic friend ordered two Martinis (-$10).

Click here to see the other costs you racked up

Feb

27

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Columbia is home to many different perspectives regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Besides the demonstration that will take place on Low Plaza between 11 am to 4 pm, a few events will be happening every day this week relating to Israel and Palestine. Check them out to hear the voices of Columbia students and prominent activists on both sides of the issue. 

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

  • 7:30 to 9:30 pm: 50 Years of Occupation: The 1967 Naksa with Prof. Rashid Khalidi (Roone Arledge Cinema, Lerner Hall) ~ CU Apartheid Divest

Thursday

  • “Demystifying the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” ~ Aryeh (Details and Facebook Event to come)
  • 6 to 9 pm: Natives & Colonists: Pasts & Futures of Palestine with Prof. Joseph Massad (Broadway Room, Lerner Hall)
  • 8 to 10 pm: Trump & Israel at 50 Days: Taking Stock of U.S.-Israel Relations (614 Schermerhorn) ~ Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies

Friday

  • 3 to 5 pm: Teaching Palestine: Scholarship and Resistance (Hamilton 702) ~ CU Apartheid Divest

Photo via Wikipedia

Feb

14

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Bwog is back with yet another library review! If you want a warm and welcoming environment when studying for hours, change things up and stop at Avery. Everything from the main room to Brownie’s Café will make you want to visit this library again. 

Avery at its core is a warm, communal, and artsier version of Butler. Its intimate size and small fan following make it an ideal study spot. The main room is the classic wooden collegiate library set up with shelves full of books that have never been opened. However, the large communal tables and large, sumptuous chairs make for a comfortable place to flip through 300 psych flash cards or finish a term paper on apartheid in South Africa or suffer through paragraphs of Montaigne. Despite some tables being reserved for Fine Art and Architecture students, there is always a spot. The tall ceiling is intricately designed with small patterns in the white expansiveness of it all. The walls are lined with paintings of former Columbia presidents and thinkers supplying motivation to the most sluggish of students.

Continuing past the main room and down a few stairs is another great, quiet, and comfortable spot to lay down all your CC books and cram before the midterm. Very few students make it this far so you can have the luxury of spreading out. This area is not aesthetically pleasing, which might bother the Birkenstock, cave dwelling art history denizens, but makes for a comfortable spot for the rest of us. Rooms on the sides can be reserved for further comfort.

More on Avery after the jump

Feb

8

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Columbia needs to unclench and let go of its control freak tendencies

Columbia needs to unclench and let go of its control freak tendencies

Dear Alma,

And just when you thought Columbia could not get any whiter, Winter Storm Niko loomed its vanilla head. Seriously, Columbia students probably have not been shooken up by this much white nonsense since the Civil War.

Tomorrow is but a small sacrifice for our safety and well being. While other New York institutions of higher learning like CUNY, St. John’s, and Fordham put a halt to classes, Columbia remains wide open. NYU even shut down a day of drum circling, interpretive dance, and Instagram tutorials for the severe weather. Bill De Blasio, infamous Snow Day Denier, shut down New York public schools as well. Even Teacher’s College and JTS closed their doors. Alma, I guess the question is: Why us? Isn’t it bad enough that our main dining hall is a literal ‘Shit Show’? Undergraduates could use a break and perhaps enjoy the frivolities of what it is to be a college student.

At approximately 8:18 P.M., Columbia undergraduates received a rather aggressive email wiping away any hope of respite. Lines like “Campus snow removal crews are mobilized and prepared to begin snow removal as soon as the snowfall begins during the overnight” may as well have been written by our current executive branch. I mean, am I to believe that a fleet of polished snow plows are poised to melt every last flake that dares land on Columbia’s finely groomed campus at 2 A.M. If so, one would hope the endowment was put to better use. Regardless, these militaristic snow plowers stand in direct opposition to what is clearly fated.

Que sera sera, Alma, Que sera sera.

Whiningly,

Leo Bevilacqua

Photo  courtesy of this guy

Feb

2

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The exhibit at the Met Breuer

The exhibit at the Met Breuer.

Recently, the Met Breuer Museum held an exhibit of art by Kerry James Marshall. Bwog sent Bwogger Leo Bevilacqua to review the exhibit.

The Met Breuer’s recent retrospective of Kerry James Marshall’s work titled “Mastry” had a fascinating response to masterpieces of western literature, art, and philosophy. Marshall, having been raised in segregation, had a different perception of western culture. Like most students at Columbia today, he struggled to relate to a canon dominated by white, prominent men. Having experienced his own share of odysseys, battles, and traumas, Marshall, through his work, re-interpreted the canon with him and his struggles as a Black male in segregation taking center stage. The result was both visually stunning and tremendously profound. His artwork dazzles, inspires, and revolutionizes.

The exhibition began with two large murals depicting daily life in his neighborhood. One mural called “School of Beauty, School of Culture” depicted a barber shop, which he had fashioned as a classical Greek school of Philosphy, chock full of jubilant figures with high, magnificent hair does. The barber shop functioned like a school for people in his community to receive wisdom from their stylists, who acted like a Socrates or a Plato. Children ran about and patrons rejoiced in the comfort of each others company and ideas. Another mural, “Lost Boys”, depicted a boy rocking back and forth on a toy car with the date of his deaths written below. The painting depicted the lost generation of Black children who died as a result of police brutality, strictly enforced segregation, and poverty. One can see how Marshall likened himself as an Aeneas but glorifying his people by paint brush instead of by sword. His depictions of the horrors of segregation, comparable to the emotional intensity of the sacking of Troy, fleshed out the struggles within the Black experience.

One of the last paintings, “Souvenir I”,  depicted what appeared to be a heavenly waiting room with the faces of martyrs memorialized on the walls. The faces of JFK, RFK, MLK Jr., Malcom X, and others looked down upon a black angel who looked back at viewers with intensity and challenge. The piece, a spin on John Milton’s Paradise Lost, likened the plight of civil rights activists to a heavenly clash with evil, intolerance. Another painting, titled “Memento #5”, depicted a Black woman breaking apart the bars of her prison with the date of each decade of the 60’s written between each bar. Again, faces of martyrs of the civil rights movement were etched into the clouds at the top of the painting. The mostly silver painting has the same phrase repeated at the bottom, “What a time.” Overall, the two works complement each other in depicting racism in all its depravity and activism in all its heavenly glory.

The exhibition is noteworthy because of the revolutionary way in which it redefines the Western canon and also in its brutally honest depiction of  the plights of Blacks in the civil rights era. Going from his early works which struggled with the white washing of religious figures to his later works which re-interpreted Rorschach tests, Marshall demonstrated tremendous range. Tackling the classics of western literature, art, and philosophy is an ambitious task but Marshall’s incisive, poignant, and truthful work accomplishes just that.

Met Breuer via the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Jan

27

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Blue Java simply being.

Blue Java Cafe simply being.

Like all things consumed in the capitalist world, dining halls have striking similarities to films nominated for best picture. They can be competitive, undeservedly obscure, sumptuous, or “full of shit.” Staff Writer Leo Bevilacqua tells you which Best Picture nominee you are based on your comfort dining hall. 

John Jay Dining Hall – You are Manchester by the Sea. You are the obvious choice despite lacking flavor. You rack up the awards like no other and are not shy to display it every chance you get. However, you sometimes make people cry.

Ferris Booth Commons – You are Hell or High Water. You go hard, which means you are either an athlete or someone who consistently wakes up at 7 am to run the track at Dodge. You appeal to a more modern crowd and are action-packed (e.g. trying to find a seat on the second floor during peak hours).

JJ’s – You are La La Land. You are full of shit. People like to think you break the mold and are simply delightful. However on further examination, you are unhealthy for the general culture. You comfort the sad and overwhelmed but only fix their problems temporarily. You are addictive, and people will always keep coming to you.

More dining halls under the cut

Jan

26

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Current discourse on the Israeli-Palestinian relationship demonstrates why it might need a revamping as America and Columbia transitions into a Trump presidency.

Current discourse on the Israeli-Palestinian relationship demonstrates why it might need a revamping as America and Columbia transitions into a Trump presidency.

Staff writer and former daily editor, Leo Bevilacqua, offers his account of last night’s panel hosted by the Center for Palestine Studies, which spotlighted journalist Ben Ehrenreich’s experiences in the West Bank. Read on to see how Israeli-Palestinian discourse, in Leo’s interpretation, can be improved and why he believes demonizing the enemy does not function as an effective strategy in raising support for an oppressed body.

A fairly homogenous crowd at the Center for Palestine Studies (CPS) first event of the semester, “The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine”, piled into the World Room at Pulitzer Hall. Suddenly, co-director of the CPS, Rashid Khalidi, made his way to the podium at the front of the room. His introduction discussed the importance of hearing different narratives in light of the current U.S. administration, which he referred to as a ‘regime’. He then brought up CPS as one of a kind in the Americas before shifting to a litany of organizations, including “Jewish” ones, threatening its existence, which he also referred to as ‘regimes’.

Ben Ehrenreich, upon introducing the guest of honor, walked in accompanied by panelist Colm Tóibín beside a table with more than just a couple water bottles dotting it, a clear indication, if any, of the night’s contentious topic. However, Ehrenreich would barely reach for a single bottle of water for the remainder of the night and would maintain his quiet composure and cool, smug smile. His content manner foreshadowed the night’s proceedings and mirrored the almost universal head nodding that commenced during Ehrenreich’s primarily anecdotal account of his travels in Palestine. Suddenly, Obama’s farewell address warning against confirmation bias and convenient narratives became abundantly clear. Many in the crowd were excited to hear Ehrenreich discuss his new, celebrated book, however a female student beside me could not help feel that the self-congratulatory nature of the presentation was off-putting.

What else about Ehrenreich?

Dec

21

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her name is probably Ashley or Haley

her name is probably Ashley or Haley

Today, we have a female Tinder Archetype for you! Bwogger Leo Bevilacqua writes about the charming, although almost unbearably loquacious, classic sorority girl that you might find on your screen.

The sorority girl’s first photo will be a selfie with either the Snapchat flower crown or dog filter (the first in an array of over-edited pictures). Count on there being at least two photos of her with all her sisters, cause you know ‘sisterhood’ is the reason she joined a srat (first you become a part of it, then it becomes a part of you). There will be a few pictures in front of wall murals in Soho or some paintings in the Met cause she’s cultured like that, despite her favorite vineyard being Franzia. Decked out in her finest Lilly Pulitzer, Calypso, Vineyard Vines, and Madewell, she’ll convince you that pastels never looked so good. On the oft chance that there’s a bikini pic, it will be at St. Barth’s, Key’s Largo, Cabo, or the Hamptons. The cool sorority girl may have a photo or two at one of NYC’s ‘hottest’ clubs and bars, such as Catch, Le Bain, Goldbar, Paul’s Baby Grande, Blond, and Lavo. Her photographs exude of artificially arranged classiness, as does her Instagram linked to her profile.

Her profile will include a Dr. Seuss quotation along the lines of “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened,” as well as her major, which will most likely be psych. Her Spotify playlist will include anything from Drake to St. Vincent, demonstrating tremendous range in her cultural interests. In the rare event that you match, expect to get cocktails or food at a variety of Manhattan’s best restaurants (i.e. Acme, Gari, etc.). This is not a girl you can satisfy with a simple Vodka Cran at 1020. If she’s southern, you might find in her profile a biblical quote or two or three, most likely from Romans. However, don’t be fooled by her generic, bland bio, as she may actually be sporting a rocking internship at NBC, Vanity Fair, and the like. The srat girl may have no chill, but who’s to say that’s a bad thing? This girl is gorgeous, classy, and popular, and she knows it. Her expectations of her Tinder suitors are astronomical, and her right swipe ratio might be lower than Columbia’s acceptance rate. The world is her oyster and if having a strong, independent, girl who could drink you under the table is a problem, then step aside.

sorority girl via Nikki Shaner-Bradford

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