Author Archive

Apr

26

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Per annual Bwog tradition, we sent a top-secret Bwogger to infiltrate the Columbia Class of 2022 GroupMe and find out what next year’s Columbia freshmen are truly like. Here’s what we found.

A Budding Columbia Romance:

They Really Like Making Polls:

They Also Really Like Arman Azad:

 

Apr

26

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This entire building only has one good bathroom in it.

To the Butler 6 Bathroom:

I remember how I first met you. It wasn’t through a friend of a friend, or Tinder, or any of those superficial, stale mechanisms kids these days use to attempt to find love. All I needed was the right situation, a little bit of luck, and Bwog.

One day, while searching for a place to cry in Butler, I pulled up the Pooping in Pupin post and found a recommendation for the Butler 6 bathroom. I took the elevator upstairs, locked myself in a bathroom stall, and plugged in my earphones to listen to Camila Cabello’s “Real Friends.”

A profound sense of peace began to settle on me. Maybe it’s the bright white walls. The clean tile floor. The faint smell of sunscreen. The benevolent faces of grad students populating floor 6. Whatever it is, I’m convinced that you’re the most blessed bathroom in Butler, maybe even at Columbia.

You’re truly one of a kind. I mean, it’s really kind of hard to find good bathrooms at this school. To this day, when I’m studying in 209 and find all the bathrooms on floor 2 occupied or just plain stinky, I know I can always take the elevator to floor 6 and count on you, clean and reliable. Never change.

Love,

Anonymous Bwogger

Used to be a cynic before I met you via Bwog Archives 

Apr

25

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In case you couldn’t tell from the drum circle on Low, the Graduate Workers Strike is in full swing. This subsequently means that us Barnumbia students are missing out on their quality time with 30-something grad students that live in Williamsburg or Astoria or Washington Heights. One Bwog Staffer fills us in on their saga to make a connection with their TA before it’s too late. 

It doesn’t get more millennial than protestors chugging La Croix

Somehow it’s taken me an entire semester, but this last minute stretch taught me that I need to go all out in my efforts to hook up with my TA. Once our final discussion was canceled, I realized I had to get my shit together. So I shaved my legs, threw on a dress, read up on the worker’s strike, and laced up my combat boots.

This is my LAST week to make my relationship with my TA blossom, and it’s really a testament to how committed I am, considering I’m trekking over to Low in an incredibly inappropriate outfit for a labor strike. In the midst of pots being banged and La Croix waters being handed out, I stood by and screamed “What’s disgusting? Union busting!”

But in the midst of me scanning a field of signs for my TA’s coiffed hair, I started overhearing chants and rants. The administration is doing what?? I can’t believe I almost crossed the picket line to support Columbia’s anti-labor, pro-Trump, capitalist scum agenda.

At that point I realized something: I had to join in on the fight against Columbia’s policies, not just the fight to get naked with my TA. I bent down and grabbed a sign and started marching with the crowd of protestors.

So at the end of the day, our love remains unrequited but I did become an avid supporter of graduate student workers collective bargaining. Now can Columbia just pay our fucking TAs so they can stop ignoring us (me)?

Apr

25

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Be wise, in a senior-ly way.

In the spirit of the intellectual and creative inspiration that is often imparted by wisdom, this important PSA will be told in the format of an acronym.

What are we looking for?

If there’s a senior you know who inspires you, nominate them to share some parting senior wisdom, so that we may all bask in their wise glory.

Speedy is what you have to be if you’d like to nominate someone, however, because nominations are due tonight!

Email tips@bwog with their name, email, and a brief description of why they deserve a nomination, or just fill out this Google Form.

(That is all. You’re welcome.)

Apr

25

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these are all Columbia blue

The sky is Columbia blue.

Happening in the World: Dressed in red, blue, and orange, thousands of demonstrators marched yesterday in Hollywood to demand that Turkey recognize the 1915 Armenian genocide, atrocities that caused the systematic killing of 1.2 million Armenians (LA Times).

Happening in the US: Rapper Meek Mill was released from prison yesterday, after a controversial sentence for violating probation. Hours after his release, Mill attended a playoff game supporting the blue-jersey-clad Philadelphia 76’ers (ESPN).

Happening in NYC: The blue whale exhibit at New York’s American Museum of Natural History got its annual cleaning yesterday. With a crowd of onlookers, exhibition manager Trenton Duersken vacuumed the 94-feet-long, 21,000-pound fiberglass whale model, while suspended almost 50 feet in the air (AMNY).

Happening on Campus: Other than the strike? Well, Columbia Health is encouraging students to wear blue denim for Denim Day, a campaign supporting survivors of sexual assault. More information about Denim Day can be found here.

Overseen/Overheard: “Jesus is the original rally…Blacked out on a Friday and woke up that Sunday.”

Blues clues via Bwog Archives

Apr

24

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Meet Briley Lewis, this week’s CU Women in STEM subject, who can answer any questions you might have about planets

Bwog Science is back with CU Women in STEM, where we highlight the amazing women in science at Columbia. Today’s profile is from Briley Lewis (CC ’18), astrophysics major and Pluto enthusiast!

Major: Astrophysics

What subjects are you interested in? Exoplanets and planetary science

How did you get interested in your subject? Can you remember the moment that got you hooked? When I was a kid, I always wanted to be a vet. But in middle school, when you have to dissect frogs and everything, I realized that I am INCREDIBLY squeamish – so, being a vet wasn’t quite an option, and I needed to find a new interest. One of my best friends ended up giving me the book Death by Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries by Neil deGrasse Tyson, and I absolutely loved it. I wanted to learn more about space, and I just kept on learning until I got to where I am now.

Most important research/extracurricular experiences so far: I’ve been a part of two research projects as an undergrad, and both were incredibly important to me. First off, I’ve worked at the American Museum of Natural History for two years (since the summer after sophomore year) as a part of Dr. Rebecca Oppenheimer’s group; we work with an instrument called Project 1640, built at the museum and operated on the Palomar Hale Telescope in CA, which surveys nearby stars to discover new exoplanets through direct imaging. Secondly, I spent last summer at Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, MD, working with data of Pluto from NASA’s New Horizons mission.

What are your career goals? I want to continue pursuing research, earning my PhD and eventually either becoming a tenured professor or maybe a civil servant at NASA. At the same time, I hope to be actively involved in shaping policies about space exploration and astronomical research funding, and also to continue doing lots of outreach and teaching.

Favorite science building on campus? I totally have to pick Pupin; it’s basically where I’ve lived the last four years. Also, it may not have the best classrooms, but it TOTALLY has the best roof – go there when the department does public outreach events to see one of the best views!!

Click here for Briley’s advice!

Apr

23

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GWC considers the support of undergraduate students to be crucial to their struggle. If you decide that you do sympathize with their cause after reading this article, consider making a banner and heading down to the picket line sometime this week.

You’ve probably received an email from Provost Coatsworth about the “possible strike by student teaching and research assistants.” If you attend CC or GS, you also probably received a message from Deans Valentini and Rosen-Metsch about how the strike would affect classes. Perhaps you’ve heard directly from your TAs or research assistants about their plans to strike. Perhaps you’ve seen posters from either the Graduate Workers of Columbia (GWC) or by Student-Worker Solidarity (SWS) about events taking place.

Even with all of this information floating around, it’s quite possible you still have questions about the upcoming graduate workers’ strike that will take place unless administration negotiates a contract before Tuesday morning – which currently seems unlikely. In order to clear things up, we here at Bwog thought that it would be useful to provide answers to some FAQ about the strike.

1. What are graduate workers demanding, specifically? Graduate workers will be striking because Columbia administration refuses to recognize the union they formed nearly a year and a half ago.

A brief rundown on the union’s history:

  • In December 2016, Columbia graduate workers voted 72% to 28% to form a union affiliated with the United Auto Workers Local 2110, which already represents a number of workers on campus. This move was supported by both SGA and CCSC.
  • According to GWC’s FAQ page, graduate workers hope to unionize to “ensure livable wages, adequate benefits, clear workload expectations, and consistent and transparent employment policies,” enhancing “our conditions and our work – and ultimately, Columbia.”
  • After the vote was announced, the administration stated it wouldn’t recognize the union or negotiate with the elected bargaining committee, because it didn’t view graduate workers as traditional “workers” and worried about inconsistencies in election procedures.
  • The administration hoped that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) would also find that inconsistencies existed and therefore refuse to certify the union. This December, the Board rejected Columbia’s challenges in a 2-1 vote and certified the union.
  • Despite the NLRB ruling, in January 2018, Provost Coatsworth announced in an email Columbia’s continued decision “not to engage in bargaining with union representatives and to seek review […] by a federal appellate court.”
  • Union members allege Columbia is attempting to stall the process of unionization until President Trump can appoint new members to serve on the NLRB. Once he does this, it is likely that the new board will overturn the Obama-era decision that gave teaching and research assistants the right to collectively bargain. Therefore, this strike is being conducted in an attempt to pressure Columbia into bargaining immediately rather than waiting for the National Labor Relations Board to stop recognizing graduate workers as workers.

Find answers to even more questions here!

Apr

23

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Editor’s note (1): Updated on 4/23 at 2:03 pm to address factual errors in President Beilock’s letter, as well as to correct inaccuracies regarding SGA’s and the College’s actions.

Editor’s note (2): Updated on 4/23 at 4:24 pm to add statements from Nas Abd Elal, a member of CUAD, and Aryeh.

Editors’s note (3): Updated on 4/24 at 12:30 pm to correct mathematical errors in a previous version of this post, which had stated that more than 30% of the Barnard student body voted for the referendum (our corrected number is 28.5%). Also, updated to include information regarding SGA’s response to this email.

Editor’s note (4): Updated on 5/1 at 8:00 pm to add statements regarding the referendum sent from President Beilock to SGA on 5/1. 

In an email sent out earlier today to the Barnard community, President Sian Beilock wrote that, if requested, the College will not take action to divest from companies with ties to Israel. President Beilock wanted to inform students of the college’s intentions ahead of the Student Government Association’s (SGA) discussions this week following last week’s student body vote in favor of the CUAD referendum. According to President Beilock, the referendum’s requests do not meet the standards of consideration for the Board of Trustees.

The referendum, which passed last Wednesday by a margin of 28.6% with a voter turnout of 49.9%, could lead SGA to send a letter encouraging the college to divest from eight companies associated with Israel. This week, SGA will discuss their plans going forward. However, according to Beilock, whatever SGA decides is irrelevant, because the College does not intend to take action, as the referendum does not fulfill two standards required for any case presented to the Board of Trustees that’s related to Barnard’s endowment.

These two standards are first, upholding the mission of the College in promoting freedom of expression; and second, an obvious consensus among the student body. According to Beilock, an institutional stance on the Israel-Palestine conflict would “chill the discourse” in which members of the student body should feel encouraged to participate freely. In addition, she wrote that although the referendum did pass by a majority, those who voted to support the referendum represent less than 30% of the student body and thus cannot be considered a general consensus.

Over 50% of the Barnard student body did not vote in the referendum

Although about 50% of the Barnard student body voted in the SGA elections, not all of these students opted to vote in the referendum. Thus, the 741 students who voted yes represent 28.5% of the student body. Those who voted no represent 15.8% of the student body, and 55.7% did not vote. These numbers are based on a Spring 2018 enrollment number of 2,604 students, provided to Bwog by the Barnard Media Relations department. Our calculations can be seen on the right.

Beilock’s email was initially written to the Student Government Association, then forwarded to the greater student body for transparency. In the email, she mentions thousands of alumnae who opposed the referendum, thereby stating that the College will not be taking action for divestment in order to “foster civil discourse.” In fact, the petition of those opposing the referendum is not composed solely of alumnae–at least 1,051 of the “thousands of signers” are simply listed as a “Friend and Ally” of the College (not an alumna, parent, or donor).

Bwog reached out to Nas Abd Elal, a member of CUAD, and Aryeh, for comments regarding the email. Their responses have been included at the end of the post.

The College has also prepared a Q&A for any questions on the referendum itself. A representative of SGA told us that the Executive Board will be responding to President Beilock’s email during external announcements during their regular Monday night meeting.

At the meeting following this email, the SGA Executive Board issued a statement emphasizing the board’s commitment to the democratic process and to “fulfill [the council’s] duty to advocate for students to the administration.” The SGA leaders expressed that the petition Beilock references does not represent the diversity of opinions held by Barnard alumnae, and that her email trivializes the council’s process and the voices of the students it represents. A past SGA referendum to divest from fossil fuel companies was not dismissed, this statement points out, even though it only received 565 student votes (almost 200 fewer votes than the CUAD referendum). Rather than working with SGA in an open dialogue to discuss divestment, as has been the process in the past, while “SGA was and is in the process of deciding how and whether to bring this issue to the administration, the President and the Board of Trustees have had their own dialogue and have chosen to dismiss the possibility of moving forward.”

Last night, SGA voted to write a letter of support to the Barnard administration for divestment from the eight companies associated with Israel listed in the referendum. The council also voted to write a “dissenting statement” regarding President Beilock’s response, and add it to this letter. During next Monday’s meeting (April 30), the council will vote on the wording of this letter; if it passes, the letter will be sent to the administration that night.

The SGA Executive Board’s full statement and more details on last night’s Rep Council meeting can be found in Bwog’s SGA coverage post for this week.

On May 1, President Beilock sent a message directly to SGA responding to their original letter sent to the administration.  In the statement, Beilock reiterates and re-explaining Barnard College’s reasons for disregarding the referendum. Her response has been included at the end of this post.

(more…)

Apr

22

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Last weekend, a young prospie acquainted with Bwog told us that, during the infamous New York City bus tour, she and other students were given bingo cards filled with “typical NYC sights” and were told to fill them out as they rode through the city. The cards, she told us, included such wholesome items as “sirens” and “neon signs.” We thought these were giving prospies a far-too-reductive picture of the city they might be about to inhabit for the next four years, so we’ve compiled our own bingo card with our own list of typical Morningside Heights sights. Barnard prospies on campus today and tomorrow, and any other Columbia students who might visit in the next few months: use this link to print 30 randomized bingo cards to play with your friends, or check out one representative card below.

Apr

21

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The wall in question (left)

One Daily Editor has a bone to pick with Junzi Kitchen, and she’s not going to rest until she gets the retribution she deserves.

I am an admitted homebody; I tend to spend most of my evenings in my room watching Netflix or staring at a blank Word document and hoping it’ll magically turn itself into a completed essay. So last weekend, when I went to Junzi After Hours with some friends, it was the first time I ever gone. It started out as a great time; we picked a table near the far wall, ordered an overly large cocktail and some really delicious waffle fries, and generally enjoyed the chill atmosphere.

It all fell apart when one of my friends came back from the bathroom. You see, the far wall we were sitting near is comprised of wooden cubbies that hold random poster-boards and other objects. So, as she slid back into the booth, one of them must have been disturbed somehow (though they didn’t do anything when we first sat down) and hit me square in the head.

I am emotionally distressed to this day; the one time I leave my room and decide to venture out into the world, I’m brutally attacked by a piece of, essentially, printed Styrofoam. How can I feel safe going anywhere else, knowing that even a chill restaurant with good food and a shit-ton of alcohol could choose to attack me at any time? What’s next? The chairs in Hamilton falling apart beneath me? The ceiling of my shower in Carman caving in the middle of my stirring rendition of Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me?” Getting stuck in an EC elevator for three days and being forced to resort to cannibalism? Nowhere is safe.

More after the jump

Apr

21

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Just look at that beautiful double!

It may not have air conditioning, but Reid is a perfectly nice place to spend your first year at Barnard, especially if you get a nice view of the Quad/Broadway. Just be wary of those roaches…

Location: The Quad (3009 Broadway)

Nearby dorms: The rest of the Quad, the 600s, Elliott, Furnald and Schapiro

Stores and restaurants: Halal Cart + food trucks, Morton Williams, Sweetgreen, Starbucks, Haagen-Dasz, Nussbaum & Wu… etc.

Cost: Barnard hasn’t released room rates for 2018-2019, but this year’s was $9,510.

Amenities:

  • Bathrooms: 2 shared stall-style bathrooms on each floor, one women’s and one gender-inclusive. More (and perhaps cleaner) bathrooms available on other halls, which you can walk to (unless you live in Sulz/Reid 2 – it’s cut off from the other buildings, so you have to go up a floor).
  • AC/Heating: Heating, no A/C. In the words of my Reid correspondent: Get a really good fan.
  • Kitchen/Lounge: One shared kitchen and TV lounge space per floor. Some people love hanging out here; others, like myself last year, would prefer the trek to Diana.
  • Laundry: There’s one washer/dryer set in Reid and 2 in Brooks. Make sure to refill your laundry card ahead of time, or suffer the trek down to Sulz lobby in your underwear/pajamas/last night’s threads.
  • Computers/printers: Available in Sulz basement.
  • Intra-transportation: 2 elevators accessible from the lobby.
  • Hardwood/carpet: The usual Quad situation: carpeted hallways, linoleum tile floors. Great for wiping coffee stains off of.
  • Room variety: Corridor-style double rooms; all first-years and RAs.

Room pix and resident opinions after the jump!

Apr

20

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By no one’s demand, Bwog has curated a playlist in honor of today’s holiday. We’re wishing good vibes on everyone participating (and anyone suffering because of others participating). And remember: Bwog does not endorse participation in any illegal activity. 

gassed via Public Domain Pictures

 

Apr

19

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Enter CUMB

An Orgo Night of years past.

Since fall 2016, the marching band has been banned from holding Orgo Night, their biannual roast of all things Columbia, in its traditional location of Butler 209. Despite much back-and-forth with the administration, particularly Vice Provost and University Librarian Ann Thornton, who made the final decision to ban them, the CUMB held Orgo Night outside the next two semesters.

Last semester, however, they chose to defy the administration and perform in Butler 209, which earned all the Board members an official warning. The Board then met with more administrators and, today, Vice Provost Thornton herself. The Board just released a statement summarizing those meetings, explaining that “Vice Provost Thornton’s main concern is the sanctity of all study spaces in all libraries at all times.” The Band, on the other hand, believes that, although libraries are a place to be productive, “they also embody stress and the negative aspects of college life. Orgo Night is meant to disrupt that stress for two nights out of the year.”

When asked for comment, Head Manager Vivian Klotz said, “In one word, I’d describe the band as disappointed. But all of the people who were at the meeting have more specific issues with what happened and the unwavering views of administrators.” And as for the future of Orgo Night, “We cannot share any plans at the moment, but this is an evolving issue and we will have a more clear picture about what we will be doing for Orgo Night in the coming weeks.”

Bwog has reached out to Vice Provost Ann Thornton for comment.

“The show will always go on,” the statement stressed, but listed the location of Orgo Night as “TBD.”

The full statement is after the jump.

Apr

19

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Plunge back into the deep.

The two of you met Friday night at 1020. You had a few drinks, they seemed cool, and the two of you hit it off immediately. After last call, you both decide to go to his place. When it’s all said and done, you head home—only to realize that you left something at their place. Here’s Bwog’s tips for getting your shit back. 

    • Hook up with the person’s roommate and take your stuff when you leave.
    • Convince them to give your really cute hat back when they’re on acid.
    • Do a baton-like hand off but exchange lost clothing outside of your dorm.
    • Hook up with them one more time and make sure that you have your shit together before you leave.
    • Ask them to leave your stuff folded on the floor in the hall right outside your room. (This worked.)
    • Be annoying and text them the next day, only to pick it up in person while on the phone because you’re too cool for the awkward conversation.
    • Send short snaps to them right before they go out for the night: you can meet up at a bar and you’ll be drunk and relaxed.
    • Make them meet up in a really public place so that it can appear casual.
    • Turn invisible.
    • Show up at their door with a new man, take your stuff, leave.
    • G(tb)^2 and tell them to give you your stuff.

Here’s more tips that you literally never asked for

Apr

19

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A view of Broadway from the fifth floor… not too bad

Barnard first-years might not get to choose what dorms they live next year but that doesn’t mean Bwog can’t review them anyway! Today, we’re taking a looks at Brooks Hall, Sulz’s hotter (in every sense of the word) neighbor.

Location: 116th St & Broadway

  • Nearby dorms: The rest of the dorms in the Quad (Sulz, Reid, and Hewitt), Elliott, the 600s, Schapiro, Furnald
  • Stores and restaurants: Morton Williams, Pret A Manger, Sweetgreen, Starbucks, UPS, and generally everything else directly surrounding Barnard’s campus.

Cost: Barnard hasn’t yet released prices for first-year housing for the 2018-19 school year, but all multiple-occupancy dorms were $9,510 for the 2017-18 school year.

Amenities:

  • Bathrooms: One per floor, with two showers, two sinks, and two toilets each. The bathrooms on floors 3, 5, and 7 are gender-inclusive, while the ones on floors 4, 6, and 8 are women only. All bathrooms are cleaned daily by Facilities.
  • AC/Heating: There’s heating, but no AC. The heating will make rooms feel extremely hot even during the winter, but the windows are big enough to let cool air in when you need it.
  • Kitchen/Lounge: There are no kitchens in Brooks, but each floor has a kitchen and lounge in Sulz that all residents of the Quad can use, fully equipped with a microwave, stove, oven, and sink. The first floor of Brooks has a study lounge with a more leisurely piano lounge connected to it.
  • Laundry: Each floor has one washer and two dryers, but there are more washers and dryers in Sulz, which all residents of the Quad can use. Laundry is $1.25 for each wash or dry, and laundry cards can be bought and refilled in the lobby of Sulz.
  • Fire Escapes: None.
  • Gym: None, but the Barnard Fitness Center is located nearby in the basement of Barnard Hall.
  • Bike Storage: None, but there’s a Citi Bike station nearby.
  • Intra-transportation: Two elevators between Brooks and Reid, and two elevators in Sulz. The Brooks/Reid elevators are slower than the Sulz elevators, and you’d be better off taking the stairs down if you’re trying to take the elevator around class time.
  • Hardwood/Carpet: All floors in rooms have linoleum tiles, while the hallways are carpet.

What do the rooms look like though?

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