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Dec

2

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Lambda Phi Epsilon’s brownstone on 114th Street

Editor’s note: this article contains descriptions of physical hazing.

Bwog has received a detailed report about the initiation process of Columbia’s chapter of Lambda Phi Epsilon which details the extreme hazing pledges are forced to endure. According to an anonymous student who pledged the fraternity in the Spring of 2018 and disaffiliated this semester (Fall 2018), the abusive rush process that he experienced involved intense physical exertion, food restrictions, and food that appeared to be laced with chemicals.

The student, who said that he vaguely knew that the initiation process would be physical but did not know the extent, described physical trials including doing push-ups, burpees, running suicides, and other strenuous activities. The exercises started out at a manageable level, he said, but grew increasingly torturous. Lambda’s pledging process included so many “knuckle push-ups” that his knuckles were bleeding for days.

The student also described an incident in which the fraternity brothers singled out a pledge and made the pledge suffer additional extreme physical exercises, including knuckle push-ups, in the Lambda house basement. The rest of the pledge class, who did not know what was happening to him at the time, was summoned to the house to “save” the pledge after the pledge had been there for around two hours. When the student and his fellow pledges arrived, according to Bwog’s source, the pledge who was being punished was crying out in pain and collapsing as he attempted to do the exercises.

Continue reading after the jump

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Nov

28

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Me, having sleep for dinner

For as much or as little as you pay tuition, either way, there exist many resources at Barnard for low-income students to survive. Bwog has compiled a comprehensive list of resources at Barnard to help you get where you need to go.

The most prominent resource for first-year students is the Barnard Bear Essentials Fund, which is financed by the Senior Fund. While there used to be a webpage with information about what can be bought by the College, it doesn’t seem to exist anymore. The fund is primarily used to assist first years in getting the bare essentials (haha, get it?), like soap, shampoo, and even better: winter clothing! E-mail the financial aid office asking about accessing the fund for winter clothing. They buy virtually anything–socks, tights, coats, gloves, boots–except sweaters for some reason. Get warm ASAP. Even if you already have a coat, use this as an opportunity to get an upgrade. On the same train of thought, Barnard also offers emergency funding for laptop damages. Don’t stress out if this happens to you–just email the financial aid office.

Ideally, this guide would be created so that you, as a low-income student, would never have to spend money. I will limit the possibility of spending to this suggestion: use Buy Sell Trade at Barnard. It’s a Facebook group that’s private, but ask literally anyone to add you and they will. It’s a great resource for cheap clothing and shoes, whatever you need. Don’t buy anything new ever again. Additionally, hit it up (or the Pay It Forward group!) when you need things short-term, like a saucepan or painter’s tape. There’s also Barnard Fat Buy Sell Trade so don’t feel limited by the overwhelming amount of Brandy Melville.

For those who are having a rough time at college, like many of us are, Furman Counseling Center is an excellent resource for short-term counseling. A number of staff at Furman specialize in trauma, eating disorders, sexual assault–just ask during your intake call that you be paired with someone with experience in your concerns. Furman also employs two part-time psychiatrists. You can get referred out when you’re ready, at which point, you can also request that your copay be covered if you can’t afford it. This is financed by a fund, so it may not always be possible, but Furman offers options for sliding scale or reduced fee therapy as well. They offer many support groups, most notably Women of Color Support Group which is every Wednesday from 5:00 to 6:30 in Elliot. You can find the complete list of support groups here.

If you need contraception, Primary Care offers free insertion for most contraception methods and cheap alternatives for emergency contraception ($15 in comparison to $40 and upward at leading drugstores). I got my IUD completely free with my insurance–insertion is covered by Barnard, while the type of contraception is covered by your insurance. If you have Aetna, it’s completely free. (Get the flu shot for free on Aetna, too!) Birth control is also $7 without insurance, which is much more affordable than other options. Plus, if you’re concerned about your parents seeing a bill, you can request that it be sent to your Barnard mailbox.

Read more about Barnard’s resources after the jump!

Nov

28

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In which a Bwogger uncovers the one thing the brand spanking new Milstein Center fucked up.

Objectively, there is no better place to do work on campus than the Milstein Center. With its modern yet casual vibe, Milly, The Stein, or Cheryl, as it is known, is a safe space for crammers and responsible students alike.

One day, as I was studying (not really) on the round black tables on the ground floor of The Mils, I fell into a downward spiral of that space out you physically cannot release yourself from. It was then that I noticed what is now filed under things I cannot unsee: The Milly B.

the bridge of sorrows

If you look at the center of the B, the bridge is flipped completely and turned upside down. The text printed on it is upright, but the translucent shape is completely messed up.

It’s funny to think about how unnoticeable this was before I actually took a long, hard look at it; it’s even funnier to think about how the people who put this up probably noticed it too but didn’t give enough shits to do anything about it.

Sometimes it’s refreshing to stop and laugh at the harmless fails of our college. Perhaps this is a sign to not take life too seriously–to simply laugh at the mismatched shapes and the mess up of a seemingly straightforward job. Nevertheless, Milstein, we love you and all your imperfections.

 

 

Photo via Bwog Staff

Nov

28

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No ducks or swipes to be found

As finals and the end of our semesterly meal plans encroach, Bwog just has one question: Where do the extra swipes go in the wintertime?

  • They migrate southward to warmer temperatures
  • They follow the ducks to wherever the hell they go
  • To the bottom of frozen lakes
  • To the Moon
  • To my Webkinz account :(
  • To season my soup
  • To feed the gremlins that live in Deantini’s basement
  • To insulate Prezbo’s Audi
  • They disappear into the weird back door in Hewitt
  • They’re swept into the wind of the Barnard Hall tunnels
  • They turn into loose change
  • They’re telepathically taken by GS students that live near campus
  • They’re taken by all the cockroaches that live under the washing machines
  • They’re used to feed the endowment – it’s hungry and alumni donations aren’t enough

Real Phony Hours via Bwog Archives

Nov

27

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This is a live action shot of my reaction when I was told that the class was curved to a B-

I’m going to start off this callout post by putting it out there that I appreciate and respect my professors. At the same time, I am an economics major. Eco-nom-ics. Not astrophysics, not applied math, not pre-med, and despite all of Prezbo’s lackluster campaigning, not a STEM major.

So imagine my reaction when I enrolled in an economics class early this semester and was pleasantly surprised to find out that my professor curved our final grades to, yep, a mother hecking B minus. B-, folks!

I am confused, disheartened, and distraught, to say the least. Perturbed, even. In another life, I used to rely upon a curve like a bed of fluffy cloud, ready to catch me as I navigated new academic concepts and inevitably made some mistakes along the way. No longer is it so. Having a curve to a B- is like a trust fall with a friend, except without the friend. Like what the heck?

Please, someone, do tell, what is the pedagogical purpose for having such a stupidly low curve? Is the professor just a sadist? Or is he or she just attempting to demotivate me from further studying this subject? Is this some kind of sick game? Or just an experimental teaching style? Like I might not have explicitly mentioned it in my supplemental statements in my college app all those years ago, but I thought it was pretty obvious why I chose CC over SEAS. Isn’t the deal that because I can actually read, I get to have a more forgiving curve? I’m just kidding (sort of).

Photo via Bwog Archives

Nov

27

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Guest writer Sophie Tobin talks restoration of love this turkey season.

It’s that time of year again. You came to realized that the long-distance relationship with your high school sweetheart isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Maybe you caught yourself lusting after your super cute TA. Or maybe you were tired of having weird, disconnected conversations with your significant other as you tried to explain your newly separate lives to one another. Lucky for you, “turkey drop” season was right around the corner. You both dreaded and welcomed Thanksgiving break, because it meant you could finally end things in person without having to be a complete dick and dump them over FaceTime. You return to school to find yourself among many newly single peers. You may now find yourself feeling completely devoid of all hope that love really is out there. If none of us can make things work with the supposed loves of our lives, who can?!

This brings us to yesterday afternoon, when I was standing in a packed elevator, wallowing in my own self-doubt over this very subject. A few young women were excitedly interrogating their friend over “what happened over Thanksgiving break.” I noticed a HUGE diamond ring glistening on the left hand of the friend in question. When she launched into a story on how she got engaged to her boyfriend (now fiancé) while home over the break, my eyes almost popped out of my head. She didn’t turkey DROP, she turkey COLLECTED! Turkey HARVESTED! My faith in romance is now restored. Love is alive! Cuffing season is still upon us! To the new bride-to-be: CONGRATULATIONS! To everyone else: we can do this, people!!

Nov

26

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all inductees carry the might of Athena

Thanksgiving break is over and we’re all back on that grind (or at least attempting to be.) If you need some inspiration in this trying final few weeks of the semester, look no further than Barnard’s fall Phi Beta Kappa inductees from the class of 2019! Fourteen incredible students have been inducted in this preliminary group; more students will be awarded this honor in the spring. Congratulations to the fall inductees!

  • Xinyao Tang (Comp Sci and Math-Statistics)
  • Jerica Tan (Biology)
  • Anne Ollen (Political Science)
  • Jessie Rubin (Ethnomusicology)
  • Maham Karatela (Neuroscience & Behavior (Cellular)
  • Kiran Singh-Smith (Environmental Science)
  • Talia Mamann (Political Science)
  • Jane Ninivaggi (American Studies)
  • Nina Rosella (Political Science)
  • Madison Marko (Political Science – Human Rights)
  • Grace Nickel (Biochemistry)
  • Alida Pitcher-Murray (Urban Studies (Econ)
  • Ruth Ramjit (History)
  • Celeste Pallone (Environmental Science)

light that torch! via the Bwog Instagram

Nov

20

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Some spaces on Columbia’s campus are liminal. Some are profane. Some invite a Bwog post by a Barnard writer literally every day. But a few spaces are just downright cursed. This writer, currently nearing the end of her most recent all-nighter on the eighth floor of Butler, believes this space belongs in that third category. And she has the pics to prove it.

Nov

19

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I want a bagel now

Ever since Nuss closed, we all have been searching for a new place to get delicious bagels from. Living in the city that’s famously known for its bagels sets high standards for the food, but here are a few places in MoHi you can visit to fulfill your needs. 

Some good options:

  • Obviously, its Absolute Bagels on 108 but I’m biased because I live in fucking harmony hall
  • Broadway bagel at like 101st street if you’re down there gets the job done – used to go there on my way to work
  • There is Bo’s bagels on Frederick Douglass and 116th, but you really just go there for the excellent cream cheese selection
  • Absolute Bagels is for sure the best (plus something about the no bullshit attitude and non-existence atmosphere really makes it)

In defense of Strokos…

  • Strokos bagels are trash but kind of ok for the egg sausage bagels
  • Strokos will put avocado on your bagel which is a strong point in their favor
  • The bagel flesh is eh but I agree the construction is fantastic. I also like their variety of topping options
  • First of all, Strokos bagels are not trash they are very good. Maybe not the best, but definitely the best option if you’re trying to sneak them into Butler. They are tasty, have a good cream cheese to dough ratio, and can be toasted (which is great especially on a chilly day) and is packaged in a wonderful welcoming brown paper bag also if you are wondering why I have penned so many words on a literal deli bagel it is because I am drunk

If you just really want a bagel

  • Morton Williams bagels are actually ok (also they’re very cheap if you for some reason need to buy in bulk)
  • Samad’s – I heard they suck but they exist
  • Westside, Milanos, Morton Williams also have them but they probably suck
  • There are little carts on 114th and Broadway and 113th and Amsterdam in the morning
  • I have heard that Hamdel’s bagels are alright but I can’t personally confirm because I always get The Betsy™ there

Addenda: more submissions

  • According to a commenter, Appletree has “fine bagels.”
  • Apparently, Milano’s has bagels for $2.50 with cream cheese and they’re very good. This submission came from a bagel snob born and raised in NYC, so it’s probably trustworthy.

Nov

16

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no Chadwick Shapiros were harmed in the writing of this post

Anyone who has been following Columbia football knows that after their first winning season, a series of injuries has plagued our boys in blue, leading to a less-than-spectacular 5-4 record (2-4 in the Ivy League) as they go into their final contest against Cornell. It’s also left them unsure as of Friday, who their starting quarterback will be. Bwog has no idea who will ultimately take the field tomorrow, but we sure can imagine.

My name is Chadwick Schapiro, CC ’20 Econ major with a concentration in CS. I’ve been on Columbia’s football team since my freshman year, leaving me unsure if the reason I was accepted to this school was athletic recruitment, my legacy status, or the millions of dollars my parents donated to this institution so they could build a third building named Schapiro. To be honest, I don’t really need to think about that too much though. However, I’ve only ever played in 1 game: the last 3 minutes of the game against Brown last year, when we beat them 31-13. This weekend, that’s all about to change. Read more about our boys in blue

Nov

16

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As you could probably tell from the masses of snow-covered students crowding the lobby of John Jay last night, Columbia Dining hosted their annual Thanksgiving Feast this Thursday in John Jay Dining Hall. One Bwogger decided to attend this event solo yolo, using this opportunity to try some new foods, see some new sights, gain some new experiences, and in the spirit of Thanksgiving, make some new friends through sheer willpower. This is her story.

When I arrived in the lobby of John Jay on time, I was surprised by how many people showed up and how excited they were for the event despite the winter storm Niko 2.0 raging outside. Though there were so many people crowding the space, the Dining staff, wearing Thanksgiving Feast T-shirts, were incredibly helpful in pointing people to the correct direction and quickly checking students in. After students checked in, a staff member would show each party – even me, a party of one – to their respective table, which made the experience very personable.

After shown to my table, I found that the table, covered in a dark tablecloth, was really nicely set. I was particularly struck by the fact that the water was served in literal blue-tinted glass bottles and by the very beautiful silverware (not gonna lie, I was kinda tempted to take some of it home with me). Blue cloth napkins were folded neatly in the stem glasses, and the menu, printed on cardstock, looked delish.


So what did the actual food taste like?

Nov

15

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So much talent in one room

On Wednesday, November 14th, Barnard alumna and guitarist, lyricist, and vocalist of Speedy Ortiz, Sadie Dupuis ’11 returned to campus to discuss the release of her new book of poetry, Mouthguard. The event was co-sponsored by Women Poets at Barnard and Dupuis was joined on stage by her college mentor Saskia Hamilton, Professor of English at Barnard. Speedy Ortiz fangirls Zoe Sottile and Ramisa Murshed went to check it out.

Listening to Sadie Dupuis read poetry, the main impression she imparts is that you have no idea where she’s going to take you next. It’s not a bad feeling: more like following someone you really trust. As the poet and songwriter herself remarked during her discussion with her own on-campus mentor: “If I knew where a poem would end it would be terrible. I always want the next thing to happen to surprise me.”

The evening started with a selection of poems from Dupuis’s recently released book of poems, Mouthguard, which she says she would have never written if she hadn’t gone to Barnard. Speedy Ortiz’s independent rock songs are known for their dark, sharp lyricism, which was matched by Dupuis’s poetry. Her poems were at turns funny, disorienting, graphic, sad, and beautiful. One poem entitled “Me and Every Color” that contemplated origin stories and darkness ended with the line, “I only came to ruin beauty’s eggy face.”

She used inventive similes. One poem entitled “I Don’t Even Like Candy” included the line, “This feels like nursing a surrogate after my cub has perished.”

In another, called “Milk Is Huge,” she said, “I do secret things and reveal them blandly / Look close, I am horrible.”

She prefaced one piece by telling a story about a classmate in a creative writing workshop who referenced ghosts, and her own indignant suspicion that the classmate didn’t really believe in ghosts: “You want to defend ghosts from this person’s bad work.” The sincerity of this belief in things that are dark and unexplainable pervaded Dupuis’s readings. The poem referenced the camp terror of horror movies, “Like a victim alone in a house like someone is inside the house the call is coming from inside.”
More after the jump

Nov

15

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When you walk through these gates, you automatically gain 3 piercings. It’s science.

Many people feel they undergo a “transformation” their first semester freshman year. This Bwogger wrote a thank you letter to their best friend who helped them through this process. We love wholesome content.

Dear best friend,

When we first met, I was the epitome of conforming to heteronormativity. Throughout high school, I censored how I wanted to appear to the world in fear of people drawing conclusions about my sexuality. I came to Barnard with my long hair, unpierced ears and nose, ‘feminine’ wardrobe of skirts and dresses, and hidden excitement about finally being somewhere I have the freedom of being myself. This is not to say that having a certain outward appearance correlates to a certain sexuality. I had been cornered into appearing in a stereotypically feminine way for years even though I knew that this is not how I wanted to dress.

When I met you during NSOP, I had no idea that I had met the person who would lift me up and validate my experiences, giving me the confidence to finally, as you have said, “make the outside match the inside.”

You were there through it all: the double ear piercings, the nose piercings, and most recently, the purging of eight inches of my hair aka the Barnard chop™.

Here we are today, two months into the school year. As I sat across from you at our usual John Jay dinner (John Jay forever, fight me about it), you looked at me with your usual goofy grin. “You seem so much happier and lighter. I think it’s from the confidence of a new haircut.” You were right. But it also from so much more. It was from finally being able to feel comfortable in my skin. And you’re to thank for that, being there through it all.

Thank you.

Gates via Bwog Archives

Nov

14

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gatsby’s green light: the JJ’s sign

You probably have a shit load of papers due this week and won’t have time to eat dinner during “normal people” hours. Or maybe a drunken version of yourself with suddenly crave a quesadilla. Whoever you are, you’ll probably find yourself at JJ’s sometime this weekend, and trust me, I already know what you’re gonna go for.

Aries

Ditch the tiny plastic cups and fill a paper salad bowl with soft serve ice cream. You deserve it. Just don’t make eye contact with anyone while you do it if you can’t handle gazes of judgment.

Taurus

You will be overwhelmingly tempted to squirt ketchup directly from the bottle into your mouth. Do not give in. I repeat: do not give in.

Gemini

The sight of French fries and that chocolate frostline stuff will give you flashbacks to Wendy’s, and you will have yourself a blissful meal for one. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I feel sorry for you. Go to your nearest Wendy’s and show them this post. They’ll help you out. (JJ’s is not the place to lose your fries dipped in Frosty virginity. You have to start with the OG.)

Cancer

Trying to convince yourself that “JJ’s has pretty good healthy options, too!”, you will smile through the pain as you scrape the ice-caked lettuce out of the salad bar. No amount of dressing will be able to fix it. After a few bites, you will resign to a plate of fries.

Leo

You will eat at JJ’s for two out of every three meals you consume this weekend. Enjoy it. Embrace it. Revel in it.

Virgo

Sick of your usual lunch routine, you decide to attend JJ’s for your midday meal. Approaching the stairs, you will realize that eating JJ’s during daylight hours is basically admitting to the world that you’re throwing in the towel. If you accept these terms, proceed. If not, John Jay is right around the corner.

More horoscopes after the jump!

Nov

13

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A few first-years getting ready to register!

Procrastinating course planning until 10 mins before your registration appointment? Same. Bwog has you covered so you don’t have to make a new post in the first year Facebook group on Thursday morning.

Note: the following reviews were compiled from the Class of 2022 Facebook group and Bwog Staff members. Please actually read the course descriptions when you register for classes, as reviews are often subjective.

First Year Writing:

  • The Americas –professor is really nice, but expect to be confused by the end of class.
  • Legacy of the Mediterranean – actual review from a student about Professor Pedatella: “he will come pretty darn close to convincing you that Dante is the best thing since sliced bread.” Professor Breyer is quite academic and really, really likes John Milton.
  • Women and Culture – Hard work but super worth it if you like that kind of stuff. Class may be triggering for a lot of people though. Professor Condillac gives a lot of work and is a hard grader, but pushes you to do better. Elizabeth Auran takes you to queer off-broadway shows and invites you to her apartment for supper. Meredith Benjamin adds cool readings to the syllabus and teaches techniques for writing college-level papers.

First year seminar

  • Hot Stuff – watch Bill Nye the Science Guy and grades by completion. Need I say more?
  • Witches with Wendy Schor Haim – I love her and it’s about the concept of witches and how men tried to ruin them since the olden days.
  • Reacting to the Past – good if you like debating and making speeches; might not be the class for you if you don’t like to speak. Cardboard swords and dragons might be present in Professor Carnes’ class.
  • Language and Power – very student-led and applicable in real life. Closely linked to current events. Professor Lewis is super chill and a fair grader.
  • Taboo and Transgression – will change your life, but not for those with sensitive stomachs, though I reckon if you can Netflix the Haunting of Hill House in one seating you’ll be fine.
  • Texts of Protest – Professor Morris might not be the one for you if you aren’t self-motivated, but the topics, discussions, and community are all wonderful.
  • Tipping Points with Margaret Vanderburg – super woke and makes you feel like a nice lil intellectual.
  • Interpreting Dreams and Nightmares with Ellen Morris – lots of reading but reportedly the best teacher at this school.

Image via totally legitimate Barnard source

 

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