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Sep

15

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There’s a college on a hilltop…

New Bwogger Elle Ferguson is getting really tired of people asking her why she chose a women’s college. Empowerment, female leadership, an education for women by women… she’s recited the stump speech a hundred times. In this post, she goes beyond the traditional reasons and explores some other advantages of going to the greatest women’s college at the greatest university in the greatest city in the world.

With the relief of being accepted to college a question that haunts us for the rest of our lives: Why a women’s college? Your friends ask, your parents ask, your conservative uncle asks. Underneath every form of this inquiry is an underlying tone of shock, or even disapproval. Their real question is “You want to be at a school of just women? On purpose?”

We (Barnard students) have all heard this sort of question at some point in our college search, and have probably all given similar answers. “I want to be in an empowering environment!”, “I want teachers who value leadership qualities in women!”, “I’m tired of being overshadowed by men!” are all to some degree the responses we’ve handed people, whether they respond positively or just sigh and wonder why there aren’t men’s colleges if feminists really want equality. These phrases almost become automatic; we heard them at our first Barnard tour, we wrote them in our college essay, and we’ve now presented them 10284y38572 times to passive-aggressive inquiries.

But ladies, what if I told you that empowerment and intersectional gender equality don’t have to be the only reasons to partay at Barnard? The more I gave these answers to people, the more weight I felt on my shoulders. I asked myself, is it my responsibility to carry the feminist agenda for the next four years? Sure, that’s an important part of my life, but what do I really want at Barnard?

So, if you’re looking for more reasons to live it up at a women’s college, here are the real reasons you wanted the bold, beautiful, Barnard experience:

Those real reasons are after the jump:

Sep

15

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New staff writer Vivian Zhou went to Hula Poke, a new restaurant on Amsterdam Ave, and got some hot Cheetos in her poke bowl. No joke. Here’s her review of the place.

I went into Hula Poké expecting not much, but they soon proved me wrong. The restaurant is at 1028 Amsterdam, only a few steps away from Hungarian, Insomnia Cookies, and our beloved 1020. The sign outside emphasized UNLIMITED mix-ins… AND they also have sushi burritos.

The poké bowl itself starts off with two proteins from a choice of typical toppings like tuna and salmon, and more adventurous ones like eel, crab sticks, and boiled shrimp. I chose the salmon and also decided to try their eel. There is an extensive list of mix-ins, and you can add as many as you want. I decided to stick with typical poké toppings: edamame, cucumber, carrots, tomago (sweet egg roll), and seaweed salad. They recommended the classic house dressing, and I also added some sriracha aioli for a kick. However, what set this poké place apart from others was the “crunches” options at the end, which includes onion crisps, shredded seaweed, lotus chips, peanuts, and even HOT CHEETOS. A game changer. I got the lotus chips and, obviously, the hot Cheetos.

uhhhhhh who puts hot Cheetos in their poke

Sep

14

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Jelani Cobb and Co-Executive Producer Tracy Ellis discuss the film and its implications for a modern America.

Doctor Martin Luther King Junior was a universally recognized Civil Rights Activist. He remains the face of the nonviolent civil rights movement and an American hero. However, some of his later views brought on an astonishing amount of criticism from both sides. King in the Wilderness, a documentary film that premiered this year,  describes a time in King’s life rarely discussed in contemporary praise of the activist. New Bwogger Sophie Murphy attended the screening and the Q&A which followed.

After a Starbucks pitstop and a Mamma Mia jam session on the walk to 129th street, I was ready to learn about a new side of Martin Luther King, Jr. I, like many Americans, had a simplified and incomplete image of MLK before attending this event. I thought of his “I Have a Dream” speech and the march from Selma to Montgomery and put him on a saintlike plane. My perception didn’t leave much room for humanity.

The Institute for Research in African-American Studies and the Columbia Journalism School co-presented King in the Wilderness at the Lenfest Center for the Arts. A discussion between co-executive producer Tracy Ellis and celebrated journalist and historian Professor Jelani Cobb followed.

The film documents King’s life in the years before his murder, when widespread adoration for the activist waned and controversy flourished. Interviews with King’s friends and fellow activists such as Harry Belafonte, Diane Nash, and Andrew Young help to piece together a fascinating and humanizing account of King in his struggle to continue improving America in the years after his more famous accomplishments.

What was it like?

Sep

14

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Not this kind of shopping.

The shopping period has come to a close! Today is the last day you can add classes without the instructor’s permission. You can still drop classes until Tuesday, October 9. If you like a class but aren’t sure if you want to take it Pass/D/Fail, you have until Thursday, November 15.

Photo via Pixabay

 

Sep

14

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The woman, the myth, the legend

University of Maryland professor Dr. Michele Gelfand unleashed her cultural psychology brilliance on the Columbia community last night. Part of the Perspectives on Peace series that Columbia has organized since 2015, Gelfand shared insight from her recent book Rule Makers, Rule Breakers: How Tight and Loose Cultures Wire Our World. Freshman Bwogger Jordan Merrill, chaperoned by sophomore Events Editor Isabel Sepúlveda, was there to cover the event.

After spending my afternoon napping, I headed off to do what any respectable Columbia woman does at 6:00 PM on a Thursday: attend Michele Gelfand’s Perspectives on Peace lecture at Teachers College. As I headed into the auditorium inhabited by fully-grown adults, it became very clear to me that I am a toddler and also that the event should have been held in a smaller room (chairs: about 300, people: about 40).

The talk was centered around Gelfand’s new book, Rule Makers, Rule Breakers: How Tight and Loose Cultures Wire Our World, the premise of which I admit I was extremely confused about until I actually listened to Gelfand speak. The moderator, Columbia psych professor Dr. Peter Coleman, started by praising Gelfand and listing off some of her not so humble accomplishments—she’s been published everywhere from the New York Times to the Economist and wrote the first cultural psychology article ever published in Science.

Expecting a very intimidating boss-lady to take the stage and annihilate us with her mind, I was pleasantly surprised when Gelfand came out super enthusiastically, and tried to relate to the audience by citing her own experience as a New York native (though she still annihilated us all with her mind). Gelfand began explaining the differences between what she calls “tight” and “loose” societies, essentially categorizing them by how strictly they adhere to rules and social norms. The “tightness” of a place like Singapore, where you can be fined for chewing gum, is borne out of threats such as natural disaster, war, or in Singapore’s case, high population density. In places like this, there is generally less crime, more security, and more uniformity. In contrast, loose societies such as New Zealand, where people can walk around barefoot in banks, generally have few threats and are generated from a desire for openness. People don’t adhere as strictly to social standards, which can foster creativity but also make for a more chaotic society.

More fun psychology after the jump

Sep

14

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Nothing says “cool” like being on Bwog.

Applications are due at 11:59 pm tonight for Daily Editor and Staff Writer positions.

Send your apps as PDFs to editors@bwog.com and please title them “*First Name* App.” Email editors@bwog.com with any questions.

Daily Editors are the backbone of Bwog. They’re the green to our grapes, the Literature to our Humanities, the Cheryl to our Milstein. As a Daily Editor, you’d manage Bwog for a day, writing Bwoglines and making sure the day’s posts get up on time. You also get to write the tags!

But Daily Editors would have no one to edit without Staff Writers, who produce the majority of Bwog’s content. Staff Writers cover everything from events to sports to skincare to food. You have to write 10 posts each semester, but that’s easy when you can write about whatever you want!

Applications are after the jump!

Sep

13

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Perhaps you have once dreamt of inviting Deantini to your shitty dorm pregame. Since that’s obviously impossible, what’s the next best thing? This drink recipe, probably. Up your hosting game and make a Dean-tini for your guests at your next social gathering. It’s sure to draw wows from the Columbia crowd.

Sep

13

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Now this is a love that’s built to last.

Seems like all sorts of people find everlasting love during NSOP. Which, good for them. But no matter how happy we are for any campus lovebirds, the publication of their relationship’s beginnings in something as entirely unromantic as the Columbia Daily Spectator is nigh-on unforgivable. So here, baby Bwoggers Jessica Yunzhe Hu and Olivia Nelson present a different sort of freshman love.

We ran into each other through Barnard’s random roommate placement software, eager to form an intimate connection with an alluring stranger. We spent the evening getting to know one another, and we knew it was a fateful connection when we found out that we had the same favorite flavor of Juul pod. Expectations were a consistent theme in our conversation. Where did we expect to put Simon, our shared orchid? Whose turn was it to wear the lone pair of flip flops to the shower?

We went to our respective beds that night both feeling we had met someone truly special – special in the sense that one of us was a 5’4’’ Asian nicotine fiend and the other the human equivalent of a golden retriever. We met for breakfast the next day, because we had no other friends, and for coffee after that, because, once again, we had no other friends. Homework sessions quickly turned into joint adventures to remote corners of Reid 2, and we spent countless midnight moments talking to random drunkards near the halal cart on 116th.

Down what strange avenues will this love story go?

Sep

13

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In the “‘Rise of the Rest’ Entrepreneurship Across America” event last night, a panel discussed the future of entrepreneurship and the policy changes that will affect it. Hosted by Columbia SIPA, the program took place under the dome of Low Library. New Bwogger Michael Beltz shares his experience.

The panel’s speakers included notable and experienced professionals in the fields of business, policy, and entrepreneurship. Headlining the event was Steve Case, the Chairman and CEO of Revolution – the company behind the Rise of the Rest seed fund discussed at this event – and co-founder of America Online (AOL). The lineup also featured Dean of Columbia SIPA Merit Janow, as well as former US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, who served under former President Barack Obama.

The event started off like many Columbia events do: mic problems. Janow commented, “We’re innovators here,” which brought out some laughter in a room full of very professional business men and women.

Case explained that his initiative, “Rise of the Rest,” is a seed fund for geographically-underrepresented entrepreneurs who need help scaling their startups. He cited a statistic that 75% of all venture capital last year went to California, New York, and Massachusetts, while underrepresented states such as Ohio got less than 1%. The initiative is trying to “level the playing field” among startups in the US. He also claimed that rising tensions that are dividing America today can be traced back to this imbalance of funding. Entrepreneurs create companies that create jobs, and when all of the entrepreneurs are leaving their hometowns to go to California, it creates a big economic disparity.

So how do we fix this problem?

Sep

12

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How Barnard students feel when thinking about the new laundry machines.

This summer, Barnard unveiled a new laundry machine system that was intended to make doing laundry easier for Barnard students. These laundry machines allow students to ditch their old TediMatts laundry cards and instead pay with a card, cash, or Apple Pay. While these new machines sounded nice in theory, reality suggests otherwise.

Overpriced, inconvenient, and only available at 2 in the morning on a Tuesday? No, not that. I’m talking about the washing machines at Barnard.

Now that the heat has subsided (for now), it’s time to complain about other things going on in the Barnard dorms. If you live in the quad, you have probably seen disgruntled first-years hauling their wet laundry fresh out of the washers from floor to floor in desperate search for a dryer that a) works b) accepts card or c) is empty.

With the number of washers that literally won’t take our money, there are fewer machines available to the first years in the quad.

Basically, what I’m trying to get at here, is that Barnard’s laundry situation right now sucks. And we have to pay for it! CC and SEAS students get to enjoy their tuition-included laundry AND the use of washers and dryers on the same floor.

Image via Pixabay

Sep

12

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There it is. The Spot.

Barnard’s SGA had its first meeting last night, and Baby Bwoggers Elle Ferguson and Alex Volgyesi were on the scene to catch all the juicy details. Well, maybe not that juicy. We’re all just really excited about Milstein.

The first Barnard SGA meeting of the 2018-2019 school year covered introductory business and new projects by the administration with the arrival of the Milstein Library. New positions have been filled with the increased demands of the technology and learning center, which focus on collaborative efforts on behalf of the students and administration. These include providing equitable resources (i.e. textbooks) to all students.

Jennifer Green, the Dean of BLAIS (Barnard Library and Academic Information Services) discussed the initiatives taking place this year with the opening of the Milstein Center. These include the FLIP library for low-income and first generation students. Students form Columbia or Barnard who identify as first-gen or low income can apply to rent textbooks out from the FLIP library for free. Milstein also contains the Zine Library, BIPOC alum collection by people of color, and archives of records of Barnard throughout its history.

Another point of discussion was the Design Center in the Milstein. Tools such as 3D printers, vinyl cutters, and laser cutters will be available to students with undergraduates and graduate students managing the space. Director Jen Brown stated that among her goals was to promote a safe and welcoming environment for students of all backgrounds. “This space isn’t just academic,” she says.

Besides introduction by students and staff and a powerpoint slide on the “nutshell version” of Jen’s job, here are some additional highlights from SGA’s first meeting:

Phanesia Pharel, representative for the Arts and Culture committee at Barnard encourages you to join her committee because there will be “lots of fun stuff with arts and culture.”

Solace Mensah-Narh, the representative for Academic Affairs also invites you to join her committee because “We all go to school, so it [academic affairs] affects you.”

Gabi Garcia, the junior class president is “Here to grant all your wishes… within control.”

Phanesia Pharel (Barnard ‘21), self-made expert on Barnard “spots” asserts that the Milstein Center is “the spot.”

The only map that has Milstein on it yet via Barnard

Sep

12

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Maybe the real gavel was the student democracy we found along the way.

School’s back, and so is GSSC! Sweet baby Bwogger Michael Colton swung by the Satow Room last night at 8:15 pm for this year’s first meeting of General Studies Student Council.

The General Studies Student Council convened last night, September 11, for their first meeting of the academic year. Appointments for general council roles have yet to be made, so last night’s proceedings saw only the 5/9 executive board members of the council — this figure later became 7/9 thanks to the late (and UNEXCUSED) arrivals of Chief of Policy Olivia Hartzell and Chief of Communications Max Waldroop — engaging in votes and discussions. President Raisa Flor assured me that attendance would improve at next week’s meeting of the full council, but the two men seated behind me arguing about urinal etiquette and somehow chewing black beans and rice loudly provided me all the company that I needed throughout the meeting.

Weekly Update and Recruitment

VP of Communications Sitara Herur-Halbert was the first of our lovely board members to give remarks. She noted that the GSSC recently increased its contribution towards the cause of university-wide student organizations in an effort to afford General Studiers more opportunities to engage with extracurricular groups and events. The annual Mel’s Orientation event — attended by GS first years and OLs (talk about partying with your icons!) — was said to have “gone well,” so congratulations to all that were there. On the matter of recruitment, VP Herur-Halbert noted the group’s need for graphic and web designers in order to aid with the GSSC website and other digital outreach initiatives; if you or a friend has experience or interest in such a position, contact General Studies Student Council on Facebook or visit their webpage at gssc.gs.columbia.edu for more information!

(more…)

Sep

11

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How many NSOP memories did you make on a crowded subway car?

A few weeks ago, Bwog posted a bucket list for NSOP 2018. In contrast to the genuine recommendations posted on Bwog, an anonymous user took a different take on the week. Here is a checklist to determine how your NSOP went, inspired by the anonymous comment. Keep track of how many points you earn. (1 check = 1 point)

  1. Cried.
  2. Kept your lanyard on all day, everyday. (PLUS 1 point if you kept it on when you slept)
  3. Forgot your CUID and/or your dorm keys.
  4. Woke up in a pile of sweat (1 point), hungover (1 point), or in a pile of sweat hungover (2 points).
  5. Ate in a dining hall alone and pretended like you were fine.
  6. Recognized someone from Instagram but were too awkward to say “hey.”
  7. Checked Guidebook one too many times.
  8. Got signed into a dorm by someone you didn’t know.
  9. Got drinks at Mel’s and 1020 despite having an NSOP bracelet on…and the fact that you look like you’re 12. (PLUS 1 point if you ran into your OL or RA at the bar)
  10. Met a random intoxicated girl on the subway back from a NYC Welcome Week event, carried her back to her dorm, heard her life story including how “tequila is in her blood,” and held her hair back while she is vomiting up tequila and telling you how thankful she is to have a best friend like you…but you don’t even know her name.
  11. Wanted to run away and hide during the most uncomfortable, mandatory “sibling hangout” ever.
  12. Ran into that one kid from your high school that lets everyone know that they read the Iliad in the original Greek.
  13. Met 300 girls named Sophia.
  14. Overheard someone talk about their AP scores, ACT/SAT scores, or anything about how great they were during high school (no one cares).
  15. Got a late night milkshake somewhere in MoHi.
  16. You or someone you know got CAVAed and begged them not to call your parents.
  17. Got lost on the subway…at night…by yourself..
  18. Prayed for JJ’s to open.
  19. Took a picture with Alma even though she wasn’t into you.
  20. Took pictures of you “venturing into the city” when you only spent time in Times Square / Midtown

Scores found here!.

Sep

11

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Two of them.

The New York City heat wave is finally over, as is the first week of classes. Thus, we bring you some of the most remarkable first impressions from professors, some that may get you excited for the class, and some that may make you want to drop immediately. But that’s your call, not ours.

Adam Cannon, Intro to Java: “You all are not nerds. If you were full-blown nerds, you would not be in New York City. Full-blown nerds hate… people. If you were totally non-social you would be in Cornell.”

Andrew Nathan, Intro to Human Rights: “You’re all adults, you have fake IDs.”

Rachel Austin, General Chemistry I: “There are 170 students in this class. About 15 of you are going to be chemistry or biochemistry majors and the other 155 of you think you’re going to medical school.”

Kristina Milnor, Elements of Latin Prose Style: “The next book I ordered is by the improperly named Mr. Woodcock.”

Aaron Passell, Intro to Urban Studies: “Now I’m sure you’re wondering… why this middle-aged white dude just opened class with a Jay Z video.” [paraphrased]

Ellen Morris, Identity & Society in Ancient Egypt: “So I was looking up hippo fights on YouTube, and at the end, one of the hippos humped the other. These were 2 male hippos.”

Casey Blake, American Radicalism: “You should know that your professor is constitutionally allergic to cheerleading.”

Hilary Callahan, Biology Senior Seminar: “They have all my data. They’re like, wow, this neurotic 50-something woman eats a lot, and works out a lot, and drinks a lot of whiskey.”

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Sep

10

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Welcome back to the mess, Columbia! Here’s what everyone was up to during the first full weekend of the school year. 

Food stories

  • Snuck food out of JJs by putting a burger in my purse
  • Broke the news to a visitor that Vine had closed
  • Spent the afternoon making an absolutely delicious tomato sauce to bring to a potluck, then was sad because there weren’t any leftovers
  • Went to a Tehran-themed disco event and then got Persian food in Union Square
  • Cut and froze seven bananas entirely stolen from JJs
  • Enjoyed multiple cups of hot cocoa in the cold weather…!! Fall is here
  • Tried halal for the first time!
  • Went to Brighton Beach to buy Russian cake and surprise my friend for his birthday
  • Ended up at the flame diner near Times Square at 2 am and tried a chocolate egg cream for the first time
  • Wholesome brunch with friends from high school

Save the best for after the jump

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