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img March 07, 20184:03 pmimg 0 Comments

It’s a lot less intimidating than it looks!

If you’ve ever wanted to feel the warm embrace of a sheet of steel and a Koronet Pizza-sized gong, you got your chance on Tuesday night.

The Miller Theatre hosted one of its signature pop-up concerts on Tuesday, a casual event featuring some free drinks that invited its audience members onto the stage for an intimate affair. The concert eschewed a program and was free to the public in an effort to de-class classical music. Those who came late to the 6:00 pm concert could use Miller’s actual seating, even though it meant they couldn’t see every member of Yarn/Wire.

Yarn/Wire, the performance group for the evening, is a Queens-based ensemble consisting of two pianists and two percussionists. Each member of Yarn/Wire set up on one of the stage’s four corners. The two percussionists sat opposite from each other, one member playing a tam-tam (gong) and the other playing a suspended and curved sheet of steel. The pianists were set up at keyboards, where they manipulated filters and synths while they played their notes.

The evening’s piece, Curvo Totalitas (2016) by Catherine Lamb, was described by the Miller Theatre as “a 45-minute tour de force that seamlessly shifts perceptions, allowing the listener to get lost in its unique sound world.” The original 2016 composition clocked in at around 20 minutes, but it was edited and expanded for the Rainy Days Festival in Luxembourg.

But was it any good?



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img March 02, 20182:40 pmimg 0 Comments

Dodge, in all of its basement majesty.

Dodge Fitness Center is the hub of Columbia’s physical education and recreation activities. Penn Station is the hub of New York City’s connection to Long Island, New Jersey, and the rest of the Northeast. But are these two iconic locations secretly the same place? Is one worse than the other? Using complex metrics, we performed a side-by-side comparison to see which sweaty, underground maze is better.

Location: Penn Station is pretty accessible from campus – when the 1 train is working. If it is, getting to Penn Station costs $2.75 and takes about 20 minutes of your time. In contrast, Dodge is a 5-10 minute walk from most dorms, and it doesn’t cost any money to swipe in. As a bonus, you don’t have to depend on the MTA! Advantage: Dodge

Lighting: No matter the hour, both of these locations feature harsh fluorescent lighting to keep you awake and alert. Neither location has any windows to give you any idea of the outside world. Advantage: Tie

Rats: This may be like comparing apples to oranges, considering the differences between uptown and downtown rats. Penn Station is home to a wide array of fauna, visible most often on the train tracks. Columbia students at Dodge may be snakes, but they’re not the kind that eat rats. As such, at least a few rats are probably hiding around in the bowels of Dodge. Still, Penn makes Dodge look squeaky-clean. Advantage: Dodge

But what about the smell?



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img February 23, 20181:00 pmimg 2 Comments

artist's rendition of Ivy playoff scenarios

This image will be relevant every year

Senior Staffer Ross Chapman is really hoping the men’s basketball team doesn’t disappoint this year, though they probably will. 

Every year in late February, I write an article about the pile of nonsense that is Ivy League men’s basketball and its tiebreaker scenarios. As we near the end of the season, anything could happen – literally any team could still win the championship. For once, though, all of the rules are very clear. All that remains is crunching the numbers. Below are some possible playoff scenarios, all of which are making me pull my hair out. I look forward to soon being free from this Tiebreaker Hell – hopefully, Columbia will come out on top. (All tables in this article, as well as additional information, can be found in this spreadsheet.)

A graph of the current standings of Ivy Basketball

All graphs in this article can be clicked to enlarge.

Where are we now? The Columbia men currently stand tied for 4th with Brown and Cornell at 4-6. Columbia has not had a stellar season, but they have protected their home court well (3-1 in Levien). Their only home loss was to Penn, one of the league’s top teams. According to Luke Benz and the Yale Undergraduate Sports Analytics Group, the Lions actually have a 53% chance to make the playoffs. This is because of how the Ivy League tiebreaker rules work.

If two teams are tied in the standings, you defer first to their head-to-head record. For instance, if Brown and Columbia were tied at 6-8, but Brown had defeated Columbia in both of their games, then Brown would have the advantage over Columbia. If the teams are tied, you compare the tied teams’ records against the best team in the league. If tied there, keep going down the standings until you find a difference. Columbia has a major advantage due to their win against Harvard, the other top team in the league. This puts Columbia into a great position if they can continue to perform at an average level.

Decipher sports more after the jump!



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img February 22, 201811:53 amimg 0 Comments

When’s the last time you had one email in your inbox?

If you’re a senior who’s tired of not having an answer to the question, “what are you doing after you graduate,” you may have applied to graduate school. But if you ever put your name on a mailing list, you’re bound to receive emails from hundreds of schools you didn’t even know existed. Take a look at this rough categorization of practically every email you’ll receive during the grad school grind. (Everything in quotes comes from a real email I have received.)

The Seasonal Email. “Thanksgiving Greetings from [School]!”  Schools seem to think that reminding you of the month you are currently in is a good marketing strategy. Thanksgiving and “the Holidays” rank at the top for this flavor of email, but you can expect to see at least a few for every minor event from Groundhog Day to Flag Day.

The First Person Email. “I’m Giving You an Application Fee Waiver Because I Want You to Apply.” In an inbox full of impersonal subject lines, the First Person Email tries to stand out by striking up a conversation. Of course, the admissions officer who sent this to you sent the exact same message to thousands of other applicants.

The “There’s Still Time” Email. “There is Still Time to Apply for Early Decision.” Nearing a deadline can fill a student with a sense of dread – it seems not worth the effort to slap together an application when you won’t have the time to make it good. This email is actually a useful reminder. You have plenty of time to fill out this app, as long as you start now. Surely, these will only occur once per admissions season.

The Fun, Personable Email. “Law Schools Have Personalities. Find Your Match.” Like the First Person Email, this type grabs your attention by not being quite as formal as your average correspondence. Unfortunately, it contains all the same boring stuff on the inside, unless it’s the rare, fully-in-character email that tells you about it just “mailed you a bundle o’ information.”

The Misspelled Email. “Application Fee Waiver to [School] Expires Febryuary 1st – Apply Today.” Any school drops about twenty ranks in prestige whenever you catch an error like this. At least you know they won’t take points off if your resume has a typo in it.

The Positive Email. “Ready for the big test? Of course you are!” Is this email hopping on the wholesome memes trend, or does it genuinely care for your well-being? This is a nice email to see, but it doesn’t leave a strong impression about the school. But if every school in the country sent this message, we’d live in a better place.

The “There’s Still Time” Email. “Hi! There’s still time to apply.” Oh, this email is back, and it’s back two months later. You missed the priority deadline, but there’s another one coming up! This email concludes that you didn’t apply the first time because you were rushed or nervous. Surely you’ll apply this time!”

The Accidental Spam Email. “Ten Reasons You Should Apply to [School].” While it’s less embarrassing than the Accidental Acceptance Email, this spam occurs when the email system glitches. It might send five emails in quick succession, or it might forget to fill in your name and send a generic form email. Whatever the reason, the advertisement probably didn’t make you want to apply.

Plenty more email archetypes after the jump.



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img February 18, 20184:08 pmimg 3 Comments

Dean Valentini in 2011 chewing a bite of a grilled chicken sandwich from Milano Market.

Why would a robot need to eat organic matter?

Do all emails from the Presidents and Deans sound the same to you? We’ve written before on some tendencies that we’ve noticed in emails coming from campus administrators. Practically the same email comes clogging up your inbox every week, and you can’t even reply-all asking to be taken off the listserv.

If they all sound so robotic, could we create an email of our own? Using Markov chain modelling, we generated an entirely computer-written email. For our input, we used fifteen emails from Dean James J. Valentini from the last year and a half. Then, we ran our programs, separated out the totally incomprehensibly chaff, and added a couple of punctuation marks.

What follows is… well, it’s English, mostly. The chain did have some issues, such as occasionally getting stuck in loops. Robot Valentini couldn’t keep track of admin titles, and so accidentally demoted Bollinger down to Vice President (Vice PrezBo, as the kids call him). The email also announces that the College will team up with the McBain Lounge to pilot a new program, the Columbia College Student Council! Check it out below for all the insanity.

Dear Students,

This summer, I spent time reflecting on the fifth floor of Lerner Hall, 100 Carman Hall, 600 W. 113th St, Room 2BB, and 102 Broadway Hall. I am devastated to be writing to let you know that we have many effective students at Columbia. I have developed new skills necessary to cope with the student health and wellness efforts. Staff from offices, including clinicians from Counseling and Psychological Services, is launching a new website and will schedule recurring trainings to remind you that you will one day tell stories about yourself and those around you.

Also, I encourage you to achieve the goals that Columbia College and Vice President Bollinger announced at the #StartupColumbia Festival in April. This is an opportunity to explore your world, to explore your world, to explore your world, and to explore additional areas of interest through elective coursework. More real and important updates after the jump!



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img February 08, 20186:02 pmimg 0 Comments

Several bookshelves from the Journalism library.

You, too, can own this many books!

Last week, I wrote about taking all of the resources you could from your Canvas and Courseworks sites. But what if you want to learn about topics you don’t cover in class? It’s so hard to find time during your few years at Columbia to read about anything other than your courses, but as soon as you graduate, you can’t make the same use of the University’s ample resources. Here’s a quick guide to procrastinating by downloading full books and articles from Columbia’s library system so that you can read them ten years down the line.

Good CLIO Practices: CLIO’s Catalog may be the best starting point for using Columbia’s resources. Whenever you search, use the navigation bar on the left to narrow your terms. If you’re looking to download full books, set your format to search for “Book” and “Online.” Set the location to “Online” and the language to “English.” If you’re searching for a relatively obscure subject in academia (say, internet memes), you should use an “All Fields” search (the default search) to find that topic in the title, publication, or any other searchable area. If you’re looking for a more established topic (music, for instance), you may want to use a “Subject” search to weed out irrelevant works. When you find works that interest you, select them with the checkboxes on the left. Go to “Selected Items” in the upper right and click on “Add to My Saved List.” Keep your list going, and you can work on weeding through it downloading from it later on.

Sources Other than CLIO: CLIO will bring you to a lot of other websites – online libraries, journals, university presses, and more. If the website has its own search functions, try to use those! Also use other major databases such as JSTOR to find articles that may not come up on CLIO. You can even use Google to look for books and articles to see if Columbia has access to them for free. Lastly, consider using department-specific resources. If you study psychology, use CLIO to pull up psychology journals to dig through.

Full Downloads and Chapter Downloads: Many popular resources such as IEEE and Oxford may not allow full text downloads of books. However, they may allow downloads of each chapter. While it’s less convenient, you can still download each chapter as long as you keep them together. Set your browser’s download settings to allow you to name and locate files every time you download. Keep the chapters together in a folder, and number and name the chapters so that they stay in order.

Keeping Organized: Keep your list of sources on CLIO trimmed down by going through article abstracts and book summaries to make sure the sources you want to download are actually worth reading. When you download your books, actually name them and file them away so that you can use them several years down the line.

Image of a library better than Butler via Betsy Ladyzhets



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img February 07, 20182:30 pmimg 1 Comments

A diagram of the seats in Pupin 428

The seats look a lot more intimidating when they’re stadium-tiered at a 45 degree angle

All-seeing and all-knowing Bwogger Ross Chapman calls out everyone in his Pupin 428 lecture, as though he didn’t write this in Pupin 428. 

Pupin 428 may not be Havemeyer 309, but it’s still an important classroom for anyone in STEM (or in other big classes that needed a lecture space). The 154-seat auditorium actually spans two floors, and features a very steep slope of desks which look toward the lecturer. While the classroom doesn’t usually have assigned seats, students will often gravitate towards specific sections. What does seating in a certain part of Pupin 428 say about you?

  • Row A (Front Row): Your syllabus said that the class was in Room 328, and so you entered down at the bottom of the room through the 3rd floor entrance. Seeing a full classroom, you sheepishly took a seat in the front row and prayed that the professor wouldn’t notice you.
  • Rows B and C, Seats 5-14 (Front Middle): You’re a teacher’s pet, even if you won’t admit it to yourself. Your courteously fill in to the middle of the row to allow others of your kind to occupy the best seats in the house. The professor will spend the entire 75 minutes pretending you don’t exist in hopes of somebody else answering a question for once.
  • Rows C through H, Seats 5-14 (Middle): The nameless masses. You think, “If I sit here, the professor will never notice that I’m only in class every other Tuesday.” (She will notice.) You arrive one minute before class time, and you start shuffling your papers five minutes before the class is scheduled to end, setting off a chain reaction which interrupts the professor’s profound end-of-lecture summary.

Find out more about your subconscious seating decisions after the jump…



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img February 04, 20185:30 pmimg 0 Comments

If you try this in a computer lab… why?

If you’re worried about hanging on to all of the files from your academic past, Bwog is here to help. Senior Staff Writer Ross Chapman gives the full breakdown on electronically clinging onto those precious college memories.

If you’re a graduating senior who wants to make the most out of your Columbia resources, or if you want to use one class’s slides to study for another exam, you might want to take files from Courseworks and Canvas and download them onto your computer. If you want to make an archive of your Columbia resources like PDF’s and slides, you shouldn’t have to dig through the last four years of your downloads folder. Here’s a quick guide on how to efficiently archive all of your Courseworks materials.

Downloading from Canvas

All classes from the 2017-18 academic year are on Canvas, as well as a few miscellaneous classes from before then. Thankfully, Canvas has an easy mass download feature. Log on to Canvas, press “Account” on the navigation bar, and then select “Files.” This brings you to a list of files. The first folder up should be “My Files,” which includes your Canvas submissions. You can save these, but you might already have them on your computer from when you submitted them.

Click to enlarge.

The rest of the parent folders are the classes you’ve taken. Select a folder, and then hit Ctrl-A or ⌘-A to select all of that class’s files. The top bar will then show a “Download as Zip” button next to the search bar at the top of the page. Canvas will take a bit of time to prepare the download, and will then provide “” Extract the files to wherever you keep your Columbia class documents.

If you don’t yet have anywhere to store your class files, create a new folder! You can organize it however you want, but I would create subfolders for easy navigation, such as “Core Classes,” “Major Classes,” and “Electives.” However you organize, make a unique folder for each class and extract your Canvas .zips to your class folders.

Figure out how to download from Courseworks proper after the jump.



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img January 20, 20185:30 pmimg 0 Comments

Students sitting on the Low Library steps during a sunny day

Thinking of a warmer time

Many of us know that you can measure a cricket’s chirps to determine how warm it is outside. But did you know that there’s another way to scientifically estimate the temperature in Morningside Heights? When it gets a little warmer, you can use this one neat trick to figure out how warm or cold it is on everyone’s favorite fake beach, the Low Steps.


  • Outdoor temperature between 32 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit – Columbia students will not crawl out of their dorms in the freezing cold.
  • A view of the Low Steps – the South Lawns are an ideal location.
  • Thermometer (or, let’s be honest, a weather app)
  • Scratch paper


  • Go outside to check out the Low Steps.
  • Pick either the left of right half of the lower steps, right underneath Alma Mater.
  • Count the number of people sitting on the Low Steps. Ignore anybody walking, as the extra motion can complicate counting.
    • If you would like to increase accuracy, count the second half and average the count of the two halves.
  • If a majority of students have laptops, multiply the count by 1.25.
  • Add 20 to the number of seated students. This will provide the approximate temperature in Fahrenheit.
  • To calculate the approximate temperature in Celsius, learn to use Fahrenheit instead.

Rumor has it that this formula was first found in a 1932 fraternity handbook. Try it out yourself when it gets a bit warmer! Deantini would be proud of your highly scientific estimations.



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img January 18, 20185:30 pmimg 0 Comments

The cover of a book, featuring a painting of a French soldier looking off into the distance.

♪ Things just ain’t what they used to be… ♪

Nostalgia, the longing for a return to home and past, was not always just something to be exploited by Facebook pages. When physician Johannes Hofer introduced the term in 1688, he referred to a psychological illness, a meaning the word kept until the start of the 20th century. Nostalgia affected (mostly white, mostly male) patients on three continents, and its effects could be deadly. In a book talk, author and Columbia Assistant Professor Thomas Dodman discussed his book and the history of nostalgia with Columbia Professor Emmanuelle Saada and Princeton Professor David Bell.

The event took place in the Maison Française, and the two Columbia professors were members of the French department. It shouldn’t surprise, then, that the discussion focused on how nostalgia ravaged the French military at the start of the 19th century, one of the case studies for nostalgia in Dodson’s book. French soldiers were particularly at risk, first because of their long separation from home (nostalgia was also called maladie du pays, or homesickness), and second because of the alienating, dominating nature of the organized military. Nostalgia came to be understood as a particularly French illness, one which English and American soldiers and citizens were relatively immune to.

How did people die from nostalgia? That’s what one audience member, a doctor, wanted to know. If someone died of nostalgia today, how would it be diagnosed? Nostalgia was more of an umbrella term, which encompassed modern concepts such as psychic trauma and depression. Two people undergoing nostalgia (whose French military treatment was a three month’s home leave) could be under very different circumstances. Suicide was common among victims of nostalgia, and nostalgia was even used as a handwaving diagnosis to ignore addressing larger concerns in the military, in industrializing cities, and in slave and settler colonies.

The transformation of nostalgia to an emotion is after the jump.



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img December 06, 20172:13 pmimg 0 Comments

Dan Jurafsky gave an impassioned presentation on racial bias on Tuesday

Dan Jurafsky, the chair of the linguistics department and computer science professor at Stanford University, presented on Tuesday in Schapiro CEPSR about his current studies and findings on police language. Titled “Does This Vehicle Belong to You: processing the language of policing for improving police-community relations,” Jurafsky’s presentation focused mainly on two papers, one published and one a work-in-progress. The 2017 paper, which Jurafksy co-authored, reveals linguistically the open secret that “police officers speak significantly less respectfully to black than to white community members,” even after taking into account other factors such as the severity of the perceived infraction and the race of the officer. The presentation offered insight not only into how police officers ought to better build respect with communities, but also shined a light on methodological breakthroughs in linguistics.

How could a scientific study measure how respectful police officers are towards community members? The presentation started by explaining how the researchers sorted through tens of thousands of pieces of police body-worn camera footage from Oakland police in April 2014. They chose to use vehicle stops resulting in warnings or citations (no arrests) as a window into everyday, non-severe police interactions. From there, researchers created a subset of about 1,000 videos of vehicle stops with black and white community members (as identified in police reports). Professionals then transcribed the entire data set to allow coders to rate the way police spoke on factors like respectfulness and formality.

Researchers can use natural language processing to isolate elements of factors like politeness. Building on previous papers, Jurafsky and his team used cues of “negative and positive politeness” such as apologizing, expressing gratitude, formal titles, and introductions. Using these cues in conjunction with the result of subjective rankings of police interactions, the team is training an automated classifier to take more bodycam audio, transcribe it with the knowledge of what officers usually say, and then analyze it for markers of respect.

What were the results? Find out after the jump.



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img December 03, 20173:23 pmimg 1 Comments

Three columbia dining meal vouchers on a carpet background

meal vouchers from the still-active Emergency Meal Fund

Have you heard of Columbia’s the Share Meals app? Bwogger Ross Chapman covers this latest attempt to combat food insecurity on campus, and reminds us of the last time Columbia attempted something similar. 

The launch of Share Meals, an app meant to aid food insecurity, has once again highlighted the difficulty of the Columbia community to provide for its students in need.

For the last three years, student councils and other organizations have busied themselves with finding solutions to Columbia’s increasingly visible food insecurity issue. Juniors and Seniors may remember Swipes, an app which was meant to connect students with meal swipes to students in need of entry to dining halls. Within a year, Swipes had shut down, but its ability to help food insecure students went down dramatically after the first few weeks. In a press release from November 2015, student groups claimed that Swipes was not performing as well as it could because not enough students were downloading and using the app, in part due to problems in promotion. Putting aside logistical issues, Swipes depended on a continued, active, face-to-face donation system which could be stressful or embarrassing for students in need of assistance.

Student councils and the First Generation Low-Income Partnership (FLIP) announced last month the launch of Share Meals, an NYU-sourced app that attempts to reduce food insecurity on campus by connecting students with meal swipes to students in need of entry to dining halls. The recently revealed service seems unaware of the problems which plagued Swipes. While its food map and diet-tagging features are helpful, it has been similarly plagued by a lack of activity. In four weeks of checking on the app, I have seen less than five opportunities for students to either get a swipe to a dining hall or to attend an event with free food. Share Meals has been advertised even less than Swipes, and has only 100 downloads on the Google Play Store – most of which come from non-Columbia students.

What should Columbia be doing about all of this?



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img December 02, 20171:43 pmimg 0 Comments

Butler Ref (300-level)

People are allow to LIVE in here

It’s 2 am on Monday morning, and you’re working on a particularly hopeless 10-page paper. You’ve staked out the perfect seat in Butler Library – optimal lighting, plenty of table space, and far enough away from the bathroom that leaving your seat to pee feels like a break. The room’s silence keeps you in the zone, and you think you’re about to make a breakthrough until something terrible breaks your train of thought. Listen closely – you can hear it too, can’t you? In the distance, a student breathes. Sighing, you tab to your email, to ask your professor for an extension.

If this sounds like you, you might need to calm down and let people live.

Some Columbians hold their fellow library guests to more than a simple Butler code of etiquette. The slightest motion becomes a distraction, and any noise sets them off. Columbia should have good study spaces, but recognize that everyone uses and is allowed to use our libraries, and that the buildings might not be as silent as catacombs.

Let this be a reminder: when people are studying in Butler, they are also living in Butler. They breathe, they sneeze, they occasionally spill their water bottles. Extend the benefit of the doubt to your fellow students. Maybe the person with a runny nose can’t study in their room because of a nearby party. Maybe the one whispering to their friend is trying to figure out how to finish a problem set. We all make noise sometimes. Columbia already does enough kicking people out of Butler – you shouldn’t also make the space any less welcoming.

The library is quiet enough. Any attempts to make a more enforced “quiet zone” would require a secret police force to drag away students if they accidentally dropped a pencil on the floor. Let people live, and let people breathe.



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img November 30, 20171:47 pmimg 5 Comments

A fire engine in front of Ruggles Hal, with its ladder extended towards a third-story window while students look on.

Students last night were forced to evacuate the burning residence hall.

Ruggles Hall decided to do its best impression of our hearts and minds this finals week by setting itself ablaze. At about 11:30 pm last night, Bwog started receiving tips about a growing fire on 114th Street. When windows started to shatter, we could tell that this was not your average false fire alarm. You can follow along with the full coverage of the fire through last night’s tweets.

One of the most afflicted rooms was visibly black with soot and ravaged by the flame. It took about a dozen firefighters for the situation to get the situation under control, and most Ruggles residents were put out of their homes for hours.

As though conspiring to prevent the Fire Department of New York from getting any sleep, another alarm went off in Wien Hall around 1:45 am. Our sources who live in that dorm reported that floors 7, 8, and 9 were “smokey”, but that the situation was resolved relatively quickly; students were able to re-enter after only a half-hour of sleep deprivation.

As one new arrival in Morningside Heights remarked, “I’ve never been to a school that’s so bad at not being on fire.” This semester has been more plagued by an incessant spree of fire alarms, which have spurred a variety of responses from students. But fires have constantly plagued Columbia and Barnard, from the famous 2015 fire which spelled the end of Ollie’s (which was supposedly accidental) to a 2016 Schapiro incident which Public Safety later classified as an arson. Butler Library got a scare in 2014, and Elliot Hall joined the fun in 2016. Has Columbia ever considered not being on fire?

UPDATE, 11/30/17, 6 pm: Earlier this afternoon, Columbia students received an email from Joyce Jackson, Tara Hanna, and Bryan Violetto (Columbia’s Housing Director, Res Life Director, and Fire Safety Facilities and Operations Manager, respectively) with more information on the Ruggles fire. They wrote that the fire started on the third floor of the dorm, due to clothing that was placed on top of a halogen lamp connected to electricity via an extension cord; halogen lamps and extension cords are both prohibited items in Columbia residence halls. This fire, the directors hope, will be a useful incentive for all students to review general fire and kitchen safety procedures. Housing and Res Life also confirmed that the building was evacuated without any reported injuries.

Photo via Bwog Staff



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img November 16, 20173:50 pmimg 0 Comments

A group of Columbia football players celebrating after the game, with number 33 caught in a pose with his arms out and his knees bent.

With moves like these, how could they not succeed on the field?

As dozens of articles from inside and outside of the Columbia community have already mentioned, Columbia Football is good! Furthermore, they used to be bad! At Bwog, we’ve taken a look at what some football alumni think of the Lions’ newfound success, and we’ve given the professional advice on how to be a bandwagon fan. But with only one game remaining, one question remains – could Columbia become champions again?

The Lions (4-2 Ivy, 7-2 overall) have a clear path to the championship, a feat they have only accomplished once before. Columbia will have to defeat Brown (0-6 Ivy, 2-7 overall) up at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium at 1 pm on Saturday, November 18th, and they will also need the Yale Bulldogs (5-1 Ivy, 8-1 overall) to lose in New Haven against the Harvard Crimson (3-3 Ivy, 5-4 overall). Thankfully, the Ivy football season does not have a needlessly arcane and surprisingly emotional tiebreaker system like Ivy basketball. If the Lions and Bulldogs both end the season at 5-2, they will share the Ivy title honors. And if Dartmouth also ends the season at 5-2, there could be a three-way tie at the top of the league.

The 2017 Lions are lucky to still be in the hunt for a title. A 5-2 team has not won the Ivy League since 1982, when Harvard, Penn, and Dartmouth all tied at the top. (Columbia that year finished 1-6 while giving up 36 points per game to Ivy opponents.) This year’s Ivy League might not have the one dominating force that often rises to the top of the Ancient Eight.

Yale Sports Analytics, one of the leaders in Ivy football and basketball analysis, doesn’t give Columbia great odds for getting a share of the championship. While they pegged a Columbia win over Brown at 80% odds, they consider Yale similarly prohibitive favorites at home against the stagnant Crimson. With Harvard at only a 30% chance of victory, the odds of Columbia winning and Harvard losing work out to only 24%.

One piece of good news, though, is that The Game between Harvard and Yale will start at 12:30 pm, while the Lions will not start playing until 1:00 pm. Fans in the audience will get to follow along, and will know whether or not the Lions’ hopes remain alive.  Columbia would love to control its own destiny for the championship. But considering that Columbia Football has not had a meaningful final game of any season since 1971, Saturday’s game is a cause for celebration.

Dance, Lion, Dance via Columbia University Athletics

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