Author Archive

Mar

23

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You sure you don’t want to know which frats belong in which circle of hell?

You asked, and we delivered. Here is our official ranking of all of the fraternities on campus.

Our official rankings after the jump:

Mar

21

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img March 21, 20171:25 pmimg 24 Comments

Editor’s note: This article discusses and describes details of sexual assault.

Amelia Roskin-Frazee, CC ’19, has filed a lawsuit against the University alleging Title IX violations. In a press conference this morning, she and her lawyer, Alex Zalkin, described Columbia’s inaction and mishandling of a Gender-Based Misconduct complaint she filed last year.

Roskin-Frazee alleges she was raped twice in her dorm room in Hartley during her first semester at Columbia. At the time, the doors in Hartley did not automatically lock, and Roskin-Frazee’s suitemates would often leave the suite door unlocked, allowing the man whom Roskin-Frazee believes to be a student to enter her room on the occasions of the assaults. Immediately after the first assault, she called Columbia’s Sexual Violence Response hotline, but she was unable to speak with a trained representative until an hour after she called. She says that she was also not informed of her rights under federal law, and that she was told that she should go on birth control (despite her being gay). She reported her first assault twice–to her academic advisor and to Professor Suzanne Goldberg, the Executive Vice President of University Life–and they both failed to report Roskin-Frazee’s claim to the Office of Gender-Based Misconduct. The suit also claims she was assaulted again a few weeks later, as she was treated at St. Luke’s for injuries related to the rape. The school did not begin to investigate her claims until the next fall, and during their investigation of the incidents, Roskin-Frazee says that the school did not interview anyone or review security footage or swipe-in logs. The investigation concluded 26 days later, with the University claiming that they could find nothing.

Roskin-Frazee is suing Columbia for damages, punitive damages, and medical and psychological expenses. “To be blunt,” she said during the press conference, “I am suing Columbia because I’m angry. I’m angry that Columbia administrators declined to investigate my first rape in October 2015, ignored when I was beaten and sexually assaulted for a second time in December 2015, and still fail to provide me with sufficient and prompt accommodations.”

In the past, accused perpetrators (such as Paul Nungesser, CC ’15 and another male student who remained anonymous) have sued Columbia for supposed Title IX violations, but Roskin-Frazee is the first survivor of sexual assault to file a civil suit against the school in recent memory.

We will update this post with the full text of the civil suit soon. We have also reached out to the University, and they will be releasing an official statement shortly.

UPDATE, 2:12 pm: We have received a statement from the University; you can read it, as well as the press release, below the jump.

UPDATE, 3:08 pm: We have updated the post with text of the civil suit.

CU statement, press release, full suit:

Feb

17

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Oops is right

Whoops!

According to the New York Times, Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health recently sent out acceptance emails to 277 prospective graduate students–except these students hadn’t actually been accepted into the school. About 75 minutes later, the School of Public Health’s admissions office sent out a follow-up email correcting their mistake. The accidental acceptance emails, they said, were sent out due to “human error.” Oops!

While this is frustrating for the prospective students involved, this sort of thing has happened before–as the Times explains, schools like Carnegie Mellon, Tulane, and Fordham have made similar mistakes in the past. We just hope whoever made said “human error” doesn’t get fired!

Feb

5

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pipes

Innocent pipes? Not quite.

Alma Bwogger and soon-to-be model Rachel Deal, has had enough of the facilities that hide in her wall and her nightmares. Please send help.

The pipes in my walls bang. Loudly. I wake up in the middle of the night, multiple times a night, to the wall next to my head vibrating as the pipes clang. It started happening in late October, I think, when the heat first came on in our building.

If you live in a building heated by steam (which most of the dorms are, I believe), you may be experiencing this issue as well. According to Digg, the cause of this incessant banging is sagging pipes (or pipes that weren’t put in properly in the first place). Steam condenses, leaving water that can’t drain because of said drooping pipes. Water droplets are then picked up by steam passing through the pipes, and they somehow ricochet off the pipe walls, creating that sound.

The only way to fix it, apparently, is to replace or adjust the pipes…and we know that’s not going to happen. I tried to convince Facilities, but they said there was nothing they could do.

There are a few things that I’ve tried to block out the noise: ear plugs (they always pop out of my ears? What am I doing wrong?), smothering myself with pillows (pretty effective but you can still feel the wall vibrating), and screaming over the sound (my roommate loves me). Have any other suggestions? Leave a comment below.

Image via Blog Tips

Jan

18

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Where we learned what Bad and Boujee meant to Donald Glover

Where we learned what Bad and Boujee meant to Donald Glover

Whether you took a plane from across the world or took a walk from a few blocks away, we’ve all returned to campus and are remembering how tiring (and wet) Columbia can be. Before we get back to working hard (or hardly working), here is a playlist to add some bump to your grind. 

  1. Cranes in the Sky by Solange – “It’s like [the Barnard crane] in the sky.”
  2. Am Bet’alaa Feek by Nancy Ajram – A song of longing for when you’re trying to get off that seminar waitlist.
  3. Caroline by Aminé – An upbeat tune that will get you ready for your 8:40 (ugh).
  4. Pray by Terror Jr – Like the moody boy in your CC class, this song talks about the connection between sex and religion.
  5. Vesperae solennes de confessore in C Major, K. 339: IV. Laudate Dominum by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – A different sort of prayer than the former (s/o to Music Hum for introducing us to this piece).
  6. Bad and Boujee (feat. Lil Uzi Vert) by Migos – The source of every Instagram caption of the past couple of weeks…it’s a good song, though.
  7. Star Roving by Slowdive – The first Slowdive release in 22 years, this song is good for wandering around campus on a grey day like today.
  8. Mad by Solange & Lil Wayne – More Solange because this album is excellent (as is this Lil Wayne feature).
  9. Party Monster by The Weeknd – A dark tune for winter weekend nights.
  10. If I Ain’t Got You by Alicia Keys – “I don’t want nothing at all/If it ain’t you, baby/If I ain’t got you, baby”–a song for reuniting with friends after winter vacation.

Dec

14

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buy sell memes

Bwog’s personal favorite meme from the group

Former Editor in Chief Rachel Deal sat down with sophomores Christina Hill, Sam Nussenzweig, and Evan de Lara, three of the admins of the the Facebook group columbia buy sell memes, to talk about meme-making, procrastination, and campus culture. This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

Bwog: How and when did this Facebook group first start?

Christina Hill: It started on Monday of this past week on December 5th. It happened super randomly. Lauren Beltrone [another admin who was not present for the interview] was the first one who was like, “Let’s just make a meme group,” and so she made it and added us as admins.

Bwog: How do you all know each other?

CH: I knew Lauren from high school, and then the three of us here knew each other because we lived on the same Carman floor last year. So we all, in our group chat, we’d always send memes.

Bwog: Why the buy/sell format?

Evan de Lara: I think that was an accident.

Sam Nussenzweig: Well, no, it was based off of Barnard Buy Sell Trade, right?

CH: I told Lauren that it should be buy/sell because I had seen some other meme Facebook groups that were buy/sell. I think it’s funny. I think it adds more options for people to, like, write descriptions or whatever.

Bwog: I was wondering if it was related to the idea of meme-making as “meme production” and how some people talk about that in terms of Marxist theory.

EDL: We definitely didn’t think about that.

SN: Yeah, we haven’t learned Marx in CC yet.

More about the admins’ moderating philosophy and their favorite memes after the jump.

Oct

11

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Do we look cute in this pic with PrezBo?

Do we look cute in this pic with PrezBo?

Last night, PrezBo emerged from his cave for an hour to chat with undergraduates and squint in photos. Editor in Chief Rachel Deal brings you a report of what was said, along with a cute pic she took with the President of the University himself.

Last night, PrezBo took some time out of his busy schedule of commuting back and forth from his vacation home in Vermont to entertain questions from a select group of undergrads at his semesterly Fireside Chat event. Also in attendance (in order to assist with questions) were GS Dean of Students Tom Harford, Dean of Undergraduate Student Life Cristen Kromm, Vice President of University Life Suzanne Goldberg, University Chaplain Jewelnel Davis, and Director of Media Relations Caroline Adelman.

Overall, President Bollinger’s demeanor was lighter and more playful than it usually is when he is engaging with students in a formal setting. Nevertheless, he still gave some answers that felt insufficient.

The discussion focused around questions about creating a greater sense of community on campus and reducing stress for students, which President Bollinger said he believed to be related topics. One of the first questions was from Nathan Rosin, CCSC Vice President of Campus Life, who asked what PrezBo thought about the lacking sense of a cohesive Columbia community.

“I’ve heard this from the beginning,” President Bollinger said in response. He explained some of the challenges that the University has faced in creating a greater sense of community, saying that in high-power academic institutions in general, students end up spending a lot of time alone anyway. Furthermore, because we’re in New York City, students are pulled away from campus. He cited the creation of the Office of University Life as the most significant step he has taken in trying to change the current situation. Goldberg, who heads the office, talked about how they have created programming for undergraduates’ “intellectual lives” (like lectures), various task forces, and this semester’s “Yoga Tuesdays” on Butler lawn.

Read about stress culture and free speech after the jump:

Oct

9

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img October 09, 20162:35 pmimg 3 Comments

“You have dreams sometimes about finding yourself splayed out on the Claremont sidewalk again, shivering and sweaty.”

Bwog’s month of Halloween continues! This time, Claremont Queen Rachel Deal brings you a horror story (loosely) based on her experiences with the oven in her suite.

It started when your suitemate tried to make a Trader Joe’s frozen pizza. She turned on the oven, slid in the pizza–a few minutes later, you all felt like you were moving in slow motion. You could hear the sound of the fire alarm pushing through the suffocating syrupy air. The next thing you can remember is that you woke up on the Claremont sidewalk, rain drizzling onto your pajamas. It happens whenever you turn on your oven.

“Something’s wrong with the oven,” you say on the phone to Facilities. “Whenever we turn it on, the fire alarm goes off, and the air feels thick, and then…”

“And then what?” the man on the phone asks.

“And then…well, I can’t remember,” you say. Your forehead feels tight with confusion. “I just…it’s like I wake up outside and I don’t know how I got there.” You try to remember having left the building, and your body feels sticky, like you’ve been walking through fog.

Facilities begrudgingly sends someone over to check it out. The man opens up the oven, turns it on, and…nothing. The air is still, the suite quiet. You stare at the oven expectantly, and the man stares at you.

“There’s something wrong,” you say. “I promise. When we turn the oven on, it’s like everything stops….and then somehow I end up outside.” The man from Facilities raises his eyebrows.

“I don’t know what to tell you,” he says. “If the smell of the oven is bothering you, you can get an exhaust fan from Hartley.”

You don’t get the exhaust fan from Hartley, because who wants to carry an exhaust fan all the way from Hartley to Claremont? You avoid the oven, locking yourself in your room when one of your suitemates feels the need to bake cookies or something. You have dreams sometimes about finding yourself splayed out on the Claremont sidewalk again, shivering and sweaty.

Oct

1

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img October 01, 20167:00 pmimg 2 Comments

As stated at the University Senate Plenary in May, Columbia now requests that each campus news source register its journalists. By signing an agreement and submitting the contact information of its staff, a publication can receive press credentials which would “protect” its journalists from facing disciplinary action due to violations of the Rules of Conduct. The deadline to register was yesterday, and we are making this statement to express our confusion and discomfort around the new policy.

There are a couple of reasons why this policy makes us uncomfortable. Firstly, we were not notified of the application and deadline for applying for press credentials–if the University seeks to protect journalists, why would they not make us aware of how to comply with this new policy (especially when we are named in the policy)?

Secondly, we find the division of “registered journalist” and “bystander” to be inefficient, unnecessary, and unfair. Our staff ebbs and flows–writers can join Bwog at any point during the semester, and if a new staffer is the only person who is free to cover a protest (and they haven’t been registered yet), they should not have to risk punishment. Any journalist covering a protest without prior registration with the university opens themselves to the threat of disciplinary action–this includes a new staffer who joins us mid-semester, or a tipster requesting credit for a photo they submit.

Furthermore, this policy is not necessary. Having unlabeled journalists at protests hasn’t been a problem in the past, and requiring us to register now is unsettling. The notes from the April University Senate plenary mention Public Safety’s handling of a journalist being different than its handling of a bystander, as registration will allow them to “identify [us] during a demonstration, and treat [us] accordingly.” While these rules could be in place for our protection, we are concerned that the manner in which bystanders will be handled is going to change.

Ultimately, we believe that this policy unjustly widens the definition of who is culpable at protests in allowing these “protections” to pre-approved members of publications only. This is not a “mechanism for protecting student press,” but a way of restricting and silencing students’ voices.

We debated for a long time whether or not we should register our staff. Although we don’t agree with this new policy from the University, we ultimately decided that in order to best serve the Columbia community, we need to be able to access and report on protests safely. We do not agree with the division of “journalist” and “bystander”–all students should be able to observe and record activism on campus without the threat of punishment–but we feel that we don’t have a choice but to comply.

Sincerely,

Rachel Deal
Editor in Chief

Amara Banks
Managing Editor

Sep

23

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img September 23, 20166:56 pmimg 2 Comments

PrezBo’s toupée wya

USenate discussed a controversial topic today: a possible endorsement of UChicago’s Report on Freedom of Expression. Editor-in-Chief Rachel Deal went to check out the meeting.

At today’s University Senate plenary, President Bollinger was a no-show, there was no mention of graduate students unionizing (despite being on the agenda), and the divide between students and faculty was especially prominent in the Senate’s talk about freedom of expression in academia.

The majority of the meeting was devoted to discussing a proposal from the Faculty Affairs Committee to support the University of Chicago’s Report on Freedom of Expression. The proposal was introduced by FAC Chairs Letty Moss-Salentijn and Jim Applegate, and they gave a confusing explanation to why they felt the need for the resolution–Professor Applegate said that the proposal was “pretty closely tied to complaints about faculty” through the forum of anonymous evaluations on CourseWorks that had triggered Title IX investigations, and he believed supporting UChicago’s report would reaffirm that students must “listen respectfully” and “engage in respectful debate about ideas.”

Daniella Urbina, the Vice Chair of the Student Affairs Committee, immediately asked why the faculty felt the need to make such a statement. As students, she said, the SAC did “not believe freedom of expression being threatened at Columbia,” and she wondered what the ramifications would be of supporting a report that led to an alienating letter sent to students. Senator Grace Kelley of the Nursing School agreed, saying that supporting the report would imply support of the letter’s attitude toward “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings.”

Professor Applegate, who admitted that he had never had to deal with teaching controversial topics as a member of the Astronomy department, had a lot to say about how “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings” hinder the teaching of controversial topics at the University. He pointed out that the UChicago report did not contain either of the two terms, but he did say that the ideas of “trigger warnings and safe spaces did cause the problems of the Courseworks comments.”

So what exactly was the problem of the Courseworks comments?

Sep

10

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*Lerner 505

We hope you all had a great and sweaty time at the Activities Fair yesterday–we got ice pops from some Christians, which was nice! If you came by our table, you may have heard us talk about the Daily Editor position, which is one of the multiple ways to get involved with Bwog as a first-year. “Dailies” (as we call them) are responsible for scheduling pieces and writing content one day a week for the site. Dailies are an integral part of staff–they really do keep our site going every week, so being a Daily is a good leadership opportunity for those who are interested in joining us.

We are looking in particular for first-years or students new to Columbia. If you want to join a fun group of “aspiring journalists” and help to keep our site functional on a day-to-day basis, send us your completed application (found below) to [email protected] by 11:59pm on Friday, September 16th. If you want to hear more about the position and see what being on Bwog is like in general, come to our first meeting tomorrow at 7pm in Lerner 505! You can RSVP to the Facebook event here.

The Application

About Bwog:

  • Tell us about one Bwog post you liked, one post you didn’t like, and why for both.
  • What is your favorite tag?
  • Come up with three sample post ideas that you would like to see on Bwog.
  • Draw Bwog.

About you:

  • Why do you want to join Bwog?
  • What do you think Bwog is?
  • You’re taking Bwog out on a date! What would you do? Where would you go?
  • What about Columbia might you be interested in writing about?
  • Send us a screenshot of the open tabs on your browser.
  • What three days work best for you to Daily?

Poster designed by Deputy Editor (and former Daily Editor!) Amara Banks <3

Sep

8

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Bwog does tech

Do you want to do tech work for a publication on campus that isn’t soul-sucking? We are currently looking for people to join our Bwog Tech team as System Administrators–help us fix our website when things break! Applicants should send their resumé and a statement of interest (in which they should describe past experiences and qualifications) to [email protected] by Monday, September 26th at 11:59pm. After applying, a select number of applicants will be interviewed by our Board, and they will be notified of our decision shortly afterward.

A System Administrator’s responsibilities include:

  • An ability to learn quickly, untangle complicated systems, and track down hard-to-find bugs
  • Frontend development on the site’s WordPress theme
  • Extensive use and regular maintenance of a Linux server
  • Familiarity with any of the following is a plus: WordPress, PHP, HTML/CSS, NGINX, MySQL, Memcached, Redis.

Sep

7

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If you’re CCSC Bureau Chief, you can report on the (still) non-functional CCSC website!

Interested in the goings-on of student government? Want to see if your elected representatives actually do stuff in their meetings? Join Bwog and become a student council Bureau Chief! The position entails attending the weekly meeting for which you’re responsible and then writing about it for the next day. You may even be asked for your opinion on issues affecting the student body!

We’re looking for a CCSC Bureau Chief and an SGA Bureau Chief (bonus: if you cover SGA, you also get the alternate title of “Barnard Bearoness”). If you’re interested, send us an email at [email protected] telling us which meeting you would like to cover.

Is this the CCSC website? Or is this?

May

13

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Reflecting on the semester via illustrations

Reflecting on the semester via illustrations

In our last Semester in Review, we noted that this was the fourth semester in a row in which a new Editor-in-Chief took the helm of Bwog. We never could have anticipated that we would be saying something similar only a few months later.

At the end of each semester, we look back at the most significant events that swept through the Columbia community. Yet this time we also take stock of the tides that have swept through Bwog itself. As many of our readers reflect on who they want to be when they return in the fall, so too will Bwog.

We present this Semester in Review much in the same way as we have in the past, reminding our readers of controversies they may have forgotten and ones that they cannot forget. Internally, Bwog will continue to look back as we plan for our future.

Until fall, 

Rachel Deal, Editor-in-Chief
Maddie Stearn, Managing Editor

The semester started off tragically with a bus crash in Honduras that killed two Columbia students and one CUMC nurse. The campus came together to mourn their passing.

Later in January, we criticized the sorority recruitment process, and then Theta proved our point.

January 30th marked Bwog’s 10th birthday! Several of our past Editors-in-chief wrote letters to Bwog throughout February, telling us to be nicer, to never get old, and that we messed everything up (so help me Bwog!).

What else happened at CU this year?

Apr

20

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Sry abt the abbrevs

Created last summer, @sadcolumbiaboys is probably the one of the most popular Columbia-related social media accounts to exist (RIP Ivy League Bitch). Inspired by @sadyaleboys, and now the inspiration for various other sad accounts, it has garnered 1726 followers as of today. Connoisseur of Columbia Sadness Rachel Deal talked to the creator(s?) of @sadcolumbiaboys over Instagram DM about their documentation of despair.

Bwog: How did you get started documenting the sad boys of Columbia?

@sadcolumbiaboys: Hallo. They are out there, being performatively sad and reading sad literature and doing sad problem sets and wearing sad preppy clothing whether they are documented or not. But to not document such a curious specimen in its natural environment would seem a waste. So the obvious choice becomes: document. Note time of day and quality of atmosphere. Location. Whether it was merely a general malaise indicating their status as a sadboy or a deep aura of Weltschmerz.

The sadness of a sadcolumbiaboy is a truer kind of sadness than any other kind of sadboy. Penetrates deeper into his core self. It’s a way of life, not just a mood. Would a sadyaleboy or (God forbid) sadnyuboy even qualify as a sadboy at Columbia? Doubtful.

More on sadboys vs. sad people, spin-off accounts, and the Ultimate Columbia Sadboy after the jump.

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