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Dec

9

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Early Sunday morning, Bwog was tipped video footage that depicts a white man standing in front of Butler Library and making several statements criticized by Twitter users as racist. The video is linked below, and according to Twitter user @blkgirlculture, the man was identified as Columbia sophomore Julian von Abele.

The video shows von Abele shouting lines such as, “Europeans built the modern world. We invented science and industry and you want to tell us to stop because oh my god, we’re so bad. We saved billions of people from starvation.” By the end of the video, he is also seen jumping closer towards Butler and yelling, “White people are the best thing that ever happened to the world. We’re white men. We did everything.”

As he speaks, von Abele is jeered at by a group of several other individuals, peppering him with shouts of  “You […] degenerate!” and “Say that one more time. Say that here.”

Columbia student Kwolanne Felix, who was present at the time of the video, told Bwog that the incident happened around 2:45 AM Sunday morning. According to Felix, a mostly-black group of underclassmen were returning from an event and crossing Butler Library when they encountered the man shouting statements such as, “I love white people, we are the best,” and “Trump is a great president.”

“He said those statements just to see if we would react. The group stops and starts to converse as we are confused as to who he’s yelling at,” Felix said. “As he yells, a large argument begins. This is the part caught on video.”

After around five minutes of “heated engagement,” Felix said that the group stopped engaging, as they believed the man was under the influence of alcohol, and left for JJ’s Place. According to Felix, while at JJ’s, the group of underclassmen encountered another group of black women, who also stated that they were harassed by the same white, male individual.

According to Felix, von Abele later entered JJ’s place at around 3:30 AM. After he used the “same rhetoric” and was confronted by other students, a bystander reached out to a nearby public safety officer, who attempted to talk with the individual. “Ultimately the Public Safety officer lingers and when we ask for action, [the officer] replies, ‘He is just saying how he feels,” Felix said.

“This has deeply shaken our community, as he targets POC on multiple occasions,” Felix said. “During the Supreme Court confirmation of Kavanaugh, [the student] went to a Casa Latina party and harassed party-goers and [incited] unrest.”

Bwog has reached out to the student identified in the video, as well as Columbia Public Safety, for statements in regards to the incident; we will update this post with any statement received.

Update December 11th, 2018 7:32 PM: Edited to include the confirmed status of the white, male individual as Columbia sophomore Julian von Abele. Headline also edited in accordance to recent university statements.

Update December 9th, 2018 8:05 PM: Columbia has issued a statement about the incident via email. The full text can be found below.

Dear Undergraduate Students,

We write to you to unequivocally denounce a deeply disturbing racially charged incident involving Columbia undergraduates that took place in front of Butler Library and JJ’s Place early this morning.

Many of you have heard about or seen the alarming footage online, which includes painful language directed toward students of color in our community. Although we cannot comment on the proceedings, this incident is already under investigation by the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, and we want to assure you that it will be investigated thoroughly, beginning with interviews of witnesses.

We are alarmed at the rise of incidents of racism and hate speech in our world today. It is more important than ever that we continually demonstrate our core values and restate our commitment to a diverse, inclusive community on campus. At Columbia, we stand firmly against white supremacist language and violence. As we said last week, our community will not waver in its support for those of any faith, race, gender, sexual orientation, background or identity.

We understand this may be a difficult time for you and your classmates. Members of our on-call team began to provide individual support as soon as we learned of the incident. If you need support this evening, please reach out to your RA, who will connect you to additional resources as necessary.

All undergraduate students are invited to an open reflection space tomorrow night, Monday, December 10, 6:00-8:00 p.m. in Lerner Hall 505, hosted by Multicultural Affairs, for students to be in community with each other. Additional areas of support will be announced as we are able to plan.

Our collective work toward peace, respect and understanding must continue, both within our community and society at large.

Sincerely,

Mary C. Boyce
Dean of The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science

Lisa Rosen-Metsch
Dean of the School of General Studies

James J. Valentini
Dean of Columbia College and
Vice President for Undergraduate Education

 

Photo via Bwog Archives

Dec

8

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img December 08, 20188:55 pmimg 4 Comments

When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one Bwog family to dissolve the political board which has connected them with another, and to create among the powers of Bwog, the separate and equal new board to which the Laws of Nature and of past Alma Bwoggers entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare their last goodbyes before separation.

These goodbyes go to Youngweon, a soup-loving classics aficionado and a firecracker of an Editor-in-Chief, always brimming with a twinkling passion for not only Bwog as a journalistic organization, but also as a family – thank you for being such a wonderful role model and Bwog mother during our time on staff. Goodbye, as well, to Betsy, a Managing Editor-turned-EIC-turned-Managing Editor again, who would never fail to show her love through spreadsheets, emails, and meticulous Google Docs. And finally, to Sarah Kinney, you have always exuded such a positive energy and zest for life that infused Bwog meetings with spirit and life. Thank you so much for all that you have done – you have certainly made such an inexplicable impact on Bwog and you will be missed.

To the new board, Zack and Zoe, and editorial staff: Let’s riiiiide y’all – excited to see what we come up with.

Photos via Bwogger Jenny Zhu

Dec

3

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img December 03, 201810:59 amimg 1 Comments

While some of us might’ve wished upon a hopeful star for just one more holiday break before reading week, the inevitable end of the fall semester has come. To relieve your finals dread, Columbia University Marching Band has released its first round of Orgo Night flyers! Some revolve around the university’s recent drastic reduction of the band budget in response to controversies last year, while others focus on classic Columbia bits like the (questionable) number one status of our dining halls. Take a look for yourselves, if you dare.

Nov

13

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This is what a credit card looks like! :)

So you might’ve thought Bwog Finance was dead….well, surprise! Like an old 80’s band, we’re back with the reunion tour you never really wanted but kinda just happened anyways. Welcome to a new edition of the Bwog Finance column, this time on the subject of credit cards.

What is a credit card?

When you buy something using a credit card, you’re basically borrowing money from the bank to buy something, and you pay it back later. It’s not a like a debit card, which takes the money out of your bank account immediately to pay for whatever purchase you’re making. You also can’t borrow an unlimited amount – the credit card comes with a credit limit (for example, $1000), which represents the maximum amount of money you can borrow on the card.

Why is having a credit card important – can I not just use my debit card forever?

Using a credit card is the primary way to build up your credit score, a term which you may be familiar with if you’ve seen those sketchy spam ads or random Forbes headlines. Your credit score is important because it’s basically like a weighted GPA that reflects how trustworthy of a borrower you are (I’ll explain later how/why it’s “weighted”).

So when you’re older, lenders will look at your credit score when you try to make a large purchase that involves debt – like a mortgage on a house, a loan for a car, etc. – because they want to make sure you’re able to pay off whatever large loan you’re asking for. If your credit score is high, you will be able to take out these large loans and may receive a lower interest rate.

The credit score is weighted by a number of different factors – this can include something like 35% if you pay back your credit in time, 30% how much of your credit limit you’re using up, 10% how long you’ve held your credit card, etc. etc.

If you’re someone who’s never used a credit card before (I’m assuming this because you’re currently reading this article), your credit score right now is probably 0. But don’t worry, because you can change this!

More advice after the jump

Nov

13

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img November 13, 20184:08 pmimg 1 Comments

Only a couple of weeks after Columbia was named the #1 college for food by The Daily Meal, sophomore Beth Whittier allegedly found a thumbtack in a potato dish from Ferris. Posted on Columbia Buy Sell memes this Sunday, Beth’s photos depict a clear thumbtack underneath potato remnants, next to a side of scrambled eggs and ketchup.

According to a conversation with Bwog, Beth told us that she had eaten at Ferris on a Friday when she found that John Jay, the dining hall she usually frequents, was closed. Beth had accidentally already started eating the potatoes before she had realized the presence of the thumbtack.

We have so…many….questions. First and foremost, how did the thumbtack get there? Is this an alt-right conspiracy against Columbia students? Do we all need to be checking our Ferris dishes before we eat them? Why do the potatoes look so perturbingly gray in that photo? While Bwog might not have all the answers to these questions, we’ll make sure to keep you updated as this story progresses.

Photo via Beth Whittier

Oct

5

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img October 05, 20184:40 pmimg 0 Comments

Yum yum in the tum

I’ve spent a lot of my time here on Bwog (perhaps too much time) writing about my favorite campus subject…the dining halls. This article will be no different. This time, we’re having a go at classifying each dining hall under the framework of Plato’s Five Regimes, which any CC student might be all-too-familiar with.

  1. The Kallipolis = JJ’s Place. This city-state-slash-dining-hall is ruled by true philosopher-kings, embodied by the incredibly wise and thoughtful JJ’s staff (see: the pure genius of the recent Bob’s Burgers event). Order, harmony, and happiness are abundant.
  2. The Timocracy = Diana. Victory, honor, and spirit are valued here (e.g. preserving the line for the smoothies). Well-divided into separate parts a.k.a very organized, food-wise. Not that bad.
  3. The Oligarchy = Hewitt. Driven by necessary appetites; you kind of just want to get in, eat, and get out. Nothing more and nothing less. Divisions of types of foods and types of people get blurrier and blurrier (Why are there athletes here? It’s not even Meatless Monday?).
  4. The Democracy = Ferris. Well-intentioned, but ultimately chaotic. You can find all sorts of values and people here, like Plato’s metaphor of a quilted coat. Freedom is king here – everyone just wants space and freedom to move and eat as he/she would like. No order or harmony at all.
  5. The Tyranny = John Jay. Promises a lot, but delivers little. Do you really need an explanation on this one?

Haven’t gone to Ferris since September lol via Bwog Archives

Sep

13

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img September 13, 20184:24 pmimg 0 Comments

Tell me this isn’t just the cutest lil store interior you’ve ever seen.

ShopHop is a new series featuring different shops around the Morningside Heights community, from little-known stores to Columbia staples. This ShopHop focuses on Flowers by Valli, a conveniently-located store that provides all the decorative plants you might need.

Nestled among the traditional MoHi mainstays of Community Food & Juice and The Heights, Flowers by Valli brings a smell of roses and a spot of the green in the intersection of 112th and Broadway.

The shop provides a variety of colorful plants for purchase, most notably an extensive section of trendy cacti and succulents (see below). Other types of plants sold include:

  • Sunflower stems
  • Jade plants
  • $5.75 bouquets
  • Hanging plants
  • String of pearls plants

Although the shop owner could not be reached for comment, one of the workers, George, is usually behind the counter and incredibly nice to talk to. If you buy a plant, George will be also wrap your plant in cute lil’ wrapping paper decorated with red rosebuds. (more…)

Sep

6

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img September 06, 201810:46 amimg 2 Comments

Shannon Marquez will be the new dean of Undergraduate Global Engagement, Columbia College announced early this morning via press release.

With Marquez at its helm, Columbia’s Office of Global Programs and Fellowships will undergo major transitions this fall. Expected changes include a rebranding as the Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement and “an expanded mission to enhance access, support existing programs and develop new opportunities to pursue global education.”

With a background in global environmental health and international programs, Marquez was most recently vice provost for international development and a professor of global and environmental health at Drexel University. She has also held faculty appointments at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Global Health, Temple University, the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and the University of Iowa.

What did Deantini say about her

Aug

8

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img August 08, 20188:00 pmimg 4 Comments

lol never

In early June, the New York Times (NYT) published an article about McBain Hall’s safety violations. After citing historical failures in its building maintenance, the piece depicted Columbia as ignoring a “façade so decrepit that city inspectors have issued several violations for the risk it posed to the public.”

While this incident might initially seem aligned with Columbia’s well-publicized record of facility issues – particularly in regards to response times to residents’ most urgent needs – the situation, in reality, proves more complex. Rather than simply a willful ignorance on Columbia’s part, McBain’s current number of high-penalty violations ultimately arrived from fundamental disagreements between New York City’s Department of Buildings (DOB) and Columbia Facilities.

The DOB’s Façade Inspection Safety Program (FISP) is divided into five-year cycles, with each building inspected once every cycle. Cycle 7 ran from 2010-2015, while the current cycle, Cycle 8, began in 2015. During an inspection, a third-party engineer, hired by the building owner and licensed by the NYC government, classifies the building as either Safe, Safe With Repairs and Maintenance (SWARM), or Unsafe.

In Columbia’s case, the third-party engineer who inspected McBain was from FacadeMD Architects and Engineers, a firm with a record of projects including the Newark Museum to the 14th Street W and Ritz Carlton Hotels. During Cycle 7, the FacadeMD eRecngineer deemed McBain as SWARM, meaning that the façade had a few repairs that needed to be completed before Cycle 7 ended, but was otherwise safe.

Continue after the jump

May

7

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Tbt to when Kanye visited campus. Yep, this really happened.

Bwogline:  Melania Trump will announce her formal platform as First Lady during a Rose Garden event today. Past First Lady platforms include Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” program working against child obesity, as well as Laura Bush’s “Ready to Read, Ready to Learn,” which promoted early literacy. (CNN)

Study Tip: Eating bananas is a natural cure to reduce the effects of stress and anxiety. Did you know? Just kidding. For a real study tip, try reviewing your notes just before going to bed when you’re the sleepiest. Because the brain forms new memories during sleep, this will help you strengthen your memory of that one formula you’ve been forgetting all day.

Procrastination Tip: Two words – Donald Glover. He hosted SNL this past Saturday, and skits like A Kanye Place and Barbie Instagram have made this Bwogger personally cackle out loud in the middle of Butler 202. Also, the music video for Childish Gambino’s new song This is America is out, so go watch that.

Music: Cardi B’s album, because today we all need to feel like that bad b who can accomplish anything, including her Calc final.

Overheard from Bwog meeting: “Every time I hear about taxes, I want to become a Republican.”

May

3

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All of us on this fine evening!

Just when it couldn’t get better than 80-degree weather, we here at Bwog bring your bi-annual announcement that two treasured traditions are happening tonight: Midnight Breakfast and Orgo Night!

Midnight Breakfast, which features bacon and pancakes and all kinds of yum-in-the-tum shmush, takes place in Diana. Doors open at 11 pm for Barnard seniors, 11:30 pm for Barnard students, and midnight for everyone else.

If food isn’t really the mood, Orgo Night is also happening tonight in, yes, Butler 209 at 11:59 pm! Come join the band for its semesterly revelry of music, jokes, and fun.

Yum in the tum! via Bwarchives

Apr

2

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A beautiful lil kitchen…without the kitchen aspect of it.

EC townhouse and high-rise suites will not have traditional stoves or ovens next year. Here’s why, and how it will affect you.

In an email sent last Friday, Columbia Housing announced that due to ongoing renovations, EC suites will not have functioning stoves or ovens for the 2018-19 school year. In its place, Housing will supplement suites with hot plates and convection microwave ovens.

The announcement has left many prospective EC residents with mixed reactions. As demonstrated by our housing selection coverage today, student sentiments have ranged from upset to optimistic (see bottom of post). One resident called it “pretty shitty,” while another said their view was still “positive,” but added that, “The kitchen thing isn’t ideal. Kind of wish they would discount dining plans or something.” Many seniors didn’t even realize the renovations were occurring until after they had picked into EC. One senior was overheard shouting, “I didn’t even know!”

Why is Housing doing this to rising seniors?!

Mar

30

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Early this afternoon, CC announced that “Moonlight” producer Dede Gardner CC ’90 will be the CC class day speaker. Celebrity chef Judy Joo SEAS ’97 will speak at the ESC class day.

Dede Gardner

Gardner, alongside her role as co-president of major production company Plan B Entertainment, has produced films such as “Moonlight,” “The Big Short,” “Selma,” and “12 Years A Slave.” She is the first female producer to win two Academy Awards for Best Picture.

During her time at Columbia, Gardner graduated cum laude in comparative literature and English, and recently received the 2012 John Jay Award, which recognizes distinguished professional achievement among CC graduates.

“I’m absolutely thrilled she’ll be coming to speak at our Class Day,” senior class president John Avendano CC ’18 said. “It’ll be truly humbling to absorb the wisdom of someone who’s helped create films that have delivered such profound messages.”

Judy Joo

Joo, one of four U.K. chefs to hold the Iron Chef title, also hosts Food Network show “Korean Food Made Simple,” owns three popular restaurants, and founded inner-city food education project Harvest Time in Harlem.

After earning her degree in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, Joo worked at Goldman Sachs and attended the French Culinary Institute in New York, graduating as class valedictorian.

Joo said, “I definitely attribute my relatively quick success in the culinary field to my strong education. Particular with running restaurants, you have to have a strong business sense, know operations, efficiency design, understand marketing, PR and also have the creativity to cook new, innovative dishes.”

As Avendano points out, this is the second year in a row that a woman will speak at the CC class day speaker, and the first year both CC and SEAS class day speakers are female.

Mar

28

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Even the doors are nice.

Watt’s up with Watt? Other than being an all-around beautiful and conveniently-located building, Watt also offers students nice, apartment-style living with an off-campus feel. Read on for more deets.

Location: 549 W. 113th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam

  • Nearby dorms: Right across from McBain & the brownstones (Symposium, Greek row, etc.)
  • Stores and restaurants: Symposium, literally anything on 113th/Broadway (Junzi, Nuss, Community, Dig Inn)

Cost: Standardized at $9,538/year.

Amenities:

  • Bathrooms: Bougie and apartment-style. Each dorm has its own private bathroom.
  • AC/Heating: None.
  • Kitchen/Lounge: Again, Watt’s apartment-style dorms each have a private, fully-functional kitchen (sink, fridge, stove, the whole shabang). No common lounge between suites.
  • Laundry: One washer/dryer on each floor.
  • Fire Escapes: There are fire escapes between rooms that give it that nice, New-Yorky feel.
  • Gym: None. McBain across the street has one, though.
  • Bike Storage: None.
  • Intra-transportation: One very slow elevator, which you must use to reach the basement when taking out trash. Stairs are also an option for six-story Watt.
  • Hardwood/Carpet: Hardwood. What, you expected carpet, in Watt?

Let’s talk numbers after the jump.

Mar

27

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My TA did indeed lose my problem set today. Ready to off myself right about now.

Happening in the World: After a Sunday fire in a Russian mall that killed at least 64 individuals, thousands of Russian citizens gathered today in front of the main municipal building to demand a full investigation into the incident. (Washington Post)

Happening in the US: California has sued the Trump administration over a question about citizenship added into the 2020 census, which the state argues is unconstitutional. (LA Times)

Happening in NYC: Brooklyn Public Library, the fifth-largest library system in the U.S., is getting million-dollar upgrades that will fund children’s STEM learning spaces and downloadable content. (NYT)

Happening on campus: Hosted by Black Theatre Ensemble, a Black Arts Showcase tonight at 8 PM will feature “black creativity in its many forms.” It will take place in the Glicker-Milstein Theatre, and more details can be found at the Facebook event here.

Overseen: “The discrimination against fake-tan white girls is real. Colorism is alive in the white community.”

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