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Feb

13

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All of us here at Bwog, when ESC faced yet another impeachment motion this week.

Every Tuesday, Bwog brings you a recap of the previous night’s Engineering Student Council (ESC) meeting. Deputy Editor Jenny Zhu stepped in to report on this week’s ESC meeting, which oversaw some classic ESC hits like Eweek plans, emergency contraception updates, and (e)mpeachment of the president.

President Aida Lu

After her meeting with Scott Wright, Facilities’ VP for Campus Services, President Lu introduced the plan to allow individual students to reserve rooms in campus spaces like Lerner and academic buildings, via University Event Management (UEM). Ideally, these rooms would be bookable for individuals or small groups of 5 to 10 people in the same way Butler study rooms are. She also let ESC know that since Lerner rooms were updated with new technology, the council has been charged for using the Satow Room’s projector, but members will probably be able to eventually just operate the projector “by themselves.” President Lu’s updates on her meeting with COI were kept off-the-record.

VP Policy Zoha Qamar

VP Qamar provided updates on the joint initiative she’s spearheading, alongside CCSC 2021 Rep Aja Isabel and CCSC 2020 Rep Danielle Resheff, to supply free pads and tampons in campus bathrooms and increase accessibility for those in need. As established at yesterday’s CCSC meeting, the initiative’s pilot program last year found that 30 products were being used a day, but Facilities argued for a less-accessible vending machine of menstrual products instead. VP Qamar urged ESC to sign and share a petition backing the original plan.VP Qamar also suggested rolling out the long-discussed emergency contraception vending machines in John Jay lobby, which wouldn’t require swipe access.
Political intrigue and impeachment motions after the jump.

Feb

13

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Early Monday afternoon, the Graduate Workers of Columbia-UAW (GWC-UAW) released an open letter to President Bollinger, in which it declared to hold a strike authorization vote if the university did not honor the union’s existence.

As part of graduate students’ 3-year-long struggle to unionize on Columbia’s campus, this letter comes as a response to Columbia’s January announcement that it would not recognize GWC-UAW, and instead would take the case to a federal court. In its call for Columbia’s recognition, GWC-UAW cited its broad-based support from students, faculty, RAs, student councils, TAs, and alumni alike.

If Columbia continued refusing to recognize graduate student unions, GWC-UAW stated that it would “hold a strike authorization vote.” While this act does not necessarily directly constitute a strike, it is a significant step in, and an indicator of GWC-UAW’s willingness for, organizing a strike that would greatly impact campus operations.

 

Feb

4

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The wings that go with the sauce are probably INTJ. Just think about it.

JJ’s sauces – they make or break a JJ’s meal, don’t get the credit they deserve, and also have a lot more personality than the majority of guys I’ve met on campus. Being the avid psycho-analyzer that I am, I decided to cast the JJ’s sauces as their perfect Myers-Briggs personality representations. Here’s what I came up with.

Carolina Tangy = ESFJ. Popular, reliable, depends on established laws and traditions. Usually studies in Ref. Indoor voice is very loud, but doesn’t realize it. Everyone likes them.

Garlic Parmesan = ENTP. Sounds promising, but actually kinda annoying. Will switch it up/taste weird depending on what you put it with. Lowkey a narc.

Chipotle Mayo = ISFJ. Grossly underrated. Secretly the best, but doesn’t receive the same recognition as Carolina Tangy/ESFJ. At first seemingly quiet, but substantively good, especially when chicken is involved. Gets stuff done. Full of love.

Mango Habanero = INFP. You either love or hate them. Spread too thin most of the time. Not that great, but is often misunderstood. Personality is very niche. Possibly does drugs.

Barbecue = ESTJ. The foundation of all sauces. Brings everything together; goes well with everyone and everything.Works very hard and never procrastinates; completes all the Lit Hum reading. Represents tradition and order within the JJ’s sauce family. Kinda boring, though.

Thai Chili = ENFP. Wild, but like, in a fun way. Really great at parties. The hype man friend. Sometimes can be a little much. Actually very emotional, but internalizes these emotions.

Jan

31

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You know it, you’ve seen it, you have strong opinions about it.

Winter season is in full swing, and that means the Canada Geese are alive, well, and thriving around campus. Closer examination finds that each of these coats comes down to approximately $900 per econ student. Damn! We here at Bwog, with your best interests in mind, implore you to forsake this god-forsaken coat and instead spend that $900 on these following things:

Jan

30

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Early this afternoon, Columbia University shared news of its decision refusing to engage in bargaining with Columbia graduate student unions. In a response to UAW’s request to bargain, Columbia announced that it would instead take the issue of the status of graduate students to a federal appellate court, maintaining that the graduate student-faculty relationship differed from that of employer-employee.

Graduate students finally received the right to unionize in August 2016 after two years of struggle, which oversaw a denied petition and an election. In December of the same year, Graduate Workers of Columbia University-UAW voted to unionize by a nearly 1000-point margin, a move publicly supported by SGA and, later, CCSC.

Columbia’s response to UAW was reported to the Columbia community in a statement from Provost John Coatsworth, included below for your convenience.

Update 11:50 pm: The Graduate Workers of Columbia University-UAW released a statement condemning the University’s choice to decline to bargain with them, a choice they claim is illegal. The statement also accuses the University of failing to respect their “democratic mandate” and taking away their rights to collective bargaining. There will be a demonstration Thursday, February 1 at noon on Low Steps to protest Columbia’s “delay tactics.” The full text of the statement is included after the jump.

Full statement below the jump

Jan

24

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An accurate representation of this meeting’s snacks.

Diverting from her usual Bwog fare of oddly-relatable shitposts, Deputy Editor Jenny Zhu stepped in this week to cover GSSC’s (General Studies Student Council) first meeting of the new semester. 

This week’s GSSC meeting opened with a feast of fresh fruit offerings, courtesy of the newly-appointed GS Dean, Lisa Rosen-Metsch. Dean Rosen-Metsch, who introduced herself to GSSC in December, came to speak more about her upcoming goals, talked with students in the audience prior to the meeting’s beginning, and brought snacks. Yep, we stan Dean Rosen-Metsch.

Rosen-Metsch Rocks

Rosen-Metsch took the mic to discuss her background as a GS alumna, a chair in the School of Public Health, a member of the Committee on Instruction, and now, the 9th dean of the General Studies as of January 1. Referencing her first official email sent to the Columbia community, she spent a moment recounting the sad passing of GS/JTS alumna Hannah Weiss, as well as the deaths of two other Columbia students.

After the floor opened up to questions, she first spoke on her accessibility to students, which she named as her top goal as a new dean (yay!) – she planned on meeting this goal by attending more events, allowing students to sign up for lunch meetings, and even eventually accommodating individual meetings requested via email. Beyond accessibility, her other priorities included financial aid, food insecurity, and social justice.

She also responded to questions about cyberbullying and GS integration in Columbia. To the former, she stated that she would hope to be briefed extensively about the extent of the problem first, and to the latter, she referenced her own past as a GS alumna as a basis for working on creating more GS inclusivity in the larger Columbia community.

Everything’s New

With the new year also came the introduction of a slew of new GSSC members and projects. GSSC first re-introduced the newly-appointed members from last semester (Students with Disabilities Representative Matt Linsky, Health and Wellness Representative Olivia Hartzell, and Equity and Inclusion Chair Jeffrey Panosian). The council also was introduced to new captioner Ricky and new JTS Representative Zach.

Beyond new council members, however, GSSC also recently got a new website! Built from scratch over the winter break, the new website is ready to be unveiled, once CUIT gives GSSC the approval to go live with the domain.

Other Updates

Upcoming events included a mystery Valentine’s Day event, which would include activities for GS to mingle, “especially the single ones.” GSSC also discussed the upcoming Glass House Rocks on February 1, which needed GSSC volunteers to both help set up and to solicit updated club information from performing arts groups at the event.

Jan

22

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You can’t see the stairs from outside, but trust us, they’re in there.

Recently, this unfortunate Bwogger enrolled in a class that meets Mondays and Wednesdays on the seventh floor of Hamilton Hall. After constantly forgoing the 20-minute elevator wait in favor of hiking up all six flights of stairs instead, she realized that the seven floors of Hamilton are perhaps best encapsulated by the seven stages of grief.

Floor 2: Pain and Guilt. This is where you start your inevitable journey; you first turn your back on the long lines around the elevator and instead take to the winding staircases. As soon as you step foot up the stairs, you suffer immediate pain in that twisted ankle you didn’t even know you had until now. If that’s not bad enough, you also start to have overwhelming feelings of guilt as you hike up past this floor, thinking to yourself that you maybe should have just waited for the elevator.

Floor 3: Anger and Bargaining. By the time you reach the second flight of stairs, you’re angry. You may lay unwarranted blame for your pain: who the hell only put one elevator in this building anyways? You might also attempt to negotiate with powers out of your control (“I will never drink again if you just give me the courage to get up these goddamn stairs”)

Floor 4: Reflection and Loneliness.  When you realize that you still haven’t reached floor 7 yet, you’re probably experiencing a period of sad self-reflection. At this point, you ultimately realize the true magnitude of the number of stairs you need to climb to get to your class, and it demoralizes you. You might focus on memories of a happier, pre-staircase past.

Floor 5: The Upward Turn. Wow, you’ve already hiked 4 flights! Your advanced position in your journey makes you feel like a more accomplished, more active human being.  Just as you begin adjusting to a healthier, staircase-driven lifestyle, you become a little calmer and organized with your thoughts.

Floor 6: Reconstruction and Working Through. As your mind clears, you start working through more realistic solutions to life’s problems (i.e. the elevators). It wasn’t that bad, you begin thinking to yourself as you take on a new lifestyle. I could probably do this again if I had to.

Floor 7: Acceptance and Hope. Given the turmoil you have just faced, you might not be able to return to the carefree, untroubled you that once existed prior to hiking up the stairs. But you will start to look forward and have hope: maybe your really good discussion in class today will make it all worth it. Eventually, you will be able to think about your inevitable fate of hiking up all 6 flights every day without pain; sadness, yes, but the pain will be gone.

Floor 1: Shock and Denial. If you realize that your class meets on floor 1 instead of floors 3-7, you’re most likely responding with complete shock and disbelief. You might think to yourself, do classes on floor 1 even exist? How have I gotten so lucky? Having a class on floor 1 is unlikely, and most likely a breach of reality on some level.

 Inevitable panting and  tiredness via Recycled Image

Jan

21

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The perfect freshman housing location… or is it?

In early December, Bwog received a tip, included at the end of the post, that complained of a lack of hot water in Carman’s renovated floors since the beginning of the year. After receiving notification of this concern, Bwog investigated.

Since August 2017, several residents of Carman Hall’s newly renovated floors, floors 9 to 13, have reported to lack hot water.

On Carman 9, shower water doesn’t heat up at all or takes around 45 minutes to get to room temperature, according to freshman Sydney Groom. After other Carman 9 residents confirmed having similar water issues in their floor GroupMe, their RA reached out to Columbia Facilities and Operations. “I thought it was only an occasional issue, but looking at the group chat, it seems a lot more widespread,” said Carman 9 resident Anna Morrione.

Carman 11 has faced similar problems. A Carman 11 resident, who agreed to speak under the alias Stephanie, has not had hot water since the beginning of the school year, instead resorting to using her neighbors’ showers. After Stephanie and her roommates “complained twice a week” via phone and online for over a month, Facilities eventually “tried to fix it, but ultimately told us it wasn’t an easy fix and left it at that.” Carman 12 students also reported malfunctioning water.

Columbia Facilities, in a December statement to Bwog, recognizes receiving these calls at the beginning of the year but stated that the department had “responded immediately,” which differs from students’ accounts of response times. Facilities said it was unaware the water posed a continuing problem until a November meeting with the RAs.

More issues after the jump

Jan

21

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If you want the power to singlehandedly ruin someone’s day, join Bwog!

Listen up here! If you find yourself bored, lonely, and hungry tonight with nowhere specific to go (which we know you will), do us both a huge favor and stop by at Bwog’s first open meeting of the year today, 9 PM, in Lerner 510. There will be outrageous pitches, there will be laughter, there will be bad jokes, there will be broken New Year’s resolutions, and there will always, always be freshly washed green grapes. More information can be found at our Facebook event.

Jan

21

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What you look like, probably, in Butler today, speed-reading Luke and John and the Confessions.

Happening in the world: Authorities have found that an insurgent attack on an Afghan hotel, Kabul’s Intercontinental Hotel, has left at least five people dead. (NYT)

Happening in the US: Trump’s approval rating among men has improved by 8 percentage points, according to a recent CNN poll. (CNN)

Happening in NYC: If your Lit Hum reading isn’t cutting it anymore, The New York Times has published a Star Wars-themed book called “In a Galaxy Far, Far Away,” which collects all the publications’ recent coverage on the film franchise. (The Verge)

Happening on campus: Riverside Church is hosting a potluck lunch/open house at 1 PM today to learn more their volunteer program Coming Home, which involves helping out formerly incarcerated individuals. Entry to the lunch is free, and more details can be found in the Facebook event.

Overheard: “I woke up in the hospital in a Ravenclaw t-shirt”

Dec

13

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Get us out of this place for a few minutes

While the study breaks during reading week are incredibly helpful and supportive, at times they can look similar – many of them featuring some classic variation of cookies and hot chocolate. We here at Bwog want to see some study breaks get weird. Here are our suggestions:

1) Columbia time-management-chart-themed study break. This study break would be very strictly organized, with 30% of the break allocated for group studying, 0.0119% for personal hygiene, and 0.0536% for actual free time. The free time would constitute of structured job searching. You would leave this study break asking yourself, “Why do I want free time, anyway?

2) A CUCR study break, which would feature Steve Bannon and the NYPD. Make sure you don’t accidentally bring any pieces of paper above 8.5×11″. Though this study break would only occupy one room in Lerner, it would block everyone else from accessing the building for the rest of the day.

3) A Bwog study break. You would make friendship bracelets, bitch about Spec, and eat grapes.

3.5) An anti-Bwog study break. Similar concept as #3, except you would bitch about Bwog instead, and revisit some of our favorite hate comments. Bonus: the male a cappella groups on campus would probably make an appearance.

4) 1020 study break. Bad but free cranberry vodkas would be provided. This study break would also have a pool table and fun crafts, such as make-your-own-fake.

5) Ferris toast study break. You would literally go and make toast. While this study break would be fun, expect it to be really crowded. Avocado spread would be provided, but only before 10 am.

6) A Columbia BDSM study break. Hosted by the Columbia BDSM club, this study break would include wholesome activities such as learning how to tie someone up.

7) Fausta study break. This would consist of chilling with Fausta (the wonderful woman who swipes us into Ferris) for like half an hour. What more can you ask for from a study break?

8) A Stressbusters study break, except that instead of them giving you back rubs, they teach you how to give backrubs, so that you and your friends can stressbust each other.

Photo via 2015 Bwog

Dec

9

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Do you hear that, in the distance? The miraculous jingle of bells? The laughter of children? The whisper of delicate snowflakes falling? Yes, the first flurries of the school year have graced Columbia, and they’re absolutely magical. Join Bwog in celebrating the snow. Picture submissions are always welcome at tips@bwog.com!

Photos via Bwoggers Idris O’Neill, Betsy Ladyzhets, Jenny Zhu, and Thomas Saenz

Dec

9

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It’s snowing! Winter is nigh! Grab a cup of hot chocolate as you read today’s Bwoglines.

Happening in the World: Two Palestinians were killed Saturday in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza, linked to increased tensions following Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. (CNN)

Happening in the US: For $400 million, Apple is buying Shazam, which was most recently valued at $1 billion. (Business Insider)

Happening in NY: If you’re running short on gifts or just wanna treat yoself, an Etsy holiday market is running in Manhattan this weekend, offering handmade goods from independent local creators. (Time Out New York)

Happening on Campus:  The Kwanzaa Ball, BSO’s biggest event of the year, is tonight at 7 pm in Roone Arledge Auditorium! Tickets are $1 here, and more details are on the Facebook page.

Overheard: “I’m not touching my $200 in bitcoin till I’m 80.”

A Song Recommendation:

Stay toasty bitches via Pixabay

Dec

1

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This Thursday, the Alexander Hamilton Society hosted a debate on the Iran nuclear deal featuring panelists David Phillips, Director of the Program on Peace-building and Rights at Columbia’s ISHR and a former UN and US State Department adviser, and Danielle Pletka, a Vice President for Foreign and Security Studies at the neoconservative think-tank American Enterprise Institute. Free Five Guys was offered as well.

With the event advertised as a “very fiery debate,” perhaps the fieriest aspect of this debate was the unexpected amount of bad jokes. Phillips opened the discussion by conceding that while the event was conceived as a debate, his “training and temperament [was] in conflict resolution,” drawing sustained guffaws from the audience. Nevertheless, this “conflict resolution” later proved unnecessary as the event went on and Phillips and Pletka both realized they held similar views.

Asked to comment on topics like President Trump’s simultaneous non-certification and non-termination of the JCPOA deal, as well as what their ideals of a better yet still realistic situation looked like, both panelists came to the conclusion that they agreed on many points: that Trump’s current handling of the affair is a non-strategy, that the deal is better than no deal but still holds many flaws, and that while Iran’s nuclear capabilities are disabled in the short run, they still possess much of the infrastructure needed to develop nuclear weapons in the long run.

More jokes, quotes, and actual policy viewpoints after the jump

Dec

1

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Barnard has joined as an affiliate of labor rights organization Worker Rights Consortium (WRC), which will help Barnard create a code of conduct ensuring that collegiate apparel is not produced in sweatshop conditions.

Nearly 200 colleges are currently part of WRC, including Columbia University since the 90’s. Since September, Student-Worker Solidarity (SWS) has been fighting for Barnard to join WRC, a goal that it brought up in its visit to SGA. This process has passed relatively quickly and without the drama accustomed to bureaucracy, with SWS’s proposal being converted to administrative action within a few months.

Read the full announcement on the website or below:

President Sian Beilock announced that Barnard College will join more than 190 other colleges and universities nationwide as an affiliate of the Worker Rights Consortium. The WRC is an independent organization devoted to helping colleges and universities improve the conditions of workers around the globe who produce their apparel. The affiliation will assist Barnard in implementing a manufacturing code of conduct, with which apparel vendors contracting with Barnard will be asked to comply.

The decision to affiliate with the WRC arises from semester-long conversations with Barnard’s Student Government Association and the student organization Student Worker Solidarity. Chief Operating Officer Rob Goldberg, who will oversee implementation efforts, has worked with students since September to discuss the benefits of joining WRC and how best to enforce fair labor standards as part of Barnard’s vendor agreements.

“Joining the WRC is consistent with Barnard’s commitment to the ethical purchasing of goods and services,” Goldberg said. “We appreciate students’ willingness to work with us on this important issue.” Barnard’s vendor code of conduct is nearly final.

Once complete, it will be integrated into The Barnard Store’s apparel practices, as well as shared with any group planning to purchase Barnard apparel.

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