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Oct

24

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img October 24, 201711:39 pmimg 6 Comments

The chart in question. A PDF of the full page, in which the chart appeared, is included at the end of this post.

On Monday, student Alix Prybyla brought to our attention a Columbia-released time management chart, which made recommendations such as spending 2 hours a week for personal hygiene, 2 hours a week for exercise, and 49.5 hours a week for homework/studying.

In addition, the page normalized 1.5 hours of free time a day, which covered extracurriculars, checking emails, and other “generally decompressing” activities such as, yep, “job searching” and “medical appointments.”

Especially in light of past suicide deaths and Columbia’s supposed emphasis on mental health, these recommendations were…interesting. More specifically, it seemed to fail to accommodate for basic human needs by allotting 17 minutes a day to personal hygiene (because we can shower and do a full load of laundry within that time), disregarded the disabled with the time allotted for medical appointments, and reinforced an intense academic culture by affirming 50 hours a week for homework alone as healthy.

Prybyla’s Facebook post about the chart has since garnered 63 shares and nearly 400 reactions, mainly from  Columbia students.

However, after Prybyla emailed both Dean Valentini and Dean of Student Life Cristen Kromm regarding the information, Valentini stated that the page was outdated and written by “a single student.” He ordered the information to be taken down and, as of Tuesday, October 24, the web page is no longer accessible on the Columbia website.

At least there exists a faint glimmer of hope in this story. In a talk with Bwog, Prybyla wanted to make this clear to students: “Our indignation is what led to this to go to the administration. We have a voice on this campus: we have the power to better our community together. Our outrage and pain, our compassion and love for each other, this is what toppled this page down, and what started conversations among our administration.”

The removal of the page itself is a great move, but we’re left wondering, why did it take so long? The page itself was featured pretty prominently on the Columbia website and has existed since at least June 2016, according to web archives. The school should more critically reflect upon itself and the messages it sends to students, whether it be through websites or policies themselves. Failure to do so could potentially impart very real consequences upon the student body.

Click for Prybyla & Dean Valentini’s email exchange and the original web page with the chart

Oct

21

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img October 21, 20172:10 pmimg 1 Comments

Beautiful, shiny, and new!

Stonehenge. The Bermuda Triangle. The Berenstain Bears. While some of those greatest mysteries in the world have still been unsolved by humankind, the new and improved Columbia Student Mail Center, which moved into the space of Wien Hall this year, is not one of them. Bwog talked with Mike Pagan, Executive Director of Administrative Services (Columbia Mail, Print, and Transportation), to get some answers to our questions, and here’s what we found out:

  1. If you need to pick up an urgent item such as important documents or prescription medication after the Mail Center closes, you’re in luck: Student Mail “just launched after-hour lockers for access to packages and mail when the Student Mail Center is closed.” All you need to do is reply to your email notification when your package has arrived, before 3 p.m. on the day you want to pick it up.
  2. This year’s rush period was “very successful” for Student Mail, according to Pagan. Student move-in days are actually not the busiest time for the Student Mail Center, which in fact classifies the period of late August to September as a rush period. Pagan said that during this year’s rush period, “almost 39,000 packages were distributed, with pickup wait times below 2 minutes.” In comparison to last year, this was a 13% increase in package distribution!
  3. You weren’t hallucinating when you thought that the check-in kiosks changed locations. During rush season every year, students access the Mail Center via Morningside Heights drive, which “helps minimize traffic congestion in and out of the Wien Lobby” and facilitates transport of larger-sized packages such as mini-fridges and TVs. After rush period ends, students enter the mail Center through Wien for the rest of the year.
  4. The move to Wien was important for a number of reasons, the most important being the sheer increase over the years in the volume of packages shipped. The Wien Mail Center is 2,765 square feet, more than double the 1,200 square feet space of the old Lerner Hall package center, and thus accommodates this upward trend.
  5. Some other great changes have occurred as a result of the move: Students can now use some of the valuable space that Student Mail freed up. In addition, Wien allows both mail and package servie teams “work together in one location, improving productivity.” Pagan also cites the new location is as “better positioned to the delivery access point on Morningside Drive.”
  6. What might you see in the future of the Mail Center? This is one question we can’t quite answer. However, as he believes that the uptick in mailing volume will continue, Pagan said, “[The Mail Center team] will continue to evaluate needs and look for tech or operational enhancements to our service.”

Picture via Columbia Mail Services

Oct

21

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img October 21, 201710:00 amimg 0 Comments

The original sad boy? Just look at that stony stare.

Happening in the World:  Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has stated that his administration will unveil measures today to counter the Catalonian independence movement, after blasting it as “an unacceptable attempt at secession.” His statements come after a controversial October 1 referendum vote, in which of 43% of Catalonian individuals who took part, 90% voted for independence from Spain. (Washington Post)

Happening in the US: Video evidence has emerged to prove false the Thursday statements of White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who accused Representative Frederica S. Wilson of bragging during a military ceremony about attaining $20 million for a South Florida F.B.I. building. Released by Florida newspaper The Sun Sentinel, the video demonstrates that Ms. Wilson never claimed credit for securing the money for the building, but only ever discussed her part in passing legislation to name the building after two fallen federal agents. (Sun Sentinel)

Happening in NYC: The mosaic coffee table of an Upper East Side family was found on Friday to be an ancient artifact from the Roman emperor Caligula. In the 1960s, the family had bought the mosaic from an aristocratic Italian family as an antique that was found on the shores of Lake Remi. Italian officials believe that the mosaic, composed of porphry cobbles arranged in colorful geometric patterns, likely comprised part of flooring of Caligula’s two “pleasure ships” during his reign, 37-41 A.D. Stay classy. (NBC)

Happening on campus: An open-to-public mural painting event, led by local NYC Latinx graffiti artists, will take place on Low Plaza today at 11 am. Hosted by a coalition of school and student groups, this event is an “interactive workshop” for all to join, with purpose of engaging the public in “a unifying activity of art that unites us all.”

Overseen: A Plimpton security guard practicing ballroom dance positions in the lobby as someone plays piano in the lounge. We’re all here for this wholesome content.

A Yahoo Answers question for your intellectual stimulation:

Peter Pan, is that you?

Oct

19

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img October 19, 20173:19 pmimg 1 Comments

Are these the very “pinwheels” that were served in John Jay?

If you were to read the January 27, 2013 brunch menu for John Jay Dining Hall, you would find that the dishes served were not all that different from the cuisine provided by John Jay today. January 27’s menu offered the familiar John Jay plain pancakes, the made-to-order omelette line, the obligatory dishes of beans and a fancy grain you’ve never heard of before coming to college (in this case, couscous), and…pizza?

Yes, John Jay once had pizza. While the selection might not have quite been the Ferris array, this particular day had cheese pizza, broccoli pizza, and “pinwheels.” According to other historical menus courtesy of CU Dining, other varieties included BBQ chicken pizza, mushroom pizza, mushroom jalapeno pizza, and vegan cauliflower pizza.

Further research concluded that reviews of said pizza were mixed. While one Yelp Reviewer called the dish “palatable,” the Columbia Lion described this John Jay staple as “a crime.” Out4lunch.tumblr.com said: “The pizza often has a soggy crust and is literally dripping in oil. I usually have to dab it with napkins so I don’t feel like I’m going to go into cardiac arrest after finishing a slice.”

Regardless, John Jay would later discard the pizza station; in October of 2013, Student-Worker Solidarity gathered a petition with 1100 signatures demanding lower temperature working conditions at John Jay dining hall. Despite worker requests, the administration reportedly refused to install air conditioning units in the kitchen, which reached temperatures up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. This issue set off a series of events in an administrative search for solutions, both long-term and short-term.

The first major culprit that the administration recognized was the pizza ovens – because they provided a major source of heat in the kitchen, Columbia Dining at first moved pizza baking downstairs. On October 9, 2013, the administration decided to get rid of the John Jay pizza altogether.

Thus, the community saw the end of an era – a mysterious, greasy, overheated era completely unbeknownst to current students. And with this end, Columbia ushered in a new era, one of better working conditions and sushi rolls, composed of pairings both simple (cucumber and avocado) and strange (celery and pear). But what can we compare it to? It’s the reality we know.

Little Wheels of Dough via Pixabay

Oct

14

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img October 14, 20178:54 pmimg 1 Comments

Bow chicka wow wow!

During your time at Columbia, you’ll probably have the opportunity to read some of those pinnacle works of western literature: Homer, Euripides, Morrison, Woolf, and…Columbia Crushes. Indeed, the page seems to possess an ever-popular presence on campus that we thought called for a deeper look into the Facebook page. We put Bwoggers Jenny Zhu and Aliya Schneider to the task.

Among the myriad of Sims ads and dubious columbia buy/sell memes, Columbia Crushes posts have seem to become a staple of our Facebook feeds: “XYZ Name, i don’t know if i’m your type but you have great hair and a beautiful smile,” or “boy wearing a navy sweater on the 4th floor of butler today…you hurt my ovaries thanks.”

Although we recently discovered multiple students rather than one individual manage the page, that group cites a desire to stay anonymous to the general public. “Some of us aren’t comfortable with the attention we would draw to ourselves. We believe the anonymity is what serves our page best. Batman personally advised to serve without publicity,” the students said.

Why your post didn’t make the cut, after the jump.

Oct

14

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img October 14, 20177:14 pmimg 2 Comments

Fans storming the field after the Football team won the Homecoming game.

“Today was fun.”

Holy HECK. We just won our homecoming football game.

With an overtime win 34-31 over the Penn Quakers (2-3), the Columbia Lions (5-0) extended their streak to a darn-magical 5-0, which hasn’t happened since 1996 (an 8-2 season). The even more magical sequence of events that got us here somehow seemed to quintessentially represent our football past: confusing, sudden, desperate at times, and right now, unexpectedly wonderful.

The first 3 quarters were trying. The Quakers led for most of the third quarter 21-7 after intercepting an ill-advised 3rd and 6 pass by backup quarterback Ryan Suitt. The Lions’ next two possessions ended quickly, and when they forced a Penn fumble late in the third quarter, they turned the ball over on downs at the Penn 30 just four plays later.

So with Columbia down by 14 points and 11 minutes on the clock for the fourth quarter, I had all but lost hope. Then, the Lions drove the ball until they had a 1st and goal opportunity at the Penn 7-yard line.  Columbia failed three times to convert, until rushing quarterback Josh Bean made it 21-14 on 4th and 1. Then, the team scored two more times on the next two drives and we were in the LEAD? Yep, we were in the lead, 28-21 with 4:11 left in the quarter. Columbia fans were even brave enough to heckle the Quakers with classic lines like: “What is Philly good for anyways? Cheesesteaks, and that’s about it!”

When Penn later tied the game 28-28 with a touchdown, we went into overtime with Penn on offense and Columbia on defense. Columbia’s defense was great in OT – Columbia linebacker Michael Murphy tackled Quaker wide receiver Justin Watson, forcing Penn to lose seven on their first play; by stopping the next two plays, the Lions forced a Penn gain of only three points with a field goal.

In Columbia’s next offensive series, signal-called Anders Hill would find wide receiver Josh Wainwright and win the game – our first success over Penn since 1997, our second consecutive Homecoming win, and a victory that led us here, to a historic 5-0.

Back on campus, we heard many a line that went like this: “What, we won the homecoming game? In overtime?” “We won over Penn?” Yeah, we did.

Victory Celebration via Peter Pilling

Oct

14

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img October 14, 201711:50 amimg 0 Comments

Homecoming isn’t only great for its questionably bandwagon display of school spirit and the darties beforehand. In honor of homecoming, free beer will be served to seniors outside Baker Athletics Complex! You’ll probably need to show a valid senior student ID in order to be served, so just be warned. That is all.

Oct

14

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img October 14, 201711:09 amimg 0 Comments

Majestic, like our football team after we go 5-0 today (a gal can dream).

Happening in the World: Joshua Boyle, a 34-year-old Canadian man held hostage with his family by a Afghanistan-based Taliban faction for five years, spoke about his experiences late Friday. Captured in October 2012, Boyle said that his captors had killed their infant daughter, Margaret Boyle, and raped his wife, Caitlan Coleman. The family was rescued Wednesday, after battle between US-supported Pakistani troops and the militants. (NYT)

Happening in the US: After issuing an executive order Thursday that ended Obamacare’s payments to insurers, which had helped lower costs for poor Americans, healthcare stocks fell on Friday – a fact that Trump celebrated through a series of tweets. He asserted that his order will “allow greatly expanded access and far lower costs for HealthCare. Millions of people benefit!” Mmmm, OK. (Business Insider)

 

 

Happening in NYC: As covered this week in both the New York Times and The New Yorker, the most exclusive bar in New York is…a supply closet? The Bushwick bar, named The Threesome Tollbooth, only has capacity for a bartender and two guests, which creator N.D. Austin says is designed so guests can “own the space.” Visits cost $100-$120 per person every hour. (Gothamist)

Happening on campus: If you haven’t yet noticed, the Columbia homecoming football game, in which the Columbia Lions will be facing off with the Penn Quakers, is today! Shuttles beginning at 10:30 am meet at 114th and Broadway and take you right to the Baker Athletics Complex every 15 minutes. At noon, enjoy free hot dogs and beverages at the Pre-Game Picnic Area, beginning 90 minutes prior to kickoff at 1:30 pm. And make sure to brush up on your Columbia fight song! Roar, Lions, Roar!

Overseen/Overheard:

NYC truly is the art capital of the world.

 

Picture via Pixabay

Oct

9

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img October 09, 201711:52 pmimg 3 Comments

SGA becomes first student government body to issue statement in support of graduate student unionization.

In a meeting this evening, SGA voted unanimously in favor of releasing a statement supporting graduate student unionization, making SGA the first student government body on campus to do so.

In August 2016, the National Labor Relations Board ruled to allow graduate students at US universities to unionize, in a case that involved the Graduate Workers of Columbia University petitioning to join United Auto Workers Local 2110. Following this case, Graduate Workers of Columbia University-UAW voted to unionize on December 2016 as well.

SGA emailed the statement directly to President Bollinger and Provost John H. Coatsworth, in addition to issuing the statement via Facebook and an email to the student body.

Below is the full statement for your convenience.

Recently, we were approached by Student-Worker Solidarity to issue a statement of support for the GWC-UAW Local 2110 Graduate Workers of Columbia (GWC). At tonight’s SGA meeting, we voted, unanimously, to issue the following statement. This statement has been emailed to both the Office of the President and the Provost of Columbia University in the City of New York:

SGA recognizes and supports the efforts of the Graduate Workers of Columbia-UAW Local 2110 (GWC). We believe that Columbia’s graduate and undergraduate student workers are entitled to livable wages that are paid on time, adequate benefits, clear workload expectations, and consistent and transparent employment policies.

As representatives of Barnard’s student body, we feel compelled to speak out on this issue due to the presence of Barnard students in Columbia classes that are TA’ed by student assistants represented by GWC. Working conditions are learning conditions. It is essential that the administration grants fair and equitable working conditions to graduate workers, not only because it is their right, but also because how they are treated directly impacts our education as Barnard students.

With President Trump’s appointees to the National Labor Relations Board positioned to disregard workers’ rights at large, and potentially graduate workers’ right to unionize, it is vital that Columbia respect the democratic decision of research and teaching assistants to unionize.

Therefore, we call upon President Bollinger and Columbia University to recognize the union, drop the objections, and bargain in good faith.

Picture via BrillLyle by CC-SA-4.0

Oct

7

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img October 07, 20179:55 amimg 0 Comments

Abstract representation of the temperature in my dorm room (2017, Colorized)

Happening around the World: North Korea is preparing to test a long-range missile to reach the west coast of the US, according to Russian officials who visited Pyongyang on October 2-6. In a report by Russia’s RIA news agency, Russian lawmakers said that “their mood is rather belligerent.” Understatement of the year. (Reuters)

Happening in the US: The Trump administration has allowed employers citing religions reasons to deny contraceptive access, through its Friday rollback of a Obamacare birth control mandate. According to a study commissioned by the Obama administration, the mandate provided contraceptives without co-payments to more than 55 million women – hundreds of thousands of these women, including those of low-income backgrounds, could lose coverage. (NYT)

Happening in NYC: If your dorm decor still lacks that “it” factor, a Brooklyn startup has begun selling a subway countdown clock as home decor. Aptly called NYC Train Sign, the company aims to provide both utility and nostalgia for residents “who love New York City and NYC living,” according to Director of Sales Dara Denney. Prices start from $159. (Curbed)

Happening on Campus: Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory is hosting a free open house, starting right now and ending at 4! The open house includes dynamic exhibits such as “Anticipating Earthquakes,” “Changing Ice, Changing Coastlines,” and “Climate and Life.” Free shuttle buses are provided, meeting on 120th Street (between Amsterdam and Broadway, in front of Teachers College) every fifteen minutes until 1:15 pm today.

A Yahoo Answers question for your reading pleasure/intellectual fodder:

 

Overseen: On the windows of Lerner. In the October humidity, what better way to beat the heat than to chill with Bwog?

 

Sun via Pixabay

Sep

30

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img September 30, 20173:38 pmimg 0 Comments

Even Alma is excited!

After a slew of impressively professional Facebook photographs and extensive flyer-based marketing campaigns, we made it! CCSC, ESC, and SGA election results for first-years have arrived, and the below are the winners. The PDF at the end of post contains the full vote count for CCSC/ESC. Congratulations to the new leaders of the Columbia University Class of 2021!

CCSC

2021 CCSC President & Vice President:
Prem Thakker and Skye Bork (LionRoar)

2021 CCSC Class Representatives:
Aja Johnson (‘21 SAVAGES)
Ramsay Eyre (‘21 SAVAGES)
Sarah Radway (Unaffiliated)

CCSC International Students Representative: 
Sim Mander

ESC

2021 ESC President:
Jaidev Shah (SEAS the Change)

2021 ESC Vice-President
Alina Ying (SEAS the Change)

2021 ESC Class Representatives
Nicolas Acosta (SEAS the Change)
Adheli Gonzalez (SEAS the Change)

ESC VP Finance:
Austen Paris

ESC Disability and Accessibility Issues Representative:
Adriana Echeverria

ESC International Students Representative:
Katherine Liu

SGA 

(Fun fact: First-year election turnout was 60.9%, which set a new highest record!)

SGA First-Year Class President:
Sara Morales

SGA First-Year Class Vice President:
Tina Gao

Alma, Balloons, Background, and Glass via Pixabay

Sep

30

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img September 30, 20179:58 amimg 1 Comments

Happening in the World: First an enigma, now deemed a full-scale attack. 21 diplomats at the US embassy in Cuba have contracted the same serious disease, with symptoms including hearing loss and other cognitive issues. Calling this a deliberate, targeted “attack,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson plans to withdraw the majority of the embassy’s staff, with profound implications on current US-Cuba relations. (CBS)

Happening in the US: The Senate Budget Committee presented a 2018 budget plan yesterday proposing a ‘uuuuuuuge $1.5 trillion tax cut. In an analysis, the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center found that the top 1% of Americans would receive around 80% of the tax cut benefits. (CNBC)

Happening in NYC: To combat homelessness, a pilot NYC program will fund 12 months of rent for homeless families, as long as they live outside the five boroughs. With 17 apartments available in Newark, New Jersey, the initiative brought families to Newark this week to browse the apartments. (Newsweek)

Happening on campus: DACA, Hurricane Harvey, and the ramifications of both on US immigrants comprise the topic for a discussion tonight at 6-8 pm, hosted by an alliance of several student groups. Taking place in 555 Lerner Hall, the event, “Climate of Immigration: The Aftermath of Harvey and DACA,” will feature free food, interesting law professors, and dynamic discussion!

A Yahoo Answers question for your reading pleasure:

Overseen: A sad, lost little mozzarella stick perched outside Kent Hall. If this was you, you sick fuck, come retrieve your mozzarella stick NOW.

Poor Cheesi Boi :(

This truly is an emergency.

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