Author Archive

Apr

19

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Everyone had those friends they made in NSOP, or COOP, or in their LitHum class. Eventually, most of them will fade off, crystallizing your real friendship group. Bwog Staff Writer Gabrielle Kloppers shares some (hypothetical) texts you will receive, or have received, from these. 

We have all had those friends. You met in the line for food at NSOP and hit it off, or maybe in your OL group. You banded together, and you kept it going for a while, going to frat parties and the dining hall together because you were scared. As people joined clubs, diversified interests, and started the classic college process of ‘figuring out who you are,’ your friends slowly changed.

Maybe they never contact you again, maybe they do in the throes of the sophomore slump. If they do, we guarantee you it was something like this.

Apr

14

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Raw Elementz power stance

If you didn’t make it to last night’s Rawcus 360, you really missed out on a supremely lit evening. Although this was a one-off and one-of-a-kind performance, Bwog writer Gabrielle Kloppers is here to give you all the details.

On campus this week, you could not have missed the hype about Raw Elementz and Rawcus 360. Raw Elementz is probably one of Columbia’s most prized performance group, and their performances always bring out record-breaking crowds. Last night’s Rawcus 360 was no different. Raw Elementz is truly a unique group, which explains the extent of their appeal to the Columbia community. Although they call themselves a “hip-hop dance crew,” their signature style tends to go far beyond this, with members bringing intimate knowledge of other dance styles to freshen it up and lend them a distinct appeal to the audience. This was in full evidence last night, when Raw’s mastery set the crowd into a frenzy. Beyond Raw Elementz, Rawcus also featured performances by Voltage, Onyx, Venom, CU Generation, and Party//of//Two, an offshoot of Thou Shalt Not, who played Bacchanal this year as the student opener.

Whirling around like dervishes under the jump

Apr

12

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As ABC (Activities Board at Columbia) has their final meeting this Wednesday, Bwog thought that it would be helpful to give a quick guide to how to achieve recognition for any student who wishes to start an organization! Semi-literate Bwog Writer Gabrielle Kloppers is here to give you the lowdown.

This brief guide to how to achieve Activities Board at Columbia recognition is from my (jumbled) perspective only and does not reflect the actual process to a substantial extent. Or maybe it does. Apply to form a student organization and you too will know the trials and tribulations.

  1. Come to Columbia INSPIRED to start something new. You will and must leave your legacy on our great school. Let’s face it, this is the only way. You’re not the next Neal Gorsuch.
  2. Realize that to get money, or anything help at all in this quest, you will need ABC recognition. Note: ABC stands for Activities Board at Columbia, or as I prefer to call them, the Activities Bureaucratic Commission.
  3. Note: to form an organization, it will take 2 or 3 semesters to get Columbia accreditation. Yes, 2 or 3 semesters. So that wine-drinking club you want to form? You’ll actually be 21 by the time it gets off the ground!
  4. Then comes the frightening interview. They stand around watching you with suspicious eyes, certain you are trying to steal Columbia funding to buy a beer pong table.
  5. The interview: is very vague. Maybe accreditation is just a lottery?
  6. If you by chance survive the perils of the interview, you will be assigned an advisor…
  7. … Who will advise you to change everything about your original idea
  8. Final Columbia Achievement Unlocked: Complete disillusionment

ABC blocks via 123rf.com

Apr

11

img April 11, 20172:41 pmimg 4 Comments

The potential victims of our Bwog math…

We all know a lot of people get CAVA’d at Bacchanal. But since our lovely friends on CU-EMS won’t tell us just how many, we will have to do the math ourselves. Bwog writer Gabrielle Kloppers is here to help for all you liberal arts majors.

Let’s list the assumptions of this equation:

# of people CAVA’d per 20 acres per hour: 1

# of Columbia acres: 299 (rounded to 300 because I’m an English major soooo)

# of hours of Bacchanal: 7 hours (assuming an average pregame time of 10am and a pass-out time of 5pm)

Therefore, we can assume that there are 15 CAVA calls per hour.

More hard-hitting math after the jump

Apr

5

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The stately entrance of your potential new home!

Still unsure of where you’ll be living next year? As housing selection heats up, Bwog brings you another Housing Review! Nussbaum is a beautiful building, and what it lacks in new facilities it makes up with in high ceilings and a chill vibe.

Location: 600 West 113th St (colloquially known as Nuss)
Nearby Dorms: McBain, Watt, relatively close to Hogan and Broadway. Close enough to the frat rows on 113th and 114th that screaming will reach your window on lower floors on sorority formal nights.
• Stores and Restaurants: Nussbaum & Wu, Milano, Community, Dig Inn, Amigo’s, Amir’s and fantastically, International Wine and Spirits

Cost: All upperclassmen housing for Columbia has stabilized at $9,292

Amenities:
• Bathrooms: Bathrooms vary among suites, with some rooms that have private bathroom, some single use bathrooms and others with communal bathrooms with stalls. If bathrooms are a big stumbling block for you, Bwog advises that you go check your desired suites out in person.
• AC/Heating: No AC, and steam-powered heating. You won’t be cold, but you may be plagued by the ghostly noises of clanking pipes.
Kitchen/Lounge: Very few suites have lounges (mostly in the C-line suites). However, all suites have a kitchen or share a kitchen with an adjacent suite. The kitchens are generally modern, and have a stove, oven, sink, microwave and refrigerator and are easy to cook in thanks to copious counter space. Kitchens do have a tendency to become messy very quickly, which hinders cooking pleasure.
• Laundry: In the basement. A decent amount of washers and dryers, although you may need to wait at times for them.
• Computers/Printers: There are no public computers, but there is a convenient printer in the lobby.
• Gym: Nope, no gym to work off the daily bagels from Nussbaum & Wu.
• Intra-transportation: There are two elevators and a well-lit set of stairs. The elevators are incredibly slow, and one feels as if you will die any moment within, so you’ll have to opt for the stairs if you’re running late to anything.
• Wifi: Relatively fast Wifi and Ethernet are both available.
• Hardwood/Carpet: Entirely hardwood or fake hardwood.
• Facilities/Maintenance: Nussbaum has some completely undergrad floors, but others are reserved for graduate students and non-affiliates. Consequently, Nussbaum is home to a lovely non-Columbia maintenance crew, who clean the kitchens and bathrooms around once or twice a week. Maintenance requests are resolved very quickly, and the crew is generally lovely to be around, and is guaranteed to cheer you up, even if you just had an Orgo midterm.

More about Nuss after the jump

Apr

2

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This weekend, Bwog Writer Gabrielle Kloppers took a break from her usual weekend debaucheries to attend the annual Diplomatic Ball, hosted by Georgetown University. As the event featured multiple Ambassadors from various countries, here she will recount her experiences as the Ambassador of Columbia University.

Becoming the Ambassador of Columbia University was a rather large step up for me. I wasn’t sure I was up to the task, especially when I missed my morning bus. This meant I would only arrive at 6.30pm, cutting my timing extremely close. With this in mind, I got dressed in my formalwear (stolen from my roommate) in the bus station bathroom, knowing I wouldn’t have time to get properly dressed later. Suffering from motion sickness, I nearly threw up on my lovely jumpsuit. It was a rough start for the Ambassador of Columbia University, I lamented as I attempted to create a smoky eye look in the back of a taxi using only liquid eyeliner.

My thoughts of a disaster were ill founded. I would be the best representative Columbia University has ever known! Arriving at the illustrious Organization of American States building, I felt dwarfed by the immense size of the imposing neo-Classical structure. Nevertheless, imbued with the power and prestige of my role as Ambassador for Columbia University. I would not feel intimidated by this monolith!

At first, I spent my time hovering gingerly at the snack table, sometimes rotating to another snack table, in an effort to avoid the schmoozing and small talks I knew was inevitable. I needed to get out there and represent Columbia effectively. I did so by dancing raucously to ‘Bad and Bougie’. Some students approached me in a casual manner, impressed I am sure by my VIP status.

However, my true interaction as Ambassador of Columbia University came in the line for the photo booth. As I was getting down to ‘Uptown Funk’, an actual ambassador starting dancing with me. I had achieved true diplomatic ideals. I, however, did not reach the true heights of diplomatic interaction that evening. This was left to a vague acquaintance who was spotted being grinded on by an extremely intoxicated VIP, clutching a bottle of clear liquor.

I represented Columbia University admirably; my only wish is that ‘Ambassador for Columbia University’ was an actual position so I could’ve had my $70 ticket comped.

image from PublicDomainPictures

Feb

4

img February 04, 20176:58 pmimg 1 Comments

Would you down this bottle in the name of rhetorical excellence?

Would you down this bottle in the name of rhetorical excellence?

In past years, not many people knew about The Philolexian Society, deemed “The Oldest Student Group at Columbia.” This year, however, with increased membership, The Philolexian Society has significantly grown in campus presence. Join Bwog Staff Writer Gabrielle Kloppers as she attends a typical Philolexian meeting.

Philolexian isn’t something most people know about. It may give off an aura of impenetrable prestige when you consider its Wikipedia page, which includes a list of notable members that surpasses several scrolls (a list which includes Allen Ginsberg). However, when one attends a meeting, it becomes clear that this is far from the expected stuffy literary society.

Upon entering Hamilton 603, a sea of faces jump out at me from the seats, many of which I recognized from altogether unexpected places. Many of these participants are “Full Philolexian Members”  (meaning they can hold positions of leadership within the society), but just as many are casual attendees, eager to see what the hype is about. Most Philolexian meetings are structured as casual, absurdist debates. Topics range from the serious to the rather insane- this week’s topic is “Milk in the context of cereal is a sauce.” Everyone is chattering away, but as the meeting begins, there is some modicum of silence.

Click for the debate

Dec

3

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An incredibly realistic image of a party at Carman

An incredibly realistic image of a party at Carman

Recently, Senior Staff Writer Gabrielle Kloppers was lucky enough to have the opportunity to offer a survey to her close list of 800 Facebook friends. The survey concerned alcohol and drug use at Columbia, and their affect on GPA. The results were surprising.

I know, I know. What a played out survey topic, right? We see the exact same survey on the Class Facebook page every week. But this time is different- this time it is mine, and I can see the results of the survey. Below are my revelations.

Columbia students drink way less than I thought they did.
At least during my time here, it’s generally been pretty uncommon for a friend to turn down a weekend (or weekday) drinking session. Although Columbia has the stereotype of being a bunch of nerds who stay in Butler all Saturday night, I thought we had broken the mold. I was wrong. Columbia students generally report that they drink between 1-2 times a month and 1-2 times a week. This number was surprisingly low to me, and a lot of people completely abstained from drinking.

Columbia students smoke far less pot than I thought they did.
Apparently, around 45% of Columbia students never smoke pot. From the smell in Carman every Friday night (or always), one would disagree but it is the statistical truth! Columbia is not a school of stoners, just Adderall-poppers and Xanny-munchers. I think. Maybe I’ll do another survey and this assumption will be broken too.

More surprising stats after the jump

Nov

17

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Some have suggested opening more space for artists in Uris Hall.

Some have suggested opening more space for artists in Uris Hall.

We all came to Columbia lured by the multitude of opportunities offered in a city like New York. After all, weren’t we just named first among the Ivies by Wall Street Journal, mostly because of our access to facilities? What happens then, if you come to Columbia University in the City of New York expecting the facilities of a world-class university in the premier city of the world, yet don’t find the sort of support you anticipated? Bwogger Gabrielle Kloppers investigates this real phenomenon in the context of the visual arts.

Most visual arts students arrive at Columbia expecting the full world of New York art opened up to them, with the support of numerous Columbia alumni that have made it in the arts. When they arrive on campus, however, it becomes clear that arts aren’t the clear focus of an institution like Columbia. In particular, the visual arts prove to be one of the most sidelines aspects of our university, with very few opportunities available outside of the traditional visual arts curriculum. There are three ways to connect with the visual arts at Columbia as an undergraduate: through the fine arts major, through extra-curricular organizations such as Postcrypt and Ratrock Magazine, and by connecting with the arts scene in New York at large.

The Visual Arts curriculum at Columbia is highly developed, with a multitude of skilled professors and interesting opportunities available to visual arts majors. However, many visual arts majors feel sidelined by the department, especially when they have not yet declared their majors. In order to graduate with a major in Visual Arts, it is necessary to take several studio classes and build up a portfolio of work. These studio classes are small and limited in number, and thus many potential majors fail to gain placement into them, especially within their first few years here. This means that they also fail to build up the necessary relationships with the Visual Arts faculty at Columbia, and makes it difficult to feel part of a community of artists. This effect is compounded by the lack of available extra-curricular Visual Arts communities.

What opportunities are there for students on campus?

Nov

14

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Living the best years of our lives can be costly in a variety of ways

Living the best years of our lives can be costly in a variety of ways

When you’re at a school as competitive as Columbia, it is important to engage in some debauchery to take your mind off CC readings, questionable GroupMe’s and the President-Elect. However, how much is each night of blowing off steam costing you? Bwog Senior Staff Writer Gabrielle Kloppers investigates a few common alternatives.

Option 1: The Carman Party
For freshmen, the primary night out is a shitty dorm party, usually in a sticky (and mold-infested) Carman double. If you’re hosting this, or being a good friend, the initial cost will be about $25 for crap liquor from International. However, this is not the only cost involved. At around 11.30pm, you’ll probably vomit because you’re not used to poisoning your liver, and given that you’re a freshman and your fellow freshman will be worried about you, you may even need to call CAVA. In this case, the $25 is not all you’ll be paying, as you’ll also lose your priceless dignity and perhaps have to shell out around $500 for a trip to the hospital where they’ll essentially ask you what your name and birthdate is and come to the conclusion that you’re probably okay. The only upside to this situation is that you’ll get so drunk so early that you won’t even get drunk food, saving yourself a bit of cash.

That amounts to:
Initial Booze Cost: $25
Dignity: Priceless
CAVA and Hospital: $500

Overall Expenditure: $525 – infinity

How does this compare to the value? This night was never going to be a good night. You only partied in Carman because you didn’t know enough people to do much else. So not only do you have a pretty high cost, but it’s not even a very good night to begin with.

What are your other options?

Nov

3

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The Diamond Sutra

The Diamond Sutra

Buddhism is something most new-age college students only pretend to pay lip service to when they want to pretend to be ‘spiritual’, yet desire to stay away from the problematic histories of most major religions. Follow this Bwog Staff Writer as she investigates the Diamond Sutra, one of the most revered sutras in Mahayana Buddhism.

Prior to this event, my knowledge of Buddhism came mainly from recaps of the main ideas in the context of Chinese history. Even from this, the idea of non-attachment as a source of wisdom and faith was fascinating to me. I was excited to explore further, especially as the event touted itself as an antidote to this turbulent election season.

They talked of the principle of non-attachment as a challenge to the major themes of division and prejudice that have been following us throughout our perusing of Mr. Trump’s Twitter feed.

The event ended up being meaningful for two primary reasons. Firstly, it was alarmingly intimate. Imagine this setting: the basement of St. Paul’s, a dimly lit choir room with alarmingly beautiful stained glass windows for a basement room.

In the center of the quite small room was a semicircle of chairs, and discussion leader Professor Malik Walker sat to one side, making conversation with each of us and asking about our majors.

We chatted pleasantly over dinner about the previous day’s ‘Victims, Victims Everywhere’ event with Christina Hoff Simmons. He was adamant that he wanted to feel as if he was ‘among family’, a feeling that was definitely created by the casual atmosphere and regrettably sparse attendance. It was a beautiful moment in time, and this added to the idea that we were there to talk about: non-attachment.

Read more about the event after the jump:

Oct

22

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Will you kill for Nutella?

Will you kill for Nutella?

Happy Halloween Month! If you’re anything like Bwog, you’ll be noticing campus becoming ~spookier~ as Hallowen draws closer. Bwog Senior Staff Writer Gabrielle Kloppers recounts a very real, and very scary problem for Columbia students year round; the ever-present, ever-nosy, Suite Ghost.

Despite not living in the Ruggles Murder Suite, we are all nevertheless plagued by strange noises all times of the day and night. What is that noise? A rat? A ghost tapping at your windowpane? Your drunk suitemate swaying to the bathroom (on a Tuesday)? It is probably the latter, but your willingness to believe in the supernatural grows as you notice some strange inconsistencies around the Suite. Where did that jar of Nutella go? Surely you didn’t scrape out the final dregs. That’s not your spitty fingermarks on the edge of the jar. Where are the four bananas you stole from Ferris (karma is a bitch)?

At this moment, you begin to suspect some foul play afoot, and download an iPhone app that promises it will tell you if there’s a ghost around- and help you communicate with it. You’re a bit skeptical, until the app beeps that the electrochemical signals in the air (what does that mean?) indicate there’s a ghost, right behind you. Her name is Jane and her signal isn’t overly strong. Fuck you Jane, you think. Stop stealing MY Nutella, it is midterm season and the sugar is sorely needed.

more spooks after the jump

Oct

18

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a picture of a floor lounge with a TV

We know where you’re gonna be sitting tonight

As midterms draw in and ruin everyone’s lives, Bwog staff writer Gabrielle Kloppers is here with some more procrastination for you. Don’t you wish you could go back to your childhood, before you discovered Contemporary Civilizations readings and Calculus exams? With Bwog’s cartoon playlist, you can.

  1. Watch all of Over the Garden Wall. You can never regret this decision. Also Bwog finds this one mildly scary, so it’s perfect for inviting Bae over for Halloween-style Netflix and Chill. http://www.cartoonnetwork.com/video/over-the-garden-wall/episodes/season-1.html
  2. The old classic, Adventure Time. Make like a baked frat boy and watch this while eating pizza and wishing you had a dog as cute as Jake.
  3. Courage the Cowardly Dog will prevent you from sleeping by appealing to the immense fear you had during your childhood. Maybe when you’re awake, scared and shivering you can study for your midterms? Probably not. This is especially appropriate given the Halloween chills in the air and the insane decorations you’ll see at Morton Williams during your nightly Hot Pocket run.
  4. Calm down from Courage with some Regular Show and get away from the hustle and bustle of New York City with a show set in a park.
  5. Try and feel out the existentialist overtones in Rick and Morty in order to study for first year Philosophy. Fail, but watch a few seasons anyway.

Get the rest of your cartoon fix after the jump

Oct

7

img October 07, 20164:34 pmimg 0 Comments

larry_sharp_headshot

Larry Sharpe, smiling contentedly

Bwog Senior Staff Writer Gabrielle Kloppers was extremely excited to be able to attend the Columbia University Libertarians event, a discussion on the War on Drugs with Larry Sharpe, the Candidate for the 2016 Libertarian Party Vice Presidential Nomination.

In the current political climate, people seem to be scrambling left, right, and center to vote for anyone that isn’t one of the two main party candidates. In their quest for anyone but Shillary or Drumpf, people turned their eyes onto the Libertarian Party Candidate, Gary Johnson. Many of these people, however, were as clueless at this stage about what being Libertarian actually meant as Johnson is about Aleppo.

I had some understanding of basic libertarian tenets prior to this, but still was influenced by the old stereotype of the libertarian as a white man over sixty. But as Sharpe himself said, ‘I am neither of those things and I’ll make sure people understand that’. This reflects the changing face of a rising Libertarian party. For this reason, it is important for Columbia students to have more exposure to views that one day may become increasingly influential, especially as Sharpe presents the party as one with no victims and no punishments, dissimilar indeed to Trumpist thoughts.

This talk in particular was on the War on Drugs, a topic that is unfortunately highly relevant for many Columbia students.

How will it effect us, and what thoughts does Sharpe espouse on it as a representative of the Libertarian Party?

Oct

5

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Where are my sister writers?!

He said WHAT about women?!

Bwog’s here again to divide your world into stereotypes. This time, Senior Staffer Gabrielle Kloppers writes about that person who always brings the conversation back to feminism (like, okay, but did you even do the reading?).

You walk into CC, expecting a continuation of this morning’s sleep. You are sorely mistaken. This morning is unlike other mornings (or maybe a lot like other mornings, we don’t know your story).

You’re quietly dozing off into your second-hand copies of Aristotle’s Politics… when–BAM–a voice that isn’t the monotonous drone of your professor startlingly pipes up. “Isn’t this sort of ignoring some people? Namely, women?”

“Why yes, yes it is. So is everything,” you think to yourself. “Maybe she has a point.” The rest of your class is nodding along slightly, and the comment engenders a conversation that has the potential to become enthralling, unlike most of Aristotle. “Finally, something that’s relevant to me, as a modern-day woman,” you think. “I can bridge the divide through the oppression we’ve always faced.”

A voice calmly pops up from among the general cacophony. “But of course they don’t care about the right of women, you have to take into account historical context, man.”

All hell breaks loose. The table is in pandemonium. People are shouting. A cup of Joe’s chai tea is upended. “Just because it’s historically accurate doesn’t mean it doesn’t merit discussion,” the original objector yells.

The civility of the class discussion rapidly deteriorates. The entire class is now either bashing or defending the misogyny rampant in old Western texts written by White Guys for White Guys.

Finally, the instructor resorts to the tactic used for emergencies like these: a short intermission to get soft drinks. He looks sheepishly around, suddenly all-too-conscious that he is a white, cis-het male. The class is broken off into small groups to attempt to stymy the brawl. It works, momentarily.

Variations of this conversation appear multiple times throughout the year. They happen while we cover the Bible. And Socrates, and Plato. Anyone really. Even Virginia Woolf gets called into criticism: “Why is this so non-intersectional?” While class discussions initially prompted excitement, they now prompt passive-aggressive sighing and hand-wringing.

“Why don’t we ever listen to each other?” you ponder, sinking back into your chair.

Image by Nikki Shaner-Bradford

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