Author Archive

Sep

9

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We hope you’ll be holding a gavel soon

After another summer, heading into another semester, many of us have come to a certain stark realization: not only will college not last forever, but also, when we leave this bubble above 114th, we will need to figure out what our next stage will entail. Join Senior Staff Writer Gabrielle Kloppers as she explores one of your options—law school—and how Columbia can help you get there.

First of all, before deciding to embark on law school, you should ask whether it is the right path for you. It is often seen as a sell-out move for English or History students who no longer want to lecture in front of sweaty college students and wear tweed jackets. But it is a serious commitment, both financially and in terms of the sheer quantity of tedious reading required.

Now, if that didn’t put you off, keep on reading this article.

Most law schools have a deadline somewhere in February, so keep that in mind. If this is your senior year, you will need to get cracking. Furthermore, most law schools work on a rolling admissions basis, so they will favor applicants who get their applications in early. So ideally, you’re looking to submit those applications by late November or early December, but EARLIER is BETTER, so don’t procrastinate, this isn’t a CC Reading that you can do a week before the final. So you ideally want around a year for preparation.

More advice after the jump

Aug

20

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Our next Houses and Homes comes to you from the Land Down Under, where it’s cold enough to eat soup and lit enough for Melbourne’s youth to get merry. Share your own summer sights by sending us a picture (or two!) and describing the other four senses of your home to tips@bwog.com.

Where: A mildly swish apartment on the corner of a less swish block in Melbourne’s CBD.

Sight: Inside, clean wooden paneling and modern art. Outside, a mixture of hipster cafes, liquor stores and dumpling places.

Smell: From inside, the lemony scent of detergent because my parents actually bother cleaning things. From outside, meaty grease emanating from both the aforementioned cafes and dumpling places.

Sound: What could be a street fight, or Melbourne’s youth on their way home from merriment at the nearby clubs. Either way, a lot of breaking glass.

Taste: A high amount of soup because it’s winter in the Southern Hemisphere!

Apr

24

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Oh Alma, mother of wisdom and fairness.

We all know that season. The season of CCSC campaigning. We’ve all seen the Facebook posts, the blatant lies they tell. We put up with it. But what annoys us the most? Bwog Staffer Gabrielle Kloppers is here to complain.

I could deal with the Facebook posts, constantly popping up in my notifications as someone again bombarded the Class of 2019 Group. I could even handle a friend sending me a link to the voting website with the caption, “Thanks for the great time last night at 1020! Do you mind…” I didn’t even really mind the people taking candidate pictures, smiling sweetly on Low, or physically pulling people in with a cute puppy and then accosting them with a pitch. But this was unacceptable. It was becoming all too unbearable.

I’ll set the scene for you. It’s a Thursday night and I am tired. Dead tired, in my bones tired. Too tired to even walk to my room on 113 from Hamilton to take my nap. Knowing a friend is downtown, and that her door is rarely locked, I wearily turn from Hamilton to Hartley. I relish in the thought that this solution is perfect. Plus, unlike mine, her room smells really nice and doesn’t have a dish of crusted up EasyMac on the desk.

I’m snuggled up to her felt pillow, enjoying the scent of her perfume (this is not as erotic as it sounds) and trying to ignore the scent of the loudest weed possible (regrettably, it was 4/20), when I hear the sound of my friend’s RA approaching. I don’t think much of it. Then I hear her begin to knock on someone’s door. It, luckily, is not mine. But it is right next door. She introduces her friend, who is running for CCSC election. He proceeds to step into the room and give his spiel. More shockingly, at the end of it, he asks that those present take out their phones and vote for him. He stays and watches them until they do it.

Now, there are numerous problems involved in this situation. Firstly, what is the point of a ‘democratic’ election if those who vote are coerced? But secondly, why does CCSC have to invade everything, even my nap. People of Columbia, we should not be forced to quickly put out a joint or hide some bottles in fear of CCSC candidates (replete with RA!) bursting into our rooms and forcing us to vote. It is simply not right. And it interrupted my blessed nap.

Image via YourCCSC

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

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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

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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

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