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Apr

20

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24/7 Columbia has shared a letter of support of their demands for accessible, in-person healthcare, signed by 140 members of the faculty from almost every department at Columbia, Barnard, and several  graduate schools. Among the professors who signed on are University Professor Gayatri Spivak and History Professor Mae Ngai. In the letter, faculty agree that 24/7 healthcare is a crucial part of an equitable learning environment.

The letter states that faculty “join students in asking for 24/7, in-person, unrestricted health care, including counseling, trauma support, and medical services, for all members of the Columbia community.” It further emphasizes the importance of a zero-tolerance policy for gender-based misconduct, and that staff be “adequately trained in cultural competency.” Such policy changes are necessary, these faculty members argue, because, “if the University wants to fully achieve its mission of advancing knowledge and learning at the highest level and conveying the products of its efforts to the world,”  it must invest in 24/7 healthcare.

The faculty letter accompanies the release of a petition advocating for 24/7 Columbia’s demands for free, around-the-clock healthcare free from policing. The petition, which has over 100 signatures, explains that “adequate healthcare is a necessary part of a safe and equitable learning environment,” and advocates students, members of the Columbia community, and other supporters to sign on.

Both the faculty letter of support and the petition are released as the first full day of the group’s sit-in in Lerner comes to a close. Members of the group are sitting in the building until their demands are met to protest the lack of these healthcare services and advocate that administrators provide them. Members of the group have received an email from EVP Suzanne Goldberg earlier today thanking them for their “commitment to student well-being at Columbia” and noting that though the group has already met with representatives from Columbia Health, that they are welcome to speak with Professor Goldberg further to continue negotiations.

Bwog will continue to update as the sit-in continues and the situation progresses.

Read the full letter after the jump

Apr

10

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Mercury in retro-gayde

It was finally time.

I took a deep breath and prepared myself.

“Mom, listen. I know you might have suspected this already, but I need to tell you something. It’s been put off for too long.” I started.

She nodded.

“Mom, I’m… an astrologer.”

So began the conversation in which I came out as into astrology. Oh, you thought I was going to say gay? No, my mom has known that for years, and so does anyone who spends more than five minutes with me. But both are part of why I have been so excited for Barnard Student Life’s Queer Astrology event on Monday.

The event was originally scheduled to occur over a month ago, but was postponed due to snow. Then, the new date was postponed again to a second snow day. Considering the fact that I had been planning on meeting my soulmate at this event, I couldn’t help but wonder whether it just wasn’t written in the stars, so to speak. But Mother Nature is probably queer, right? I was sure it was just because she knew that bringing a bunch of queer people together to talk about astrology would just be too powerful.

The snow finally lets up ahead

Mar

24

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Unanswered question: Why do the gym and the arts building have the same name?

Columbia is a confusing place. Despite the relatively small size of its campus, it’s still much larger than Barnard’s, with way more buildings named after now dead rich white men. As a Barnard first-year, I haven’t had all that much reason to spend a lot of time at Columbia other than at the dining halls and EC parties, and I try to cross Broadway to that side as little as possible. Thus, now, even in the second semester, I find myself texting group chats “Where’s Wien again?” and “How do I get to Schermerhorn?” So, with the help of some Columbia Bwoggers, here’s a convenient explanation of Columbia’s campus for Barnard students who try to go there as little as possible – for the times when you have no other choice.

Wien: Looking at the entrance of EC, fondly thinking back on the hours you’ve spent waiting to get signed in there, look to the right and take the dark and mysterious stairway down. Turn around when you get down and you’ll be in the Wien Courtyard. Rumor has it that sophomores who enter Wien never come out until junior year.

Schermerhorn: First of all, why is it spelled like that? How on earth do you pronounce it? Milbank would never do that to us. Anyway, begin your journey there on Low Steps. Go up and to the right, and look for the big chapel under construction. With the chapel on your right, go straight and look for the quad (no, not the home for Barnard first-years you miss so much). On the North (uptown) end of the quad is Schermerhorn. To get to Schermerhorn extension, because apparently one wasn’t enough, enter the building and go towards the elevators, then turn right and follow the hallway.

Mathematics: Again, a bad name for a building, whether or not you like math. Anyway, leaving Barnard Hall with sadness in your heart, cross the street to the 117th gates and go up the stairs. Take a left, and Mathematics is the building on your left. Enter and make sure to take a seat by the window to look longingly back at your home.

More directions after the jump!

Mar

22

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The sign reads “SORRY WE ARE CLOSED”

Morning To Midnight, more commonly known as M2M, is closing its location in Morningside Heights.

According to an employee, this installation is moving downtown because the company’s lease for their space, at Broadway and 115th Street, ran out. Employees were unable to tell us where exactly they are moving or how soon this move will take place. There is already one location of M2M on Waverly Place, near NYU.

Around 6 pm today, all of M2M’s large equipment, including shelving, stock, and refrigerators was seen being moved onto the sidewalk on Broadway, some of it into trucks. Their stock was moved out of the building, and they were not allowing anyone inside. This is a new development, as they were functioning normally as of this past Tuesday.

We will update this post as more information becomes available.

RIP M2M via Lucy Danger

Mar

19

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Don’t let your toxic masculinity get in your way of clear skin!

Skincare is important for everyone, including guys. But many skincare blogs and websites, while claiming to be gender-neutral, are aimed at a mostly female audience. Fear not! Bwogger Lucy Danger is here to explain some basic and essential skincare tips in a relatable way.

Regimens
When you go to Dodge, no matter why you’re there, you have to follow a routine of different exercises. This can include different activities like stretching, warmups, weight training, or cardio. Skincare is just like that! It can include different products and routines that are all meant to do different things. A proper skincare regimen can change depending on what you want to focus on, like when you have a big game and don’t want to let down the team (even though everyone always said Columbia sports suck), so you want to prepare by doing extra cardio. Here I’ll outline some of the best skincare exercises no matter what sport you’re playing.

Cleansers
Nice cars are awesome, even though nobody drives anywhere at this school. But all the oil and dirt from cars being driven around all the time can make a Maserati look like your mom’s station wagon. It’s the same with your face. Just like taking care of a car, the first step to any skincare routine is always cleansing. You can’t put sick flames on the side of a sports car until it’s nice and clean, and you can’t use targeted products or makeup on a dirty face. A good cleanser to start out with should be gentle but all-purpose. Like with a car, you don’t want a cleanser that will strip the paint, but make sure it’s strong enough to actually remove the excess oil and stuff that doesn’t belong on your face. You should wash your face twice a day, morning and night. And make sure you have a separate towel for your face than the one you use for your body, just like you and a NASCAR driver wouldn’t share the same tires.

More skincare tips after the jump!

Mar

7

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Alma, surveying her snowy kingdom

If you were up until 3 am in Butler crossing your fingers for a snow day so that you wouldn’t have to take that 8:40 midterm, you were probably disappointed when you woke up to a bare ground. But good news: Barnard and Columbia have now announced that both schools will close at 4 pm today!

In an email sent to Barnard students at 12:40, public safety announced that due to the worsening weather conditions, the school will close at 4 pm and all classes after that time will be canceled. The email encouraged departments to send home all non-essential faculty after 3 pm.

A little after 1 pm, Columbia followed suit. In an email from the Columbia University Emergency Management Team, it was announced that due to the changing conditions, classes on the Morningside and Medical Center campuses after 4 pm are canceled. They noted that students should check in with their professors to see whether their classes will be held virtually.

While classes are canceled and other school and department operations are closing, the dining halls will remain open according to their normal schedule.

The emails from Barnard and Columbia can be read in full below. Advice from Bwog: take a study break and go play in the snow!

Update, 2:10 pm: Join us in celebrating the class cancellation with Bwog’s third annual snowball fight on Low steps! The fight will start at 4 pm and go until dusk. Or, whenever our arms get too tired to keep going.

Full emails after the jump!

Feb

24

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When virtual reality is happier than actual reality

Can virtual reality distract us from the actual reality of midterms? Bwogger Lucy Danger attended the Athena Film Festival’s first of two virtual reality experiences to find out. The Athena Film Festival is happening now through 2/25 at Barnard. Check our announcement post for some of the highlights, and look out for more Bwog reviews of various screenings and events. 

I know virtual reality was all the rage a few years ago, but I had never experienced it previous to this, so I didn’t really know what to expect. When I walked into Altschul Atrium where Athena volunteers were setting up, I saw a few people sitting on stools wearing futuristic-looking headsets and big headphones, from time to time looking around – basically what I imagine a Black Mirror casting to look like. “Am I going to look that aimless and out of it?” I wondered.

The event was going on from 12 to 5 pm, and all the equipment was in use when I arrived, so I signed a waiting list and decided which film to watch. They were offering four short documentary-style films: “Testimony,” “Under the Net,” “Look But With Love: A Story of Women,” and “Look But With Love: A Story of Dance.” I was able to watch all but Under the Net. Falling in line with Athena’s tenets, all the films featured women. They also seemed to come from somewhat of an activist perspective.

The volunteer sat me down on a stool and showed me how to work the device. The first one I used had a small remote control with a touchpad used to navigate directionally within the film. “It’s basically just holding a phone screen really close to your face,” she explained. “So how is it different from when I’m checking Twitter in the morning before I put my contacts in?” I thought to myself.

More after the jump

Feb

22

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Now you don’t have to leave the Columbia Bubble to see some great movies!

The Barnard-hosted Athena film festival is back this weekend for its 8th year in a row! The festival features the work of women in the film and media industry and highlights those who have helped to increase representation of women in film. Below are some of the highlights and activities most which to look forward.

• Thursday 2/22, 4:00 pm at the Diana Event Oval: The first event is a premiere of the new season of Lifetime show UnREAL, followed by a discussion with cast and crew.
• Thursday 2/22, 7:00 pm at Diana Event Oval: The opening night film screening is Battle of the Sexes, featuring a post-screening conversation with film subject Billie Jean King.
• Friday 2/23, 6:00 pm at Lehman Auditorium: Screening of Chavela, which follows the story of Chavela Vargas, beloved Mexican performer.
• Friday 2/23, 9:00 pm at Miller Theatre: A natural choice for a Barnard film festival, of course, is the screening of Lady Bird – directed by now Oscar-nominated Barnard alumna Greta Gerwig.
• Saturday 2/24, 12:00 pm at Altschul Atrium: The festival this year is featuring two virtual reality experiences – come through to see three short virtual reality programs.
• Saturday 2/24, 4:00 pm in the James Room: A panel called Female Gaze, continuing the conversation about increasing female storytellers in Hollywood.
• Saturday 2/24, 6:00 pm at Diana Event Oval: The centerpiece film is MANKILLER, following the life of Wilma Mankiller, “a community organizer-turned-political leader who defied all odds to make a difference for her people.”
• Sunday 2/25, 12:00 pm at Minor Latham Playhouse: A free screening of Moana! Tickets are free, but RSVP is required.
• Sunday 2/25, 6:00 pm at Diana Event Oval: Closing Night Screening of The Post.

You can find more information and the entire schedule of events and screenings on the Athena Film Festival’s website. We’ll also be covering quite a few of the screenings, panels, and events, so stay tuned!

a cool logo via Athena Film Festival

Feb

1

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The protest on Low Steps earlier today

Columbia graduate students, undergrads, community members, and students of other New York City schools gathered today on Low Steps to protest Columbia’s decision not to bargain with the Graduate Student Union for a contract and to instead “let the legal process run its course.”

The protesters met at 12 PM and began with chants like “What do we want? / Contract! / When do we want it? / Now! / If we don’t get it / shut it down!”, “What’s disgusting? / Union busting!”, and “The workers / united / will never be defeated!”

From the protest

Around 12:40 PM, the protest turned into a march around Low with some of the same chants. It continues until a little bit before 1:00 PM. At that time two protesters tried to enter Low, but the doors had been locked.

The protest ended with chants of “What’s the next step in this fight? / We’ve got the power to strike, strike, strike!”

Jan

17

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“Do the Lit Hum reading for once.”

“New year, new me” – Every Instagram caption for the month of January. New Year’s resolutions are an amazing chance to turn over a new leaf–and students aren’t the only ones who are committing to a few this year! Our favorite campus buildings are getting in on the fun by deciding to leave a few things in 2017. The most-mentioned? Less throw-up and faster elevators.

• Milstein: Be finished.
• Carman: Don’t fall apart. And no more getting thrown up in.
• Diana: Be nicer to men.
• Lerner: No more getting caught in the middle of rowdy protests. Too stressful, especially for a building with so much glass.
• EC: Drink less alcohol.
• Ruggles: Quit smoking.
• John Jay: Leave me out of your terrible Spec op-eds. Unrelated: also get faster elevators.
• The Quad: Grow at least two sizes.
• Hamilton: Do the Lit Hum reading for once.
• Butler: Spend less time on Facebook.

Hamilton Hall via Bwog Archives

Nov

10

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This is like the second image for CAVA on Google.

Being CAVA’d can change a person. That trip to the hospital, whether the CAVA victim remembers it or not, does something to the mind, telling you that the choices you’ve made are seriously dangerous. The worst walk of shame you’ll ever take part in, from St. Luke’s back to campus, remains burned in the memory forever. That’s why Bwog is here to help delineate the best steps to take post-CAVA to both reintegrate back into society normally and clean up your life with as little embarrassment as possible.

Short-term

  1. Call Public Safety to bring you back to campus. You’re too weak/hungover to make it back by yourself, but your friends have already helped you through enough–they deserve a break. So, make that fated call and suffer through the awkward ride back. You can do it, St. Luke’s isn’t that far.
  2. Use your roommate’s makeup remover wipes. To hell with skincare, you might say–but you’ll thank yourself when you wake up without eyeliner smeared all over your pillow. And while they’re not the best for the environment, makeup wipes are by FAR the most convenient option for you right now.
  3. Sleep. It won’t make the pain go away, but it will begin to make your body forgive you for the choices you made.
  4. Eat something. As unappetizing as Ferris pasta sounds right now, it’s the best thing you can do for your body to fill it up with something besides alcohol.
  5. Go redeem yourself to the RA on duty who was called when the front desk guard saw you come in stumbling. They don’t get paid enough for this.

Long-term

  1. Buy a LOT of thank-you cards. Your friends watched you at your worst. You might not remember it, but the image of them holding a trash can while you threw up is burned in their mind.
  2. Catch up on the work you skipped to go to that frat party. The essay is still due Monday morning, even if you slept all of Sunday.
  3. STOP. DRINKING. Seems obvious given how even the smell of alcohol is probably repulsive to you now, but an important one. Even if it’s just a couple weeks. You won’t believe how much more productive you become when you’re not going out every weekend!

Oct

18

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Students of Columbia who walked in on Suzanne Goldberg’s class earlier this month to protest received a disciplinary email Monday from a member of the faculty named Melissa Begg. In the email, the students were told they must attend a meeting with Ms. Begg in her role as “temporary rules administrator.” Students are under threat of a possible “simple” rules violation, which could entail punishments such as public reprimand.

The students who received this email are requesting that the allegations “be immediately dismissed and expunged” on the grounds that the statute of limitations for disciplining them for a Rules of Conduct violation, which is 5 days, has passed. In a response to the email they received, one student called initiating an investigation after the statute of limitations has passed “a clear violation of Columbia’s policies” and said that to do so “deprives [the students] of our right to a prompt investigation within the time frame Columbia provides.”

The administration is arguing that they are allowed to go beyond the statute of limitations due to Professor and EVP Goldberg’s conflict of interest: as the University Rules of Conduct Administrator for Columbia, she would normally be the person to begin investigations regarding possible rules violations. However, because she is also Executive Vice President of University Life, under which she handles Title IX-related claims, and because it was her class that the protest occurred in, the administration is arguing that the statute of limitations does not apply because they needed extra time to find an alternate administrator to send the disciplinary email. Despite the fact that the administration themselves failed to address this conflict previously by hiring someone new for one of the positions, it seems they will continue to make this argument.

Details, context, what’s next

Oct

16

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Some students who participated in the protest last week at Lerner are being threatened by members of Columbia administration with possible disciplinary action such as expulsion and suspension. The students were protesting Columbia University College Republicans’ event for which they hosted British speaker Tommy Robinson. Robinson is known for his fascist and white supremacist ideologies and past, which sparked protest by hundreds of students on campus. The students under the threat are some of those who entered the auditorium where the event was taking place.

One student shared an email they, along with others, received from Suzanne Goldberg, the Rules Administrator and Executive Vice President of University Life at Columbia on Friday. The email asked the students to schedule a disciplinary hearing on either Monday, October 16th or Tuesday, October 17th. In the email, Goldberg said that she is “beginning an investigation” based on a “complaint regarding your involvement in an interruption of a guest speaker at Columbia on October 10, 2017.”

The students in question are under investigation for possible violation of two of the Rules of University Conduct. One of the rules, Section 443(a) (13), is a “simple” violation. It says that a “person is in violation of these Rules when such person individually or with a group, incident to a demonstration…briefly interrupts a University function.” The second rule, Section 443(a) (14), is relevant when someone “disrupts a University function,” and is considered a “serious” violation. Goldberg did not specify what any possible disciplinary action might look like, but “serious” violations as she referred to carry the possibilities of suspension and expulsion.

A petition has been formed that demands these students receive no disciplinary action from the University. The petition was posted under the name “Students Against White Supremacy,” and is signed “students of Columbia University.” It has not been affiliated with any particular students or student groups, and no student groups have come out as organizations in support of it as of yet.

Update, October 16 2017, 1:13PM

Original email from Suzanne Goldberg

The administration defended its decision to allow the event to occur despite knowing there would be resistance. They argued that free speech should be afforded to all, even those we don’t agree with.

A student who received the email threatening disciplinary action said that “free speech is a human right only until the point where it starts taking away that right from others.” The student, who got a ticket to the event before it happened, felt that “the Columbia Administration, by giving this man a platform to speak and now threatening protesters with disciplinary action, is again denying us this right [free speech].” The protesters who entered the event were planning a silent protest once inside, but quickly some back-and-forth began between the protesters and Robinson.

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