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Jun

19

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Junzi is jamming

Junzi Kitchen, MoHi’s latest spot for fast casual food, had a soft opening last week. We sent Senior Staffer Sarah Dahl to check out Junzi’s Northern Chinese cuisine. The restaurant is having its official grand opening today (Monday), and also opened a New Haven location near Yale’s campus in October, 2015 (Columbia’s is obviously better!).

I’ve been eyeing Junzi’s windows all semester, waiting eagerly for it to open – and it didn’t disappoint. Junzi Kitchen offers a unique spin on fast casual dining. Different from other campus spots such as Sweetgreen, Dig Inn, or the Westside salad bar; Junzi serves up make-your-own noodle and bing dishes in Northern Chinese style. Bing is a type of wheat dough unique to Northern China, where it’s difficult to grow rice. Bing noodles and rolls (chun bing) are the bedrock of traditional food in Northern China, where Junzi’s founders are from.

Typical Chinese food in New York, and around the US in general, includes rice, different from the bing-only Northern Chinese style. Northern Chinese food also tends to be less spicy and somewhat lighter, according to several members of Junzi’s PR team with whom I spoke.

So how was the meal?

May

8

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“It’s not a graph, it’s a compass!” A typical Gadfly meeting.

Did you read about the gadfly in Plato’s Apology? Do you know the term just because you are hip? Or are you lost af? Whichever defines you, Bwog has a novel answer: become a PART of The Gadfly, a.k.a., Columbia’s undergraduate Philosophy journal, thanks to its recent revamp. Senior staffer (and Gadflyer) Sarah Dahl has the scoop.

The Gadfly is Columbia’s best new club, not only because it offers a welcoming and approachable community of young intellectuals, but also because you can see your work published, online, and soon in print.

Gadfly meetings regularly occur on Sunday nights somewhere in Kent, accompanied by Tostitos lime chips and, occasionally, wine (shhhh). Meetings are a mishmash of philosophical discussion and the nuts-and-bolts of gathering, editing, and publishing articles. Because the club/journal was so recently revived after a lengthy hiatus, current editors had to create an entire new website, as well as business model.

Editor-in-Chief Becky Novik (BC ’19) decided to revamp the journal early this year. “I just got into philosophy as a major and I wanted to see if there was any sort of outlet on campus for philosophy–be it writing or whatever” she said. “I naturally checked for a publication, and found a then-not-so-alive Gadfly magazine, and contacted their editors to ask how to get involved. They told me any which way I liked, since there wasn’t much of a publication at the time. So I made it my focus this year to revive the publication/club, reestablish connection with the philosophy department/school, and gather people who were interested.”

More Gadflying after the jump

Mar

30

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The weather this week has reflected our mood…

Midterms are almost done, but you’re probably feeling even more done. As a little motivation to get you through the final stretch, Bwogger Sarah Dahl has a playlist to conquer your midterm blues. 

This playlist doesn’t actually contain any blues songs because I don’t feel qualified to recommend blues songs. Instead, it’s a mix of slow/sadgirl softrock and some more inspiring/hopeful ballads, plus Big Sean. You can get through midterms, you just have to believe.

  1. Fifteen, Goldroom ft. Chela- I shazamed this song when I heard it at the hotel pool over break, and it’s kind of a jam. Plus, don’t midterms lowkey-highkey feel like being 15 again (or worse??)?
  2. Cool Blue, Japanese House- You can at least imagine/simulate that you are calm with this one.
  3. HELP, The Front Bottoms- Because you need it.
  4. Constant Headache, Joyce Manor- If you haven’t had a constant headache this week, can you tell me what you’re eating/taking? Thanks.
  5. Fool, Frankie Cosmos- No better time than midterms to question your major…
  6. Fast Car, Tracy Chapman- …or wish  you had a fast car to get tf out of the city.
  7. So Good at Being in Trouble, Unknown Mortal Orchestra- A favorite of Bwog EIC Amara Banks.
  8. Always on My Mind, Marbert Rocel- There’s gotta be something on your mind besides your studies. (Another song I shazamed at the hotel. That playlist was on fire).
  9. Pure Comedy, Father John Misty- Donald Trump, or your life?
  10. LES, Childish  Gambino- Lower East Side (NYU). Wishing you were there.
  11. Twin Peaks Theme – Instrumental, Angelo Badalamenti- This is kind of a classic. And super sad. Without words.
  12. Avril 14th, Aphex Twin- Another wordless song, because we needed some Aphex Twin on this playlist.
  13. Liability, Lorde- If you haven’t heard it yet, the new Lorde song is really depressing and also really good.
  14. Big Beautiful Day, PWR BTTM- This banger from their new album will get you back on a positive track!
  15. Bounce Back, Big Sean- You may have taken some Ls, but you will bounce back (especially with this playlist).

Dreariness on College Walk via Bwog’s Instagram

Mar

27

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No Red Tape!

Campus group No Red Tape (NRT) is hosting a Survivors Week of events, talks, and performances aimed “to raise awareness about the issues faced by survivors of sexual and dating violence both on and off campus.”

Highlights include: today (Monday’s) 8-10 pm talk with Professor Christia Mercer on justice and incarcerated survivors. The event is in Schermerhorn Extension 754.

On Tuesday 8-10 pm, there will be a screening of the V-Day performance Acces|Ability in Hamilton 603.

Friday 2-5 pm there will be a Title IX rally on Low Steps.

Check out the whole list of events on the Facebook page, and invite your friends!

Photo via NRT/Facebook 

Mar

24

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Charles Murray in a tie.

Author and American Enterprise Institute (AEI) scholar Charles Murray, widely criticized for racist views voiced in his book The Bell Curve, was shouted down by protesters at Middlebury in early March. Murray came to speak at Columbia last night without a hitch, despite a number of protesters outside Lerner. The event, hosted by the AEI Council at Columbia and co-sponsored by the Columbia College Republicans and Columbia Political Union, addressed whether elites are to blame for the rise of Donald Trump, and discussed his book Coming Apart. We sent senior staffer Sarah Dahl to report. 

Murray’s campus speaking engagement raises vital questions about free speech and the role of universities in promoting–or stifling–robust debate. Does Murray, who has espoused racist views, deserve an elevated platform to speak at Columbia? Does he deserve to be shouted down and turned away, as he was at Middlebury? Deserve is a difficult word, and not useful here, in my opinion.

Murray’s thoughts under the jump.

Feb

18

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A tasty scanned recipe

It’s nice when you can bake something sweet that also seems mildly healthy. It’s even better when you don’t have to pay (directly) for some of the ingredients! With a few Ferris bananas (thanks @CU Dining!) senior staffer Sarah Dahl cooked up some delicious banana bread.

My mom has a go-to banana bread recipe, which she scanned and sent to me (it now resides in my Dropbox for anytime access). It’s actually a food.com recipe from 2007 (why did my mom scan her printed copy instead of sending me the link? idk). But it seems like a family heirloom. In fact, the food.com description explains, “Got this recipe years ago from my friend Rachel. We used to beg her to make this for us in college!” Thanks, food dot com.

I’m a stand-in for Rachel, and my suitemates love this bread. Here it is:

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 eggs
  • One and 3/4 cups flour
  • One and 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4-1/2 cup walnuts (optional)

Directions

  1. Combine the oil, eggs, sugar, milk, vanilla, and mashed bananas.
  2. Add the baking soda and flour.
  3. Mix well for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake in a preheated 325 degree F oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes. (My suite’s oven is ridiculously hot and baked it in like 30 minutes so be careful).

Recipe courtesy Lilikari23 and Food.com, scanned paper courtesy Sarah’s mom

Banana bread featured image via jules from Wikipedia

Feb

16

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Students protesting outside Barnard in 1974

What’s the deal with Barnard’s contingent faculty? What is contingent faculty? What was the strike threat all about? Bwog staffer Sarah Dahl got a chance to hear from one of the union organizers last night, and is here to write about it. The following reflects her own opinions.

“The College has consistently maneuvered legal delays and stalled negotiations to prevent the workers from achieving a decent contract…we are striking because we want the rights that are basic to the dignity of working people.”

This language comes from a 1974 pamphlet distributed by Barnard’s clerical workers. Secretaries and administrative assistants unionized, went on strike, and eventually gained a livable contract through their relentlessness.

The benefits they asked for, and the dismissive attitude of the college don’t sound all that different from today’s negotiations between Barnard’s union of adjunct faculty and the administration.

The contingent faculty union BCF UAW-2110 had been asking for new benefits for over a year, with little budge from the administration–until now, when the union prepared to go on strike. Late last night, after days of intense negotiation, they finalized a new contract.

Before that contract was decided last night, I got to attend a Student Worker Solidarity (SWS)-organized event in Barnard’s 616 lounge, where I learned about the history of worker’s rights at Barnard, as well as some of the finer points of today’s negotiations, from professor/union organizer Sonam Singh. Singh has been a contingent faculty member in the English department at Barnard for five years, and he teaches first year English. Many contingent faculty teach core Barnard classes like these, as well as courses in the college’s renowned dance program, architecture department, and others. Almost two-thirds of Barnard’s faculty are non-tenure-track. The majority of them are women.

Contingent faculty unionized in early fall of 2015, and the college took four months to even begin negotiating. During that time, they hired well-known union-busting law firm Jackson Lewis.

Without a new contract, non-tenure track professors have no job security, work for extremely low salaries, and lack decent benefits, like healthcare and maternity leave. Many of these employees teach without a contract, unsure if they’ll be rehired from one semester to the next.

What is happening?

Feb

13

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Famous people in the Diana Event Oval

Yesterday evening, Gloria Steinem and a host of other activists came to Barnard to participate in a panel on making change in the wake of the Women’s March on Washington. The event was part of the Athena Film Festival, and preceded a screening of the film Dolores.

I was beyond excited to hear Gloria Steinem speak yesterday, but the real treat was hearing from the other activists present. Sunday evening’s panel included labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, Women’s March organizers Carmen Perez and Paola Mendoza, writer Jamia Wilson, and two Barnard students, Camila Puig Ibarra and Naomi Tewodros (both ’17).

The panel was refreshing it its willingness to tackle contentious issues and engage in self-criticism. The March organizers talked about the important discussion of intersectionality that spawned from the Women’s March. Carmen said she saw it as a catalyst that ignited a spark for change and activism. She and Paola continue to fight the fight, along with many others. Just prior to the panel, the two had met with leaders in Silicon Valley to discuss activism in the tech sector.

Dolores brought up an issue close to home–that of the Barnard’s contingent faculty union’s tireless efforts to gain better benefits and pay, and the uncompromising stance of the administration. With the February 21 strike imminent, Dolores spoke of the necessity to support and fight alongside our adjunct professors.

See what else she had to say!

Jan

26

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Barnard students stand with protesters in front of Bikers for Trump sign in Washington, D.C.

Columbia and Barnard students hit the streets in both NYC and Washington to protest Trump on Saturday, January 21. We sent senior staffer Sarah Dahl to our nation’s capital get the scoop on why students attended the Women’s March there, what they thought of it, and what their goals are looking forward.

Though New York had it’s own sizable protest last Saturday, campus organizations made preparations to send students to D.C. Barnard’s Athena Center ordered three buses, and at Columbia, Beyond The Box chartered a bus. Leading up to the march, Barnard Res Life hosted two separate poster-making events in dorm lounges, and Teacher’s College held a poster-making party.

The chartered buses were accessible, as they left directly from campus, and feasible, as they departed early Saturday morning and returned late Saturday night, negating the need for overnight accommodations.

Momo Arbeit BC ’19 said that the buses were a large factor in her decision to go to D.C. “Barnard was offering a really attractive deal,” she said, adding,  “Also I’d never been to a protest outside of New York.”

Students cited a desire for solidarity and sense of purpose as main reasons for attending.

“I wanted to support everyone who came out,” Momo said.

“It was great to be with my family, and march for what I believe in,not just because it’s historical, but because I felt like I needed my values to be shown. I don’t approve of Trump’s policies, and I’m one of the many that don’t,” Marie Sgouros BC ’19 said, who attended with her mom, aunts, and a friend.

Grace Mueller BC ’19 agreed, “I definitely wanted to show solidarity and make our voices heard.”

Students did have criticisms of the march.

Kelsey Smith BC ’19 said, “It was a very general march. With past marches on Washington, like the Civil Rights march, there were very clear objectives.”

Marie said, “This may not be directly the organizers’ fault, but I felt like there weren’t enough people of color at the march. I think there’s going to need to be more of a discussion about how we get diversity out to these types of marches.”

Grace added, “There was a lot of white feminism, and kind of exclusive signs focusing on anatomy that’s not inclusive of trans women. Also signs saying ‘tiny hands can’t build a wall’–I know that’s an emotionally appealing thing to say, but I think there’s so much truth to simple facts–that Trump wants to have an alternative reality. One of the most powerful signs I saw was, ‘the president of the United States has sexually assaulted women.'”

What happens next?

Dec

8

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The sun came out tomorrow for protestors at Standing Rock.

The sun came out tomorrow for protesters at Standing Rock.

After months of major, peaceful protests by indigenous peoples against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) through the Standing Rock Sioux reservation water supply, the pipeline will been diverted. What does this mean, and what are conditions like in and around Standing Rock? Senior staffer Sarah Dahl recently caught up with Barnard sophomore Jessie Lee Rubin who, along with fellow students Yasmeen Abdel Majeed, Maggie Anderson, and Rachel Culp, just got back from the camp. For more information, here is a statement from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

How did you get there? We flew very early on Thanksgiving Day out of Newark to Bismarck (with really cheap student tickets) and then got a ride to the camp. We were there for about six days.

What made you decide to go? We really only wanted to go if we felt like we could give more by going than we were taking. Because of this, we raised about $800 (through Facebook statuses) before we went. [All this money went to the camp; the students paid for their plane tickets and borrowed their own supplies]. We were able to order a good number of supplies (including a windmill) from the organizers’ wish list, in addition to the volunteering we did once we got there.

What were living conditions like at the camp? We stayed in a tent, surrounded by thousands of other supporters. (I heard that at its peak, there were about 10,000 people there!) The first night we spent at Sacred Stone camp, and the rest of the time we spent at Oceti Sakowin. We had to bring multiple sleeping bags each because it was so cold, we would wake up in the morning with our sleeping bags covered in frost! No joke–I wore five pairs of socks to bed every night. We mostly brought our own food, even though the camps have communal mess halls, because we didn’t want to use up resources if we didn’t have to. While we were there, we attended a great talk on decolonization; the speaker argued that white allies’ entitlement to resources such as food and firewood at Standing Rock was a form of colonial violence. I tried to organize my stay around avoiding, if not combating, this dynamic as much as I could–using as few of their resources as I possible, and centering my trip on helping in whatever way was requested of me.

Who did they meet? How can you help?

Oct

28

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tfw ur about to go on an ~adventure~ on the elevator!

tfw ur about to go on an ~adventure~ on the elevator!

Every now and then, you have one of those days where you accidentally press the wrong button in the elevator, and wind up on a different floor… or… planet. Bwogger Sarah Dahl is here to tell you all about it.

It’s one of those days. Mid-September. It feels like it should still be summer, mostly because of the weather, but also because you aren’t f**ing prepared for all the reading that’s suddenly piled up. Couldn’t teachers have sent out syllabi over the summer so you could’ve gotten ahead when you had all that free time?

Whatever. This is a world that doesn’t make sense. But it’s about to get a whole lot weirder…

You stroll down 116th Street. It’s Thursday, 6 pm, and you’re sober. Classes are done for the week, and you’re looking ahead to a nice three-day stretch of semi-relaxation and reading in the Law Library.

You walk into your dorm, flash your ID, and pop into the elevator. It goes up. You get out. You walk down the hall. You open the door to your suite. It’s not your suite. Wait… this is the fifth floor, right? You hastily back out of the door to check… but the ugly linoleum-tiled hallway is gone. In its place is a seemingly endless mahogany-paneled corridor. What the fuck? I don’t live in Hartley, you think. What kind of sick joke… Whose RA would cover their bulletin boards in fake wood? Where are the alcohol awareness signs?

So where are you?

Oct

15

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Beauty and truth

Why leave campus, or even your dorm, to go to a gallery, when you could have an art exhibit in your own bedroom? Metro fare and energy aren’t required to revel in the beauty of Bianca Rico’s (BC ’19) 3D art installation vivifying her 600 double. Senior Staffer Sarah Dahl has the scoop.

Bianca has always been interested in art, she says, and plans to major in Art History with a visual arts concentration. She’s currently an art intern at the Hearst Design Group, working on the magazines Elle Décor, House Beautiful, and Veranda.

This summer, in addition to working full-time at a summer camp and taking online classes, Bianca envisioned her installation, which compiles a multitude of materials and themes.

She explains, “The big wall behind my bed and desk is covered with xeroxes of my paintings (which are sumi ink and coffee/mixed media on watercolor paper), and the two walls that border it provide color to the room. An assortment of objects that I picked up over the summer (Washi paper, an inflatable Christmas tree, a plastic mask, medical gloves, paper dolls, excerpts from the New Yorker) adorn these walls.”

Pretty dope, right? The piece is also lit up with Christmas tree lights for the special visitor.

Bianca painted a lot this summer, and says she “realized that if I continued to produce images, then I might have enough to transform my bedroom into an alternative kind of sleeping space.”

What inspired the artist?

Oct

6

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Lizzie Skurnick and DSpar

The Bitch is Back: Older, Wiser, and (Getting) Happier, edited by Cathi Hanauer, deals with the crises of middle age for women. It’s the sequel to her first book, The Bitch in the House: 26 Women Tell the Truth About Sex, Solitude, Work, Motherhood, and Marriage. Last night, a group of authors including Barnard’s very own Debora Spar, read excerpts of their pieces in the book. The reading, held in the Diana Event Oval, also hosted an unexpected protest by students who stood up during DSpar’s piece on botox, asking her to consider and stand up for heavier issues, like POC rights. We sent senior staffer Sarah Dahl to hear it all.

I was first shocked, walking into the Event Oval, by the sparse audience. I’d expected a large crowd for the big-ticket names. The last time I’d been in the Oval was to shop Michael Miller’s Intro to American Politics, and there’d been over 300 of us. Now, I was sitting among a small crowd of mainly middle-aged women. I pulled out a camisole I needed to sew as Cathi Hanauer took the stage.

Hanauer wittily recounted her first pregnancy and its trying aftermath: illness, a housekeeping-inept husband (current editor of the Times’ “Modern Love” column), lack of maternity leave. It sounded horrible. Hanauer said as much. Relating these troubles to her wider circle of friends at the time, she said, “we found that feminism had failed us. We needed wives.” The audience laughed. These struggles formed the basis for her first book, The Bitch in the House.

Now, Hanauer is happier (or getting there?), and she’s compiled a new collection of cohort anecdotes in The Bitch is Back.

I can’t relate to either of these books. And I found I couldn’t appreciate the excerpts’ relative flatness, either.

Was the panel any more enlightening?

Sep

29

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MLK is bae

MLK is bae

Freedom Summer, a push from civil rights organizations to increase voter registration in Mississippi, confronted incredible hatred and violence from the KKK and police. The movement happened over 50 years ago, but the School of Social Work hosted an event last night in Low Rotunda to make sure we never forget the struggle for voting rights, and the importance that fight holds today, in perhaps the most volatile election in American history. Senior Staffer Sarah Dahl was there to get the full scoop.

I had a loose knowledge of Freedom Summer going into this event, and an even more loosely evidenced, though rock-solid, belief in the necessity to vote. I came away, as one of the speakers, Jerry Vattamala, put it,”a little bit disturbed, a little bit upset, but determined to do something,” about voting rights.

The night featured diverse characters–activists, members of academia, administrators, lawyers, and even a reverend. The audience make-up was diverse as well–some students, a lot of older people, a dad with his son. The majority were people of color. A sign language interpreter made the evening accessible to the deaf.

The first few presenters spoke somewhat monotonously and tediously–delivering true words, to be sure, but nothing I hadn’t heard before: exercise your right to vote, Trump is a demagogue, institutional white supremacy still exists. I grew distracted by the way voices reverberate around Low Rotunda (it’s really a terrible place to host events).

When did the event become inspiring?

Sep

7

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Me last year "shopping" for coats

Me last year “shopping” for coats

Even though school has been in session for a couple of days, there are some things that we still aren’t certain of—which meal plan we would actually benefit from,  which clubs we will actually be active in, and even which classes we’re actually going to take. Most of our schedules are loaded with classes, some we know damn well that we’re not going to take. Bwogger Sarah defends this habit, disagreeing with Ross’s post supporting the idea of committing to your schedule from day one.

What’s so morally wrong about shopping for classes?

Almost every university/college has a “shopping” period. Some even tout the concept in their guidebooks for prospective students. “Shopping week” is the best time of my life.

It’s a time to try things out. See if you like a professor. See if you like a syllabus. See if there are any cuties in the class.

I purchased eight potential winter coats last semester from macys.com, all with free shipping and free returns. From the pictures online I couldn’t tell which would fit the best. I needed to try them on. Local stores didn’t have all of them. Was it wrong to order eight coats? The shipping hurt the environment, and created one more heavy box for the handlers to carry (and Barnard Mail Room to deal with). The inventory on the coats temporarily sank, potentially robbing a customer of a specific style or size (but if they “watched” the coat online, they’d be able to see when it was back in stock). Ordering those coats was essential for me to figure out which one fit the best, felt the warmest, and looked the stylish. Now, if I were a Platonian I wouldn’t care so much about material items, but I do. All things considered, I don’t think it was that wrong to order these eight coats. Selfish, but not wrong.

Shopping for classes is similar. The concept centers on what you want and what most helps you. Which is kind of like, college in general. It seems natural to shop for classes, and it’s one of the few things Columbia makes *relatively* easy (even though they’re apparently getting rid of Courseworks next semester).

So, shopping may be inherently selfish, but is it inherently wrong? No. We do lots of things that are inherently selfish. Plus, we (/our parents/kind bank that gave us a loan) are paying so much money to be here, we might as well make the most of it. And that means shopping for classes. So we can get the best one.

Good luck, friends! Keep adding, dropping, and praying. If you don’t get what you want, there’s always next semester…be sure to get to your computer early.

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