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img March 09, 201811:30 amimg 1 Comments

This school needs a Core class on how to properly ride an elevator.

Bwog Staffer Jake Tibbets is tired of all of you not knowing how to ride elevators with decency and no, he’s not going to write an op-ed about it. 

When, during my senior year of high school, I learned that I had been accepted to what some (i.e., Deantini) may consider to be The Greatest College in the Greatest University in the Greatest City in the World™, I was told by countless peers, educators, and relatives that I would be spending the next four years of my life surrounded by some of the best and brightest students in the world. When I first heard this, I believed it entirely. Upon setting foot in Furnald Hall for the first time during NSOP, however, I quickly realized that not everything was as it seemed. Sure, Columbia University is home to countless high school valedictorians and salutatorians, plenty of National Merit Scholars, masses of award-winning musicians, hordes of top-tier athletes, and (perhaps too) many aspiring entrepreneurs—all of whom are hard-working, resourceful, and intelligent. But underneath the student body’s skilled, accomplished surface, there lies a terrible, terrible problem: almost no one here seems to know how to ride an elevator.


To be clear, I’m not arguing that no one here knows how to use an elevator on a technical level. After all, riding an elevator is a fairly simple process that requires an individual to press one button, enter a metal cage, press another button, wait, and exit the cage. The problem, however, is that far too few people seem to care at all about the unwritten rules about elevator use that underpin interaction and relationships. When people fail to follow these rules, they, whether they know it or not, risk letting society disintegrate entirely. As Bwog’s resident social assassin, I have decided to take it upon myself to write down some of these unwritten rules in order to ensure that riding an elevator at Columbia is an enjoyable-at-best-and-insignificant-at-worst experience and to maintain order and therefore, you know, prevent everything from going to shit.

Rule #1: Let people exit the elevator before you enter. This rule is similar to the unwritten rule that dictates that you allow the car that stopped first at a four-way intersection to go first. People who are coming from the inside of the elevator have the right of way. If you violate this rule, you’re in the wrong, and people will judge you for it. Period.

Rule #2: Don’t use the elevator unless you’re travelling up more than two stories or down more than three stories. It should go without saying, of course, that this rule doesn’t apply for a.) disabled individuals or b.) individuals who happen to be carrying an item that can’t be transported via the stairway. If you don’t belong to either of those two groups, however, consider taking the stairway. By doing so, you’re saving the time of the people using the elevator who actually need to use it and you’re giving them extra space. Besides, every single one of us should seize the opportunity to burn off the caloric equivalent of a JJ’s mozzarella stick when presented with it.

We got more rules, we ‘count em



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img February 28, 20185:31 pmimg 2 Comments

On Tuesday evening, Bwogger Jake Tibbetts made his way to the Maison Française East Gallery to listen to Professor Bernard Harcourt discuss his new book, The Counterrevolution: How Our Government Went to War Against Its Own Citizens, with fellow political theorists Seyla Benhabib of Yale University and Uday Singh Mehta of the City University of New York. The conversation, in which members of the audience were given the opportunity to participate, was a lively one, and though Harcourt’s

Even the cover of Harcourt’s newest book reminds us that the world in which we live has, in many ways, become utterly dystopian.

book outlines a number of uncomfortable truths about politics and civil society in the twenty-first century, he made sure to focus during his talk on the hope offered by movements that seek to resist the logic of counterinsurgency.

Bernard E. Harcourt, Professor of Political Science and Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor of Law, is, in many ways, something of a twenty-first century Renaissance man. In addition to teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels here at Columbia University, Professor Harcourt, who earned both his J.D. and his Ph.D. at Harvard University, serves as Executive Director of the Eric H. Holder Initiative for Human Rights, Founding Director of the Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought, and directeur d’études at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. In his spare time, he is an active defense lawyer, currently representing a number of inmates in Alabama who have been sentenced to death or to life imprisonment without parole. His previous books, including The Illusion of Free Markets: Punishment and the Myth of Natural Order, Occupy: Three Inquiries in Disobedience, and Exposed: Desire and Disobedience in the Digital Age, have all been met with widespread acclaim. Considering the breadth and depth of his work, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Harcourt’s fans—including students, fellow professors, and members of the larger community—completely filled the Maison Française East Gallery in Buell Hall on a Tuesday night in late February in celebration of the launch of Harcourt’s latest book, The Counterrevolution: How Our Government Went to War Against Its Own Citizens.

The book launch, which took the form of a somewhat informal panel discussion followed by a section during which Harcourt answered questions posed to him by audience members, was chaired by Seyla Benhabib, Eugene Meyer Professor of Political Science and Philosophy at Yale University. After introducing Harcourt, Professor Benhabib welcomed Professor Uday Singh Mehta, a Distinguished Professor at City University of New York and Harcourt’s interlocutor on the panel, to the stage. Harcourt first met Mehta, who specializes in the study of the intersection between liberalism and postcolonialism, while the former was an undergraduate student and the latter was a doctoral student at Princeton University, and the two political theorists have remained in close contact ever since. Once introductions wrapped up, Benhabib began to discuss Harcourt’s motivations for writing the book. In the post-9/11 era, we have witnessed the use of torture during the use of CIA detention and interrogation and the expansion of the drone warfare program abroad as well as the instatement and reinstatement of NSA warrantless wiretapping programs, the surveillance of Muslim-American communities by the New York City Police Department, and the militarization of police forces across the country at home. According to Benhabib, Harcourt argues that the tools that the government once reserved only for imperialist warfare are now being used for purposes of domestic repression. In other words, as Hannah Arendt once said, “the chickens have come home to roost.”

Read more about the discussion between Harcourt, Benhabib, and Mehta here



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img February 13, 20187:30 pmimg 0 Comments

There is nothing that staff writer Jake Tibbetts loves more than cafeteria-style buffets, and there is nothing that he despises more than unreliable technology. Like any rational human being, Jake believes that the best way to address Columbia Dining’s failure to keep its online menus updated and accurate is to air his grievances online. He’s got a lot of problems with the Dine@CU app, and now you’re going to hear about it.

Expectation vs. Reality

For me, an unabashed carnivore who has pledged himself to #teamjohnjay, Meatless Mondays have never been easy. Regardless, I’ve always been willing to do whatever it takes to get by. Because I’m a stubborn man who refuses to accept the constraints that Big Veggie seeks to impose on college students, I often find myself strolling into enemy territory (i.e., Ferris Booth Commons) on Monday evenings in order to load up on something that at least somewhat resembles poultry. When I woke up on February 12th, 2018, I opened the Dine@CU application to see what was going to be served for dinner in Ferris, and I was genuinely excited by what I saw. I surprisingly couldn’t wait to stop at Ferris in between evening classes to dine on herbed chicken, plantains, sautéed kale, baked yams, and rice pilaf. When I arrived later that evening, though, I was confronted by a terrible sight. Fifty or sixty hungry Columbia students were standing in line to fill their plates, but there was neither any chicken nor any plantains nor any kale nor any yams in sight. Instead, the dinner station was occupied by trays full of pork Italian sausage with peppers, beef meatballs in marinara sauce, “cous cous” pilaf, spaghetti with parsley, and broccoli with olive oil and garlic. Disappointed, I rushed over to the soup station, hoping to find the split pea with ham soup that Dine@CU promised me. Once again, I discovered that I had been lied to: Ferris was serving a chili and a chowder, but the soup in question was not being offered.

If this were an isolated incident, I would take it in stride. Crying over one instance of missing soup is, after all, equivalent to crying over spilled milk. Sadly, however, the Dine@CU application is so ridden with incomplete and faulty information that I have come to expect to be disappointed every time I walk into a dining hall.

Read more about about food-related disappointment here

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