Author Archive

Feb

14

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img February 14, 20189:28 amimg 0 Comments

My date! Haha, do you get it? I’m single.

What’s Happening In The World: Controversial South African president Jacob Zuma has rejected calls to step down from his party, the African National Congress,  and is instead clinging to his position. Zuma has faced serious legal challenges over the course of his presidency, including being charged with rape, racketeering, and corruption. (Wall Street Journal)

What’s Happening In The US: The Trump Administration’s new budget proposed sweeping changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the program largely known as “food stamps”. Under the new guidelines, however, rather than purchasing their own foods, the vast majority of participants would receive half their benefits in the form of a box of peanut butter, cereal, and other “shelf stable” goods. This proposal has been met with widespread disapproval, with many administration officials pointing out that it may be an outrageous distraction from other, more secretive cuts to food assistance programs. (New York Times).

What’s Happening In NYC: Ahmad Khan Rahimi, who built and planted a bomb that exploded in Chelsea in 2016, was sentenced yesterday to two life sentences in prison. The bombing injured dozens, though none were killed. (New York Times)

What’s Happening On Campus: The Vivian and Seymour Milstein Family Heart Center is hosting a “Love Your Heart” event up at the medical campus. Head uptown to get some free massages, reiki therapy, aerobic exercise, nutrition advice, crystal healing, or PET THERAPY. Check it out.

Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Feb

9

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img February 09, 201811:04 amimg 0 Comments

Valentine’s Day is but a mere five days away, and Bwog is here to help you find your new special someone, your cuddle buddy, your partner in crime, someone you can love as much as PrezBo loves, well, PrezBo. 

Do you spend every Monday night from eight to ten tuning in to ABC’s Bachelor and wishing that you had the opportunity to woo an Arie Luyendyk type of your own? Do you wish you had someone to play footsie with under your favorite table in Butler? Do you just want to prove to your parents that you’re not gonna be single forever? If so, Bwog can help. Personals are due tonight, so do us – and yourself – a favor and get them in as soon as possible.

Shoot us an email with your responses to these questions and a picture of yourself (perhaps your LinkedIn profile picture) by midnight tonight. You just might see yourself highlighted on this here website – and you just might find true love.

The Questions:

Name, Year, School, Major (grad students encouraged)
Preference (girl for girl, etc)
Hometown
Your nightmare date in seven words or fewer
What redeems you as a human being?
Library room of choice
Beverage of choice
Which dating apps have you been active on? (be honest)
Where can you usually be found on a Saturday night?
Historical Hottie

Personals are due tonight, Friday, February 9th, to tips@bwog.com by 11:59 PM EST.

White heterosexual romance via Pixabay.

Feb

9

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img February 09, 20189:32 amimg 0 Comments

Happening in the World: Sri Lanka, a nation whose political scheme has historically been dominated by men, recently announced a new quota stipulating that 25 percent of candidates in local elections be women. This marks an important turning point for the nation, where women currently hold only two percent of local gov

Pebbles?

ernment posts, though they make up over 51 percent of registered voters. (New York Times)

Happening in the US: Apparently, a few months ago a woman attempted to board a Spirit Airlines flight from Baltimore to Florida with her emotional support dwarf hamster, Pebbles. When the airline denied her request, rather than head home, she headed to the airport bathroom and flushed Pebbles down the toilet. (Miami Herald)

Happening in New York: Mayor de Blasio recently announced that three banks have donated a total of $40 million to city programs that offer loans to minority and women-owned businesses. (New York Daily News)
Happening on Campus: If you’re a first-year trying to figure out summer plans swing by the John Jay lounge from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm; the Center for Career Education is holding a session on summer planning for first-years.

Tinder Pickup Line of the Day: “Snap me if you wanna see something hot haha”

Image via Pixabay.

 

Feb

2

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img February 02, 20189:13 amimg 1 Comments

Fingers crossed this fucker doesn’t see his shadow.

Happening in the World: Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is running for reelection essentially unopposed – his only opponent is one of his own supporters. Potential political rivals have been sidelined, jailed, or threatened with prosecution. President Trump has described el-Sisi as a “fantastic guy”. (New York Times)

Happening in the US: Speaking of the Trumpster: President Trump is anticipated to approve the release of the controversial congressional memo everyone’s been talking about. The memo claims that special counselor Robert Mueller’s initial probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election was influenced by a dossier underwritten by the Hillary Clinton campaign, thus biasing his investigation. Despite concerns from law enforcement and intelligence officials about confidential information included in the memo, House Republicans are likely to make its contents public on Friday. (Washington Post)

Happening in NYC: Mayor / known marmot murderer Bill de Blasio is skipping the Staten Island Zoo’s Groundhog Day event for the second year in a row. In 2014, de Blasio dropped the groundhog – real name Charlotte – and she was found dead days later. Mayor Bloomberg, meanwhile, was repeatedly bitten by the groundhog. So maybe this change is for the best. (New York Daily News)

Happening on Campus: Battle of the Bands is happening tonight at 8 pm in Lerner Party Space. Seven student groups are competing to be the opener for this year’s Bacchanal.

Overheard: “Elon Musk and my father are good friends.”

Tinder Pickup Line of the Day: “Do you smoke pot? Because weed be cute together.”

Fun marmot pic via Max Pixel.

Jan

23

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img January 23, 20183:48 pmimg 0 Comments

Last night, Engineering Student Council reconvened for their first meeting of spring semester. Staff writer Zöe Sottile went and learned about various project updates as well as the changing elections process.

VP Policy Zoha Qamar
VP Qamar announced her new role as ESC representative for the Student Group Adjucation Hearing Panel, a panel with six members – CCSC, ESC, GSSC, IGB, ABC, and SGB. The panel deals with mostly financial violations, such as not filing paperwork or performer agreements – in the case of Bacchanal – on time. Hearings are on Friday afternoons, and while their content is confidential, the outcomes will be public. She explained that a similar board exists for Greek life groups, and announced a motion to vote for an alternative representative as well.

Election drama, just as important at ESC as in the USA.

She met with Associate Dean for Undergraduate Student Affairs Leora Brovman to discuss efforts to make study abroad more accessible to engineering students. The plans include creating flyers for each major that show where students have studied abroad and what courses they have taken. Moreover, Brovman is interested in updating the training for first-year advisers and updating the language in the study abroad bulletin.

While not much progress has been made towards dispensing emergency contraception on campus, VP Qamar did meet with the CCSC 2021 and 2020 representatives to discuss support for free tampons and pads. She’s creating a Google form for both individuals and clubs to pledge their support.

VP Student Life Ben Barton
VP Barton went over some of the upcoming events ESC is planning. On February 8th at 10 p.m., ESC is hosting Midnight in Mudd, which will be 1950’s-diner-themed and loving catered with breakfast food by JJ’s. Engineering Week is happening February 19th – 22nd, and will feature four different ESC events. Two of these are industry talks, and one is a student group showcase; the other is still in the works. He also mentioned that University Life monthly meetings will be on Friday at 4:30 p.m.

Hear from University Senator and more after the jump

Jan

19

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img January 19, 20182:53 pmimg 0 Comments

Artistic activism by women of color?? Sign me up

Last night, SisterSpit, “a night of storytelling and poetry” hosted by Barnard Student Life, kicked off the semester with powerful performances from students and guests alike. Staff Writer Zöe Sottile attended the event and wrote about her experience there.

As its contribution to MLK Legacy Week, Barnard Student Life hosted its third annual SisterSpit yesterday. Though unfortunately student MC Vanessa Chadehumbe was unable to make it, the other MC, Kidd Mathews, brought a rousing sense of energy and community to the event. Kidd described the night in Sulzberger Parlor as an “event for self-identified women to express themselves, to engage in artistic activism, to engage with the community, to be here and be present”.

The evening consisted of performances by six women of color, whose work considered issues of activism, equality, sexuality, and racial justice. Four students began the night with incredibly brave and personal narratives. Phanesia Pharel, BC ‘21, for instance, first read a poem about Haiti, her parents’ home country. She spoke eloquently about the insecurity of being trapped between two worlds, feeling like an outsider both in Haiti and America. She then recited two poems by Haitian poet Danielle Legros Georges: “Intersection” and “A Dominican Poem”, which both contemplate nationality and fragmented identity. She closed her portion of the night by reading one of her own poems about her mother, immigration, and the complex ways that we inherit experiences and identities.

Read about more student poetry, as well as two featured performers, below the jump.

Jan

18

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img January 18, 201811:58 amimg 0 Comments

This Wednesday, Daniel Raimi, senior research associate at Resources for the Future, and lecturer at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, spoke for the launch of his new book, The Fracking Debate. The book, published by the Columbia University Press as part of their Center on Global Energy Policy Series, offers considers the complex impact of the shale revolution. Raimi spoke about several of the issues raised in his book and then engaged in a panel with other fracking experts moderated by CGEP Founding Director, Jason Bordoff. Staff writer Zöe Sottile went and learned some things.

A bleak future or a victory of innovation?

Up until this lecture, all I knew about fracking was what I had gleaned from the plotline on Bojack Horseman where Mr. PeanutButter runs for governor. Luckily, now I’m basically a fracking expert. Daniel Raimi started his talk by discussing semantics: what is fracking, exactly? He explained that those who oppose shale oil – oil derived from oil shale rock fragments – often use “fracking” to describe all activities related to the oil and gas industry. The more narrow definition, however, describes the injection of water, sand, and chemicals at high pressure into shale or other rock sources, a process formally known as “hydraulic fracturing”. Fracking is often associated with high environmental costs. However, as Raimi highlighted in his talk, real communities in areas impacted by fracking often have diverse and unpredictable opinions.

Find out more after the jump…

Dec

8

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img December 08, 20174:40 pmimg 0 Comments

Last night, the Fall 2017 Visual Undergraduates Thesis Exhibition opened in the LeRoy Neiman Gallery, which is accessible either through Dodge or the entrance on College Walk. Visual arts seniors exhibited work in a variety of media, ranging from photography to crochet to painting. The artists also touched on a wide spectrum of themes; standouts included works considering race relations, female athletes, and biotechnology. The exhibit will remain open until December 14th, and the gallery is open from 9 am to 5 pm from Monday through Friday. The show is a great way to see some modern art without making the trek all the way to the MoMA, so if you like what you see here, check it out.

Photos by Zöe Sottile.

Nov

2

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This Wednesday, as part of the Alumni Speaker Series for the Institute for the Study of Human Rights, Columbia welcomed Matthew Kennis, Program Director at the Libertas Center for Human Rights. Kennis completed his M.A. in Human Rights from Columbia in 2011, and his work before and since has focused on torture victims and oppressive regimes in Guatemala and Kyrgyzstan. Staff writer Zoe Sottile went to check it out (and the free pizza served).
 
I was the youngest person at Matthew Kennis’ talk on Wednesday: most of the room consisted of either law students or graduate students studying human rights, and Kennis tailored his talk to them, explaining the steps that he took to turn his education into an active human rights career. In college, Kennis planned to study law, but after a year and a half of studying constitutional law, he shifted his focus to biological anthropology. Not wanting to go into academia and familiar with the civil wars in Guatemala, he traveled there to find opportunities for his new skillset. He connected with activist forensic teams in Guatemala digging up clandestine graves from the wars and identifying bodies as part of a burgeoning accountability process for the oppressive government. When he asked if he could contribute to the effort, he was told that the teams were plenty qualified on their own, but needed protection from the many violent threats made against them. So Kennis began the first part of his human rights career, as a nonviolent accompanying presence – essentially an unarmed bodyguard whose status as a white American helped protect the vulnerable scientists.
 
(more…)

Oct

24

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img October 24, 20173:23 pmimg 0 Comments

That is one regal doggo

Staff writer (and art major) Zöe Sottile channeled Bureau Chief Finn Klauber to report on the happenings of the Engineering Student Council in his stead. Stay tuned for updates about the different programming ESC has planned for the coming weeks.

Like in past weeks, the discussion section – this time dedicated to possible renovations in Lerner – was kept off-the-record, along with comments on President Aida Lu’s meeting with the Committee on Instruction. So, this week’s coverage will once more take the form of updates.

President Aida Lu

ESC President Aida Lu began the meeting by discussing the upcoming faculty tech talks. The talks are a response to students seeking more interaction with faculty members. Lu spoke with Assistant Director of Graduate Student Services Alvaro Rojas-Caamano, who requested that ESC members attend the tech talks and offer feedback. One talk is scheduled for today from 6 – 7:30 pm in Carleton Commons; the next will be on November 29th.

Lu also met with Vice President of Campus Services Scott Wright to discuss an off-the-record proposal to renovate Lerner. Her meeting last Wednesday with the COI was also kept private.

Lu attended a meeting of F@CU, Columbia’s mechanism for funding student groups. She discussed wanting to reform the funding process to magnify student voices and standardize allocation, and also potentially moving the process from the spring to the fall.

Updates, updates, and more updates after the jump

Oct

19

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img October 19, 20174:45 pmimg 0 Comments

On October 13, President Donald Trump announced that he would decertify the Iran nuclear agreement. What exactly does this mean for global politics and energy policy? Staff writer Zöe Sottile trekked to the School of International and Public Affairs to find out.

Foreign affairs leaders announcing the framework for the Iran nuclear agreement in 2015.

This Wednesday morning, three top global policy experts took their seats on the 15th floor of SIPA to engage in a lively discussion called “Decertifying the Iran Nuclear Deal: What Does It Mean?” Jason Bordoff, moderator and founding director of the Center on Global Energy Policy, introduced the panelists: Richard Nephew, former Principal Deputy Coordinator for Sanctions Policy at the Department of State, who helped design the current U.S. sanctions against Iran; Avril Haines, former White House Deputy National Security Advisor, and former Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency for the Obama Administration, and Helima Croft, Head of Commodity Strategy at ‎RBC Capital Markets. I was clearly the youngest person there and also the only one wearing jean shorts, which made for a great start to the morning.

The panel began with a discussion of what exactly Trump’s decision means. Richard Nephew explained that the Iran nuclear deal is an international agreement designed to limit Iran’s nuclear programs by providing sanctions relief, with specific legislative frameworks for its implementation signed by each involved country. Essentially, the U.S. agrees not to sanction Iran, and Iran agrees not to build nuclear weapons. Every ninety days, the president is required to certify both that Iran is complying with its obligations and that the deal is in America’s national security interests. While no one disputes that Iran is complying with its obligations, Trump has started trouble by claiming the deal isn’t good enough for the U.S. In particular, according to Nephew, the Trump administration claims that the deal isn’t long-acting enough and that it doesn’t address non-nuclear issues. Trump wants to impose sanctions again on Iran – a quest Nephew called foolish because “the nuclear deal explicitly allows the U.S. to use sanctions in nonnuclear ways.”

So if we withdraw from our agreements with Iran, what do we do then? Avril Haines pointed out that the next step of action lies with the majority or minority leader of Congress, who can introduce legislation in the next sixty days that would be subject to an easier, expedited legal process. Most experts agree, though, that the U.S. would have to reimpose all of the old sanctions to receive this expedited process – in other words, sanctions against Iran are all or nothing. Moreover, the U.S. government, has the option to reach out to the United Nations and trigger a process that would reenact the sanctions the UN held before the agreement. This would put pressure on other countries to sanction Iran in ways inconsistent with the existing agreement.

Nephew built on Haines’s thoughts, adding that U.S. sanction law is extraordinarily complex. It has many different sources of authority, ranging from national emergency to specific statutes. There are many sanctions against Iran, but also many waivers making those sanctions temporarily void that the president has to recertify every 120 days. So even if Trump comes out with a clear decision about snapping back the old nuclear sanctions, it’s unclear what he’ll do about the current waivers.

One of the key comments of the talk came from Haines, who pointed out that the objective of the nuclear deal in the first place was to make it harder for Iran to develop nuclear weapons. Whereas before the deal, the nation was only a few months away from having nuclear weapons at any moment, now it would take at least a year. In other words, the deal has worked so far. Haines also commented that much of the rhetoric around withdrawing from the agreement involves claiming that the U.S. can’t trust Iran. Haines pointed out that it’s because we don’t trust them that we have to make a deal with them to keep their nuclear weapons in check.

Helima Croft, finally, addressed the impact of these nuclear negotiations on the energy market. She said that Trump’s decision has injected a “political premium” into the oil market. The price of oil, she predicts, will rise by a few dollars and the price floor will solidify out of fear that Iranian exports may be reduced.

Nephew closed the discussion by connecting this specific decision to the larger Trump administration. He described the current government as having a “strong regime-change focus”, leading them to make drastic changes like decertifying the nuclear deal. On the other hand, he claimed that the administration doesn’t have enough staff to manage imminent crises, so they’re forced to deal with them on a situational basis. Faced with the mass of different policy crises sparked by decertification, Nephew imagines that Trump will likely sign on to a deal quite similar to the original nuclear agreement – leaving us where we started in the first place.

The panel was recorded and should be available online in a few days.

Photo via Flickr / U.S. Department of State.

Oct

17

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img October 17, 20173:42 pmimg 0 Comments

Sometimes, life brings you lemons, and sometimes life brings you the 12:00 to 4:00 pm shift at Public Safety in East Campus during Homecoming. This unlucky Bwogger watched Columbia get rowdy from the other side of the security desk. Here are some highlights. 

Rare shot of a CUPS work-study student?

More trials and tribulations of a busy night in EC after the jump

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