Waking Up With Bwog: The First Day
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Glory

If you haven’t already noticed the cheering OLs, herds of lost-looking students, or crying parents, welcome to the first day of NSOP! If you ARE a cheering OL, a herd of lost students, or a crying parent, then you probably already knew that. If you’re interested in writing about anything from your NSOP experience to your weird new roommate to a squirrel you saw eating pizza, email us at tips@bwog.com or use our anonymous tip form.

Today’s Highlights:

  • Convocation, 2:30–4:00 pm, Low Plaza. A great place to overheat while you stress about saying goodbye to your parents. Prepare to feel all warm and fuzzy as you listen to administrators you don’t recognize talk about the importance of Pantone 290. Afterwards, meet your OL groups. You’re guaranteed to be best friends for the next four years.
  • Class Act, 7:00–8:30 pm, Roone Arledge Auditorium. A short little musical that will, somewhat misleadingly, make you feel like you’re in a place that has fun traditions.
  • Late Night Activities, 11:00 p.m.–12:30 am, John Jay lounge/ Carman lounge/ Van Am Quad. At least a marginally good time if you don’t feel like imbibing, or are still not 100% sold on doing anything other than fall asleep.

One Thing To Do Before Graduating: In one of Bwog’s most beloved series, Senior Wisdom, graduating seniors bestow their infinite knowledge upon us. Today, we’re highlighting a snippet of wisdom from Bwog’s own Anna Bahr:

“Let’s keep it seasonal. The swings in Riverside during spring. Mr. Softee during summer. The Cloisters during fall. Coney Island during winter.”

From the Archives: The story of Matilda the Harlem Goat, our almost-mascot and the champion of our hearts. Spend your first day talking about taxidermy goats and make friends for life.

Light of our lives via Shutterstock

DSpar Takes The Ice Bucket Challenge
Splash!

Splash!

As if she weren’t already cool enough, DSpar took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge at Barnard’s Convocation for the Class of 2018. Watch below, or on Instagram.

Image via Hannah Vega

Send Us Your Stories And We’ll Maybe Give You Pizza
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Magnify by 10,000 for the actual size of a Koronet’s pizza

As the sun sets on the first day of CU move-in 2014, Bwog stalks the streets of Morningside Heights with one mission: to capture the NSOP experience, one misguided overheard/seen at a time. But alas, good people of CU — Bwog only has so many eyes and ears at its disposal! This is where you (and your friends who say stupid things) come in. Here’s how will work:

  1. Send your funny pictures/stories/bits of overheard conversation to tips@bwog.com or, if you’re feeling scandalous, use our anonymous tip form.
  2. We’ll post submissions as they come in.
  3. The winner will be announced after review by expert judges and awarded the MIND-BOGGLINGLY AWESOME prize of: 1 sixpack of your choice and a Koronet pizza (so basically, food for the entire semester)

But wait! There’s more! Sometimes our best/worst/weirdest experiences cannot be done justice by mere quotes or pictures. If you have a story you’re dying to tell, send it to tips@bwog.com. If you attended a quintessentially freshman year Carman party, tell us about it. If you were just disappointed by Columbia nightlife for the first of many times, write about it. If you’re pretty sure you just joined a cult, we would love to hear about it. If you want to tell us about your awkward NSOP moments in person, our first meeting of the semester will be next Monday, September 1 at 7 pm in the SGO (5th floor of Lerner). Stop by if you’d like to hear about getting involved in our nifty publication.

Mind = boggled via Shutterstock

Moving On Up To The Morningside
Festive balloons, just for you!

Festive balloons, just for you!

Welcome, frosh! Today saw the slightly chaotic move-in of Barnard first-years as well as students not from New Jersey CC/SEAS international students and the farthest away domestic students. OLs greeted each car that pulled up to Carman with school-spirit-crazed cheers, Columbia didn’t card anybody for food bags and trays of hot dogs, and all was well. Freshmen: take as much free food and Columbia swag as you can, and enjoy the John Jay food while it’s still pretty good. If you’re interested in writing about anything that happened to you today, please email us at tips@bwog.com. Keep sending us tips of overheards and overseens, too.

The gossip:

  • Like last year, using the word “frat” is forbidden by OLs. Instead, you should say “fraternity and sorority life.” Other banned words include dormitories/dorm (residence halls); freshmen (first-years or new students); girls/boys/kids/babies (women/men); The College (Columbia College/Barnard College); and “the Administration” (specific deans, offices, or services). Some OLs were visibly upset about these rules.
  • Again, NSOP wristbands have a $50 replacement fee. How we miss thee, Rhea Sen.
  • Attendance is actually going to be taken at most mandatory NSOP events this year.
  • Spectator comments on Sombrerogate were used as examples of microagressions in OL training. Also at OL training, an athletics representative tried to pump up a crowd that was rollings its collective eyes about taking sports and school spirit seriously. This year, OL groups can get free party buses up to Homecoming if they really like each other.

Overheard:

Overseen:

Hit the jump to see what move-in day looked like.

Class of 2018 Challenged By Ice Bucket Challenge

According to a tipster, the Class of 2018 Facebook group was issued the following challenge:

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY CLASS OF 2018 has officially been nominated for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Everyone should assemble next Tuesday, August 26th, at 1:00 P.M. on the Low Library staircase. We will then nominate….I don’t know…Class of 2017? Maybe even University President Lee Bollinger?? LET’S GO!

Skip to 0:37 for the action. Or just wait, it’s only 37 seconds.

Our tipster doesn’t report that anybody picked up on “Low Library staircase” but that :

it got over 120 likes, but the first comment was: “Bro i love your idea and enthusiasm, but coming from California where we’re having a severe drought, it hurts me to see all that water wasted. It’s great that you’re helping bring awareness though” and that got over 40 likes.

Environmental consciousness versus charity and fun, a classic dilemma. What will come of this? Our tipster provides an insightful analysis:

will be interesting to see if kids follow through, but for now i think we can bank on no one going and scratch this as some kids clear way-too-early-push to get his name out to run for office or something of the like.

Indeed. Bwog also hopes that we get to see PrezBo take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, mostly because we want to test our theory that his bionic hair is impervious to water.

Bwog’s Guide To The Perils Of Packing
Why is this person using an ancient, miniscule suitcase, that's the real question

Why is this person using an ancient, miniscule suitcase, that’s the real question

If you, dear first years, unlike Bwog, have actually decided to properly pack your things and not stuff whatever’s in sight into as many suitcases as you can dig up from the basement, then here are a few tips from Momma Bwog:

Food

  • If possible, bring snacks and things that won’t spoil with you—expect everything in the city to cost at least a dollar or two (or ten) more than it does back home, and that adds up quickly.
  • Despite what the internet says, you will definitely get sick of the dining halls.

Printer

  • Only necessary if you want to do color printing, which is $1.00/sheet from the handful of color printers on campus. Also helpful if you go over your (generous 100 pages/week + 100 floating pages/semester) print quota.
  • Otherwise, it’ll probably just sit on your desk and gather dust, because while you’ll enjoy the luxury of printing from your room for the first few days, once you run out of ink or paper, it’s unlikely that you’ll actually go out and buy more.
  • Just download this program from ADI and you’ll be able to print to any campus printer from your laptop.

Footwear

  • Rain boots, unless you want foot fungus.
  • Shower shoes, because you really don’t want foot fungus
  • You will probably be walking a lot. Plan accordingly.

So many things you don’t know you needed

Neighborhood News
Riverside Church, where the convocation is going to be! Pretty, huh.

Riverside Church, where the convocation is going to be! Pretty, huh.

With this flurry of news about Bacchanal and Columbia’s new Gender-Based Misconduct Policy, you may have missed some recent updates to our community. Not going to lie, they’re not as exciting.

  • Haakon’s Hall, that weird bar you’ve probably never been to, is becoming a gluten-free, farm-to-table restaurant called Friedman’s Lunch. (Crains New York)
  • But maybe we don’t even need restaurants. The Daily Meal ranks Columbia #3 in the country for its food. (Daily Meal)
  • Dean Hinkson announced Barnard is going to have a school-wide convocation ceremony to celebrate the 125th anniversary at the beginning of next year. Anna Quindlen will be giving the key-note speech. (Office Minute)
  • Rising senior Nadia Eke competed in the Common Wealth games, in the “triple jump” event, which sounds incredibly bad-ass. (GoColumbiaLions)
  • Physics professor Janna Levin did a segment for NOVA’s Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers. (NOVA)
  • Student Worker Solidarity is urging Columbia to not to choose the security firm Command Security for their new security contract. Apparently the firm is non-union and has done all sorts of scary things that SWS outlines in their letter, which you can see after the jump.

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What To Expect When You’re Expecting (To Begin COÖP)
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One with nature

COÖP move-in is tomorrow, so get ready to have a fun few days in nature and spend the next four years reminiscing nonstop about it. We asked COÖP Queen Daniela Lopez to share some insight about the program.

First thing’s first: what is COÖP?

COÖP stands for Columbia Obese Owl Protection Columbia Outdoor Orientation Program and it has three divisions: Hiking, River Canoeing, and Biking (also known as the vaguely adorable HÖP, RÖP, and BÖP). Because it starts the week before the mandatory Columbia orientation, COÖP can be thought of more as a pre-orientation program. Like other Columbia pre-orientation programs (e.g. CUE and ISOP), COÖP is optional and, currently, only for incoming Columbia College and SEAS freshmen.

What’s the schedule like?

Students move in Wednesday the 20th, 4 days before NSOP. Take advantage of your early move-in time by staking a claim on the better half of your room before your roommate arrives. We also recommend using this extra time to throw empty vodka bottles, general effluvia, and a liberal amount of trash all over your future roomie’s bed to make a great first impression.

After move-in, all 200-ish participants take part in an awkward orgy super fun group bonding activities for the afternoon before breaking up into smaller groups and programs for the evening.

Students then spend 3 days in the great outdoors (hiking in the Catskills, river canoeing on the Delaware River, and biking in the Hudson Valley) in small groups and bonding over delicious meals made memorable by meatstick, bean juice, mac ‘n’ cheese, hummus, and Nutella (sometimes all combined if you’re feeling like you’re the worst person ever adventurous). By the time your return to Columbia, you’ll have most likely turned into a disgusting dirt-monster. On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is squeaky clean and 10 is Pigpen fucking a disinterred body, expect to be around a 12.

How could anything follow that image?

Free The Lawns!
Everything the light touches is our kingdom.

Everything the light touches is our kingdom.

This year’s convocation will move from South Lawn to Low Plaza, according to a statement released by CU Facilities’ Dan Held. This means you’ll get to play frisbee on the pristine lawns for an extra six to eight weeks. It’s almost like they listen to us. Here’s the statement:

Columbia University Convocation 2014, scheduled for Monday, August 25th, was relocated this year to Low Plaza from its previous location on the South Lawn. The move enables the South Lawn, which typically requires a closure of six to eight weeks after Convocation for restoration, to remain open for student use during the beginning of the semester, weather permitting and consistent with University Outdoor Space Policy guidelines.

“This change, which we implemented in response to student feedback with input from partners across the University, will allow our University community to enjoy our beautiful campus outdoor space more during the beginning of the semester when the weather is nice,” said Vice President of Operations Frank Martino.

Columbia’s New Gender-Based Misconduct Policy For Students

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President Bollinger has announced Columbia University’s newest Gender-Based Misconduct Policy for Students, which can be found here. We’ll try to break down his email, which mostly mimics what was sent out a few days ago by deans, below:

  • Goals of the policy:  “to strengthen confidence in the University’s handling of reports of sexual assault and other gender-based misconduct, to ensure fairness for all parties involved, and to provide more assistance to students in need.”
  • Improving key personnel: students will no longer serve on hearing panels, and advisors or attorneys may now accompany students to any meetings or hearings related to investigations.
  • Navigation: Case managers will guide students (both “complainants” and “respondents”) through the process, and help with living arrangements.
  • Logistics: They’ve added six new staff members to the Office of Sexual Violence Response and will open a new Rape Crisis Center location on the seventh floor of Lerner. Undergraduate orientation training has been “expanded.” PrezBo reminds us that Suzanne Goldberg is his new “special advisor.”
  • Pats on the back: “Today’s new policy is one among many reforms we have initiated to try to deal with what is most certainly a national issue.”

Yes, this is a national issue, and this is a new policy, but much of it is the same. Appeals (page 17-18) will continue to be made to the dean of the respondent’s school, and the timeframe for resolving reports is still 60 days, yet there is no check placed on this (page 12). We’ll be looking into the more minute differences between the new policy and the old policy (as updated in August 2013), and will update accordingly.

Update (11:20 am): The introduction from DSpar’s email to Barnard is also included below.

Update (11:35 am): See a statement from several student groups, calling it “misrepresentative for Columbia to characterize these reforms as a response to student concerns,” below. The letter expresses disappointment that the Executive Vice President of Student Affairs did not get to oversee the process, and that student input was not considered. It continues: “The policy does not guarantee accommodations like housing and academic changes for survivors, it does not establish clear or useful sanctioning guidelines, it does not sufficiently improve the training for staff members who interact with survivors, and it leaves the appeals process in the hands of Deans with no expertise, inadequate training, and a clear bias.”

Read the full text of the email sent, after the jump.

2018, Your NSOP Schedule Is Here
Columbia encourages getting high

Columbia encourages getting high

Drumroll, please. Class of 2018, your newly-announced NSOP theme is “Reaching New Heights Together.” Today, Columbia issued the NSOP schedule for CC and SEAS, and here are Barnard’s and General Studies‘ if you missed them.

Highlights:

  • The collective Thursday night outing is the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum, which is on the USS Intrepid, “a decommissioned aircraft carrier on the Hudson River overlooking the NYC skyline.” For reference, past years have been at Victorian Gardens, the Bronx Zoo, and Governor’s Island, so this is pretty sick.
  • Neighborhood tours: Brooklyn Bridge, Downtown/Financial District, the Met, East Village, West Village, Park Slope, Williamsburg, “Just Desserts” (a tour of bakeries throughout the city), High Line/Meatpacking, South Street Seaport, Chinatown/Little Italy, Destination: NYC (famous landmarks), Soho, Brooklyn Heights, Harlem,  and 5th Avenue/Rockefeller Plaza. It’s worth going on at least one of those, and to explore the rest over your next four years.
  • Info sessions for pre-health, sciences, maths, on-campus jobs, and study abroad, a LGBTQ snack break, a “Native and Indigenous” mixer, and a Greek life cookout.
  • Required events are Under1Roof, Step Up!, a session on Sexual Violence and Gender-Based Misconduct, Reaching Healthier Heights, a security forum, academic assemblies, your first Lit Hum class (for CC students), convocation, your advising appointment, and a few other things. We’ll let you decide how mandatory these are.

There’s just over a week until you 2018-ers will be on campus for the first time together, drunkenly stumbling up to the Mudd roof reaching new heights. Frosh, send any questions you have about moving in, registering for classes, freshman year, or anything else to tips@bwog.com or our anonymous tip form, and we’ll do our best to answer them!

Eager freshmen via Shutterstock

PrezBo Officially Accepts Term Extension
PrezBo secretly wishes he had a balloon animal.

A man of the people

As we reported earlier this summer, we’ll have our dear old President Lee Bollinger at least through 2018, according to a statement sent out to all students this morning.

The chair of our board of trustees noted that “Columbia is performing at a level and achieving a standing it has not enjoyed in many years,” citing the undergrad schools’ selectivity, the growth of Manhattanville, PrezBo’s efforts at globalization, and fundraising success. PrezBo, blushing and internally debating how to redecorate his office in Low, responded: “I am privileged every day to witness the extraordinary accomplishments of our faculty, students, alumni and staff.”

Bollinger has been our president for 12 years, and by the time this term expires, his tenure will have been the longest since Nicholas Murray Butler.

Full statement below.

Deans Issue Statement On Bacchanal Cancellation
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This will not be you in a couple of weeks.

Amid a storm of student outrage over the cancellation of a fall Bacchanal, the University deans have issued a statement attempting to explain the reasoning behind the decision.

Two days ago, a letter was issued by the Bacchanal committee, the student councils, and a few other student organizations that revealed Columbia had canceled what would have been our first fall Bacchanal, and put the spring concert under review. It states that the deans vaguely cited “safety concerns associated with drinking and sexual harassment” in their meeting with student leaders as an excuse for the cancellation.

Columbia’s statement alleges that the concert “was never officially scheduled or approved,” whereas students leaders had said that three artists were booked by July 8th for a September 14th concert. Despite claims made by those student leaders, No Red Tape, and CASV, PrezBo’s regime firmly asserts the following: “the decision not to move forward with this concert is not a response to the issue of gender-based misconduct and sexual assault on campus.” No, rather, the timing was poor, as students would have still been “settling into their coursework, which, of course, is the primary reason they are at Columbia,” and there were safety concerns. The statement then goes on to repeat all of the steps the administration has taken to address our Gender-Based Misconduct Policy, because this cancellation definitely wasn’t related to that at all.

We might not be back at school yet, but the war on fun rages on. The full statement can be found below, emphasis ours.

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Houses and Homes: Canada

Continue on our tour of your classmates’ summer houses and homes. And send your own to tips@bwog.com! Today’s location is very summer-appropriate…

Where: Sauble Beach, on Lake Huron in Ontario, Canada

Sight:

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Sound: Waves crashing and kids shouting. And that swing set on the right is incredibly creaky.

Smell: Wet sand, wood smoke, and sunscreen.

 

Breaking: Baccha-no-more?
We feel the same way, sad family pet.

We feel the same way, sad family pet.

Just as Public Safety gears up for another round of NSLOPPY first-years, Bwog has received word that the spring concert organized by Bacchanal (a student organization run through ABC that is also responsible for Lowlapalooza) is under administrative review.

Citing “safety concerns associated with drinking and sexual harrassment,” the four undergraduate deans have officially cancelled a proposed fall concert (which would have taken place in September) and are considering canceling the annual spring event. Student leaders have told admins that “canceling Bacchanal was a misguided way to fight sexual assault, because it simply distracted from and disguised the underlying causes of sexual violence, rather than creating a campus culture in which students could safely participate in school­wide, community events.”

The full press release from multiple student executive boards—including the valiant battle between student leaders and the administration, some financial issues, and typical communication problems—is under the cut, along with a response from the Coalition Against Sexual Violence and No Red Tape.

It’s a very detailed press release.