Bwoglines: Things Prezbo Would Rather Ignore Edition
Not here, not anywhere

Not here, not anywhere

A thorough account of sexual violence at the University of Virginia. TRIGGER WARNING: This article contains graphic descriptions of sexual assault and may be triggering to some people (Rolling Stone)

A fierce debate on what constitutes sexual consent at Harvard University (The Boston Globe)

An account of the price paid by survivors of sexual assault in college (The Washington Post)

Consideration of how best to protect the rights of the accused as we begin to better pursue cases of sexual assault, with a focus on our own University (The New York Times)

An old reminder that we have recognized the need for a change (The Huffington Post)

 To those who are interested in resources available to sexual assault victims, their friends, and their families, the Columbia Sexual Violence Response page can be found here.

This post was reformatted on November 20th, 2014.

Quiz: Registration Woes

How To Survive The Polar Vortex
Is that a mountain or is that Butler covered in snow?

Is that a mountain or is that Butler covered in snow?

With the recent temperature drop and the prospect of  a snowy couple of weeks, Anna Hotter brings you her definitive alpine survival guide. Don’t let the cold keep you inside! Huddle up and go enjoy the few hours of sun we have left in these dark times.

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s cold as fuck right now. As someone who has regularly dealt with sub-zero temperatures in my native Austria, I wanted to compile a list of things that will hopefully make your life a little less miserable. Here they are in no particular order.

Underwear: This one might seem insignificant, but believe me, it makes all the difference. At home, we have “Skiunterwäsche,” which I believe to be the equivalent of thermals here. Get some! Seriously, that bottom layer of cozy-yet-breathable clothing will make your 8:40 class in Pupin seem a lot less far away.

Tights:  Even though they look thin, tights are great for keeping your legs toasty. My mom often wears them underneath her jeans, and even though I hate the feeling myself, it really does work. Also, if you’re looking to invest in a new pair, and are able to splurge a little bit, get cashmere ones. They are more expensive than wool tights, but wool can’t compare in terms of softness and warmth.

Hats:  While it’s apparently a myth that most of your body heat escapes through the head, you should still wear a hat, or at least earmuffs. Cold temperatures can be big triggers for headaches, especially if you leave the house with wet hair.

Boots: This one is more snow-related, but still important. Get boots with rubber soles so that you don’t slip on the slush! You can kill two birds with one stone by wearing rain boots, since they won’t get wet once the snow melts. Just put on thick socks underneath and you should be fine (Hunter actually makes ones that fit their boots).

More survival tips after the jump…

Dean Of The College Hinkson Attends SGA Meeting
"Meeting people for the sake of meeting people"

Meeting people for the sake of meeting people

At this week’s SGA meeting, hot topics included alumnae relations and diversity, and Dean Hinkson made an appearance. Passionate politico Joe Milholland was there to get you the scoop.

At the Monday night SGA meeting, Barnard’s Dean of the College Avis Hinkson was the administrative guest. The council members of SGA asked her about general topics of student life at Barnard. While she declared many of her answers to be off-the-record (her justification was that there was no official agenda and she wanted a “casual, candid” conversation with SGA’s membership) she did provide a few clarifications on administrative actions.

On the subject of the recent Barnard town hall on alumnae-student interactions, students said they want to have Constellation Dinners on campus, and, instead of focusing on the purely job-search aspect of alumnae interactions, SGA President Julia Qian wants to allow students and alumnae to “meet people just for the sake of meeting people.” According to Qian, the notes from the town hall are being shared among the committee, and concrete plans will come from the Alumnae Association of Barnard College.

  • Hinkson also clarified that Dean of the Barnard Library and Academic Information Services Lisa Norberg is stepping down because she is starting a 501c. Hinkson did not comment on sexual assault policy or trans student admission.
  • There’s a survey for the Barnard student body about diversity at
  • There will be a senior class open mike at Sulzberger Plaza on November 23 at 8pm.
  • The Medalist Committee, which goes over nominations for commencement speakers and medalists, has 3 faculty members, 4 students members, 2 trustees members, DSpar as the chair, and two admin guests, according to President Qian.

Editor’s Note November 21 12:15 pm: The reasons for Dean Hinkson’s request for her answers to be off-the-record were previously misunderstood and have been corrected in this post.  Also, it was previously written that Dean Hinkson suggested Constellation Dinners and “meeting people for the sake of meeting people.”  The former suggestion was actually made by students, and the latter was made by SGA President Julia Qian.  We have made these corrections in the post.

Not just networking via Shutterstock

Talking Titus: A Conversation With KCST
titus andronicus

Culture yourselves this weekend!!!

This semester, the King’s Crown Shakespeare Troupe, better known by their acronym KCST, is putting on one of Shakespeare’s bloodiest works, Titus Andronicus. Shakespeare scholars Julia Goodman and Maud Rozee met with the production’s dramaturg, Jo Chiang, to discuss the show. Titus Andronicus will be in the Glicker-Milstein Theater this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 8pm. Tickets are free and can be reserved in advance at the TIC.

Bwog: What’s the play about?

JC: Titus Andronicus is, first and foremost, in its original interpretation, a revenge play—or arguably, a satire on revenge plays. It can be argued that Shakespeare was making fun of the revenge plays of his time by making this revenge play so sensational. Someone kills someone that’s the family member of someone else, that person gets mad, and there’s a lot of killing and things in between to make up for it, and in the end everyone dies. So, that’s kind of the story. But there’s a lot of nuance about institutional violence, and there’s racism, and misogyny. There’s things besides just killing, and that’s what we’re trying to highlight.

Bwog: How did you choose this show?

JC: Every single year KCST has an advisory board meeting before the next semester—so in this case, it was last semester—where people present proposals for plays they want to do, their reasons why, and their vision. Sometimes they have people who are going to do design to come up with, like, “Here’s our aesthetic vision.” So Becca [Meyer, the show’s director] proposed Titus Andronicus. I was actually on the advisory board. You have to do two shows before you can be on the advisory board, but after that everyone’s welcome to sit in there. So I was in attendance to discuss it and decide. The general climate was that everyone realized how relevant this play was to this campus at this time, because it deals with sexual assault. Not just sexual assault, but the aftermath of sexual assault, the way women’s voices and stories are silenced or ignored, and the role that greater institutions play in perpetuating environments where these kinds of violences occur and legitimizing them. Because we found that so relevant, we thought this was a great way of showing that we can combine both politics and art. Sometimes people perceive theater as existing in a vacuum and we wanted to challenge that. So we almost unanimously decided on this play.

Bwog: Can you talk a little bit about what Becca’s vision was and how she presented it that got everyone in KCST behind the idea?

JC: It was tying it to current events, basically. One of the draws was that historically, Titus Andronicus has not been well received, so that’s part of the challenge as well. People either love it or they hate it. It is incredibly bloody, it’s very sensational. A lot of people think it’s overblown, over the top, and impossible to do well. Definitely in Shakespeare’s time, people just could not stand it. It’s part of that challenge, to take a play that is quite obscure, and not one of his major canonical works, and present it in front of an audience. And hopefully it can resonate.

Read about how KCST is relating the play to current events on campus after the jump…

House Of Ramps: A Parody
once upon a time, psets were always done here for some reason

The ramps are connected by more useful stairs

We have all experienced the awful maze that is Lerner, and know that the only thing it’s useful for is Glass House Rocks and questionably cool architecture. Well, now it’s useful for parodies! Toni Airaksinen, BC ’18, makes a guest appearance and gets creative with a spin-off of Blondie’s “Heart of Glass.” Follow her lyrics below and sing along! 

Once I swiped in—it was a blast

Soon turned out, I was in a House of Ramps

Seemed like the real thing, only to find

No couches, desks or study space in sight

Once I had bubble tea, and it was divine

Only for $4.95

Seemed like the real thing but I was so blind and

The Pasta Line has everyone losing their minds

In between

This building is so confusing, I’m not feeling fine

Nothing but ramps and glass inside

No actual study space and no piece of mind

At least if I fear the tourists, I know they just can’t

Swipe inside

The second verse is after the jump!

Bwoglines: Acting Childish Edition
How we imagine the Yik Yak squabble went down

How we imagine the Yik Yak squabble went down

Low-key obsessed with One Direction? (C’mon…look at Zayn…) Check out this extensive and entertaining One Direction glossary. (Vulture)

According to a study at the University of Missouri, 23% of college students have revenge sex following a breakup. (The Cut)

For all you ice cream lovers: Shake Shack and Big Gay Ice Cream are teaming up to create the limited-edition “Layer Shake.” (Gothamist)

Apparently two of the Yik Yak co-founders kicked the third co-founder out of the company à la Facebook. (ValleyWag)

An immature man via Shutterstock

Basketball Home Opener Tonight!
Taking command of the game

Taking command of the game

[Update, 10:17 pm]: The Lions defeated Wagner 70-56. They move to 1-1 on the non-conference season and play at Lehigh on Sunday (11/23).

Remember Basketball Mania? Well, basketball is coming back to Levien Gym, but this time, you’ll get to some real action. The 2014-15 Columbia Lions men’s basketball team takes the court tomorrow night for their first home game this season. Maodo Lo, Cory Osetkowski, and company will be knocking down baskets like there’s no tomorrow, so go cheer them on!

The third-ranked Lions lost their first game of the season, 57-56, to Stony Brook on Friday. Wagner is also 0-1, so the two teams tip off tonight on even ground. Maodo Lo led the charge, scoring 19 points and grabbing four steals.

So why watch them? The Lions are 81-32 all-time in their home openers and have won 5 of their last 6 at Columbia. They also own a 33-22 overall record against the NEC conference to which Wagner belongs, so their chances of winning are super high. You’ll probably even be able to hear the band play Roar, Lion, Roar! for the first time since last basketball season.

Tip-off is at 7 pm in Levien.

It’s go time via Columbia University Athletics/Mike

CCSC/ESC To Propose Increase In Student Activities Fee
All this is going to your Student Activities fee

All this is going to your Student Activities Fee (sort of…)

Today, CCSC and ESC* announced in a College-wide email that the councils will be voting at their weekly meetings on whether to propose a $4.50 increase in the semesterly student activities fee. Thus, the semester rate would hike up to $112.50 from $108 and would go towards “funding for student groups and student activities—it is equal to the amount of money needed to have a balanced budget next year.” CCSC’s meeting on Sunday at 8pm will be open, as will ESC’s meeting on Monday at 9:30pm, and both councils encourage anyone who wants to voice an opinion to attend. Both meetings will take place in the Satow Room in Lerner.

The Student Activities Fee factors into the semesterly Student Life Fee and goes toward each student’s respective student council.  Historically, the Student Life Fee was increased regularly up to the 2012-2013 academic year.  It has remained at that level, $108, since then, “despite increases in student group programming and costs.”

ESC VP of Finance Robert Ying also commented on the proposed raise:

“The amount of $4.50 was based on the difference between the projected growth of student group spending for next year and the amount of money available from the student council budgets to give to student groups. While this is a ~4% increase over last year, it’s worth noting that since it hasn’t increased for a number of years, the amortized per-year increase is lower.

The Student Activities Fee pays for the large majority of student activities on campus, including student groups (i.e. ABC, SGB, GBB, IGC, CI, CSGB groups), student council programming, school-wide events, funds and grants available to groups and individual students, and more.

The expected budget increase from the raise in the Student Activities Fee is intended to go to governing boards through the Funding at Columbia University (F@CU) process this coming spring.”

You can read CCSC’s email about the change below.

Learn about where your money will be going after the jump.

FroSymposium: FroSci Forum on Wednesday

FroSci told me there would be more feathers

Birds, dinosaurs, and denizens of Columbia College, take note. On Wednesday, November 19, at 7:30 pm in Schermerhorn 501, the co-chairs and members of the Committee for Science in the Core will be hosting an open forum to discuss possible changes to FroSci, or alternatives to the class entirely. Our suggestions for alternatives include: Intro to Expressive Yodeling, The Art of Complaining Loudly, and Haberdashery 101.

Specifically, the committee is considering a seminar-style course similar to CC and LitHum. The committee has also released a report on Science in the Core, detailing the background, approaches, next steps and a timetable for the decision, which states that a pilot program of these seminar-style FroSci sections could begin next fall semester.

As one Bwogger notes, “a faculty member I spoke with vocalized that a number of faculty would rather get rid of FoS, because it’s expensive and students hate it.” Read Deantini’s invitation to the forum and get some names of professors/committee members you can contact with your questions, concerns or emotionally charged FroSci rants.

Your official invitation awaits you after the jump

Get Hype! Bouncing Ideas Off Of Squash’s Ramit Tandon
Do you think they have wi-fi in squash courts

You, too, can be the guy in the back with the smartphone!

In the next segment of Get Hype!, squash scholar Ross Chapman introduces you to actual squasher Ramit Tandon, CC ’15, who claims that the squash team will dance for you if you show up to their matches. So you should definitely show up to their matches. Maybe you’ll even meet Ramit in person, but for now, get to know him below: 

Bwog: How’s everything going this year?

Ramit: It’s pretty good. Team bonding is great; we have a strong team and we have a great chance at the Ivy title as well as winning Nationals. I think our preseason training has been good, and we can’t wait to start the season and get a better idea of where we are. We finished third at the Ivy Scrimmages, which is a good spot to be in.

B: You got a preseason national ranking of #6. Comments?

R: It’s preseason. I think there are six or seven teams who are equal right now, so it’s hard to rank them sequentially. But anyone has a shot. Squash is a sport where Ivy and national competition are on the same level.

B: You’ve had a lot of personal success in squash. What’s it like coming from India with international competition to Columbia?

R: It’s been a great experience. Squash is an individual sport. Internationally, we have teams of about 4 players. But when I play for Columbia, it’s 9 guys playing, and 22 guys on the team, and the coaches. It’s a different feeling. It feels more like a team sport.

B: What’s it like being in more of a definite leadership role?

R: This program is very close to my heart. We started from the bottom. We’re five years in, it’s a very young program. When I first came to the school, we were starting from the beginning, and now we’re a strong team with a chance at national title. It’s been great looking at the way we’ve improved every year. Now we have 22 guys on the team, and everyone has a different personality. It’s hard to keep us all in the same zone, but we have two other captains and coaches, and they’re doing a great job.

Read all about international relations, Wikipedia, and dancing after the break

Bwoglines: Signals Edition
AT&T's signal...on a really good day

AT&T’s signal…on a really good day

Pope Francis is sending mixed signals. Heralded as a progressive, he gave a speech yesterday, saying “Children have a right to grow up in a family with a father and a mother,” a rather conservative statement by his standards. The Pope will be attending the World Meeting of the Families conference in Philly next September, another possible mixed signal as to his stance on familial matters. (TIME)

Murderer and conspirator Charles Manson has a marriage license to wed his fiancee, Afton “Star” Burton. Manson, serving a life sentence, is 80, and Burton is 25. No mixed signals there. (CNN)

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency in anticipation of civil unrest as the investigation surrounding Officer Darren Wilson is closed and his verdict is announced. Don’t forget the FBI, though; they issued a nationwide announcement, signaling to law enforcement and government agencies the increased potential for violence. (Washington Post)

Intel is releasing a “smart bracelet,” a new piece of wearable technology marketed solely towards women. Its $495 price tag includes a 2-year AT&T data plan featuring overseas service, for all those oft-traveling fashionistas. (TechSpot)

The Florida Marlins and Giancarlo Stanton have agreed on a $325 million deal over 13 years, the most lucrative deal in pro sports…ever. Could the Marlins be signaling to their 10 100 1000 fans a change in fortune in Little Havana? (ESPN)

Only having three bars must be so frustrating via Shutterstock

Field Notes: Stranger Danger
The last of blue skies

The last of blue skies

As it starts to become time to think about the semester ahead, we at Columbia are feeling a bit antsy on how to deal with the weight of it all. We’ve taken to searching for new encounters, and dipping into dangerous territory by attempting to still meet new people in new ways (the beauty of New York City). Be sure to send how you’re spending the weekend before we all depart to familial life for Thanksgiving to

Strange lands and unknown peoples:

  • “Woke up at five in the morning because I couldn’t sleep, and stumbled outside to the Starbucks next door. Received free coffee thanks to a very flirtatious barista named Geoff.”
  • “Visited Princeton this weekend, and lost my scarf in the beer-filled basement of a Greek-columned eating club. Fitzgerald in This Side of Paradise didn’t even prepare me well enough for how pretentious the Princeton social scene is.”
  • “I met a cute hetereosexual, which was new and exciting. It was like a trip to the zoo. It’s okay though, he has a girlfriend.”
  • “Was literally knocked down on the street by a harried Insomnia delivery guy on rollerblades. I doubt I’d have known what hit me were it not for the strong smell of oatmeal raisin.”
  • “Felt ridiculously insignificant after seeing the Orchesis, Fruitpaunch and Sharp performances. I clearly have no talent aside from being double jointed in my thumbs, and need to find some talent for myself.”
  • “I drew a monster on my fridge and my roommate legitimately jumped when she saw it. Hilarious.”
  • “A friend was sitting in Butler 4 doing homework Friday night when the guy next to him ‘vomited all over the table and on everyone’s books and stuff.'”

Feelin’ dangerous: 

  • “A student in Nussbaum was just hospitalized after tripping on a Spectator food expo flyer left on the floor.”
  • “Lingering Sunday brunch. Lingering hangover from Sunday brunch.”
  • “All of my friends were at a frat thing for the weekend. I promised myself I’d be productive. I was productive in the sense of cleaning my kitchen and not much else. Also, the football team was competitive for the first time in forever and the view from the broadcast booth was pristine.”
Show Your School Spirit Via Ivy Film Festival

Bringing home the Ivy Film Festival gold

To ensure our spots as lions – the kings of the Ivy League jungle – we need to be as well-rounded in accomplishments and honors as our accepted students are each year. The current winning title up for grabs for our school is to be crowned as the Ivy Film Festival champs.

Winning is totally dependent on students of the schools who have made it into the top 3. We have until November 20th to vote Columbia to beat out the two Brown submissions we’re up against (is that even allowed?). C’mon Lions, the Bears have nothing on our filmmaking abilities – we’re basically already fancy NYC filmmakers living in the footsteps of names like Woody Allen.

Vote on and support your peers, because you never know the future renown the makers of “Rhapsody in Blue” will gain with “Columbia University” and “Winner of the 2014 Ivy Film Festival” written on their resumes. And morally, you know you can’t really boast about going to school being college besties with Oscar nominees if you didn’t vote for them now.

For your viewing convenience:

The Oscars are obviously the Ivy League of award shows via Shutterstock

Majorly In Need: Majors For Your Mid-College Crisis

You, wearing your business bandana

Registration time can be a moment of crucial realization for all of us, especially when all of the sudden you feel locked in a major you don’t like/don’t feel competent enough to complete. In times of  major crises, Bwog is a key source of wisdom on campus and there to remind you that you probably won’t need to drop out. 

You never liked your major. You decided on it following a cryptic email from your mother on “being practical about the future” and some vague statistics on Columbia’s website. You’ve regretted it ever since. You still remember that first lecture, sitting in the back row and desperately thinking, “four years isn’t that long, right?” Still, you soldier on. Somehow, you make it to your junior year.

And then… disaster strikes: midterms 2014. The straw that breaks the camel’s back. In full crisis-mode, you write a panicked email to Bwog:

Help! I’m a junior now and I NEED a major (the one I’m currently in is too hard).  What major could I complete in the next three semesters??

You sign it “Majorly in Need” and you are.

Sound familiar? Don’t panic. In fact, take off your panic pants right now and put on your business bandana. You wearing it? Good. Because we’re about to get down to business. Here are some majors that you could (conceivably, not comfortably) finish in only three semesters, arranged in order of ascending point value:

Major conflict resolved after the jump!