Sep

23

Written by

Join SGA, and the Diana could be your office

Join SGA, and the Diana could be your office

In a recent email to the Barnard student body, SGA announced the winners of the First-Year Class Council. 45.7% of the Class of 2020 voted – a higher turnout than in the past two years. The email praised the “successful, innovative and productive campaigns” of all of the candidates.

The new Barnard First-Year Class Council is:

  • First-Year Class President: Rose Reiken
  • First-Year Class Vice President: Gabi Garcia
  • First-Year Class Treasurer: Celine Zhu
  • First-Year Class Secretary: Chantel Woo

There are still more SGA positions open, though: Barnard first-years can get involved as First-Year Representatives, as well as on committees for Academic Advising, Food and Dining, Sustainability, and other special interests. Applications for these positions will be released at midnight tonight and will be accepted until Thursday, October 6 at 11:59pm.

Sink into one of those red chairs via ArchDaily

Sep

23

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#RushBwog!!

#RushBwog!!

If you haven’t sent in your application for Daily Editor yet, now is your last chance to #RushBwog (in this capacity, at least)! Apply by 11:59pm tonight to be considered for the position. Daily Editors have a fantastic opportunity to start a career at Bwog with a real leadership position–you’ll essentially be in charge of scheduling and helping to create content for our site, one day per week. This role is a critical role on Bwog, because we truly couldn’t function without our “dailies” (as we call them).

We are looking ideally for first-years and new students. If you’re interested, send your application (questions below) to editors@bwog.com by 11:59pm tonight, September 23 2016 and you’ll be in the running to be one of this semester’s dailies! We look forward to hearing from you all.

The Application:

About Bwog:

  • Tell us about one Bwog post you liked, one post you didn’t like, and why for both.
  • What is your favorite tag?
  • Come up with three sample post ideas that you would like to see on Bwog.
  • Draw Bwog.

About you:

  • Why do you want to join Bwog?
  • What do you think Bwog is?
  • You’re taking Bwog out on a date! What would you do? Where would you go?
  • What about Columbia might you be interested in writing about?
  • Send us a screenshot of the open tabs on your browser.
  • What three days work best for you to Daily?

Sep

23

Written by

a giving day coloring activity

If you color it all in, you’ll get… nothing, probably!

We don’t know if you’ve heard, but Columbia loves money more than Mr. Krabs. They love it so much that, five years ago, they manufactured a holiday specifically around money! Giving Day is Columbia University’s annual effort to suck dry the wallets of all their alumni. To be fair, it’s pretty effective – last year, they raised $12.8 million in the span of 24 hours.

We understand that universities need to make money, considering that without donations, Columbia would be left to succeed with only their $9.6 billion endowment. But the Giving Day website is an exceptionally silly way to go about soliciting funds. It’s bright, it pops out at you, and it looks more like a kickstarter page for a new waterbottle/flashlight combo than an advertisement for a distinguished University. It’s too busy, it’s too dynamic, and worst of all, its bottom bar color is #c0ddea, which isn’t even one of the previously discovered species of Columbia Blue.

Now, you might be thinking, “It sucks that the alumni get to have all the fun and donate! Why is there nothing for me, the social-media-savvy student to do to help my favorite university?” Worry not, because Columbia was kind enough to “fill-in-the-blank selfie signs” and “some new, interactive Columbia downloads.” So go ahead and download a photo of Butler Library quickly turned into line art by a Photoshop extension. The university suggests that you print it out and color it as creatively as you like! Then you should share it on Instagram and Facebook with the hashtags #ColumbiaGivingDay and #MyColumbiaMoment and… that’s it. No contest or anything. The last step of this coloring book’s instructions are to go online and donate on October 26th. They just expected that you would do the coloring because, you know, donating hundreds of dollars to Columbia gets you really pumped up.

The website also lets you sign up for email reminders (if you don’t have a calendar), become a Social Ambassador, and “join the Giving Day Insiders.” If you don’t feel like donating, you can feel free to browse the social media wall and check out how much money everyone was spending 11 months ago. All in all, we recommend everyone check out this page and donate. There’s nothing more fun than giving Columbia more money!

Fun and interactive coloring pages via Columbia University Giving Day

Sep

23

Written by

LowIn looking at the proposed agenda for the University Senate plenary scheduled for this afternoon, Bwog noticed one particular proposed resolution that stood out. As part of new business, the senate plans to address a proposed resolution affirming the University of Chicago’s report on freedom of expression.

It is important to note that this report is not the letter that UChicago sent out to its class of 2020 on the topic of not supporting trigger warnings, nor the open letter the faculty wrote in response to the former letter. Instead, the report was issued by the Committee on Freedom of Expression at the University of Chicago, a separate entity that was appointed in July 2014, long before either of those letters were sent.

That said, the question remains why Columbia would choose to affirm this statement instead of crafting its own in response to the discourse surrounding the implementation of safe spaces and trigger warnings on campus and in the classroom.

Here is the text of the proposed resolution:

WHEREAS, freedom of expression is essential for what a university is and does, and

WHEREAS, Columbia University has long been a strong supporter of freedom of expression, and

WHEREAS, that support is expressed in the Affirmative Statement in the Rules of University Conduct, and

WHEREAS, freedom of expression on college campuses has come under attack in recent years and has become a contested national issue, and

WHEREAS, the University of Chicago’s Report of the Committee on Freedom of Expression is a balanced approach to the issue,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Columbia University Senate subscribe to the principles in the University of Chicago statement.

The report by the University of Chicago committee can be found following the proposed resolution. The plenary to discuss the resolution will take place at 1:15 PM this afternoon in 1501 International Affairs.

Updates on the plenary to come.

Update (9/23/16, 2:34pm): While this resolution was discussed by the University Senate at the plenary, no vote was made. The resolution is still open, and will be discussed further at later meetings. Full coverage of the plenary to come this evening.

Sep

23

Written by

Police Tape

do! not! cross!

Yahoo announced that, two years ago, hackers stole data for 500 million user accounts. This info included passwords, phone numbers, and addresses, so… watch your back (and change your passwords)? (New York Times)

Hillary Clinton made an appearance on Zach Galifianakis’s “Between Two Ferns”, where she continued her quest to appeal to millennials. We’re not saying it worked… but we’re not saying it didn’t, either. (LA Times)

Gigi Hadid was attacked by “serial prankster” Vitalii Sediuk after a Milan Fashion Week show, where she used her well-practiced kickboxing skills to elbow his jaw outta whack. Shoutout to badass women fighting back! (Huffington Post)

An unnamed Chinese journalist was suspended from her job for inappropriate accessories (namely, an umbrella to shield from sun and sunglasses) as she interviewed hardworking volunteers at a typhoon relief site. We’re torn between skin protection goals and lack of relatability on this one. (BBC)

Sep

22

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Plimton 3D illuminated by christmas lights

Who needs flourescent lighting?

Once in a while, we come across a cool abode on campus and we feel compelled to share it with the world. This is one of those occasions.  Sports Editor and Senior Staff Writer Ross Chapman journeyed all the way to Plimpton to take a gander at this suite, which is surely a testament to the aesthetic excellence of these lodgings.

Have you ever tried to hang up a string of Christmas lights, only to find they don’t quite reach exactly where you need them to? Plimpton 3D does not have that problem.

About a week ago, we received a tip that this suite in Plimpton decided to hang a ton of lights in their suite lounge. After having been there, we can confirm that yes, they have, and yes, it’s glorious. The wall faces the door, so as you walk in you’re confronted by a huge curtain of light. You wouldn’t assume that all of the overhead lights were off, based on how brightly lit the lounge was, but these residents had made the pre-installed lighting entirely obsolete.

You might be asking yourself some simple questions about this room, like, “Why?” “How?” and “What will these residents do when their room inevitably catches on fire?” The first two answers are pretty simple. This room was inspired by Troye Sivan’s “YOUTH” video, but it turns out that white Christmas lights are a lot easier to buy and hang than multicolored ones. The inspiration was multiplied by the general suckiness of fluorescent dorm lighting. As for the “how”, this suite already had two strings of Christmas lights. It was just a matter of ordering ten more (which turned into 11 more at the last minute) and hanging them all up. The 13 strings each have 100 lights, and they’re all plugged into two meager outlets. When asked about fire concerns, one resident responded, “These things are normally attached to trees, so why would they be dangerous on a wall?”

A full gallery after the jump

Sep

22

Written by

megacities-compressorOn Wednesday night, Bwog neophyte Lexie Lehmann attended the Megacities ShortDocs NYC Festival, hosted by Columbia’s Maison Francaise. The festival, sponsored by Air France and the U.S. French Embassy, consisted of 15 mini-documentaries portraying megacities as well as the problems which plague urban citizens around the world.

It’s not every night that you get the chance to attend an international film festival, especially one just steps away from your Carman dorm. Yet last night, with suitemate in tow, I donned a funky dress and made my way to Columbia’s Maison Francaise to attend the Megacities ShortDocs Film Festival. Meandering up Low Steps, a couple of thoughts fluttered around my mind: what is a megacity? And, I hope I’m not underdressed….

Luckily, upon walking into the event, I was quick to pick up the casual, yet intellectual, vibe of the room. Once the showing began, a smartly dressed man introduced the Megacities ShortDoc competition. In major megacities around the world—cities with populations of over 10 million people—aspiring filmmakers and documentary makers submitted short, four-minute films about a specific problem plaguing their home cities and how local initiatives are responding to that problem. The goals of the competition were threefold: to showcase inspiring examples of megacities, to identify new and talented documentarians, and to raise awareness about the problems facing urban citizens.

Let’s watch some movies

Sep

22

Written by

course-catalogue-1-1

Staff Writer Elana Rebitzer takes us back 100 years to the Barnard Course Catalogue of days long gone. Elana found much more than course lists, however. She shares with us tuition fees, the only residence hall on campus, and some eyebrow-raising course names. 

One-hundred years ago, many things that we now take for granted didn’t exist – there was no internet, women couldn’t vote or attend most universities, and most households did not have a telephone. But one thing was the same: Barnard and Columbia students were attending classes as usual.

To see what life was like for our collegiate predecessors, I found the Barnard course catalog from exactly 100 years ago in the Barnard archives, and pored over it to see what’s changed and what hasn’t in those 100 years. The small blue book doesn’t feel any older than a used textbook, and is actually in far better shape than most used books. I almost expected the course catalog to be handwritten, but it was typed – and much easier to navigate than the current registration system.

Just as it does today, the catalog included many unusual classes. At the time, the mandatory P.E. requirement was, “Lectures on Personal Hygiene, Elementary Dancing, Games, and Athletics.” These courses were taught by a Miss Beegle, including three sections on “elementary dancing,” “advanced dancing,” and “general athletics and swimming.” “Women in Gainful Occupations” was an economics class, and there was an entire Zoölogy department. Most confusing is “Blowpipe Analysis,” a laboratory class offered in the mineralogy department.

Read on for more gems from the catalogue

Sep

22

Written by

A cute cover photo promises good things

A cute cover photo promises good things

What’s better (wayyyy better) than Columbia Homecoming? Student Organization of Latinos (SOL)’s Homecoming Picnic, tomorrow at 5 pm on Hamilton Lawn! Delicious food and snacks will be served. We don’t know the food specifics yet, but the red-and-white checkered tablecloth photo on the Facebook event page is appetizing. So is the promise of new friendships, with first years and beyond. We’ll be there. Will you?

The event goes until 7 pm. The memories could last forever.

Event photo via Facebook event page

Sep

22

Written by

old computer

Unfortunately, computers do not look like this in North Korea.

North Korea slipped up, and now the rest of the world knows that it only has 28 websites. Soon after, Switzerland and Japan were overheard in the bathroom whispering, “Like we’d ever think they were cool.” (NPR)

In an effort to make millennials even more anxious about their appearances, Tinder has launched a new iMessage app where your friends can vote on your selfies. If you are looking to lower your self-esteem and reach a new level of self-hatred, then you should probably download this app.  (The Verge)

The rumors are true! Siri and WhatsApp have been hooking up, and now they’ve given birth to a baby app named Allo. The app is *technically* owned by Google, but we all know who the real parents are.

Someone has apparently jailbroken the iPhone 7 but doesn’t want to tell anyone how they did it. Jerk. (BGR)

Scientists at Carnegie Mellon are teaching robots how to hunt and kill humans. These robots may be operating in a strictly virtual universe, but it makes us wonder when the bots might apply their talents to the real world. Or have they already? (Tech Crunch)

The laptop our grandparents gave us via KPG_Payless/Shutterstock

Sep

21

Written by

image1

Us too, PrezBB, us too.

Here at Bwog HQ (a.k.a. tips@bwog.com), we receive a constant stream of requests to feature new apps. These apps are usually made by Columbia students for Columbia students, and tend to have varying degrees of usefulness (from none to “eh, maybe”). A few examples include:

  • Exactly 1 million apps for first-years to find parties during NSOP
  • An app to help you make friends over coffee (this seemed dubious)
  • A mashup of Snapchat, Yik Yak, and b@b (you can decide for yourself how those go together)

Recently, however, we received an email about CUStickers. For those of us who have Androids, can’t update our iPhones, or don’t know how to use iOS 10, “Stickers” are one of the numerous new features Apple has blessed(?) us with. You can download all different kinds of stickers from the App Store, including one set that is Columbia-themed.

We were initially intrigued by this app because the illustrations were admittedly adorable. Sassy Prezbo immediately caught our eye and Roar-ee seemed friendly and relatable. But…then we took a closer look.

fullsizerender-11) There’s a Spec sticker, but not a Bwog sticker?

In the words of Sassy Prezbo, “Srsly?” You want us to promote your app, but you don’t have a Bwog sticker? Instead, there’s just a big ‘ol Spec sticker. Also, does anyone say “The Spec”? We’re genuinely curious.

2) Carry That Weight: Genuine or….?fullsizerender-2

The CUStickers collection includes an image of Roar-ee carrying a blue mattress with the caption “Carry That Weight,” and we honestly can’t tell if the message is genuine or sarcastic. We could see how it could go both ways. Normally we would give this sticker the benefit of the doubt, but the presence of a different questionable image gave us pause (we’ll get to that next).

3) Nope, go directly to Jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.

fullsizerenderUpon experimenting with the app we encountered one sticker with a caption that made us go, “Oh shit.” We’re talking about everyone’s favorite buzzword: triggered. We can’t help wondering what the app’s creators were thinking when they threw that in there. As one Bwogger put it, “That’s BAD.” We expect a whole slew of comments about this, so we’ll just leave it at that.

Most of us agreed that the illustrations for CUStickers were cute and (mostly) relatable (the Hamilton elevator, anyone?), but if you want your app to be truly “relatable,” you might want to exclude insensitive captions that alienate your fellow students. And no, we didn’t read “The Spec.”

Might we also suggest adding one of Bwog’s own sticker creations to the set? CUStickers: let us know if you’re interested.

Drawings via CUStickers App

Real-life Sticker via Bwog Staff

Sep

21

Written by

These preschoolers don't look like yoga enthusiasts to us ...

Either we came to Butler lawn at the wrong time, or yoga instructors have gotten a lot younger

Yesterday evening, new writer Constance Blumenthal headed over to Butler lawn, hoping to take advantage of some free, stress-relieving yoga. What she found was not as stress-relieving as she’d hoped.

After a long day of classes, running across town, and getting yelled at by security guards at the Met, I was looking forward to University Life’s “Yoga on the Lawn.” I have never actually taken a yoga class, and I found myself both nervous and excited as I walked to Butler’s South Lawn.

When I arrived I don’t know if I was more surprised that I was excited by the idea of de-stressing (after all, stress just seems like a normal part of our ∼Ivy∼ lifestyle) – or by the fact that nobody else was there.

As I later learned, the event was moved to Dodge at 2pm. But this information was only posted on Instagram by the university’s account… Since when did Instagram become a platform to keep us updated on events?! Also, come on, University Life – shouldn’t you be updating your own FB, Twitter, and Insta account as well—isn’t keeping the student body informed one of your basic functions?  And shouldn’t you have a less complicated name? This is the age of shorthand, after all.

Is there a light at the end of the yoga-less tunnel?

Sep

21

Written by

New Kids on the Block

New Kids on the Block

Welcome back, GSSC! The General Studies Student Council is very much getting back into the swing of things, and this week involved a lot of position appointments. GSSC Bureau Chiefs Jennifer Nugent and Romane Thomas bring you through the whole new cast of characters.

This week was eventful in the General Studies Student Council, as 14 new people were appointed to positions on council. While this constituted the majority of the meeting, there were also a few items on the agenda from other council members, including a new opening for Vice President of Finance, a sold out Welcome Back party, and our very own Senator Ramond Curtis was appointed to lead the committee in the University Senate for students with disabilities. After this general business, each candidate seeking council approval had a few moments to present themselves, so here are some of their best lines:

  • Hannah Joy (First Year Vice President): “I’ve managed a hotel, so I’ve been everything from a plumber to a psychologist.”
  • Simon Xu (First Year Treasurer): Being in leadership at his previous university taught him to work with difficult people.
  • Franklin Forbes (Senior Class President): After gaining a certain reputation from his previous experience with GSSC, he promises (seriously) to stay in budget if appointed.
  • Laura Cabrera (Senior Class Vice President): When asked how she would motivate students to come to events, Cabrera answered that she would do what she needed to do, including kicking people in the you-know-what.
  • Sam Hughes (Senior Treasurer): Though he has been on GSSC for several years, Mike of the Alumni Affairs team was concerned that Hughes might cheat on his budget like he did at fantasy football. However, Hughes argues that his trades have always been legitimate and genius.
  • Daria Greeno (Comptroller): As the former VP of Finance, who resigned from that post this week, she assured council that she “probably wouldn’t resign twice.”

Some more fantastic lines after the jump!

Sep

21

Written by

The Columbia researcher: a jaded, contrary private eye...

The Columbia researcher: a jaded, contrary private eye…

Tired of only hearing about arts and politics in campus news? Then welcome to BunsenBwog (occasionally Bunsen Bwog), our go-to conglomerate source for the scientific happenings of the world. Think of it like Bwoglines, but for science. In this edition, first-year Bwogger Nora McNamara-Bordewick takes you through Columbia’s health research in the news over the past week.

The stakes couldn’t be higher for the legalization of medical marijuana, with opponents of cannabis legislation getting smoked by budding evidence from Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health. All puns aside, a newly-published paper concludes that states with medical cannabis laws see fewer fatal car accidents caused by opioid use. When medical marijuana is legal, individuals with chronic pain substitute marijuana for opioids, which accounts for the decrease in automobile fatalities. Weed all like to see this happen.

The FDA has finally gotten around to addressing information that the folks up at the Medical campus knew back in ‘07. A paper published by researchers at Columbia University School of Nursing concluded that active chemicals in antibacterial soap are no more effective in stopping the spread of germs than good old-fashioned soap and water. In fact, the paper links the widespread use of antibacterial soaps to the growth of drug-resistant bacteria. Nine years later, the FDA is taking action on this evidence, placing a ban on certain chemicals in antibacterial soaps and washes. Fear not, avid users of the John Jay Purell dispenser: the FDA ban does not extend to hand sanitizers and wipes.

Hate oversleeping? Want to overthrow the legitimacy of Columbia University entirely? Read on after the jump

Sep

21

Written by

A young man in a suit listening through a solo cup

Just the FBI, listening in on your QUESTIONABLE SECURITY DECISIONS.

While we at Columbia have been pretty quiet about the Chelsea explosion, the country is still struggling to find out why and how. Yesterday, the main suspect’s father claimed that he had reported his son to the FBI two years ago. (New York Post)

The Hillary Clinton Email Extravaganza continues to have its secrets revealed. Some pretty damning evidence points to the fact that Paul Combetta, Clinton’s computer specialist, asked Reddit how to hide information on the private server. (Vice)

Have you seen those ads for the new show CBS show Bull on the subway entrances at 116th? Don’t get your hopes up about the show. According to one critic, the show is “the TV equivalent of putting a Harambe T-shirt on your dad.” (A.V. Club)

Mark your calendars for “late 2017:” China’s Tiangong-1 space station is falling back to earth in an uncontrolled manner, meaning it might release debris over populated areas. (Popular Mechanics)

The very competent FBI agents in charge of 2016 via Shutterstock

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