Clubhop: CU Ready For Hillary
What a lady boss

What a lady boss

New clubs and organizations have been springing up on campus this fall, including Columbia University Ready for Hillary. Politics Paramour Lili Brown caught up with the group’s co-founder, Anna Jessurun, to see what the club is all about. If you’re interested in learning more about/joining CU Ready for Hillary, please fill out their sign-up form and like them on Facebook.

Bwog: Welcome to campus, Ready for Hillary! What is Ready for Hillary, and what are some of the initiatives you have lined up for the 2014-2015 year?

Anna: Ready for Hillary is technically a Super PAC, consisting of supporters urging Hillary Clinton to run in 2016. Unlike other Super PACs that may be demonizing like those we’ve seen in the media, Ready for Hillary is very much a grassroots volunteer movement. Our over-arching goal is to get Columbia Ready for Hillary.

Bwog: What does that mean, getting Columbia ready for Hillary?

Anna: If Hillary does declare her candidacy, we will already have a database of supporters at Columbia that can help her campaign. So for example, if her campaign needs people in New York to volunteer, make phone calls, host events, we’ll have that base at Columbia. Columbia itself is already such a politically active and passionate institution that I think that many people will be very into this and very supportive.

Bwog: Is Ready for Hillary a part of Hillary’s campaign?

Anna: No, we are not. But we are focused on raising interest in voting generally. One of our goals this semester is our Ready to Vote initiative. We have Ready to Vote cards, which are linked to the potential Hillary Clinton campaign, but a lot of the language is geared for readiness to support Democrats and readiness to vote. And since we are at an institution full of young people, who as a demographic historically don’t vote as much as they should, I think our big goal is getting people ready to vote. Preferably for Democrats, but we just want people voting.

Talking about a potential Hillary run and her best pantsuit color after the jump.

Bwoglines: Give Me More Edition
Pasta will never hurt you (unlike those mean OkCupid users).

Pasta will never hurt you (unlike those mean OkCupid users).

Keep a close eye on Scotland, guys. (The Huffington Post)

Did you get your Olive Garden Never-Ending Pasta Pass?! No? Hmm. Well, there are always the breadsticks. (Salon)

Here are the most affluent cities in each state. We never knew we might want to live in Texas. (Slate)

A plea from OkCupid: be more humane. (Salon)

 

Cheese and salt and butter via Olive Garden (just kidding, it’s via Shutterstock).

Police Activity On Broadway

Public Safety sent out the following message just now:

Police activity in the area of 116th street and Broadway. Please avoid area until cleared. – Public Safety

One tipster says that the gates are closed and roped off, and that there may be a bomb threat from a suspicious bag. However, this is completely unverified and we will update the post with more information as it comes in. Send any info to tips@bwog.com, and stay safe.

Update (10:24 pm):

Update (10:27 pm): Police have left the scene. If you didn’t receive notification of the initial police activity, set up emergency text message notifications here. Bwog also talked to an officer on the scene: “It’s just a drill, bro.”

Update (10:31 pm): Public Safety says: “Police activity in the area of 116th street and Broadway has concluded. The area has been reopened to the public. – Public Safety.” While we’re at it, remember this?

The Wild Froshberries Visit Muscota Marsh
Welcome to the Muscota Marsh.

Welcome to the Muscota Marsh. No alcohol allowed.

This is us, Paula and Christina, two of your average Columbia freshmen. We’ve got Carman parties, Lit Hum, and mandatory meal plans. About our campus… It grows because we build complexes all over the city. And between you and us, something amazing happened…and now we can talk to animals! It’s really cool, but totally secret. And you know what? Life’s never been the same.

Last Saturday we decided to put off reading the Iliad and break out of the Columbia bubble. We thought about following our zoology professor, Nigel, to do research in Patagonia, but decided taking the train to 218th street instead would be equally as adventurous.

A little birdie told us that Muscota Marsh, right next to Columbia’s Baker Stadium and Campbell Athletic Complex, is one of the best places in the city for animal lovers like ourselves. We strolled through the entrance, munching on some care package goodies, when a high-pitched voice from the trees above brought us to a halt.

Keith and Musa, guardians of the marsh

Keith and Musa, guardians of the marsh.

“HEY! Can you hook me up with some of that?”

“Who’s there?!” we exclaimed, and a gray flash darted down the tree closest to us, and stopped at our feet in the form of the chubbiest squirrel in the world.

“My name is Knickerbocker, but my friends call me Nick! I’m tired of eating nuts and birthday cake all day, can I get some of those cookies?”

“Birthday cake? Where do you get that around here, Nick?”

“Since neighborhood families started having parties here on the weekends, I’ve gained a taste for it. I’ve gotten fluffier since the park opened in January.”

We looked at each other as we handed him some of our Oreos. “We know that struggle,” we sighed. “Where we’re from it’s called the freshman fifteen.”

Find out about Columbia’s real reason for building the park below.

Boringside: Bernheim And Schwartz’s Sign Went Up

Havana Central, rest in peace. The West End, rest in peace. Bernheim and Schwartz, the new restaurant and beer hall opening up on Broadway looks almost done from the exterior; it has new sidewalk, a new sign, and has started to enclose its outdoor seating area. The restaurant is hiring, which is good because we hear it is expected to open up within a few weeks.

IMG_7391The Beats would probably prefer this to Havana Central though

 

LectureHop: The Particulars Of Corruption
The sweater checks out for him being a good lecturer.

The sweater checks out for him being a good lecturer.

Every week, tons of speakers grace Columbia’s campus and make us all a bit smarter, which we chronicle in Bucket List. Corruption Cognoscente Amsal Lakhani went to “Maximizing Illicit Profits: Understanding How Corrupt Officials Choose How Much to Charge for Bribes,” on Thursday, and has a lot to say about it.

Thursday’s lecture was prefaced by a couple of introductions. Acronyms like CGEG (Center on Global Economic Governance) and CAPPI (Center for the Advancement of Public Integrity) were tossed around, in true Columbia fashion, before the main act, Professor Ben Olken of MIT, took the stage.

His lecture began with the question: why do we even care about corruption? The economist deals with the efficiency costs of corruption, and Professor Olken made it clear that he wasn’t dealing with moral issues in this lecture; rather, he was concerned with how corruption distorts the efficacy of government activity, and how it limits the government’s ability to combat inefficiency.

He then limited the scope of his lecture to three types of corruption: graft (theft of government funds), extortion (extracting money using threats), and bribes (taking money to turn a blind eye).

He first focused on the individual decision maker: do corrupt officials respond to incentives and punishments? To answer this question, Olken travelled to Indonesia. It turns out that graft in road projects is a huge problem there, as some Indonesian bureaucrats’ ingenious way of skimming off funds is to literally skim off the road. While the top layer looks as fresh as any newly-laid bed of asphalt does, the inside remains emptier in substance than your Lit Hum essay. This makes the road deteriorate much quicker, and as an economist would tell you, reduces the efficiency of road-building significantly.

But do corrupt officials respond to changes in policy? Jump to find out.

What The Kids Are Doing: Yik Yak

Once in a while a new form of social media comes along for us to add to our already two page folder of social media apps on our phone. The latest craze amongst the kids (by this, we mean first years) is an app called Yik Yak.

Much like Bored@Butler, the app allows for you to post anonymously any clever or drunken thought that comes to your mind. Others can either up-vote or down-vote your post. Another bonus to the app is that it’s primarily designed for college campuses, so the only posts that will come up are from people in the Columbia area. You can also creep on what other colleges are saying, i.e. “where’s the coke at? -Harvard.” Oh, technology; what a time to be alive. Here we’ve collected some of the best/most terrifying Yik Yaks we’ve seen over the past week to inspire you to join the craze.

More crazy Yik Yaks after the jump.

A Lesson In Capitalism
cooking salad

PSA: chop your own salads

We’ve heard a few rumors that one of our favorite places to get salads just got even more expensive:

Milano is charging $1 extra for chopped salads. Nothing about capitalism in America has infuriated me more.

The horror! The horror! Let us know if this has happened to you too, or if an entrepreneurial individual opens up a salad chopping stand outside of Milano for $0.75.

Bwoglines: Is It Too Good To Be True? Edition
Would you mess with this family?

Would you mess with this family?

The Palin family may have gotten into a drunken brawl. (State Column)

Endless salad and breadsticks? There must be a downside. (Arizona Daily Star)

“A 15-metre-long behemoth with a crocodile-like face,” or the first known aquatic dinosaur. Terrifying. (IBN)

Meanwhile, putting tanks in towns may not be the most popular idea. (NYT)

Not impressed via Shutterstock

Freshlings And Furnald: AC And Frisbee
The only sweaty stock photo that's not too gross

The only sweaty stock photo that’s not too gross

Bwog has discovered that Class of 2018 has a lot of feelings about Furnald. They share them below.

Temperature Titan Caroline Mansour tells us about the great Furnald AC outage of 2014.

Remember last week when it was 90 degrees outside? When first years rode the heat wave all the way to their first days of class (characterized by the Iliad, fledgling alcoholism, and trademark confusion)? Of course you remember. Trying to sleep with a fan in your bed is not something you easily forget.

Now, let’s rewind a couple of months: before arriving on campus, each young Lion chooses a dorm. It doesn’t take too much Googling to find out that Carman is an alcoholic wasteland, Furnald is an antisocial void, and John Jay is an awkward middle ground. The LLC is not worth mentioning. For me, the choice came down to air conditioning. Yes, I chose Furnald for the AC. But, like a nightmare come true, the air conditioning went down three times. We went through the hell of living in an oven John Jay, but worse because we still had to walk for our food. Without sweet amenities, Furnaldians had no air conditioning and no friends. It got so bad, some poor souls trekked to Butler even when they didn’t have to study. The air was fixed by maintenance three times before it started working and order was restored, but not before some questionable hookups were had with some questionable Carmanites, a phenomenon known as “banging for AC.”

Second, Frisbee Fanatic Anna Lochte gives us the perspective of some old men who were living it up with a frisbee outside Furnald. 

(more…)

Overseen: Someone Doesn’t Want To Finish Their Sandwich

Some brilliant entrepreneur in EC is selling the last half-bite of what looks like a wonderful sandwich. The fine customer service of this enterprise is shown by a generous offer to “remove meat for vegetarians.” Hurry, or this fragment of bread will be gone.

 

Where Are All The Bathrooms?
"How did I get to this point in my life?"

“How did I get to this point in my life?”

Columbia’s academic buildings have odd bathroom patterns. Many a time, students must walk several floors to find a bathroom they can use (and want to use). To solve this issue, we sent some magnificent bathroom mappers to survey several buildings’ restroom facilities and present them to you in easy-to-remember poetic form. Gender-neutral bathrooms, and an altogether better system for finding a bathroom, can be found here.

Lerner

If you wanna poo on floor two

go left and use the public loo.

If you’re a gal on three or four

head down the ramp and through the door.

If you’re a guy who needs to pee

walk up the ramps on four and three.

Barnard Hall

If you are having an emergency,

The ground floor washroom is where you should pee.

If you have a little more time,

The fourth floor stalls are simply sublime.

(more…)

No Red Tape’s “Stand With Survivors” Demonstration On Low

“Rape shouldn’t be part of the college experience.”

“Red tape won’t cover up rape.”

Earlier this week, No Red Tape delivered this letter to President Bollinger, proposing further reforms to Columbia University’s most recent sexual assault policy. Today, they’re holding a “Stand With Survivors” demonstration until 3, where student and alumni survivors are sharing their stories.

From their press release:

Frustrated by months of inaction and empty promises by the University, the group No Red Tape Columbia is demanding improvements to the school’s adjudication policies, stronger prevention programs, increased transparency, and comprehensive resources for survivors. Student and alumni survivors will speak out about their experiences of sexual and domestic violence and of mistreatment by the university.

At one point, organizer Zoe Ridolfi-Starr encouraged members of the crowd to stand behind the mattresses with the demonstrators. About 30 crossed sides: “This kind of movement is the type of movement we should see every time a survivor calls for help,” Ridolfi-Starr said to audience applause.

no red tape low

More pictures and video below the jump

PSA: Deadline To Drop Core Class Is 5 PM!
Ooh! A calendar that shows you which classes you'll drop later!

Ooh! A calendar that shows you which classes you’ll drop later!

Remember when myBarnard almost dropped everyone’s classes? Yea? Today, if you have bad professors, shitty lecture sections, or otherwise crappy classes that you don’t want anymore, feel free to drop them…but of your own volition. Make your changes before 5 pm, because that’s CC’s deadline for adding, dropping or changing sections of a Core class. For other classes, you still have some time to decide to drop.

In addition, today is also the change of program deadline for GS. After this date, GSers can still drop classes, but they will pay full tuition for any classes dropped. Sounds like wasted money.

 

Bwoglines: “Dropped” Edition
Twas' a bad time to drop the ball

Twas a bad time to drop the ball

NFL Commish Roger Goodell dropped the ball on Ray Rice’s domestic abuse investigation, and Ray Rice was dropped from his endorsement deals with Nike, Vertimax and several other companies. (CBS)

Speaking of f*ball, Rihanna was dropped from last night’s Thursday Night opening segment. Apparently, CBS wanted to beat an already pretty badly maimed horse instead (hint: see above). (Philly.com)

$250,000/day is what Yahoo! will have to drop if they don’t hand over user data to the Fed. Maybe the Fed will use that to drop the national debt from 15 trillion to a barely lower number. But probably not. (Gothamist)

All it took was some people screaming “Boooo!” to get JBiebs to drop his pants at Brooklyn’s “Fashion Rocks” event, part of New York Fashion Week. He posed tall and proud in his “Calvins” next to Dutch beauty Lara Stone. (CNN)

Dropping everything via Business Insider