Dec

7

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Nate Silver, king of the polls

Nate Silver, king of the polls

Curious about what went wrong with the polls this election season? On Tuesday evening, Bwog Staff Writer Lexie Lehmann attended Columbia Data and Society Task Force’s event, “Data, Polling, the Media and Democracy: A Panel Discussion of Election 2016”. Here are the highlights from the forum.

On Tuesday, Columbia’s Data and Society Task Force, sponsored by the Data Science Institute, presented a panel discussion of this year’s election in the Rotunda of Low Library. In the days leading up to the event, my Facebook buzzed with posts by people trying to snag tickets and weasel their way in. For those who, like myself, kept up obsessively and painstakingly with this year’s election, the event boasted a big name: Nate Silver, founder and Editor in Chief of FiveThirtyEight. If you haven’t heard of it, FiveThirtyEight is a website that provides data-driven and polling-based coverage of politics, sports, economics, and other popular topics. Since correctly predicting the 2008 presidential election results in 49 of the 50 states, FiveThirtyEight’s coverage has been lauded as one of the most accurate and comprehensive polling resources available. Yet, on that that fateful day of November 8, 2016, Nate’s estimate that Hillary Clinton had a 71.4% chance of winning let the entire country down. The polls, it seemed, had failed us.

Read what Silver had to say after the jump…

Dec

7

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Beyoncé's our lead Bacchanal artist! (just kidding lol)

Beyoncé is our lead Bacchanal artist! (just kidding lol)

Last night, Bwog GSSC Bureau Chiefs Jennie Nugent & Romane Thomas attended GSSC’s last meeting of the semester. We’ll be back with more GSSC updates after break!

The General Studies Student Council has been working on several projects throughout the semester, and the final meeting of 2016 was a celebration of all that the council had accomplished, as well as a chance to look at improvements and new initiatives for the spring semester.

  • The subcommittee for students with disabilities hosted their awareness event last Saturday. Students reported that the event was a great way to open up the conversation about addressing disabilities on campus, and to increase awareness of the resources Columbia provides to its students. There was also a panel discussion to facilitate understanding. The subcommittee hopes to make this a semesterly event, so expect another event in the spring!
  • In GS Food Bank news, Michael Higgins reported that council has reached out to the community to aid food insecurity, and that progress is being made on making this a school-wide initiative.
  • Finance revealed that the first female lead artist at Bacchanal this year is lined up. While names cannot be released until all of the details are ironed out, GSSC did reveal that the artist is not, in fact, Beyoncé.
  • Next, President Julian LaRosa mentioned that next semester would see work on the food bank (contact Michael Higgins at [email protected] for more information) and a constitutional review to update the rules and regulations governing our esteemed council. If only Mike Neier could be here to see/edit/memorize it…

More on finals stress relief and free tampons/pads

Dec

7

Written by

we slay (finals)

we slay (finals)

Beyoncé scored more Grammy nominations than any other artist this year. Some of her nine nominations this year include “Formation” for “Song of the Year” and Lemonade for “Album of the Year.” (The Guardian)

While visiting an LGBTQ homeless shelter in Harlem, Lady Gaga revealed her personal experiences with PTSD. The artist stressed the value of everyday compassion, emphasizing that the kindness exhibited by her friends, family, and doctors “really saved [her] life.” (Today)

Annoyed by the ever-present scaffolding you see on New York streets? A newly proposed bill in City Council aims to set a six-month deadline for scaffolding removal when no construction work is being done. (The New York Times)

On his next visit to America, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to visit Pearl Harbor with President Obama. As the first Japanese leader to ever visit the site, Abe stated that the visit aims to “soothe the souls of the victims.” (CNN)

Queen B via independent.co.uk

Dec

6

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How much orange is too much orange?

How much orange is too much orange?

This week, Barnard’s SGA welcomed not one, not two, but three administrative guests. This is by far (well, by one) the largest number of administrative guests at a single this meeting this year. So what happened at this star-studded meeting of the Rep Council? Read on to find out.

Louise Hood, Associate Vice President and Chief of Staff for Development, Alumnae Affairs, and Career Development; Caitilin Tramel, Executive Director for Alumnae Relations; and Robert Earl, Director of Career Development joined SGA in the Diana Cafe to talk about alumnae, careers, and how they go together.

Hood started by describing the logical relationship between alumnae relations and career development. Alumnae serve as mentors to Barnard students in their search for careers, and some are also in recruiting and hiring positions. Encouraging institutional affinity helps students progress in their chosen paths and allows alumnae to a chance to give back.

Tramel followed Hood, and described her position in encouraging alumnae relations. Barnard has over 35,000 alumnae spanning decades, who live across the globe and are in different stages of life. The different alumnae create groups and committees according to their interests, careers, or graduating years. Of special note was “Project Continuum,” which unfortunately doesn’t have anything to do with the bending of space-time, as the name suggests, but is composed of alumnae who graduated thirty or more years ago and maintain active communication and frequent programming. Someday you too may be able to tour Monet’s Garden or present a century of wisdom with your alumnae retiree peers. The Barnard alumnae association also maintains an active directory and listserv that allows members to keep in touch.

More on the exciting world of alumni affairs after the jump

Dec

6

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ESC is keeping campus running smooth with the latest innovation, tampon boxes in bathrooms campus-wide.

ESC is keeping campus running smooth with the latest innovation, tampon boxes in bathrooms campus-wide.

Tampons, smoking bans, and tree lighting malfunctions, Oh my! A lot happened in this week’s ESC meeting. Let Finn Klauber recount the details of some important, new innovations coming to a bathroom near you very soon.

The student council initiative first spearheaded last year by CCSC President Ben Makansi and VP for Policy Viv Ramakrishnan to provide free tampons and pads to Columbia’s student population won a second round of support last night. In support of authorizing a tripartite, Council-led, pilot program for the upcoming semester, CCSC Executive VP for Policy Abby Porter and CCSC Student Services Rep Sam Safari presented an initiative blueprint already approved by CCSC.

The initiative, Abby and Sam explained, would pick up upon programs already in place at other schools, such as Brown, NYU, and the New York public school system, to stock pad and tampon boxes in specific bathrooms across Columbia proper for public consumption. After meeting with Columbia Health and Scott Wright of Student Services, CCSC attained substantive administrative support for this pilot program in the form of Student Services taking responsibility for installing the sanitary supply boxes in agreed locations. Student council members, in exchange, will take responsibility for collecting data on tampon and pad usage while also restocking the supplies, which the Councils will be responsible for purchasing. The proposed financial burden on each Council would amount to $210.96 from ESC, $622.32 from CCSC, and $221.51 from GSSC—though GSSC will vote upon the proposal later today. However, any money unused in the purchase of sanitary supplies will be returned to the Councils as appropriate. The list of buildings receiving tampon and pad boxes is as follows:

The list of locations after the jump

Dec

6

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Flyer for the event

Flyer for the event

Tonight at 8pm in Mathematics 312, Students Supporting Israel (SSI), a newly recognized student group, is hosting an event called “Indigenous People Unite.” This event will involve a panel of five speakers representing indigenous peoples from around the world; their nationalities are Assyrian, Yazidi, Israelite, Native Canadian, and Tibetan. According to the description of the event on Facebook, “the thousand year old sacred connection to a piece of land and the constant attempts of destruction and oppression, brings these people together in a discussion centered around pursuing common interests.” Neither the names of the speakers nor their connections to Columbia are provided.

On Sunday, the Algemeiner (a Jewish newspaper) published a piece about this event, including statements from Rudy Rochman, GS ’19, president of SSI. Rochman said that several activist groups on Columbia’s campus “target the average student on campus by playing up and riding on the shoulders of other minority struggles,” and that tonight’s event aims to challenge that perception by including an Israelite in a conversation about other minority struggles. He said that “you can support Palestinian human rights while also supporting the story of Israel — the story of a people who have a right to exist like any native people.”

However, many groups on campus are not so certain that this is the case. This morning, we received a statement from 25 ethnic, national, and cultural campus groups that “stand in solidarity with indigenous people”, including CU Apartheid Divest, Columbia Queer Alliance, Black Students Organization, Chicanx Caucus, and Columbia Divest for Climate Justice. These groups condemn the event, on the basis that “there can be no common interests and no principled solidarity between indigenous people and those who defend and aid Israel’s active project of ethnic cleansing and colonization of the Palestinians and their land.” The statement goes on to claim that “this event masks the catastrophic impact that the state of Israel, with its theft of Palestinian land and lives, has had and continues to have on the indigenous people of Palestine since 1948.”

The statement concludes with a resolution from its signatories to “reject colonialism in every form,” and “call upon the greater Columbia community to recognize the past and present oppression of Palestinians and all indigenous peoples around the world.”

EDIT, as of 2:04 P.M.: Rudy Rochman sent us a response to the statement. He says that the “event has nothing to do with policies, conflicts, or future state solutions, but simply sharing the 4,000 year old history and culture of native people,” and invites all Columbia students to attend. This response, as well as the coalition’s full statement and a list of signatories, is included after the jump.

EDIT, as of 2:26 P.M.: GendeRevolution has now also signed the coalition’s statement; the list of signatories has been updated.

EDIT, as of 10:26 P.M.: Aryeh: Columbia Students Association for Israel has released a statement in response to CUAD’s statement on the SSI event. You can read it fully after the jump.

Full statements and signatory list:

Dec

6

Written by

No scrubs

No scrubs

The hole that was Barnard’s library is entering a new, equally noisy phase of construction, which of course calls for a celebration. TLC Rising (which is the name of the party, not a Marvel sequel or plan to revive a tired television network) will take place today from 11-1:30 at either the hole itself or in the Diana Center lobby depending on the weather. There will be information about the new Teaching and Learning Center, as well as snacks and a special giveaway (maybe some tender love and care?), and an opportunity to sign the first beam to be used in the building’s construction.

Dec

6

Written by

Can I get a J-A-P?

Can I get a J-A-P? Seriously, curious how America will look with a JAP in power. Expecting a Pinkberry in the White House

In a passionate Op-Ed, Christopher Suprun, a Republican Texas presidential elector, announced he will not be submitting his vote to elect Donald Trump. Disappointed that Trump does not believe in Reagan’s “shining city on the hill” model, which Suprun forgets most people don’t believe in, his argument went the way of Reagan’s heart and film career. (NY Times)

The Supreme Court or #SCOTUS tackled racially charged gerrymandering in GOP states like Virginia and North Carolina. It is now up to these states to prove that they redrew state lines because of partisan politics and not because they are racist. (LA Times)

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has won the internet poll for Time Person of the Year. In other news, Hillary came in second (again). (The Wall Street Journal)

An exposé on Jared Kushner, President-elect Donald Trump’s son in law,  reveals his Machiavellian and sordid rise to power and revealed him as the person pulling the strings the entire election cycle. (Haaretz)

Photo courtesy of The Wrap

Dec

5

Written by

This is Sharon. Sharon ls screaming inside.

This is Sharon. Sharon ls screaming inside.

Isn’t early December just the greatest? Thanksgiving sweeps you off your feet, feeds you, pampers you, and unceremoniously drops you back into reality. You’re left disoriented in the calm before the storm – the ultimate finals storm. It’s not like you’re actually doing your finals, but you will be very soon, and it’s almost as if sitting with that knowledge is worse than actually experiencing it. Overwhelmed? That’s okay. Today’s field notes will show you that we’re all on the same boat.

Giving Up In Academia:

  • A bottle of Jameson was passed around the seminar.
  • Went to philosophy club. Got three glasses of free wine because no one wanted to drink it. Someone had dropped their pen in the bottle, but I know the material world isn’t real!
  • Made $50 from psych studies and spent $40 of it as of Monday morning.
  • Spent the week high on Vicodin from a wisdom tooth surgery, didn’t attend one single lecture, and somehow ended up the only one in my class who was granted an extension for the essay that was due.
  • Had my third midterm for a class. The fourth one is next week, just two days before the final. Why.
  • Got discounts for seven people to attend a conference and only two (including me) showed up.

So much more after the jump:

Dec

5

Written by

The face of wokeness

The face of wokeness

On Sunday evening, the Broadway Advocacy Coalition, in collaboration with Columbia Law School, presented an event in their political and social activism series titled “The Invitation”. This installment of the series, “The American Hangover”, featured several segments of ‘artivism’ — a fusion of art and activist performances. Bwogger Lexie Lehmann shares her thoughts on the event below.

When my friends asked me what I was doing on Sunday night, instead of attending the weekly Bwog meeting, I had trouble answering. A few weeks ago, I reserved tickets for the Broadway Advocacy Coalition’s event “The American Hangover”; the event promised to feature performances and speeches in response to the election. Additionally, the event boasted big appearances from Brandon Dixon CC ‘03, who recently received flack for calling out VP-elect Mike Pence during a performance of the musical Hamilton, as well as Tony award winner Ben Vereen and Tony nominee Condola Rashad. The described content of the event was intentionally vague: “artistic collaborations between dialogue, panel discussions and performance to educate and empower the public to continue creating the world we imagine in spite of the disappointment of this election”. I was intrigued, but I honestly didn’t know what to expect.

As I walked into the event, I was unsure of whether or not it had already started. In the front of the room, two young women were reading letters on their post-election thoughts while loud, upbeat jazz music played in the background. On a chalkboard behind the women, an artist was drawing large, pastel-chalk pictures of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. In the back of the room, a camera crew was setting up video-cameras and microphones for the event’s live stream. After the two women completed reading their letters, the room was silent as a woman clad in black began a contemporary dance performance in the center of the room. She was joined by 4 other dancers, all moving to a strong drum beat. Their dance was fluid and clean, providing a striking juxtaposition to the first act’s disorganization.

After the dance finished, Kendall Thomas, Nash Professor and director of the Center for the Study of Law and Culture at Columbia Law School, and Jeanine Tesori, a Tony-winning composer, came onstage to introduce the event. Thomas talked about the intersection of art and law in his life; how he began his career as a performer but shifted gears to pursue law because he saw a capacity for both art and legal studies to practice justice. The inspiration for this event came out of that ideal: using art as an outlet for healing after Donald Trump’s win. He likened the experience of post-election America to waking up with a hangover: feelings of fatigue, regret, and discomfort — hence the title of the showcase: “The American Hangover”.

Read about the calamity that ensued after the jump!

Dec

5

Written by

Exhibit A: Wise Professor

Exhibit A: Wise Professor

The semester is slowly wrapping up, and we all know what that means: wisdom in bulk from our favorite departing seniors. That being said, there’s a whole other demographic of wise people to tap into on campus – and no, we’re not talking about the Diana Center pizza ladies. We’re talking about your professors.

Do you have a professor you could listen to forever? A professor you just wish could read your Goldman Sachs cover letter? A cute young (or old – we don’t judge) professor you want to… get to know better? Look no further. Nominate your icons/mentors/crushes for an Actual Wisdom by submitting a short description of what makes them so irresistible to [email protected] by Friday, December 9th at 11:59pm.

Nominations can be submitted anonymously, so what could you possibly have to lose?

Gay icon via Business Insider

Dec

5

Written by

"Marcia look, future president Donald Trump retweeted my poorly constructed personal breakdown about how much I hate everyone around me!"

“Marcia look, future president Donald Trump retweeted my poorly constructed personal breakdown about how much I hate everyone around me!”

The long-troubled relationship between Donald Trump and Saturday Night Live reached a whole new level of meta this weekend when the president-elect sent angry reckless tweets in response to the show’s mockery of his angry reckless tweeting. Alec Baldwin responded with – yes, you guessed it – yet another tweet, saying that he’d agree to put an end to his impression if Trump ever released his tax returns. (The New York Times)

Uber’s latest update, an addition which allows the app to track a user’s location for five minutes after a journey has ended, has started raising questions about privacy and spreading panic around various social media sites.  (Digital Trends)

Sunday saw the resignation of two influential world leaders at the same time. Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has resigned over the Italian referendum loss, while John Key has announced that he “owes it to his family to step aside after ten years”. We get it – we wouldn’t want to be a politician in 2016 either. (CNN)

Sony Pictures reports that actress Amy Schumer is currently in negations to play the titular role in the upcoming live-action film adaptation of Barbie. Many have pointed out that Schumer comes across as an interesting pick for young audiences, considering her usual style of sexually-charged satire. Sony is eyeing a summer 2018 opening. (Breitbart)

Image courtesy of Beta News

Dec

4

Written by

The end of the semester is approaching, and that means it’s almost time for everyone’s favorite opportunity to laugh at jokes they’d be too uncomfortable to make in front of their friends: Orgo Night. This year, as in all years, Orgo Night will be held the last night of reading week (not the night before the organic chemistry exam, contrary to popular belief.) You can see all the flyers below, and take part in pseudo-intellectual discourse about the flyers on the official Orgo Night Facebook page.

Whether you love these flyers or think they represent everything wrong with Columbia as a community, you can rest assured that the Band will find some way to laugh at you – as evidenced by their new promo (released earlier this afternoon), in which bandies read and react to mean comments.

Dec

4

Written by

Come see this loser talk about how he's not really wrong when he was actually completely, 100% wrong.

Come see this loser talk about how he’s not really wrong when he was completely 100% wrong.

Bucket List represents the intellectual privilege we enjoy as Columbia students. We do our very best to bring to your attention important guest lecturers and special events on campus. Our recommendations for this week are below, and the full list is after the jump. If you notice any events that have been left off the list, or a correction, please leave them in the comments.

Recommended

  • “Data, Polling, the Media and Democracy: A panel discussion of Election 2016” Tuesday, 5:30-7:00 PM, Rotunda, Low Library. Nate Silver, Emily Bell, Robert Shapiro (RSVP).
  • “#bringbackourgirls: A discourse in Islamist militancy in Africa” Tuesday, 6:00-7:00 PM, 607B Pulitzer Hall. Helon Habila, Brian Larkin, Shobana Shankar, Nicholas Lemann (RSVP).
  • “The Gendered Road to STEM Engagement: Psychosocial factors contributing to academic and social engagement among women in STEM fields” Wednesday, 4:10-5:10 PM, 614 Schermerhorn. Bonita London.
  • “Sanctuary: Social, Legal, and Historical Perspectives on an Activist Category” Thursday, 6:00-8:00 PM, Held Lecture Hall, Barnard College. Alexandra Délano Alonso, Eric Foner, Alyshia Gálvez, Elora Mukherjee, JC Salyer (RSVP).

Full list here->

Dec

4

Written by

Is this you too?

Is this you too?

It feels like Thanksgiving has just passed, and now, school is ending in eight days. The reality of imminent finals is finally dawning upon us, and we could not decide whether to feel #blessed or #fucked. On one hand, winter break is approaching. We could finally stop sleeping in the stacks. On the other, our GPA is not high enough to feed into our overachieving standards and most important of all, there are only three Bwog meetings left for this semester.

So, join us in Lerner 505 at 7 p.m. Bring your pitches, and become one of the worn-out Bwoggers, who, amidst all trepidation, still tries to be funny.

Image via Patreon

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