Apr

29

Israel-Palestine Discourse smallDefining the Discourse
Analyzing Columbia’s most polarizing issue
by Yasemin Akçagüner

For the first time this year, Israeli Apartheid Week—organized by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP)—was protested not just by pro-Israel students on campus, but also by a blow-up Pinocchio doll rumored to cost around $800.

IAW, as the organizers call it, has been an annual fixture since 2005, marked by heated op-eds in Spectator, scandals as groups accuse each other of tearing down posters, and aggressive confrontations as pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian groups literally stand in opposition on Low Steps. Traditionally, tables supporting Israel face the mock-apartheid wall that Students for Justice in Palestine put up every year. But this year, the drama was exacerbated by two new developments. One is the formation of Columbia University Apartheid Divest (CUAD), which “calls for the University to divest its stocks, funds, and endowment from companies that profit from the State of Israel’s ongoing system of settler colonialism, military occupation, and apartheid law.” CUAD is embedded in the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. The second is a Columbia chapter of the group Students Supporting Israel, which arrived on campus in January, just as CUAD was kicking off.

“When you have the ability, you start a BDS campaign because it’s never not an appropriate time,” says Shezza Abboushi Dallal, BC’16. SJP and JVP decided to launch a BDS campaign on campus at the start of the semester, as they felt they had the manpower to organize on a larger scale than in years past. Shezza, who is a prominent SJP member, says that SJP’s continued growth, combined with JVP’s recent formation, puts the movement in a strong position to pursue this goal.

Learn more about other activist groups on campus after the jump.

Apr

29

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You used to swim along in ignorance

This poor fish is about to be exploited by Pixar, probably

A “suspicious white powder” was discovered in Trump Tower and thoroughly investigated by emergency personnel. Sounds like a party in EC! (NY Daily News)

Those crazy scientists have done it again, and by “it” we mean they discovered a new species of weevil and named it after a Star Wars character. That probably doesn’t actually happen that often, but now there’s a species of weevil named “Chewbacca,” so we’re not complaining. (EurekAlert)

A Trump rally in Orange County turned violent when a huge number of protestors showed up, even though the area is largely Republican. That probably doesn’t bode well for the guy’s campaign, and we’re OK with that. (CBS8)

“Finding Dory” is coming to the big screen this summer, but Disney released some new footage to tide you Nemo-lovers over until then! (Inside the Magic)

User: Elma/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-2.0

Apr

28

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Bernadette Mayer in her self-proclaimed natural habitat

Bernadette Mayer in her self-proclaimed natural habitat

Bernadette Mayer is a stream-of-consciousness poet and writer from Brooklyn. Last night, she came to speak at Columbia for “A Reading and Conversation with Bernadette Mayer,” sponsored by the Heyman Center for the Humanities. Bwog sent Daily Editor and poetry enthusiast Lila Etter to listen.

Not only has Bernadette Mayer written over 27 collections of poetry; she has also received a Guggenheim Fellowship, directed the St. Mark’s Poetry Project, and taught at various prestigious institutions across America, including the New School for Social Research, Long Island University, and Miami University. Ignoring all her numerous accomplishments, the event description simply read: “Bernadette Mayer will be reading from her newly re-released Sonnets.” So I knew little of what to expect in terms of my experience on Wednesday night. I walked up the stairs of Dodge Hall to the fifth floor, eager to see what the infamous 501 would be like. Although I love the Music & Arts library, often study there, and have been  invited to 501 for various Facebook events (mostly art gallery openings and writing workshops), I’d never made it to the room itself. As I walked into 501, I realized that no amount of buttons and pins on my backpack–promoting Bernie, feminism, Barnard Divest, etc.–could save me now.

I felt more out of place than I had in a while. In a crowd of at least fifty I was one of only a few undergrads. Nearly everyone was impeccably dressed. This is not to say that the audience members weren’t varied. Far from it. There were polished young women with ombréd, fringed bangs, pin stripe blouses, and perfectly applied lipstick. There were a few unshaven scruffy young artists with terrible hair. There were SoHo-ites with black leather jackets. There were even women about Bernadette’s age, with Meryl Streep-like dignity, dressed elegantly in loafers and colorful scarves.

Who else came to see the other Bernie?

Apr

28

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In your typical Reid double

In your typical Reid double

We reviewed Sulz and Brooks, but those two dorms aren’t quite enough to house all the Barnard first-years – pushed in between them is Reid, a tiny dorm with surprisingly big rooms. (And, less surprisingly, no AC.)

Location: 3009 Broadway (The Quad).

Nearby dorms: Sulz, Brooks, Hewitt, the 600’s.

Stores and restaurants: MoWillies, 116th halal cart, Vine, M2M, Starbucks, Sweetgreen.

Cost: $9,230

Amenities:

  • Bathrooms: A gender-neutral or women’s-only restroom for each floor (decided by residents). Cleaned daily. Sulz residents on the Sulz-Reid will likely also use your bathroom, leading to the occasional shower line.
  • AC/Heating: No AC. Some heating. Basically, get ready to sweat during the warmer months.
  • Kitchen/Lounge: One on every floor of the quad, a short walk (to Sulz) away. Features a stove, an oven, a sink, and a microwave, all of which get very disgusting very quickly. There are a couple of couches and tables as well – beware of mystery stains/sticky areas. TV, with an HDMI cable for your movie-watching needs. A nice hangout spot, despite the questionable smells.
  • Laundry: Each floor has a small laundry room between Reid and Brooks (one washer, two dryers) and a larger one in Sulz (two washers, two dryers – or more, if you’re on the eighth floor.) The machines take laundry cards, which can be refilled (with cash) at machines on the first floor.
  • Computers/printers: Same as the rest of the quad – two computer labs in the basement, with two printers (usually functional, but be wary of low paper warnings.)
  • Intra-transportation: Two elevators in lobby. Slower and smaller than the Sulz elevators, but every floor has signs showing which floor the elevator is currently on, which is a plus.
  • Hardwood/carpet: Carpet in hallways, grey linoleum in rooms, tile in bathroom. Same as the rest of the quad.
    WiFi: Yeah, but beware of Barnard Secure – it’s liable to cut out in the middle of your Netflix session.
  • Bonus: Easy access to the basement practice rooms (and vending machines!) as well as Brooks Lounge (on the first floor); water bottle filling machines; houses Well Woman and a lounge named after Zora Neale Hurston (the room itself isn’t particularly special, but what a cool lady, am I right?)

But what about those big rooms …?

Apr

28

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We see you, B&W illustrations

We see you, B&W illustrations

Perhaps one of the greatest collective action Columbia faces (aside from keeping the Butler bathrooms clean) is keeping WikiCU updated with relevant information. To solve this problem, CCSC and ESC will be hosting the 4th Annual Wikithon tonight from 5 PM until 8 PM in the John Jay Lounge. We heard free Dinosaur BBQ will be provided to participants, which is always a good enough reason for us to do anything.

Help keep the Columbia institutional wisdom alive and relevant by fixing up WikiCU old pages or creating your own. We wouldn’t be upset if someone wanted to take a stab at updating the Bwog page considering we’re lazy.

Poster via the Facebook event page

Apr

28

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What goofy things did Shamus say?

What goofy things did Shamus say?

It’s that time of month–errr, semester–again: our traditional call for closing remarks from your profs!

Have they been getting drunk and throwing up in the bushes?

Have they compared Ted Cruz to satan?

Have they reduced the whole semester into a single forlorn statement? (what did you actually learn?)

Have they had sex with any of you? (we made this up!)

Better, worse, whatever–we want to hear it. So send ’em in. Quotes or anecdotes. Include the class and the instructor’s name. Email tips@bwog.com, and we’ll handle the rest.

Enjoy reading week, and take good notes (for your sake and Bwog’s)!

Apr

28

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She could be our VP

She could be our VP

Bernie cut staffers (yikes! job loss) and Ted named Carly Fiorina as his running mate (yay! women in politics!) today. Plus, Donald gave his first foreign policy address after winning big in Tuesday primaries. (NY Times)

The NYPD announced charges against 120 gang members and affiliates in the North Bronx yesterday. It could be the largest gang take-down in NYC history. (NY Times)

A 62-mile long lake was discovered underneath Antarctica. (Mother Nature Network)

The police chief of the Delaware town in which a girl was killed in her high school bathroom last week assured the public that charges will be filed.

Fi-Fi via Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia commons

Apr

27

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Brooks

Brooks from the courtyard up

Next up in our freshpeople housing reviews series: the infamous Brooks, one of the three options in the Barnard Quad for first-years. It also happens to be the oldest, which comes with some pros… and some cons. Here’s the info.

Location: 3009 Broadway (The Quad).

Nearby dorms: Reid, Brooks, Hewitt, the 600’s.

Stores and restaurants: MoWillies, halal cart/food trucks, Vine sushi, M2M, Starbucks, sweetgreen.

Cost: $9,230

Amenities:

  • Bathrooms: A women’s only or gender-neutral restroom for each floor (decided by residents). Cleaned daily. Just a short walk to Reid bathrooms!
  • AC/Heating: Here’s the bad news: no AC. Here’s the OK news: a little heater that may or may not actually work. Unless you make a friend in Sulz during NSOP, don’t wear anything to bed that you wouldn’t want drenched in sweat.
  • Kitchen/Lounge: Each floor has a lounge with a TV, table, chairs, and couches, as well as a kitchen area with sink, stove, oven, and cabinets. The lounge-kitchen is shared between residents of Brooks, Reid, and Sulz on each floor, since all three halls are connected. The lounges usually smell like a mix of ramen, rotten takeout, and Pre-Med students with chem tests the next day.
  • Laundry: Each floor has two laundry machines and two dryers. There are additional machines and dryers on the Brooks side. Unfortunately, laundry is not free, and you pay using a plastic card you can refill in the Sulz or Hewitt lobbies (cash only, which is extremely inconvenient…).
  • Computers/printers: Two lovely tech labs in the basement, complete with computers, printers, and a scanner. Bring your own stapler/hole punch, though.
  • Intra-transportation: Two elevators in lobby, kind of slow and stinky.
  • Hardwood/carpet: No hardwood. Carpet in hallway. Grey linoleum in rooms. Tile in bathroom.
  • WiFi: Duh, would you even consider coming here if there wasn’t?? But beware–Barnard Secure WiFi is really shitty.

Exciting stuff! More after the cut.

Apr

27

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Feeling the Bern

Feeling the Bern

This edition of Night In The Life is brought to you by a first-year willing to risk ID confiscation for a weird Wednesday night at Bernheim & Schwartz.

11:45 pm

The last time I went to Senior Night at Bernie’s, I got my ID taken away. I’m still scarred from the experience, but I have a feeling that tonight is the night. I’m ready to try again.

12:07 am

Traversed the hundred-or-so feet between Carman and Bernheim to find a line stretching all the way to International. There are about 50 upperclassmen and two very intimidating bouncers standing between me and discounted pitchers of beer right now. I’m beginning to have second thoughts.

12:08 am

Oh good! Familiar Mel’s frequenter spotted at the front of the line. And I remember his name! Time to finagle my way to the front.

This can’t end disastrously…

Apr

27

You can't see the cement block but trust me it'll be there.

You can’t see the cement block but trust me it’ll be there.

Regardless of your feelings on the up-and-coming Henry Moore statue to be placed in front of Butler, the cement block that will ultimately form its base has been subject to many reclining figures—especially as outdoor space becomes increasingly limited due to construction for Commencement. Using her Columbia-grade mind, Bwogger Gabrielle Kloppers investigates how many people could possibly fit on our favorite pedestal.

In the hallowed words of a certain Engineering Student Council Representative, not many people have been able to forget the 12 x 5 patch of grass in front of Butler. Now it has already disappeared, and in its place is a cement block. How many people can fit on it, in the context of our increasingly space challenged campus (although let’s not forget that Columbia bought land the size of main campus at the expense of hundreds of people—but yay more space for the students!)?

Let’s assume the cement patch is around 12 x 5 ft in dimension. Now, using the useful skills we gained in Frontiers of Science seminars, we can extrapolate that each person would use up about 1 square foot, and consequently there could fit around 12 x 5 = 60 people on the block.

Now let’s consider the increasingly incestuous college atmosphere at Columbia and how desperate SEAS majors are to get some. Most people would be okay sitting on other people’s laps, right? So let’s double that, assuming each square foot is occupied by a two-person unit. 12 x 5 x 2 = 120 people on that cement block.

Wow, space is truly valuable. It must mean that a prized work of modernist art is not worth relinquishing that 12 x 5 ft patch of grass in front of Butler.

The Statue’s Prospective Home via CU Library Website

Apr

27

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PBK back at it again with an announcement

PBK back at it again with an announcement

This morning, Barnard released the class of 2016 inductees to the national honor society Phi Beta Kappa. The list includes 51 students, or 10 percent of the Barnard graduating class. The inductees will be initiated on May 16.

You can find the full list of inductees below. Congratulations to all!

Sadia Ahmed
Zoe Baker-Peng
Sarah Batchu
Leigh Bonner
Emma Brierley
Clara Butler
Elina Bystritskaya
Rachel Caron
Meghan Carty
Kailene Chen
Hannah Dale
Noosha Deravi
Rachael Dottle
Emily Edwards
Lia Ehrlich
Check out the rest of the inductees next!

Apr

27

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No stress, just puppies

No stress, just puppies

It’s the last meeting of the year! Bwogger Jennifer Nugent refrains from shouting “School’s out!” and reports back on budgets, events, and constitutional changes to member positions.

What starts with a president’s puppy, ends with heartfelt speeches, and is punctuated by rounds of applause? The final full meeting of the General Studies Student Council! Every member was proud of their work and the team as a whole, which was expressed after every briefing and was heartily agreed upon by the other members of the council. Bwog and students alike will miss the presidential puns, the carefully chosen memes, and surprising productivity of the current GSSC members. However, all this nostalgia did not come at the expense of a predictably packed meeting.

  • Finance: Announced a final co-sponshorship for the new GS mentorship program’s end-of-year celebration for mentors and mentees. Finance also presented their year in numbers—the simplification being that their starting funds totaled about $388,000 and they left about $8,000 to add to next year’s school allotment.
  • Campus Life: Don’t forget! Passover lunch today, a GSSC-SGA picnic (so suck it mainstream Columbia students) coming soon, and the essential finals snack attacks. For the snack attack, a menu will be released soon, but the overall theme is international cuisine.

There are a few other matters of note

Apr

27

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If you get rid of the zeros and switch 2 and 1, you get 21

If you get rid of the zeros and switch 2 and 1, you get 21

1020 is turning 21! It’s a huge milestone: if 1020 were a Columbia student, he’d probably have a (slightly sad) rager in his EC townhouse, buy cigarettes legally, and film himself throwing his fake into the Hudson River. As it is, 1020 is just a bar—an inanimate object, really. Nevertheless, you and 1020 have likely made memories together, so show your love for this site of degeneracy and heartache by showing up to its birthday party today at 9 pm.  (We suggest you go later.) There will be drink specials and party favors, as there would be at a Sweet 16. The blurb promises it’s the “party of the year!!”, which seems promising even if it is just one exclamation point short of desperation.

We’ll be pulling an all-nighter in Butler, but will live vicariously through your debauchery.

Invitation to Despair via Facebook

Apr

27

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Sour, not salty

Sour, not salty

Moved to ecstasy by his adoration for Bruce Springsteen, corrupt and buffoon-like NJ Governor Chris Christie busted a few moves at a recent concert. The air drums and air guitar are the least of it. (Time)

If you’re white, bearded, and skinny: watch out! Shia LaBeouf hunters are on the loose, and attacked one New York man for looking too much like the transformative star. The victim speculated about the attacker’s motive: “He must have did something so mean. Did he steal his girlfriend? Did he just see his last performance art piece?” (The Hollywood Reporter)

We bet you’re sick of hearing about it by now, but both Rachel Roy and Rita Ora have denied being “Becky with the good hair,” Beyoncé’s lyrical reference to her husband’s sidechick. Today, we feel like all the people mentioned fall into one category or another of “Becky”. (Vanity Fair)

The realest Becky of them all, Donald Trump, swept all five of last night’s Republican primaries in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Hillary Clinton won all the states except for Rhode Island. (Los Angeles Times)

Lemons

Apr

27

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This morning, we woke up to cars honking, New Yorkers shouting, and the first round of posters for Orgo Night – the Marching Band’s semiannual panel discussion on everything wrong with Columbia right now, featuring music that was popular three years ago. Orgo Night will be held (as per tradition) at 11:59pm the night before finals (this year, that’s Thursday, May 5th) in Butler 209.

If these posters aren’t invading your dorm, library, and dining hall yet, enjoy the peace while it lasts – because they will be soon.

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