Breaking: Columbia A Finalist For Obama’s Presidential Library
Just how Obama looked when he was studying in Butler back in the day.

Just how Obama looked when he was studying in Butler back in the day.

Along with the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the University of Hawaii, Columbia University was issued a Request for Proposal by the Barack Obama Foundation earlier today, placing us in the running for Obama’s Presidential Library.

Due on December 11, this requires that Columbia “submit a formal proposal that includes detail on the proposed management and organization of the project, site development plans, community partnerships, potential for academic collaboration, marketing and attraction strategy, and information about any financial and other commitments from the host or other partners.”

The Obamas will decide in early 2015 which site will get the presidential library.

Obama and Columbia go way back. He graduated (well, depending on who you talk to) from CC in 1983, and spoke at Barnard’s commencement in 2012, which caused a bit of a stir that we termed Obamanard. Typically, though, he has focused more on his connections to Hawaii and Chicago than his school years at Columbia. Our fingers are crossed, but our hopes aren’t high.

Overseen: The Winning Candidate

Elevator-goers of John Jay are already curious about Mr. Silverstein’s political agenda. We only hope that he will deliver as a representative of his fellow residents.

Give us meth or give us death!

Making Space For Students That Make Stuff
Arts tools > crowns

Arts tools > crowns

Left your sewing machine or electrical screw driver at home? Don’t want to pay for woodworking classes downtown with NYC moms who have too much free time? No fear, Columbia’s now got the arts & crafts space for you!

Columbia Maker Space wants to provide a place for students of all kinds to pursue their inner artist/creator/engineer, in whatever fashion that might mean to them. Learn more about reserving times to work and what this hip space has to offer at its two info sessions this week: today and tomorrow at 5:30 in Mudd 1220.

Add it to your Facebook calendar here. 

Bwoglines: Constitution Edition
The Smithsonian has the original pen from 1788, too!

The Smithsonian has the original pen from 1788, too!

We’ve got a national holiday this week, but it awkwardly falls on a Wednesday. No canceled classes for a non-Monday, rather unknown commemorative day. (Springfield News-Leader)

Is there an Establishment Clause in China? (Yahoo!)

Bill Clinton makes an old jeer at the Constitution during a rally for his wife—and by rally we mean a community BBQ. (New York Times)

Learn how to sound like the most knowledgeable of your comrades at the Constitution Day 2014 party. You go to Columbia (and probably want to major in poli sci), after all. (Washington Post)



The real deal via Shutterstock

Bwog Visits Baker: Field Hockey Cruises Past Villanova
Zoe Blake weaving through LaSalle defenders.

Zoe Blake weaving through LaSalle defenders.

Bwog’s favorite young sports aficionado Ross Chapman brings you the play-by-play of the most recent women’s field hockey game, and plenty more athletic updates.

A pair of second half goals five minutes apart for senior tri-captain Zoe Blake powered the Lions past the Wildcats 5-2 today at the Columbia Field Hockey Stadium at the Baker Athletic Complex. The team built off of their loss last weekend to No. 3 UConn and rose to 2-1 on the season thanks to an energetic and cooperative performance. Villanova (2-4) was held to just 1 shot on goal in the first half, and the 13 penalty corners they allowed to Columbia proved disastrous, leading directly to three goals. Junior tri-captain Christina Freibott tied her school record 3 assists and junior goalkeeper Kimberly Pianucci put up 7 saves as the Lions took a commanding win over the Big East opponent.

If you’ve never seen a field hockey game before, it plays sort of like a faster version of soccer. There are two 35-minute halves with no stoppage time, and the field is slightly smaller than a soccer pitch. The ball can move from one side of the field to another very quickly, and a driving player can run from one goal to the other in 20 seconds or so. Another factor that adds to the sport’s excitement is the penalty corner mechanic. One player passes the ball inbounds to an offensive player who stops and “sets” the ball for a strong offensive shot. This sort of bump-set-spike mechanic was fruitful for the Lions today, who time and again let ring the sound of the ball against the back of the wooden goal across northern Manhattan.

Columbia commanded the first half and came out of it with a 2-0 lead, but Villanova burst onto the field for the second half with newfound energy and nearly unchallenged possession of the ball for the first ten minutes. A barrage of shots from all sides of the net eventually proved too much for Pianucci to save, and the score went to 2-1. The turning point of the game came when senior midfielder Kyle Marsh maneuvered the ball from deep in Columbia territory down the field and through a field of defenders to set up a penalty corner. From then on, Columbia maintained possession, and Zoe Blake scored goals off of corners with 17:10 and 12:06 left to go in the game, putting the lions up 4-1. Villanova tried to come back and upped their sense of urgency, but soon the Lions had the ball again, and Caroline Donnal fed a pass to Katie Ruesterholz, who tapped it in past the Villanova goalie to put the nail in the coffin of the Wildcats’ hope to win the game.

“We brought with us what we had last weekend against UConn, with great energy, great combination style hockey, good press… and good communication,” said Zoe Blake in a postgame interview with The spectators certainly saw this, and their 70 minutes of enthusiastic support was recognized at the end of the game by the entire team. Even if you’ve never seen a match of the sport in your life, the energy and liveliness of each game is easy to love. If you want to get up to Baker this year to see a game, get there early; the bleachers only support about fifty fans, and they fill up very easily. Their last home game for a little while was today, and Katie Ruezterholz deflected a corner in overtime to give the Lions a 2-1 victory over the Fairfield Stags, propelling them to 3-1 on the season. Their next home game is ​against Cornell on Saturday, September 27th at noon for the Ivy home opener.​

Athletics news from football, futbol, and footraces after the jump

Bwog Meeting Tonight
The Bwog community table.

The Bwog community table.

Did you have a rough weekend? …get nothing done? …get sick because of that ridiculous temperature drop?

Want to tell us about it, write about it, or just cope with some free snacks? Come hang with us at 7 PM in the SGO in Lerner. Let’s commiserate together.

Your second family via Shutterstock.

Bucketlist: Poetry And Dance

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.


  • “Considering the Creative Habit with Twyla Tharp” Diana Center Event Oval, Monday September 15 7:00-9:00 PM. Register.
  • “Barnard Women Poets Prize Reading” Sulzberger Parlor, Wednesday, September 17 7:00-9:00 PM. Sandra Lims

Monday, September 15

  • “A World Without Jews: The Nazi Imagination from Persecution to Genocide” 509 Knox Hall, 4:00-6:00 PM.
  • “Pakistan and the Burden of Islam” Heyman Center, 4:10-6:00 PM. Ainslie Embree
  • “OSCE and the Challenges Faced by the Organization in Changing European Security Environment” IAB 1512 4:00-6:00 PM. Ranko Krivokapic.

Tuesday, September 16

  • “Abenomics, TPP, and the Future of Japans Agriculture.” IAB 918, 4:15-6:00 PM. Gerald Curtis, Richard Katz.

Everything else

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, 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.