Oct

18

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Students of Columbia who walked in on Suzanne Goldberg’s class earlier this month to protest received a disciplinary email Monday from a member of the faculty named Melissa Begg. In the email, the students were told they must attend a meeting with Ms. Begg in her role as “temporary rules administrator.” Students are under threat of a possible “simple” rules violation, which could entail punishments such as public reprimand.

The students who received this email are requesting that the allegations “be immediately dismissed and expunged” on the grounds that the statute of limitations for disciplining them for a Rules of Conduct violation, which is 5 days, has passed. In a response to the email they received, one student called initiating an investigation after the statute of limitations has passed “a clear violation of Columbia’s policies” and said that to do so “deprives [the students] of our right to a prompt investigation within the time frame Columbia provides.”

The administration is arguing that they are allowed to go beyond the statute of limitations due to Professor and EVP Goldberg’s conflict of interest: as the University Rules of Conduct Administrator for Columbia, she would normally be the person to begin investigations regarding possible rules violations. However, because she is also Executive Vice President of University Life, under which she handles Title IX-related claims, and because it was her class that the protest occurred in, the administration is arguing that the statute of limitations does not apply because they needed extra time to find an alternate administrator to send the disciplinary email. Despite the fact that the administration themselves failed to address this conflict previously by hiring someone new for one of the positions, it seems they will continue to make this argument.

Details, context, what’s next

Oct

18

Secret spaces

At Columbia, we often fall quickly into niche identities. Econ kids rarely mix with the Film majors, and so often we have no idea where people from different departments hang out. Staff Writer Gabrielle Kloppers investigates the locations you’ll only know about if you’re in the major.

I often wonder where people from the more niche majors hang out, far from the monotony of Butler or the crowded insides of Joe Café. Some of these unique places simply aren’t available to us normies; but, here are the secret department-specific locations you hardly knew about.

The Stronach Center (Art History)
Surprisingly enough, on the 8th floor of Schermerhorn Hall is the Stronach Center for Art History. We are all jealous of that fragment of classical sculpture and beautiful wall of books. The Stronach Center was renovated in 2009 and is now an extremely beautiful place to gather informally or study. It’s only really used by Art History graduate students so if you want someone who can tell you all about Vorticism, this is where to find them. We wish we could use their computer lab and Media Center, but alas…

The Bone Lab (Anthropology)
The Bone Lab is home to many fragments of bone and other relics. It isn’t a place for the squeamish, and is only open to those with special access through the Anthropology department, but if you have a passion for bones, this is the place to go. The Bone Lab is also located in Schermerhorn, where all the cool kids are, apparently.

Knox Hall (MESAAS)
Knox Hall is open to people other than MESAAS majors, but most people don’t even realize it exists. The courtyard here is extremely beautiful and a great place to study away from the crowds on the Steps.

More cool places after the break!

Oct

18

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Sara Ahmed and Prof. Tina Campt sit to discuss institutions with the audience after Ahmed’s presentation.

What is the role of diversity in large institutions? How does diversity work mold and change an institution? Staff writer, Ramisa Murshed, attended Sara Ahmed’s lecture on how “social justice projects require making usage into crisis” to find out.

As the Diana Event Oval filled up on Monday night with people eager to listen to Sara Ahmed’s lecture titled “The Institutional as Usual: Diversity Work as Data Collection,” Tina Campt, Director of the Barnard Center for Research on Women, welcomed the audience and introduced Ahmed, a feminist scholar who, in Campt’s words, “modeled and reshaped what it means to be a feminist activist of color.”.

Ahmed then took the podium and joked about her cold, saying that she hoped that her voice would be able to last through the evening. She then began to define the “institutional as usual,” providing the audience with an anecdote of a diversity worker’s experience with the institution: the diversity worker enters a room to find it occupied by several white males, sharing their memories of breakfast at the University of Cambridge. When the diversity worker, a woman of color, entered the room, the occupants of the room just kept talking to each other as if she was not there. The diversity worker, recalling the event, said to Ahmed, “I realized how far away they were from my world.” Ahmed used this experience to introduce the purpose of her lecture, to think about diversity and universities through use.

More details on the event below!

Oct

18

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Grass rolls!

Rolls of what seems to be grass were spotted outside of the patch of dirt that we once called South Lawn. The project is projected to be completed today. A special shoutout to Facilities for reaching out to us; we love you! The students shan’t revolt.

*soft, sustained, stressed, depressed, mildly excited screams*

MoHi farmscape via Youngweon Lee

Oct

18

Apps = appetisers

As ‘Internship Season’ approaches and we see more and more of our classmates attending banking information sessions, decked out in penguin suits, the higher our anxiety over our own futures gets. Staff Writer Gabrielle Kloppers investigates the phenomenon known as the “cover letter.”

At first, the cover letter seems exciting, especially if you’ve found a great opportunity in a field that you’d really like to work in. What is more likely is that you are writing this letter to a mid-level HR manager in a finance/consulting firm, a field which you, in troth, care nothing for. Yet, they’re the only ones hiring. There comes your first grief in the cover-letter writing process; authenticity. Where do you find authenticity? And how do you fake it so someone will hire you? You dig deep into your wellsprings of enthusiasm, but there just seems to be… nothing there. Perhaps it’s the extra shot of vodka you took at Homecoming yesterday, perhaps it’s the fact that you have three midterms next week and this letter seems really trivial compared to Calculus III, but you’re finding it really difficult to talk about your … passion for stocks and bonds.

The next stage of grief comes over formatting. Sure, you could use one of the hundreds of cover-letter formats that are available on Google, but that just seems really impersonal. Besides, if it’s the top Google search, wouldn’t every applicant use that one? Shit. You’re lost. You don’t even know what the purpose of a Cover Letter is, so how are you supposed to know how to format one? Why does that seven page paper about Wordsworth now seem so extremely tempting? Anything but this. Solution to this stage of grief: just get a template from your most successful friend. You know the one, they had an internship the summer before freshman year and enjoy talking about the latest articles in the Economist. Yeah, they didn’t use the top search on Google. Luckily for you, they slogged through the hard miles for you. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of their labour.

Finally, the worry is: what actually do you have to show them? Why should they hire you, above all the other surely dazzling applicants? Honestly, nobody ever knows. How do you really show off what you learnt at that internship last summer, save an incredible knowledge of Excel Spreadsheets? Bwog advice would be: just be honest about it, and tell them that you learnt about Spreadsheets. Sometimes, the basic skills are all that are needed. Besides, you’ll probably just be printing, copying and filing papers anyway!

Awk hand model via Pixabay

Oct

18

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it’s that time of the year again!

Happy Wednesday! Bwog’s GSSC Bureau Chief, Alex Tang, is back with updates from yesterday’s meeting. This week, GSSC specifically acknowledged the fact that we’re all in the midst of midterms season. In the words of GS VP of Policy Raisa Flor, “remember to take care of yourselves during midterms week. Eat, drink, get enough sleep, and don’t be too hard on yourself.”

Today is Columbia’s annual Giving Day! The bulk of the General Studies meeting was focused on publicizing Giving Day and the various events that are happening on and off campus. Prizes (such as Flex points) will be given away throughout the day for specific challenges. Here are some ways GS students can enter to win prizes today:

  • Post a photo of yourself and/or your pet in Columbia blue. Use #ColumbiaGivingDay and be sure to call out GS. The winner will be posted by CAA on Twitter/Facebook when announced.
  • Show us the next generation of Columbians – Post a photo of your baby or child (nieces, nephews, grandkids, or friends are fine too!) wearing Columbia gear. Use #ColumbiaGivingDay and be sure to call out GS.
  • Send a Snapchat to @columbiagiving calling out GS. The winner will be posted by CAA on Twitter/Facebook when announced.

Furthermore, the Giving Day Celebration, hosted by GS, is taking place today between 5:30-7:30pm at the Penn/Columbia Club on 44th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues. Get your tickets here, and show up to meet fellow alumni and students and to grab some free refreshments.

GSSC President Sam Demezieux started the meeting by reviewing the purpose of Giving Day, characterizing it as an “opportunity for the Columbia community to come together in friendly competition” to see “who can raise the most funds for student initiatives.” Demezieux went on to state that a significant part of the funds raised by GS on Giving Day would go towards student scholarships, a large priority for the school. The president encouraged alumni and friends of GS to donate, while at the same time stating that students are not explicitly expected to donate.

Read the other talking points from yesterday’s meeting here

Oct

18

Once a Tunnock teacake exploded on a V bomber

Happening Around The World: Terry was launched into space! Terry, a chocolate Tunnock’s teacake from Glasgow, was sent into the Earth’s atmosphere at a peak altitude of 37,007 metres. Terry launched into the atmosphere, glided over the Earth’s curvature, and landed back in a tree in Galloway Forest Park. Terry is made of marshmallow and chocolate. Don’t worry, you can still watch the two hour expedition on Facebook. (Sky)

Happening In The US: Bigfoot has been spotted once again at a lake in Northern California by self-proclaimed paranormal expert, Jeffrey Gonzalez. Bigfoot sightings are not uncommon in Northern California, as there have been at least three more sightings in the past five years. In one particular orchard in East Fresno County, two young men have claimed to have seen Bigfoot and another man claimed to have see five creatures. Gonzalez asked what’s on all our minds: Is this for real? (Fox)

Happening In NYC: A loose bull was running around Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York until recaptured by animal officers. After being seen running about near 17th street in South Slope and injuring a child in a stroller, the bull made its way to Prospect Park. Animal officers were ultimately able to tranquillise and recapture the animal. It is still unclear where the bull ran away from. (ABC)

Happening On Campus: The CU Asian-American Alliance (Triple-A) and YELLOW JACKETS have come together to present, “Unpacking Lunchbox Politics“, a panel discussion on media representation, East Asian privilege, and “how we must challenge ourselves and our peers in crossing the threshold from talking to taking action”. The event is happening tonight from 8:00 to 9:30 pm at Lerner 569 and is open to everyone.

Bop Of The Day: Man’s Not Hot (Big Shaq Diss) by Shaquille O’Neal & ShaqIsDope

Teacakes via Twid

Oct

17

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Dark wings, dark words.

Each week, rain or shine, healthy or sick, snow or drought, ESC Bureau Chief Finn Klauber reports on Engineer Student Council’s activities. For the first time in multiple weeks, ESC actually had an open discussion section—and, boy, was it a doozy. 

As most people at Columbia are aware, Lerner Hall experienced a number of protests last Tuesday night due to the speech of the infamous Tommy Robinson, co-founder and previous leader of the English Defence League. While Columbia reiterated its policies that peaceful protest is entirely within the realm of acceptable behaviour, the administration also accosted protesters physically disrupting the event, collecting UNIs and serving the offending students with notices of rules violations. In the wake of the protest and drama surrounding Robinson’s speech, ESC internally wrote, voted upon, and approved their own official statement regarding the various incidents. However, as VP Policy Zoha Qamar recalled before opening this week’s discussion topic, VP Student Life Ben Barton—among others—privately told VP Qamar that he had issues with the statement. As a result, VP Qamar scrapped the entire official statement until after ESC could discuss the various incidents as a general body.

Both VP Barton and 2019 Representative Asher Goldfinger described how the discarded ESC statement lacked any significance or meaning. Specifically, Goldfinger claimed that the “main part of the statement is something that was in our constitution,” and that any ESC statement “should be something new and meaningful.” Barton, on a slightly different note, criticized the discarded statement on grounds that “it’s totally fine to take stances on an issue.” Barton advocated that “all future statements from ESC should be more divisive,” and that such statements “shouldn’t be non-partisan.” In response, VP Qamar attempted to address how these issues were actually raised in the process of writing and approving the original drafted statement—namely, that “you should publicly disagree if you want to disagree.” VP Barton answered that “maybe people didn’t want to themselves to seem to disagree with the language” of the statement, essentially claiming that nobody would stand out alone and disagree with the apparently milquetoast statement for fear of being identified as supporting or condemning the statement’s diction.

What does the class of 2019 say?

Oct

17

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Sometimes, life brings you lemons, and sometimes life brings you the 12:00 to 4:00 pm shift at Public Safety in East Campus during Homecoming. This unlucky Bwogger watched Columbia get rowdy from the other side of the security desk. Here are some highlights. 

Rare shot of a CUPS work-study student?

More trials and tribulations of a busy night in EC after the jump

Oct

17

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As I recalled my good memories from the weekend, I looked down at my Long Island Iced Tea and smiled. On Sunday, I celebrated two wins: Columbia Football winning at home and the fact that I can remember. I brought myself back to the memory of standing in the stands at during overtime, screaming with excitement that we won. I felt a subdued kind of joy as I remembered rushing the field, hearing the band play Roar, Lion, Roar over and over.

With a weekend that ended on a high note, how did I find myself at 1020 on a Monday night? The week hit pretty hard: I stayed up all night writing a paper on two books that I didn’t even finish, rolled in late to an in-class midterm for which I forgot a calculator, and still have another paper to write for by the end of the week. Reflecting on the mess that became my Monday, I felt that I could finally relate to that girl that I watched throw up on herself on Saturday; We both appeared defeated by a Higher Power. Some might blame procrastination, or alcoholism, but call it what it is: an act of God.

Continue after the Jump

Oct

17

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Hallway filled with students who enjoy lit class

In some lectures, you need to pay close attention to every moment. In others, you need to struggle to keep from running out the door screaming. Many literature classes at this school are closer to that second one; as intelligent as our peers may be and as hard as our professors might work to keep the class discussion on track, sitting fifty Colubmia students in a dim room and asking them to discuss nineteenth-century novels is a recipe for disaster. To help you get through your lit lectures this semester, several Bwog staffers have compiled a handy survival guide.

  • Show up late. Like, really late.
  • Slowly make your way to your seat, and make sure to get your headphones caught on every chair
  • Bring a highly caffeinated beverage.
  • Sit near a window, so that you have light and possibly entertainment to help keep you awake.
  • Call people out if they don’t make any sense or are just talking in circles.
  • Sit in the back and read some of the book.
  • Start making a tally for every time someone says “essentially”, or every time ‘that girl’ (you know who we’re talking about) says something completely self-indulgent and nonsensical.
  • Take a shot of vodka every time someone mentions a prior class/writer/author in order to extend their ‘point’ – which really has no point, and rambles on like a stream as it descends into a large, onerous ocean full of compost and actual bull shit.
  • Fall asleep.
  • Guess the average age in your class.
  • Make personality quizzes for characters in the novel.
  • Take a shot every time your prof mentions some niche intellectual no one else cares about.
  • Actually call the NSA to tap the wires of that kid who is disconcertingly into Nietzche.
  • Play Fuck, Marry, Kill with the characters in the novel.
  • Write down some of the dumb ass things said by your highly pretentious, out of touch peers (and send them to Bwog?).
  • Try your hand at class A bullshitting.
  • If it’s a Barnard class: take a shot every time the one Columbia dude in the the class does some inane posturing.
  • Color code your annotations.
  • Take a shot every time you don’t know whether you’re in a literature or philosophy lecture.
  • Take a shot every time the professor has literally no idea how to work the projector, and spends 20 minutes figuring it out.
  • Take a shot every time the professor pretends to consider a classmates comment astute even when it’s trash.
  • Take a shot every time someone forces a modern context onto a text (usually by mentioning Trump)
  •  Take a lot of bathroom breaks, water breaks, crying breaks, etc.
  • Just don’t show up for Gertrude Stein classes.
  • Rate your peer’s reading of the text in class American Idol style.
  • Play devils advocate (last resort!! only if you’re bored out of your mind)
  • Leave early.

Oct

17

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“That’s just the way the cookie crumbles.” Did people ever say that?

This week’s SGA got BOSSY, indicating once again they are really going to try and get things done. Bwogger Dassi Karp covered the the range of issues presented, from lack of diversity within courses to dessert freedom for all. 

At this week’s meeting of the Student Government Association, the members of our fearless Barnard Rep Council showed once again that they are really going to try to get things done. This year’s established pattern of bringing in a student group and asking them about their needs continued in full force, with guests from the leadership of the Barnard Organization of Soul Sisters (BOSS), which supports black women through mentorship programs, meetings, and education and cultural events. Notably, SGA President Angela Beam took some time to review the Council’s progress on addressing the requests from last groups. This is very promising–this might be the semester when SGA really comes through.

At the start of the meeting, SGA voted to pass a motion to write a statement to support the Workers Rights Consortium, per the request of Student-Workers Solidarity last month. They plan on releasing the statement next week.

BOSS presented three issues they hoped SGA would help them address. First, they explained that they were having problems with Public Safety allowing their non-Barnard members in to their meetings, which take place in a lounge in Reid Hall. University Senator Kira Dennis pointed out that there is a form a on the Res Life website that should be filled out by whoever has problems with Public Safety or the desk attendants. I could not find this form in an admittedly non-thorough search of the Barnard website before my 8:40 this morning.

Next, BOSS requested assistance in getting funding to send members to the Black Solidarity Conference at Yale this year. VP Finance Evie McCorkle was, as always, very on top of things, and said she’ll help them figure it out, by applying to funds such as the Joint Council Co-Sponsorship Community (JCCC).

Lastly, BOSS members expressed frustration with courses, specifically in the First Year Writing and Seminar program, who’s readings are lacking diverse representation. The course Legacy of the Mediterranean, which investigates key intellectual moments in the rich literary history that originated in classical Greece and Rome and continues to inspire some of the world’s greatest masterpieces” according to the FYW writing website, was brought as an example. This caused a lot of discussion. Unlike Lit Hum, FYW and FYS classes are offered on a range of topics, many of which do not focus on the canon the same way that Legacy does. But, clarified a BOSS member, “it should not have to be that if I want diversity I have to pick a certain class.” She added, “the only class with a smidge of diversity is The Americas.” The Americas, which does boast about its “multicultural curriculium,” is one of the three options for First Year Writing, as well as one of the many options for seminar, First-Year class president Sara Morales referenced conversation that she had with Director of First-Year Writing, Wendy Schor-Haim. Morales seemed generally pleased and hopeful about the future of the department in terms of diversity, noting that Schor-Haim was very open to suggestions and ways to improve.

The Executive Board announced some new meeting rules this week, as well as reminded us of some Rep Council policies. Notably, esteemed President Angela Beam will give speakers five and ten minute warning to make sure they stay within the time limits allotted to them. Also, direct responses to statements will now be limited to two per statement. This caused some slight confusion, with Junior Class VP Aashna Singh clarifying, “so I have to raise my hand to respond to myself?” (Yes, apparently.) Angela also clarified that the open floor portion of the meetings are open to anyone who wishes to speak, regardless of their connection to Barnard or Columbia. I assume this is because I asked them if former faculty member Georgette Fleischer will be allowed to keep coming. (She can.)

The most important announcement of the night: the Desserts After Dark Survey is open! Fill it out, because, as VP Campus Life Aku Acquaye reminded us, “we have desserts for all dietary restrictions!”

Image via El Pantera

Oct

17

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Happening in the World: Remnants of Hurricane Ophelia (which has killed three people in Ireland so far) were noticeable throughout the United Kingdom as the skies turned orange, causing a flurry of apocalyptic Instragrams. Meteorologists attribute the ‘red sun phenomenon’ to dust and debris from forest fires in Iberia. (BBC)

Whisky Tango Foxtrot

Happening in the U.S: The Governor of Florida Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency in advance of white supremacist Richard Spencer’s talk at the University of Florida. Officials have said this was to help local law enforcement effectively coordinate with other agencies rather than a heightened threat. (Washington Post)

Happening in NYC: NFL team owners will be meeting in New York City today to discuss the issue of  ‘taking the knee’ and will hopefully be able to reach a compromise. Colin Kaepernick started his peaceful protest against racial injustice in 2016 and the protest has since divided the nation. (BBC)

Happening On Campus: When was the last time you went to Miller Theatre? Regardless you now have an excuse to go and procrastinate as artist Lina Puerta has transformed the lobby with her new installation from her ‘Botánico Series’. Additionally, Miller Theatre will be holding a creative conversation with Puerta at 5:30pm.

Food of the Day: $12 BBQ wings at Mel’s. They’re 50 cents on a Monday. Treat yourself.

Image via Connor Ovington

Oct

16

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Roar, Lion, Roar!

This past weekend was unreal. Columbia won the big game, parents and students alike were in good spirits, and the celebration served as a well-needed distraction from impending midterms. Check out what Bwog was up to! 

Bwog has school spirit:

  • Went to Homecoming and got annoyed at all the drunk obnoxious people, because normally I’m the drunk obnoxious person and they were stealing my thunder.
  • Got dinner with my parents after Homecoming and almost fell asleep at the restaurant.
  • Got drunk really early into Homecoming, ended up falling asleep to Hercules in my bed at 1:30 in the afternoon.
  • Had a lovely boozy brunch in my suite the morning of Homecoming feat. frosé and pumpkin spice pancakes.
  • Lost my voice at the game.
  • Got blackout drunk on Friday because a boy flaked on me. Was subsequently too hungover on Saturday to enjoy Homecoming.
  • Was asked to go clubbing downtown by 45 year old men, back to reminisce for Homecoming.
  • Missed the last 15 minutes of the Homecoming game because I was being a responsible travel manager.

The trials and tribulations of Columbia students:

  • Wrote a 5 page take-home midterm in an hour! It’s due in a week but I just felt inspired.
  • Fell over unto my desk, with my feet hitting the wall, knocking three books off my neighbor’s shelf and giving myself a black eye.
  • Spilled water on my MacBook, just in time for midterms this week.
  • Got very inspired (possibly too inspired) by the Jhumpa Lahiri event, and wrote a short story in Russian.
  • Had fun at dwb but then subsequently spent 2 hours in Butler’s Ref room wasted, trying to study.
  • Wrote 2600 words in 3 hours and haven’t stopped bragging about it.
  • Skipped all of my responsibilities on Sunday to work on other responsibilities.
  • Got 10 hours of sleep on Saturday night instead of doing literally any studying for my midterm on Monday morning.
  • Cried for 20 mins while drunk after someone took away a Krispy Kreme donut.
  • Waited for hours to get an X-ray of my face that they ended up fucking up. Got fired from my babysitting job because the ex-ray place made me a couple minutes late even though I showed up despite having a concussion.
  • Listened to new music until my list of unheard podcasts gave me too much anxiety.
  • Saw my male floormate in the literal nude as I passed by because his door was open.

Bwog in the city: 

  • Walked the Brooklyn Bridge during sunset with my best friend from home who is visiting.
  • Spent way too much money on Uber/Lyft.
  • Had my genitals grabbed by a drag queen in broad daylight on W14th.
  • Almost got into a fight with some rude man at Mel’s but I was with an entire fraternity so he backed off.
  • Went to a jazz club with my friend and had to fight to stay awake since last week was so draining.
  • Got stopped on the street in front of the Flatiron Building to take photos for someone’s online column on Cosmo Japan.
  • Partied with artsy NYU kids, dressed as weird as possible to fit in.
  • Went to my first concert with a boy! Not my first concert ever, just my first time going with a boy.
  • Slept on the street in the rain to get SNL tickets.
  • Gave a blowjob in the shower of a dorm at a university I don’t even go to.

Image via Bwogger Victoria Arancio 

Oct

16

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Pictured: the EC elevators in a rare moment of full light.

Signing into and out of East Campus on a weekend night is a special kind of hell. The lobby is so crowded with Barnard students, NYU folk, and miscellaneous friends & family that guests can hardly move. If you do manage to get past the gates, your (pitch dark) elevator ride up to the 20th floor will make you wish you had just stayed in. How many people face this terror? We attempt to calculate, using our Frontiers of Science/Beginner’s Mind techniques, how many sign-ins EC handles on the average Saturday.

Assume that the number of sign-ins required is equal to: (Number of suites/townhouses in EC) * (Rate of parties per room) * (Number of people per party) * (Rate of sign-in need per partygoer) + Non-party sign-ins.

Number of suites/townhouses in EC
East Campus has 719 residents, split among 80 high-rise suites, 40 high-rise doubles, and 50 townhouses. There are 8 floors of suites in the high-rise. Suites and townhouses total to 130.

Rate of parties per room
Assume that on any given Saturday, there are two major parties on each high-rise floor of EC. This puts the rate of parties at 20%. (If Thursdays and Saturdays have equal party rates, then 20% implies that each suite has a major party about once every 2.5 weeks.) We can also extrapolate this 20% figure to the townhouses. Of 130 suites and townhouses, 26 would host a party on any given Saturday. Doubles, unfortunately, are not cool enough to host parties.

A lot more calculation and estimation after the jump.

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