Bwoglines: People Talk About Columbia Sometimes Edition
From the comment section, we surmise this is the typical reaction to receiving news from Bwog

Poor man. Subjected to news about Columbia University.

Professor Mercer talks about Columbia when comparing the experience teaching here and teaching in prison. (Washington Post)

Former N.B.A. player Troy Murphy talks about Columbia in describing what it’s like to go back to school here. (New York Times)

Forbes talks about Columbia when they evaluate the significance of the recent administrative decision to close the Chinese Students and Scholars Association.

President Obama and visiting Afghani President Ghani talk about Columbia as they briefly recall their time here for the benefit of watching press corp. (USA Today)

Everyone, it seems, is talking about Columbia as they anticipate the release of the Journalism School’s report on the now infamous Rolling Stone UVA exposé attempt. Look for that coming soon. (CNN Money)

Delightfully disturbed gossip, via Shutterstock

Student Council Responses To Bacchanal Proposal

The Spectator reported on a proposal sent to the Undergraduate Student Councils this morning. ESC has just released an official response approving the proposal and funding a subsidy to help with the costs of opening the lawns and hiring safety personnel. The full text of the ESC proposal is included below. Post will be updated with additional Student Council Responses if and when they are released.

Regarding the Engineering Student Council Vote on the March 26th Bacchanal Proposal

Over the past several months, the Bacchanal Committee has worked to put together the spring concert on April 4th. As students on campus are well aware, the Bacchanal Committee chose to charge for tickets to attend this event. Combined with the event capacity of 4,000 persons, this decision has caused a large subset of the student body to feel that they have been unfairly shut out of a campus-­wide event.

Through a series of discussions with Student Engagement, Facilities, Public Safety, and other administrative parties, representatives from all four councils and the Activities Board at Columbia have worked with the Bacchanal Committee to make the event more open and accessible to students on campus.

The most recent proposal, finalized early in the morning on March 26th, involves opening the West Lawn and the Butler Lawn for an additional 2,000 tickets. Along with the roughly 300 tickets remaining from the main audience area, this allows up to 6,000 students to attend Bacchanal. We consider this to be a significant improvement over the status quo. Current ticket holders will be refunded, and will also have the option to release their ticket and attempt to get a lawn ticket. It is not currently expected that students will be able to hold both a standard and a lawn ticket.

However, this plan is expensive. Our current estimates are that the total cost of the Bacchanal event to the student body will be approximately $160,000, which represents 151% of the allocation that Bacchanal received from the Activities Board at Columbia. In particular, it constitutes an additional council subsidy of $54,000 over the original allocation.
After a general body vote, ESC has decided to fund this subsidy with a vote of (21 for, 3 against, 6 abstain) in ratio. This works out to $8,248.84 from the SEAS student body, or $5.20 per student.

This decision does not constitute an official ESC endorsement of the circumstances that have necessitated this subsidy, nor does it imply that ESC will be willing to continue funding Bacchanal at the same level in the future. We do not take this decision lightly, and we feel that it is the option that best benefits the undergraduate engineering population at Columbia.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to the executive board via email at esc@columbia.edu.

Best regards,
Engineering Student Council

Take A Breather With Arianna Huffington
huffington

Queen Arianna

Is it better to stay up all night studying for an exam or to go to bed early? Arianna Huffington has made the executive call that sleep should be your priority. Maddie Stearn, after getting a whole night of sleep, reported Huffington’s reasoning. 

On Monday evening Arianna Huffington took the stage at an event sponsored by the Columbia Organization of Rising Entrepreneurs (CORE). Even while battling a cold Huffington is a dynamic speaker, hitting her stride only a few words into her keynote address. She assured the audience that her accent “is for real” and proceeded to turn out sound bites like a machine. A highly successful, health-conscious machine.

This health-consciousness is perhaps what sets Huffington apart from other entrepreneurs. In 2007 Huffington collapsed from exhaustion and woke up bleeding and with a broken cheekbone. At that point she decided to make sleep a priority in her life and launched the “Sleep” section on the Huffington Post. Today it is easy to take for granted the pervasiveness of sleep studies and articles, but that was not necessarily the case 8 years ago. Arianna Huffington launched the “Sleep” section of the Huffington Post website at a time when, in her opinion, sleep was held in high contempt. Now, however, sleep articles abound and it seems like you can’t go a day without seeing an article that claims, “New Study: Napping Improves Sex Life.” On that note, Huffington did say that if you want to write about how sleep improves your sex life, then you should go ahead and send it to her.

According to Huffington, entrepreneurs seem to be especially guilty of not prioritizing sleep. During the interview portion of the event–conducted by Kathryn Minshew, co-founder and CEO of The Muse–Huffington spoke to the stress that entrepreneurs tend to put on themselves. While recognizing the pressures facing entrepreneurs, Huffington stated that, “our best ideas are not going to come during stressful times.” She provided Archimedes and Newton as examples, while acknowledging that the locations in which both men had their epiphanies (bathtub and apple tree respectively) are perhaps caricatures of her argument.

More on sleep after the jump.

Cool Jams For Cold Days: Worst Part Of The Semester Edition
The universe to you right now.

The universe to you right now.

Spring break’s over. It’s somehow still cold. You’ve just flunked three consecutive midterms. Zayn left One Direction. We get it; March sucks. Here, our resident music aficionado and features editor Tatini Mal-Sarkar brings you precisely one hour’s worth of angry, angsty music to get you through these really terrible days.

1. Suffocation — Crystal Castles

You feel like you’re drowning too, don’t you? It’s the damn rain.

2. Violent Dreams — Crystal Castles

Don’t lie, you’ve had them too.

3. Let Me Break — You Love Her Coz She’s Dead

The title, the artist… Feel free to shake dramatically as you cry to this song.

4. Zero Life — Kap Bambino

You, for the rest of the semester.

5. Things That Are Bad For Me (Part 1) — Colleen Green

“Gotta stop doing things that are bad for me…” O K

6. I’m Not Okay (I Promise) — My Chemical Romance

Screw it. Who needs dignity?

7. The Boredom Is The Reason I Started Swimming. It’s Also The Reason I Started Sinking — The Front Bottoms

Again, screw it.

8. The Crying Game — Nicki Minaj

Is that what they call this, Nicki???

9. Bitch Theme — Bratmobile

This is the part where you alienate anyone who’s ever loved you, ever.

10. The New Year — Death Cab For Cutie

Hahahahaha, you thought this year would be different. Hahahahaha.

11. Cool Schmool — Bratmobile

You don’t need academics for a future. Screw academia. It’s just a massive circle jerk anyway.

12. Now I’m All Messed Up — Tegan and Sara

Don’t worry, Quin sisters, we’re right there with you.

13. Spaces — One Direction

Even Zayn grew up. Why can’t you???

14. So Appalled — Kanye, Jay-Z, everyone

“One hand in the air, if you don’t really care, middle finger in the air, if you don’t really care…”

15. No Role Modelz — J. Cole

Is there even anything/anyone we’re aspiring to??? What is the meaning of life??? Where are we even going???

16. Marilyn Monroe — Nicki Minaj

“It’s like all the good things, they fall apart.” Preach, babe.

Don’t worry, even Spotify hates you, probably

Reminder: Pass/Fail Deadline Is Today
to pass/fail or not to pass/fail

to pass/fail or not to pass/fail

If you didn’t do so hot on your midterm and are looking to not damage you GPA any further, think about taking the pass/fail option. Although, think about it fast because today is the deadline to declare P/D/F for CC, BC, GS, and SEAS! It might relieve some stress knowing an A and a C are considered the same…

Stressin via Shutterstock 

Bwoglines: $$$ Edition
If I didn't make 78 cents to the dollar I would definitely be cruzin in this....

If I didn’t make only  78 cents to the dollar I would definitely be cruzin in this….

Yesterday Kraft and Heinz merged to make the mega Kraft Heinz Company. Together the company’s sales will be upward of $28 billion. The deal is projected to close in the second half of 2015. The real question is, will they be selling ketchup flavored mac and cheese now? (CNN)

Uber recently announced that they would be working with UN Women to create 1 million jobs for women by 2020. Ten days following that announcment, UN Women made it very clear that their collaboration with Uber was nothing beyond Uber’s sponsorship of the “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality” event. Uber responded that the company will continue “their vision of accelerating economic opportunity for women globally” and seek advice from UN Women. (Fast Company)

Kristen Schaal and Jon Stewart can’t believe we will be driving flying cars on Mars before the economic gap between women and men is closed!! This clip is seriously funny. Watch it. (Huffington post)

Summer music festival lineups are starting to be announced. Governors Ball, Lollapalooza, and Outside lands, are all featuring some hip artists. Better start saving now.

Pimped ride via Shutterstock

Pedophilia: Predisposition Or Perversion?
Hosted at the J School

Hosted at the J School

On Tuesday night, The Current hosted what their editor in chief referred to no fewer than three times as a “groundbreaking” discussion about the psychology of pedophilia. Thrilled just to be invited, Bwog’s own Editor in Chief Taylor Grasdalen attended to learn more. Trigger warning: mild discussion of sexual abuse.

I’ve never given pedophilia much thought. To attend a 90-minute lecture and panel on pedophilia, then, probably totals all the time I had ever prior given the disorder. “Pedophilia,” defined: “sexual feelings directed toward children.” The panel, introduced by The Current‘s Joshua Fattal, CC ’15, was comprised of Luke Malone, journalist with Matter and This American Life and Columbia Journalism School ’13; Elizabeth Letourneau, Director of the Moore Center for the Prevention of Sexual Abuse with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; and James Cantor, from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. These three offered a surprising diversity in their training and opinions — particularly useful in this conversation — though they wholeheartedly consense in teaching “society” and “culture” to see pedophilia as something biological and entirely separate from status as sexual offender.

Only this way, we learned, can we become more empathetic. We’re generally not inclined to empathize with pedophiles, but Cantor’s research and description of those affected as having developed their disorder in utero — and Letourneau’s and Malone’s own research and reportage — leads change here. Cantor proposed homosexuality as apparently analogous to pedophilia, that it’s something one is born into, but diverges in action; where gay men (and gay women, too, though the stress was on men) can safely act on their sexuality, pedophiles cannot. Upon action, they do become sexual offenders. There’s no doubt, as Letourneau explained, that harm is done when children are party to sexual acts. But we see pedophilia synonymous with sexual offense, and this view compromises our ability not only to treat but to prevent offense, the “action” and fulfillment of pedophilic fantasies, the harm.

Malone, in his thesis at Columbia, wrote about teen pedophiles and what Letourneau calls the self-directed “dreadful terms” that young pedophiles use for themselves. There’s “awful internalization,” again paralleled by the panel to homosexuality with its radical self-loathing, depression, thoughts of suicide, thoughts that “I am a monster.” No one would choose this. Cantor’s work over the last decade has involved diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), also called a diffusion MRI, with which scientists like himself may map and read brain tissue and its changes when stimulated. Recently accepted for publication (and received with applause by this crowd), his research concludes that there’s no single “sex center” in the brain but a network that together decides, ultimately, “what’s sexy” to the individual. These factors in the brain include face recognition, motor control, and reaction suppression.

Suppression of reaction is important to pedophiles in more than the context of a research laboratory. Letourneau discussed her dream of an intervention program, believing that there might be a window in adolescents’ life where their “brain plasticity” could allow preventive treatment, though estimates its cost between one to two million dollars. The trials, the programming, the implementation. It would primarily be done online, with some therapy supplement. There’s also the potential of actual treatment for pedophiles who have already offended and been caught, people in prison, people whom Cantor currently characterizes as recipients less of justice than of vengeance (at least in the American “system,” he says).

More on what can be done after the jump…

Overseen: Tips For Your Tip (Brought To You By Your RA)

As if you didn’t already think sexual thoughts about your RA…just know that they’re thinking sexual thoughts about you–or, at least, about your sexual and mental well-being. This bulletin board was spotted on Schapiro 14 (the top floor–or the penthouse *insert winking emoji*).

Maybe we should have included this in our housing review…

Housing Reviews 2015: 600 West 113th Street (Nussbaum)

It’s that time of the year again: spring everlasting winter! And that can mean only one thing—the annual installment of Bwog’s housing reviews.  Today, we bring you the deets on one of New York’s hottest clubs above a bagel place: Nussbaum.

Location: 600 West 113th Street (colloquially known as Nussbaum)

  • Nearby dorms: McBain and Watt; kind of Hogan and Broadway (1 block away)
  • Stores and restaurants: Nussbaum & Wu, Mill, Milano, Community, Dig Inn, Amigos… Basically every restaurant in MoHi is just across the street. Say goodbye to your meal plan.

Cost:

  • $8,522/year (same as Harmony, River, and Wallach)

Amenities:

  • Bathrooms: Bathrooms vary substantially by floor and suite, so we suggest checking out the actual locations before picking. Typically there are three bathrooms per suite, with one of the bathrooms being private (i.e. connected to one of the rooms). Housing’s floor plans are up-to-date, so check bathroom availability there. In general, it’s a 3 or 4:1 student to bathroom ratio.
  • AC/Heating: There is definitely heating, no AC. (Rooms on the Broadway side tend to run hot, while rooms on the west are colder).
  • Kitchen/Lounge: Some halls have their own kitchens, others share them with the adjacent hall. Kitchens vary in size depending on the floor and hall, but all have refrigerators, ample shelf space for all residents, a stove, and a sink. All kitchens were remodeled two years ago. Not all suites have lounges.
  • Laundry: The laundry facilities are located in the basement which can only be reached by the elevator. Nussbaum charges the highest laundry prices on campus at $1.75 per washer or dryer. Also you have to put money (cash only) on a card to use them. But if you are lucky, you can see the super cute Nussbaum laundry cat!
  • Computers/Printers: One printer in the lobby, which functions approximately never.
  • Gym: There’s no gym in Nussbaum, but the stairs provide more than enough exercise.
  • Intra-transportation: Two elevators and a stairwell. The elevators are relatively slow, but they only fill up right before a 10:10 class. The doors close really quickly.
  • Wi-Fi:  Wi-Fi and ethernet.
  • Hardwood/Carpet: All floors are hardwood.
  • Facilities: Nussbaum has Columbia and non-Columbia residents, so it has its own maintenance crew. They clean the bathrooms and kitchen once a week (but not private bathrooms, like ever). If you have a problem you can call the superintendent, and it usually will be resolved that day.

Room variety:

  • Doubles: 68 rooms, from a cozy/Harry Potter-esque 154 sq. feet to 210 sq. feet. Walk-through doubles are around 260 sq. feet, but don’t really feel that big.
  • Singles:  49 fairly large rooms, from 124 sq. feet to 160 sq. feet.
  • Windows vary by room location. Read the floorplans to determine the number in your room.

Numbers:

  • Freshmen who are aiming for a double don’t need to stress; last year’s final one went to 10/2812. Don’t hold out for the walk-through double though; last one went to 10/1204.
  • Sophomores looking for a single should likely be fine as well; last year’s last single went to 20/2799.

But what does Bwog say???

LectureHop: Decoding The Soviet Press
he stares into your soul

Professor Tom Kent

Bwog’s Sports Editor and amateur Russian Ross Chapman hit up Professor Thomas Kent’s lecture at the Harriman Institute’s 12th floor offices in the International Affairs Building yesterday morning to hear the reporter and Russian scholar present “Decoding the Soviet Press.” As it turns out, the newspapers and radio of the time were way more that “just propoaganda.”

While some people just stumbled into 1219 IAB for the six trays of free Indian food at lunchtime, the room was pretty packed regardless to listen to the usual round of Monday lectures. Tom Kent is an adjunct professor at the School of Journalism and holds a number of posts with the Associated Press. He showed up today to talk about his specialty in Soviet media, which he credits to his six years as an AP correspondent in Moscow. Professor Kent wanted to debunk the idea that the Soviet press was all propaganda. “Once you get past the turgid writing” of the official sources, he said, there’s a lot to be found that exposes day-to-day and political issues in the Soviet Union.

The structuring of the Soviet press varied as the leaders did. Lenin considered himself a journalist and saw no problem with being simultaneously in charge of the government and the media. He said that the Soviet press “is a collective organizer of the country,” as it all espoused certain thoughts and worked towards certain goals. Contrarily, he referred to western media as “the depot of ideas,” a useless warehouse where ideas were stashed without purpose.  In this era, the press was, as Kent called it, “a guardian and cheerleader” for the ideals of the country. But once Stalin took over, everything became stricter. There was a mood of fear among editors, and one piece that could be construed as anti-Soviet could have untold consequences. This continued until Khrushchev took over and “the Thaw” began in 1956, but returned with Brezhnev in 1964. This was a “stolid, gray period” for the Soviet media, where it felt like everything was “just getting by.”

Now, the media largely served two purposes. It informed and propagandized the public while also serving as a means of intraparty communication. A popular means of propaganda was presenting failure as something good. Professor Kent used the example of “Fish Day,” a new once-a-week plan from leading Soviet doctors to feed everyone fish for medical benefits. Of course, the real reason was that the country was having well-documented meat shortages. The newspapers also pulled quotes from even the smallest tabloids in foreign countries to create whatever international appearance they wanted, such as unity in support of Brezhnev. Actual problems would be relegated to the back pages, but Kent didn’t think everything that deserves the front page in America would fit in the USSR. A plane crash, for instance, “in Soviet proportions,” is nothing compared to the still recent losses of war, and most people in the country didn’t always want to hear about crises. Of course we’ll see some media practice as confusing or wrong if we view it from 40 years and 5,000 miles away.

“The Truth about Untruth” after the jump

Bwoglines: Links For You To Click On Edition
Internet art ;)

Internet art ;)

Have you watched Tina Fey’s latest show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt? This article looks at the show through the lense of Kimmy’s experience as an implied rape survivor. (New Yorker)

Yo, smokers outside of Butler, quit while you still (maybe) can! Look at these scary effects of smoking while pregnant. (Huffington Post)

Don’t know who Ted Cruz is or don’t know what his policies are like? The Onion has got you covered.

Have you seen Monica Lewinsky’s TED Talk? (We think you should watch it.) In her talk, she refers to the numerous rap songs that mention her, and here is the list of all of them. (New York Mag)

So alternative via Shutterstock

Housing Reviews 2015: Woodbridge

It’s that time of the year again: spring everlasting winter! And that can mean only one thing—the annual installment of Bwog’s housing reviews.  Today, we bring you the deets on one of New York’s hottest clubs along Riverside Park: Woodbridge.

Location: 431 Riverside Drive (115th and Riverside)

  • Nearby dorms: Schapiro
  • Stores and restaurants: MoWi, M2M, Vine, Ollie’s, 115th Street Halal cart

Cost:

  • $9,470 (same as Hogan, EC, Watt, Ruggles, Claremont, and Symposium)

Amenities:

  • Bathrooms: Each double has its own bathroom that gets cleaned once a week.
  • AC/Heating: No AC, but yes heat.  The heat tends to be a bit strong in the shafted rooms and spotty in the rooms facing outside.
  • Kitchen/Lounge: There’s a kitchen in every double, though in some it can be quite small with limited counter space.  The lounges are usually converted into a second bedroom (so the two residents do not share a tiny single bedroom), and they are decently sized.  Residents are responsible for cleaning.
  • Laundry: Laundry is in the basement, and there is no stair access so you always have to take the elevator, which can be somewhat slow.  You have to walk outside a few steps to get to the laundry room, so be sure to wear good shoes when it gets snowy!
  • Computers/Printers: One printer in the lobby.
  • Gym: Treadmills and arctrainers in a room adjoining the lobby.
  • Intra-transportation: One slow, small elevator with a swinging door.
  • Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Hardwood/Carpet: Typical grungy dorm carpet that won’t show any stains in most of the rooms.  There is hardwood in some of the renovated upper floors.  Dirty tile in the bathroom and linoleum in the kitchen.

More about Woodbridge after the jump!

A Call For The Worst Rooms At Columbia
bathroom dementor

bathroom dementor back by popular demand

Hear ye, hear ye! In light of all the buzz regarding housing, we figured that we should lighten the mood (or scare you… however you wanna look at it) with a call for the worst dorm rooms at Columbia. Do you have a gaping hole in your heart wall that you have always complained about, but it has never received the attention you have hoped for? Do you have a dementor-like tarp that prevents leaky ceilings/simultaneously watches over you while you take a leak of your own? Do you simply like to commiserate and can find a problem in any housing situation? If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, then this is the perfect opportunity for you to reach out to us!!

Email us at tips@bwog.com to detail your sucky housing situation. Remember to send along some snapshots (pics or it didn’t happen, ya feeeel?). Happy housing season!! May your lottery number grant you your dream home.

LectureHop: Literature And Philosophy And Quarrels, Oh My!
shutterstock_118040215

thinkin’ about how philosophy and literature will inevitably spar for eternity :/

Tuesday Daily Editor/ultimate renaissance woman Briana Bursten put her incredibly extensive knowledge of philosophy and literature to the test when she attended a lecture entitled “The Ancient Quarrel: Philosophy and Literature” on Monday night. So who cares if she only took one intro philosophy class last semester and now calls herself “Yung Aristotle”? Who cares if she only skimmed read select passages of the Odyssey during her First Year English class? This girl is BACK and ready to share her academic mastery with all of you plebeians Bwog readers. Bow down, bitches. 

Barnard alumna and former Assistant Professor Rebecca Goldstein returned to her alma mater on Monday night to give a lecture detailing the convoluted relationship that philosophy and literature share. As she took the podium in the Diana Oval, Goldstein gave her personal history regarding her academic career at Barnard and her professional evolution from philosopher to novelist. Though the lecture began a bit after its set start time at 7pm, it became clear that this talk would be an excellent addition to the alumni lecture series commemorating Barnard’s 125th anniversary.

But we’re only getting started!

Spring 2015 Candidate List For Elections Released

With Ted Cruz’s confirmation that he’s running in 2016, it’s clear that elections are on the brain. Columbia is clearly following the Texas Senator’s lead with the release of the official candidate list for CCSC, ESC, and GSSC elections.

View the list below to see who’s running.