Finals Are Really Getting Real
Romans rule, anyway

This is actually “Ulysses,” not “Odysseus”

You’re Odysseus and you’ve been sailing nearly 10 years around the Mediterranean. You’ve lost all of your friends, you’ve slept around a bit, you’re weary, and you just want to take a break. Finally, you spot land! You spot home! But wait—you’ve got to deal with those cocky suitors before everything goes back to normal?! Eurymachus and Antinous are your finals, and extra study space in Butler is your enormous bow…or we think that’s what the sign at the Circulation Desk in Butler meant:

Beginning at 11 pm on April 21st, select graduate reading rooms* on the 5th and 6th floors will be open 23 hours a day, making approximately 150 additional seats available for late night quiet study. Each room will be closed from 5am-6am for daily maintenance.

The asterisk notes that rooms 601, 602, 603, and 604 are excluded from this (they’re all of the north-facing reading rooms). In addition, Lehman library will be open until 4 am until the end of finals.

In addition, CCSC, ESC, and GSSC presidents sent a letter to the University Senate Libraries Committee that deplores how Watson sits “half-used” and calls for the continuing of the study space conversation on the Senate level.

Kick some butt, take care of yourself, and tip dark nights of the soul. We all know how the Odyssey ends, unless you’re in SEAS.

Badass mermen whom we don’t think Odysseus slept with via Wikimedia Commons 

 

Field Notes: Strike That Edition
Hallowed be thy alcohol

Hallowed be thy alcohol

Some say that strikethroughs are stupid tasteful. Some say that Bwog overuses them doesn’t use them enough. And some just don’t give a shit don’t give a fuck. What are your feelings? Anonymously share them below and live in Bwog infamy. (And send in your tips to tips@bwog.com, or use our anonymous tip form.)

When isn’t the band weird awesome

  • “I heard there was a stripper pole in an EC suite last night, and the band might have been involved.”
  • “Two bandies got fake married on the steps of St. John the Divine. It was awkward because people were streaming out of a late Easter service, and there were two NYPD officers who came over when the band’s singing got too loud. The reception did indeed have a stripper pole, which was surprisingly sturdy.”
  • “I challenged a guy to fight because he was heckling me about how I RESCUED ( not stole) his Matsuri goldfish at a previous party and now I have a bruise above my right eye. But I won.”

Alcohol won’t flunk you

India Business Conference 2014: Successes, Shortcomings and Limitless Potential

Last week, the annual CBS conference on business in india happened. CEOs and experts from a variety of fields that do work in India spoke and it was, for Bwog India Correspondent Max Rettig, an excellent experience. Read on for his views on the conference.

Columbia Business School’s annual India Business Conference, a day-long program about India’s business climate, took place this past Friday. This year’s event featured a lineup of very distinguished people, including MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga, Accion CEO Michael Schlein, Professor and Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz, and Deputy Director of the India Planning Commission Dr. Montek Ahluwalia. The day was filled with presentations, panels, networking opportunities and food. But most importantly, the day was filled with discussion of India’s successes, its shortcomings and ideas on how to realize its seemingly limitless potential.

The conference started at 9 am with an introduction by Dr. Gita Johar, the Senior Vice Dean of the B-School. Her main point was the issue of creativity and dynamism. She talked about constraints on innovation and how they can spark a type of reverse creativity (think of architects making the most of really small spaces). Teams need to be changed up in order to keep different ideas flowing. She specifically mentioned that companies with women in a top-level position leads to success that other companies don’t have, a common theme in the news lately. Alas, Dean Johar gave the podium to Dr. Ahluwalia.

Tell me more about Indian Business!

Barnard SGA Election Results Are In!
"I'm a future world leader!"

“I’m a future world leader!”

Barnard’s SGA election results were just announced via email.  Not all posts were filled, so some will be available for application in the coming weeks.  Below are the positions, names and UNIs of the new officers.

SGA President
Julia Qian | jq2210@barnard.edu

VP for Student Government
Sarah Shuster | scs2173@barnard.edu

VP for Campus Life
Shivani Vikuntam | sv2399@barnard.edu

VP for Finance
Pascale Dugue | pjd2121@barnard.edu

VP for Communications
Emily Klein | esk2154@barnard.edu

University Senator as well as several other positions are below.

It’s Teatime
From left: Bwog, Tanay

From left: Bwog, Tanay

The commencement bleachers have gone up, we’ve posted our call for Senior Wisdoms, and in one short week it will be May. For many seniors, this means that the time to say goodbye to Columbia and the relationships formed here is quickly approaching. One senior, Tanay Jaipuria, SEAS ’14, decided that he wants to make the most of his last few weeks here and has set up a website—Tea with Tanay—to help him do just that.

The website allows anyone who so desires to sign up to get tea—and hopefully enjoy some good conversation—with Tanay for half an hour.  The site is aesthetically simple and thus very welcoming, which we later learned was a deliberate choice by Tanay.  For those who aren’t easily convinced, he links to his Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn profiles to reassure you that he is in fact “quite normal.”  He even gives you conversation ideas, from speakeasies and Marcus Aurelius to Taylor Swift (kindred spirits) and selfies.  Enthused by his techniques, we sent our resident tea teacher Eric Cohn to talk to him.

Bwog: What gave you the idea to start this?

Tanay: A big part of it was that I’m a senior…and I realized that I’m not going to see a lot of these people again, especially the ones moving away from New York. Also the fact that I made some of my really good friends in senior year.  And I realized: what if there are more people like that, who I would never get the chance to see again?  Most people have a group they hang out with, and, especially once you’re a junior or senior, you won’t really go out of that group that much.

B: How has the response been so far?

T: Last I checked, there have been like a 110 responses.  About fifty are complete strangers, like people on campus I have never seen before.  Another fifty are acquaintances and some of my really close friends who signed up to support me early on.  And then there are about ten or thirty random Russian ones which I think was just spam because they randomly found it.

Has it been mostly seniors, and why did he choose tea? Click to see the rest of the interview.

Congrats To The CC Val And Sal!
Hats off to you

Hats off to you

Columbia College announced today that Margarete Diaz Cuadros and Samuel Walker have been named 2014′s Columbia College valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively.

Margarete hails from Lima and is majoring in biochemistry. She’ll be continuing her current research and going for her Ph.D. in molecular genetics. Walker is a comparative literature major from Westchester whose senior thesis “is so advanced, it reads like the first draft of a doctoral thesis.” They both have very impressive and glowing bios, which you can read below the jump.

Congrats!

Read about your talented peers.

CCSC Debates About Constitutional Review
All of this is very esoteric

All of this is very esoteric

Every week, CCSC meets and talks about very important things.  This week, those thing included reforms to their constitution—particularly about the sections dealing with the filling of vacated seats. Much talk was had about transparency, efficiency, and fraternity, all of which our Satow Room Bureau Chief Joe Milholland was present to cover.

On Sunday night’s Columbia College Student Council meeting, the council addressed various constitutional reforms they will be voting on next week. The most prominent was discussing how and when CCSC should have special elections for seats vacated mid-term. Before, CCSC, like Columbia’s other undergraduate councils, has appointed new members after resignations. This academic year, however, their have been two special elections that have chosen a new University Senator and a new class council member.

VP of Policy Bob Sun said that having two ways of filling a vacancy was “not efficient” and that the council should choose between either going back to having only appointments but with a defined, “transparent” process or go exclusively to special elections.

Jeremy Meyers, Chair of the Elections Board, told the council that he was able to experiment with new things during this year’s special elections, but the special elections were hard on the board because they had to “drop everything for 2-3 weeks.” Because of this, Meyers does not think it is “sustainable” or “possible “ for the Elections Board to keep doing special elections, especially when considering the difficulties to recruit new Elections Board members. According to Meyers, in order to carry out special elections, the board needs to organize mixers, approve posters, organize voting, and answer questions from candidates.
Read on for elections and frats.

2girls1snack: Holy Guacamole Edition
Ugh, yum.

NOMZ

As Passover nears its end, those of you who observe Passover have likely exhausted all Matzo cracker combinations and get mad whenever your friends suggest going out for a meal. However, this edition of 2 Girls 1 Snack is Passover-friendly as long as you substitute chips with Matzo crackers. Even if you’re not Jewish, there are so many places near campus that offer chips and guac that we thought we’d help you make informed decisions just in time for Cinco de Mayo! Note: One of these Bwoggers is an immigrant Latina and grew up with authentic guacamole so the standards are set pretty high (5 is reserved for her homestyle guac).

Amigos: $9.80, includes fresh guac, fresh chips, and home-made salsa
Though it is the most expensive and requires you wait 5 minutes, Amigos’ guacamole undoubtedly has the best texture and taste. It has the perfect mix of flavors: lemon, avocado, tomato, onion, and it is all fresh. Not like made-that-morning fresh, I mean they make each batch from scratch the moment you order it, meaning you can customize it and chose any level of spiciness (Bwog wasn’t feeling too courageous so we went for medium). With regards to their chips, they are saltier than Taqueria’s but are so thin they are bound to disappoint those of you who try to heavy-load your chips (a few of Bwog’s chips snapped in the guac, but not the Matzo crackers–that stuff is sturdy like a brick). All in all, it is definitely worth the money as the guac not only tastes and feels the best (and probably has the best quality ingredients), but also because the small side salsa that automatically comes with the chips is AMAZING.

Rating: 4.8/5
Pros: Customizability, freshness, perfect combination of ingredients, comes with salsa, Amigos ambiance
Cons: Most expensive

Read on for ever more deliciousness.

From The Issue: Bluenotes
Illustration by Angel Jiang, CC '15

Illustration by Angel Jiang, CC ’15

Each issue of The Blue and White has three short pieces that depict some interesting tidbit of campus or New York life, in 300 words or less. This issue, Senior Editor Luca Marzorati, CC ’15, brings you the story of pirate radio in the city, contributor Nia Brown, CC ’17, presents the history of the Croton Reservoir Aqueduct, and contributor Alex Warrick, BC ’17, unwraps the mystery of the controversial “STUPID PEOPLE SHOULN’T BREED” bench on Barnard’s quad. The issue is on campus now, pick up a copy!

Who owns the air? This philosophical question is painfully real for some, including DJ Fresh Kid (AKA Sean Bruce, age 40) who was arrested last July in Brooklyn for operating a pirate radio station. The Fresh Kid was a regular DJ on the Fire Station (104.7 FM), which broadcasted Caribbean music in the outer regions of Brooklyn without a license. Because of a change in New York state law that designated unlicensing broadcasting as a class A misdemeanor, both the Fresh Kid and Solomon Malka, a Fire Station employee, could face jail time.

Fire Station’s collapse marked a shift in the decades-long battle between pirate radio and its legal competitors. Supporters of “big radio” and the Federal Communications Commission claim that unlicensed stations interfere with broadcasts, while pirate radio backers counter that they provide an essential service in underserved communities: only 51 percent of New Yorkers speak English at home, yet 86 percent of FM stations are in English. And besides, they argue, the air should be free. But the threat of jail time has forced many pirate radio operators into hiding, or online streaming.

A Freedom of Information Act request revealed that WKCR, Columbia’s radio station at 89.9 FM, is not spared from the interference of pirate operators. In the northern reaches of Manhattan and pockets of Brooklyn, some hopeful WKCR listeners instead hear “Quisqueya FM”—a station aimed at Dominican listeners broadcasting from the Bronx at 89.7 FM—or “Love Gospel Radio”—a Caribbean gospel station run by Grace Assembly Deliverance Temple on Boston Road. Attempts to contact these operators were unsuccessful; perhaps many fear becoming the next DJ Fresh Kid.

Nonetheless, pirate radio remains a presence on the New York soundscape. Turn the dial just past the static, and a world of eclectic music awaits. Walking around New York with a portable radio reveals the depth of unlicensed transmissions: the drone of Hebrew prayers in outer Brooklyn; the mellifluent tone of a French Creole talk show in upper Manhattan; the sticky urgency of patois on the streets of the Bronx. In a city of a hundred tongues, the pirate beat goes on.

- Luca Marzorati

What about that Croton Reservoir Aquaduct?

Bwoglines: Who Needs Money When You Have _____? Edition
We find that simply the appearance of being literate is enough to justify a vaguely superior air

We find that simply the appearance of being literate is enough to justify a vaguely superior air

Herb – Photos and coverage of the Easter holiday in Denver yesterday. (Gawker)

Poetry – There’s a lot of poetry in America don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. (Al-Jazeera America)

Money – People think the guy who runs MOMA isn’t snobby enough. (NYT)

A Country Beholden to a Single, Empty State - Corn is not an efficient source of fuel, say people not from Iowa. (Al-Jazeera America)

A mug which is used with a pinky that is raised via Shutterstock

Give Us Your Wisdom
shutterstock_154640318

Grey-eyed Athena watches from her perch

Dear seniors, friends of seniors, and those who wish they were seniors: It’s time for one of our greatest traditions to return: we’re starting our call for Senior Wisdoms. For freshpersons/transfers/people who hate joy, Senior Wisdoms are an annual feature where we ask outgoing seniors to share the knowledge and advice they’ve culled from their four years at Columbia. Responses are inevitably hilarious, slightly dangerous, extremely insightful, and generally awesome (not to mention a fantastic procrastinatory tool during finals weeks). Here’s how it works:

  1. Nominate a graduating senior who you think is a fantastic human being and should have their wise words shared with the general public.
  2. Email wisdom@bwog.com with (a) some basic information about your friend, and (b) why you think they should get a senior wisdom (think personal qualities rather than their résumé).

If they make the cut, we’ll get in touch with them while you sit back and bask in how funny/right about life your classmates are. A huge number of nominations come in each year, so move quickly—and give some great reasons for part (b)—to see your friends’ names up in lights! We’ll also be a little more selective this year; no pouting. Love, Bwog

Owl throwing shade via Shutterstock

EventHop: SupercalifragilisticexpialidOrchesis
Say that ten times fast.

Say that ten times fast.

Bwog loves to dance but unfortunately was not gifted with the moves. Luckily Orchesis held a performance last night: the tongue-twisting SupercalifragilisticexpialidOrchesis. Daily Editor Tatini Mal-Sarkar went to watch and ended up consumed with dance envy.

Last night, I entered Roone to the dulcet tunes of Mary Poppins. The last dance performance I went to was my mom’s best friend’s eleven-year-old daughter’s Jazzercise showcase, and despite the inclusivity of Orchesis, I highly doubted that that translated to quite the same quality.

And thank God for that. SupercalifragilisticexpialidOrchesis was great. Though it wasn’t always the most technical show I’ve ever seen (those eleven-year-olds, man), it more than made up in spirit. The huge cast and the prominence of Beyoncé in the lineup made the show an extremely enjoyable experience, even for a dance weenie like myself.

The show began with Victoria Robson’s “Saltimbanco.” The piece, choreographed to a number from Cirque du Soleil, was vibrant and lively, had some great lifts, and, despite the large cast size, still appeared crisp and well-coordinated. A similar level of skill was demonstrated by the second performance, titled “Spectacle” and choreographed by Ivy Vega. Both pieces somehow encapsulated an overall feeling of strength and power, heightened in the second by the costuming. The turtleneck crop tops (like Beyoncé, a common theme throughout the night) highlighted the unbelievable physical strength of the dancers, while also emphasizing their flexibility and grace. The next piece, however, was a bit of a disappointment. “Mother Yashoda” (by Natasha Antony) had so much potential – a Bollywood piece in the midst of Mary Poppins heaven? Sign me up! But the moves felt stiff and uncomfortable, and Bollywood, though extravagant, is not intended to seem limiting in its antics.

Hold me closer tiny dancer(s)

Bwog Meeting: Save Yourself!

Stacks on Stacks of Snacks!

“Its first effect is sudden violent, uncontrollable laughter; then come dangerous hallucinations—space expands—time slows down, almost stands still…fixed ideas come next, conjuring up monstrous extravagances—followed by emotional disturbances, the total inability to direct thoughts, the loss of all power to resist physical emotions… leading finally to acts of shocking violence… ending often in incurable insanity.”

—the dire consequences of marihuana not attending Bwog meetings.

Don’t submit to insanity. Come to Bwog, 7 PM in the SGO, Lerner 5th Floor. Free snacks and fine company.

Columbia Is A Venerated Ivy League Institution

Suck it, #OurBlue. Back in the day, Columbia was proud of its lack of school pride and brazen celebration of illicit activities. In fact, it has become something of a tradition on the twentieth day of April for Bwog to dig through its archives and dredge up memories best forgotten of undergraduates long graduated. Warning: this video contains obscenity, drug use on the steps, and offensive comments made towards Barnard women. So basically a typical night in Carman.

The mastermind behind this video, Kevin Karn, is still making movies but the rest of the stars remain unnamed. If you recognize yourself (literally not figuratively) in this video, email us at tips@bwog.com for honor and glory. Also, don’t forget to catch the annual Bacchanal 4/20 Screening at Ancel Plaza, 8 pm. It’s Pineapple Express.

“The Meanest, Rottenest Landlord”: CAGe Leads Discussion On Manhattanville

1973453_10201985823342489_7270227400612543939_oYesterday afternoon, Columbia’s Coalition Against Gentrification (CAGe) held a conference about the local implications Columbia’s Manhattanville expansion. Manhattanville Maven Ali Sawyer attended the conference.

I think of Columbia, first and foremost, as a university—guilty of questionable administrative actions (or lack thereof) sometimes, sure, but also a hub for education and events that generally benefits the Morningside Heights community. You probably wouldn’t call my perception particularly disputable. But today, I was presented with a different picture of Columbia as a ruthless real estate giant, colonizing West Harlem without regard for the human beings who reside there. I was taken aback. We know that Columbia prioritizes maintaining a good PR image—based on how little I knew about this issue before, I would say they’re doing a pretty good job.

The event began with an opening speech by Professor Steven Gregory of Columbia’s Anthropology and African-American Studies departments. Professor Gregory presented a history of Columbia’s expansion plans, revealing how much longer this struggle has existed than I’d realized. Columbia’s administration has had their eye on Manhattanville for decades.

One of Professor Gregory’s main concerns was how the university deceitfully seeks and then ignores community input on its expansion plans. While it accepts community input on a surface level, it doesn’t allow it to influence their projects in any meaningful way. This disturbing habit of the university reflects its concern for good PR above human beings, a major theme of this meeting.

By spending millions on consultants and lobbying, Professor Gregory said, Columbia disempowers community organizations that lack the funds to keep up. This news was horrifying to me: my tuition dollars are feeding this expansion monster.

Back in 2008, Columbia hired companies EarthTech and AKRF to conduct studies on the environmental conditions of Manhattanville. The EarthTech report relies on visual observations like “ubiquitous roll-down gates” and “an almost complete lack of trees and vegetation” to declare Manhattanville a “blighted” area. The report ignored the social, economic, and historical richness of the area because of some obnoxious gates and a dearth of trees. Based on this logic, all of Manhattan, save perhaps Central Park, must be “blighted.”

Nice one, Columbia.