A Joint Meeting (We Hope the Pun Was Intended)
Not sure what the elephant is snorting

Not sure what the elephant is snorting

Columbia University College Republicans (CUCR) and Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) came together (to the same room number) Wednesday evening for a heated discussion of U.S. drug policy. We sent our cannabis correspondent to sniff around.

There isn’t a much better way to start a meeting than brownies, even if they aren’t special. (From CUCR’s email about the meeting: “We promise there won’t be any drugs in the brownies. Unless you consider chocolate, eggs, flour, and/or love drugs.  In which case there will be drugs in the brownies.) No, I can tell you, there were no drugs in the brownies.

After the drugless brownie frenzy died down, CUCR and SSDP members took their seats. The conversation got rolling when mediator Jamie Boothe, CC ’15, called on an SSDP member. Preemptively on the defensive, the SSDP member made a general case for decriminalization, citing reasons like the inevitability of drug use and the benefits of regulating the market.

Then the conversation took a confused turn. A Republican asked, “Heroin and cocaine are illegal, yes?”

After this minor issue was set straight, the next several speakers established that the crowd was largely in support of decriminalizing at least some types of drugs, while a small but vocal minority opposed decriminalization altogether.

A few speakers used Prohibition as an example of the ineffectiveness of banning substances. One Republican went so far as to assert that our current drug policy is unconstitutional because, unlike Prohibition, it is not supported by constitutional amendment.

Other speakers brought up a myriad of good points: decriminalization would allow the government to tax drugs for revenue, people would be more likely to seek help for addiction, and we could impose more regulations and oversight on the industry. If all of those points came from CUCR, no wonder their party is having such an identity crisis.

Then it cracked up.

Free Food!

The American Dream.

Columbia University College Republicans are having their annual, world famous, absolutely FREE barbecue celebrating Columbus Day. No need to be a part of the GOP to enjoy some free Dinosaur barbecue, so head on over to Van Am Quad from 1-2 PM. All are welcome unless you’re some kind of liberal vegetarian pantywaist. 



Not a bad way to go via ShutterStock

Know Your Organizations
rows on rows on rows

Which seat do I take?

As the school year starts, you will be inundated with student groups asking you to leave your fields to flower and join them.  Before you go signing up for every listserv under the sun, we wanted to provide you with a brief rundown on the cafeteria of Columbia–those student groups that make the most buzz on campus and that you really should know about.  If we missed your group or said something you don’t like, scream at us in the comments.

The EcoReps are there to make you feel shitty about how you treat the environment.  They compost, they gave you your fridge, and they’re getting you a bike.

CUPAL is a collaborative head group for performing arts groups on campus.  They run shit.  We’ll let them explain the functions of CMTS, BTE, KCST, Latenite, Orchesis, NOMADS, CU Players, and CUWE.

CUDems likes Democrats.  CUCR likes Republicans.  CPU likes to talk about them.  They all like a good party.

Student Wellness Project is a highly debated newish group all about promoting student wellness, mostly in terms of decreasing student stress.  You might get a free snack or pat on the back from them during finals.  Sometimes they try to push through some resolutions, though the impact has not been well analyzed yet.

FeelGood CU gives you grilled cheese!!!!!

Student-Worker Solidarity (SWS) likes to yell about things, a lot.  In all seriousness, they support workers in Morningside Heights for decent rights and stuff.


Bill Kristol’s Crystal Clear Advice to Undergrads

No, I’d rather analyze this

After seeing Bill Kristol’s talk at the J-School, Adam Shapiro reached out via email with a few questions.  Kristol was kind enough to respond and has some great words of advice:

Bwog: What’s an unpopular political opinion of yours that turned out to be right?

Kristol: That we should send more troops to Iraq (argued from 2003-2006, against both the Bush Administration and the left), and then, in 2007, that the surge (when the Bush administration finally did it) could and would succeed.

B: What’s an opinion you were once sure of that that turned out to be wrong?

K: That political correctness, academic trendiness and intellectual close-mindedness at universities couldn’t get any worse. It’s managed to do so for three decades.

B: Thoughts on Columbia University College Republicans endorsing marriage equality? Should more Republicans follow their lead?

K: People should make up their own minds on this, and not be shaped by bigotry on the one hand or intimidated by political correctness on the other.

B: Thoughts on Froscanity?

K: The worst thing about “daring” academics is how stupid and unimaginative their stunts are.

B: During your lecture, you said it is a particularly “fun time to be young”. What’s your idea of having fun in college?

K: I don’t think 20-year olds will or should take advice on “fun” things to do from me. But–to return to a theme–nor should they slavishly follow peer pressure, or the conventional wisdom that dominates the often very small and cramped world of today’s colleges. There are more ways to have fun and to live a satisfying life than than are dreamt of by academic liberals.

Ivy League Dems and Republicans Support Marriage Equality

Update, 2/14 11:45pm: CUCR confirms that, in fact, not all of the Ivy League school groups have agreed to sign on to the statement, despite what both political sides at Columbia were told from UPenn.  CUCR President Tyler Trumbach asserts that CUCR and CUDems still stand by their own joint statement and hope that the remaining Ivy groups will follow their lead.  Frankly we hope the same of our fellow Ivies and are proud of CUCR and the Dems of standing by their statement.

The Republican and Democrat student groups from each of the Ivies have come together to make the following joint statement in support of marriage equality:

“We, the College Democrats and College Republicans chapters of the Ivy League, endorse marriage equality and challenge our nation’s leaders to join us in defense of marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples.”

While short in words, it has a strong and important message.  From Columbia, CUCR and CUDems say:

The Columbia Democrats and Columbia University College Republicans are pleased to endorse marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples.  We join with all of the College Democrats and College Republicans chapters of the Ivy League in urge our nation’s leaders to move forward on an issue too important to be held hostage by party politics.  Our generation overwhelmingly supports marriage equality, and we look forward to a future of bipartisan cooperation in ensuring equality for all Americans.”

Tom Callander, CUCR Director of Finance, says this effort comes in the midst of the group discussing the feature of the organization and their beliefs.  It was a near unanimous decision on the board to join in–they wanted to best represent the views of the general body that they serve, a majority of whom are in support of marriage equality.  CUCR and the Dems met up earlier this week to write their statement.

Janine Balekdjian, CUDems Pres, explains that the initiative was spearheaded by the UPenn Democrats and Republicans, who decided to reach out to the other Ivies after coming together themselves.  On the CU Dems decision to join in, Janine says, “of course it’s a no-brainer.  I mean we’ve supported marriage equality for way before I’ve even been at Columbia.”

Callander hopes that the force of both sides in the Ivy League will help sway the debates.  The way he sees it, there are no downsides to the statement; “worst case scenario, it’ll be ignored.”  Balekdjian believes that on campus it won’t have much impact–as she sees it, most Columbians already support gay marriage–but she’s hoping the mass joint statement will make people across the country know that young people are in favor of marriage equality, regardless of political affiliation, “and that this doesn’t have to be a partisan issue–this is about love and human rights.”

To that end, we’d like to make a similar no-brainer statement and say Bwog endorses marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples and we hope to see significant changes made very soon to right the current discriminations.


Herman Cain Spoke Last Night

Before heading downtown to tell FoxNews that Columbia loves Hannity, Herman Cain spoke in Low last night at the invitation of the College Republicans. He gave what seemed to be his standard hour-long speech outlining what he perceives to be a time of crises in America, including an “economic crisis,” an “illegal immigration crisis,” a “moral crisis” and another kind or two. After sketching out an America in which small businesses are smothered by a really long tax code, Cain posited that the economic crisis, at least, could be solved with his 9-9-9 tax plan.

The audience was definitely less friendly than the one his “Solutions Revolution” tour generally encounters; several times, Cain faltered after having expected applause at a certain line and meeting a dead room. For pretty much the entire speech, the CU Dems were talking loudly, laughing, and fake-coughing. Several of his canned lines which probably meet with approval elsewhere in the country (e.g. on taxes, “If ten percent is good enough for God, nine is good enough for the government!) fell flat on their face in Low. Nevertheless, he kept his cool, and maintained a powerful delivery. For a politician whose candidacy was pretty much a joke, he was very charismatic and likeable as a speaker. Maybe that’s just what politicians do.

The structure of his speech was simple: we have problems, they are caused by high taxes, we should have lower taxes, now I’ll take questions. Since he was late, the promised #CainAtColumbia Twitter questions were largely ignored, and all but one came from a CUCR board member. Only, “What is your favorite pizza topping?” made it through, to which Cain boisterously returned, “Favorite pizza topping..sss? Sss? The all-meat combo! No anchovies! Pepperoni, bacon, sausage, ham, ‘burger meat!”

Then he recited the lyrics to that song from Pokemon: The Movie 2000, which is a thing he does.

Photos after the break

All Aboard the Cain-Train
If you’ve noticed these 9-9-9 posters around campus, and wondered what they signify, here it is: CUCR is bringing Herman Cain to campus to speak. More ridiculous than Ahmadinejad take two? You decide. Full email below:

To the editors at Bwog and Spec:

The Columbia University College Republicans are excited to announce that former presidential candidate Herman Cain has graciously accepted our invitation to speak at Columbia this semester!  After several months of negotiations, we have secured Mr. Cain to speak at 7:00pm on Tuesday, April 10th in Low Rotunda.  As per university policy, Mr. Cain will not be endorsing any political party or candidate; however, we have requested that he speak about his tax reform plan, his reflections on the Republican presidential primary, and his experiences as a black conservative in America.

We would especially like to thank the Young Americans for Freedom for their generous financial and organizational support for this event.  We would also like to thank the Columbia Political Union for their cosponsorship.

Tickets will be available through the TIC on Monday.  Seats are available for free for anyone with a CUID, but hurry — space is limited! Also starting on Monday, tickets can be reserved online at http://www.cuarts.com/calendar/view/type/4/event_id/13364.


The Columbia University College Republicans Executive Board

The Indignation! The Controversy!

In attendance at the CUCR Town Hall, where all the juicy details surrounding the biggest second-biggest outrage to hit  Columbia in a fortnight are being dished out right now—are four participants, including two press people. The free Pepsi and Lays won’t consume themselves, Columbia!

Man, remember when we got all worked up about this?

UPDATE from our reporter at the scene, 8:37 pm: “A couple (tipsy?) Dems showed up. Barnard-Obama came up. For no apparent reason, it was momentarily unpleasant and confusing.”

We Know What CUCR Did Last Week

Breaking news: CUCR President William Prasifka, CC ’12, and David Paszko, CC ’12, have resigned from the CUCR board. Full resignation letter after the jump, and board resignation request here. The Interim President is Tyler Trumbach, CC ’13 (formerly the Executive Director), the Interim Director of Finance is Tom Callander, SEAS’13 (formerly the Director of Operations), and the new Executive Director is Nashoba Santhanam, CC ’13 (formerly the Regent Creative Director). But the big news isn’t that these guys resigned; it’s why they resigned.

Since the story of the Columbia University College Republicans and Ahmadinejad first broke late Sunday night, there have been numerous allegations of wrongdoing traded among us, Spec, and CUCR. Meanwhile, all three organizations were conducting their own investigations and learning different parts of what turned out to be a major conspiracy. Now, Bwog is happy to report that we have the full story. The short version is that, without the knowledge of the CUCR board, David and Will wrote the fake letter to Ahmadinejad (along with two other anonymous people) and leaked it to Spec, only to turn around and get the CUCR board (who had no knowledge of any of this) to release statements to Bwog accusing Spec of “egregiously false” coverage.

Read on for the long version

Former CUCR President Casts Even More Doubt On Ahmadinejad Invitation

Update, 4 pm: Spec’s EIC and Managing Editor have posted a statement addressing the disconnect between the information in their story “CUCR plans to invite Ahmadinejad to campus” and the response from CUCR. They write, “Before we included that information, [CUCR] group leadership said that the documents were authentic, though the intention behind their statements is now unclear.” Read the full Spec statement here

In an email to Spec last night, former CUCR President Lauren Salz said she “would be extremely surprised” if the invitation CUCR allegedly sent to Ahmadinejad turned out to be real, in response to their article, “CUCR plans to invite Ahmadinejad to campus.” This email echoes CUCR’s statement yesterday, which was also in reponse to the same headline. Salz was concerned with the financial claims made by the supposed invitation from CUCR, writing that “we never promise money or speak about finances with potential speakers until they have expressed a willingness to come.” A screenshot of her email to the story’s reporter can be found below.

Salz confirmed with Bwog that the opinion she provided to Spec was misrepresented in Spec’s follow-up article published yesterday. Salz was cited as falsely yielding support for Spec’s allegation that CUCR plans to invite Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak at Columbia. Spec initially stated that “Former CUCR President Lauren Salz, BC ’11, confirmed that the draft matched CUCR’s template for writing invitation letters.” Since the original publication of that article, mention of Salz has been removed. Spec has not yet published a correction or any acknowledgement of the update.  Update: Earlier this afternoon, Spec posted the correction, “A previous version of this story erroneously included a quote from Lauren Salz, BC ’11. Spectator regrets the errors.”

Screenshots of both versions can be found after the jump.

CUCR’s Executive Board Addresses Media

The Columbia University College Republicans have released a new statement unequivocally denying claims that the organization was in the process of inviting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to speak on campusNotably, this letter has been signed by every CUCR board member.

Yesterday, we responded to the Spectator headline, “CUCR plans to invite Ahmadinejad to campus” with a statement from the club denying any plans or intent to extend said invitation. Spec cited documents including an alleged cost breakdown of the proposal, and a “leaked” invitation to the president which can be found here. Bwog was also a recipient of the supposed invitation on February 14, but instead confirmed it to be false with CUCR upon receipt.

Without further ado, the newest statement from CUCR:

To the Editors of Spectator and Bwog:

The Columbia University College Republicans, as a united Executive Board, would like to take this opportunity to make clear once and for all that our organization has NO intention of inviting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to campus, and we have never intended to do so. At no meeting has Ahmadinejad been floated as a potential speaker; at no meeting has Ahmadinejad been discussed on our board’s agenda; and at no meeting has any vote been taken on the possibility, realistic or otherwise, of inviting Ahmadinejad to speak at Columbia University.

In the effort of clearing up some facts about current news coverage: CUCR has no connections to private donors in either Abu Dhabi or Dubai. We do not believe that President Ahmadinejad’s appearance would foster a constructive conversation about the role of religion in government. The board does not think that the president’s visit would help bring about a two-state solution in Palestine.

In that vein, CUCR would again request that the Spectator remove or amend its coverage of this issue in the interest of journalistic integrity.

The Executive Board of the Columbia University College Republicans

See the list of Executive Board members who signed this statement after the jump.

Ahmadinejad NOT Invited to Campus, Bwog Confirms


Contrary to the Columbia Daily Spectator’s top headline, “College Republicans plan to invite Ahmadinejad,” the Iranian president has not been invited to speak at Columbia by CUCR. Spec quotes from a supposed letter of invitation from CUCR to the Iranian dictator as a source. Bwog too received this “leak” on February 14th, and confirmed its falsity at the time with CUCR board members. The Spectator article seemingly quotes CUCR President Will Prasifka (CC ’12) in response to the leaked Ahmadinejad letter—however, his statement was made several weeks ago and in response to the Gilchrist drama, CUCR sources have confirmed to Bwog. [Update, Tuesday 6 pm: Bwog has since learned that when Spec asked Will for comment on Ahmadinejad on Sunday, he sent them a statement identical to the one he sent a few weeks ago about Gilchrist. Spec did not recycle his older statement.]

Update: CUCR has released the following statement, confirming that the group never intended to invite Ahmadinejad to speak at Columbia.

As Executive Director Tyler Trumbach has already made clear to the Spectator, the Columbia University College Republicans does not—nor has ever intended to—invite Iranian President Ahmadinejad to speak at Columbia. The CUCR remains opposed to Ahmadinejad’s hostile and intolerant regime. Any other rumors are factually inaccurate and in direct contradiction to previous statements and positions of the CUCR.

Spectator’s coverage would be almost humorous (“president of a great nation”? “two-state solution in Palestine”?!) if not for its potential to harm our club’s relations with valued donors and potential speakers. The CUCR requests that Spectator remove its egregiously false coverage and focus on reporting the facts.

Nashoba Santhanam
Regent Director of Creative Affairs
Columbia University College Republicans

See the email from February 14 after the jump.

Gilchrist Wants to Return to Columbia, Has a Message for Us

As reported a few days ago, the College Republicans have been considering bringing Jim Gilchrist, co-founder and president of the Minuteman Project—a controversial group aiming to stop illegal immigration—back to speak at Columbia.

For those of you who don’t remember Gilchrist’s last visit to campus in October 2006, violence broke out between a group of protestors and some of Gilchrist’s supporters. The ensuing controversy dominated the national media for some time.

Now, Spec has spoken to Gilchrist, who has expressed a great deal of interest in returning. According to Gilchrist, he’s “been in touch with [the College Republicans], and they have given [him] an overture of interest but no formal invitation.” The topic of the speech would reportedly be a combination of immigration and free speech—the latter being relevant to Columbia, according to Gilchrist, because “free speech on the campus environment has been compromised by indoctrination.”

Gilchrist candidly remarks on the incidents that occurred during his last visit: “I expect next time will be less rabble-rousing and more interest in listening with mature debate and questioning.” In addition, Gilchrist himself (or at least whoever controls his Facebook account) left a lengthy comment on the Spectator article, included below.

Read Gilchrist’s comment

Free Food: Semi-Holiday Edition

You won’t get a day off but by golly you’ll get free food.

In honor of Columbus Day, CU College Republicans will be holding its annual Columbus Day BBQ. Stop by for free barbecued ribs and chicken.

Your hour of celebration is from 12 to 1pm in the Van Am Quad.

Pictorial Representation of questionable policial correctness via Flickr

QuickSpec – Navelgazing edition

sdfYeah, we’re Establishment now… fuck.

Quite possibly better news than Chipotle

Alternatively, we could hire chauffeurs.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA we love Ben Grosghal.

And a little from the outside world…

Bollinger dishes to Observer, avoids Biden fumble

Gothamist on wheatpaste

CUCRs one-upped by the NYU Republicans