nsop Archive



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img September 20, 20145:30 pmimg 0 Comments

“Come, [NSOP bracelet], you too must die. Why moan about it so? / Even Patroclus died, a far, far better man than you.” – Homer, The Iliad

If we had done our Iliad reading when we were actually supposed to, maybe we could have found comfort in the wise words of Homer. Instead, we found this abandoned NSOP bracelet.

It's just part of the decor, really.

Besides this lost bracelet that clearly just realized NSOP is over, we have all escaped from that dreadful wonderful week. Consider it a rite of passage.




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img August 30, 20146:24 pmimg 4 Comments

Please analyze the similarities between this Bearden work and the Illiad in the comments.

Please analyze the similarities between this Bearden work and the Iliad in the comments.

For our young NSOP-ers, the academic year has already begun. Intrepid Iliad-er and  Feisty Freshperson Garrett Donnelly gives us his report of the first Lit Hum lecture.

So we all walk into Roone Arledge Auditorium, each with our slightly dusty copies of The Iliad (thank God for the three-day weekend), to inaugurate our class’ entrance to Columbia’s academic life.

Let’s go freshmen.

The class was divided into two lectures (I say lectures, although each were only 20-30 minutes). The first was on “Homer and Harlem,” and focused on Harlem-based artist Romare Bearden and his paintings’ relationship with Homer’s texts. Bearden’s take on Homer’s works led the professor to place subtle hints that we are in Bearden’s position as we open our Iliad and begin our own journeys as artists. This is a theme I assume will become very Columbia. (Not to diminish the idea – it’s why we’re here, after all).

All this said, I only realized what the talk was about afterwards, and during it I kept thinking, “Wait, what? Bearden was so not in Sparknotes.” Then, of course, followed The Iliad talk itself.

Professor and Lit Hum chair Julie Crawford opened up the main lecture with a slew of intimidating PowerPoint slides filled with large passages from The Iliad. She covered several large themes with brief, in-depth looks at the passages and maintained that scholarly-but-casual attitude you just have to love.

A good amount of people brought their pen and paper and scribbled down key passages. Others watched as if at a movie. And the nappers, well…napped. The obligatory Q&A gave some lucky students the chance to understand more about the Iliad or—for that one guy whose question sounded remarkably like something out of The Iliad’s introduction—a chance to show off.

Regardless, both of the talks were introductions not only to The Iliad but to the quality of the scholarship and the professors here. Pretty cool and exciting for all of us newbies.

And yeah, let’s go freshmen.

“After Church” by Romare Bearden via Wikimedia



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img August 30, 20143:58 pmimg 7 Comments

You're very welcome! Hope to see you around!

You’re very welcome! Hope to see you around!

NSOP is basically over except for the optional neighborhood tours (we’d recommend the dessert tour of NYC), but the fun will never stop. In case you’ve been living under a rock, or in Furnald—and check out this Furnald Tumblr, by the way—here’s what’s been going onSend info or your desire to write about your experiences to tips@bwog.com.

Do freshmen do anything but drink?

  • Pike is a fucking rager right now. And they have a consent educator as bartender. #doingitright
  • While pre-gaming for Intrepid, someone was CAVA’d at 7 pm. A moment of silence for our lightweight fallen brother.
  • Meanwhile, two other new students were CAVA’d while on board, but one was not alcohol-related.

Word on the street:

  • “I feel like I have so many friends, but I don’t care about a lot of them.”
  • First year male after 3 hour Sexual Violence seminar: “So, how does a guy protect himself from false accusations of rape?” Needless to say, the Barnard junior teaching looked as though she was going to attack the kid.
  • “Freshmen pronouncing Koronets with french pronunciation (koronay). Can Chez Koronets be the new 1,020?”
  • Overheard by freshman on the steps: “Omg that’s my favorite war, too! There were so many twists and turns. Like it was calm and then the French came in…like, woah!”
  • About 500 extra people at each meal are taking food designated for new students and affiliated staff, and Columbia Dining is not happy about it.


  • “Under1Roof has been the best part of NSOP by far. So done with being shuttled between ‘fun’ get-to-know-you activities. At least we talked about some things of substance.”

See more below, including the happenings of Carman 8.



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img August 29, 20149:38 amimg 5 Comments

These fingers studied abroad while at Columbia.

These fingers studied abroad while at Columbia.

It’s Friday, Friday, gotta wake up on Friday…Congrats freshpeople! You’ve survived most of NSOP so far and have only a few days left before those dreaded classes. But you’re probably excited for them to start anyway. As you prepare for NSOP weekend, remember to stock up on food, condoms and anything else you think you’ll need to carry you through until Tuesday. We heard the Intrepid was a blast, so send in some notes about your fun times on a boat to tips@bwog.com or use our anonymous tip form.

Today’s Highlights: 

  • EcoReps Green Sale: Go buy supplies for your dorm/life/class for pretty cheap. 10 am-4 pm in the Wien Lounge.
  • Open Mic: Go see/hear your talented fellow students fearlessly perform while drinking coffee. Sign up between 7-8 pm at the door (first come, first serve). Roone.
  • Most CC/SEAS freshmen’s registration appointments on SSOL. Don’t be too sad if you can’t get the classes you want.
  • Getting a Job on Campus—12-1 p.m. in Roone.
  • Native and Indigenous New Student Mixer—12:30-1:30 p.m. in Wallach Lounge.
  • CC First-Year Class Council Information Session—5-6 p.m. in 569 Lerner. The SEAS info session is from 5-6 in 568 Lerner.
  • Free Shabbat Dinner—8:15-10 p.m. in Low.
  • Barnard’s library fair: 12-2 p.m.

One Thing To Do Before Graduating: 

Taken from Christine Liu’s Senior Wisdom:

Have an international experience. Columbia gives you so many opportunities to do so, be it through study abroad, international internships, or student group initiatives. I spent last summer in Jordan through the CEO Amman program and had the absolute BEST experience and met some cool people; we even made it onto the CCE FB page!

From The Archives:

Operation Ivy League. Familiarize yourself with Columbia’s history, and learn why you haven’t gone to many frat parties this NSOP.

We’re never disappointed via Shutterstock



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img August 26, 201412:47 pmimg 5 Comments

Like this but with less food

Like this but with less food

It’s that time of year again…you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. Send ’em to tips@bwog.com.

Dear Bwog, 

I am a first year wondering if it is allowed to ship a mini-fridge to school. Also, is there only one fridge allowed in a dorm room? Thank you!

– Hungry in Hamilton

Dear Hungry,

The answer to this question really depends on how many fridges you’d like to bring. One is definitely okay, and two is okay if you’re in a double (i.e., one fridge per person). It’s a good idea to coordinate with roommates, though, since one fridge is probably fine for two people. As a first-year most of your meals will come from the dining halls, so you won’t need as much fridge space as you think. Unless you really like hoarding the sliced cheese from JJ’s place.

Bwog has never heard of one person in a single with more than one fridge, but the restrictions on fridge size and quantity are pretty loose. For example, there’s no need to stick to the Columbia-mandated maximum fridge size of three cubic feet, though we wouldn’t recommend anything above 4.5 cubic feet. You can ship a fridge to the package center in Lerner, even if it’s over the three cubic feet limit. Just make sure to bring your parents, roommate, or some randos you just met during NSOP to help you carry it to your room.

Bottom line, you might be able to get away with bringing four jumbo fridges and having a fridge party, but that’s way more space than you need. Plus, it would be expensive. And speaking of expensive, remember that it’s a lot cheaper to buy your fridge at the green sale! Check them out for lots of discounted, recycled items from the frosh of yore (and by yore we mean last semester). Happy snacking!


Read on for tips about DRINKING



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img August 25, 20144:20 pmimg 28 Comments

Here’s an old favorite from NSOP 2006. Send your own first night stories to tips@bwog.com to inspire the freshlings.

It’s your first day at Columbia. Mom and Dad just drove back to New Jersey, and you are ready to celebrate your newfound freedom. But wait. Shit! You’ve heard that Columbia is an awful party school. They say the only fun thing to do here is cocaine, but you don’t want to put anything in your nose. You’re planning on being pre-med; noses are for sneezing.

You want to drink. Well never fear: did you know you can overcome homesickness by drinking? Bwog contributor Will Snider channels this spirit to conjure a typical first night out during Orientation Week. So sit back, relax, and forget everything you learned from alcohol.edu. Remember, you’re pre-med. You know that shit.

10:30pm — Your Floor Meeting just ended. After learning from your RA “what it means to be part of a vibrant campus community,” you’re ready to kill some brain cells. Rob, that sort of sketchy guy on your floor who wears way too much Axe deodorant and brags about being from Buffalo, pulls out a handle of Nikolai vodka and punches you in the stomach saying, “It was made in Kentucky, so you know it’s good.” Someone brings out four shot glasses, and you chase the drinks with the Gatorade your mother bought at Sam’s Club for you. Everyone on your floor comes out to this makeshift party. Suddenly, you begin to think Columbia might not be so socially awkward after all.

10:45pm — Your floormates are now all passed out in the common room. By your seventh call to CAVA the dispatcher knows your name, and you begin to wonder why you didn’t just go to Michigan. So what if it’s a state school? You decide to venture beyond Carman Hall.

11:20pm — After your cousin’s old fake ID is rejected by 1020, Nacho’s [now defunct], the Heights, and even the Abbey (despite seeing what appear to be 12-year-old girls being admitted), you give up and begin to walk back to Carman. Out of nowhere a guy in a polo shirt who reeks of cigarettes and jungle juice assaults you. He slaps you on the ass and tells you to rush Pike—even if you’re a girl. Suddenly you find yourself in a dark room with a sticky floor, surrounded by sweaty men and girls in short skirts, and you realize you’re in a frat house. You didn’t even know Columbia had fraternities. How did all these people get into Columbia? (Hint: they were once just like you. Almost.) At the frat party you squint your eyes to find the keg in the dark.

11:34pm — While in line for the bathroom you see two guys doing lines off a coffee table. You tell them you’ve never seen cocaine before, and they tell you it’s Adderall. Suddenly one of them begins to read Dubliners. You now know what hell feels like. (more…)



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img August 24, 20143:26 pmimg 8 Comments

Festive balloons, just for you!

Festive balloons, just for you!

Welcome, frosh! Today saw the slightly chaotic move-in of Barnard first-years as well as students not from New Jersey CC/SEAS international students and the farthest away domestic students. OLs greeted each car that pulled up to Carman with school-spirit-crazed cheers, Columbia didn’t card anybody for food bags and trays of hot dogs, and all was well. Freshmen: take as much free food and Columbia swag as you can, and enjoy the John Jay food while it’s still pretty good. If you’re interested in writing about anything that happened to you today, please email us at tips@bwog.com. Keep sending us tips of overheards and overseens, too.

The gossip:

  • Like last year, using the word “frat” is forbidden by OLs. Instead, you should say “fraternity and sorority life.” Other banned words include dormitories/dorm (residence halls); freshmen (first-years or new students); girls/boys/kids/babies (women/men); The College (Columbia College/Barnard College); and “the Administration” (specific deans, offices, or services). Some OLs were visibly upset about these rules.
  • Again, NSOP wristbands have a $50 replacement fee. How we miss thee, Rhea Sen.
  • Attendance is actually going to be taken at most mandatory NSOP events this year.
  • Spectator comments on Sombrerogate were used as examples of microagressions in OL training. Also at OL training, an athletics representative tried to pump up a crowd that was rollings its collective eyes about taking sports and school spirit seriously. This year, OL groups can get free party buses up to Homecoming if they really like each other.



Hit the jump to see what move-in day looked like.



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img August 14, 20146:10 pmimg 13 Comments

Columbia encourages getting high

Columbia encourages getting high

Drumroll, please. Class of 2018, your newly-announced NSOP theme is “Reaching New Heights Together.” Today, Columbia issued the NSOP schedule for CC and SEAS, and here are Barnard’s and General Studies‘ if you missed them.


  • The collective Thursday night outing is the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum, which is on the USS Intrepid, “a decommissioned aircraft carrier on the Hudson River overlooking the NYC skyline.” For reference, past years have been at Victorian Gardens, the Bronx Zoo, and Governor’s Island, so this is pretty sick.
  • Neighborhood tours: Brooklyn Bridge, Downtown/Financial District, the Met, East Village, West Village, Park Slope, Williamsburg, “Just Desserts” (a tour of bakeries throughout the city), High Line/Meatpacking, South Street Seaport, Chinatown/Little Italy, Destination: NYC (famous landmarks), Soho, Brooklyn Heights, Harlem,  and 5th Avenue/Rockefeller Plaza. It’s worth going on at least one of those, and to explore the rest over your next four years.
  • Info sessions for pre-health, sciences, maths, on-campus jobs, and study abroad, a LGBTQ snack break, a “Native and Indigenous” mixer, and a Greek life cookout.
  • Required events are Under1Roof, Step Up!, a session on Sexual Violence and Gender-Based Misconduct, Reaching Healthier Heights, a security forum, academic assemblies, your first Lit Hum class (for CC students), convocation, your advising appointment, and a few other things. We’ll let you decide how mandatory these are.

There’s just over a week until you 2018-ers will be on campus for the first time together, drunkenly stumbling up to the Mudd roof reaching new heights. Frosh, send any questions you have about moving in, registering for classes, freshman year, or anything else to tips@bwog.com or our anonymous tip form, and we’ll do our best to answer them!

Eager freshmen via Shutterstock



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img September 09, 20138:30 pmimg 12 Comments

What all of your gratuitous selfies will look like in ten yearsAnother semester, another season of ridiculous parties.  Here, Brennon Mendez brings us back to a better time: NSOP.  If you want to tell Mama Bwog about a crazy party experience, email tips@bwog.com or use our anonymous tip form.

As a wide-eyed freshman* first-year, I had no idea what to expect of my first night as a Columbia student. I had seen a decent amount of shitshows and #canthang moments and developed the belief that college parties couldn’t be that much different than what I’d witnessed in high school.

And then, Carman happened.

The event that kicked off this week of Carman-centric social alcoholism was the now infamous nine-RA party, hosted by the ladies and gentlemen of Carman 8 (a.k.a. the 4-CAVAs-1-week bunch). As a member of the Ocho crew, I stumbled upon a large mass of my fellow freshies in varying levels of movement, from inebriated sways to sexually-frustrated gyrations. An amorphous mass of 50-70 freshmen, armed with  first-night libations, spilled out of the host’s room and into the hall, where a jolly good time was had by all, with no fucks given about the multiple laws/policies being so flagrantly broken.

I pushed my way into the suite through the masses of freshpeople incessantly taking Instas with their “new college friends!!!” Strobe lights, cheap beer, and a suffocating cloud of adolescent pheromones welcomed me to the dorm room.

Cue the “Holy shit, I’m ACTUALLY in college!” realization.

Despite the sardine-can conditions, I hadn’t felt as uninhibited during NSOP as I did that night, surrounded by strangers and dancing around on sticky, beer-glazed linoleum. Dynamic conversation ensued, perhaps the least awkward dialogue between freshmen during orientation week. Things were moving brilliantly until…





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img September 03, 20138:35 pmimg 6 Comments

In appreciation for its ancestral role in our own lineage, Bwog posts features from each new issue of The Blue and White (whose new website will launch next week!). You can look forward to a personal exploration of the Trans Narrative; a debunking of the Board of Trustees; and an interview with Ta-Neshi Coates. Snatch up a copy in Lerner, the Diana, Butler, or one of Columbia’s fine dormitory establishments. Here, senior editor Torsten Odland, CC ’15, argues the importance of radio after the college DJ’s halcyon age. Like what you read? Stop by the B&W’s first meeting of the semester: Sept the 10th, 9pm, the crypt of St. Paul’s chapel.

I’m not sure where I developed the image I have of the “college radio DJ.” Neither of my parents were DJs;  I never listened to college radio growing up. Other than maybe a caricature I saw on The Simpsons, I have to assume the archetype I have in mind is based on a variety of Wikipedia sources.


Illustration by Britt Fossum, CC ’16

If you look far enough in the history of indie rock, every band’s page claims “their album dfsd was very popular on college radio stations in the United States.” The more popular 80’s alterna-bands (R.E.M., The Replacements, Pixies) have been classified, in retrospect, as “college rock”, which gives one the impression that not only were these intrepid DJs introducing America to the jangle music we all respect so much today, they were leading a youth movement. The college radio persona I’m thinking of—the rock-nerd saving space in the airwaves for interesting pop music, the sarcastic taste-maker who may actually just be Stephen Malkmus—lives eternally in 1986, when they were socially necessary.

Though I didn’t realize that when I first started programming at WKCR, part of my motivation to get involved had to do with the role I thought I might fill as a cool one. But there’s a crucial difference between the college radio stereotype and radio at Columbia today: WKCR and WBAR have very few listeners on campus and are functionally irrelevant to the taste and cultural sense of most Columbia students (insofar as they’re radio stations).

Though it ranges into the twenties with some frequency, Joe Bucciero, CC ’15, WBAR Treasurer, assured me that the average listenership for online-streamed WBAR shows is “in the single digits.” During the late-night shows, in all likelihood, there are long stretches of air when the DJs are just listening to music alone in the basement of Sultzberger. (more…)



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img August 31, 20136:45 pmimg 16 Comments

Bwog will again honor our heritage/amorous affair with our mother magazine, The Blue and White (on racks and “dormitories” near you NOW), by posting features from the upcoming issue. Such treats include a conversation with Ta-Nehisi Coates; a breakdown of the Board of Trustees; and a discussion of why college radio still matters. Below, staff writer Alexander Pines, CC ’16 discusses his complicated experience with the “Transgender Narrative.” When researching this piece, we learned that Columbia added transgender related care to its health plan (…last year). Blown away by what you read? ATTEND THE BLUE AND WHITE’S FIRST MEETING OF THE SEMESTER: Tuesday, September 10, in the crypt of St. Paul’s chapel. 

A few days after I started injecting testosterone, I sent my friends Snapchats of my face with shakily drawn beards in pink and green. “Nothing here yet,” I’d type, wondering what it was, precisely, that made me a man. I still don’t know. I don’t think it’s a beard, though, or a lower voice or leg hair.

Five months later I’m still beardless, but pricklier than ever before, from the stubble under my chin to the temper that pops up in traffic and checkout lines. People keep asking me if I’m happy now, as though I’ve triumphed over something. They tell me how brave I am. I’ve been called brave before—I was the token lesbian activist in high school, back when I used my pretty female name and spoke with my pretty female voice, but for me it’s not so much bravery as survival. The Transgender Narrative has violence that’s largely absent from its gay counterpart. Forget being stuck in a closet—trans people are supposedly men or women “trapped” in the wrong bodies who need hormones, doctors, needles, and scalpels to construct a body that is somehow truer.

It’s not that I’m trapped, I’ve just outgrown.

There are days when I can see the way my new name twists as it comes out of my friends’ mouths—four syllables in the space of two. I’m stretching as well. Five months on testosterone and I’m a mess of hair and scar tissue with a voice that cracks and rises and breaks when I sing. Growing isn’t always pretty. I have acne; I’m afraid of losing my hair; and there’s a remote chance I’m frying my liver.




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img August 26, 20134:48 pmimg 5 Comments

"Beer before liquor, honey."

“Beer before liquor, honey.”

Freshmen dorms are now occupied, and the newest Columbians are — or should be — safe with their OL’s. Bwog interrupted a few of them along the way to ask about the best or worst pieces of advice they’ve gotten so far. Here’s what they had to say in the first Bwog Asked of the year. (fun fact: we were also called the “bee-wog” within five minutes. Yessss. )

  • “Don’t get pregnant.”
  • “Don’t go to the hospital.”
  • “Don’t use the (John Jay) lifts.”
  • “Don’t go into Morningside Park.”
  • “Don’t leave campus.”
  • “Take the stairs” (told to a JJ’14 resident).
  • “Beer before liquor.”
  • “Get drunk every day.”
  • “Get a fake I.D.”
  • “Don’t be shy.”
  • “Play more sports.”
  • “Have fun and don’t take too many classes.”
  • “Stop stressing about things and just get them done.”
  • “You’re gonna be okay, right? Right?!”

Concerned love via Shutterstock



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img August 25, 20138:00 pmimg 0 Comments

It's not too hard, we promise

It’s not too hard, we promise

Welcome (yet again), freshmen! Here’s hoping your first day was relatively trauma-free, and that you actually found a blue bin at some point in your journey. All Jersey/Westchester non-West Coast people, we’re looking forward to seeing you bright and early tomorrow morning.

If you’re sitting anxiously in your newly postered JJ single right now, bursting with creative energy and new stories or experiences — then we have a solution to at least one of your new college problems. Bwog is looking for freshmen to write about their NSOP week: anything from move-in narratives to too-real party testimonials to an experimental stream-of-consciousness about Thursday night’s outing. Tell us about all the parties we’re not invited to, all the late night near-death experiences you survive on your first trip downtown, that awkward moment with your roommate where he’s still not talking to you….the possibilities are, as they say, infinite. Haven’t yet been to a Bwog meeting, you say? Haven’t actually met any of us face to face? Don’t let that stop you. If there’s any part of your week that you’re itching to write about and share with the world (or not — you can be campus-famous or totally anonymous), shoot an email to tips@bwog.com, and we’ll get you on our front page before you’ve even stepped foot in Hamilton.

You should also come to our first meeting of the year on Sunday, September 1st, at 7 pm in the SGO on the 5th floor of Lerner. It will be your first of countless Columbia free food opportunities. This goes for all of you — it’s never too late in your Columbia career to start taking pictures of squirrels.

Your journalistic future via Wikimedia



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img August 21, 20134:15 pmimg 15 Comments

You during NSOP

You during NSOP

Ladies and gentlemen, time to wake up from your summer 2013 slumber: your newest NSOP theme has arrived!

It is “Infinite Possibilities.” 

Or, as an astute Bwogger put it, the prelude to the next four years at Columbia, “Infinite Responsibilities.”

To elucidate this global/cosmic/galactic theme, the 2013 NSOP schedule book features a glittering Columbia campus at night, the deep blue sky stretching out all the way to infinity and beyond the top edge of the schedule book. You, Columbia/Barnard freshmen, are on top of the world, the kings of the hill, the creams of the crop. Until you try to get into a language class — but that’s so far into the future. Here are the links to the CC/SEAS complete schedule and to the Barnard complete schedule. Some choice highlights from the coming week below:

  • The collective NYC outing is…..Victorian Gardens. What/where is Victorian Gardens, you may ask? It’s “an amusement park housed within Central Park, one of the most famous parks in the world. Experience the excitement of an after-hours ride on the Aeromax, one of 14 exhilarating rides. For those of you who like to dance, there will be a DJ turning it up in addition to a number of other activities to enjoy with your fellow new students in this intimate setting.” Thank god for the DJ turning it up, as he so skillfully turned it up on Governor’s Island in 2011 and in the Bronx Zoo in 2012.
  • There are also a myriad of pre-health, pre-law, pre-study abroad, pre-finance, etc. information sessions throughout the week — Columbia giving you a friendly reminder that it’s never too early to start panicking preparing for your future employment.
  • Required events: Convocation (8/26, 2:30-4:00); Under1Roof (various sessions); CC/SEAS Academic Assemblies (8/27, 9:00-10:15); Literature Humanities: The First Class (8/27, 2:30-4:00); Mapping Your First Year With Health Services (8/29, 3:30-6:00); first Bwog meeting of the semester (9/1, 7:00, SGO in Lerner).

Freshmen: get ready for NSOP, where you will experience infinity in nine days.

Infinity and beyond in a parade float via Shutterstock



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img August 30, 20122:52 pmimg 3 Comments

In the spirit of using NSOP to recruit bright-eyed freshman, the Jester, Columbia’s humor magazine, has released a fake NSOP guide. Find it on their website or in news racks around campus beginning this afternoon. It’s somewhat similar to the actual guide, except there are way more dinosaurs.

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