#occupy wall street
Bwoglines: Out of the Ordinary Edition

The root of all problems

You might have enjoyed some nip-slips at Baccha90s this weekend, but watch out when you move off Columbia’s campus. In Utah, you get taxed for showing some skin. (Time)

However hard you’ve been trying to do so in your Global Core lecture, you should consider getting bored more often. (The Dish)

The cop who pepper-sprayed the UC Davis protestors might have been “taking orders.” Sound familiar? (The Atlantic)

Despite the shock you feel when you remember that your parents had lives before you, there is nothing surprising about how swanky Michelle Obama looked at prom. (Jezebel)

The Colombian economist, Jose Antonion Ocampo, decided to step down from the World Bank presidency race. It’s looking like America’s bid for the World Bank will win… again. Maybe not so out of the ordinary. (Guardian.)

A guy walks into a B(e)ar: a cautionary tale. (HuffPo)

 

Paying attention in class via Wikimedia Commons

Bwoglines: Drawing Comparisons Edition

We've come a long way...

Another shooting of a young black male took place in Wisconsin this week; of course, comparisons are drawn to the controversial Trayvon Martin case. (HuffPo)

Who would have thought: the rich are getting richer. (Washington Post)

Striking a balance between responsibility and liberty will be key to the Supreme Court’s upholding of Obamacare. (NYT)

There’s a difference between taking inspiration and plagiarizing. Apparently the president of Hungary missed that memo. (BBC)

In what may be the beginning of a new era in labor relations for China, Foxconn and Apple agree to provide better working conditions for the Asian manufacturer’s 1.2 million employees. (Reuters)

Relics via Wikimedia Commons

Lecturehop: Take Me Down to the Paradise City
thumbs up for rock n roll

Lecture was just like this

Bwog sent over our resident Building Buff Briana Last to report on last night’s talk, “Public Space and Public Consciousness” at the Event Oval in the Diana Center at 6 pm. The lecture was given by Michael Kimmelman as part of the Barnard Department of Education’s “For the Public Good” series. This series is part of a response to Karla FC Holloway’s new book, Private Bodies, Public Texts: Race, Gender, and a Cultural Bioethics. The work examines instances where “medical issues and information that would usually be seen as intimate, private matters are forced into the public sphere.”

Michael Kimmelman is no schmo. As the New York Times‘ architecture critic, an Ivy-League graduate,  and an itinerant concerto pianist, he couldn’t help but share his knowledge of the arts with precision and eloquence to an eager audience last night. His talk, infused with theoretical concerns about the human need for public space and what that need means was a beautiful addition to the ongoing Salon series at Barnard probing the question of what private matters should be addressed in the public sphere.

Kimmelman did not fall short of this task. He provided an interesting look into why public spaces are important and how cities, particularly ones as densely-populated as New York can attempt to understand how to maximize their space. He began by reminding an audience that despite the advent of the digital age, “Our human instinct is to come together” and after seeing the response to 9/11, to Occupy Wall Street, and the events at Tahir Square, it is not the internet, but cities, “that prove to ourselves that we are together and that there is solidarity among us.” He continued later, “No matter how new media express collective mourning in protest, nothing can replace people going to the streets. Historical upheaval is often linked to place. This is because places haunt our imaginations, they stick with us.”

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Bwoglines: Learning A Lesson Edition
where dreams come true

Which seat can I take?

The Grammys were last night!  Adele learned you can take an awful break-up and parlay it into 6 awards, viewers learned who Bonny Bear Bon Iver is, and Nicki Minaj pissed off Italian grandmothers everywhere. (Reuters, Fox News)

Though our Occupy class never came to fruition, students at other universities are getting schooled in the Occupy movement. (USA Today)

Students learning numbers have even more job opportunities—humanities majors are learning how to more convincingly give an outward shrug while having an internal panic attack. (NY Times)

Brown learned from Harvard that when your city’s in trouble, you’ve gotta be a friend and help it out. (Bloomberg)

On a more serious note, Greece is learning that avoiding a default is a tough battle.  The passing of heavy austerity measures by the Greek Parliament led to violent riots in Athens and other cities. (CNN)

Institute of higher learning via Wikimedia Commons

Anthro “Occupy the Field” Course Not Up For Review

Yesterday, we told you that the Anthropology Department’s recently-announced class on the Occupy Wall Street movement was on the ropes. We have now received what is more or less an official confirmation of the cancellation of the course, at least for the coming semester. According to Mia Mendicino, the Coordinator for Academic Affairs at Columbia College, the course “has not been submitted to the COI for an official review,” which effectively means that the attempt has been abandoned (for now). It looks like The Man has won. But if we’ve learned anything from the OWS movement, it’s that nothing can keep the 99% down. Except maybe winter.

Anthro “Occupy the Field” Class May Be History

“Occupy the Field,” that Anthro class slated for next spring meant to examine OWS from within both seminar rooms and GAs, is M.I.A.—from the bulletin, that is.

The class, which was posted on the Department of Anthropology’s website as of December 31st, is now nowhere to be found. Neither an SSOL search nor a foray into the Directory of Classes bear fruit, either. Following the announcement of the class last week, news sources around the globe reported the story. But according to Anthro chair Elizabeth Povinelli, the class posting wasn’t removed due to “mystery or political untowards.”

Rather, Povinelli says, it was “proposed at the last minute” and did not undergo the requisite Committee on Instruction overview and new instructor approval for postdoc fellows. Povinelli said it was “an inadvertent mistake” that the class was posted last week. We’ve received no response as to whether the class will now undergo the overview.

Below are screenshots of the Anthropology website from earlier this week and yesterday.

Update, 12:11 am: More vague lingo, this from Brian Connolly, Associate VP for Public Affairs for the Office of Communication and Public Affairs (huzzah redundant administrative titles!). Connelly stresses that “the study of contemporary political, economic and social issues is entirely appropriate and has a long history here.” So the class isn’t being pulled due to controversy. Rather, “the proposal for a new anthropology course involving fieldwork on this topic had yet to be considered for approval by the faculty Committee on Instruction.” According to Connelly, “News reports and some departmental postings regarding the spring semester were premature.” Nevermind that the “departmental postings” sparked the news reports.

An Exciting New Intellectual Opportunity

A few days ago the History Department emailed about a new class, “Occupy the Field.” That’s “a field-based course about Occupy Wall Street and the Occupy Movement more broadly,” which, you will recall, began last semester. The Anthropology Department is responsible.

Apparently, the class will be split between seminar and field work at OWS. Accordingly, the reading is admittedly “lighter than many other classes.” Score! Attendance is also a big part of the grade.

For their field work, students can “get involved in one of the many working groups that run day to day operations in the Occupy Movement.” Doubters of the movement need not worry, however—Occupy the Field is nonetheless “about rigorous and creative intellectual inquiry, not movement-building.” Pinkie-promise.

Our favorite instructor quote from the syllabus (though in that respect, our cup runneth over):

As a regular participant in the Occupy movement, however, I can say with absolute certainty that there is no foreseeable risk in teaching this as a field-based class. On the contrary, the risks of disengaged scholarship seem more profound.

Here’s the syllabus. If anybody ends up taking this, please, for the love of God, send us overheards. Full email after the jump.

From the Issue: Columbia Occupied

Illustration by Eloise Owens

Be on the lookout for the December issue of The Blue & White, which will be arriving on campus this week. In the meantime, Bwog will honor our heritage/amorous affair with our mother magazine by posting features from the upcoming issue. Such treats include a breakdown of Barnard’s budget woes, a look at Columbia’s proposal for a new engineering campus, and the politics of space in Lerner. Below, find the transcript of our interview with Todd Gitlin.

Columbia Journalism School Professor Todd Gitlin first immersed himself in protest culture when he got involved with New Left political activism in the 1960s. After a stint in the underground intellectual and writing culture, Gitlin turned to academia, becoming a prominent public intellectual and prolific author. He has recently asserted himself as a prominent and informed voice in the debates about the Occupy Wall Street movement, upon which he is currently writing a book. Gitlin recently found the time to sit down with Blue & White contributor Anna Bahr to discuss the trajectory, politics, and core values of the movement.

The Blue & White: In the last month the majority of media attention on the movement has been more focused on police brutality than what Occupy Wall Street has actually been accomplishing. Do you think the shift in focus has negatively affected the purpose of OWS? Can you comment on the vilification of the police force?

Todd Gitlin: Right after the eviction [from Zuccotti Park], I was hearing a lot of indignation and outrage about the police tactics and [Mayor Michael] Bloomberg. That was about two and a half weeks ago and it seems to have faded. In the conversations I’ve had since them with people since then, with people who had been deeply involved, there wasn’t that much about the police. They rolled up their sleeves and started to address other issues.

In terms of the outer impression, it probably looks to people who have not been paying such close attention that the big story is this collision, the confrontation. That always happens whenever there’s violence—that’s what happens.

B&W: Has the public and media attention on instances of violence detracted from the effectiveness of the movement’s other efforts?
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Bwoglines: War and Peace Edition

So that's why it's called NINJA...

The LAPD raided OccupyLA yesterday, arresting 200 and dispersing protesters without much conflict or violence. (WSJ)

Dershowitz believes the key to peace in Israel is Palestinian Chicken — he recommends Prime Minister Netanyahu watch the hilarious Curb Your Enthusiasm episode with Palestinian President Abbas in an interview with the Current. (Tablet, Current)

Columbia researchers believes America is vulnerable to crippling cyber-attacks and exploding printersHP disagrees. (MSNBC, LA Times)

Transit officials believe haikus are the key to preventing road rage and violent collisions in New York’s most dangerous intersections. (MSNBC)

Unassuming instrument of war via Wikimedia Commons

Occupy CU Responds to Barnard’s Lockdown

The Occupiers are getting feisty. Last night an email was sent out from their alias (which shows up as “Lee Bollinger”) to the offices of Dean Hinkson, President Spar, President Bollinger, and various contacts from Jezebel, Gawker, Gothamist, and the New York Times, demanding an explanation from the administration for the increased police presence during last week’s General Assembly. Occupy CU’s attempt to organize a meeting at Barnard was thwarted by dispersal from Public Safety, while the NYPD kept a close eye on the entrances to campus:

We demand that Barnard administrators promptly and directly respond to their serious acts of repression with an explanation. We will accept a response in writing or in person at our next Barnard General Assembly, Wednesday, November 30th, 12:00pm at our originally intended location, outside Barnard Hall. We hope that this statement and administrators’ subsequent response can begin a productive dialogue and framework under which we can discuss and express our concerns freely and be heard, not repressed.Our movement here on campus, in our community, and in our city is growing. The issues we face in this University are not independent from those of the movement at large. This is the time for meaningful change, and Occupy Columbia University welcomes all who wish to participate. An injury to one is an injury to all.

While Occupy Columbia have been making a lot of noise, it’s not clear that their numbers are growing significantly. There were only around 30 45 people at the Barnard GA, despite the overreactive security measures. Spec published an interesting piece last week on divided perspectives among students on OWS, which explores why some people care more than others. Whether the executive offices that OCU is targeting will care remains to be seen. We’ve contacted some members of the administration for comment. You can read the full email below.

Read on for full email

Bwoglines: Taking the Heat Edition

The #occupiers have been getting a lot of attention lately, but support at Columbia is hardly universal. (Spec)

Newt Gingrich wants to be “humane,” and takes considerable criticism because of it. (WP, Reuters)

Mitt Romney claims his first name is Mitt. It’s not. (Gawker)

Are criticisms of police brutality unfounded? Recent NYPD statistics show the lowest rate of police shootings in department history. (NYT)

Protests continue as Egyptians are unhappy with the election timetable proposed by the military government. (Guardian)

CUMB isn’t the only band taking heat for questionable decisions—but the Roots defend their introduction of Michelle Bachman (as a Lyin’ Ass Bitch) as “tongue in cheek.” (WSJ)

Barnard On Lockdown

Barnard’s campus has been fortified! Fearing unrest related to the Barnard General Assembly planned for this evening by Occupy Columbia, extraordinary security measures are currently being enforced. Barnard Hall has been closed, there is an NYPD car and police barricades in front of the 117th street gate, and Public Safety officers are checking IDs at the gate to make sure the only people allowed into Barnard’s campus are those with Barnard (or Columbia) IDs. There’s also a tent a few feet away from the gates where Barnard students can sign in guests, as they would into their dorms. But if you don’t have a Barnard ID and you’re not signed in by a Barnard student, you’re not allowed in. Even Barnard students walking around on their own campus attract suspicion. One Bwogger reports that while idly standing under the Sulzberger awning, a Public Safety officer approached her, demanding to know what she was doing.

The Occupiers are going ahead with their meeting, and are currently holding a General Assembly in the basement of the Diana. According to organizers, they initially planned to hold a protest General Assembly in front of Barnard Hall, but Public Safety informed them that demonstrations are not allowed in front of the building. They moved to the Diana, where Public Safety officers checked their IDs once again. Public Safety officers and Barnard administrators are lingering just outside the meeting space, where protesters are reportedly discussing Barnard’s elimination of part-time enrollment, Barnard’s mandatory meal plans, tenure and benefits for adjunct faculty, and police harassment.

Bwoglines: Causing a Ruckus Edition

A New York resident was arrested yesterday and charged with planning to build and detonate bombs across the city. (NYTimes)

They squabbled and squawked, but the congressional supercommittee charged with resolving the debt crisis just couldn’t do it. Even after they asked for an extension from their UWriting Professor President. (Bloomberg)

Occypy Wall Street, after being forced out of Zucotti Park last week, began a 24 hour “occupation” of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s house yesterday, which amounted to a lot of drum banging on the Upper East Side. (NY Daily News)

NASCAR fans booed Michelle Obama when she stood alongside a military veteran to announce the beginning of a Florida race. (Slate)

Ever feel like your dessert just isn’t as fun as it could be? Inject a little rowdiness with the help of these two women, who discovered the secret to making alcoholic ice cream. (Gizmodo)

There’s no better holiday tradition than causing mild family chaos/physical harm with the annual Thanksgiving touch football game, and the WSJ has a helpful list of the 32(!) rules you should memorize as you start practicing this week.


Student Week of Action, Days 3 and 4: A Demonstration, a Party, and a March

Students gathering before the march to Union Square

This week is OccupyCU’s Student Week of Action. Read on for Bwog resident #Occupier Jed Bush’s report on Day Three’s speak out and Day Four’s rally and march to Union Square, the latest in our ongoing coverage of this week’s events.

Thursday:

Today, OccupyCU participated in a student strike in solidarity with the OWS Day of Action, whose aims were to “resist austerity, reclaim the economy, and recreate our democracy.” The day began with a “strike party” to celebrate the two-month anniversary of the movement before heading down at 2 pm to join fellow protesters at Foley Square “to show Solidarity with laborers demanding jobs to rebuild this country’s infrastructure and economy.”

Due to rain, the participants migrated from the lawn in front of Butler to Low Steps, before finally huddling underneath the awning of Low. A mini-controversy arose as the demonstrators debated over the issue of becoming a “coalition”, which would give the group the right to reserve the spacethough all in attendance quickly came to the consensus that to reserve space would go against the sentiment of “Occupying” a space. The organizers did seem pleased with the administration which, while not particularly happy with the protest plopping themselves directly in front of Low, did not act against them as they waited to leave.

Upon departing, several students in the march from Columbia commented on the highly organized nature of the proceedings. Despite the large number of participants, the OccupyCU coordinators had few problems in keeping their fellow protesters together. The protest’s participants represented a large diversity of the Columbia community. While perhaps the most vocal participants were seniors, many underclassmen told Bwog this was their first time actively participating in an Occupy Wall Street protest, which speaks to the efficacy of OccupyCU’s Student Week of Action. “Going to school at Columbia,” one sophomore explained, “you can forget what’s going on in the real world. We’ve now realized that despite our own privilege as Columbia students, it’s important to show solidarity with the movement. Because education should be a right, not a privilege.” (more…)

It’s All Happening on College Walk

Those strolling across College Walk a moment a go saw a glimmer of Winter’s glow. Facilities is testing the lights in preparation for the annual tree lighting ceremony. Daylight hours may be waning, but at least we’re getting prepared to fight the night.

A twinkle betwixt the branches

Students assembling for the 2 pm OWS march to Union Square are playing a variety of instruments, some more conventional than others. They are also giving away free food.

A veritable jamboree