PrezBo Opposes ASA’s Academic Boycott of Israel
This guy

This guy

Hillel received a statement from PrezBo two days ago stating his opposition to the American Studies Association’s boycott of Israeli academic institutions. PrezBo joins the Presidents of Harvard, Yale, Brown, Princeton, Cornell, and NYU  in opposing the boycott. The boycott was announced by the ASA on December 4th on account of what its resolution calls “the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the expansion of illegal settlements.”

PrezBo’s message:

I have made my opposition to academic boycotts of Israel emphatically clear over the years, most prominently in my 2007 letter that was signed by some 400 of my fellow college and university presidents speaking out against the British University and College Union’s boycott of Israeli scholars and universities. I stand by that statement today when considering the recent vote by the American Studies Association for just such a boycott. To be sure, it is entirely appropriate for our campuses to provide a forum for discussion and debate about the policies of any government, including our own. But the ASA’s vote runs counter to this essential academic and political freedom and, taken to its logical conclusion, would necessarily result in boycotts of fellow scholars and peer institutions from many nations around the world. I reject the ASA’s position which would compromise an essential value of universities in an increasingly global society-and we look forward to continuing to Columbia’s long history of engagement with our peers from Israel.

Update 10:19 EST:

DSpar, not to be outdone, issued the following statement today:

As President of Barnard, I stand with the Executive Committee of the Association of American Universities in my strong opposition to a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. All scholars have the right to speak out against issues or policies with which they disagree, but academic boycotts pose a threat to the intellectual exchange and open debate that sit at the very core of our educational mission. I would urge fellow scholars and their affiliated academic associations to seek alternative forms of protest that do not jeopardize academia’s crucial role as a marketplace for independent thinking and collaborative dialogue.

Our glorious leader via Wikimedia

Actual Quote: “I sat on Lee Bollinger’s bed and was watching football on TV.”
PrezBo partying like it's 1997

PrezBo hosting a house party—and looking to the future?

Before Bollinger was president of Columbia, he was president of Michigan. And despite the way he left—setting off a not-minor kerfluffle at UMich by leaving right after averring that he had no intention to leave—PrezBo left his mark on UMich.

See, at right, PrezBo at a house party he hosted after a huge UMich football win. From The Michigan Daily:

Then-University President Lee Bollinger was sitting in his bedroom watching the Michigan-Penn State game on television with his wife when more than 1,000 students gathered outside the President’s House and began chanting Bollinger’s name. As the crowd grew rowdier, instead of turning them away or calling University Police, Bollinger opened the front door and invited the students in.

“You can stay here as long as you want and come inside,” Bollinger said as he welcomed students into the house on South University Avenue, according to Michigan Daily reports.

The 1,000 plus students packed into every room of the house.

Then Kinesiology sophomore Bob Lehrer made himself at home in Bollinger’s bedroom.

“I sat on Lee Bollinger’s bed and was watching football on TV,” Lehrer told the Daily. “I called from his phone to my answering machine and left a message. He gave me a hug and on the way out he said he loved us all.”

No kidding! Tell me more, Bwog.

Bucket List: de Blasio and Perry
PrezBo has no one to push him when everyone's gone for Thanksgiving

PrezBo has no one to push him when everyone’s gone for Thanksgiving

Bucket List represents the unbelievable intellectual privilege we enjoy as Columbia students. Aka, you’re paying for tuition and might as well get the most out of it, right? This is a short week because of Thanksgiving break, but the pickings are good across all disciplines.


  • “NYC Summit on Children: Keynote With Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio” Monday, 12:30-1:30, Roone Arledge Cinema, Bill de Blasio
  • “The Flowers are Vexed: Gender Justice, Black Literature, and the Passionate Utterance” Monday, 6:30-8, Satow Room, Imani Perry

The possibilities are endless..

Today is Your Lucky Day

Ever wished you could take a picture with his majesty PrezBo? Were you not dedicated enough to wake up for yesterday’s Fun Run? Have no fear! Bwog is giving you the opportunity to take your very own PrezBo picture today. And by take a picture we mean insert your face in/on/around the holes we have provided in the template below. Don’t be put off by the fact that PrezBo looks totally unamused by your presence, just be glad that your arms are kind of sort of almost touching.


Shhh, you can thank us later. Be sure to send in your best PrezBo pictures!

Photos: PrezBo’s Fun Run 2013

Bwog’s own sporty superstar Claire Friedman woke up early this morning to stumble through participate in President Bollinger’s 2013 Fun Run. Here are a few photos from the glorious morning. If anyone else ran next to ’Bo today and has some pictures of his locks flowing in the wind, tip ’em!

PrezBo Lectured Today at U of I

PrezBo wasn’t in New York Today! He’s lecturing on affirmative action at the Univ. of Illinois!

podium reads, "Illini Union"

Snatched paraphrases of his talk, from someone who was there:

  • “If legacies and athletes want to argue for easier admissions they can do that, but certain races can’t.”
  • “America still has healing to do because of our past… It is about more than educational benefits, it’s about history… We are still not where we need to be… race still matters, prejudice still exists… “
  • “The pre-college educational system is just as segregated as it was in 1960.”
  • “I led the defense of affirmative action at Michigan.”

[The video and transcript should soon be online.]

Photo courtesy Owen Skelding

Prezbo Reacts to Supreme Court Sort Of Upholding Affirmative Action
PrezBo doesn't look at cameras.

He looks great, whether chilling at Baker or responding to Supreme Court decisions .

Yesterday, the Supreme Court sort of upheld race-based affirmative action. In the case of Fisher v. Texas, in which a white girl named Abigail Fisher sued the University of Texas for not admitting her and practicing race-based affirmative action, a lower court ruled in favor of the University.

Many Supreme Court watchers expected the conservative justices on the Supreme Court would overturn the lower court’s decision and rule that affirmative action was unconstitutional. Instead, the Court ruled 7-1 (with 1 abstention) that the case should be reargued in the lower court. Basically, the Court dodged the question of whether race-based affirmative action is constitutional.

So the press turned to the next best authority on affirmative action: Prezbo, who was involved in two landmark affirmative action case back in 2002, when he was president of the University of Michigan. In those cases, Gratz v. Bollinger and Grutter v. Bollinger, the Court basically ruled that it was OK for schools to consider race in admissions, as long as they didn’t set racial quotas or say that being black was equal to a certain number of SAT points. The Court also insisted, as they had in an earlier case called Bakke v. University of California, that race could only be used for the purpose of having a diverse class, not to correct for historical discrimination against minorities.

After the jump, see Prezbo’s reaction to the decision

Commencement 2013: Columbia University in the World

Today was Commencement for the entire University, where all graduates were made official and all deans made nerdy inside jokes about their schools.  Read on for memorable quotes, pictures, and videos.

Remember: tonight the Empire State Building will be lit up Columbia blue and white. And more importantly, Bwog is proud of you.


  • “It is a well-known fact: the smarter you are, the more you can procrastinate.”
  • “I sometimes imagine I’m president of a dating service.”
  • “Being at a university means never saying ‘well that’s just what I believe.’” … “Imagine how different the world would be if people entered conversations willing to change their opinion.”
  • “I believe no generation has faced a world with more promise than yours right now.”
  • “I hope you will always remain the brilliant students you have been with us.”

Deantini: “The pen is mightier than the sword, but we know Columbia College students are mighty good with both the pen and the sword.”

Goldean: “They are the hardhatted, hammer-waving students who will lead the world in engineering and applied sciences.”

DSpar: “The brilliant, the bold, the dazzling, and the ever beautiful women of Barnard College.”

Dean Awn: “These students are deeply indebted…..to the faculty!”

George L. Van Amson (Chair of CAA): “Stand Columbia as Columbia stands with you.”

Pics and vids after the jump

PrezBo Gives Statement on the Boston Violence

PrezBo has just released a statement on the lifting of the lockdown in Boston, with no mention of the lack of alert last night. Boston is in Bwog’s thoughts, especially as an apparent standoff is currently going on, and we hope that everybody with friends and family remains safe and sound. CPS and Public Safety numbers appear in the email after the jump.

Message after the jump

Your 119th Annual Varsity Show Is…

A crafty Bwogger working late into the night at the Diana picked up a copy of what appears to be the Creative Team’s latest “Creative Rundown” of this year’s Veesh. Bwog is withholding judgement for the time being, but there’s no reason you should do the same in the comments.

...doesn't stay in the Vag. What you find in the Vag late at night…

PrezBo, Out of Context

For the past few fall semesters, PrezBo has taught a class on free speech. This year, the class focuses on constitutional freedom of speech and press in the United States. Bwog was tipped a neatly chronological selection of the best out-of-context quips from our elegantly coiffured president’s only class.

9/24: “Get your note pads out—in three weeks, we are going to take back the fucking streets.”

10/1: “I am reintroducing caning to Columbia.”

10/22: “I’m an occasional user of cocaine. Not a regular user. I’m really offended.”

11/14: “As an idiot—I really don’t know anything about these First Amendment things.”

11/26: “I end up in an orange jumpsuit every time I publish something that the government doesn’t like.”

Prezbo’s Class: Holding Court

Here’s a sneak peek of the Autumn issue of The Blue & White, which will be out next week (damn you, Sandy!).

Class notes from the issue

One blustery October afternoon, approximately 60 students shuffle into 501 Schermerhorn for class. Some fiddle with their water bottles, others heave hefty copies of Constitutional Law, Sixth Edition out of their bags. President Bollinger—for the next hour and fifteen minutes, anyway—will become Professor Bollinger. As he glances at the roster and starts to call out names, the classroom falls silent. You can almost hear the collective sigh of relief when he’s settled on two students, a Mr. Fine and a Mr. Chen. Mr. Fine and Mr. Chen are not relieved. For the duration of the class, they’ll have to answer any question Bollinger throws at them, in front of their peers, TAs, and, of course, Professor Bollinger himself. “Mr. Fine?” He calls, smiling. The student raises his hand and begins to speak.

Bollinger is as much a campus legend as he is the face of the University. Many students know him from the parody Twitter account bearing his name, or his widely-discussed (and acclaimed) haircut, before they meet him in person at one of his famous Fireside Chats—that is, if they get the chance. A sighting of PrezBo strolling down College Walk is a gossip-worthy event, chronicled in exclamatory text messages to friends. Students want to know him, impress him, critique him, and so, with visions of trumping the LSAT dancing in their heads, they flock to his class.

Political Science W3285, or Freedom of Speech and Press, holds a certain cachet among Columbia students, thanks to its unique pedagogy and the man behind it. President Bollinger, who has taught the class for 25 years—first as President of the University of Michigan, and now as the President of Columbia—favors a loose version of the Socratic method, a manner of teaching typical of law schools.

More on the PrezBo few people see after the jump

ShakeShorts ShortShakes Review

Fashionably anachronistic

Many modern adaptations of Shakespeare plays have come and gone. Some, such as Romeo + Juliet (starring Leonardo DiCaprio), have left their mark. King’s Crown Shakespeare Troupe (KCST) hoped to achieve such glory, at least within Columbia, when they presented their ShakeShorts ShortShakes on October 25-27. Bwog’s very own dilettante dramatist John reviews:

ShakeShorts ShortShakes was comprised of five, fifteen-minute shorts, each by a different director. Renowned plays such as Hamlet and Henry VIII were mixed in with lesser-known poems such as Venus and Adonis. Given free reign on artistic liberties, each director cooked up a much-edited plot, peppered with wry and dirty humor.

Under Maitreyi Choksi’s direction of Julius Caesar, the “doomed” emperor masterminded his own assassination. Why? He could not bear the thought of a mundane death. The conspiracy upon conspiracy, coupled with Percy’s (Caesar) whisper of “Et tu, Brute?” and Chloe’s (Marc Antony) passionate rendition of the “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears” speech, made for a Hitchcockian thriller.


Double Trouble: Objection Edition

“Are you my mummy?”

Don’t shed those tears after our 21-16 loss to Dartmouth, Bwog is here to cheer you up with a double dose of Overheards and Overseens. Thanks to our army of minions tipsters, we’ve gathered some snippets through the grapevine.

Freshman athletes on Lit Hum:

“I didn’t know, when I committed, about the whole liberal arts thing and talking about dead people and feelings.”

Experimentation led to comforting results:

Girl (to a guy): “I mean, I was a freshman, it was an experiment, and really it just made me more confident in my straightness.”

Bwog would like to remind everyone to maintain laundry habits:

Girl in Columbia tracksuit (to another girl): “She wore the same outfit twice in one week. Eww!”

Where was Machaon when you needed him?

Middle-aged man (to another) in front of Butler: “Here’s all the Greek guys. Syphilis.. herpes..”

In a history lecture, a professor asked how to resolve a  certain financial problem in a company:

Girl: “Lower wages.”

Professor (sarcastically): “You should study economics.”

Two guys brofist each other in apparent affirmation of their major choice.

Bwog would be remiss if we forgot the alcohol:

Senior (sitting on Baker Field shuttle): “Four more beers! Four more beers!”

Overseens after the jump

Contest: President Bollinger Overseens

Drink of the gods

In celebration of Homecoming, Bwog is hosting a contest for the best overseen photo of Prezbo. The contest will start today (10/20) and end next Saturday (10/27).

The prize is none other than your very own bottle of Bollinger champagne.

So fire up Instagram and send those photos to tips@bwog.com!


All about angles via Wikimedia Commons