#sororities
Mixer Mix-Up

Members of Columbia’s Kappa Alpha Theta chapter have come under fire for posting pictures that many consider racist from their mixer last night on Facebook and other social media websites. While the mixer was reportedly “Olympic team” themed, Bwog thinks it would be difficult to play sports in a sombrero and fake mustache.

Spec posted a picture of one the Mexican group, which used sombreros, thick mustaches, and maracas. But sisters also dressed up in themed attire for the Netherlands, Japan, Jamaica, Germany, France, and other countries. “Team Japan” wore high stockings, pigtails, and chopsticks in their hair, and puts up peace signs for the camera. While sororities themselves are not allowed to have mixers or alcohol in their houses, we’ve been told that this particular mixer was held in Sig Ep and was registered with the administration. The pictures below have been submitted to tips@bwog.com since the Olympic mixer happened last night.

Update (6:27 pm): Jessica Chi, President of the Columbia University Panhellenic Association, just released the following statement, saying she “truly apologize[d] for any harm the incident and photos in question” may have caused and that the “concerns brought to light by this incident do not at all reflect the shared values” of the Greek community.  See it below the jump.

Update (11:33 pm): We have received a rumor that Theta members met today to discuss the incident and were instructed not to speak to the press.

Update (12:23 am)The Chicano Caucus Executive Board has released a statement regarding the issue, reproduced below.

Update (3:26 pm): The incident was picked up by Business Insider and Huffington Post.

Update (7:02 PM): Statement released by Dean Martinez in response.

Netherlands, Jamaica, France, and your personal platform.

Pages from the DG New Member Packet

Ever wonder what sorority recruitment is like behind the scenes?  No?  Well we can’t really tell you anyway because all we have are these.  Bwog recently came across some intriguing papers in a printer somewhere in Columbia.  Peruse as much as your heart desires, we know we did.

More of the leaked papers here

Sorority Bids

Tonight was bid night for all of the Panhellenic sororities. Bwog actually doesn’t exactly know what that means, but it looks kinda nice. We heard lots of chanting and laughter (even from inside Butler), and it looked like an exciting time for new Greek life members. But damn, those letters look heavy.

A video of SDT being loud after the break

Columbia’s Greek Rank Site Explodes

Tau Mu Tau sounds like a farm song to teach to children

Registration for spring Panhellenic formal recruitment ended on Wednesday at midnight, and now PNMs (Potential New Members) will wait until early February to start the stressful four-day process. For the next month, they’ll search for the one sorority of the five that fits them best. In the interim, current sisters will try to represent their sororities as best they can.

If you’ve never heard of Greek Rank, it’s a website that posts Greek news and information as well as allows members to score frats and sororities at universities across the country. Columbia’s page wasn’t too active in rankings or comments until late December (though even now it only has around 200 posts, whereas the University of Alabama has approximately 20,000) when it began to explode with trolls and comments, some very eager—and some not so nice.

Check out the discussion for yourself, but here a few posts that stood out:

Topic from PNM: “If I wanted to be HOT I would have gone to San Diego State. Let’s embrace our geekyness. Don’t bash it. I LOVE being AWKWARD!!!”

Reply: “We don’t want girls who won’t show up to mixers or act awkward standing on the sidelines getting plastered.”

Reply to an unrelated topic: “okay, the two comments above are plain mean, offensive, and untrue. dg is hands-down the best sorority, and for some reason, every other sorority here feels the need to define itself in terms of why its NOT dg and why dg is bad. im in dg, and we have great sisterhood and absolutely do NOT choose new members based on looks and wealth. im sorry if the people who we end up getting along best with look a certain way and have certain financial situations. NOT OUR FAULT.”

Sorority life before the advent of the internet via Wikimedia Commons

AOII and Gamma Phi Beta Coming to Columbia

Columbia’s PanHellenic Association—AXO, DG, SDT, and Theta—have decided which sororities will be joining Columbia over the next two years, according to Spec. And the winners are: Alpha Omicron Pi and Gamma Phi Beta! Specifically, AOPi AOII will be starting a chapter next semester and Gamma Phi Beta (whose cutesy abbreviation/nickname was not known at press time) will start colonizing Columbia “no later sooner than 2015.”

It is a homecoming of sorts for AOPi AOII, which was actually founded at Barnard. Gamma Phi Beta has no prior affiliation with Columbia also had a chapter at Barnard, but is at least and is from the same state—having been founded at Syracuse—and can claim to be the first women’s organization to be ever called a “sorority.” Like poor AXO, the two new sororities will be houseless.

Update, 9/25 3:40 pm: Bwog has since learned from a confidential source that Gamma Phi Beta’s cutesy nickname is GPhi.

Two New Sororities Coming to Columbia…Eventually

Late last night, we a tip of the anonymous sort that PanHell (Columbia’s PanHellenic Council, the umbrella group for the AXO, DG, SDT, and Theta sororities) will be choosing between four sororities that want to establish chapters at Columbia: Kappa Kappa Gamma, Gamma Phi Beta, Alpha Omicron Pi, and Zeta Tau Alpha. Two of these four, said the tipster, will be eventually allowed to establish a colony and a chapter.

Because nothing incentivizes TV in bed/never moving over doing our own shoe-leather reporting like the summertime, we turned to the Spec for the full report. Turns out PanHell has wanted to bring more sororities to campus for a while, since so many female students choose to go Greek. One sorority chapter will be established this fall in time for January recruitment, and a second chapter will be established in spring of 2015, according to Spec.

Check Bwog for more updates (and a bevy of tags that incorporate “sisterhood” puns) as we learn more over the next few weeks.

Theft in Theta

Last night, Bwog spotted a public safety officer guarding the door to Theta’s brownstone. We’ve learned from tipsters that an unidentified male walked into Theta yesterday, pretended to be friends with one of the girls, stole three four laptops, and left.

Later that evening, Director of Residential Programs Stephanie Nixon sent an email to the presidents and house managers of Greek organizations with brownstones. While making sure not to blame the Theta girls for the theft, she explained that “the individual was seen by multiple residents but it was assumed that the individual was a guest of someone in the house” and encouraged them to be more careful about letting strangers into their houses.

Check out the full email from Stephanie Nixon after the jump

Bwoglines: Morningside Modification Edition

And we thought we had it all.

Our very own NoCo may have “the most elegant aluminum siding in America.” But seriously, people like it. (NYT)

It really is hard out there for a pimp.  The internet is changing the face of the NYC sex trade, argues sociology prof Sudhir Venkatesh. According to one ex-pimp: “You learn one thing,” he said. “For a good blow job, a man will do just about anything. What can I do with that knowledge? I have no idea.” (Wired)

Our very own Law professor was named senior advisor to the FTC. Tim Wu coined the term “net neutrality” and has also been to Burning Man, so we can trust him. (WSJ)

The long awaited Five Guys on 111th and Broadway will open in 29 days or less! The burger battle is coming… (DNAinfo)

A record 289 women registered for Panhellenic Recruitment, 170 were placed it remains to see how many will be placed. (Spec)

Last week’s DevFest was a kind of a big deal! Hackers of the future and collectively hacked things, and attendees contributed exciting new creations: a class note-passing board; a Risk-like game called CU Generals; and a smart phone app to take you on campus tours.  Lots of Columbia students got shout-outs!  Exciting!  (TechCrunch)

Image via Wikimedia

Town Hall on Barnard Greek Life: It’s Complicated!

Bwog stole this placard. Sorry!

Barnard’s administration held a “town hall” meeting of the strong and the beautiful last night to discuss recognition of sororities. Bwog was there.

Barnard’s Town Hall meeting on Greek Life recognition and funding drew ten full tables worth of of letter-sporting sorority girls from Barnard and Columbia, SGA members, and a sprinkling of administrators and girls unaffiliated with Greek Life. There were two men in the audience. After some initial warnings about what everyone thought would be the heated debate ahead and pleas to stay civil, Dean Denberg was introduced to give a short and objective history of Greek Life at Barnard.

Attendants were then invited to discuss how they felt, with the help of fact sheets and suggested questions, while they enjoyed lasagna and “Assorted Barnard Cookies”. The meeting concluded with a polite summary of what small groups had discussed.

(more…)

Campo Shows Sisters Solidarity

Despite the rain, this sign was displayed prominently outside of Campo this evening, in order to coincide with the SGA Townhall meeting.

Free Hugs, Greek Love

The Theta Delta Chapter of Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority Incorporated will be giving away Gamma hugs from 4:30pm-6:00pm throughout campus — and they’re free!

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

ΣΛΓ Is Exuberant!

There is a very loud and very exciting sorority initiation going on on Low Plaza right now, next to the east fountain. Lots of singing and dancing and chanting. It’s for ΣΛΓ. It’s the most fun sorority initiation Bwog’s ever been to!

Update, 8:45: It was the Sigma Lambda Gamma Sorority. That’s ΣΛΓ. Sorry our Greek lettering took a while!

Photo by ECS

About That Screaming and Chanting

We’ve heard reports from College Walk down Broadway that a flock of women wearing sailor hats (DG! DEEE GEEEE!) has been marching down towards 113th and screaming. Some gals are screaming “AMAZING ALISON!” and “MAGNIFICENT MAY!”

Oh! It’s Delta Gamma rush time.  Enjoy.

Greek Girls Gone Wild

It’s Bid Day 2009 – the conclusion of spring sorority recruitment and the much-anticipated culmination of several days’ worth of events with names like the Philanthropy Brunch, Development Night, and Preference Night. Such titles might sound mysterious, but recruitment more closely resembles a harmless enough string of parties and social networking, with a little bit of traditional Greek ritual thrown in. Until the end.

That brings us to tonight’s public service announcement: If you’re outside, get in.  Right this very moment, wide-eyed hopefuls are finding out if they’ve made it or not. Until sunrise, the rest of the Columbia population is under threat of brand-new sister celebrations gone awry. Stay away from College Walk, where according to the Sigma Delta Tau website, “festivities” will occur at 9:00. And close your windows – those screams may not be from an exorcism, but your eardrums are still vulnerable.

Greek Life: Now Marginally Less Marginal!

greeksImagine our joy when, this morning, an “important update” dropped into our inbox from the Interfraternity Council: Greek membership has exploded from 550 in 2006 to an astonishing 823 today! That’s over 50 percent growth in two years, to just about 10 percent of Barnard, the College and SEAS. There are comfortably over twice as many brothers as sisters, not counting members of the Multicultural Greek Council, which is composed of frats and sororities that carry an ethnic identity.

Curious to see who had cleaned up in fall rush, Bwog asked Interfraternity Council president Matt Heiman for the frat-by-frat membership breakdown, but was informed that the information was “not public.” Heiman said that we “could try contacting the fraternities individually to get this information, but I think it will be difficult.”

Heiman attributed the increase in membership to “strong leadership of fraternity and sorority presidents” as well as a more collective approach in increasing the Greek community’s presence and involvement on campus. His own organization, the IFC, was only formed last year as a parallel to the girls-only Panhellenic Council (plus there’s the overarching InterGreek Council…we know, it’s confusing).