#things nobody would really ever explain to you otherwise
Spilling the Ink

Your mom may not approve of your boyfriend’s tattoo, but what to make of emblazoned professors? Bwog, intent on writing a feature on professor body art, was rebuked by all but one decorated pedagogue. Even though they choose to display their tattoos publicly, they don’t want to talk about them. Except for Charlotte Glynn, MFA Candidate in Film at Columbia University of the Arts, and TA of Intro to Film Theory. Bwog’s Body Politics Bureau Chief Briana Last investigates:

Bwog: What and where is your first tattoo and when did you get it?

Charlotte: I got my first tattoo when I was sixteen. I got a Celtic knot. I think I just went through a weird Celtic phase. Under the age of 18, it’s just like, no. I just wanted a tattoo. My second tattoo is also Celtic. I mean, I have a tramp stamp, a Celtic tramp stamp.

Bwog: What did your parents have to say about all of this?

Charlotte: I didn’t get their permission, but my parents are very liberal. My dad used to joke that I became a vegan because both my parents are vegetarian.

Bwog: How many tattoos do you have?

Charlotte: I have six, but technically at some point I had seven. I went over my first tattoo so you can’t really tell it’s there.

Bwog: Do you ever get weird comments from students or other professors?

Charlotte: Thankfully I’ve chosen a profession where it’s not outside the norm. I don’t really think about it except with kids. I’ve taught younger students before and I try to hide them because I think it’s distracting. I taught high school this summer in Turkey and I was very cognizant of them and I got comments about my tattoos all the time. It was the first time that’s ever really happened to me. But, here I think it, or hope that it helps my students connect to me. (more…)

Representative Democracy, We Got That: 2011 Edition

Alexander Hamilton, an alum, founded SGA.

Bright young things: in the next few weeks you will be introduced to a dizzying array of organizations, acronyms, slang, and food trucks. Bwog knows it can be difficult to keep track, so to ease your bureaucracy-induced agitation is Bwog’s CCSC correspondent Brian Wagner, here to untangle the web that is Columbia’s undergraduate student government.

The Senate and The Councils

Columbia University Senate

The Senate is Columbia’s überlegislature, and a testament to the fact that we were the first University with a formal bureaucracy. The unwieldy body represents “faculty, students, and other constituencies.” The plenary meetings of the Senate take place roughly once per month throughout the academic year.

Hyperbole aside, here are the cold hard facts: The Senate has 108 voting seats, with 63 reserved for faculty, 24 for students, 6 for officers of research, 2 each for administrative staff, librarians, and alumni, and 9 for senior administrators including the president, who chairs monthly plenaries.

Action on the Senate floor may not seem as immediate as that in meetings of your Student Council (or Government Association—hey Barnard!), but these heirs of Webster and Calhoun get to weigh in on some of the Columbia community’s most pressing issues: from the lively and sometimes rowdy return of ROTC to the much-discussed-outside-Butler smoking ban, the budget-monitoring resolution on fringe benefits for university officers, and “rules governing political demonstrations.”

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Representative Democracy, We Got That

Alexander Hamilton, an alum, founded SGA.

Hey 2014, in the next few weeks you will be introduced to a dizzying array of organizations, acronyms, slang, and food carts. Bwog knows it can be difficult to keep track, so here to ease your bureaucracy-induced agita is Bwog’s CCSC correspondent to untangle the web that is Columbia’s undergraduate student government.

F@CU – Funding at Columbia University

Like Zach Galifianakis, it has the power of the purse. See F@CU’s most recent funding decisions here.

The purpose of F@CU, according to itself, “is to facilitate, support, and enrich student development in the form of student activities of campus.” But if that doesn’t tell you much, you’re not alone. Essentially, F@CU is responsible for distributing the Student Activities Fee. F@CU is composed of the incoming and outgoing Presidents and Treasurers of each undergraduate Student Council, for a total of 16 members. These titans of student activity funding meet during reading week at the end of each spring semester to hear out the proposals of the governing boards (ABC, CI, CSGB, IGC, and SGB) and make their decisions. F@CU has an uncharacteristically (for Columbia) straightforward website, and they explicitly tell us why they made the decisions they did.

The money allocated by F@CU trickles down through the governing boards to fund everything from Bacchanal, to the Varsity Show, to the CSC Lunar Gala. And those are just a few events, F@CU funds also provide for the day-to-day needs of hundreds of student organizations.

F@CU can also make special allocations to groups other than the governing boards. For instance, in the past F@CU has allocated money to WKCR, the radio station housed in Lerner.
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