A Dark Night of the Soul

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Bwog ventured into the dark heart of Butler to snap some photos of the most lived-in cubicles, desks, and chairs. Columbia, what we saw, it frightened us: A Red Bull bottle converted into a flower vase for a single dying rose, sheets and sheets of notebook paper used as a make-shift gum cemetery, more of 212’s salads than we’d ever cared to smell–we thought we had seen it all.

But then a boy, having noticed our camera, went up Bwog and informed us that somewhere on the fourth floor, a creature was dwelling who had taped pictures of her family on the walls. While we weren’t able to locate this girl, we encourage you to email us ([email protected]) artifacts from your own Butler safari or photos of your workspace. More photos after the jump.



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  1. Anonymous  


  2. i saw

    the girl with pictures of her family taped up over a week ago. thats dedication.

    or its really lame. i cant decide which.

    • lame

      I would go for the former.

      Sounds like she heard about that Butler legend and so badly wanted it to be true that she decided to fill the role herself.

      Unless they're enchanted Harry Potter pictures throwing her words of encouragement, I don't really see what good they could do...

  3. lame  

    Some people need to get lives... and quickly.

    But then again, I'm on bwog.

  4. i think  

    people need to get a life. as a graduating senior, all that camping out is just plain unnecessarily and, most importantly, unhealthy and unsanitary...

  5. terrifying  

    jacob riis's grave just got a little bit wetter.

  6. douche slayer  

    I fucking hate campers!

  7. Anonymous  

    personally i like to cut a hole in my desks, about waist-level. multi-functional! i never have to leave. except to get the splinters out every now and then.

  8. why don't  

    people THROW OUT their trash?? it is so, so easy, and not at all time consuming? put your fucking coffee cup/iced tea bottle in the garbage can or recycling bin if you're done with it!

  9. lol  

    some these pictures just made me feel just a bit better i.e. the desk with the papers just strewn all over it with no order....and the one with the armchair...i m not sure why people chose to go through Butler camping...i m a second semester freshman did it last semester and now how found equally wonderful but not stressful places to study

  10. WTF 'name'?  

    Trash is an immediate tactic to make a spot seem recently inhabited (to discourage someone from just shoving your stuff aside and deservedly sit in your spot when you're sleeping/drunk). It's funny, because the Nash equilibrium for the whole situation is for everyone to camp and litter every surface with trash. Making an environment hostile to both non-early adopters and the campees themselves.

  11. can we  

    can we get that first picture in black and white?

  12. people are dumb  

    it is so ridiculously unnecessary to study so much that you need to camp out in butler. people who study that much only do so to make themselves feel cool.

  13. ...  

    whats sad is that people who spend the most time in butler actually study the least...

  14. 234234222  

    Histrionic hipster bullshit. There is no need to spend all the time and effort just to BRING your stuff there. Absolutely unnecessary. Butler culture is vanity culture.

    • sooo true  

      Dear Everyone: Get your shit together and spend normal amounts of time in the library. Do not bring your bedding. Do not bring your last will and testament. Just do your studying and get the fuck out.

  15. person  

    i love that picture of the wilted rose in the can of red bull. props to whoever got the shot.

  16. hmm  

    I actually get more distracted in Butler than I do in my room. I am glad I realized this early.

  17. idea

    there should be some system... where people who haven't touched their stuff in a while have a note placed on their desk or something saying if they don't return within an hour (and they could show that they came back and left even just by removing the note) their stuff will be taken to some central desk in butler. that way people wouldn't leave things taking up precious space for so long... if they do, it would just all get put into a box and labeled with what room they were in or something for them to come find when they were done with whatever else it is that they didn't need to be in butler for... the first bit of enforcing the rule would require some work... but then people would stop all the camping nonsense to avoid the hassle...

    • I see

      I see I see...

      So it would be kind of like chalking the tires of a car.

      Looks like it would work, really SEEMS like it SHOULD work, but the only problem with your theory is that it's been's see...EVERY EFFING SEMESTER and it never actually happens.

      This will continue as long as people feel there is some power in being able to utter the phrase "yeah man, last semester during finals I spent FOUR STRAIGHT DAYS in the library."

  18. amen  

    whenever i'm in butler (one needs to check out a book now and then) i feel like the victim of an elaborate joke wherein everybody is trying to convince me that they're diligently studying. i'm waiting for the sneaky dissenter to come up to me and say "we're only fooling around, you know."

  19. i fucking  

    can't stand the people that do this to themselves and to the rest of us that need study space.

  20. number 21  

    you are spot on. that would be perfect.

  21. idea

    i mean... i'm kinda serious... it wouldn't be thaaat hard a system to put in place. and i think everyone can agree that the camping has reached a level of ridiculousness that is out of control.

    a note gets placed on an empty desk.. and there is a time written on it.. if it's still there like say 2 hours later, then your things are moved.. simple. if the policy were to be explained clearly via some sort of mass student email before being put into place, it would be very fair.

    who could put this into action?

  22. What I want to know…  

    is what happened to the librarians who used to do this? Maybe you guys (#21 and #25) are first-years, but they did exactly what you're talking about my first and sophomore years--they would come around and put notes on all the attended spots, and then just move the shit to the side, on top of the heaters or something. Camping was a lot less rampant then. It has reached epic proportions recently (like when I got to the reference room at 8 am on Sunday and EVERY SINGLE SEAT IN THE ROOM already had shit on it--clearly left from the night before).

    The caveat, though, is that we can do this ourselves. WE CAN START THE REVOLUTION! How, you might ask? It's very simple. IF STUFF IS LEFT UNATTENDED, JUST MOVE THE SHIT AND TAKE THE SEAT. It's just a vicious cycle--once we break it by letting people know that they're not guaranteed their precious spot just cause they've "staked it out" with some well-placed books, it will all come tumbling down, and free seats will abound!

  23. uh-oh...  

    the revolution is brewing...

  24. seriously?  

    Or...don't study in Butler?

  25. idea

    haha... nope... not a freshman... i'm a junior... i've just been so turned off from butler that i don't study there any more.

    whenever i do study in butler and can't find a seat i do take someone's campsite... but you have to admit, the awkward confrontation really sucks if/when said camper gets back. i'm all for the revolution from the ground up, but i do think an actual library policy would be more effective and all encompassing.

  26. ...  

    or they could just take the bottom floor of lerner and throw a bunch of tables, powerstrips and chairs up against the walls in there during finals and midterms.

    seriously, how many people studying in butler actually NEED to be in the library. they just need a nice place to work.

  27. ...

    I don't get it... I study in my room and go to the library from time to time whenever i need to write up a paper... but i don't really ever need to be there more than a few hours every now and again... studying in my room is pretty effective usually... and i have a roommate who is usually around......

    is it really necessary to live in the library? i mean, they put desks in dorms for a reason......

  28. Hey bwoggers  

    Where actually IS the faculty-in-res apartment for East Campus?

  29. gosh  

    LAME. i dont know how these people can trust that there stuff is safe when they leave to change clothes (hopefully)
    and they need to get lives.

  30. post from the future  

    I can see the temptation to camp out in the But since it's right there, but personally I prefer to leave my shit in the Vag during finals week. It's not as spacious, but a lot more sanitary.

  31. judging  

    by the state of most of the desks, i'm guessing most of these people's rooms are even less hospitable to studying - they're clearly not clean freaks.

  32. Anonymous  

    ugh and speaking of the Vag, is anyone else really not into the fact that it's going to give ugly barnard girls ANOTHER reason to talk openly about their vaginas and like, totally embrace their inner feminists?

    • i'm into  

      the fact that it's more space where barnard can be barnard and not take up our room in Butler.

      • UGH  

        for the last effing time. Barnard students have just as much a right to study in Butler as do any other student in any other school affiliated with Columbia. You can approach this from a sorts of angles, but let's use the one that Columbia University understands most: money. Barnard pays Columbia for access to Butler, so it's just as much a Barnard student's space as 'your' space. I'm assuming you're in CC.

        • Anonymous  

          That's funny. I'm in SEAS, but even now I sometimes extend my territorial hackles when I see an obvious Business or Law student (by their apparel, usually) in Butler. Then I realize Butler's not just for undergraduates (the lousy Milstein rooms technically are, right?) and that were I confined to 'my own space' (math library or SEAS library) I'd probably be pretty unhappy.

          • UGH  

            For real. The Barnard library is small and miserable, and seriously lacks outlets. But hey, I try to avoid Butler and study in Lehman. When SIPA students start complaining about Barnard students taking up all their space in IAB then I might give a fuck, because they might have a legitimate case.

        • yeah  

          But I also pay to have room in Lerner too but that doesn't mean I can go take dumps in there.

    • cc08 + all women

      would like to say, fuck you.

    • Anonymous  

      Just because you spend too much time commenting on bwog and can't get laid by a barnard girl doesn't make your complaining about barnard any less annoying.

  33. has anyone  

    has anyone seen that dude walking around all the reading rooms and keeping tabs of the number of people camping? i'd love to see those results...

  34. I'm in seas  

    what is vagina?

  35. barnard sucks  

    I cant funckin stand barnard girls takin space in butler. YOU HAVE YOUR OWN FUCKING SCHOOL BITCHES!

  36. awfmeowifm  

    I'm going to now bang my head against a wall after seeing these photos.

    (If you're uncomfy with doing it, look for a librarian and he/she'll do it for you)

    And yes, Barnard is not a great library, but pls refer to this site:


  37. well  

    i guess if i study in butler, i can see other people and stuff. if i study in my room, no one ever walks by. i guess that is what happens when u live in a corner.

  38. ...  

    i wouldn't mind barnard girls in butler, if they were hot and they wore summer dresses and didn't make such a din yack-yacking amongst themselves about this, that, and the next thing.

    ok fine they don't really do that but i'm stressed and i must find someone or some group to hate on.

  39. WTF  

    I didn't mind the camp-minded table I've been at for the past week. They've been mostly quiet and industrious. But all of a sudden they busted out fragrant chips, sandwiches, and are fucking chatting. GO TO FUCKING JJ'S.

  40. A modest proposal  

    Let's all set up Gmail filters to automatically forward every !@#$%^&* Courseworks evaluation reminder to Austin Quigley, Chris Colombo, etc. etc.

    Honestly, I'd be willing to fill these things out if they didn't harass us so much. Now I refuse to on principle.

  41. hey ho  

    lets go

    so tired

  42. proposal

    anyone here willing to let me sit behind them and copy there exam for Claire Eckstein's Accounting and Finance Final tomorrow? cash payment based on how well I do, with a floor payment of 50 bucks.

  43. Annoying Freshman  

    I like to study in Butler because there are people suffering along with me. There is a community of suffering in Butler, just like the community of suffering between Raskolnikov and Sonya. I also love Foucault and indie music.

  44. gco  

    i think that a big problem that makes camping a dominant strategy that hasn't been mentioned is that there is a built-in deterrent to moving someone's shit and sitting in their seat-- you can't anonymize the act of displacement, because you will ostensibly sit down in the seat that you just cleared off, and therefore if the camper returns, s/he will know that you did it. most people are uncomfortable doing something that will transparently upset a stranger. that's why the "start a fight on the street" scene in fight club is so good

  45. you fuckers  

    are idiots. i dont study in butler nonstop because its cool. im there for insane hrs because I dont want to fail finals. if you dont need to study as much, kudos. but your incessant ranting against 'image-conscious campers' just strikes as insecure.

  46. i moved  

    someone's stuff (very neatly and conscientiously) in 303 the other day and this girl flipped her shit for like 4 minutes straight, just screaming. if anyone was in 303 and heard this girl going off, holla back. it was hilarious. i was just laughing in her face.

  47. evals  

    I filled all mine out (desperate form of procrastination) and I STILL get evaluation reminder emails. No good deed goes unpunished I guess...

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