Year in Review
Written by Bwog Staff
Believe it or not, second semester is over and done with. And it’s like it never even happened. In fact, you might argue that the 2007-2008 school year had something of a premature ejaculation; fall was a time for Ahmadinejad, hunger strikes, and the largest collection of racist graffiti in the western hemisphere while second semester… well… the Vag sure is a silly-sounding name, isn’t it? Bwog’s here to serve as tour guide, as we commence our annual Year in Review and officially start our summer season. We’ll still be posting a couple posts a day, but as always, the more you tip us ([email protected]), the more we post.
Bwog welcomed the class of 2011 by convincing them that they made the wrong decision to come to Columbia, and later helping them nurse their wounded spirits with alcohol. (Though quicker than you can say “McLovin” area bars installed scanners, which may or “may not” have been purchased by CU.) GS unveiled a new mascot that we named Gulliver and promptly never heard from again. The War on Fun kicked off as the line to even get into EC stretched around the corner. 2006 antagonist Jim Gilchrist was falsely rumored to be returning, but it turned out a fellow named Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would be coming instead. In response, FOX news, beacon of all that is truthful and good, interviewed everyone you’ve ever met, while folks at school protested and pontificated. And in the midst of the chaos, more chaos, as JJ’s Spicy Chicken briefly disappeared from existence. He arrived and we watched (and sometimes protested) from the lawn and liveBwogged the event from Roone. Plus, the first Problematic Graffiti of the semester was located at SIPA. Naturally, an emergency meeting was called and there was never any racist graffiti again.
The activist-y spirit that began in September stayed strong throughout October, as the month kicked off with a Jena 6 awareness walkout. We welcomed Spec and Barnard to the Internet, and 2011 welcomed their new class councils. SCEG symbolically riled against expansion, while Columbia Coalition Against the War utilized cupcakes to expose the travesty of the Iraq War. And while the troops are still in Iraq and Columbia did wind up expanding, thanks to student complaints, JJ’s Spicy Chicken did return, thus preserving social justice. But back to our regularly scheduled protesting: David Horowitz also announced his plans to spearhead Islamo-Fascist Awareness Week while various student groups demonstrated against Columbus Day. Plus, we stumbled upon the web presence of potential First Daughter Meghan McCain, CC ’07. TC Professor Madonna Constantine discovered a noose hanging from her door, inspiring more protests. Meanwhile, the media started to pick up on this whole Vampire Weekend thing. Also: the sky fell. Literally. The Blue and White engaged in a battle royale with Mark Zuckerberg, months before it was en vogue to do so while Bwog embedded ourselves in DMZ between Tasti DLite and Pinkberry. But for all the commotion, David Horowitz’s visit was remarkably civil, with the real battles being fought on the bedsheets and scalps of Schapiro and Barnard. Oh, and we stalked your professors.
A new anti-racism coalition headed by Jenny Oki and Bryan Mercer was born, sans acronym, demanding increasing funding for ethnic studies and bureaucracy reformation. (SPOILER ALERT: It’s Team Hunger Strike.) Nadia Abu El-Haj received tenure and Kentucky received some help from the College Dems. But back to the Hunger Strike, which dominated all news. Forever. There were vigils! Ambulances! An octopus! And protests, protests, protests! And finally: peace accords—kinda. Well, not really. The Varsity Show, on the other hand, had only just begun. We learned to appreciate life—and the Gates, though really, what’s the difference? Though some folks in Manhattanville had a less than lovely Thanksgiving. (But everyone had a happy anti-hate day!)
Philo joined in on the Social Justice Spectacular. There was tragedy on 118th and Amsterdam and triumph on 113th and Broadway—and both on Furnald lawn, ushered in on the wings of Hawkmadinejad. We checked in with anti-Joel-Klein
Robert Maschio and wished a very special young man “Mazel Tov.” The Terrible 12s received ED acceptance and couldn’t wait to tell all of Facebook. Their future classmates taunted their high spirits from the recesses of Butler. Some accidentally emailed their CC papers to their CC sections and the Committee on the Core; others played instruments and made topical jokes. And still more resorted the the old Columbia stress-busting standby: the racist graffiti. Bwog made a holiday wish list, and so did Bollinger, apparently, because all his Manhattanville dreams came true. We signed off with a Semester in Review (meta), and wished you all the happiest of (very long) winter breaks.
We started off 2008 right: with optimism and environmentally-friendly SUVs. Others preferred 1968, started the year off with a healthy dose of nostalgia. We unearthed the political preferences of your professors and met some Terrible 12s from Hawaii. New years mean new names for old things, and brand-new happenings on Broadway. Harvard and Yale got financial aid reform… and Columbia got really shiny new elevators! Barnard got some “racist” “graffiti” of its own. Strange found objects were spotted near the Building Not Yet Known as the Vag, and strangely high candy prices materialized in 212. (But we have your cash-flow problem covered.) Megacelebrities Jeff Sachs and John Legend teamed up to fight evil. Barnard announced its new president and threw her a party, a party that featured megacelebrity Anna Quindlen. But otherwise an otherwise joyous January was rocked by fraternity/sorority incest-y turf wars, pitting brother against sister in a battle for a brownstone.
The first crop of PBKers was announced, and we stalked them. Hometown heros/thoroughly mediocre football team the Giants won the Superbowl. On the other hand, Morningside Heights was the big loser (winner?) in health code violation points. Ominously-named Dean Kromm kickstarted the War on Fun, and we watched the CPU kickstart its involvement in the 2008 presidential election. Glass House Rocks outlawed merriment, while some Catholics outlawed other things. Bwog traveled back in time to New Jersey’s Camelot and CU basketball coach Joe Jones traveled to Florida with your puppy. CCSC bled light blue, while Bwog readers showed us what’s in their hearts. Exclusion Suite was the new Gates, oh, and it snowed like one time total the whole winter. Barnard had leakage problems—both on the quad and on the information superhighway. Varsity Show gave us an excuse to trudge down to “Havana Central.” ABC announced its budget, Pertutti announced its departure. Also, SGB announced its budget, and the New Pertutti (aka Campo) announced its arrival. Madonna Constantine, of possible hate crime fame, came under scrutiny for allegations of plagiarism… an investigation which she kind of implied was also a bias incident. Bwog turned two and had a birthday party, and Howard Dean became briefly relevant again.
The CCSC race began to heat up and so did second semester’s only vaguely scandalous event: the Great Juicy Campus Debate. (Though Bwog informed you why there was really no debate to be had.) Niko Cunningham ruffled some feathers over
financial aid, and CCSC race kicked off (as it is prone to do) with a rules violation. We produced digital homages to our professors, and kicked off a tour of all Columbia’s dorms. The Hawkmadinebwog was created in the violent aftermath of a squirrel mauling. We heard about the Juicy Campus Pledge that never was and the CC grad/current governor that came to be. Plus: financial aid reform! And um, a Dr. Seuss-themed “protest”? The Subway Hero engaged in heroism, and CU indulged its nostalgia. CULPA disappeared from existence, and Off-Campus Flex came into being. The Spring Concert eschewed hip hop for hipsters. ESC chose their new leaders, the LE:MON party chose environmentalism, CCSC chose Joel Klein, and James Franco chose Columbia.
Hawkmadinejad died (just kidding), and we found out there’s a class called “Agent, Person, Subject, Self” (not kidding.) A bag of cameras was mistaken for a bomb. A graduate student was tragically killed. Suspects were identified, and a memorial service was held. The Pulitzers and WBAR lineup was announced—guess which one included Bob Dylan? HamDel did away with Off-Campus Flex and GSSC did away with Niko Cunningham… twice. The War on Fun marred 40s on 40, and we liveBwogged the Housing Lottery. Barnard vastly, vastly over-estimated our maturity. Lerner 6 was put to use (in theory). There were 11th hour CCSC rules violations, and ultimately George Krebs proved victorious! And sort of drunk! Take Back the Night took to the streets while Lit Hum took to Ovid. Anti-Iraq War Protesters inundated College Walk with laundry, bells, and signs fraught with metaphorical significance. Joseph Massad took home a Lionel Trilling Award and Bwog readers took wisdom from departing seniors.
We took a quasi-coherent stroll down memory lane with Richard Bulliet and the rest of the professorial gang. We saw and loved the Varsity Show. We played and loved GTAIV. Racist graffiti in a Butler bathroom was so first semester, another trend apparently being stealing a fur coat. Orgo Night relieved our stress and, hopefully, some of us from our desks. We procrastinated by helping you to do the same. Pillows were thrown, and love was found. Bloomberg rocked the mic at Barnard, and Joel Klein… is a very nice man. And finally everyone went to the beach. Except Dean Quigley.