Another month, another round-up of Columbia-centric news.  We’re almost back in action, kittens, so rest up till September.

The continuing construction of Pupin Plaza continued. As always.

  • To ease registration pains, Columbia added a “Wish List” feature that automatically enrolls you in the classes you choose during your registration slot, and you’ll be able to see course syllabi a few days before registration as well.
  • Greek life has understandably simmered down this summer, so we introduce you to FratPAC, who might have helped stop the formation of a bill to deny financial aid to students who haze.
  • The New York Times dubbed alumna and model Cameron Russell—who has modeled with Chanel and Victoria’s Secret, and has appeared in Vogue and Elle—a “newfound celebrity” for challenging media’s stereotypes of women.
  • Insomnia Cookies opened a shop next to Hungarian! They deliver until 3 am, from 98th to 122nd between Riverside and 8th Avenue/Central Park West, for which we would salute them if we could stop doing the happy dance.
  • If you’re interested in rankings, check out Forbes’ list of top colleges, where Columbia ranks 5th overall behind Stanford, Pomona, Princeton, and Yale. We also scored an A+ for our financial health and operational strength.
  • Colm Tóibín, professor of English and comparative literature, is also topping charts. His short novel “The Testament of Mary” was just nominated for a Booker Prize on the longlist, and the winner of the British literary award  will be announced on October 15.
  • Sheika al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, who did her postgraduate work at Columbia, has been transforming Qatar’s cultural scene as the chairwoman of the Qatar Museums Authority. The Times reports that she holds an acquisition budge of $1 billion per year and has been using it to snag Western masterpieces for the nation.
  • As part of Greasy Spoons Week, Food writer Andrew Friedman detailed his relationship with Tom’s that began in 1985 when he was a student at Columbia. He writes, “Tom’s was where I learned to hang my vintage car coat with aplomb, to divide my attentions between a book and a cup of coffee, to hold theatrical production meetings in public, and to fumble through my own urban mating rituals.”
  • Columbia researchers think beach smoking bans are bogus, citing a lack of direct evidence that outdoor smoking is harmful to health or poses “a threat to the well-being of children or adolescents.” What about Columbia’s new outdoor smoking limitations?
  • Finally, some videos from alums: Vampire Weekend in “Ask a Grown Man,” and Fruit Paunch alums Local Empire present “An Ode to Cozy Clothes” narrated by Austin Quigley, former Dean of CC.