As the school year starts, you will be inundated with student groups asking you to leave your fields to flower and join them. Before you go signing up for every listserv under the sun, we wanted to provide you with a brief rundown on the cafeteria of Columbia–those student groups that make the most buzz on campus and that you really should know about. If we missed your group or said something you don’t like, scream at us in the comments.
CUPAL is a collaborative head group for performing arts groups on campus. They run shit. We’ll let them explain the functions of CMTS, BTE, KCST, Latenite, Orchesis, NOMADS, CU Players, and CUWE.
Student Wellness Project is a highly debated newish group all about promoting student wellness, mostly in terms of decreasing student stress. You might get a free snack or pat on the back from them during finals. Sometimes they try to push through some resolutions, though the impact has not been well analyzed yet.
Student-Worker Solidarity (SWS) likes to yell about things, a lot. In all seriousness, they support workers in Morningside Heights for decent rights and stuff.
Nightline is a hotline for students to talk in strict anonymity about any problems, or just to talk to someone. It’s made up of a group of highly dedicated, wonderful human beings, who you will never get to thank because they have to remain anonymous.
WKCR is Columbia’s radio station. They historically have great programming, especially of jazz and hip hop. Last year, WKCR Sports compiled bigoted tweets by CU Football players and had fantastic coverage on the team’s not-so-nice social culture. The Classical department had a marathon for Wagner’s Bicentennial, though we’re still waiting to hear if they’ll do the same for Verdi.
WBAR is Barnard’s edgier radio station. Last spring, the Diana Center 2nd Floor Lunchroom started broadcasting the station during lunchtime. In the spring they hold an awesome festival, WBAR-B-Q, with typically very cool performers that you can brag to your friends back home about.
Ferris Reel made a strong comeback last year, doing free screenings of really high quality movies. Get there early, though, seats fill up fast.
LionPAC, a pro-Israel group, and SJP, Students for Justice in Palestine, often engage in educated debate on campus, typically by yelling at each other from opposing sides of College Walk.
The Philolexian Society is the oldest student group at Columbia, a literary society. They have witty debates with serious resolutions, and a wonderful annual Bad Poetry Contest. One time they declared war on us. Another time we called out their grammar error. In general they’re a good group to keep around.
Engineers Without Borders travels around the world and engineers things. They’re kind of badass.
The Society of Women Engineers promotes women in engineering. Hell yeah.
The following groups are all dedicated to cultural awareness and discussion. They also provide delicious food and fabulous events: Haitian Students Association, Asian American Alliance, Hindu Students Organization (responsible for Holi), Korean Students Association.
The Science Fiction Society (CUSFS) is all about the fandom for both science fiction and fantasy. They do fun scifi/fantasy-based events and have a really sick library. As of last year, they advised a Bwogger that it wasn’t worth it to read the Game of Thrones series if you already dedicatedly watched the show. No word yet if that stance has changed.
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