As the sun sets on another semester at Columbia, Bwog recaps the happenings of Fall 2021.
Editor’s Warning: This article contains mentions of violence, student death, and racism.
The summer kicked off with Deputy Arts Editor Grace Novarr’s enthralling review of the 127th Varsity Show. Bwog’s also broke the news that Columbia was considering expanding undergraduate enrollment with little faculty and no student input.
Soon after, we resumed our NSOP-themed newsletter called Freshletter. Arts Editor Maya Campbell and Senior Staff Writer Charlotte Slovin expanded on this first-year content by sharing all the best free art opportunities for Barnard and Columbia students around the city. Finally, Deputy Editor Lillian Rountree and News Editor Victoria Borlando ended the summer with a detailed update on the Student Workers Of Columbia’s struggle for a satisfactory contract.
September saw a month of tears in the form of a painful reminder that we must go to office hours. But in case staying in your dorm is more your thing, Senior Staff Writer Sarah Perry provided a helpful guide to befriending your roommate.
Bwog also witnessed some wild NSOP happenings, compiling a list of everything we oversaw and overheard. (Warning: it’s not pretty.) Speaking of “not pretty,” Bwog members also fought for their lives in a laundry room, making us question this whole “in-person” thing. Thankfully, Staff Writer Talia Rosen shared the best back-to-school transition tips.
Bwog conducted many interviews this month, like with the admins of the “PrezBae” Instagram fan account. Tech Editor Solomia Dzhaman also PeopleHopped the creators of the @columbiaaffirmations Instagram account. But we didn’t just promote Instagram accounts: Staff Writer Alice Rodi blessed us with a comprehensive guide to micro-celebrities on campus.
This month, Bwog engaged in a variety of arts with Senior Staff Writer/Illustrator Lia Jung sharing her NYFW experience. Senior Staff Writer Regan Mies also went into great depth about the CU Wind Ensemble’s new artistic director. Publisher Jeffrey Ndubisi and Senior Staff Writer Charlotte Slovin also compiled a list of all the undergraduate publications on campus!
We closed the month by reporting on the news that Dean Valentini would be stepping down in June 2022. Illustrator Eli Reville also wondered what to do with four EcoReps tote bags. And Staff Writer Linus Glenhaber ended the month by defending brutalism.
Science Editor Sarah Braner jumpstarted October by covering an address from the WHO Director-General as part of the World Leaders Forum. Bwog also dealt covered more local events as we pondered why Carman emitted such awful…stank.
But we also experienced good smells; some Bwoggers voyaged out to the Faculty House and wrote a glowing review of the food—including the salmon and cookies. Of course, not all Columbia dining food is vegan-friendly, so Staff Writer Emily Fernandez found an ~acceptable~ solution. Speaking of vegan food, Staff Writer Jake Torres ranked all the best trees on campus. SGA Bureau Chief Tara Sangal also discussed trees, wondering why none of the trees had changed color.
This month, Bwog dipped its toe into the arts, with Staff Writer Sofia Trujillo covering French film director Agnes Varda’s Cléo from 5 to 7. Staff Writer Cairo Yepez also wrote an ode to a can of Four Loko. But to provide more STEM-focused content, Bwog decided to list walkways as percentages. (Spoiler: Low Steps is 85%.)
Speaking of walking, Bwog exercised a lot this October. Or, at the very least, we observed it. Staff Writer Anya Kopyra recounted her experience walking 32 miles around the city. Incoming Sports Editor Maxwell Lurken-Tvrdik also recapped Columbia’s triumphant win over UPenn in our 80th Homecoming football game.
Maxwell also shared the worst places to study on campus. And in case you’re unable to escape these less than ideal study spots, why not engage in some classic escapism like Staff Writer Simon Panfilio did when imagining what Columbia might look like in the year 2100.
October saw many newsworthy events as Bwog reported on the aftermath of the Brooks Hall mattress fire. Bwog also covered the SWC’s organized walkout and subsequent interruption of President Bollinger’s “Freedom of Speech and Press Class.” Finally, incoming Deputy News Editor Paulina Rodriguez shared how Barnard Mutual Aid supports FLI students, creating an important culture of care.
We began November by entering our film and TV era, as Staff Writer Boluwatife Oshuntolu explained Dune somehow without being pretentious. Staff Writer Mia Ogle also shared her expertise regarding the Saturday Night Live Standby Line. Additionally, Staff Writer Sophia Larson ranked Columbia dining halls as the worst-rated movies of 2021.
Bwog covered an abundance of events this month. Staff Writer Catherine Beckett shared Columbia’s findings from their 2020 mental health survey. Staff Writer Celia Bernhardt also covered an event that dealt with mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Incoming Deputy Events Editor Ava Slocum covered a talk about the use of classical allusions in African-American poetry. Finally, Staff Writer Marino Bubba reviewed King’s Crown Shakespeare Troupe Macbeth.
This November, Bwog did some investigating of its own, producing a decade-long Cooking With Bwog cookbook. Senior Staff Writer Charlotte Slovin, Staff Writer Charlie Bonkowsky, and Daily Editor Elizabeth Walker, also investigated the resurgence of many CULPA-like sites.
We learned the holiday season was not all it’s cracked up to be as Staff Writer Kyle Murray mourned Lerner’s scaffolding. Senior Staff Writer Sam Seliger also shared a horrifying shower-stealing story. But we tried to focus on the good, as Events Editor Julia Tolda reminded us via playlist that we all deserve to be happy. Finally, Bwog summarized all the insane things we did over break in our special Thanksgiving version of Field Notes.
Lastly, news broke this month—and most of it was troubling. Columbia grappled with bomb threats, and Bwog uncovered the backstory behind these threats. Bwog also shared the news Professor Jonathan Rieder had used a racial slur during his sociology class. We at Bwog condemn racism and violence in all forms.
Staff Writer Sahmaya Busby started December off strong with a bracket of names that should be displayed on Butler library, eventually settling on two possibilities. Illustrator Ava Morouse also taught us how to feel well and do well with a collection of stickers.
Some of the biggest news of the semester came when the SWC attempted to shut down campus, blocking multiple entry and exit points. Relatedly, CCSC Bureau Chief Mariah Johnson reported on the letter the student council sent to the Columbia Administration about the effects of the strike on undergraduate life. Staff Writer Victoria Melkonyan also summed up the difference between Columbia’s updated SWC proposal and the Union’s remaining demands.
Later, Bwog celebrated the release of Early Decision results for Barnard and Columbia. Welcome Class of 2026! For those looking for guidance, check out our Senior Wisdoms to hear from Columbia and Barnard seniors graduating this fall. Staff Writers Mia Ogle and Lourdes Russell also shared the names of the Columbia and Barnard College Phi Beta Kappa inductees.
Tragic news occurred this month as SEAS graduate student Davide Giri died in a stabbing attack that sadly also injured Columbia Visiting Scholar Roberto Malaspina. Davide will be missed, and we at Bwog send our deepest sympathies to both families. We encourage Columbia affiliates to use support services that are available.
The end of December saw a stark increase in the COVID-19 positivity rate as finals were strongly encouraged to be moved online. Senior Staff Writer Yuki Adams also summarized Columbia’s all-time high of a 5.6% COVID-19 positivity rate in the undergraduate population. Both Barnard and Columbia mandated the booster this month as well. Finally, the semester ended with Columbia and Barnard announcing that the first two weeks of the Spring 2022 semester would be online.
Our first semester back in person had its ups and downs, its bumps and edges, but we supported each other through it all and will continue to do so.
Rania Borgani will lead Bwog’s 2022 Editorial Board as Editor-in-Chief. Henry Astor will assume the role of Managing Editor, with Sofia Fontaine as Internal Editor. Publishers Jeffrey Ndubisi and Ranger Liu will continue their roles in the spring. The Board expresses its utmost appreciation for everyone on staff and their continued dedication and enthusiasm for Bwog over this past semester. We wish our readers a Happy Holiday and a relaxing winter break. We’ll see you in the new year—even if it’s partly virtual!
the sun sets on Columbia via Bwarchives