Guiness World Records, campus protests, Swedish law, and the dismissal of an impeachment trial all in today’s Bwoglines.

Happening in the World: Sweden has passed a law which—going into effect in July of 2025—will lower the age requirement to legally change one’s gender from 18 to 16. The law was passed by a more than two-thirds majority of the country’s parliament, though it still faces opposition by the Christian Democrats and the Sweden Democrats, both of which are considerably conservative parties.  Despite this friction, Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson has stated that he believes the law is “balanced and responsible”, as the age at which one may undergo gender-affirming surgery still remains unchanged at 18. The passage of this legislation will change the lives of many transgender Swedish citizens, increasing the accessibility of gender-affirming care in the country. (BBC)

Happening in the US: Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas was accused of refusal to enforce immigration laws and breaching public trust by House Republicans—leading to an impeachment charge—but the impeachment trial in which he was expected to testify about these accusations was dismissed by the Senate. This dismissal was based on two Senate votes ruling that each charge was unconstitutional because they did not qualify as “high crimes” or “misdemeanors”, though the decision did not come by a landslide (votes were 51 to 48 and 51 to 49, respectively). House Republicans claim that moving to dismiss an entire impeachment trial sets a “dangerous precedent” by effectively ignoring an entire party’s motion to impeach a cabinet member. (NYT)

Happening in NYC: A Guinness World Record was broken at the Plaza Hotel on April 16: the record for the most ballet dancers en pointe at the same time. 353 ballet dancers gathered at the hotel, all dressed in matching white tutus and pointe shoes, to stand on their tip-toes for 60 consecutive seconds in order to beat the record (the previous record was set in 2019 on “LIVE with Kelly and Ryan”). The effort to break the record was organized by Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP), a nonprofit that organizes dance competitions, in celebration of its 25th anniversary. Since the YAGP finals were happening in New York at the same time, many of the dancers that participated were between 9 and 19 years old. (Gothamist)

Happening in Our Community: Yesterday, alongside board of trustees co-chairs David Greenwald and Claire Shipman and David Schizer, a faculty member and leader of a university task force on antisemitism, Columbia University President Nemat Shafik testified in front of Congress. The hearing was meant to assess the University’s handling of student protests and concern for the protection of free speech in the midst of the Israel-Palestine conflict, primarily by attempting to address the institution’s response to antisemitism on campus. Tangible outcomes of the hearing are to be determined, but topics of faculty removal, reducing campus antisemitism, and student suspension were discussed. In conjunction with the hearing, Columbia University students have constructed a Gaza solidarity encampment on Butler Library’s East Lawn.

Encampment via Bwarchives