Archive for September, 2012

Opinion | Sep. 30 8:00 pm EST

The smoking ban isn’t working

See the News story here.


Opinion | Sep. 30 3:00 pm EST

I’d like to invite an administrator and Spec to host a mailbag series

Opening the black box from

This is a post about fostering a connection among admins and students. Before I get to that glorious point, allow me to talk about housing.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from running the Shaft (along with the handsome Eric Feder) the last two years, it’s that most people here don’t know much about Columbia housing.

Last semester during this two-week interval from the end of March till early April, I couldn’t walk through campus without someone—usually a person I’d never met—asking me a housing question. I cherished the role as an adviser, but in the back of my mind I always thought to myself, “this can’t possibly be the most efficient way to ask housing questions.” More »


News | Sep. 30 11:35 am EST

Peter Awn sounds off

Columbia GS

On Friday, Spectator sat down with the one and only Peter Awn, dean of the School of General Studies. Some highlights from the interview:

  • In August, GS hosted its first recruiting session in Tel Aviv, Israel. But even though GS is interested in showing international students how they can receive a Columbia education, limited housing options remain an obstacle for prospective students. “In the same way that we’ve increased financial aid each year, housing has increased every year,” Awn said. “But what is really the dilemma for everyone, Columbia is incapable of buying more real estate in the neighborhood.”
  • Awn said that “the last major piece of housing” created for GS students was in Riverdale, in the Bronx. But no matter how nice the apartments are, students are still hesitant to rent them because of the long commute to Columbia, Awn said:

“It’s a pain to get to, but it’s lovely. It’s really quite beautiful—but that’s the best they can do, at a significant distance. And they’ve done that with faculty housing. The one thing that isn’t going to happen is housing around the University, which is really what people want.” More »


Sports | Sep. 29 8:54 pm EST
In the Zone

In the Zone: Analysis of Columbia’s 33-6 loss to Princeton

Spectator’s three football beat writers—Spencer Gyory, Eli Schultz, and Myles Simmons—are back again to discuss football’s Ivy League opener, a heartbreaking 33-6 loss to Princeton.

Check out the in-depth analysis, footage of the game, and a clip of Pete Mangurian in the post-game press conference in the video above.


The Eye | Sep. 29 5:53 pm EST
eye to eye

Blaine Swen: All the world’s a stage

Courtesy Improvised Shakespeare Company

Blaine Swen is the creator and the director of the Improvised Shakespeare Company, a comedy company that will be performing at Theater 80 in New York from October 3rd-5th.

Noel Gutierrez-Morfin sat down with Swen to talk about his work and all the fun that comes along with Shakesperean improv. 

How did you get the idea to start it in the first place?

I started doing improv in California years ago when I was a teenager, and I played for comedy sport, a show that does short-form improv, or short-scene games that have some sort of twist or goal, like what you would see on “Whose Line is it Anyways?”

One of the games we played was a game where you do a scene in the style of Shakespeare, which was a style that came up a lot. I was part of a group out there that decided to take the Shakespeare scenes and turn them into a longer show. We did that a couple of times.

When I was in LA, some people from that group started another group called the Backstreet Bards that performed Shakespearean improv shows at iO West [Theater]. When I moved to Chicago, I started a Shakespearean improv group in 2005, which was the ISC. More »


A&E | Sep. 29 4:47 pm EST

Morningside Lights tonight!

Sponsored by the CU Arts Initiative and Miller Theater, the products of Morningside Lights—a free weeklong lantern-making workshop—will be on display tonight from 8:00pm to 10:00pm.

Be sure to check it out at 117th and Morningside this evening for live music and to see the final products of the amazing sculptures shown in the video below!


Sports | Sep. 29 12:03 pm EST

FOOTBALL: Lions vs. Princeton Tigers—Final Score: PRINCETON 33 – COLUMBIA 6

Right from the get-go, it was a sloppy first half for the Lions (1-1), who trail 17-3 in their Ivy opener.

Columbia gave up a touchdown on the opening kickoff, and gave the Tigers a number of second chances as the game wore on. Princeton got a lot of extra yards on missed tackles in the secondary, and the Tigers’ special teams unit continued to have a big impact throughout the first two quarters.

Both of Princeton’s touchdowns came via special teams, one on the opening kick and another on a field goal fake in the second quarter. The Tigers also added a field goal toward the end of the half.

Columbia’s only three points came on a 26-yard field goal by junior kicker Luke Eddy as the Lions’ offense was unable to put up any points on the board. The field goal came as the Light Blue squandered its best chance to get the ball across the goal line thus far.

Columbia will need to execute better, especially on offense and on special teams if it hopes to mount a comeback in the second half.

You can click after the jump for our three keys to the game, and you can follow all the action on Twitter at our handle @CUSpecSports.

More »


Spectrum | Sep. 29 1:11 am EST
one eleven

The evolution of Ivy-League douche chic

It’s late. You’re up. Hopefully you are too inebriated to drunk-waddle over to get some calorie packed chicken and rice. If you are studying in Butler, that’s okay too, because we’re here to put a smile on that tired face! Yay!

This is highly illegal and disturbing: 24 year old Chinese pop star Zhang Muyi is declaring his love for his girlfriend  for all the world to see. This would normally be “awww” inducing, except she’s twelve years old. What can possibly be more vomit inducing you ask? Easy. They started dating when she was eleven.

Iran plagiarizes the Onion: Iran’s Fars News Agency, a mouthpiece of the government, published a report citing a Gallup poll finding that an overwhelming majority of rural whites would vote for Ahmadinejad over Obama. Apparently it never occurred to them to stop and say, “wait, this can’t possibly be true…oh yes, that’s because it was published by the Onion.” More »


News | Sep. 28 8:24 pm EST

In case you missed it: This week in news

Henry Willson / Spec

Spec’s new digital archive allows you to go back and search through decades of old issues, but in this week’s #icymi, we’ll just be reviewing the past week in news. Pretend we’re Ann CurryIn case you missed it, here’s a quick breakdown of this week’s top stories.

Students weren’t pleased with the way the Barnard administration handled the housing shortage, and now they’re upset about the slated closure of the pool. “I sense that students are frustrated that certain programs and core things from Barnard’s mission are being lost from decisions being made,” Student Government Association President JungHee Hyun, BC ’13, said.

New York politics continues to be a cornerstone of our city coverage, and this week, we closed out our series of profiles on candidates for the 7th City Council District with Mark Otto. Meanwhile, a Columbia College alum is running for Manhattan borough president, while her competition, Council member Gale Brewer, is considering a political compromise to bring a bill on paid sick leave to a vote. Fellow Council member Melissa Mark-Viverito is continuing participatory budgeting—in which constituents vote on projects for her to fund—for the second year. More »


Spectrum | Sep. 28 7:11 pm EST
anchor splash

See these guys in speedos!

Tomorrow night, the sisters of Delta Gamma are hosting Anchor Splash, a school-wide pool party for philanthropy in which men of the Greek and athletic communities will be participating in synchronized swimming routines and relay races. Spectrum decided to ask some of the contestants hard-hitting questions on the intricacies of synchronized swimming and wearing speedos. 

Without further ado, meet three brave souls, who will be strutting their stuff whilst wowing us with their graceful serenity and fluid movements in Uris pool tomorrow night! More »