Author Archive

A&E | Aug. 27 7:12 pm EST

XMAS!8 announces creative team

Here’s your creative team for this year’s XMAS!—the student-written holiday musical known as the “junior-varsity Varsity Show.” Performances are on Dec. 9, the last day of classes, in Roone Arledge Auditorium.

Writers: Eleanor Bray, BC ’14, and Bijan Samareh, CC ’15
Composer: Ethan Fudge, CC ’15
Lyricist: Molly Heller, GS/JTS ’15
Director: Sophie Solomon-O’Connell, BC ’15
Choreographer: Lauren Wingenroth, BC ’15
Art Director: Isabel Nelson, BC ’16
Producers: Jeremy Stern, CC ’15, and Renée Kraiem, BC ’14


Meta | Aug. 4 12:07 pm EST

WANTED: A&E columnists and bloggers

Drunken Spectator

A&E is looking for columnists for the fall semester! Applicants should be people with a strong, lively voice and an interest in the arts. A columnist is free to take on topical current events, discuss a personal experience, or do anything in between. Above all else, a columnist should be able to digest whatever they’re writing about with a sharp, critical eye.

Over the years, we’ve had food, music, lifestyle, fashion, art, film, TV, and sex columnists. If you have an idea, don’t be afraid to pitch! Even more out-there ideas are welcome. We ran a film column called “Drunken Spectator” for the past two semesters that’s a must-read.

For a taste of what we’re looking for, feel free to check out samples of past columns.

To apply, please send the following to by Aug. 24 at NOON: More »


A&E | Jun. 24 12:15 am EST

Gandolfini’s funeral to be held at St. John the Divine

Getty Images

James Gandolfini’s funeral will be held across the street from Columbia on Thursday. The services are set for 10 a.m. at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, located at 1047 Amsterdam Avenue.

The New Jersey-born actor, best known for his role on “The Sopranos,” died of a heart attack on Wednesday in Rome, according to a family spokesman. He was 51 years old.

Gandolfini won three Emmys, a Golden Globe, and a SAG Award for his portrayal of Tony Soprano, a tough mob boss who moonlighted as a waste management consultant and harbored an affinity for ducks. The Writer’s Guild of America named ”The Sopranos,” which aired from 1999 to 2007, the best TV show ever written. In a recent statement, ”Sopranos” creator David Chase described Gandolfini as a “genius.”

Gandolfini’s screen credits include “Zero Dark Thirty,” “True Romance,” and “Not Fade Away.”


Meta | May. 13 2:44 pm EST
C.U. in Bed

Apply to be the next sex advice columnist!

via je@n/flickr

If you enjoyed C.U. in Bed this semester or have ever considered writing about sex, I’ll be handing over the baton as the resident sex advice columnist, which means one thing: Spectrum is looking for someone to fill that position next semester. Now you can be the next sex advice columnist.

What this position entails:

  • You get to write about sex! Woo!
  • But actually, you get to write a 600- to 800-word weekly post answering 2-3 sex-related questions
  • You choose the questions you answer, which people will send in through a Google Form (like the one we used this semester)
The ideal person we’re looking at:
  • Must be comfortable talking about sex without anonymity
  • Must be non-judgmental toward a variety of sexual desires, practices, sexual orientations, or gender identities
  • Writes in a tone that is engaging but also informative. We want a fun but no-bullshit advice-giver!
  • Rocks at empathy and understanding
  • Must be good with deadlines
C.U. in Bed ran every Sunday this semester but the placement is negotiable. Past C.U. in Bed posts can be found here. Applications are due by May 24, 11:59 p.m. and you can apply here.
If you have any more questions about the position, feel free to reach out to me at I’m available at odd hours. Best of luck with the sex writing!

Spectrum | May. 5 9:03 pm EST
C.U. in Bed

“I’m a girl—and I’ve never made out with another girl. How do I start?”

via Alkelda/flickr

This is the twelfth and last installment of C.U. in Bed.The author will be graduating in less than three weeks but we want C.U. in Bed to go on. Want to be the next sex advice columnist? Stay tuned on Spectrum for an upcoming post on how to apply.

In this installment of C.U. in Bed, a first reader who is female wants to know how to find girls to kiss, and a second reader wants to get over her body-image anxiety and insecurity so she can enjoy sex.

Dear Andrea,

I am a girl and in the past few months I have found myself having crushes on other females. Nothing major, it’s actually mostly physical but it’s kind of got me wondering more and more frequently what it would be like to at least kiss another girl. Unfortunately, I am utterly clueless when it comes to even finding guys to kiss, so I am even more clueless about how to approach this situation. Any ideas?

— Clueless and Confused

More »


Opinion | May. 2 7:23 pm EST

Six lessons online trolls taught me

Flickr / Nadja Robot

As all three of my regular Spec columns come to an end, so does my relationship with Spec comment sections.

Yes, I know, you’re not supposed to read them—but I did. And, particularly for my sex column (plug: check out the last installment this Sunday), some of the comments were, shall we say, a little…vicious? Mean-spirited? Made me feel like absolute shit?

But seriously—every Sunday night, I’d barely get work done because I obsessed over every awful jab, every downvote or upvote on each single comment. I eventually got into a pattern of gripping my chair and trying to mentally steel myself before clicking “comments” on every post I wrote.

It almost never ended well.

More »


Spectrum | Apr. 28 8:55 pm EST
C.U. in Bed

“I can’t come again. How do I work up an erection again for her pleasure?”

via couscouschocolat/flickr

Before we begin the eleventh installment of C.U. in Bed, we’d like to remind you to submit your questions to this Google form. Don’t worry, it’s all anonymous.

In this installment of C.U. in Bed, a reader wonders how to continue making his girlfriend happy when he’s done cumming. Another reader asks why she doesn’t want to have sex with a guy who fits her type.

Dear Andrea,

When my girlfriend and I have sex, we both really enjoy ourselves. She cums, I cum, cumming abounds! However, when I’m done, I’m really done and she is only-sorta-done. What is to be done about maintaining an erection post-orgasm to continue pleasuring her?

— Long Haul

More »


Spectrum | Apr. 22 12:44 pm EST
C.U. in Bed

The Orgasm Edition

via Lucho Molina/flickr

Before we begin the tenth installment of C.U. in Bed, we’d like to remind you to submit your questions to this Google form. Don’t worry, it’s all anonymous.

In this installment of C.U. in Bed, both readers have qualms about their orgasm habits. One reader who has recently become sexually active wonders why he can orgasm on his own—but not with his partners. A second reader questions whether or not it’s alright to fake orgasm every once in a while.

Dear Andrea,

I’m a queer dude who just started having sexual relationships fairly recently, and I’ve noticed a kind of frustrating and disturbing pattern—no matter how much fun I’m having or how much I’m attracted to the guy, it’s really difficult for me to orgasm. Even if I’m just masturbating with them! I get really really close but never quite there. I can get off just fine on my own, though…what’s happening?

— On Edge

More »


Spectrum | Apr. 21 11:11 am EST
Now that 4/20's over...

Allison Margolin, CC ’99, writes Hustler Magazine cover story on weed

via Torben Bjorn Hansen/flickr

This month—the month of 4/20—the pornographic Hustler Magazine published a cover story about a rise in prosecutions on medical marijuana dispensaries, and it was co-written by none other than a former Columbian.

Meet Allison Margolin, CC’99, and a former Spectator editorial page editor on the 121st Managing Board. Also a graduate of Harvard Law School, Margolin now partners with J. Raza Lawrence—who co-wrote the article with her—at Margolin and Lawrence, a law firm for criminal defense and civil litigations. After successfully fighting for defendants in several medical marijuana cases, she has been nicknamed “L.A.’s Dopest Attorney.”

A little jealous of her street cred and eager to find out more, I talked to her over the phone about Mary Jane, Hustler, Obama, and the politics behind medical marijuana prosecutions.

More »


A&E | Apr. 20 7:58 pm EST

Varsity Show tickets on sale now!

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The highly anticipated V119 will premiere in just two weeks!

Don’t get sold out—stop by the TIC or click here to secure tickets for this year’s show. Performances are at 8 p.m. on May 3 and May 4, and 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on May 5 in Roone Arledge Auditorium.