Author Archive

Spectrum | Dec. 5 1:11 am EST

Put down your iPhone/Droid/whatever

It’s late. You’re up. You’re sort of halfway through the last week of classes so let’s just continue forward…

Payphones?: They still exist, and NYC is holding a contest for a redesign. Final submissions are due mid-February, so you better get started. Our money is on the inevitable person who sends in a prototype for a “cell phone” or whatever that is.

Beginning of a beautiful friendship: Disney has decided to nix a deal with Starz and instead allow its movies to stream on Netflix. We’ll try to restrain ourselves from listing the best options when they become available, but as you may have noticed, we’re a little fond of “Best of Netflix” lists. For this, we apologize. Like you, we just want an excuse to waste time browsing all the movies and TV shows ever. More »


Spectrum | Dec. 4 8:32 am EST
Wake-Up Call

It’s like, the last Tuesday ever or something

Good morning, Columbia! There officially remains less than a week of classes. That’s the biggest news of the day, but here’s some other stuff, too:

Read this: Even if you read the email and coverage yesterday, read the full story behind Matthew Renick’s email of resignation from the Greek Judicial Board following the brownstone decision.

Know this: Yes, Columbia is stressful, but if you think about it, when else are we going to have the chance to receive so much personal feedback and attention toward our mental health?

Here’s more: In a guest column, Spencer Gyory argues that the changes made by Pete Mangurian this season really have been for the good.


Spectrum | Nov. 28 1:11 am EST
One Eleven

What’s with the discrimination, Nintendo?

It’s late. You’re up. And hopefully holed up somewhere much warmer than the hell that is the outdoors right now.

Canada envy: They’ve already got all that maple syrup, universal healthcare, and…other things? But Canada has just gone too far this time—they will be the only country with access to the $99 Wii Mini. We’re all down here making ourselves crazy over Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, while Canada barely lifts a finger, and bam!—cheap, awesome stuff. If you’re Canadian,  are you going home soon? Feel like picking up a couple Wiis? Want to be my and many others’ friend?

Facebook IS awful: As I have mentioned before, Facebook is not for me, and a study out of the University of Edinburgh Business School says that the website that is supposed to make socializing “easier” may actually be stressing you out. So, I will say it again—it may serve you well to spend less time and energy on it, and maybe even deactivate.  More »


Spectrum | Nov. 27 4:37 pm EST
Housing updates

Special Interest Community conversation tonight

Tonight at 7 p.m. in Carman Lounge, Dean Shollenberger and Dean Martinez will hold a Community Conversation about the new Special Interest Community that will open up in the residence hall opening next fall (apparently known as the Convent). Haven’t followed this development? Don’t worry. Read about the convent, Martinez’s involvement,  and some general housing stuff.

And if you’re wondering about the brownstone “winners,” stay tuned the next few days—the decision will be released soon. Read more here and here for recent coverage.


Spectrum | Nov. 27 9:44 am EST
Wake-up call

All of this weather really needs to stop


Good morning! As of right now, there is a 100 percent chance of precipitation today, that precipitation being snow and rain. Gross. That is completely awful and horrifying, so let’s ignore it and read the newspaper instead.

Read this: Caitlin Brown makes the case for the Core as a form of preprofessional education in and of itself.

Know this: The plan to bring Internet to a group of subway stations, including 96th and Columbus Circle, will have to be delayed following Sandy.

Here’s more: Even if you don’t typically read Sports, don’t skip over this profile of rower and veteran Nick Hesselgrave—and check Spectrum later in the day for even more astounding quotes that couldn’t make it into the article.


Spectrum | Nov. 26 9:43 pm EST

This is NOT a how-to guide on composting


Today, Abigail Golden reported that the EcoReps composter, currently housed in the Ruggles basement, will slowly begin the process of opening up the composter to the wider Columbia community.

Since April, it has been processing scraps from John Jay, and it will now begin collecting material from the GreenBorough special interest house. This is the first step EcoReps are taking to make the composter eventually accessible to the whole campus.

If you’re like me (environmentally conscious, but admittedly unaware of a lot of environment-saving practices), you probably praise this endeavor, but have absolutely no idea what it entails, or how a composter even works. In an effort to turn my consciousness into some semblance of knowledge, I’ve done a little research on the topic, and I will do my very best to break down what exactly this composting business is.

Note: This is not a guide on how to compost. If that’s something you’re interested in, go here, or talk to an EcoRep.

What’s the goal?

All a compost is meant to do is decompose organic waste, which becomes a rich fertilizer.

How does it do that?

BACTERIA. Ew. No, it’s actually not gross—it’s nature! The decomposition is done by lots of microorganisms living in the compost. This includes bacteria and fungi, and, if you’re really adventurous, worms (I am aware these are just organisms, not micro- ones). To get the process going, some people use algae, seaweed, aged manure, and other wonderfully fragrant materials. More »


Spectrum | Nov. 22 12:20 pm EST
thanksgiving survival

Just remember: potatoes > politics


It’s officially Thanksgiving.

As students living away from home, we understand that this holiday and the others that follow bring glorious opportunities to experience what we’re missing at school: heaps of home-cooked food, silence when you’re trying to sleep at 2 a.m., pets, some parental adoration, etc.

But then again, there are the not-so-glorious opportunities to experience what we’re missing at school, namely, awkward family interactions. No matter what, you’re bound to run into some tense conversations, and since you’re unfortunately kind of an adult now, you’ll be expected to participate.

Here’s a starter list of tactics you can employ to either prevent or ease the pain of inevitably painful conversations.

The election didn’t happen.

That’s right. Barack Obama wasn’t reelected. Mitt Romney didn’t lose.

In fact, who the hell are Obama and Romney? Do they have a tv show together or something?

This should be your attitude towards politics, and your relatives should follow suit. Nothing good will come of trying to discuss them.

Note: If you’re a Poli Sci major and your family knows it, I have no advice for you. God speed, my friend.  More »


Spectrum | Nov. 21 1:11 am EST
One Eleven

Could have been a better day for America

It’s late. You’re up. Most of you are probably home or watching Netflix in your dorm room, basking in the knowledge that you don’t really have to do anything for tomorrow or the next few days. If you are not part of that lucky group, I empathize completely. Not only am I writing this, but I am also “writing” a paper (read: looking up hot cider and eggnog recipes—an essential use of my time).

But enough about me. News time.

An American tragedy: It looks like the great American establishment that is Hostess Brands will actually go bankrupt, meaning you should definitely cryogenically freeze some Hostess Twinkies to sell on ebay several years down the line, because it looks like the yellow confection will be bought by the likes of Flowers Foods or Grupo Bimbo, two companies that apparently exist. More »


Spectrum | Nov. 20 8:34 am EST
Wake-up call

Today, the sky is orange and I am a kangaroo

Bearing in mind that today is National Absurdity Day, I would like to wish everyone a happy Tuesday before Thanksgiving, a very important holiday for every American. (If you’re one of those people who doesn’t have or isn’t going to class tomorrow, please assume there is no sarcasm in the previous sentence. I am jealous of you.)

Read this: Amanda Gutterman isn’t a fan of the “professionalism” that doesn’t allow us to be ourselves in office environments.

Know this: More than 60 students have signed a petition to keep the dining halls open during Thanksgiving break, but Columbia Dining doesn’t look like it’s going to budge on this.

Here’s more: After the housing issues over the summer, Barnard has some transfer students who don’t feel fully integrated into the community. As a response, Barnard’s SGA will launch a pilot program that will pair transfer students with knowledgeable Barnard ambassadors, aka students.


Spectrum | Nov. 13 6:48 pm EST
Student support

Student Governing Board supports ‘Save the Arts Initiative’

Last week, Spectator reported that a petition calling for the Columbia community to save the Arts Initiative had garnered more than 1,200 signatures.

Today, the Executive Board of the SGB released this statement in support of the initiative, joining ESC, CCSC, SGA, and ABC:

The Student Governing Board of Columbia University (SGB) is the oldest student-led governing board at Columbia and the largest that represents student groups from all four undergraduate schools. The mission of the SGB is to represent and serve the needs of Columbia University student organizations whose concerns are religious, spiritual, political, ideological, activist, humanitarian or identity-conscious in nature.

Over the past few years the deterioration of CUArts has proven harmful to our student groups and to the wider Columbia community that we serve. Through the Gatsby Fund, CUArts provides important funding and logistical support to our groups, and we’ve watched with dismay as the total sums granted by the fund have eroded. More importantly, CUArts provides a unifying presence to Columbia that creates the vibrant campus atmosphere in which our groups prosper. Its downward spiral is a detriment to the Columbia undergraduate population and the principles of community that the SGB represents. More »