24/7 Satellite ID Center to open at Hartley hospitality desk

Posted by: Sean Augustine-Obi in News 6 hours, 16 minutes ago

If you've ever lost your ID on a weekend and had to struggle getting into Lerner or the dining halls, this may be a lifesaver. According to an email sent out by Housing just now, a satellite ID center for lost and stolen IDs will be opening at the Hartley Hospitality Desk, just in time for the new school year.

The new ID center will be open 24/7, and will have the same functionality as the current ID center, except for taking new photos. Incoming students will still need to visit Kent for their first ID, but can go to Hartley if it's lost or stolen. Any replacement ID will cost $20, whether you get it at Kent or Hartley.

Although the email was sent by Housing, as has been the case with policy changes this summer, the student councils undoubtedly had something to do with this (most likely one of the Student Services reps). I'd get a quote from them, but Spec is going to do that anyway, so just pretend like it's here.

Read the full announcement below.

University ID Cards

Your University ID card is required to Check-In. The ID Center, located at 204 Kent Hall, is open for limited hours during Check-In. We are happy to announce a new service at the Hartley Hospitality Desk: now students who have lost or damaged their IDs can get them reissued 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at the Hospitality Desk. New students will not be able to get  University IDs issued from the desk and will still need to go to Kent Hall for their first ID card. The only way to enter Kent Hall on Saturdays is through the East Asian Library. The ID Center reopens on the first day of classes from 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.


How to take Business School classes as an undergrad: Fall 2014 edition

Posted by: Sean Augustine-Obi 1 day, 7 hours ago


Apparently, what B-School students do. | Photo credit: pepperdine.edu

With the start of a new semester less than two weeks away and registration appointments already underway on SSOL, now might not be the most convenient time to add classes. But if you're looking to take B-school classes this fall, your only chance to register is coming up soon.

According to a recently updated website outlining cross-registration policies, 40 courses in the Business School will be open to undergrads. The registration portal will be open from tomorrow at 10 AM to next Thursday at 4 PM, giving you a small window to sign up. Only seniors in CC, SEAS, BC, and GS can register, and they're limited to 3 credits a semester and 12 credits for the duration of their degree.

According to students we've talked to who applied to take B-school courses last semester, the process can be somewhat obtuse. Course pre-requisites are strictly enforced, and not all of them are open to undergrads. For example, if a student wishes to take the course B8323 - Asset Management, they'd need to have taken B6300 - Corporate Finance (separate from the undergraduate Economics Department course) beforehand. However, B6300 is not open to undergrads.

Update, 5:05 PM: Only prerequisites with a B8xxx prerequisite will be enforced, meaning that seniors are free to manage their assets to their hearts' content.

Additionally, students are only given the chance to "apply" for three courses, and no exceptions will be made to classes that have already filled up. In other words, future financiers, accountants, and consultants should do their research before filling out the form.

See the full list of classes available to undergrads in a spreadsheet here, and their descriptions here.

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News round-up: August 19 - A farewell to Nutella

Posted by: Sean Augustine-Obi 2 days, 8 hours ago

The new East Campus 2nd floor lounge | Photo credit: Columbia Undergraduate Student Life

Remember when I said we wouldn't do any more "in review" posts? I lied. Here's what happened over the past few days.


An idyllic section of Morningside Heights became a battleground as an octogenarian woman terrorized her neighbors, spray painting their fence and taking voyeuristic photographs, the Daily News reports. One of her victims is Barnard English professor Daniela Kempf, who says the woman is "making [their] lives hell."


Print@CU faced obsolescence earlier this week with CUIT's new global cloud-based print queue making it impossible to print without using a UNI. In addition to the loss of a beloved resource, it would have also been a financial blow for the Spectator Publishing Company, who bought the site from Sam "Ruby Prince" Aarons for about $5000 last fall.

Luckily, the crisis was averted when publisher Michael Oumiette and members of Spec's Online team met with CUIT yesterday morning to discuss how the site would remain workable. Oumiette told us in a phone conversation that the site will be updated by the start of classes to account for the global printing queue, which means no more quirky Pokemon aliases when you print. 

They are also planning to roll out other features to the site, such as checking your print quota and saving your most recently used printer, rather than selecting from the current alphabetical drop-down menu. Work on the site will be done by the same developer who had previously worked on Courses@CU, another Spec-owned service.

As for the printing software itself, docs now print faster, show up immediately on stations, and are now only visible to the person who wants to print them. However, the UI was somewhat confusing to a first-time user. It looks like it was meant to be operated with a mouse or touchpad, but since most printing stations don't have either, users need to navigate using the Tab, Escape, and Enter keys. According to one tech staffer installing the software in Lerner, this is a temporary measure and should be fixed in future builds.



Also seeking: Intern love stories

Posted by: Sean Augustine-Obi in Meta 4 days, 11 hours ago

We're also looking for people who have had some kind of romance at an internship. Whether it's a brief hookup or an office fling that flies under the radar, we want to hear about it. Bonus points if your boss never found out about it — or even better, if it was with your boss.

Shockingly, this doesn't seem to have been done before.

We guarantee anonymity, so don't worry about your Linkedin connections finding out.

Shoot us an email at thecolumbialion [at] gmail.com if you're interested.


Seeking prep school alumni

Posted by: Sean Augustine-Obi in Meta 4 days, 13 hours ago

Want to be featured in The Lion?

We're looking for graduates of private college preparatory programs (informally called prep schools), as well as schools like Stuyvesant and Hunter College High School, for a potential upcoming article about life at these schools. You can be quoted anonymously, if you so wish.

Graduates from any year are welcome to contact us, but we're especially interested in the Classes of 2009-2014.

If you're interested, shoot us an email at thecolumbialion [at] gmail.com.


Columbia updates gender-based misconduct policy, activists respond

Posted by: Sean Augustine-Obi in News 6 days, 10 hours ago

Today, Columbia released its new Gender-Based Misconduct Policy, a 28-page document responding to student and alumni protestors, the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, and the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.

In a letter to students, President Bollinger outlined the key changes to sexual assault policy, including:

  • "Individuals serving on the hearing panels will be drawn from a designated pool of Columbia professionals with expertise in student life who have been tasked with this duty as part of their job. (Consistent with federal guidance, students will no longer serve on these panels.)"
  • "Six new staff positions have been created in the Office of Sexual Violence Response (SVR)"
  • "A new and larger Sexual Violence Response and Rape Crisis/Anti-Violence Support Center will officially open later this month on the seventh floor of Lerner Hall"
  • "The training we mandate for incoming undergraduates on consent, respect, and the importance of bystander intervention has been expanded"

The new policy includes procedures in compliance with these new federal guidelines, in the wake of the Title IX complaint against the university. This has resulted in criticism from various activists and student groups who were not consulted during the process, except for a meeting with Dean Goldberg earlier this week to view the completed document.

According to a statement from students and alumni, the changes do not go far enough, and address mainly federal liability concerns, rather than student needs. Most notably, the adjudication process is still under the purview of the four undergraduate deans, who have veto power over any rulings. Additionally, the changes did not address many of the extensive policy proposals issued by these student groups.



Summer in Review (July 29-August 13): Football, gluten, and Iraq

Posted by: Sean Augustine-Obi in News 1 week ago

The B-school does not condone your "lewd, profane" content. #CBSAtTheCenter | Photo credit

According to a Youtube video posted by Barnard Dean Avis Hinkson, all Barnard classes will be canceled on September 8th for a special 125th Anniversary Convocation. This includes all classes on Barnard's campus, as well as the classes with a BC as part of their class name (ie. Fall 2014 Economics BC1003).


High school sweethearts in the Class of 2017 celebrated their nuptuals two weekends ago, in a small ceremony in Oklahoma that included friends and family.

The bride is a Named Scholarship Recipient and a part-time event staffer at Columbia Athletics. The groom previously worked at a mining and materials firm. Both graduated from a local high school in 2013 and will be starting their sophomore year at Columbia.

The couple lived on the same floor in John Jay Residence Hall. The pair has a daughter, age 1.


In case any of you doubted their patriotism (as though the red, white, and blue brownstone didn't give it away), Beta celebrated July 4th with a well-attended "Betapendence Day" barbecue. Columbia also has the highest GPA of any Beta chapter in the country at 3.615.



Arts and Sciences profs lament lack of funding in the Wall Street Journal

Posted by: Sean Augustine-Obi in News 1 week, 1 day ago

Poor, poor, Columbia. Two instances of negative press in two of the country's most venerable papers, one day after the other. (Does the Washington Post have a scathing report about our collapsing ceilings set to go up tomorrow?)

The Wall Street Journal has a story about the lack of funding for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, complete with a photo of a wistful-looking poli sci professor Jack Snyder sitting on the sundial. Also included are two of the greatest Columbia admin quotes of all time from Provost Coatsworth:

"We're not plugging desperate holes."

"People at Columbia have their hats on tight," he said. "They complain a lot, like New Yorkers do."

The article describes the situation thus far. Despite an operating budget of $600 million for a faculty that serves roughly 10,000 students, the FAS has faced a serious decline in research grants over the past few years. This, coupled with a de facto freeze on some budget units and an increase in students, has left the faculty up in arms. 

In a meeting in early May closed to the press, according to Spec, the FAS voiced their concerns to President Bollinger for an hour and a half (a record for Mr. Bollinger, who has been known to leave Senate meetings in less than half that time). Some highlights from the minutes:

  • "But recent difficulties in retaining and replacing faculty have hurt Columbia’s prestige. Columbia seeks to provide competitive benefits to faculty, but schools have to pay in to make use of programs like the New Housing Assistance Plan, and A&S is unable to participate meaningfully in the new mortgage assistance program."
  • "Prof. Snyder characterized the president’s solution as pursuing splashy initiatives — in personalized medicine, or global issues—and then using them to spin off funds for core needs."
  • The president said he hoped to avoid a discussion of the form “We need X,” focusing instead on such questions as “Where are we going?” and “How do things fit together?” and “What are the serious new areas of knowledge and how do we adjust to them?”
  • At the heart of that problem is the balanced budget that has been negotiated between the central university and A&S. Strikingly, this agreement provides for a fixed level of central support for A&S year after year, at the same time that costs paid by A&S to the central university aregrowing by 5 percent annually. The fixed budget of A&S is therefore actually shrinking, and rethinking that agreement may be as important as fundraising.
  • "As chair of Literature Humanities, [Christia Mercer] has had to resort to hiring adjuncts, who are paid $6000. This creates a real appearance-reality problem for the Core. Prof. Mercer said the situation is so dire some that some people in the room were looking for jobs elsewhere."
  • "There was applause."

The meeting resulted in a letter to "Lee" signed by FAS that, when translated from academia-speak courtesy of alumnus Aries Dela Cruz (GS '09), roughly reads, "We need more money, now." In response, Bollinger established a fundraising campaign for FAS, on the heels of the wildly successful $6.1 billion Capital Campaign.

But according to faculty, this doesn't go far enough in addressing their concerns. In essence, as physics professor William Zazc told the Journal, "This is an awkward thing. These cavils sound like those of an ungrateful wretch…but [I am] frustrated that there is so much more that could be done."


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