Category: clubs

Last night, Columbia University No Budget Sketch Show (CUSS) released their newest video, “Shmasterpieces of Western Lit: The Odyssey,” a video showcasing an overview of Homer’s Odyssey… from a different point of view.

Watch the video below.

Want to feature your club’s updates here? Email submissions@columbialion.com

The Varsity Show began with a tour guide singing a catchy song about how great Columbia University is. At this point, I thought the Varsity Show would be a chipper piece about extolling the virtues of our great university.

As soon as an offstage actor threw a shoe at the tour guide and yelled, “No one gives a fuck!” I knew I was sorely mistaken.

The show loosely followed an alumni couple trying to decide if Columbia is the right school for their daughter — who hasn’t been born yet. The tour guide takes them to a typical Columbia classroom filled with stereotypical students and a drunk Professor. After an argument about why “the classics” are the classics (and if they should be considered classics after all), the class launches into dark tune called “There’s A Dead White Man Inside Us All.”

The alumni couple is fairly traumatized by the classroom discussion and discuss a world before trigger warnings, “safety spaces,” racism, and homophobia (which came about when “Ellen Degeneres invented it.”).

The couple then launches into “Greener Pastures,” a song that tells how they met each other and how the good old days are gone. This song wasn’t as strong as the first, but the faux ballet-like choreography was highly entertaining.

After the dance, a guy from Beta runs across the stage, handing out flyers for an upcoming party. The couple begs the tour guide for permission to go, and the tour guide reluctantly grants it.

Before the party, the audience sees the sisters of a sorority preparing. The preparation isn’t what you’d expect; the leader of the sisters urges them to remember the four B’s: “boobs, boos, boys, and backstabbing.” The couple goes to the party and is accepted by their respective Greek life group. When they question the slightly illegal things that are going on at the party, the entire group bursts into a rock song, “Leaders Tomorrow.” The song was about how the kids at the party are going places even though it doesn’t seem like it during their partying shenanigans. This was when the cast really showed their dancing skills. There had been dancing in “A Dead White Man Inside Us All, but it had mostly been sitting down. This dancing was fast-paced and intense, yet the cast was able to keep up their vocals and enunciation as they sang.

The show ended with the cast brandishing signs for the show’s official dates. Everyone left in a breath of exhilaration.

The Varsity Show Preview wasn’t anything like I thought it would be. Instead of the ragtag variety show I expected, it was a musical-quality show with a satirical edge. The Varsity Show wasn’t afraid to comment on uncomfortable things I realized as true. Not only did it make me think, but it made me chuckle. There’s no doubt this uncanny mix of truth and humor will delight almost everyone.

The Varsity Show runs from April 29 – May 2. You can grab your tickets here.

The Columbia Ballet Collaborative offers the kind of performing art you didn’t know you needed in your life. Also called the Ivy Ballet Exchange, the program strives to promote collaboration amongst schools like Columbia, Yale, Harvard in all forms of dance. This year, the Lion was invited to the 2016 Ivy Ballet Exchange. After a day of classes and workshops, all fifty dancers showcased their talents to the audience.

The first group to dance was PUB, Princeton University’s Ballet Company. They performed a piece entitled “Instinct” choreographed by Paige Shaw. The piece was technically sound and was performed en pointe. The music was composed of soft, breathy moans that slowly became discordant.

The next piece was performed by the Harvard Ballet Company, or HBC. The choreography, created by Sophie Carroll, was an excerpt from the longer piece based on The Giver by Lois Lowry. “Rosemary’s Release” was set to Claire de Lune, which was chosen “to explore the melancholy undertones of the song.” The piece involved only five dancers. All of their movements were slow and deliberate, giving their dancing a heavy, deliberate nature.

The following dance, “Ripples”, was a direct contrast. Marisa Remez, who choreographed the piece, said she wanted to celebrate the joy of dancing since this was her last year dancing with PUB. It was a bright, joyous dance filled with bright smiles and elaborate footwork set to a dubstep-y tune that occasionally sounded like soda cans being opened.

Connor Yokus’s piece “Whitey Tighty” was another dance about dancing, but it had a more serious angle. He said he his piece was “a reflection on [his] thoughts about ballet and his complex relationship with it.” It certainly turned many assumptions about ballet on their heads. The piece began with two men partnering in a duet with a corps of women behind them. The music constantly switched between a melodic, classical sounding piece and a more chaotic instrumental with a bassier beat. Later on, there was partnering between two women in an echo of the piece’s start. Still later, there was the more traditional partnering of a man and a woman, but the woman supported the man instead of the other way around. I enjoyed the twisting of my expectations.

The next piece was called “Spindle of Gestures,” choreographed by Norbert de la Cruz III.  This was the only piece where the dancers had distinctive costumes: ombre shirts that turned from white to black along with black leggings. The dancers’ movements were quick but deliberate, and they all seemed to move as parts of one body. In stark contrast, the music was slow and melodic.

“The Shape of the Voice” by Morgan Mcewen featured sharp, angular movements. The music contained vocalized moans and grunts similar to “Instinct.” The choreographer used many 90* angles that were unfamiliar to see in a piece that was mostly ballet. The dancers made it work, however.

Julia Janson of PUB choreographed a piece (“The Construct”) that was more classical ballet-y, except that it was filled with many tumbles, falls, and turns. All of those movements were executed as smoothly as any other movement.

The performance may not have had flashy costumes or a spotlit stage, but it didn’t need it. The dancers had superb technique and all worked well together. The Columbia Ballet Exchange truly fostered a dynamic and collaborative environment that was enjoyable for both viewer and participant. Keep an eye out for their upcoming performance in April!

Why Campaigns Phone Bank and How Bernie 2016 is Reinventing the Game

The main purpose of phone banking is voter ID. We call people to cross the Republicans off our list, and make sure that the people who are either undecided or supporting our candidate get a visit in person from our canvassers. If they let us talk to them about the candidate and persuade them, that’s a bonus, but most people don’t like getting phone calls. In-person visits work far better for persuasion. Canvassing maps are drawn by us phone bankers.

Usually phone calls are done by in-state volunteers in campaign offices, but Bernie has seen such a rush of support that he’s been able to shift it over to out of state volunteers who run the whole ship online. That means more time for volunteers to knock on doors and results 5% better than polls predicted for both Iowa and New Hampshire. Now with a new texting system, volunteers are able to sign people up for text updates through phone banks and even mass-text fellow volunteers through experimental new apps like Hustle. Hillary may have the money for more call centers, but young innovators are changing the game for Bernie.

 

Tracking Calls for the CBB Phone Bank Competition: BerniePB

What you need: Google chrome

BerniePB was designed by a few college students and, while most volunteers don’t use it (hence the low call counts in each state), it is a fun way to track calls and compete with the colleges that have teams on it. Its live call map, which shows the calls as red streaks traveling from their state of origin to their destination, can get pretty busy during peak hours and provide a cool visual. It has achievements and ranks to encourage you to make just one more call to round out your numbers.

To join our team, create an account on the site, go to leaderboards, and click here to go to our team page or search for us in the all-time team leaderboards. Then click on apply to join and you’ll be brought in to the group. Whoever makes the most calls before Nevada, and then again before South Carolina will win a prize, like a fancy new Bernie sign!

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Our New Tech: HubDialer

What you need: A computer or tablet and any type of phone

The Bernie campaign just finished a site for its new HubDialer after its old system, LiveVox, got flooded with too many volunteers and started to glitch out. In terms of problems, too many volunteers is always a good one, but HubDialer should solve that and speed up the process. It automatically dials multiple numbers simultaneously based on pick-up rate to lead to 3x more conversations per hour than a manual dialer. It will get more efficient as it learns call patterns through increased use. But because it calculates based on how long each call takes and wants to make sure that no one picks up the phone without a Bernie volunteer on the other side, leaving it on idle will slow the whole system. Log out whenever you would like to take a break. Pick your state and will gives you a login, then sign in and prepare to talk as soon as you hear a beep.

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The Conversation

The Dialer provides you a script that you can just read off of the first few times. If you want to get an idea of what phone banking is like before jumping in, your talk should go something like this:

“Hi, my name is _____ and I’m a volunteer [you’re not paid staff, you’re doing this on your own time and people care about that] with the Bernie Sanders campaign. Is Mr./Ms. [a little respect in terms of titles goes a long way, especially with older voters] ________ there?”

Yes or no (if no, check the appropriate box, wrong number/not home etc.) If yes…

“Great. I’m just calling to ask if you’re planning on voting in [date]’s caucuses/primaries, and if you’ve decided on a candidate to support”.

If they like Bernie, try to get their cell phone number and maybe even a commitment to volunteer. If you get one volunteer, congratulations, you’ve just multiplied your power by 2. This is how our base crew from a devoted core following into the massive army it is now.

If they’re undecided, ask a persuasion question [see voter tips below] if you’re up to it or just direct them to BernieSanders.com.

Make the talk your own, as every candidate has the same script and you want yours to stand out.

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Tips when talking to voters

  • Do your best to make the canned script your own. Every candidate has the same script and voters prefer to hear from you personally.
  • It’s pronounced “Nev-a-da”, as in “advertisement”, not “Nev-ah-da” as in “cheetah”
  • Smile! You’ll sound more approachable when talking according to multiple studies.
  • Have an org up in another tab so that you can look up the answers to questions you don’t know.
  • If the voter is undecided, ask them questions like “What do you most value in a future president?” They aren’t yes/no questions that can be brushed off quickly and encourage the voter to actually contemplate what criteria they’ll hold the candidates to. If you have the info at hand, you can target your answer, which will make it far better.
  • You can phone bank from anywhere. If you have some spare time between classes, why not work the revolution with your lunch break? Campaign work never ends.

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Phone bank Parties

It’s much easier to phone bank with food or friends so meet us on the ground floor of Hamilton to head to events on Mondays and Thursdays from 8-10pm or Saturdays and Sundays from 1-4pm (though we may be away the day of the South Carolina primaries if we road trip to Massachusetts for Super Tuesday). Check them out on our FB page.

There are also parties in Harlem and the Morningside Heights area where we will post pretty regularly and a Bernie War Room open every day from 5-11pm at 355 7th Ave. Room 207! See their event details every week on TeamBernieNY.org

If you feel up to it, host your own phone bank party and email us at columbia4bernie@gmail.com so that we can promote it!

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Last but not least, make sure to sign up for a trip to Massachusetts to win the Bay State on Super Tuesday!

This post was submitted by Columbia and Barnard for Bernie. To respond to this piece or submit one of your own, email submissions@columbialion.com.

As Columbia students debate whether the University is obligated to divest from companies harming the environment, the Columbia Political Union will be hosting a discussion on the resolution:  To fight Climate Change, Columbia must divest from fossil fuels.

From their website,

The Columbia Political Union, organized for and by the students of Columbia University, seeks to enhance involvement in the political process, domestic and international, and draw every member of the campus community into an ongoing discussion of political ideas. As a non-partisan group, we strive to incorporate all points of view, and voices from a variety of political backgrounds.

We were first founded several years ago by a group of enterprising students who wished to bring the student political organizations together, while bringing elevated and informed multipartisan debate and discussion to campus. Our roots however stretch back far before them, deep into Columbia’s history of political discourse and activism. While our specific goals have changed over the years, our broader goals have remained the same. We continue to strive for an engaged and informed campus discourse surrounding the issues that matter to us on campus, in our country, and throughout the world.

Every week, we host a range of events from debates to policy competitions to debate watch parties. They are always open to the Columbia community and will often have free pizza and other refreshments.

 

For more details, check out the event here.