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29 - december 2017

Emma Yee Yick ‘19 & Allisen Lichtenstein ‘19 EDITORS-IN-CHIEF

Katherine Leak ‘19 & Claudia Levey ‘19 MANAGING EDITORS

Yudi Liu '19 CREATIVE DIRECTOR FEATURES EDITOR Juliana Kaplan '19 ASSOCIATE EDITOR Collier Curran '20 STAFF WRITER Aliya Schneider '20

POLITICS & OPINION EDITOR Sara Hameed '20 ASSOCIATE EDITOR Naava ellenberg '21 STAFF WRITERS Annabella Correa-Maynard '20 Hadassah Solomson '20

NEW YORK CITY LIVING EDITOR Veronica Suchodolski '19 ASSOCIATE EDITOR Pavi chance '20


HEALTH & STYLE EDITOR Isabella Monaco 20

ART DIRECTOR Sadie Kramer '21 PHOTOGRAPHY EDITOR Peyton Ayers '21

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR Julia Tache '19 ASSOCIATE EDITOR Kalena chiu '20 STAFF WRITER Annette Stonebarger '21


Barnard Bulletin 3009 broadway new york, ny 10027 LIKE US ON FACEBOOK follow us on twitter follow us on instagram


2 - OCTOBER 2018

A Letter From Our Editors Dear Readers, There is both a newness and a pang of nostalgia that come along with the start of fall. New classes, new libraries (looking at you Cheryl...or Millie?) new people, new perspectives, the possibilities are endless. Despite the fact that we, your newest editors-in-chief are now seniors, the excitement that accompanies the beginning of the school year certainly hasn’t fizzled. In all of this change, there are constants as well: the white pizza at Diana, the quaintness of the Quad, friendly desk attendants, and most importantly, this lovely magazine. We hope that all you upperclasswomen have settled back in and that you first-years feel you are finding your place at Barnard more and more each day. We are so excited to bring you this first issue of the 2018-2019 year. In it, you will find poignant pieces like A&E’s look at The Black Motherhood Project, a film by three Columbia seniors exploring trauma, love, and generational experiences between black mothers and daughters, and P&O’s “Not Every Compass Points North,” a reflective piece on one author’s journey to find middle ground between political views and religious beliefs. As you continue to flip through these pages, you’ll stumble upon articles, like “Bubble Tea of NYC,” “Study Spot Showcase,” and “My Irreplaceable Five,” for skincare and makeup products to keep you glowing this semester. Finally, our October centerpiece features a conversation between a current first-year and senior. They talk of transitions, campus culture, and they reflect on Barnard experience thus far: one from the start of her journey, the other nearing the end. Needless to say, there is something in The Bulletin for everyone. Lastly, we feel honored to be running our beloved magazine this year. The Bulletin means so much to us, having been both writers and editors for nearly the entirety of our Barnard experience. Things have come full circle, rounding out what has been a wild and wonderful ride. Thanks for tagging along, this is only the beginning. With boldness and brilliance, Allisen & Emma


3 - October 2018

IN THIS ISSUE SSUE 3 // Letter from the editors 5 // behind the scenes 6 // trending & playlist


8 // Fitness classes 9 // 5 things to survive 10 // asmr 11 // like & subscribe 12 // celebrity looks



14 // an ode to barnard boys 15 // the rom com renaissance 16 // busy bee at bc 17 // the millie or cheryl: The Debate 18 // in her words anxiety 19 // Love actually: debunking the virgin myth 20 // Centerpiece: Freshman/Senior Retrospective


26 // social action student Spotlight 27 // who's who for nov 6 29 // not every compass 30 // skip the straws 32 // qualified 33 // where'd you get that? 34 // sun isn’t shining on stem


36 // octfest 39 // emmys 2018 40 // black motherhood projet 44 // profile: artist at barnard 46 // the blame game 47 // the peter kavinsky effect 48 // #20gayteen


49 // bites outside the bubble 50 // barnard in the outer boroughs 51 // neighborhood farmers' market 52 // guide to coney island 53 // nyc unsolved 54 // bubble tea of nyc 55 // study spot showcase

4 - october 2018



5 - october 2018

orduroy corduroy


To all the boys I loved before and to all the teen rom coms that I still watch

MUSTARD USTARD YELLOW ELLOW The perfect color for fall, mustard yellow brings to mind fallen leaves and pumpkin spice lattes.

This workout clothing brand is amazing! You can become a VIP member and get great discounts on really cute leggings, sports bras, shoes.

anny Fanny acks packs

These bad boys are making a come back. With their convenient small size and hands free storage, you’ll want to make sure you have on in your closet.


6 - october 2018

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Everything corduroy — skirts, shirts, purses, you name it.

rinted printed carves scarves Intricate patterns and smooth fabric add color and texture to any outfit

ope queens ueens 2 dope odcast podcast 2 Dope Queens is a hilarious comedy podcast hosted by BFFs Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson that features different stand-up comedians, particularly women and people of color, every episode

OKO GLAM SOKO K-Beauty has been on the rage, and this website helps put together the best products options.




sweetener - arianna grande

6. 2.

djin - Mashrou' Leila

Ace - noname ft. smino & saba


7. 3.

ride - clans

hell of a girl - grace

i hate love songs - kelsea ballerini


7 - OCtober 2018

CariĂąo - The MarĂ­as

H&S FITNESS CLASSES IN NYC Fitness: This next studio/gym combo is certainly not as nice as Dodge, or even as well-maintained as BeFit NYC, but they have a special introductory offer of 3 days of classes completely free! West End Health and Fitness similarly offers a wide range of classes at all times of day and is only a mile or so away from campus, which makes it easy to pop in and out whenever it’s convenient for you; you can even jog there and get a workout in before even starting the class. The studios are small, but you’ll find some of the most fun, challenging, and well-taught classes around. The cycling classes feature great playlists and are full of locals from the Morningside Heights Area. It’s always nice to feel a bit more integrated with your community and the free three day trial is definitely a good way to start. SLT (Strengthen, Lengthen, Tone): When you arrive at SLT, you step right into the workout room, where there may even be a class happening. SLT is perfect if you love yoga or pilates but want to challenge your muscles even more. The workout is all about slow and controlled movements, which may sound easy, but don’t worry, you’ll wake up sore the next morning. The Upper West Side Studio, the closest one to campus, is inviting and clean. The first class at SLT may be a little intimidating, especially if you’ve never used a pilates Megaformer™ (essentially a fancier pilates reformer) before. Don’t sweat it because the instructors show you everything you need to know and the classes are limited to just a few people, so you get individualized attention. The unfamiliar exercise names THE BULLETIN -

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and wobbly feeling in your legs quickly won’t matter because of how fun and engaging the class is. SLT is pricey at $40 per drop-in class but for a first-timer, you can get two for that price! And, if you refer a friend, you can both get extra SLT credits. The intro special pricing is worth it for a self-care splurge, as you’re guaranteed to be sore for days after. Inscape: Now fitness isn’t all about pushing your body to the max. We often forget to pay attention to our minds and mental health and take a break from reading, thinking, memorizing, and problem-solving. Inscape doesn’t offer workout classes but instead offers audio guided meditation sessions. Inscape is located on West 21st street, which gives you the perfect excuse to get downtown on a weekend, maybe do some studying or exploring down there, and then sit quietly in a calming and beautiful environment fully equipped with blankets and pillows. At Inscape you have a choice between a meditation session in The Dome (seated) or in The Alcove (lying down). Both rooms are ambiently lit and filled with relaxing music and sounds. You may be a meditation skeptic, or resistant to spending even a half an hour “just sitting,” but you will thank yourself after taking the time to visit Inscape. Until November 3rd, Inscape is offering 20% off any of their packages for students or giving 2 week access for only $50. The regualr price of a Inscape experience may be a deterrent but with these discounts, I urge you to go, find some calm, take a breath, and tackle your tasks with a clearer mind.

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eadings, problem sets, and shortessays are already beginning to pile up. One of the best ways to preemptively fight against the increasing stress is to work out. You’ve definitely heard that before. Although making your way through the crowded floors of Dodge and jogging on a treadmill for 30 minutes might work, a stress-relieving workout outside of the Columbia bubble can be a lot more fun. This semester, step (or sweat) a little further outside your comfort zone, and try some classes around the city. The trip to and from class may just be the perfect early-semester break you’re looking for, so here are some options to check out: BeFit NYC is located just a few blocks away from campus on Broadway between 104th and 105th streets. This studio is small with a big window overlooking Broadway, and can add a change of scenery to your day. This studio offers classes from 7am to 7pm every day of the week, ranging from slow flow yoga to kickboxing, HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), and Tai Chi. You really can get anything you might want out of this studio, which also has a small gym attached. The instructors are well-trained and enthusiastic, and the wide array of equipment for each class is nicely taken care of. You will leave glowing with sweat and ready to take on the rest of your day, rejuvenated by the workout and the quick break from campus. A single class at BeFit NYC is $25 and a monthly unlimited membership that gives you access to every class and their gym is $120. Even better news is that BeFit NYC offers student discounts — so don’t forget your ID. West End Health and

by Juliana Brenner

5 Things You Need to Survive this Semester


by Sophie Freedman

s my homework begins to pile up and my extracurriculars seem to steal all of my free time, I am left with very little time to take care of my skin. Each semester, I try out plenty of new products. I take recommendations from friends, and research trending moisturizers and cleansers. However, there are five products that I keep on my bedside constantly. I never replace them with newer items, because they work. They work really well.


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2. 3. 4.


My favorite product is maybe the most unknown. Clean and Clear Dual Action Moisturizer by Johnson and Johnson truly has my heart. It saved me in high school, and it continues to save my skin today. This product is your everyday moisturizer through all four seasons. Additionally it’s your rapid-fire pimple eraser. Just apply a small pump onto your pimple as soon as it appears, and in five minutes, your zit will zap away. It’s magic. This product retails for just $4.99 and can be found at most drug stores. It’s the first thing I apply to my face each morning. Another product I’ll never replace is Neutrogena’s Clear Face Break-out Free Liquid Lotion Sunscreen with 55 spf which sells for $6.59. You might not realize how much sun your skin is exposed to each day, and you probably don’t think about the sun’s effect on your skin in your twenties. Unfortunately, the sun can be very dangerous, and it’s important to protect our faces from the sun every day of the year. This sunscreen feels as light as a moisturizer when applied and doesn’t make skin look greasy at all. Glossier’s Cherry Balm Dot Calm salvaged my lips. Though I know there are many Glossier skeptics out there, nobody should run away from this product. It’s a really good lip balm and my lips have never been smoother. The Cherry color brings out a light red lip tint that is never overpowering. The small tube sells at $12, and lasts for months. You can find it on their website, or at the Glossier showroom in TriBeCa. The only makeup I hardly ever leave my apartment without is Benefit’s Roller Lash Mascara because it transforms my eyes. This mascara makes eyelashes look twice as long. It never comes out clumpy because the crescent shaped brush fits perfectly around eye lashes. You can pick it up from Sephora at $25, and it will last all semester. Lastly, just before I leave my room, I brush some Urban Decay Naked Illuminated Shimmering Powder for Face and Body onto my cheekbones and eyelids for some sparkle. It never fails to brighten my face. At $34 from Sephora, this shimmer seriously never runs out. When used in tandem with enough sleep and hydration, these products save my skin year round. So make sure to sleep tight, drink up, and remember to moisturize. THE BULLETIN

? R M S A

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S M R videos have recently gained popularity on YouTube, as viewers claim that they are soothing and peaceful videos for relaxation and sleep. These videos range in length, and can either consist of the user not talking or talking, but is often very quiet and consist of an intimate reaction between the video maker and viewer. Scientifically, ASMR, which stands for autonomous sensory meridian response, is responsible for triggering a tingling sensation in one part of the body in response to a sensory stimulus. ASMR videos range from eating (sometimes referred to as mukbang), breathing, reading a book or etc. Many YouTubers, ranging from ages, have also gained popularity for creating a multitude of ASMR videos. Life with Mak, a young YouTuber with over 800,000 subscribers, has gained popularity in her series of ASMR videos in which she reenacts certain scenarios and speaks directly to the camera, or audience. One of her most popular videos, titled “ASMR ~ Eating Raw Honeycomb” is her doing exactly what the title says - eating a honeycomb. Other YouTubers have also dedicated their time to making specialized videos such as, tapping nails on a surface, whispering, or even reenacting specific scenarios. The difference about ASMR and other YouTube videos is that it is often a much more intimate interaction with the viewer and creator. Things such as whispering, direct eye contact, and greater sound make it seem as if the video is a real life interaction. YouTubers have also reported purchasing a particular camera and microphone to create videos with high video and sound quality.

With ASMR videos being in such a high demand, one may question the purpose of it and how it helps people. A common misconception is that ASMR videos created by women is used to initiate a very sexual reaction. However, most people who do watch ASMR videos are interested in the intimacy in a non-sexual way, and particularly in the vulnerability they feel in this online interaction. In fact, according to a survey completed by Emma Barratt and Dr. Nick Davis at Swansea University, it determined that ASMR users used the videos as a form of online therapy. They reported these videos helping with symptoms of insomnia or depression, and generally reported in an improvement of mood after watching those videos. This further introduces a question as to whether or not these videos should be used as a replacement for in - person therapy. Other people also reported that these videos do not ‘work’ for them, and create no satisfying response, which brings up the question of why does it work for some and not work for others. These questions demonstrate that the scientific research behind ASMR is incomplete , and more should be


10 - October 2018

done to determine how and why these online videos provide such a great response from viewers. And for those who haven’t watched an ASMR videos, I encourage you to do so - they may help release anxiety and make you more calm, or they may not work at all.


by Kania Rimu

ver wonder if there’s a difference between the drugstore and high-end brand of mascara? Need some inspiration for winter outfits? Beauty bloggers on YouTube have got you covered. There is an overwhelming amount of beauty content on Youtube, so it’s hard to know where to begin. Here’s a breakdown of few of my favorite YouTubers who can help you contour, pick an outfit, or learn about the newest beauty products.

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Freddy My Love Freddy Cousin-Brown is a Londonborn model, dancer, and beauty blogger and also one of my favorite beauty and fashion icons. Her style is playful, girly, yet mature. Her videos are very upbeat and clad in millennial pink, and she has a bright and cheerful personality to match. Her channel is gaining momentum, as she has almost reached a million followers. On her channel you can find a lot of try-on hauls and outfit lookbooks. If you tend to wear light colors and model your style off of Elle Woods, Freddy has the inspo for you.

Patricia Bright Despite the saturated market for beauty bloggers, Patricia continues to stand out and has reached over two million subscribers. Her popularity can be attributed to her vibrant personality and her unfailing honesty in every video. Her best videos are her clothing and makeup reviews, where she gives her uncensored opinions on various popular brands. If you’re unsure about a brand’s quality before purchasing it online, check out Patricia’s channel because odds are she has already tested it out and will give you the low down.

Claudia Sulewski With the highest follower count of anyone of this list, Claudia is definitely well-known in the beauty and lifestyle community on YouTube. Her videos are super helpful when it comes to health, lifestyle, beauty, and fashion. She frequently posts hauls, makeup tutorials, and vlogs about her life. She also is an avid promoter of self-care, as she always includes tips on wellness and health. If your style is on the funkier side yet still trendy, Claudia can provide some major style inspiration.


Safiya Nygaard If you regularly scroll through Buzzfeed during class, you will probably recognize Safiya from their “Ladylike” channel. Since leaving Buzzfeed, Safiya has created her own YouTube channel and has proven herself as a beauty guru of sorts. Her wit will keep you entertained along with her willingness to do crazy experiments like dressing up like store mannequin for a week. While most of her content is mostly just entertaining, you can definitely learn a few things from her.

11 - october 2018

The Cutting-Edge, Retro, Girl Next Door by Lucy O’Connor


12 - October 2018

Illustration by Hibah Rafi


elebrities are categorized differently by each individual’s perception of society. There are many celebrities that just circulate our sphere of consciousness and often go in and out of focus as trends come and go. But, when true talent comes along to shatter our preconceived notions of the typical “celebrity,” it is hard not to take notice. For many, that celebrity is SZA. Some might only recognize her by her melodious tones or her relatable songs about love and lust. For others, it’s her perception of style and fashion that sets her apart from the constant spandex, bodycon, “naked dress” trends of today and makes her so relatable. A Vogue interview with the singer back in 2017 eloquently described her style as “vintage-inspired tomboy swag.” A combination of oversized overalls with a baggy sweatshirt suddenly becomes an iconic fashion statement when she embraces it. You can wear it too! With or without the name brand, you can still rock the oversized overall look. Combine that with a classic, oversized, gray hoodie and you’ve got the look completed. One item not referenced in her photo is shoes. To finish

off the look, combine her look with FILA sneakers or really any style sneaker that suits you! In another interview with Dailies in 2014, SZA was discussing her long and difficult road to self-acceptance. She explained, “A lot of people end up stumbling into empowerment through exile.” The public eye criticizing the way she looked before and after her big weightloss was something she never really got used to. Owning her own style and self-representation was the only way she could feel empowered.

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This road-trip-esque outfit epitomizes the trends of today with the classic fanny pack and sock-like sneakers, while also flaunting regular closet items with a fresh new flair. For the third and arguably the most on-trend fit of her OOTDs on Instagram, SZA shares a spontaneous picture. The image shows her in a frilly, feminine, floral dress paired with a contrasting “dad” sneaker (as the trend likes to title it). She pulls it off with a casual pose and natural hair and makeup. And you don’t have to pay designer prices to get the same look! Pair any loose, floral, maxi dress with a classic “dad” sneaker and the look is complete! Finally, of the more admirable qualities that this pop star possesses, her draw to charity and public service are what set her apart from other popular celebrity styles. She has yet to release this merch, but according to Hot New Hip Hop, all of the proceeds are going to charities that help protect our oceans. Not to mention, these Champion jackets are right on trend… So, whether you identify with her “tomboy swag” style or you are just looking for inspiration for your next goto look, SZA has you covered. Her looks are accessible and don’t have to be outrageously expensive. She’s all about feeling comfortable in the skin that you’re in and that’s the most important THE BULLETIN -

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An Ode to Barnard Boys bigger departments and more interesting classes for everybody.” Barnard “expands the community.” An anonymous Columbia College male student was welcomed with open arms into his significant-other’s floor event, where he had the opportunity to watch Ocean’s 8, eat pizza, and get a complimentary face mask, which provided a nice bonding activity for the night. His favorite locations on Barnard’s campus are “def[initely] the Arthur Ross Greenhouse” and “[of course] Mille and Diana.” He reps Barnard with his Barnard 2020 sweatshirt, and taught me that the greenhouse above Milbank has a name. Julien Reiman, CC ‘18, transferred to Columbia and found the campus emotionally “cold” with a “grey impersonalness,” that was not necessarily bad,

but the “pseudo-student spaces” were not nearly as warm as the spaces he found across the street on the Barnard campus. “I started realizing that things were different there,” he said, speaking of the time he spent hanging out and eating in Diana and studying in LeFrak. He felt like he could greet or talk with anyone, and that he just felt “so much better all the time,” being welcomed in, even as a “cis white male.” He noted that while Columbia has many opportunities for creating small communities, they require seeking out or creating niches, while at Barnard, “the whole place is its own niche.” Reiman spoke of his experience living with four Barnard women in Barnard housing his senior year, saying that despite how liberal he sees himself, he still has “inborn male privilege” that he learned about from conversations with his roommates (along with frequent kale deliveries from CSA). Reiman misses Barnard a lot, particularly Diana pizza and LeFrak. He added, that the Milstein Center “looks really cool,” and that he is “jealous [he] didn’t get to hangout there.” From Reiman’s interest in former Barnard student Joyce Johnson, and the beatniks at Columbia such as Kerouac and Ginsberg, to his favorite professors and challenging courses as a history major, he could talk for hours about Barnard. “Being a history professor at Barnard would be a dream come true.” Whether through Varsity Show plots or Buy Sell Memes, our kosher dining options or Urban Studies department, student leaders or insightful professors, our classic crewnecks or swanky buildings, self-care tips or patriarchy-smashing acuities, CC, GS, and SEAS Columbia students would live in agony without our college on a hilltop.

Photography by Aliya Schneider


he Columbia Kingsmen, an all male a capella group, announced their new members by posting a photo on Facebook of the singers happily crammed into a Barnard Hall restroom. Clearly, the Kingsmen are part of the many Columbia men who know where Columbia University’s best treasures lay: Barnard College. Austin Dean, president of the Kingsmen, confesses, “I like a lot of things [about Barnard].” He “really appreciate[s] being able to reserve Barnard space as a Columbia student group.” After explaining how it is nice to have more dining hall options, and using the word “fantastic” to describe Barnard’s dining halls, he realized that he has not yet been to one this semester. “Allowing students to register for classes at both campuses allows for

by Aliya Schneider

Rom Com Renaissance


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ave you ever casually found out your boyfriend comes from one of the richest families in the world? That’s exactly what happens in the most talked about movie of the summer, Crazy Rich Asians. Romantic comedies seem to captivate moviegoers because of their ability to lightly entertain, suspend reality, and place the audience into a world where all is right — at least at the end. The classics, from Legally Blonde to Love, Actually, are icons of pop culture. But, as much as I love to snuggle up with a good rom com, I’ll be the first to admit that many do contain problematic elements (or, at the very least, a little misogyny). Because of their popularity, rom coms have an ability to dominate the cultural conversation, and with that ability also comes responsibility. Fortunately, the summer of 2018 saw an explosion of creative and wholly unproblematic releases in the rom com category. These releases, through their ability to be self-aware and create dynamic, interesting characters who face real issues, and are developed outside of their romantic pursuits, actively worked to take down the tired tropes and stubborn stereotypes that have historically plagued the genre. The writing is nuanced and the characters are diverse. Through using the popularly accessible medium of romantic comedies, discussions of important issues surrounding issues of gender and power dynamics, as well as representation in film, can take place in a way allows a great number of people to be part of the conversation. The movie that kicked off this summer’s rom com craze was The Kissing Booth. The main character Elle refuses to deal with anyone’s testosterone-fueled fist fights, and knows how to stand up for herself in any situation. While these fight scenes (and the mini-

by Aminah Nassiff skirt scene — if you know, you know) could definitely be construed as problematic. How the film chooses handle them is what makes the difference. The writers, through the voice of Elle, call out and delegitimize any attempts at sexism or misogyny that lead to these unfortunate events. Having the voice of reason be a teenage girl is important, and gives a broad platform for a deserving voice to be heard on issues relevant to many young people. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, based on the popular novel by Jenny Han, follows the unique love story of protagonist Lara Jean and resident heartthrob Peter Kavinsky. Despite the cult popularity around the character of Peter Kavinsky and the actor who plays him, Noah Centineo, what make To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before a great movie is that it’s about so much more than Lara Jean’s relationship with him. This movie is about sisterhood and finding strength in family, especially after dealing with a devastating loss. Lara Jean is a relatable character because she’s sharp and knows what she wants, but is still a vulnerable and scared teenager: she’s allowed a multiplicity of experience that rom coms usually flatten. This film creates an important conversation because it depicts a healthy teenage romance and provides long overdue Asian American representation in Hollywood. Set It Up hasn’t quite achieve the fame of TATBILB, but the understated nature of this selection works in its favor. Women are too often villainized for being career-oriented and putting themselves first, and Set It Up works against this false narrative. Two important factors take this film from being just another New York City romance to an actual conversation piece. The first is the incredible performance done by Lucy Liu, who plays a tough, career-

focused woman that the audience learns to empathize with. The other important feature in this film is that neither of the two main women, Liu’s Kirsten or Zoey Deutch’s Harper, put their own career or personal happiness second to anyone else’s, especially in pursuit of romance. They still get a happy ending, sending the empowering message that looking out for yourself can be healthy, not selfish. Crazy Rich Asians was arguably the most talked-about film of the summer, and for good reasons. I would definitely call CRA a feminist piece — the relationship between the two female leads, Rachel Chu and Eleanor SungYoung, is tense for most of the film, but the narrative is crafted in a way that allows the moviegoer to understand the equally legitimate factors that contribute to the characters’ outlooks and actions. Ultimately, the film promotes a lesson of love and understand across cultural boundaries (even those we may initially believe we understand). Despite accomplishing these heavy tasks, the film is captivating and funny which makes it an appealing selection for viewers, who may not realize that with this fun film they also get an important cultural narrative. These four films have done well by telling stories that often don’t get enough attention or are portrayed in a negative light. Simply showing a fulfilled, powerful woman or a smart, self-aware teenage girl helps to normalize these (often victimized) characters in mainstream culture. Rom coms will never be the most profoundly enlightening genre of film, because after all they’re supposed to make you laugh and have fun. Still, this new trend of well-developed characters and storylines has the potential to elevate the genre to a much more inclusive, much more thoughtful level.

Busy Bee at Barnard As a member of the MSA, I was able to join a community of fellow Muslims where I was part of the Muslim Protagonist, a sub-committee of the MSA, which intends to educate people on the ways in which art, literature, and Islam come together to represent different themes present in the Muslim community (i.e. representation, modesty & society, etc.). The committee puts on an annual symposium highlighting that year’s theme filled with speakers, workshops, panels, and most importantly food! As a firstyear, I helped organize the symposium by attending weekly meetings and completing tasks assigned to me. This year, I am one of three co-chairs for the committee, so it is up to us to curate this year’s symposium which should be exciting! In addition to join- i n g the MSA, I also joined NPMS, a s a general member where I attended different events created by the student group to learn more information about being a pre-med student at Barnard. This year, I am on the executive board as the secretary where I assist in creating new event ideas and think about possible ways to increase the engage- ment of students while adher- ing to student needs by attending weekly m e e t - ings and occasional events. I am also a writer for the Barnard Bulletin where I write articles based off of my interests and time availability. I love writing, as it is one of my hobbies and writing for the Barnard Bulletin allows me to express this creative side of myself that I am unable to do otherwise, for fun. All in all, the clubs that I have joined THE BULLETIN -

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on campus help me to meet new people, form communities that I did not think I would be creating, and learn about the variety of activities that Barnard has to offer outside of its academics. Extracurriculars are another huge aspect of the Barnard experience and I would urge everyone to try out at least one extracurricular activity of their interest. It will help you in many ways, as it has for me, from avoiding a paper I have been dreading of doing to meeting new people and forming new bonds that you I would not have otherwise made, as well as hearing new ideas and sharing our creativities with one another.

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arnard is a wonderful institution that includes students from all over the world. Each student brings their own unique identity and background to this welcoming campus, which enrich one’s undergraduate experience at Barnard. With such identities, one can escape the ever-increasing academic intensities and find their communities through the endless varieties of extracurricular activities available on and off campus. Extracurriculars can help students find new friends, relieve stress, and be a great addition to the undergraduate experience. The Barnumbia community includes many activities such as clubs which range from ethnic clubs to hobby-enriching clubs as well as community service related opportunities along with career oriented activities, to name a few. As a first year at Barnard, navigating these limitless opportunities was difficult, to say the least. There were so many options, and I wanted to join every club that interested me. Unfortunately, many clubs to my interest required weekly time commitments as well as additional responsibilities. Furthermore, some clubs required applications to be more involved in the club which was based on selection. Through restrictions of applications and time commitments, I was able to narrow down my extracurricular involvement to two clubs: the Muslim Student Association (MSA) and Barnard’s Network of Pre-Med Students (NPMS). I was also able to contribute to the Barnard Bulletin as a writer. Currently, I am a sophomore at Barnard who intends on majoring in Biology with a concentration in Cell Biology while also pursuing the pre-med track. With such a handful of interests, it is important to me to also get the opportunity to explore extracurriculars as I have in my first year at Barnard.

by Aneeza Asif

Millie or Cheryl: The Debate

By Maya Sanchez

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n a dreary, rainy day that makes no promise of wiping away the heavy humidity, my roommate posts a picture of the brand new Cheryl and Philip Milstein Center for Teaching and Learning. Even through the rain, the library is no doubt breathtaking. The caption reads:

“Cheryl is wet.”

A day later, a friend posts another picture of the new library. In this one, the sky is a bright powder blue, the clouds wisps of white in the air. The photo is taken in the afternoon, and the building is half encased in shadows. The caption reads:

“You cannot make me call this building Cheryl.” Here incase lies the problem: with a new building on this campus, what are we going to call it? Just because on top of the doors it reads The Milstein Center doesn’t mean that we have to call it that, right? After all, the Diana Center’s full name is The Diana Vagelos Center and we all know how well that worked out. There are three sides to this argument, and like any romantic-esque story, here’s what we’re going to call them: Team Millie, Team Cheryl, and Team Milstein.

With Team Millie lies Barnard’s roots. Millie, aka Millie the Dancing Bear, is Barnard’s official mascot. She’s bold, she’s beautiful and she embodies everything that a Barnard student strives to be. Barnard’s website states that “Millie is a highly regarded member of the Barnard community and the closest thing we have to tapping for a secret honor society.” Millie is a comfort name, a name that feels like home. Hey, I’m going to Millie doesn’t sound as daunting as the hours of homework in your backpack should be. But then again, it doesn’t sound like you’re going to Barnard. Millie sounds juvenile, almost like the name of your first grade teacher who wore dinosaur print dresses every day. And for a building as large and as beautiful as the new library, Millie doesn’t quite fit. Just across from the new library, there’s the Diana Center. As the two newest (and, arguably nicest) buildings on campus, it makes sense that people associate them together. And Cheryl and Diana rolls off the tongue better than Millie and Diana. Cheryl and Diana are an old power couple whose love has only been strengthened by their years together. They go together like peanut butter and jelly, JJs and weekend nights, EC and sign-ins. Millie and Diana are two people who have shared multiple seminar classes THE BULLETIN -

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throughout the years but don’t even bother to say hello when they see each other on campus. But Cheryl and Diana? Now that’s right. But even then, is there really anything that rings as soundly as The Milstein Center? It’s the name that we as students have known for years of anticipation. And as the library is finally here, it feels disjointed to call it anything but the name that hangs over the entrance. The Milstein Center is The Milstein Center. Yet, no matter what you call it, we as Barnard students are all grateful to finally have our campus back to its original beauty.

T e i ea l l i M M m ill


C her yl

Tea Ch m ery l

m a e T tein ls i M


In Her Words: Living With Anxiety


arlier in my college experience, anxiety made eating, going to sleep, getting up, sitting through class, finding a place to study, getting a cold, facing an interaction that didn’t go as expected, and basically any decision, feel harder than it had to. Things like getting up in the morning can be difficult for everyone, but I reached a point where my anxiety was actively preventing me from living my life the way I wanted to, and should have been able to. I never really thought about myself as having anxiety until those close to me started mentioning it, during my first semester at Barnard. In high school, I had the same heart-pounding scramble anytime I had to be somewhere, and the same long-ended thoughts that made me obsess over certain sounds or situations. But part of the trick of my anxiety-driven, jam-packed schedule was that there was no time for me to figure out how I grapple with anxiety, or, ironically enough, that it’s something I experienced at all. College lifted previous structures from my life and forced me to figure out new ones. I learned that I had been gradually putting more and more heavy rocks into my metaphorical backpack, that, once at Barnard, was no longer able to stay intact. With intentions of comforting me, people at Barnard told me that everyone experiences anxiety. At the time, this caused me to minimize fo-

cusing on improving my mental health. Since other people experienced anxiety in worse ways, or had struggled more with mental health than me, or because people prescribed the same word to more minor disruptions in their lives, my experience did not feel valid. I thought people thought I was

lazy while I was using so much energy for everything. I couldn’t control my energy in class or at home. Even when I pretended to feel better, my inner dialogue had constant worry. Feeling a loss of control over myself was disempowering, and feeling like it wasn’t a valid experience was worse. My anxiety isn’t going to go away. But I’m much more content with my friends making fun of me for THE BULLETIN -

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needing to wash away the warmth on my hand from the subway pole, or breathing through my irritability at the person chewing popcorn behind me. I still overthink things, but in a way I can accept how I’m skewing them in my head. Now, I actually respect the sentiment that everyone experiences anxiety. Accepting that anxiety isn’t a giant wall surrounding me helps me see things with more perspective, instead of blaming my anxiety for everything. However, it is important to acknowledge that people experience and react to anxiety in very different ways, similar to how other parts of our shared identities shape our experiences in different ways. Addressing my anxiety wouldn’t have happened in a healthy way if I didn’t utilize my resources. Furman didn’t make everything magically better overnight, but it definitely guided me in feeling like I have more control over myself, even through all the times I told myself I didn’t need or deserve help. Furman listening hours, Nightline, Well Woman, Title IX, and Being Barnard are all great resources on campus. I am now able to better identify what makes me anxious and how I can respond in ways that don’t throw me into a cycle. It’s not that I can always control my anxiety, but I don’t let it always control me.

Illustration by Sadie Kramer

by Aliya Schneider

Love Actually:

Debunking the Virgin Myth

B Disclaimer: The Bulletin does not own any images on this page

eing an undergraduate student is difficult enough as it is —we juggle coursework, club commitments, part-time internships, and babysitting gigs, all while trying to find time to spend on our emotional and physical wellbeing. But college is also a time in which we begin experimenting with relationships and sex. Many of us have sex for the first time, learn about our own sexualities, and begin to understand our own desires and needs. College students’ sex lives have garnered much speculation. National news outlets like the New York Times examine how much sex college students are having, and how we navigate discussions surrounding consent. To truly understand the various narratives of sex on campus, I spoke with a handful of Barnard students to get a sense of the experiences of the Barnard population as a whole, and our views on the culture surrounding discussions of sex. X, a 21-year-old Barnard student, did not consider herself sexually active; however, she has previously had sex; Y, also a 21-year-old Barnard student, identified as a virgin, as she had not yet had penetrative intercourse; and Z, a 20-year-old Barnard student, considered herself sexually active, and she is currently in a long-term relationship. We discussed the social pressure that surrounds sex, and how that manifested for these students. Speaking from her experience, X described how she felt hearing her peers boast about their sex lives before she became sexually active: “In high school, I felt so awkward that I wasn’t having sex because everyone else was. Why does it matter? Does it define

by Leyla Saah

you as a person that you are or are not having sex? There are also so many pressures on women, who are labeled ‘slut’ or ‘hoe’ if they’re having more sex than others.” Y expanded on this social pressure, also bringing up the fact that both sexually experienced folk and those who are inexperienced face certain stigmas. She explains: “There’s a line of being acceptably sexually active, I think. If you’re a senior in college and you’ve had sex with about three people, I feel like people wouldn’t be like, ‘Oh, that’s crazy, oh you’re a slut,’ but if you’ve had, say, ten partners, or haven’t had sex at all before, people would think you were weird.” These stigmas aren’t merely passive ideas either: they can cause some to feel as though their virginity, or lack of sexual experience, is a quality that they must rid of. Y adds, “People make [virginity] seem like it’s something you have to get rid of before you’re a ‘real adult.’” Z agreed; however, she believed that the stigma surrounding virginity had more of an insidious effect: “I don’t think one is blatantly going out and thinking, ‘Tonight I’m going to lose my virginity because I want to get rid of it,’ but it can definitely play a role on a subconscious level.” The notion that one’s lack of sexual experience is something to be ashamed of came up repeatedly, with Y bringing up the fact that some individuals would rather lie about their lack of sexual history than engage in those conversations. “So many girls lie, and then they just have awful experiences because THE BULLETIN -

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the person’s not being gentle or patient enough.” Did these women believe that this lack of communication regarding sexual experience was harmful? Ultimately yes, Y said, as it could lead to potentially dangerous situations in which one can feel pressured to engage in something that they’re not ready for. We also discussed how notions of virginity are not just harmful for heterosexual relationships but also queer ones. As someone who identifies as queer, I can testify to having peers question my sexual experiences based on the fact that my partners did not identify as male. “Was it really sex?” and “But you’re technically a virgin, right?” are among the various questions I’ve been asked by friends while at Barnard, and I know many other queer students can relate. Because virginity is based firmly on penetrative intercourse between typically male and typically female genitalia, queer relationships are ultimately excluded from the discourse and thereby “othered” in society’s conversations surrounding sex. Ultimately, while this exclusion is harmful to queer communities, notions of virginity in general are harmful to all of us, and we as a campus need to be able to have mature conversations regarding sex that exist beyond the extremely limited definition of ‘virgin.’ Instead of framing our discourses of sex around virginity, we should abandon the notion entirely and focus our energy towards getting educated about healthy and safe sex practices, and stop judging one another because of our sexual experience or lack thereof.

Freshman / Senior Retrospective by Julia Pickel & Emily Blake


he first day of school is perhaps one of the most significant days for a student. Whether it’s getting a new set of pencils, choosing a back-to-school outfit, showing up to class and finding friends, or realizing a class is nothing like you imagined, there’s always something unexpected on day one. When Barnard students walked across campus on the first day of school this year, almost everyone, whether they had been here two weeks or two years, stopped to explore the just-completed Milstein Center. For Emily, a first-year, walking across campus for the first day of classes was a completely new experience. Growing up in Phoenix, Arizona and visiting New York every summer, she dreamed of


living in the city. She already knew how to navigate the subway system, but how would she navigate life at Barnard? For Julia, a senior, this year was her last walking across campus for the first day of school. But it was the first time since her first year that there was a lawn and open space, making the campus once again feel like an oasis hidden in the chaos of Manhattan. Emily is studying Political Science, and Julia is studying Cell and Molecular Biology. Even though they are separated by academic interests and years of college experience, they sat down to speak to one another and ended up discovering that many aspects of being a Barnard student simply transcend time.

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- may 2016 2214- October 2018


On Transitions

Julia: What were some of the biggest changes coming to Barnard? Emily: I was happy to be able to study what I want. I’m very intellectually curious,

which I feel like most Barnard students are, but I went to a high school where I had to take four years of every subject with no electives. Now, even though we have Foundations requirements, I feel like everything I am taking is contributing to my development in some way.

J: Some of the changes this year have been really big ones, like the campus. When I got here, there was the old lawn and the old library, and it had this familiar Barnard feel to it. There were actually some really great things that resulted from the planned construction. They let us paint the inside of the old library, and it was amazing to see all these student paintings on the wall when I studied there that fall. Thinking back to my first year, I loved the change of being able to choose my courses. I was also really excited to transition from the rigid structure of high school. It was a great feeling to be taking classes I was very passionate about and dive into science. Now, even though I’ve taken mostly science courses, I feel that as I get closer to graduating I am realizing how important it is to be proficient in skills outside of your major. This year, taking courses for the Nine Ways of Knowing, which was the previous set of general education requirements, it has been challenging because I am not used to non-textbook reading and essay writing, but it has also been very rewarding because I know I am building valuable skills.


On Campus Culture E: I noticed it’s expected to be engaged in current events and be

knowledgeable enough about politics to talk openly about them, which is honestly a positive change from where I grew up. I took it upon myself to get involved with the Planned Parenthood Youth Board and worked on political campaigns in high school, so I’m happy I can continue those types of conversations. I have lived most of my life in an area that was very politically apathetic. In a way it motivated me to get involved with endeavors such as political campaigns, but I definitely prefer the university environment where community engagement is common. I feel like I almost have too many options for community service and clubs here, whereas in high school I felt like I had to constantly search for a space where I could find like-minded individuals and make a difference.


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J: I think those kinds of conversations are a major aspect of campus culture, especially after the 2016 election, which happened when I was a sophomore at Barnard. It is encouraging to see that students want to have these important conversations in their social interactions and not just in the classroom.


E: I’m happy you say that, because that was one of the reasons I chose Barnard. I suspected everyone wanted to be engaged and involved to make a difference, not just for the sake of it. Even just three weeks into Barnard, I am already so grateful that everyone always wants to go do something and engage with the community even though they are still academically focused.

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On How to Make the Most of Your Experience at Barnard J: I think I had this expectation that I was going to be able to do absolutely everything! And while I definitely have tried to get involved in a broad range of things on campus, I realized that it was best to engage with smaller number of activities in a very meaningful way. Everyone has to make choices as well. For me, I decided not to study abroad, which was a difficult decision, but I am very content with it. Being here for the full academic year last year also provided me with tons of opportunities I would not have had otherwise. I think taking the pressure off myself to do everything and rather just focusing in on the activities that are most meaningful to me has been really gratifying. This year, my goal is to stay present at Barnard and enjoy the college experience.

E: Even in these three short weeks, I’ve really noticed how important it is for me to prioritize how I spend

my time. For example, I have always wanted to understand the fashion and publication industries more; so, now that I have the opportunity to get involved with publications like Hoot and the Bulletin, I feel like I need to prioritize those opportunities because I think they are going to contribute more to my development as an individual and expanding my mind. I’m trying not to limit myself so early on, so I definitely am staying updated with local community and artistic organizations, but I also am going to make sure I set some time aside for self-care. Sometimes it feels like a full-time job. I have a lot of personal hobbies such as visual art and writing, so I sometimes find it difficult to turn the “work” side of my brain off, because I feel like there’s always something I could be doing or creating. No matter your interests, self care is something everyone needs to keep in mind! Especially at a competitive, passionate environment like Barnard. Luckily, we live in a city where it’s so easy to go escape to a museum or a park. I’m really grateful for the times where I can just walk into the Met and use it as my study space. I feel like I’m being productive but also not sacrificing my sanity!

Our Takeaways Whether it be a mutual love for the new grassy green lawn or a passion for social justice work, the conversation between Emily and Julia illustrates how the community of bold Barnard women truly is connected beyond major or age. As a Political Science-studying freshman, Emily plans on getting involved with reproductive justice through the on-campus PlannedParenthoodGen club. As a senior, Julia has been involved with reproductive justice through her Athena research project on addressing barriers to contraception and sexual health resources. Julia and Emily’s conversation shows us that there is often more that bonds Barnard women together than there are traits that divide us. On top of everything else, the conversation revealed an equally passionate love for The New York Times, and a shared enthusiasm for avidly following the news. But, this being Barnard, that was perhaps the least surprising revelation.


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Social Action Student Spotlight: Vanessa Alvare by Alicia Benis

ne of the first things that comes to mind when one thinks of a Barnard student is someone who is hardworking and relentlessly committed to the cause of social justice and human rights. The Barnard community is comprised of so many students active in a variety of causes. One of these students is Vanessa Alvarez, a First-Year here at Barnard. Vanessa became a member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) an organization based at the Justice Center in El Barrio, East Harlem. She describes it as a “wholesome group of people” who are leftists, and who are committed to action in the sphere or anti-capitalism, anti-imperialism, antiracism, anti-gentrification, women’s liberation, and dismantling systems of oppression. The organization holds meetings every Friday, with some of the issues discussed including the rise of rents in places such as Harlem and Chinatown and the refusal of officials to evacuate prisoners in the wake of Hurricane Florence. This summer, PSL organized a counter-protest to Unite the Right’s rally in Washington D.C. on the anniversary of the Charlottesville attacks and the murder of Heather Heyer. The group worked with the A.N.S.W.E.R Coalition, a coalition of other leftist groups such as Antifa and Black Lives Matter, to host this event. PSL set the stage, and


gathered numerous speakers for a rally, speaking on issues of police brutality, anti-racism, and neo-Nazis. Vanessa smiles as she remembers that over 15,000 people, many of whom were not affiliated with any leftist group, expressed excitement and connection with the cause. She says, “This type of discourse is becoming more and more relevant,” and believes that it is important for everyone to understand that these systems of oppression need to not only be talked about, but be combated as well. Vanessa was one of 30 PSL members at the rally, and her role at the protest was to de-escalate police agitators. PSL was a key player in de-escalating any tensions and keeping the nature of the protest peaceful. Outside of the protest, Vanessa attends PSL’s meetings, and remains active in their projects. One of the most important things that Vanessa has learned from working with PSL is that, the praxis of the organization is key. “We actually do what we discuss. It’s really cool to talk about theory in social justice, but it’s a very different thing to go out and actually work on these issues, and show people that they can feel empowered to do good i n the world.” Vanessa Alvarez, BC ‘22

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Illustration by Galiba Gofur


Who’s Who for Nov 6? by Emily Blake

The Trail-Blazing Candidates Catching our Eyes

Catalina Cruz

Cruz in an experienced attorney and community leader who has fought for tenant protections, immigration reform, and workers’ rights. She is also the first DREAMer to ever be elected to the New York State Assembly. This means when she immigrated to the US from Colombia as a young child, she was granted Delayed Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA citizenship) until she was able You have probably heard of this revolutionto become a naturalized American citizen in ary, pro-education candidate who defeated 10-term incumbent Joe Crowley to repre2009. sent New York’s 14th Congressional district (including parts of the Bronx and Queens). She is a progressive member of the Democratic Socialists of America who ran with a donation-based fund of $194,000 whereas She is the 27 year-old Democratic Soincumbent Crowley ran with a campaign cialist who defeated 8-term incumbent budget of over $3.4 million. Ocasio-Cortez Martin Delan with 59% of the vote as a is a first time candidate who believes in first time candidate. She is the NY State “people above party.” She was endorsed by Senate candidate looking to represent former progressive gubernatorial candidate the 18th District. Cynthia Nixon.

Alexandria OcasioCortez

Julia Salazar

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You may have noticed that this article highlights mostly progressive candidates with some socialist policies.The reason these candidates are highlighted is because they all have developed youth-centered, pro-student platforms.

A Re-Cap of the Primary & the Importance of Voting in the Midterms


specially within University communities, students who identify as far-left liberal are discouraged by entrenched Democrats such as current Governor Cuomo gaining the Democratic Party nomination over more grassroots candidates like Cynthia Nixon who did not have as many economic and political resources. However justified this frustration may be, it does not justify the decision to abstain from voting all together. It is still catastrophically important to vote. Remember 2016?

How to Make Sure You Can Vote November 6th (because in New York, it’s not always that easy) Register to vote as early as possible! There are a few ways you can do this, so be sure to research (based on your district) where you can go to register! Sometimes you might even be able to do it online! Pro-tip: If you plan on voting with a major party most of the time (Democratic or Republican), register as this party! NewYork has a closed primary system, which means you can only vote in the primary for the party in which you are registered. For example, Cynthia Nixon’s wife could not vote for Cynthia in the NY Democratic Primary because she was registered in theWorking Families Party, not the Democratic Party. THE BULLETIN -

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How to Get Involved if You Can’t Vote in New York Donate

Look up the website for the candidate of your choice online, and nine times out of ten, they will have a “donate” button. Coming from someone who has worked on grassroots campaigns, even $5 makes a difference!

Sign up for candidate mailing list updates

Do your part on social If you’re not sure how you’d like to show up for a candidate yet, usually they have an email bank you can sign media (really, it’s easy!) up for on their website! Some people don’t vote because they simply Phonebank!

don’t know about a candidate or an election! If they see a friend posting a candidate’s bio, posting links to find a poll, or anything election-related, it might just light a fire under them!

Campus organizations such as Columbia Democrats or Women in Law and Politics (bipartisan) will be hosting events where you can make phone calls on behalf of candidates! Some candidates even allow you to make phone calls from Finally, find campus clubs or community organithe comfort of your own zations that are organizing door-to-door canvassing bed/couch/library or locations to pass out candidate literature and flyers! using an online database!



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Not Every Compass Points North by Olivia Land

M Illustration by Sadie Kramer

y story with religion starts the day I was born. My parents are both Christian-- my mom is Roman Catholic, and my dad is Episcopalism--and I grew up in a household that frequently mentioned God, Jesus, and the Bible. My dad and I read Bible stories every Sunday night, and I memorized the Lord’s Prayer at a bizarrely young age. While this might sound strange to those reading, for me it did and still does feel not only normal, but special. Of all the gifts my parents have given me over the years, a solid spiritual foundation is one of the greatest. As one of the few churchgoers among my friends, I frequently got questions about whether my church was as virulently conservative as those on the television news. I was always filled with a sense of puffed-up pride when I explained that no, actually, the Episcopal church to which I belonged had a national reputation for being liberal and inclusive. In 1976, for example, a convention of Episcopal leaders ruled that LGBTQ+ individuals “have a full and equal claim with all other persons upon the love, acceptance, and pastoral concern and care of the Church”-- a landmark statement when many denominations shunned homosexuality as sin. The Episcopal church also recognizes women as priests; growing up, it was commonplace for me

to seeing women leading services and spearheading new initiatives. Perhaps most importantly, my youth group leaders encouraged us to engage in thoughtful, critical discussions about the Bible and our religion, and frequently brought social issues like Black Lives Matter into the curriculum. Growing up with conservative parents, my church life was my first exposure to some of these issues, and thus created a seemingly inextricable link between my religious faith and my political values of radical acceptance. As much as I loved and appreciated my faith for providing me with a foundation for valuing charity and inclusivity, my church was far from a perfect place. Religious leadership is not immune to corruption, so perhaps it should not have been shocking when I saw my empathetic, justice-driven community crumble in favor of social connections and diocese politics. Things came to head in the winter of my junior year, when a beloved youth group director was fired without reason or explanation. The nature of his termination--and the subsequent freezing out of those who supported him--was the last straw for me. After Christmas that year, I did not go back to church. After spending years dedicating part of my weekends and sometimes weekdays to youth groups, church events, and services, quitting left a big THE BULLETIN -

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gap in my life. Not only did I now have more free hours on Sundays, but after so many years of being proud of my faith and what it represented, I suddenly felt conflicted. If those in charge would throw away our values of goodness and faith for social gain, I wondered, than was everything else just a sham? All the discussions we had, all the work I thought we were doing, did it mean anything at all? And what about me-- were my own beliefs genuine or simply the result of a desire to be part of the crowd? It took a long time for me to sort through all of these questions, and even today I still feel conflicted about some things. What I have realized, however, is that religion is not about moral perfection, but rather about recognizing what is flawed. Although I still hold a number of the same political ideas as I did before leaving my church at home, I have a new sense of ownership over my opinions. Today, I am more likely to speak up or remove myself from a situation that does not align with my beliefs about how we should treat others and ourselves, from issues in the ballot box to basic, everyday respect and kindness. In this way, I realized that my religious and moral beliefs and my political values always went handin-hand; it was just a matter of reclaiming them as mine that made a difference.


Illustration by Hibah Rafi

by Emma Chen

For some, it was the viral video of a marine biologist removing a straw from a sea turtle’s nostril. For millennials, it was for an aesthetic Instagram feed supporting the #StopSucking campaign. For NYC councilman Rafael Espinal, it was a whale washed ashore last April with over 60 pounds of trash inside of it. Whatever the reason, concern regarding the negative impact plastic straws have on the planet has soared over the past year. On July 9, 2018, Starbucks announced that they would eliminate single-use plastic straws from over 28,000 of its stores, and from all stores globally by 2020. In place of plastic straws, a new strawless lid will be implemented in 2019, along with alternative-material straw options. Starbucks’ announcement to eliminate plastic straws may seem like a bold move, but a national movement to mitigate the environmental repercussions of plastic straw use has been building up for several years. The movement gained momentum in 2015 when a video of a plastic straw lodged in a sea turtle’s nose received 30.7 million views on YouTube. Plastic straws largely contribute to ocean pollution because most of them are never recycled. Since plastic straws are made of thin material, they break down into smaller plastic particles quickly, which are then ingested by birds, whales, and other species of marine life. Not only does plastic pose a danger to the marine life, but it also threatens the health of the humans, since plastic

has been found in large quantities inside fish sold at supermarkets. Will Starbucks’ decision to ban plastic straws by transitioning to the newly designed lids actually help the environment? The new lids are made of plastic too, but they are recyclable, unlike the plastic straw. While compostable straws are biodegradable, they are only beneficial to the extent that they end up in an appropriate composting facility, to which many cities lack access. On May 23, 2018, NYC councilman Rafael Espinal introduced a new bill proposing a ban on plastic straws in restaurants, bars and cafes across the city. From Espinal’s perspective, if horrendous air pollution problems in the US resulted in legislation to govern air quality standards in the 1970s, then plastic pollution should also necessitate government action to initiate a large-scale change in the behavior of corporations and consumers. Every argument has another side. Saving the earth is important, but disability rights should THE BULLETIN -

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not be overlooked in the process. While straws are a luxury for most people, for some, they are a necessity. Many people with disabilities rely on plastic straws, which provide them with safety and independence. Despite alternative straws options, the majority of them are unsuitable for those with disabilities, being either too hard for those with difficulty controlling their bite or too soft that they become a choking hazard. Hence, when businesses are banned from providing plastic straws, they are limiting the experiences of customers with disabilities. There are always less

drastic solutions for reducing plastic waste. Restaurants can adopt a straw-on-request policy to save money on the more expensive paper and biodegradable straws while sending a strong message to customers about the environmental impacts of a plastic straw. One plastic straw may not seem like a big deal, but the horror of half a billion plastic straws disposed (EcoCycle) every day after only a few minutes of use is inevitably damaging our environment. Bans prompt industries and consumers to rethink their consumption, however, an outright ban on plastic straws is not the only way to fight pollution. No single solution makes everyone happy, but different tactics can be implemented to account for the needs of as many different groups of people as possible.

t has become common for talk show hosts, singers, basketball players, comedians, and entertainers of all genres to make public statements on current political events. Celebrities are entering the realm of politics, and politicians have frequently employed popular media to deliver political messages. This situation, called “celebrity politics”, can be traced all the way back to 1967 when movie star Ronald Reagan was elected Governor of California. However, it was the election of former television personality Donald Trump and the subsequent wave of celebrity political statements against his policies, that has brought this issue under spotlight. Celebrities rise to stardom because of their talents in entertainment, not because of political expertise. Are celebrities qualified to talk about politics in public media? Supporters claim that celebrities provide good representation of ordinary people, while others doubt whether celebrities deserve to have so much voice over issues to which their expertise is irrelevant. Since celebrities’ popularity legitimizes their roles as representatives of popular opinions, some claim they can provide good representation of the public when politicians’ narratives are problematic or insufficient. Jimmy Kimmel, for example, acted as a representative for his

by Heidi Hai

fans when he berated Senator Cassidy’s healthcare plan on his own show in September 2017. He delivered a passionate and straightforward speech on how the new plan will endanger the well being of sick kids whose parents have only moderate income, like the majority of his fans, successfully raising awareness for the issue. However, Kimmel’s success is by no means reflective of the efficiency of the system. Having a son with heart disease, Kimmel is particularly knowledgeable as to how the healthcare plan could cover surgeries for sick kicks. For general issues, however, celebrities are unlikely to be informed enough to be qualified to talk about them. They may have average knowledge, but they have giant microphones. The aggrandization of celebrities’ voices may not be fully justified by their fandom. Critics rightly point out that celebrities often lack the expertise required to make sensible comments. In extreme cases, so-called political representation can be turned into a farce of meaningless personal attack, as when comedian Samantha Bee called Ivanka Trump a “feckless cunt” in her show addressing Trump’s family separation policy. Such explosive words certainly catch attention, but they diminish political debates to a gladiator fight for applause. By elevating celebrities’ cryptic and inappropriate unprofessional political opinions, we risk people growing impatient with subtle and necessarily long arguments, since short, loud, catchy phrases are widely available. Their often limited knowledge of political issues are worsened by a systematic constraint of celebrity politics. To appeal to their audiences, celebrities have to make their THE BULLETIN -

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arguments in a populist style, and populists often leave us with grandiose statements whose meanings are so vague upon scrutiny that we can only imagine what these statements exactly entail. Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again”, for example, is indeed simple and memorable, making it dangerously attractive to the general mass. The most heated battlefield of Trump versus celebrities is Twitter, a social medium marked by quick exchange of short comments. Celebrities, limited by the nature of their relation with the audience, engage most effectively with politics when making loud and simple arguments, a situation that doesn’t help enhance public understanding of what’s at stake. Despite sporadic exceptions, celebrities are unqualified to act like elected officials when it comes to political issues. Even though fandom may justify their representational status, relevant expertise and distance from populist narratives are insufficient compared to qualified political representation.

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M by Noelle Penas

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any of us probably buy our clothes from these wellknown stores; Zara, Topshop, Forever 21, H&M, and Mango, among others. Relatively affordable as well as fashionable, even if you don’t shop there, everyone is familiar with the brands and the popular appeal of their clothes. However, the affordability of such clothes comes at a cost, one you may or not already be familiar with: these fashionable clothes only come at low prices at the expense of the environment and the workers who make them. Fast fashion, a business model that sells a constant stream of new designs fresh off the runway, is only able to do so by outsourcing the production of clothes to developing countries around the world. This model is successful at generating large profits, but garment workers are the ones paying the price for the cheap clothing. The global consequences of such consumer demand can be visualized in the documentary The True Cost, where filmmaker Andrew Morgan tracks the staggering waste that is produced. In this film, he investigates the damage and severe exploitation caused by big clothing retailers driving down the cost for cheap labor. These brands pressure supplier factories to produce faster, and for the lowest cost, resulting in poor working conditions for the garment workers who are paid barely survivable wages. Not only that, but fast fashion is unsustainable and damages the environment. The dilemma of buying affordable and stylish clothes while being conscious of who made them and under intolerable conditions can be a struggle for college students. However, the more ‘moral’ alternative would be to invest in a few high quality fair trade pieces which are often much more expensive and out of the budget range for many people. Consumers are thus placed into a dilemma.


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However, these two options might be a misleading way of posing the problem of how and where to buy our own clothes. Given that fast fashion is embedded in our economic structure, what consequences can our fashion choices actually have? So much is at stake regarding the environmental drain and human rights abuses fast fashion leads to, but personal choices can only do so much. Acts of mindful living are no substitute for actually effective and helpful solutions. We need to reduce the individual harm we create, but these acts are still insufficient when it comes to any substantial change. Even with our combined efforts, individual consumption would still have negligible impact given at how waste in the industry is produced in multiple arenas. Simple living has many benefits, but in the larger picture, individual lifestyles— whether morally correct or not—do not help anyone. Given this, maybe it’s time to start shifting the conversations from regarding ourselves as just consumers to redefining ourselves as global citizens. If we really want to consider the moral implications of participating in fast fashion, we need to let go of the idea of ethical consumption under an economic system driven by profit. Instead, it might be worth considering the often forgotten, if more difficult, option of directly acting to help solve the crisis. This could be in voting, running for office, and protesting, among other forms of being politically engaged. The dilemma of shopping under fast fashion brands is not just about personal morals. Upholding what you believe in is important, as well as questioning and thinking twice about the economic, human, and environmental cost of our clothes. However, in the case of fast fashion, what we buy or not should not be the end of our questioning. Perhaps a better question would be, what are we actually doing to challenge this industry?

Sun Isn’t Shining on Barn by Hadassah Solomson


new Milstein Center signifies the beginning of boundless opportunities for students in STEM. The new building houses various centers dedicated to increasing Barnard’s STEM presence on campus including the Digital Humanities Center, Empirical Reasoning Center, the Movement Lab, and the Vagelos Computational Science Center (CSC), to name a few. Perhaps the most exciting development includes the establishment of Barnard’s own fledgling computer science department with the recent hire of Professor Rebecca Wright to chair the department and spearhead the CSC. President Beilock announced her hire, saying, “To-

gether with Columbia’s existing strength in computer science, we have a singular opportunity to marry computational methods with the fields of social science, natural sciences, arts, and the humanities to create new pathways for innovative learning and research.” This long-awaited milestone signifies a huge step for STEM on campus.

Navigating the job market after graduation can be frightening. Beyond THE BULLETIN -

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Barnard is doing its part to support STEM students upon completing their undergraduate studies, whether in pursuit of a career or further education. After a successful summer of assuming administrative oversight over Barnard’s Summer Research Initiate, Barnard’s 10-week program that facilitates scientific research, boasting 160 students (the largest cohort ever), Beyond Barnard is excited to announce the launch of the Beyond Barnard STEM network in the hopes of creating a collaborative community of current STEM students and alumni. “The goal is to send the message that one person’s success does not come at the expense of another’s,” said Aronstein, hoping to foster an environment of mutual support rather than competition. In addition, D e a n Youngb l o o d Giles, Associ ate Dean for PreProfessional Advising, eagerly discussed the many upcoming events and programs available for stu- dents searching for STEM op- portunities, including, for example, the Women in Sci- ence and Engineering Conference (WiSE) Friday, September 21st. Additionally, the forthcoming Graduate and Professional School weeks are to include programs directed specifically for STEM students such as “The Pathway to a PHD” and “How to Find a Research Mentor.”

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s a women’s college, an institution of advanced education and part of one of the post prestigious research universities in the world, Barnard has a unique opportunity to prepare the next generation of women entering the workforce. Despite constituting 50% of college educated workers, women comprise only 25% of STEM workers. Currently, 1/3 of Barnard students are graduating as STEM majors, reflecting the national average. While Barnard is well known for the arts and humanities programs it offers, the quality of Barnard’s STEM undergraduate programming, however, is frequently underrated, leaving some STEM students feeling like their education is more of an afterthought. Common claims that the Foundations syst e m or programs like the Athena Scholars program f a v o r humanities students are not entirely unfounded. In response to student con- cerns about the lack of resourc- es for STEM students in vari- ous areas of the undergraduate experience, the Barnard admin- i s t r a t i o n has begun to bolster its STEM programming and purse t h e accommodations STEM students need to succeed. In fact, as Associate Dean at Beyond Barnard, A-J Aronstein characterized it, “This is probably one of the most exciting times to be a STEM student at Barnard.” The opening of Barnard’s

nard’s STEM In response to claims that “Because of student feedback, we search we do here.”

opportunities for STEM students are not sufficiently present at opportunity fairs or on Handshake, the Beyond Barnard team emphasized the universal applicability of STEM skills to any career. “Students need to understand that the high-demand skills students learn in a STEM classroom can be translated to a career in any field.” said Aronstein. For example, both the MTA and IRC, both represented at Barnard’s opportunities fair, do a lot of environmental science work.

YoungbloodGuiles added that Columbia and Harvard business schools are actively recruiting Barnard STEM students for their “unique constructive analysis abilities.” Students are highly encouraged to schedule meetings with Beyond Barnard staff. The resources are there, students just need to take advantage of them. The Athena Center is also working to address concerns that STEM students have difficulty in completing the program due to lack of approved courses. Sarit Abramowicz, Administrative Director of Student Programs said,

have been and continue to explore ways to make the Athena Scholars Program more inclusive for STEM majors.” adding two chemistry courses and encouraging STEM students to petition for additional courses to be included in the program, “provided they meet the approval qualifications.” Lab research now fulfills the internship requirement, and the center funds conference attendance as well. Within the department themselves, Chairs are quick to highlight the resources available for struggling students. Chemistry Department Chair Professor Rachel Austin explains, “The department offers 21 student hours per week, student run help rooms (3.5 hours per week), free group tutoring for appropriate students, and a 4 sections of a special class called chemical problem solving that is a 1 credit P/F class taken concurrently for students in general chemistry to help them with problem solving skills. Students are often able to begin doing research as soon as the summer after their first year and work directly with tenure-line faculty members in their labs, all 8 of whom are PIs on federal grants, which is a testament to the high quality of reTHE BULLETIN -

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Physics Dept. Chair Laura Kay touted two local alumni, one of whom is currently in an Engineering MS program after graduating from Barnard with a Physics major in 2017 and another graduate from the Class of 2015 who is now a project manager at Columbia’s Making and Knowing Project, “a research and pedagogical initiative in the Center for Science and Society at Columbia University that explores the “intersections between artistic making and scientific knowing.” Barnard Physics majors are well prepared and successful upon graduation. With 1/3 of Barnard students graduating as STEM students (economics was recently reclassified to be included in the STEM category), this is, indeed, an exciting time for STEM on campus. The opening of the Milstein Center and Barnard’s Computer Science department lay the foundation for even more growth in the upcoming years. However, there is still room for improvement. Too many suffer from imposter syndrome and are affected by the gender ratio of students in their STEM courses. Barnard must continue to solicit student feedback and look for additional ways to support students in STEM.


uddling onto the ferry that crosses the small bit of the East River between the tip of Manhattan and Governors Island, I kept contemplating about how I wish I had brought a heavier jacket, or at least an umbrella, given the rain. Allisen, Editor-in-Chief, and I were headed to Octfest, an annual, completely outdoor beer, food, and music festival that took place the second weekend of September. Hosted by the music publication Pitchfork and the beer-culture website October, the two-day festival featured ten artists per day and over ninety breweries. I looked over the line-up on my phone, thinking about the artists I was most excited to see and the bands that I was looking forward to checking out, and making a mental note of all the beers I was about to sample (let the record show that I am 21). After our voyage, we exited the boat with the rest of the well-dressed crowd onto the tiny island. As we walked through the slightly ominous Nolan Park, lined with identical yellow houses which seemed almost abandoned on that cloudy day, the jangly guitars of Hatchie and her band were vibrating in the distance. We

followed the reverb through the park and around the Chapel with the DIY children’s junkyard playground in the front (where parents have to sign a waiver before their children can enter). Finally, we found the entrance, and flash-passed our way through the press line and into the wide-open field filled with tents and two stages, each set-up on opposite sides of the festival. We were given our wristbands as well as a small, plastic cup which said “october,” which we would hold onto and hand to beer vendors for samples (A+ to the festival for their efforts in minimizing waste). At first, we were unsure where to begin, so we migrated towards the stage closest to the entrance, where Hatchie was finishing. With smooth indie vocals, she closed her set with her hypnotic, Cocteau-twins inspired track “Sure,” as guitarist Joe Agius played the dreamy song out on his acoustic guitar. Following their performance, we decided to get some food and try out the beers. The booths were set up in clusters all divided based on geographical region: Western United States, Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Oceania, Eastern United States THE BULLETIN -

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and Canada, and Europe. Along with food tents within the different geographic regions which paired with the beers, there was also a “Food Village” filled with tasty options (at typically high festival prices). We grabbed some hot dogs from Hank’s and chicken sandwiches from Sweet Chick, and then went on the hunt for our first beer sample. The tickets included fifteen three oz. beer samples per person, which in my opinion is a pretty ungodly amount of beer to consume within a few hours, but I still wanted to take as much advantage of the samples available. I went first with the Neon IPA by M.I.A., a brewery from Florida, and was in love with its crispness and hoppiness. With food and drinks in hand, we sat on the slightly damp grass in front of the main stage where Standing on the Corner was playing. The experimental group has been described as “post-genre,” and while their music was a little too distorted and dissonant for my taste, it provided a cool background for our impromptu picnic. The rest of the day went by in similar fashion, alternating between musical performances, beer samples from around the world, and the search for dry

chillier, with a surprise drop in temperature and heavy rain, but luckily this time I came prepared with a sweater). Highlights for Day 2 included Girlpool’s whirling melodies, Hop Along’s powerful and emphatic vocals, and Nile Rodgers & CHIC making us all feel lucky with throwback, dance-able disco tracks and the incredible news that Nile was now officially cancer-free. During our dinner break, we decided to check out Yo La Tengo, whom we were both pretty unfamiliar with, and stayed for all twenty minutes -- not exaggerating -- of their last song, which apparently is a signature move (the song has a four-chord refrain which they play over and over again while the guitarist makes his instrument sound more and more distorted). Afterwards, EVERYONE ran to the main stage where The Flaming Lips was getting started. Not a surprise to anyone,

Photography by Julia Tache

places to sit and charge our phones. Highlights included Vagabon’s emotiondriven performance of her 2017 Infinite Worlds album, Preoccupations’ hardrock guitars ripping through the fog, Saba’s ability to ignite the crowd with energy as everyone sang along to “LIFE,” and NAO’s exquisite stage presence and choreography as she spun around stage, hitting every high note of her songs perfectly as the sun went down around us. The day ended with Roberta’s pizza, and spotting Saba on the line right behind us, and an outstanding performance by Vince Staples, who coordinated his house-inspired beats and lyrics filled with social commentary with a clever and eye-catching display of screens behind him. The next day, I returned to the festival with my girlfriend. The second day definitely felt on the chiller side (and


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their set was brightly-colored, light and laser show, confetti-filled, giant plastic balls thrown out in the audience madness. The lead singer, Wayne Coyne, towered over the audience as he held a giant set of balloons which read “FUCK YEAH OCTFEST” and sang about Yoshimi battling the pink robots of outer space. There’s a reason why thousands of guests from Brooklyn, Manhattan, Jersey, etc. would migrate to the island for the day (or two) despite the freezing cold and rain: the festival was awesome. The event was a blast for any music and/ or beer-lover, my favorite beer being Taihu’s Imperial Stout, a rich, coffee and chocolate-like brew. Rain or shine, I will definitely be there next year for more music and (technically) free beer.

Photography by Julia Tache THE BULLETIN -

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Emmys 2018 by Michelle Chow

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This is . . . not normal. The world’s gone a bit crazy,” joked charming Tasmanian comedian Hannah Gadsby at this year’s Emmys. Her refreshingly off-key delivery merged gentle ribbing and neurotic social awareness. Though the Nanette star was presenting a Drama award, her short speech (that quickly made her social media’s darling du jour) was mostly about jokes— what they are and who gets them. The world, the entertainment world in particular, has been going “a bit crazy.” Gadsby riffs on how someone like her ended up here. To viewers, her digression invites speculation into our own participation. How’d we end up here? What is the purpose of awards ceremonies, especially one televised globally—as much performance as the works it honors? Nowadays, everything about these high-profile programs, which always had a political cast, aches with the self-awareness of it. Everything is statement, a Big Deal. Who’s nominated? Who wins? What do the hosts say? The speeches? Who’s in, who’s on the way out? Who’s playing nice, who’s out for blood? Who’s wearing whom? With a reality star president, the American politic, which tried so long to elevate its perception above ‘superficial’ media—even as it shamelessly played for that team—can’t deny its role in entertainment. The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards followed its predecessors’ footsteps—those that didn’t start movements calling attention to rampant sexual harassment, rape culture, and racial disparity, but at least gave them a stage, a microphone, a hashtag. It left resulting questions: just how effective is this posturing? Is it posturing? And are they ever going to put their

money where their mouths are? Diversity was the buzzword of the night, but comedy was the real star. The hard-hitting, grand speeches delivering point-blank social critique, recently frequenting major awards ceremonies, were absent; criticism was comic. It shimmied with little jabs about white winners and unfunny men. Few landed as well as Gadsby’s did, though co-host Michael Che’s sketch, “Reparation Emmys,” which recognized actors of landmark Black shows ex post facto, treaded interesting waters. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, starring Rachel Brosnahan, written/directed by Amy ShermanPalladino, took home seven awards. Those familiar with the creator’s previous work might identify Brosnahan’s character as Lorelai Gilmore 2.0: dark-haired, blue-eyed, fast-talking, upper-middle-class, persistent and funny as hell, half quirk, half smirk. Only this time, hold the teenaged daughter and small-town New England coziness, please, for Midge Maisel, an enterprising Jewish comedienne in an NYC where career and woman weren’t words that got along well (do they here and now?). The series, some shot on our own campus, is feminist, fun, funny—but its victories came with criticism. Donald Glover’s Atlanta, nominated for 5 categories, and actors such as Issa Rae and Sandra Oh (according to Variety, the first Asian actress nominated for Lead in a Drama series), felt like snubs-in-poor-taste considering how liberally everyone threw around “diversity”. If only, the watcher thinks, one show could do it all. One series, one awards ceremony, one year of awards ceremonies, seventy years. If only one could be always funny, fresh, smart, nuanced, THE BULLETIN -

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socially conscious, wellwritten and well-acted, and aesthetic to boot, and, and . . . If only there’d be a joke that’d make everyone get it, really understand how critical and necessary things like entertainment, or politics, or jokes are. If one series, one ceremony would satisfy us, would soothe the terrible sore across everything we let ourselves call p o litical, when w e

know everything is. They always leave us wanting more. It’s been 70 years and we’re only here. 70 years and we’re finally here. Bit by bit, the world goes crazy and negotiates a new normal for everyone left hungry.

sons, but when it comes to daughters, there are little to no narratives. The Black Motherhood Project’s mission statement, which can be found on their Facebook, asks:

“How do black mothers teach self-love and/or selfhatred?” and

“In what ways have we dehumanized our black mothers, and in what ways have they dehumanized us?”

among other questions this film will explore. Another purpose of the film is to create a space for black women to create art, especially within the film industry, which is largely dominated by white men. Iwu sights director Ava DuVernay and executive producer Issa Rae as two of her inspirations partially because they have the goal of bringing other creators up with them in their success. The Black Motherhood Project has this mentality as well. Their applications closed in mid-September for a variety of positions without the strict requirement of past experience. THE BULLETIN -

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The creators hope to give experience to black women and different black communities on campus, regardless of what their major or speciality may be. Producer Osobamiro graduated last year from CC as a History and French Literature and Language major, and producer Zinga is a Biomedical Engineering major in SEAS. When talking about the opportunities this film can create Iwu said, “I want the film to be a tool to bring people in, build their confidence and make them prove to other people, ‘Hey I can do [this].’” Iwu feels that the project is supported by her peers and the black communities on campus. When talking about the theme of a complex relationships between black mothers and daughter, Iwu says a common response is, “I never really thought about it enough to think that this could be a conversation, but this is such a huge part of my identity.” Because of this, it hasn’t been difficult for Iwu to feel supported in her film’s topic or to find a team to build this film with. Financially, the team is launching a crowdfunding campaign which will be online soon and has applied for The Gatsby Grant, a Columbia initiative to support student projects. They are hoping to finance the filming, a

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bout a year ago, CC Senior Onyekachi Iwu began a conversation with her mother about their complicated relationship. While discussing this with friends, she found that they too had experience in attempting to balance trauma and love in relationships with their mothers. She found a shared feeling of fear in not wanting to invalidate their mothers traumas, by discussing their own experiences and feeling like trauma had been generationally passed down. Even though it seemed like this was a common theme within the lives of the black women around Iwu, this relationship wasn’t something that Iwu had viewed in media representations. Through this realization, The Black Motherhood Project was born. The Black Motherhood Project is a documentary film exploring black motherhood through the lens of black daughters. Directed/created by Onyekachi Iwu (CC ‘19) and Co-Produced by Ayo Osobamiro (CC ‘18) and Ketsia Zinga (SEAS ‘21), this film will feature a mix of interviews and visual art pieces. This film aims to be a source of healing for black daughters to have their experiences validated. Iwu talks about how many films there are representing the relationship between black mothers and

by Gwyn Reutenauer


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website to eventually publish the film, and possibly the funds to enter festivals. The development of this project officially began over the summer and the team plans on devoting this coming semester to interviews. These interviews will feature the experiences of black daughters across various, “Ethnicities, gender identities, shades, sexualities, and socioeconomic backgrounds,” according to Iwu. She says, “I want not only a diversity of experiences, but a diversity of people involved.” The spring semester will be spent piecing together these interviews with different visual art pieces. This could be writing, painting, dance; any representation of black daughterhood. In the end, The Black Motherhood Project hopes to create a space where black daughters can heal and feel validated in their complex maternal relationships. The film will allow a look at black motherhood that often isn’t portrayed. All of the creators involved bring a multitude of talent and perspectives to what is sure to be a beautiful film. More information and a trailer for the film can be found on their FaceBook page, The Black Motherhood Project.


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Artist Profile: Interview with Beatrice Litner

by Olivia Land


lease do not call Beatrice Litner, BC ‘21, talented-- she is just not into that word. Although the portraitist is undeniably good at what she does, she would probably argue that her art is not about her at all. As evidenced by both her paintings themselves and the way she talks about her subjects, Litner’s creative energy is driven by a passion for people, bodies, and finding out what makes them tick. For this issue, Litner took time away from her paints and her textbooks and sat down with Bulletin to talk about high school woes, Klimt, loving New York, and more. Barnard Bulletin: Tell us a little bit about yourself! Beatrice Litner: I was born in San Francisco, but right now I live in Wilmington, Delaware. I came to Barnard wanting to study art history and visual arts, but now I’m thinking about switching to psychology. I want to do mental health work of some kind. BB: Have you always been an artist? What drew you to creating? BL: I always loved drawing and painting. I have fidgety hands, so I was always doing something with them. I got more serious about painting in eleventh grade. BB: What sparked that decision to become more serious about your work? BL: I had an amazing high school art teacher. I was also really unhappy during high school, and painting was something

that made me feel better, and so I started doing it more. BB: What is your favorite medium or style to work in? BL: I like acrylic paints. I don’t like canvas, so I use wood or a flat surface or cardboard, and then I’ll do portraits with acrylic. I really like painting people-hands, bodies. My favorite is doing a portrait of one person. Litner’s passion for portraiture is obvious from one quick scroll through her Instagram, @art_by_beatrice. Her feed is an amalgam of faces and bodies-some of them are pen sketches, but most are paintings with blue or yellow backgrounds. When asked about her penchant for the two shades, she shrugs and admits “I always hated yellow, but now I’m super drawn to it.” Like the other elements THE BULLETIN -

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of her work, colors choice is an intimate process: “I think about what I’d want on my wall,” she says. BB: Your work was recently featured on singer Grace Weber’s album cover. What lead to your connection with her? BL: It was so cool! I posted in Buy Sell Trade last year asking for portrait models. One of the volunteers was a Barnard student interning at a music company. She told me if I did a portrait of Grace Weber it would be helpful for getting her image out there. Then they turned out to use if for the cover. I was shocked, but so happy and excited. Having my work on an album on Spotify is amazing. BB: When you are doing portraits for commission, what is your favorite part about working with your subjects? BL: I love how everyone is different when

you take photos of them. Everyone is shy [at first], but you watch people change and become more confident. It’s a different process to watch, especially with women-- they always start thinking “I hate how I look,” but get more into it by the end. BB: Does your work deal with social/political issues at all? BL: Art and social issues are always really intertwined. For me, definitely, it’s giving everyone a platform to be seen and seen as beautiful that is really important. And, also, I try to paint almost exclusively women. BB: Which artists influence you the most? BL: I love Klimt! I saw his work at the Neue Gallerie when I was younger, and have been obsessed with his work ever since. I also love Egon Schiele, and Ancient Greek and Roman statues, traditional, classical stuff. BB: How do you decide when a work is “finished”? BL: Literally never! I’ve never finished a work of art in my life. I know that you’re supposed to keep working at it ‘til you’re satisfied. I always like to add a layer of paint or pastel on top of my work, but even if everything is covered, it can still feel unfinished. BB: How has your work developed since

coming to New York/Barnard? BL: A lot for sure, even though I have less time to actually sit down and work on thing. Moving to New York changes everything. My work is less angsty; I’ve become so much more confident and assured. I am more comfortable advocating for myself, and that is reflected in what I draw now. A lot of my earlier stuff is super depressing-- I look back and I’m like “Who made that?!” Aside from shifting the ethos of her work, moving to New York also gave Litner a new favorite place to create: the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her eyes light up when she recounts how, “I love to sit in the Ancient Roman and Greek galleries...the people milling around, it creates this perfect white noise. I can just sit down and sketch, and people leave you alone.” When it comes to painting, though, she prefers a quieter space. “I sit down and paint alone,” she says. “Just on the floor of my room.” BB: Which traits, if any, do you think are essential to the work you do, or essential to being an artist? BL: Empathy. I mean, if you’re going to draw people, you have to care about people and want to know about them, what’s going on inside their head. Spatial awareness, too, I guess, or a laser focus on how THE BULLETIN -

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things are modeled. Like, this table is flat but your arm isn’t flat, it’s round. BB: Going off of that, how do you feel about portraying the body? It’s such a sensitive thing for so many people. BL: Super sensitive thing! It’s super affirming for me. I’ve never been “skinny,” so painting the body is great for body image. Seeing millions of different body types, and really studying people. It’s really satisfying for me to mold the skin... it’s similar to sculpting. BB: Is there a particular piece you’ve made that really stick with you? BL: Yeah, actually: the first portrait I did of my friend since preschool. I did it in late high school. I think it’s such a wonderful work--it’s when I figured out I could paint faces. I remember I was sick and had been in bed for a while. I was really nice, a really good experience. And I love her so much that it was really special. BB: Last question! What is your advice to someone who wants to embrace their creativity, but is afraid they don’t have it in them? BL: I hate when people say that people are talented-- if you want to make something, you should just do it. A lot of people disagree with that. You just have to put ties toward what you’re doing-- if you care about it, it will happen.

The Blame Game: Addiction is Disease, Not a Choice Despite scientific progress in this field and awareness about treatment options, however, there are still countless cases of individuals who suffer from this terrible sickness, and some who even lose their lives. Demi Lovato, a singer and outspoken mental health activist, has never been shy about sharing her personal battle with eating, disorders, self-harm, bipolar disorder, and most recently, addictions to cocaine and alcohol, respectively. In the face of her latest near-fatal overdose in July, Demi has checked herself into a rehab facility, while giving thanks to her fans for never giving up on her throughout her road to recovery. Other commentators, however, do not see Demi’s efforts as an internal struggle, but rather blame her for her weakness and attempts to escape the spotlight. It is hard to


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see these daggers targeted at such a powerful female figure without noting that they align with a trend of gender bias in addiction awareness today. On a similar note, many rap fans were devastated to hear about the recent passing of Mac Miller, a music legend, and notorious ex-boyfriend of the beloved Ariana Grande. Although Mac vocalized his struggles with addiction differently, as he tried to convey his messages more subtly through his lyrics, it became clear through Miller’s ultimate downfall that this was some unprecedented encounter with mental illness, as he had admitted to his battle with depression throughout his career. Unfortunately, however, fans have blamed Grande for Miller’s death, alluding to the gender bias I mentioned earlier. Ultimately, it is wrong to assign greater blame to women for their involvement in addiction, and its vices, than men, as there is no biological component of this illness that veers towards any one sex in particular. We must strive to continue on this path of accepting addiction as not only a biologically based disease rather than a choice, but also acknowledging the gender neutral platform upon which it is born.

Illustration by Sadie Kramer


ne of the unspoken blessings of the 21st century is that mental health awareness is almost completely void of the stigma that was once its most prominent characteristic. Tracing back only a decade or so unearths the concept that addiction, one of the most debilitating mental illnesses, was seen not as a medical condition, but rather as a weakness of character in its victims. Thankfully, following countless neuroscientific advancements, and the tireless efforts of psychiatric research, it has been concluded that there is a genetic foundation for addiction, highlighting that there are many legitimate factors that lead to the development of this disease. From a neuroscientific perspective, brain physiology plays a major role in addiction. Besides the hereditary factors that make a person more vulnerable to acquiring this defect, it has also become apparent that unbalanced levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain involved in reward, is an additional risk factor for developing addiction. Since we have concrete evidence that this mental illness is rooted in involuntary biological conditions, it is no wonder that our generation has a much more generous take on those afflicted with addiction.

by Natalie Dicker

The Peter Kavinsky Effect by Olivia Kowalishin

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ecently, social media found its latest obsession: Peter Kavinsky. The film To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before premiered on Netflix in August and ever since Peter Kavinsky’s name is everywhere. The love interest in the romantic comedy has been described as the “perfect boyfriend,” with many on social media pining after the fictional character or wondering where to find their own Peter. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before tells the story of Lara Jean Song Covey, a high school junior who writes a letter every time she has a crush. Lara Jean enters into a fake relationship with Peter to convince her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh, that she does not like him in spite of the letter he received. Despite its intriguing premise, the movie contains the same played out stereotypes of most high school rom coms. Peter, the main love interest, is a popular jock and, as called in the film, “King

of the Cafeteria” who at the start of the movie is in a relationship with the stereotypical mean girl, Gen. The film does not attempt to change or deconstruct the usual tropes of the genre but rather plays into them to create a genuinely sweet and fulfilling story. However, there is a big flaw in the film: Peter is a jerk from start to finish. While this may be a controversial opinion, I believe that Peter Kavinsky is far from the “perfect boyfriend.” Many of the film’s viewers choose to overlook Peter’s unattractive qualities because of his charm and good looks. Peter is consistently passive and does not stand up for Lara Jean when she is vulnerable. During the beginning of the film when Gen, Peter’s girlfriend at the time, mocks Lara Jean’s shoes. Peter just stands there watching Gen bully Lara Jean. Later on, when a video of Lara Jean and Peter making out goes viral, Peter does nothing about it and only takes action after Lara Jean is slut-shamed at school and her best friend, Chris, yells at him. Additionally, Peter is not emotionally open with Lara Jean. Upon the discovery of his true feelings for Lara Jean, Peter behaves like a child rather than telling her how he really feels. He gets angry with Lara Jean when she talks to Josh. When Lara Jean decides not to THE BULLETIN -

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sit with Peter on the bus, he overreacts. Rather than telling her that he is upset, he chooses to ignore her completely. We also musn’t ignore that the initial reason that Peter proposed the fake relationship was to anger his ex-girlfriend, Gen. Is the bar for a “decent guy” set so low that Peter is put onto a pedestal? Peter is far from perfect, but he isn’t a terrible person, either. He has some great qualities: he’s supportive, he listens to Lara Jean, and he respects her boundaries. However, he also has many unattractive qualities that should be acknowledged. If we accept Peter as the ideal guy, then all that men must do to be deemed “perfect” is respect boundaries and listen, which, arguably, is not enough. No one is perfect, but by placing Peter on a pedestal, we create a flawed image of the “perfect boyfriend.”

#20GAYTEEN by Evanne Subia


rom music, to film, to television, to politics, it is irrefutable that 20gayteen has lived up to its queer expectations (set in place by none other than Lesbian Jesus herself, Hayley Kiyoko). In case you were unaware of this vital movement’s humble beginnings, it all started when Kiyoko took to Twitter on the first day of the new year, informing her followers of the standards she envisioned for


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Academy Award-winning performances from the beautifully executed coming-ofage film, Call Me By Your Name, alongside the Emmy Award-winning Netflix Original Series, Queer Eye. The progress made in film and television within the past year is yet another 20gayteen success story. Although extremely important, film, television, and music are not the only stand out areas that the gays have infiltrated this year. It is important to note that, according to the New York Times article, “A ‘Rainbow Wave’? 2018 Has More L.G.B.T. Candidates Than Ever,” the November midterm elections will have a record number of LGBTQ identifying candidates running for office. This has already been seen in our very own state, with Barnard alumna Cynthia Nixon’s campaign for New York Governor. Although her race did not end with a win, Nixon is just one of the multiple LGBTQ+ candidates running; show your support and vote in the midterms! At the end of the day, there are two things we can be sure of: first, 2018 has rightfully earned its iconic nickname and second, the gays did not come to play. 20gayteen, though full of beautiful progress, is only the beginning of a powerful movement toward representation for all queer identifying people. With the bar so high, who knows what’s in store for the years to come.

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the upcoming 365 days: “It’s our year, it’s our time. To thrive and let our souls feel alive. #20GAYTEEN #expectations2018.” Although this tweet gained a wonderful response from the LGBTQ community, there was no way of knowing what this year would truly amount to in regards to representation for the queer community. It would be inappropriate to start discussing the heights of 20gayteen without mention of Hayley Kiyoko’s debut album, Expectations. The album truly is the first of its kind; it features thirteen tracks, ranging from raw, emotion-packed, lesbian love anthems to upbeat, feel-good, dance music. Along with this release, Kiyoko directed and starred in a music video alongside Kehlani for their song “What I Need.” The powerful video takes you

on a journey through a passionate, yet tumultuous, love affair between the two openly queer artists. Alongside Lesbian Jesus, the music industry has blessed us with many LGBTQ identifying artists: Troye Sivan and his second studio album, Bloom, in which he freely sings of his sexuality, Janelle Monae’s vagina anthem, “PYNK,” with its creatively stunning music video, and Kevin Abstract’s unapologetically gay verses seen throughout BROCKHAMPTON albums. Because music plays such an integral role in societal norms, it has been unreal to see so much representation in mainstream genres throughout 20gayteen. Growing up as a queer identifying person in a heteronormative world, it can be difficult not seeing your identities and emotions normalized in film and television. I do, however, feel justified in making the claim that films and television shows such as Love, Simon, and One Day at a Time, despite their cheesy nature, are an important step forward for LGBTQ youth. For the first time, young people are able to see themselves in the confused, gay identifying teenagers who are finally at the forefront of these screenplays. In addition, 20gayteen brought us

NYCL Bites Outside the Bubble: Ippudo by Juliana Brenner

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s we head toward days filled with cooler weather, more books to read, and long hours in the library you may begin to crave a warming dish, a fun outing, or a trip away from campus. Ippudo, Japanese Ramen Noodle Brasserie, can provide all of that and more. The restaurant originated in Fukuoka, Japan and now has three locations in New York City — in the East Village, on 5th Avenue, and Midtown (on West 51st). The East Village location, their first overseas restaurant, is definitely a sight worth seeing. Beautifully decorated plates and bowls line a deep red wall. The light fixtures call your attention. Japanese murals cover the walls and an emphasis on wooden decor creates a cozy and appealing atmosphere. You enter into the ever-crowded and loud bar, which makes your trip to the table all the more exciting. You’ll forget all about school and the busy New York street just outside. The waitstaff and chefs are kind, enthusiastic, and even call out to you in Japanese as you head toward your table. You may be seated at a communal table, which gives you a better look at nearly every delicious dish you could order and your fellow diners’ faces of pure enjoyment. You’ll also see a few people seated alone devouring their bowls of ramen, which should show you just how good the food really is. One thing to

note is that Ippudo is always busy. If you go for dinner or on a weekend, prepare for a wait of sometimes up to an hour, but don’t get deterred. The appetizers at Ippudo are all delicious and dynamic, which is great because you’ll always have something new to try. They offer specially salted edamame, crispy and glazed Hirata chicken wings, shishito peppers, and even Tako (octopus) Wasabi. But, for your first trip to Ippudo you must start with the Hirata Buns. These steamed buns are so soft and warm you’ll want to crawl inside and take a nap, or even hibernate. The filling, your choice of pork or chicken, is soaked with Ippudo’s own spicy mayonnaise sauce, which will make you rush to Google for a comparable recipe. You will want two orders. The main event, the ramen, is just as delicious. The bowls are large and filling so don’t hesitate to take some home to savor for days to come. The Shiromaru Hakata Classic ramen is Ippudo’s specialty and is served with pork loin, mushrooms, red pickled ginger, and scallions. It is a Tonkotsu (pork based) ramen that they take great pride in. The soup, though creamy, is remarkably soft and light. The thin accompanying


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noodles are cooked al dente and the pork loin is perfectly cooked so that it mixes nicely into your colorful bowl and then melts in your mouth. Don’t worry if you are a vegetarian — Ippudo offers plenty of appetizer and ramen choices free of meat. The ramen dishes range from $15 to $18, which are very reasonable prices for the unique flavor and quantity of your order. Ippudo may become your new go-to spot beyond the Barnard bubble and, if it does, then there is even more exciting news. Ippudo is spreading throughout the city in the form of KuroObi, a quick-service ramen bar. There are already four of these time-saving locations, so pin them on your map and head over for a visit — after eating at the original Ippudo, of course. Keep this fun, flavorful restaurant in mind as fall comes upon us and you and your friends face the hardest question of “where should we eat?”.

Barnard in the Outer Boroughs: Greenpoint, Brooklyn dessert menu at Karczma and make your way over to Old Poland Bakery on 926 Manhattan Avenue. This place is the real deal—unless you’re actively speaking English as you walk in the door, the cashier will address you in Polish. This bakery offers all the traditional fare of a cozy neighborhood bakery in Poland. If you’re new to Polish baked goods, make sure to try the pączki, a kind of glazed doughnut traditionally filled with a spoonful of homemade jam. They’ll only run you a $1 each, though watch out for the credit card minimum! If you’re in the mood to take some of Little Poland home with you, stop by Green Farms Super Market before you head home. This little bodega offers a whole host of groceries straight from Europe. I personally recommend grabbing some pierogi to cook up at home, best served with dill pickles, a good Polish beer if you’re of age (Żywiec and Tyskie are my favorites), and some Prince Polo chocolate wafer bars for dessert. This is a cash-only joint so make sure you’re prepared, but the fact that this place caters mainly to a local audience of fellow immigrants means it won’t break the bank like Morton Williams does. Okay, so you’ve had enough Polish culture for one day. For our over-21 readers, you can grab a flight of local brews and a nice bite to eat at Greenpoint Beer and Ale on North 15th street, a brewery in a cavernous building that blends refined

wood with an industrial aesthetic. If you’re underage or would prefer to get some work done on your journey out of the MoHi bubble, check out Café Grumpy on 193 Meserole Avenue. Known perhaps unfortunately for being the cafe that Lena Dunham’s character works in on Girls, Café Grumpy is nonetheless a spacious and subdued spot with good coffee and the kind of big tables that you just can’t find in cramped Manhattan cafes. Wherever you choose to go, make sure to end your visit with a stop at the WNYC Transmitter Park, a small green space that hugs up right against the water and offers spectacular views of the New York City skyline. Remind yourself that, even though it can feel like Manhattan contains the whole world, it is small, and there is so much to see outside of it.

Photography by Veronica Suchodolski


e’ve all heard of Little Italy and Chinatown, but a cultural hub that doesn’t get much press in the Morningside Heights day-today is Greenpoint in Brooklyn, which is referred to unofficially as Little Poland. Even though getting to Greenpoint can be a real trek involving three subway transfers (the 1 to the 7 to the G), it’s well worth the trip to get outside the campus bubble and immerse yourself in an unfamiliar culture. When you step off your long subway journey to Greenpoint, you’ll notice storefronts written entirely in Polish, with even the NYC regulated trash cans featuring bilingual instructions in English and Polish. This can be a little overwhelming: if you count yourself among most Americans, your knowledge of Poland might begin and end with pierogies or kielbasa, with a potential reference to polka music (which is actually historically Czech!) thrown in. Luckily, you have this article to guide you through the must-see spots in the neighborhood. To get a sense of the country’s traditional cuisine, check out the restaurant Karczma on 136 Greenpoint Avenue. Karczma offers a great mix of cultural favorites, like peasant-style lard and herrings in cream, and more accessible entrees, serving a variety of grilled and breaded meats. The appetizers will generally run you between $8 and $10 while the mail dishes are reasonably priced for the city around $15. After dinner, skip the lackluster

by Veronica Suchodolski


Illustration by Tuesday Smith

Your Neighborhood Farmers’ Market

by Pazit Schrecker


hether you’re on your way to the bookstore for an overpriced textbook or headed to Junzi Kitchen for a noodle bowl, walks along Broadway are likely part of the daily routine for students at any of the four Columbia undergraduate schools. On Thursdays and Sunday, the daily walk along Broadway from the Columbia Main Gates to Lerner Hall is anything but boring. On these days, vendors in pitched tents dot along the edge of the sidewalk, turning the normally busy sidewalk filled with rushing first-years and tired seniors into Morningside Heights’ very own Farmers’ Market. Like most Farmers’ Markets, the Broadway location is brimming with fresh produce stands, selling seasonal fruits and vegetables as well as products made from them. Apples are a classic back-to-school snack and the market offers several varieties of them as well as fresh cider. If you’re more interested in baked goods, the bi-weekly farmers’ market has a great number of options. It’s hard not to stop when passing the sky blue awning of Hot Bread Kitchen, which advertises its specialty as “multi-ethnic breads.” In particular, the beautifully decorated sourdough loaves make delicious breakfast toast and sandwiches. The bakery also offers breads that might seem more removed from what you’re used to, so it’s a great place to try something new. If you’re looking for something more unique, try their Nan-e Qandi, a sweet, buttery Persian flatbread. Meredith’s Bread is another go-to for bread and pastry lovers. Along with more traditional baked goods ranging from biscotti to rich pumpkin bread, the blue-cloth covered table has an entire gluten-free section. The stand has many options, and sufferers of Celiac Disease should definitely try the cinnamon rolls and blueberry muffins. One Thursday-only standout is Body & Soul Bakeshop, which is easily spotted with its orange tent awning with a red flower logo. Beneath this you’ll find an assortment of delicious vegan baked goods, ranging from savory lunch items to freshly baked muffins and cookies. Pretty much everything here is good, but definitely make sure to try the mushroom and kale turnover for lunch if you can get there before they sell out. If you’re still hungry, the lemon vanilla cornbread muffin and chocolate sunflower cookies are some of my favorites from this bakery. The market isn’t just for those looking for a prepared meal or snack. Homemade pasta may seem like an impossible luxury while in college, but twice a week you can buy fresh pasta from Knoll Krest. Make it even fancier by with pea shoot pesto from the Ardith Mae stand, which sells cheese along with both vegan and non-vegan varieties of pesto. Whether you’re looking craving fresh cookies, want non-dining hall lunch on Thursday, or just need a break from studying on Sunday afternoon, stroll through the Morningside Heights Farmers’ Market. It’s not even off the beaten path.

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Off Season: A Guide to Coney Island in the Winter


or many, the name Coney Island is synonymous with images of fun, sun, and nostalgic memories of romance and youth. New York’s seminal amusement park by the ocean has long been a symbol of hedonistic thrills, sugar, and electricity, in spite of (or perhaps made more mythological because) of the series of fires and tragedies that have plagued it since the creation of its first major park, Luna Park, in 1903. What most people do not think of when they think of Coney Island is the winter, the big freeze that encompasses the amusement park for around two thirds of the year. New York winters can be brutal. But Coney Island exists all year round, though it offers a very different kind of experience for the winter visiter than for the summer fairgoer. It takes about two hours to get from Barnard to Coney Island. You take the 1 to Times Square, and then ride the Q out all the way to the end of the line. Most likely, something happens to you on the ride— something ineffable but undeniable. As you rise out of the neon-lit underbelly of New York, maybe you realize that you aren’t quite in the same dimension as you were. Something shifts. Try it for yourself and see. The ride takes you past tiny outer-Brooklyn houses, crammed together side by side, their walls often cloaked in tangles of ivy and graffiti. Where there were once skyscrapers and busy streets, now there is the odd vertigo of a residential neighborhood pressed up on the edges of the city, its inhabitants being edged out by gentrification as we speak.

by Eden Gordon

Eventually you see the spires of Coney Island’s roller coasters rising up in the distance, backlit by the ocean itself. The subway travels upwards into the elevated station where the Stillwell Avenue stop is located. In the summer you might be surrounded by crowds of beachgoers, or at least a few people, but in the winter it is likely that you will be entirely alone. A visit to Coney Island in the off season provides the kind of space for reflection that is rarely found anywhere in New York City. You can wander the desolate streets, read hidden messages in the cracked pavement, pass by homeless people asleep on slats of cardboard. You can stop for a coffee in the Dunkin’ Donuts. You can wander around the outskirts of the locked gates surrounding Luna Park, observing the faded lights, the rides with their painted icons, the mermaids on the walls, everything chipped and faded, worn away by time and the sea air. You can walk along the boardwalk, perhaps past fisherman wrapped in their coats, perhaps past their bloody, still-breathing catches. You can almost feel the ghosts there—you can hear the memories echoing, clawing at the seams of the silence. In a different time, in a different season, this place used to be one of New York’s most crowded attractions. There used to be three parks—Luna Park, Steeplechase, and the aptly named Dreamland, supposedly the grandest of them all. It had one million light bulbs and a variety of exhibits, including one named THE BULLETIN -

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“The End of the World” and one that had firefighters put out a genuinely burning building, purposefully lit on fire every half hour, every day. Dreamland burned down in 1911 just before opening day, due to an electrical malfunction. The other parks had their heydays in the early 1900s, but the onset of World War I and II led to the closing of Luna Park in 1944, and Steeplechase shut down in 1965 as the area became more dangerous. The park has never regained its glory; perhaps the world never regained the kind of hope it had before those wars—but Coney Island kept ticking on, becoming a place notorious for drug deals (it had always been a hotspot of dangerous pleasure, and is also known as Sodom by the Sea). Today, the rebuilt Luna Park stands. In the summer it is still a tourist destination, and also hosts concerts and light shows and other events. The Coney Island museum is open all year round and hosts a variety of colorful events like burlesque and magic shows. But there is an undefinable sadness, a kind of dreamy desire to the park as it stands in the loneliness of the cold months. To the beach, empty, frozen, to the roaring sea. If you’re the sort of person who likes to visit graveyards, abandoned buildings, or other weird and liminal historical relics, add a visit to Coney Island to your bucket list. You might find ghosts and a haunting relic of the American Dream. You might find nothing but a shut-down theme park and a freezing sea wind. Hey, at least you can get a lot of reading done on the ride over.

New York City Unsolved: The Mysterious Murder of the Beautiful Cigar Girl

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he setting? New York City, 1840s. Our protagonist? Mary Rodgers, AKA the Beautiful Cigar Girl. So sets the stage during a sticky summer in Manhattan when police discovered the decomposed body of a young woman floating in the Hudson. In Mary’s day, nightwatch officers slept in their booths instead of making rounds. The media failed to capture the news of the working class. The courts maintained the same level of corruption, and although the public judged our justice system entirely incompetent, New York City remained stuck in its ways. Our protagonist would change that. According to, Mary grew up alongside her widowed mother, Phoebe, who gave Mary her independent, vivacious nature. Mary’s sense of self-ownership, rare for the 1800s, attracted significant attention from the male population. In an effort to capitalize on female sexuality, John Anderson hired her to bring customers into his tobacco shop. But in 1838, Mary disappeared. A suicide note surfaced; the police were attacked; publications advertising “The Beautiful Cigar Girl” circulated. Then Mary returned. She failed to offer an explanation, only shocked that anyone would pay attention to the absence of a “humble cigar girl.” Her neighbor Alfred Crommelin, an upcoming lawyer of upstanding social status, became fascinated by Mary’s

by Audrey Pettit allure. He fell in love quickly and madly. Phoebe loved him—Mary did not. She rejected him, but he remained as friendly as a scorned lover can be. It was Daniel Payne, a fulltime cork cutter and part-time alcoholic, who won Mary’s heart. Phoebe despised him. Mary announced her engagement, but upon her mother’s dissent, Mary relented. Shortly after promising not to marry, our Cigar Girl left a note at Alfred Crommelin’s apartment, asking forgiveness. Alfred ignored her. Mary persisted, eventually begging a loan for an “emergency.” And two days later, Mary disappeared again. Payne failed to notice until Mary missed an appointment. He then spent the weekend looking for her. Most paid no attention—for Mary, disappearances aren’t uncommon. Phoebe, however, was concerned—perhaps that amounts to motherly love. Or maybe she knew something else. Some say they saw Mary on a ferry boat to New Jersey; some say they spotted her at Mrs. Loss’s farm. Dubbed “Madame Killer” by many, Mrs. Loss built a fortune opening her home to poor, unwed mothers. She provided undocumented, medically questionable abortions to those who could not access them elsewhere. While the public revolted, her customer base never faltered. Upon questioning, Loss denied having ever encountered Rodgers, but she did admit to hearing screams in THE BULLETIN -

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a thicket nearby. An investigation of the thicket discovered several items of Mary’s blood-soaked clothing. It did not take long to find our protagonist’s body, now beaten, bloated by water, with a sailor’s knot around her neck. Alfred Crommelin identified her body, breaking down in hysterics soon after. But he was not the last to crack. Two months after Mary’s death, Payne left for Hoboken with a plan. He got drunk and haunted all the spots Mary supposedly visited before her murder. He then drank lethal dose of poison, wrote a suicide note, wandered to the thicket where Mary’s bloodied clothing was found, and died. Fredricka Loss spent the two weeks before her death raving about a female ghost at her bedside. Her sons worried she might let out a “great secret.” John Anderson, the owner of Mary’s tobacco shop, retired in Paris. And yet on his deathbed he cried out “Mary, forgive me!” in anguish. Mary Rodger’s story does not offer a comfortable ending. Yet her murder brought a greater degree of diligence to law enforcement and forced journalists to acknowledge the strife of the lower class. Today, the case of the Beautiful Cigar Girl remains unsolved—but her murder acts as a solemn reminder not to settle for injustice until tragedy rears its head.

by Vivian Zhou


1. Boba Guys 2. Shiny Tea

A neighborhood favorite, the Upper West Side location of Shiny Tea can be found around 108th street and Broadway. This tea place is most consistent with popular tea places in Asia. The specialty of Shiny Tea is the Panda Tea, which is milk tea with small tapioca pearls and large tapioca pearls. The smaller tapioca pearls provide a less chewy texture and is less filling. The panda bubbles provide a perfect balance between the big and small tapioca, and can be added to any of the teas (in case you don’t like milk tea!).

3. Avalon

I stumbled upon Avalon Tea in the West Village randomly on a Tuesday night, and it was a very pleasant discovery. They’re known for their milk foams, but unlike Gong Cha, they’re fresh and not overwhelmingly heavy. They also have a very aesthetically pleasing Rose Sparkling Drink that is way prettier than your typical Instagram-famous Starbucks Pink Drink. Avalon is a strong, under-the-radar tea place in NYC. Word on the street is that they’re looking to expand and open another location in Morningside Heights.


Although Boba Guys is probably the most obvious choice when wanting some bubble tea, the quality of the place matches up to its fame. Boba Guys brews very unique and high quality teas, although not very traditionally Chinese. Some people may tell you that it’s overhyped, but it definitely lives up to the hype.

4. Vivi Bubble Tea

Every NYU bubble tea lover knows Vivi. It’s their version of Tea Magic– accessible and frequently visited. But worry not, they are nothing like tea magic. Their bubbles are soft, chewy, and fresh. They have a very extensive menu that caters to everyone– they even have food if you’re hungry! A good place to take someone who doesn’t necessarily appreciate the art of bubble tea (why would you not?) because they have a lot of options.

5. Yi Fang

You may have seen Yi Fang in those food videos on Facebook. Yi Fang is a famous fruit tea place that originated in Taiwan. They’re known for their black sugar tapioca, which is what you’ll see people waiting on line for if you ever make the trek to Flushing. They match the creaminess of their brewed milk tea with the sweetness of a caramel-tasting black sugar. Their fruit teas are just as good, if not better than their black sugar tapioca.

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ubble tea, also known as boba to those who are, well, wrong, is a tea-based drink that is typically topped with tapioca pearls. If you like to venture down Broadway, you may have noticed the new opening of Gong Cha, a welcome addition to this bubble tea dead-zone known as Morningside Heights. Although I’m not a bubble tea expert myself, I grew up having it at least once a week– which isn’t a very healthy habit considering the amount of sugar in tapioca pearls. Good tea places are like Duane Reade’s in China– consistent and around every street corner. New York City has put up some good competitors… so without further ado, here are five bubble tea places worth checking out:

Study Spot Sho by Angela Tran

Photography by Angela Tran


he new school year has set in. The sun shines, new books are bought, and some teachers are now affectionately referred to by their first name. But all of these are for naught if you can’t find a good study space. With the opening of the new Milstein Center, there are 375 more spaces to curl up in and work. So which ones should you choose? 1. The 3rd floor of Milstein’s Individual and Group Study Spaces Let’s be honest, this space is a quiet and isolated gem for hard workers. With a lovely view of Diana and the bright natural light that comes with it, this separate room is best suited for the grind during the day. And frankly, you can treat yo’ self with the luxuriously private rooms to the side as well, even if you’re not working with a group. A new favorite of many, the only cons are the obnoxiously loud doors and the whir of the adjustable desks. 2. The 2nd floor of Butler The aesthetic of this room is absolutely to die for. With individual study nooks surrounded by tons of beautiful tomes, the long rectangular room is fit for those who just want to get things done. The only major problem: there never seems to be

a free spot to settle down and work. Like the rest of Butler, this magnificent room is difficult to push your way into. 3. The Altschul Atrium A place for club meetings, but also for quiet study! This multi-functional space might not be your style, but it’s worth checking out. With chairs that rival the new green Milstein ones and a glorious natural light source, the Atrium is typically quiet place for focused work, and is especially convenient if you have a class in the building later on. And since it never seems to be full of other students, I can almost guarantee that you’ll find a seat. 4. Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library That Columbia wood aesthetic is really prevalent throughout this lovely hall that rivals the NYPL Rose Room (except in ceiling decoration). But nevertheless, with surprisingly comfortable wooden chairs and an abundance of power outlets and lamps, this library is a better bet than Butler for finding seats. The only distracting thing might be the construction outside, but otherwise, you’re set. 5. Diana Center 3rd Floor Lounge If you’re more inclined to the modern THE BULLETIN -

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aesthetic, this area might be for you. With Diana’s signature bold red color, this space is curvy, modern, but also has loosely walled off desks with lamps to satisfy your misanthropic needs. And just like the Milstein area, there are two group study rooms where you can hide from your problems. 6. Your dorm! If you’re looking for a space exclusively your own, your room’s your best bet. In fact, it’s not even a bet: it’ll be there to support your study needs any time of day. But beware: dorms are distraction central, and even if you convince yourself that one nap wouldn’t hurt, it most certainly might. Obviously, there are many more spaces to support whatever study needs you have, whether you need to get some vitamin D or need a printer really close by. But this selection will get you going in the right direction, and hopefully, you’ll find a place on campus you truly love. Happy studying!


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October 2018  

October 2018