Requirements that the Columbia administration forgot about

Posted by: Ojas Sathe 12 hours, 11 minutes ago

Ah, yes, the swim test. Just last week, our old editor-in-chief Jake Davidson felt feelings as he finished the third length of our pool. A tradition that is known for its myths about as much as its annoyance, the swim test has a variety of stories attached to it. About three years ago to date, Spec published some theories referring to why the swim test was created. But as far as I'm concerned the narrative I'm going with was the one I was told by my tour guide during my tour here.

In the time leading to the Revolutionary war, a Columbia president realized that in the event of a British attack, it was important for Columbia students to escape Manhattan very quickly. The clearest way to do this would be to swim across the Hudson. Naturally, SEAS kids (at the time of my tour, I didn't know SEAS didn't exist during the Revolution) didn't need such a requirement, as they could build a boat or a catapult to get them to safety.

As Columbia College seniors rush to complete their swim test, the Lion began thinking of some other requirements the Columbia Administration seemed to forget about.



Course Registration: A Freshman Perspective

Posted by: Jacob Greenberg 18 hours, 3 minutes ago

As a freshman, I don’t always have my life together. In fact I would say a fair statement would be that I could count on my hands the number of times my organizational skills came through for me and still have enough fingers left over to count how many toes I have (For those of you who are a little slower in math, that means that I have zero of the former experiences, you know, because I have ten toes and only ten fingers, so to count my toes I would need all my fingers. Never mind if you don’t get it by now there is no helping you). Anyways I was told that I should write a post about course registration. Like a normal person my first question was “when is course registration?” The response from my rising senior friend: “It started today…”

So then it began… The most epic saga of how not to pick classes ever to hit the dorms of Columbia. Now I’ve decided to replicate a checklist so that all of you can replicate my experience.

Step 1:

Figure out what major you are a part of, ‘cause you know that sort of determines what classes you have to take and despite Columbia claiming you didn’t have to declare until next year we all know that you had to have that decided from the first day you walked through the gates.



Follow our livetweet of the Sexual Assault Town Hall @thecolumbialion

Posted by: Marilyn He in News 20 hours, 6 minutes ago

Columbia is hosting a Sexual Assault Town Hall right now (12 pm) in Havemeyer 309. Can't make it because it's inconveniently scheduled in the middle of classes? We'll be livetweeting the event - follow us on Twitter @thecolumbialion

Want a little background on the subject? Here's some background reading: 

See everyone in the Twitterverse. 


Morning Briefing: It snowed yesterday, there's a sexual assault town hall, and now everyone has awards

Posted by: Ojas Sathe 20 hours, 59 minutes ago

Good morning everyone! Today's the day of Freshman registration to so all the good classes are already taken! Awesome! 


Columbia News:

Congratulations to 12 students for being awarded Presidential Global Fellowships, headed to programs across 5 countries!

Congratulations to six professors for being awarded Guggenheim Fellowships!

There will be a sexual assault town hall today at 12pm to 1:30pm.

Real World News:

The West Harlem Development Corporation is paying for senior citizens' summer work.

The New York City Police Department abandonded a secret program that spied on Muslims.

Hundreds are still missing after South Korean ferry sinks. 

Russia is formulating new plans for Ukraine; seeing this, NATO plans new deployments.


Midnight Snack: Professor Roarer's platinum nugget classes

Posted by: Roarer Lion 1 day, 8 hours ago

Because gold and silver nuggets are overrated. For students who want to get the most out of their pre-professional education at Columbia, here are your must-take classes.


  • Corporate Finance
  • Financial Accounting (or its IEOR counterpart, for those of you in SEAS/BC)
  • Financial Economics
  • Marketing Management
  • Leadership in Organizations
  • Industrial Organization
  • International Money and Finance
  • Mistake, Misconduct, Disaster: How Organizations Fail (SOCI dept.)
  • Economics of Money and Banking
  • Financial Crises
  • Culture and Finance (ANTH dept.)
  • Introduction to Financial Engineering
  • Operations Consulting (IEOR dept.)
  • Organizational Psychology


  • Financial Economics Seminar
  • Gulati's Sports Economics seminar
  • International Politics Seminar: Political Economy - Aid, Trade, Investment

Photo credit /


4chan founder moot visits Columbia for "anti-tech" talk

Posted by: Lion Staff 1 day, 10 hours ago

Yesterday, Christopher "moot" Poole, the founder of the infamous imageboard 4chan, was invited to speak at Columbia by CORE and ADI. If you'd like to learn more about these talks, sign up for their newsletters here and here.

moot began the talk by giving some background on his experiences running 4chan for the past 11 years, speaking at length about the site's rise to fame during the 2006-2008 era, the birth of the internet meme, and the various difficulties he encountered while managing the site.

He emphasized to the audience — mostly computer science majors with ambitions of working for or founding their own startups — that there was more to 4chan's success than the typical venture capital-backed model which is so prevalent today. One major difference, he said, was the site's failure to generate revenue for much of its existence; moot was thousands of dollars in debt from rising server costs a few years ago, and even now, he only breaks even. While he did found a more conventional startup, Canvas, it failed for other reasons, including the fact that he began the company without a partner. Startups, he said, aren't the end-all, be-all, and his venture capital-backed company didn't solve many of the managerial and logistic problems he encountered while running 4chan. Overall, he sees the two as fundamentally different experiences.

For one, moot considers 4chan to be a genuinely organic idea that lacked the social media promotion of many such sites today. The site, he said, came out of a 15-year-old's boredom, not the desire to start a company out of college. moot doesn't see 4chan as a company, but rather, a site which has taken on a life of its own and thrives on the experience being "anonymous and ephemeral." Without a board of directors and a largely anonymous userbase, moot was held accountable for many of the managerial decisions he made with the site. He spoke about how even the most minimal changes, such as adding slugs, have generated a large deal of backlash from the site's userbase. To that extent, he said that he was "captain of the ship, but can't control the wind."



Discounted tickets and other reasons to attend the India Business Conference on Friday

Posted by: Marilyn He in News 1 day, 17 hours ago

This Friday, the South Asia Business Association at CBS is hosting the 10th annual India Business Conference. The theme this year is "Inspiring India" with the aim of generating discussion around "business, social, political and creative undercurrents that permeate India life."

Okay, sounds business-y. But what are the real reasons you should go?

1. Networking Reception

Sure, this sounds like you're just going to be talked at for a long time, but that's absolutely not true. Tickets include a lunch and cocktail reception post-event that give you the opportunity to rub shoulders with keynote speakers like Ajay Banga, CEO of Mastercard, Joseph Stiglitz, University Professor and Nobel Laureate, and Vik Malhotra, Chairman of the Americas at McKinsey. 

2. Can't Miss Panel: From Chicken Tikka Masala to Michelin Stars

There will be an hour and a half long panel on the rise of Indian cuisine and ways to make Indian cuisine a "globally local cuisine." Intrigued? Not sure what any of that means or how it pertains to Inspiring India? 

So are we, but we'd love to find out. The other panels are all standard ones on entrepreneurship, finance, and business - so seriously, this food thing is cool. 

3. Discounted Tickets

Schmucks (or really intelligent people) from around the city are paying $40 for access. Students are paying $20. But thanks to a generous donation from an unknown alumnus, a limited number of tickets are available to undergraduates for just $10. 

Seriously, this pays for itself - you'd spend more than that on lunch and/or cocktails on Friday anyways. 

As of post time, there were 14 discounted undergrad tickets left. Get going! 

Full press release after the jump! 



Course registration: everyone panic

Posted by: Lion Staff 1 day, 19 hours ago

Yesterday marked the beginning of our semi-annual clusterfuck known as course registration. Of course, it's not the same experience for everyone - now that the senior staff of the Lion are, in fact, seniors, they feel no real need to discuss registration. Juniors are swarmed with younger friends begging them to "hold a spot" in a popular class, while sophomores anticipate the horror that is junior year. Freshmen are panicking that their first year in college is over and they have to take non-intro classes - but let's be honest, freshmen are kind of panicky anyways. Observe. 

Part 1: Freshmen Panic

Wait, you mean we can't actually get into that creative writing workshop? But we've had our eye on it all year! 

Remember when upperclassmen told us that Add/Drop Forms got you into any class? And what's the deal with this waitlist anyways? Does that mean we can't bribe that singular junior friend to hold a spot for us anymore? So what classes should we take? May as well give up now. 

Remember that super cool kid we ran into who was taking Intro to Comparative Politics as a junior? Why was he taking an intro class so late in his collegiate career - did he study abroad or just switch from premed? No?!?? We're screwed. 



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