Posts Tagged ‘Campus’

Did you know that: 90% of undergraduate college women who have been sexually assaulted knew the perpetrator, and that fewer than 5% of completed or attempted rapes are reported to law enforcement? (Fisher, Bonnie S. “The Sexual Victimization of College Women.” National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice. December 2000.) This is only one of the many shocking statistics that can be found on posters and flyers leading up to Take Back the Night. I’ve decided to interview Jen Levinson, a sophomore at Barnard College and one of the Co-coordinators of Take Back the Night to learn more about this event.

BB: What is take back the night?

Jen: Take Back the Night is an international movement that works to end sexual assault. At Columbia there is a student group called Take Back the Night that plans the annual Take Back The Night march, Sexhibition, and other events throughout the year.

BB: What happens during the march at Columbia?

Jen: Before the march starts we have a pre-march rally outside of Barnard Hall, and after that the women-led march walks all around campus and the general area for about an hour and a half reclaiming the streets and turning them into a safe space. In the middle of the march we meet for a moment of silence at the sundial before continuing on. Following the march, in LeFrak Gym (Barnard Hall), Take Back The Night conducts a speak-out where survivors, co-survivors, allies, and anyone else can share their experiences or thoughts [concering sexual violence and assualt]. Peer Counselors are available to talk to anyone who would like to (in person or on the phone) and Nightline extends their hours until 5 am that day.

BB: What do you mean by a women-led march?

Jen: With respect to the history of the movement, and by acknowledging the gendered nature of sexual assault, the Take Back the Night March is led by a section of those identifying as women–to create a safe and comfortable space as well as make clear that this is a women’s initiative. Following the women-led section the rest of the march is co-gendered.

BB: That sounds great! When is the march?
The march is Thursday April 16th at 9pm at the Barnard Gates, the speak out begins in LeFrak Gym at 11:00 pm.

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Did you know that Columbia has an Equestrian Club? This surprises many people given Columbia’s urban setting. The most commonly asked question is “Where do you ride?”.  We train at Garret Mountain Equestrian Center, in West Paterson, NJ- only about 30 minutes from Columbia’s campus. Located on county parkland, it has many trails through the park and is a great escape from the city. The club welcomes riders of all levels. We have members who have been riding and competing their entire lives, as well as members who had never taken riding lessons before joining the club. We train in huntseat equitation, which is a style of English riding. Eligible members also compete in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association. IHSA competitions have classes for all levels, from walk-trot for beginner riders, up to 3’ fences classes for the more advanced riders. Lessons are held on Tuesday through Friday mornings and also on Friday afternoons.

Riding develops both physical and mental stamina. Correct rider position is essential to being an effective rider. A rider must develop the leg, back, and core muscles needed to correctly position one’s leg on the horse and balance one’s weight. The rider uses her legs, hands, seat, back, balance and voice to control the horse. Using these aides, the rider creates forward motion and impulsion, influences the horse’s balance and bend, directs the horse, and controls the tempo and length of the horse’s stride. Working with a 1200 pounds non-human partner adds a unique aspect to riding that other sports do not have. Horses are very sensitive to their riders; they notice when they are nervous, imbalanced or not focused. As our trainer says, a horse is a good barometer of how its rider is feeling. Thus, in addition to the physical aspect of riding, the rider must be focused, aware at all times of her position and her relation to the horse and thinking ahead. Developing this relationship and synchrony with the horse is a challenging but very rewarding process.

If this intrigues you, or if you rode in the past and are now thinking about how much you miss it, you should consider joining the Equestrian Club. It is a wonderful opportunity to not only to learn to ride, but also to join a friendly group of fellow riders.  Please send me an email (lmm2178@columbia.edu) if you have any questions or want more information.


(Stay tuned for information about a trail riding event open to the Columbia community that we will be holding in the spring)

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Make sure to come to LeFrak Gymnasium today between 11 AM and 11 PM for Barnard’s 6th Annual Stationary Bike-A-Thon. Come get in your workout and support Columbia Community Service!

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n125052_35792472_9649Have you ever wondered what would happen if two awesome dance groups hosted a semi-formal with one of the most kickin’ bands in New York, in one of the biggest dance spaces in New York? Well, we’re going to find out.

Brought to you by CU Swing and CU Ballroom, the magnificent George Gee and his eleven piece band, the Jump, Jive, and Wailers, will be playing in Roone Arledge Auditorium on Friday, March 6th!

Don’t know how to partner dance? No problem! There will be a free, one hour lesson from 8-9 PM in Lerner c555, where we will teach the basics of both swing and ballroom.

Now, how much do you think this would normally cost? 20 dollars? 30 dollars? Well, how about for free? That’s right, this amazing event is free, as long as you RSVP to Francesco Michelassi at fem2104@columbia.edu by Thursday, March 5th.

What happens if you’re not able to RSVP by Thursday? Don’t fret, dance-o-philes, the lesson will still be free, and the dancing itself will only cost 5 dollars!

So brush off your suspenders and swishy skirts, and get ready to dance at the Swingin’ Ballroom Madness!

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Yesterday afternoon, while passing through Barnard Hall, I stopped to check out the table set up to promote Celebration of Black Womanhood Week. I noticed a free yoga class on their list of events, and emailed one of the coordinators, Taylor Johnson, BC ’09, to find out more:

Celebration of Black Womanhood Week is a time-honored tradition at
Barnard. This year the theme is Promoting Positive Connections: It all
adds up. Make it count. Each day of the week we have focused on a
different component of positive lifestyles. On Friday we would love for
people to join us as we focus on taking care of yourself. There will be a
free yoga class offered at 1pm in Weber Lounge, followed by DIY manicures
in the Zora Neale Hurston Lounge. Come to de-stress and beautify!!!!

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When I was in fifth grade, I joined my town’s swim team and learned that I was a natural breast-stroker.  Unlike many of my teammates who had to run drills with kickboards to get it just right, the rhythm of the breaststroke was something that made sense to me innately.  Having never before excelled at anything athletic, I reveled in my newfound talent.  I didn’t mind the laps of free style or back stroke, because I knew if I pushed through those I could rejoice in my breastroke.

Unfortunately, with the introduction of the butterfly my delight with swim team practice ended. There was nothing innate about my ability to do the butterfly.  I didn’t understand how to lift my arms, the technique of the dolphin kick, or when I was supposed to breathe amidst all that splashing.  Practice after practice, I would break the stroke down, kicking the legs then stroking the arms separately, eventually, and unsuccessfully, trying to bring them together.  Not too many weeks later, I quit the town swim team.

Since swim team, quitting has been the unfortunate thread running through my athletic career.  I quit karate when I reached a level that demanded serious and more frequent practices.  I quit cross-country after an embarrassing finish at my first meet.  I quit volleyball because pre-season was too demanding.  I even quit ballet, an activity I had always dreamed of pursuing, because I decided the commute to class was too far.

I am not proud of my athletic record, nor do I completely understand it.  In most other spheres of my life—academic, extracurricular, work-related, social—quitting is not an option. I have realized, as most Barnard students do, that the good grade, the rewarding internship, the study abroad adventure, even the successful relationship, require perseverance through challenges.  So why, when I hit the pool or the gym or the ballet bar, does my dedicated mantra fly out the window? (more…)

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Last Year's Bike-A-Thon Logo

Keep your heads up and your heels down for the upcoming stationary Bike-A-Thon! Mark your calendars now – the 6th Annual Stationary Bike-A-Thon and Community Fitness Fair will be next Thursday, March 5th. The show goes on rain or shine because the Bike-A-Thon takes place indoors! From 11 AM – 11 PM, you are invited to come to LeFrak Gymnasium (on the first floor of Barnard Hall) to ride with fellow students, faculty, and friends to raise money that will go directly to Columbia Community Service, Inc.

The party will be going all day, with pumpin’ music and awesome movies (last year they showed the entire first season of Grey’s Anatomy, and this year I’ve heard rumors that Zoolander is coming back)! So bring your stamina, your friends, and your friends’ money and help those in need while having an awesome time. Plus, if you raise at least $15 you get a super cool t-shirt!

Hope to see you ALL there!

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