On 40 Days…a Picnic!

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sdfEvery spring at about this time, freshmen walk by Low Steps wondering why a bunch of seniors are sitting there with bottles in paper bags, or why Alma Mat

er smells like vomit. Last year, a few of the hipper low-level administrators joined the loiterers in their celebration of public drunkenness, dodging security officers’ halfhearted attempts to shoo them away. But like all organic traditions, this one too must die–seniors recieved an e-mail yesterday from their class presidents with the news that anyone caught cracking open a 40 on the steps in the weeks before and after the 40-days-to-graduation marker would face disciplinary hearings. To make up for the loss of that fuzzy senior moment, admin is throwing 2007 a massive party on the lawns this Thursday, complete with t-shirts, picnic food, and all the beer the revelers can stomach (“They’ll be getting at least 48 ounces,” CC ’07 president David Chait promised. “We should have had the event last week.”)

Here’s how it happened: about a week and a half ago, Dean Chris Colombo called a meeting with the senior class presidents to inform of the change, citing past incidents (word is that PrezBo got a friendly ass-slap last year from one 40-drinker). After conferring with their class councils, Chait, SEAS ’07 president Jarod Were, and BC ’07 president Puja Kapadia met again with Colombo, this time with a counterproposal: the event now happening on Thursday. According to Were and Chait, administrators were then very accomodating, ponying up the cash for a not inexpensive event on very short notice. No Baker Blast-style theatrics this time. They’re pitching it as a more inclusive event, a 2,000-person party rather than a low-key thing where a “select group of students” sits on the steps–but trading the thrill of rebellion for the bounty of Columbia catering?

A few hours of free beer later, Bwog has a feeling that seniors won’t mind a bit.

Update, 10:20 PM: The 40s “tradition” is about five years old. Yes, there will be kosher food and booze. And no, this is not an April Fools joke. Bwog doesn’t believe in April Fools.


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  1. Colombo  

    Sucks. Admin is always fucking us over. Fucke them.

    Thanks to the councils for putting something together though.

  2. I'm torn  

    On the one hand, this is good of the school to do. On the other, why is our class the one that gets screwed over on these things? Winter Gala in Lerner, and no 40s on 40...come on people, we have few enough traditions as it is, let us keep the ones we have!

  3. naked run!  

    more naked run!

  4. This is ridiculous  

    First off, the ass-slappery was class of '05, not last year, and that coincided with beer funneling on alma's lap. Second, this is a scam, I don't believe there will be "48 ounces of free beer" as Chait says, in the same way that I've never had my "4 free beers at Lerner Pub" because, oh shit, they ran out. Third, this is a fucking tradition, something I've been waiting for 4 fucking years, and I for one plan to avoid the douchebaggery and get smashed as far from Chait's loser event as I can. I encourage anyone who loves freedom to drink their own malt liquor (St. Ides recommended) on Low Plaza, and skip the loser-event. If everyone is disobedient, then we'll all be free.

  5. yo douche  

    if you're so angry about the event - skip it...what do you care if its going.

    • This is ridiculous  

      I care that is going on up so as to prevent the event that I've been waiting for. Chait's fucking potato salad party (yes, he brags about having potato salad->as if potato salad belongs at a kegger!!?!) is going to be on the steps to draw away the critical mass necessary for the sort of legendary civil disobedience required for a real 40 on 40 day.

  6. sheeit  

    I'm gonna rock 40s in the piano lounge

  7. Rebel!  

    Using lame Lerner Pub experiences to fuel the fire, it shouldn't be hard to encourage senior rebellion this Thursday. Large-scale civil disobedience is the name of the game on 40s on 40.
    We can either drink together, or die alone.

  8. Matt Schoenfeld  

    I'm Matt Schoenfeld and I am poor!

  9. Matt Schoenfeld  

    April Fools! I'm actually quite wealthy, that is what makes me better than you!!

  10. how old  

    how old is this tradition? It seems pretty lame and contrived.

  11. New Tradition  

    I propose a new tradition: First we drink the admin's free beer for 40 on 40. Then, the following Thursday, we all crack open a 40 33 days 'til graduation. 4pm on the steps.

  12. frumph  

    Whether or not this is an April Fools joke, it amuses me that the post makes it sound like Prezbo getting his ass slapped was the final straw. well, when the debauchery gets THAT bad...

  13. But...Passover!  

    Will there be no Manischewitz for the wheat-challenged?

  14. bitter  

    I fucking hate the 40's on 40 tradition. Nothing makes you more violently angry than seeing a bunch of drunk seniors on your way to a Mowshowitz bio exam (thanks, class of '06! I got a 94 on the test anyway, so suck on that, booze-monkeys). I realize that this is probably an April Fool's joke, but I really hate the goddamn drinking culture that we have these days. If only the administration really WOULD cancel this stupid event... Well, whatever. I'll be VERY happy to graduate in 40 days.

  15. Know Your Rights  

    Just bag it up. For extra fun, slip a coke can into the as well, and when they ask to see what's in it, show em that bottle. Are they allowed to search the bag without your consent? Nope. Hooray for the 4th Amendment!

    They can threaten to bring in cops, etc. who are also not allowed to search through your stuff. Scare tactics are easily defeated with knowledge.

  16. hahaha  

    if you threw most columbia students the cheapest beer on the planet, the dingiest food and the lamest of graduation speakers most would be elated... we (well, not "me") have the palate of pedestrians

  17. actually  

    You should know your rights on this specific instance. The steps are private property, owned and operated by Columbia University. While there are rights that you can brown bag it out on the streets of NYC, this is private property and Columbia says that no open containers are allowed unless at a University sponsored event. While that does suck, it is their prerogative to create their own rules for their property.

    Also, this is not an April Fools prank as this discussion has been happening at the Dean and central administration's level since November. Sorry :(

  18. 20 bucks  

    that was Dan Okin.

  19. Fior

    Whatever happened to the Bell Jar?

  20. FUCK

    the PO-lice. another tradition bites the dust.

    before we got here the administration attempted to crack down on orgo night because of overcrowding. fuckers.

  21. Bethmann-Hollweg  

    I was drinking for most of last week out on the steps, and no one seemed to mind.

    I fancy my chances of repeating such a feat again this week.

    Death to the west.

  22. ummmm  

    who cares?? there is still alcohol! a good portion of which will be free. if you find yourself too sober, run to morton william, buy a beer, and pour it into the cup. not hard.

  23. 40 Or Fight!  

    Man everywhere is free, and yet he lives in chains. One day, one single day, out of every grinding year we have a chance to do the Greeks we've etched into our edifaces proud and have our own Symposium on the steps. Our libations flow and for one sweet, ephemerally passing moment, we do something that is so rare and precious that we seek it like platinum and should guard it like a diamond - we have fun.

    Well today, the eternal enemy, the powers that be, have decided to flew their muscles of control. No one is hurt, no one has problems, and still they must reach their iron fists into our cradles of tradition and rob a little child that I call "fun." They come as they always come, with the "law" and the "power" on their side. They come with the police, with the guns, with the endowments, with the 200+ years of history, and they come, my friends, for me and for you.

    Now we know for whom the bell tolls.

    And what will the administration do with my beloved little "fun?" They will toss it on the trash heap, with the rest of the things they have no use for but cannot stand anyone else in the world having. They will fight us ravenously because they know no other way. They are the GIANTS. we are meek.

    But despite all their advantages, and all our meekness, shall we surrender? Does might make right or can we stop them? Our brothers who marched on Washington all those years ago, did they gain nothing? When Gandhi went to the sea and made salt did he use it to flavor his vegetables? No! He used it to toss the British from India!

    We do not need their power, their right, their history, their might. We need only to march together, to be unified in truth, to be unafraid.

    I will not lie friends. We stand now in a great darkness. Surrender if you must, but I will go foward, a majority of one, standing against the implaccable forces of the universe. I will refuse to go gently into that good night.

    And friends, sweet, loving friends, I beg you to join me. You have nothing to lose but your chains, and nothing to gain but equality. Rise up! Grab the 40! Tilt it backwards and bring the frothy fullness to your lips, letting the cool suds of freedom wash down your oppression parched throat.

    Yes they may arrest us. Yes they may shatter our bottles and splatter our beer on the cold stony steps of their institution. They may knock the bottles from our hands, spraying the cool liquid on Alma, letting the alcohol drip down her face like so many tears at the unjustice of it all. They may do all this and worse. But if they do, and I hope they do strike us down, we will become more powerful than they can ever imagine.

    There are far more of us than them, and we do not need to loose our wroth for them to feel the disapproval of the countless billions. We do not need violence to defeat them. We need merely to try and drink our beers. In failing we shall succeed, and in succeeding we shall reach unheard levels of truth.

    So I call to you, friend of friends, lover of life, giver of hope. You, individual, the one who knows what is right and will do what needs to be done. You, beautiful soul, who can lift the 40, who can get krunk, who knows what life really is. I call on you. Come forth, come outside! Awaken the sleeper! Breath the air of a better tomorrow! Remake the world how we know it should be, not how it is!

    For fairness! For freedom! For 40s!

  24. moph

    i'm almost certain 40-on-40 started in the 2003-2004 academic year. "Five" years is a bit of a stretch.

  25. i know!  


    • Nuh Uh

      Sorry. Eisenhower GIFTED 116th Street to the University, making it private property--that's why they close the gates once a year to indicate that it's private. Besides, the steps are off of 116th so they were private even before that.

      • i'm pretty  

        sure that number 35 was joking.

        because obviously everything on the tour was true.

        i found the owl back in 1987 and thus will be speaking as valedictorian for the class of 2007.

  26. this is  

    ttan, and I call for 40s on Uris steps.

  27. DHI  

    "Bwog doesn't believe in April Fools'"

    Man, but I do. It is no April Fools' joke that anyone with media access, alternative or not, has a moral imperative to deceive as many of them as possible on April 1st.

  28. i love how  

    i love how new york is filled with some of the world's most superior bars and we insist on behaving as if we went to school in Iowa (with all due respect to Iowa).

  29. wow

    if you think about it, the admins pretty awesome--- same party, but now we dont have to pay for it!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    basically same thing they did for winter gala--- twice the amount of people, three times as nice of decorations, less cost on the students!!!!!


  30. JoeyBaby

    I received no such email.

  31. yup  

    definitely shollenberger.

  32. if you  

    thought the news for 40s was bad, another party may also bite the dust this semester.

    hot jazz.

  33. a modest proposal  

    an alternative that will scare the fuck out any administrator. come out with some wine and bread of your choice. tell them you are celebrating the last supper, which also takes place on thursday. see what they say then.

  34. whatevs  

    columbia students are tragic

  35. beer =  


  36. $100  

    to the first person who slaps an administrator's butt (in good humor) after the University-sponsored booz-shmooze

  37. asslappery police  

    What the ass-slapper in 05 a guy or a girl? I need a visual here.

  38. booze on campus  

    We were drinking during relay for life and everything was fine until some loser complained and security was called. As long as you aren't throwing bottles and losers don't call the 5-0 you're fine.

  39. mr jew  

    Bwog posts are becoming less and less frequent. I want at least 10 posts a day! I want my money's worth!

  40. the ass-slapper

    was definitely a guy. I saw his friends carry him back to EC a few hours later.

  41. 40s

    according to spec, the event will not include gs students? ::sigh:: guess it's back to the ghetto...

  42. Bullshit  

    Perhaps the administration should realize they have pathetic Alumni giving compared to other Ivies because they spend their time stomping out harmless fun like this and throwing unthinkable amounts of money at things no one cares about like Football.

  43. organize  

    40's on 33 is a great idea...perhaps tallboys on 24 would be better, either way if people organize we can revive the event, seriously we can do this

  44. meh  

    frankly what percent of the students even go to these fratesque events. I don't know anybody worth knowing who would be caught dead at it...

    • Great  

      You're obviously not worth knowing if the thought of a fun event to bring students together before graduation is something you "wouldn't be caught dead at."

      If you don't want to make this campus a place where we can pretend for at least one afternoon that we actually go to college, that's your problem. The rest of us like the idea of campus-wide parties.

      • Campus Wide?!  

        This is like when your parents say you can't go out to a friend's party, but instead they'll host one for you and your friends, but under their rules.

        I'm sure you'd totally love that.

  45. Great, again  

    I was talking about the original, unofficial 40s on 40 as being something worth attending, not an administrative response. It was my understanding that the poster to whom I was replying (#59) was saying that 40s on 40 was a fratesque event not worth attending.

  46. Adam Aviv  

    Today was the Columbia sponsored senior event on the step to
    commemorate 40 days left of senior year. As promised, there would be
    numerous alcohol and food.

    I quote the email:
    "The event 40 DAYS will have some amazing amenities. Kegs of beer will
    be provided using the great Lerner Pub rules. Loads of delicious
    picnic food like subs and salads will be supplied (This includes
    Kosher for Passover wine and food options). "

    The inclusion of Kosher for Passover wine and food was a complete
    understatement, if not a lie. When I attended the event and went in
    search of the Kosher amenities, I found to my amazement they were all
    gone. I arrived at 1220, 20 minutes into a 4 hour event and there was
    no more Kosher stuff left. After asking some of the catering people, I
    learned that the Student Council only ordered 10 bottles of kosher
    wine and 10 kosher meals for an event where probably close 30% of the
    2000 seniors planning on attending are Jewish and even worse this is a
    4 hour event. The only other options left for the Jewish students who
    follow passover was Soda since the regular meal, Sandwiches and
    Macaroni Salad, are not Kosher for Passover. So in actuality there
    were really NO options for Jewish students. I asked the Senior Class
    president to explain this problem, and his only response was that they
    were sorry.

    I think something more needs to be done. One I want to demand a formal
    apology from not only the Senior Class Council but from Columbia as
    well. I also think it would be appropriate for them to hold the event
    again, after passover, so that all the students can participate. This
    is clear case of cultural insensitivity and it should not stand,
    especially at a Columbia where Anti-Semitic claims are not a new

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