Embracing all things collegiate, Bwog joined the class of 2012 last night in Roone Arledge Auditorium for Class Act: Advance Screening.

Day One of NSOP challenged the wily troop of 12s with long lines, dorm room design, and familial farewells followed by awkward introductions and icebreakers.  But no odyssey draws to a close without its due reward. To initiate the 12s into dear alma mater, NSOP offered up an Class Act, an evening of campus tips and trivia and brazen leonine spirit.

As is tradition with all Columbia events, Class Act began a full half hour late. OLs and their charges kept busy with the multiple-choice quizlets projected on a screen at the front of the auditorium. Although this competitive and cognitive exercise quickly won the crowd’s attention, the first skit, featuring a cell phone toting personification of the Alma Mater statue, dragged on with repetitive, but well-received, nods to the new class.

Following that, Belinda Archibong, NSOP coordinator and Convocation’s breakout star, introduced a short film featuring OLs’ favorite places around town.  The OLs responses ranged from local (Dodge gym and John Jay cafeteria) to somewhat more adventurous (B.B. King Blues Club and Grill and Steps Dance Studio.)  Although the gym and JJ enthusiasts received the most laughs — obviously their intention — the homebody OLs came off as more sincere in their responses than their ostensibly more savvy counterparts.  

But without a doubt, Class Act favored kitschy cheer over savvy insight.  To further rally CU pride, the newbies were subject to a harrowing pep talk given by Women’s Volleyball coach, Jon Wilson, accompanied by the Columbia marching band, complete with Roar-ee in his signature light blue jersey and three spandex-clad and sparkly members of the dance team. The speech ended with a solicitation for frosh volleyball fans, promises of free t-shirts and an obligatory “Roar, Lions, Roar.”

And while it was a lot of fun to see a tuba and blue and white pom-poms, the Varsity Show performance was the highlight of the night, in which stars from last spring’s show sang and danced a medley of V Show classics with older cast members — though the performance lacked some of the V Show’s wittier numbers. The lyrics riffed on the familiar Columbia content: hating on NYU, the swim test, Ivy League in-jokes, Facebook and the like. Class Act ended as Jessica Marinaccio, the peppy and platinum blonde Dean of Undergraduate Admissions, and rather blithe Kevin Shollenberger, Interim Dean of Student Affairs, shared the podium and led the crowd in the final rendition of “Roar, Lion, Roar”, as is the NSOP way.

— Mariela Quintana