War on Fun Doesn’t Take A Snow Day, Either

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Public Safety Officer Joseph Feyjoo confronts ski team captain Raphael Graybill

Campus Public Safety put an end to the Columbia ski team’s effort to build a ski jump on the Low Library steps tonight.

Citing the jump’s potential danger to “small children,” two officers dispatched from Public Safety’s main office ordered the team to “cease and desist” its construction project, which had begun around 10 p.m. Club captain Raphael Graybill talked with the pair for about ten minutes trying to persuade them otherwise, but they refused to let the ski jump construction continue.

“I would love to let you do this — I would even love to do this with you — but you cannot do this,” Officer Joseph Feyjoo told the group of about 30.

Graybill explained that ski jumping on the Steps has been permitted before — four years ago, the team constructed a similar jump on the Steps with approval from campus administration. Graybill also described how he had called both the Facilities department and Public Safety today requesting approval for the jump, but no response was given.

“I’m just trying to stick to rules and precedents,” Graybill told the officers.

“Are you a law student?” fired back a surly Feyjoo.

When Graybill went on to point out that all ski team members have signed injury waivers that release Columbia of accident liability, Feyjoo ended the discussion.

“I know you’re very intelligent and very clever, but this is not happening,” he said.

“Is there anyone we can appeal this to?” Graybill asked the two officers.

“You call up Bollinger and get him to tell me this is okay, then I’ll let you do it,” replied Feyjoo.

Shut down by Public Safety, the ski team regrouped on the Steps for a rendition of “Roar, Lion, Roar” before departing for Riverside Park, where they will attempt to make a second ski jump.


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  1. raphael graybill  

    is the shit.

  2. Nit picker picking nits.  

    Bwog! There is only one lion! "Roar, Lion, Roar." Just one.

  3. ...

    Raphael Graybill for President, 2040

  4. columbia university...  

    danger to small children? if kids get hurt, blame the parents for being fucking clueless.

  5. i've noticed  

    that the campus police can be sort of lame on the steps. i appreciate that they are around for our safety, but for example, during the fall a friend and i were sitting about halfway up the steps eating some crackers, and they yelled at us to move. if we were drinking or something.....OK fine...but we were just enjoying the nice evening weather.....

  6. funny  

    "Are you a law student"

    graybill should've said: "Were you doing your job this morning?"

  7. Now  

    I can't get the image of a skier flying off that ramp and landing on some random kid crossing college walk at 10 at night...

  8. DHI  

    Booooooooooo! Boooooooo! Booooooooo!

  9. i think  

    he should have pulled out the big guns. "hi. i was a delegate for barack obama at the dnc. NOW can we build the ski ramp?"

  10. doods  

    ski team is in riverside park by 115th-ish with an awesome jump

  11. In other news...  

    Now we know why there are no more John Jay trays available for sledding:

    @ 2:10

    They're being used in the Broadway Community Soup Kitchen right there on 114th. Well, at least they're going towards a good cause.

    Don't miss the gem at 1:40... a guy forgets how many kids he has.

  12. oh no!  

    that guy forgetting how many kids bit is BRUTAL. ouch, NYTimes. Cut him some slack and edit that part out.

  13. well  

    Using some old JJ trays in riverside park was the shit tonight. And the jump the snowboarder build was simply amazing. Just did not get enough speed with the tray to do the jump.

  14. Columbia  

    Columbia No-Fun Policy strikes again. can we impeach our councils? They don't do jack shit.

  15. blame this  

    on the lack of john jay trays. columbia dining is a bunch of soulless bastards

  16. Oh irony  

    Before the redesign, the Columbia College website had an image of the Low Steps ski jump in its front-page rotation.

  17. kid?  

    Kids should grow up and become college students to roam around college campuses, and be cause of PS's worry.

  18. to be fair  

    the public safety guy does not have an ivy league education or intellect to defend his position with, and he's of course just following somebody else's marching orders here

  19. Joe Feyjoo  

    is wonderful! He has helped me out several times, and always been the kindest person in Low.

    It sucks that they didn't let the skiteam build the jump but like he said, he would have happily built it with them.

  20. to be fair  

    Even if the ski team has waivers, what about pedestrians, other students, employees, etc? Do you think that if a passer-by gets injured by a ski-team member they're going to sue just the 19-year old kid? I'm also pretty sure that if Raphael broke his neck on the steps, mommy and daddy would be suing Alma Mater, waiver or not.

    Just because you want to participate in a potentially dangerous (to yourself, and others) activity, and you go to college, doesn't give you the "right" to do so.

    • By that logic...  

      We shouldn't have any sports because the waivers mean nothing. Also any potentially dangerous on campus activity should be banned, no soccer on the Low fields because someone could skin their knee. I'm pretty sure that the ski team would think to move people out of the way of the landing area, they're as smart as you are remember?

      • ummm  

        waiver DO mean nothing. Columbia just has a huge insurance policy that covers sports events and everything that is officially sanctioned. I still think this whole thing was lame, but yeah a waiver means nothing, you can still sue all you want.

  21. Memories

    As a recent Alum, I can tell you that that ski jump of Jan '05 is one of my fondest memories of Columbia. And because they did it down the top steps of low, all of the flying through the air was done well before Low Plaza ended. In fact, almost no one could get the inner tubes we were sledding on down onto College Walk. So the "pedestrian" argument is bogus. Columbia is obviously trying to self-destruct what little alumni giving there is, because memories like that are the kind that get people giving 20 years later.

    Seriously people, if you stifle any kind of on-campus identity and life, you will never, ever end up with alumni who feel connected enough to campus to cough up anything 20 years later.

  22. ........

    A while back Public Safety tried to confiscate my friends' and my juice, because "you cannot drink alcohol on the steps." Except that it really was juice with nothing else in it...

  23. obnoxious  

    way to be an elitist dick

  24. There were no  

    goddamn pedestrians. It was around 11:00 at night.

  25. goddamn  

    i can't wait to get out of here. this school's going downhill. no pun intended.

  26. shit shit  


    what kind of small children are out at 10pm.

    this city is going bonkers. we're on the verge of a revolution.

  27. person  

    There's pretty much zero anyone here now can do about this, but has the administration considered how this is going to look to prospectives? Every nostalgic story from current students ending with "...and then public safety broke it up" does not a good pitch make.

  28. do they care?  

    the way the administration is running things these days (i.e. they hate their undergraduates and wish they would just shut up, stay inside by themselves and keep paying their tuition) it doesn't appear that they give a flying turd about what students think of their alma mater

  29. I hope  

    prospective students read the bwog comments section and think twice about coming here. It would be a shame for all of this griping to go to waste because we all know the administration doesn't care.

  30. oh no  

    god, columbia doesn't care about its students, i can't stand it, how can i live without my right to build a ski jump on private property

  31. Uncle Ben


    The library steps are concrete; they lead to more concrete: You're In New York City!

    Do you know what fracturing a femur costs? Do you know how much energy it takes to take care of someone with a fractured femur? Do you know how much they complain all the time, and want you to get them their cell phone, and don't do their homework, and just generally tell you you're stupid all the time because they're "in pain"? It's not pleasant.

    Injury waivers! You attempted to prerelease your negligence -- great, that qualifies you for membership in the united states chamber of commerce; you get a free mug from the Montana Defense Trial Lawyers for that one.

    You write Feyjoo a nice note thanking him for requiring you to use reasonable care -- crutches chaff.

  32. Angry Student  

    I'm going to have to go with the view that this is complete bullshit. The Public Safety officers are this school are failed cops who have nothing better to do with their time but continue the War on Fun. I have to pass them every day when I go to Low, and all I can say is 'Wow'. They're fucking worthless. When you hear one walking out of the office saying "Allright, look out muggers", you've got to lose a bit of respect for them. (Aside: I'd recant that statement if they could actually stop the muggings...) They jump at a phone call stating that someone is smoking pot. They will reprimand you for sitting on certain areas of the steps. Seriously? It's a fucking pile of snow, your pathetic $10 per hour job isn't at stake if a student does something stupid. So just do what you get paid to do: Sit on your ass and let the real policemen do the job for you.

    tl;dr version: Fuck security, let them jump!

  33. recent alum

    give the guys a break. they're just doing what their job requires them to do. the campus guards are friendly people, and i was glad to have around me for 4 years.
    you got to have your ski jump in the park. it was completely reasonable for columbia to shut down the ski jump on the steps. go to law school.

  34. Angry Student  

    I'd give them a break if they weren't constantly on a power binge. IIRC, Joe is the new guy, and really thinks he's a cop. It's kind of sad. Also, this is something that has been done and permitted in the past. Doesn't that mean something in terms of the law? Some alum...

  35. Angry Student  

    Ah, fine. I guess I'm just pissed I have to deal with two more years of the War on Fun...

    • happy student  

      or you could just get an apartment, or a pair of balls.

      public safety has never been a problem for me, or pretty much anyone i know. a party gets broken up, you go to another party, or downtown, or anywhere else. this is new york city, if you have nowhere good to go after a party is broken up, then that's sad, i feel for you baby.

      i think what you're all complaining about is that most parties held by columbia kids are just fucking terrible, and that's not public safety's fault.

      you have a whole city to get drunk in, to build ski jumps in; get a fake id and learn to have a good time within the constraints of the system. there'll always be constraints, anyone who can't find ways around them doesn't deserve to have fun.

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