ESC: Behind Bacchanal’s Blues

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A theoretical depiction of a Bacchanal concert held in Butler Library

Sean Zimmermann emerged from his home in Mudd to bring us this report of the final ESC meeting for the semester.

ESC opened with a presentation by Columbia College Senator Kenny Durell, who spoke on the recent Bacchanal Inquiry. Durell explained that UEM and Commencement, during a meeting in late March, determined that there would not be a conflict between Commencement and Bacchanal last year.

Though Bacchanal was not informed that they would need to move the event from Low Plaza to the lawns until April 19th, the move was not triggered by early commencement setup (as many believed), but due to safety concerns. Public Safety explained that, after analyzing previous Snoop Dogg concerts, they predicted an abnormally large attendance, and were concerned there would not be enough space to safely hold the event on Low Plaza. In hindsight, the event drew 8,000 attendees, so Public Safety’s concerns appear to have been justified. Durell explained the event would not have fit on Low Plaza.

However, security and facilities fees are not assessed until June. In general, public safety and facilities are not required to give exact costs before a student event. They give an estimate, then charge after the event. Facilities and securities fees were not billed to Bacchanal until June, at which time Bacchanal learned that the concert cost $25,421 more than expected, of which, $16,107 was due to the move itself, and the rest was due to additional security costs.

In non-Bacchanal news, the council also encourages students to use the newly created study spaces on the 5th and 6th floor of Butler, explaining that if they are not used during finals, the space will be closed down.

Revelry via Wikimedia Commons

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    This fucking school can't even cover its students' Spring Concert.

    What's that? Contribute to the Senior Fund? May lulz never cease.

    - CC '12

  2. Anonymous

    I can't see how nobody thinks this too, but why the hell is all this money spent on Bacchanal?? I mean, it's great that these rappers - who are of course excellent human beings and great role models to all of us - can come and perform for 8,000 students, but think about how much frickin money is spent! Like 100,000 dollars or more! While all these student groups can barely get more than 500 bucks in gatsby funding and only a thousand or two from the school, this concert is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars!!

    • Anonymous  

      Before you criticize Bacchanal, you should realize that the multicultural groups receive huge sums of money for events that are attended by a fraction of the people. Columbia gets hard just thinking about diversity and throws more dollars at minorities than a blacked out I-banker drops at Flashdancers.

      What I'm trying to say is, "Ask not what Columbia can do for your event - ask what your event can do for Columbia's brochures."

      • Anonymous  

        ...but doesn't a lot of that money come from the Kluge fund? The university can't help who donates what. When I get rich and famous and all of a sudden Columbia is building actual undergraduate arts facilities while other campus groups languish in generalized Columbia-administration neglect, it won't be the cellists' fault. The funny thing is, if all the pissed-off Columbia alums got together, they could probably put money aside for a large enough donation to make the university actually do something different.

      • fuck you  


        • Anonymous  

          I don't think you understand campus finances. Not to pick on a specific group but many Asian groups get upwards of $10,000-20,000 for their annual event. They do a great job showcasing cultural talent, but their expenses simply don't align with funding. Groups perform for free, Lerner booking is free after 5, and they sell tickets at $5-10 a pop (also upwards of 250-400 people attend which is great btw)

          Just saying that Columbia doesn't care where they funnel money to as long as they can advertise events on how diversity aware they are. Once events are construed as preprofessional or too small to advertise, funding becomes an issue.

    • oh shut up  

      Bacchanal is the one time this school ever comes together. Even more so than at Homecoming. No one gives a shit about your fucking Students For a Sustainable Poop Blah blah Yadda club.

      • Anonymous  

        why do we need to "come together"? i'm proud of going to Columbia, a diverse school, not just superficially diverse racially (yes! excessive 'multicultural events' spending is dumb), but diverse in interests. i go here ~specifically~ because we don't feel the petty need to "come together" at homecoming, and i'm pretty stoked that everyone got bored and left that stupid fire torch thing we did on the steps during NSOP week. go to state school, bro. also please rot in a hole and die.

        bacchanal should justify its high budget by putting on genuinely interesting events that are worth $$$,$$$, as opposed to being crowned its massive budget just because we need something to "come together" on.

        • Anonymous  

          Whoa, calling a person a bro and telling him to go to state school? Watch out guys. We're dealing with a badass here.

          Disregarding my ad hominem, I do think that a sense of community is fairly important because it can create a more supportive environment beyond the foundations of shared experiences and traditions. Humans are biologically wired so that they are more likely to perform altruistic behavior for people who they believe to be closer, i.e. you are more likely to help your family (genetic similarity) as well as your friends.

          A sense of community is a mental shortcut for judging someone's similarity to yourself. Hence, alumni are willing to reach out to students based solely on school and Americans bond with each other at a hostel full of English and Australians. More importantly, a community means that we are more willing to reach out and help each other in times of need, rather than scoff at someone with a "state school" mentality.

          Bacchanal, I believe, is absolutely necessary and should be supported to the fullest extent. Sure, it's not for everyone. Hell, I never listened to Snoop Dogg before the concert and still don't listen to him in my free time. Regardless, it was one of the only times that I'd seen so many Columbia students smiling on campus, enthusiastic that they were attending Columbia University in the City of New York rather than going to a school in NYC at some dreary Uptown hole of death.

          Anyways, it's Columbia. We waste a ton of money on other stupid shit so please stop taking a dump on other people's parade.

          • Anonymous

            yea, but come on - altruistic behavior!? prompted by a rap concert where everybody shows up drunk and high? Please.

          • Anonymous  

            Bacchanal is the island of plenty in a sea of want. It's only one event, but it was a lot of fun and demonstrated (kinda) that the school cares. More events that bring together the school and create a sense of fun would have greatly increased my enjoyment.

            Also, altruistic behavior is defined in the scientific definition, i.e. "I would like to volunteer my time and money to this community solely because I enjoyed my time and would like to give back."

            Altruistic behavior is probably better than aggressive behavior, which is "Fuck this place. I hate the administration and the arrogant assholes here. I just want to get the fuck out and leave this hellhole."

  3. Anonymous

    Oh my god last two comments above just made me believe there's hope in this institution after all. Thank god!!!

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