At the last Bwog meeting, we asked who wanted to review Orgo Night. Elizabeth Self asked “What’s Orgo Night?” We responded, “Don’t worry about it just show up to Butler 209 at 11:30 pm.” So for you this semester we have two accounts of Orgo Night: from an Orgo virgin and a more, uh, experienced participant.
Thursday night into Friday morning I had what I think was close to the most fun I’ve had since I got to Columbia—and I’m not sure if that’s good or pathetic.
At first Orgo Night was just strange. I got into Butler a little after 11 pm, when there are actually people trying to study, and find that 209 is packed. Security guards were clustered at all entrances, which made me wonder just what sort of thing I’d been signed up for. In spite of the rage of that one guy who screamed, “It doesn’t start for another half hour!”, things continued to get loud and people started climbing on top of the bookshelves and desks. Someone would start singing the fight song for no apparent reason, and then everyone, including me, would join in, also for no apparent reason.
When the band marched in I was booted from my perch atop a middle table by two enthusiastic band people. From that point I was awkwardly trapped between the masters of events and the rest of the band, and I thought I would go deaf. Not to mention, as they stood on the desk my eyes were at their crotch level.
I guess it’s good that no one told me what Orgo Night was, because I wasn’t expecting anything, though I didn’t have a clue when I was going to escape from the infernal crush of hysterically stressed students that was hotter than Mississippi Walmart parking lot in July. It went really quickly, though, and the jokes on our behalf (or, at least, the football team), on the rest of the Ivy League’s behalf (“It shouldn’t be harder to get a B than to get the D!”), and more or less everyone else fathomable’s behalf were broken up nicely by the band playing a remarkable selection of pop songs.
A few of my favorite moments:
Senior Alexandra Svokos puts the script into context.
Compared to my last seven semesters here, this one has been incredibly tame. I mean, we haven’t once had to set up overnight shifts to monitor comments. With this in mind, I was seriously concerned about what the Band would dig up to discuss. This concern was valid. It was a much milder Orgo Night than any others I’ve seen, less Columbia-specific and widely offensive. That’s not necessarily a bad thing and not a fault of the Band’s—they did what they could with the materials at hand.
The opening subject was the Barnard sign-in policy. Rather than having a go at Barnard girls, as one might expect, the Band instead took swipes at the silliness of both the Barnard and Columbia administrations for not being able to get their shit together in terms of a swipe-in policy. “The Columbia swipe-in situation is an absurd policy for a University that constantly claims to cultivate a sense of cum-munity,” they remarked, going on to make a Gloria Steinem/Phyllis Schlafly joke that led everyone around me to remark “I didn’t get it…”
Following this, the Band moved on to discuss SWS and the call for better working conditions for the dining staff. It was a pretty decent section, full of standard jokes on the quality of Columbia dining hall food/facilities. They then played “Fuck You” for like the eightieth time, but the freshmen got a kick out of it.
Moving on, the band took some time to shit on the other Ivies. Yeah, that’s how boring this semester at Columbia was—CUMB had to resort to making Yale poop jokes. But those jokes were hilarious! Definitely a highlight of the night, really kicking in on the other schools. Not sorry for making Brown a recurring punchline. True to form, UPenn was not once mentioned. Bwog silently chuckled on realizing that.
Finally we got around to the f-word. Per policy, we can’t really talk about this section, but it sucked less cock than a Barnard girl on her period. #turnitblueballs
Next, the band spoke about the rising conversations on racism that have popped up this semester, cleverly stringing together several of the big discussions—Top Girls, Vagina Monologues, Greek Beats. The focus was mainly on how crazed all of y’all get over the smallest thing, concluding with some great wisdom: “there is something to be said for being constantly offended by the smallest of perceived transgressions, because it allows you to go through life without having to apply critical thinking to a single fucking thing you see. Look; if you want to see some really racist shit, dress up like a Sikh professor and take a walk in Harlem.”
To close out the night, CUMB spoke about sexual assault policy. Again, this could have gotten real rough—like seriously offensive, shocked faces everywhere, raised eyebrows, etc. etc. But instead, once again, the Band chose to spew at the administration, ’Bo specifically, and call them out for being so utterly useless on this/every major conversation on campus. Daphne Chen got a personal shout-out for her Spec op-ed, the op-ed boys were finally called out for their “masturbatory dialogue on the Jewish White Man’s burden,” I started to think that the only way to get personally called out at Orgo Night is to write a Spec op-ed (remember Lanbo last semester?), and the Band rounded out with their usual Orgo jokes. Fun fact: Orgo Night isn’t actually the night before the orgo exam. Good luck to everyone on Monday!