Did you get so caught up in studying for your CC final/reorganizing your entire wardrobe (dammit, Adderall!) that you missed Orgo Night? We scoped out Butler 209 early and got a good seat just so we could bring you the recap.
We walked into 209 at 11:25 last night, and it was a lot quieter than expected. People were still shushing as we huddled around a few of the study carrels in the middle and whispered to each other. By 11:40, 209 was filling up, and the people at the study carrels around us still weren’t moving. Turns out one of them didn’t know about Orgo Night: “I have an exam, though!” he said. Sorry, man.
It turns out that this carrel (which all of Bwog ended up sitting on and crowding around) was the one that the band decided to stand on as well. Things got intimate real quick—Orli, Mikhail, does this mean we’re now close enough to be Facebook friends???
The band opened with the usual Fight Song, and while on top of us, Mikhail announced, “Ladies and gentlemen and organic chemistry students, back despite being beaten black and blue, it’s the most white (and gold) band in the world, the Columbia University Marching PENIS!”
The band’s first topic was the administration’s “War on Fun”—from shutting down Fall Bacchanal to censoring the Days on Campus Varsity Show preview—to “ensure that you’re exactly as miserable as a football player in Lit Hum…or on the football field.” The real target, though, was the mishandling of Bacchanal this spring. Along with Cornell and Barnard jokes, the band criticized the Bacchanal Committee, the administration, and ineffective student council members before launching into a rendition of Kanye West’s “Bound 2 [Get Canceled Eventually].” A favorite joke: in talking about the $25,000 student councils gave in order to open up Butler lawns during the concert (which were basically empty), the band said, “The student government shouldn’t feel all that foolish though—$25,000 to not walk on the Butler lawns is typically just called tuition.”
They then launched into a section on President Obama’s choice to locate his presidential library at UChicago, making jokes about gun violence in Chicago and New Haven (Yale is “The University of Chicago of New Haven”), and then getting into criticisms about foreign policy and drone strikes. The band then said that Obama should consider becoming a professor at Columbia after his term is over, because he “really is the quintessential Columbian: like most students, he started off as an idealistic activist, but then realized he wanted to accomplish something.” The band then played “Sweet Dreams” in honor of “Malia’s Columbia application,” which we didn’t think made much sense.
The next section was probably our favorite—the band combined a critique of “socially conscious Columbians” who are nevertheless scared to enter Harlem with the story of Michael Getzler’s arrest—”How will [students] get their drugs while continuing to avoid Harlem at all costs?” the band asked. The band interchangeably referred to Getzler by his name and by Anonymous, referring to the Spec op-ed that he supposedly wrote detailing his time as the campus drug dealer. Our favorite lines: “As it turns out, people do read Spec…it’s just that those people are the police,” and the band’s reference to Getzler as “Bong Quixote.” The band then performed Taylor Swift’s “[Vape] It Off.”
The CUMB then opened into a discussion of students’ financial troubles. They talked about the Columbia Class Confessions Facebook page and the CU Meal Share group while simultaneously calling out administrators for seemingly doing nothing. We also loved their joke about a hypothetical class confession by Prezbo: “Even as the third most highly paid University President, I can’t afford a decent haircut.” The band followed this up by playing “Hey Ya[…Got a Meal Swipe?]”
CUMB seemed to make a lot of people uncomfortable when it focused on No Red Tape’s projections on Low Library and criticized both NRT and the media for “reducing” their movement to a “single case.” “To be clear,” they said, “we’re not discrediting Emma or her case,” but they did point out how “click-baity” a lot of the news coverage has been, and how the administration still doesn’t seem to be doing anything. In honor of “slowing progress,” they played “Happy Together.”
Finally, the band went after the Sexual Respect requirement, which they nicknamed “Sex Hum.” The band brought up the divide between the amount of rape that we see depicted in all of our core classes and the pathetically juvenile and shallow “workshops” and “art projects” associated with the Sexual Respect requirement, and they urged the administration to “focus more on fostering a community which protects and supports survivors” and to accept their joke as their arts option for the program. The band followed this by playing “Any Way You Want [to Fulfill This Requirement Is Adequate].” They wrapped up the night by announcing their study tips and marching out of Butler.
Although the show seemed to be less crowded than last semester’s (probably due to the controversy surrounding the winter show), and despite this semester not being too controversial, the show was still high-energy and crowd-pleasing, with plenty of typical Orgo Night humor (met with both gasps and laughter). Since we had such a good seat—Orli twerked in our faces during all of the songs—we were able to hear Orli’s and Mikhail’s (and other band members’) improvised jokes and the other members’ reactions, such as when Mikhail periodically said he was “punching up,” or when Orli thanked her mom for watching the livestream and giving her money to buy weed. We were also especially pleased to be there for Orli’s last show (she even hugged us!), and we look forward to seeing more from the band next year.