The Columbia University Marching Band released a statement tonight declaring their intent to perform Orgo Night in protest to Vice Provost Ann Thornton’s decision to forbid the event from occurring in Butler 209.
Specifically, the Band claims that Columbia’s decision to block the use of 209 is a suppression of free speech which all groups should fear. The Columbia University Marching Band’s decision to protest comes after semesters of referencing protesters in their Orgo Night scripts. In Fall 2015, for example, they referred to a BCSN event as an “all-you-can-protest buffet.”
According to the event’s Facebook page, Orgo Night will begin at 11:30 in front of Butler Library. “Orgo Night,” the statement declares, “is NOT cancelled.”
See the full statement from the band below:
To the Students of Columbia University:
The administration’s decision to oust Orgo Night from Butler 209 sets a dangerous precedent, undermining student groups’ right to organize and their right to free expression. Location is fundamental to any form of public expression, and when the administration dictates where students can and cannot organize, it effectively corrupts and redefines the students’ message.
This decision impacts more than just Orgo Night and the Marching Band. It carries with it the broader implication that student expression comes second to administrative agenda, which could legitimize future restrictions on free speech unrelated to Orgo Night.
Join us in front of Butler tonight at 11:30pm for the start of this semester’s Orgo Night. Help us let the administration know that we, as a collective student body, demand that they be transparent in their decision-making processes and that they represent the first amendment values they so vigorously tout as a core ideal.
To be perfectly clear, Orgo Night is NOT cancelled. The show will go on, in the form of a protest. We hope to see you all there.
Sincerely and g(tb)^2,
The Board of the Columbia University Marching Band
Fall 2015’s Orgo Night via Bwog’s file photos