We hate a lot of things at Columbia, but we admit we love surviving self-inflicted doom. Here’s a genuine shout-out to the institution that literally, but dispassionately, gives us life, especially on Bacchanal Day. Although it has to be said: like most great love stories, the love here is unrequited.
St. Luke’s, you’re a gem: an unassuming fortress of brick and glass that has housed the vomit, blood, and neuroses of Columbians since time immemorial. (Or really, since 1896.) Through it all, you’ve been impassive, a little aloof. There is no judgement here, only cool medical attention. Yes, the nerdy, excitable, newly-liberated, and newly-intoxicated students in your emergency room are beneath you, but to be fair, everything is—so we don’t take it personally, but admire you from afar.
And Bacchanal is the day you really earn our love. Seriously, props! A writhing, drunken mass of college students stumbling in and out of frat parties, jungle-themed pregames, disgusting bathrooms, and fenced-off concert sections? Clearly a recipe for disaster, especially since some of us are really bad at #stateschoolthings. But you pull through. You lift unconscious boys and girls off Frat Row stoops, put up with their blabbering friends, pump them full of solution and attention, clean up an exciting assortment of bodily fluids, and release them when they can stand on their own feet. Really, what would the spectacularly short-sighted students of this university do without your antiseptic, no-nonsense, mildly-befuddled (no one told you Bacchanal was today…) style of care?
(On this note, we also have to acknowledge the members of CAVA who put up with the idiocy of their fellow students on this momentous day, at the expensive of practicing any idiocy of their own. Your med school apps are testament to this great sacrifice.)
Without you, we’d probably be…vomiting on some street corner? Groaning? Bopping to the sick beatz and killer vocals of a Bacchanal artist named after a unit of measurement? Something of the sort. And yeah, the bill for the ambulance ride is slightly terrifying, but that’s the price of living. So from the bottom of our hearts: thanks for keeping us alive and ready for a healthier, fuller Bacchanal experience the next time around.
The next time we walk past that iconic “EMERGENCY” sign, as we often do at 3 am, we’ll notice the gleaming glass, the quiet hum of muscle knitting itself back together—and we’ll say a little prayer for your emergency room capacity this coming Saturday.
St. Luke’s via Wikimedia