Sweet, sweet Orgo Night was a lot breezier than last semester due to the Band’s last-minute change of location: at 11:30 last night, as 209 grew rowdier and rowdier, it was announced that due to threats from the administration Orgo Night would be happening outside. But the show must go on, so Bwoggers Zoe Sottile and Zack Abrams snagged some quality standing room spots on a smoking bench outside Butler.
If you were in Butler at any point last night before midnight, you probably noticed a lot more Public Safety presence than usual. We love feeling policed on our campus! Unfortunately, due to all that hullaballoo, Orgo Night was forced to move outside, and by midnight a large crowd had gathered outside the door of Butler. The weather was lovely, if a little bit sweaty due to the crowd, and public safety kept a path to the doors clear to let poor finals-crammers leave the library safely.
After a dramatic parting-the-crowd entrance, CUMB started the night by taking aim at Columbia’s favorite social groups: fraternities! Specifically, however, they started with the recent racist fraternity scandals at Syracuse and Cal Poly–a little bit confusing since this night is supposed to be All About Columbia. The timely material about Columbia and the recent Spec op-ed about racism in a fraternity at Columbia was the best received–“Columbia frats can be racist too” was met with much laughter and applause. Calling Greek life “more problematic than a Pennsylvania Starbucks” was equally timely and funny.
The next joke, all about food security on campus, hit all the right notes: timely, funny, and just a bit combative. They covered a lot of material, ranging from Hewitt’s ‘B’ rating from the city to the recent student arrest to the EC renovations. A lot of their jokes drew an equal number of laughs and shocked gasps: like that “if there’s anything the police care about, it’s table manners.” Perhaps the boldest take was their remark that, “choosing to live in EC is like not showing up to ESC meetings when you’re the president–if something bad happens to you, you knew what you were getting into.” An uproar from one small section of the crowd confirmed that a few ESC members were definitely in attendance for that zinger. The Band finished off this joke with a cover of “All of the Lights,” making us wonder if they had that planned before Kanye returned to Twitter and broke the Internet.
While we at Bwog love Columbia’s part in meme culture, the Band’s next joke, about the Facebook group Elitist Memes For Every Ivy League Teen fell a bit flat. Shitting on Cornell is fun for a little while, but like the rest of the night, the best material was that which centered on Columbia. To be fair, one of the most well-received jokes outside Butler (and also on our liveblog) was about how “eating clubs are not ‘officially’ affiliated with Princeton University, in the same way that “whites only” is not “officially” their admissions policy.” “Yalies don’t see any bush unless it’s named George and it plans to invade Iraq” was also vastly underrated.
It seemed strange that the only Harvard commentary was a joke about Boston accents – surely there’s a lot more roastable material there. As far as the Columbia jokes go, making fun of the administration for the Manhattanville expansion is certainly a worthy pursuit, even if it meant the Band forgot UPenn altogether. “Guess we really do put the Columbus in Columbia,” indeed.
Next up was gun control. A few of these jokes hit a little bit too close to home–a joke about missing “when kids learned that ‘the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell’ and not ‘the window is the most vulnerable part of the classroom’” got some shocked laughs. Our favorite image of the night was the NRA-endorsed dream of Fausta protecting Ferris with double-pump shotguns, a bit of an upgrade over the shadowy security guard. One benefit to arming faculty that got a big cheer: “…Barnard professors would finally have a way to deal with that one loud CC boy in every class.” Obnoxious CC boys in women’s studies seminars everywhere, you know who you are.
Finally, time for some piping hot Israel-Palestine discourse. Or rather, the South Park approach to politics: making fun of everyone who cared strongly either way. After mentioning how on campus “…pro-Israel and pro-Palestine students are still at odds…like Kanye and American history,” the Band poked fun at SGA’s sense of self-righteousness. But they also took aim at Barnard President Sian Beilock, noting that her response to the referendum was basically “No thanks – sent from my iPhone.” When they mentioned “Beilock claims she’s all for civil discourse,” a loud “Bitch, please!” was heard from the crowd.
The Band’s recommendation: divest from “the global market of big acronyms,” including “SGA, SSI, CUAD, and BWOG.” As it says right in our about section, it’s Bwog, not BWOG, as we’re not an acronym. In any case, the Band suggested forming “Students for Israel, Unless They’re for Palestine, and Also Students Who Haven’t Quite Made up Their Minds Yet, As Well as Students Who Have No Opinions, And Students Who Aren’t Vested in The Outcome Either Way But Want Administration To Respect the Results of the Referendum” or SFIUTFPAASWHQMUTMYAWASWHNOASWAVITOEWBWATRTROTR for short(er).
Last but not least, the Band discussed all things grad student, starting with the recent visual arts MFA student drama. They compared grad student life to life as a rat in a Carman suite: “You’re running from falling ceilings, nobody wants you to have sex, and the administration would prefer if you didn’t exist.” They poked fun at Prezbo and Provost Coatsworth, calling the Provost “less interested in Unions than Mississippi in the Civil War.”
In their best-received material, the Band slammed the recent proposal by the USenate to ban all student-faculty relationships, a policy that’s already in place at several other schools. It’s most controversial for banning any relationships with undergraduate TAs – even with other undergrads in different programs or classes. They joked provocatively about Columbia finally acting after “8007 cases of professors going into ‘early retirement’”–a lot of laughs, a lot of gasps. They closed the section by asking, “If one undergrad TA wants to fuck another undergrad TA, what happens? Is it like Schrodinger’s fuck–both banned and allowed until you ask the Provost and find out?” Great point, CUMB, and also hilarious.
So. Orgo Night. Overall, a pretty good time–and definitely enough of a community-bonding event to warrant a return to 209. Before the show actually started, a lot of students in the crowd were discussing their displeasure with the administration’s treatment of CUMB. One student mentioned how as a tour guide, she’s instructed to mention Orgo Night as one of Columbia’s best traditions to prospective students; another discussed how many students feel like the spaces of this campus don’t feel like home. Barring one of the best-known and longest-running traditions of Columbia from a campus building seems like an strange choice of crusade, especially in a time of student-administration turmoil. Hopefully Cynthia Nixon will visit again and sort everything out.
“Buddy, Holy Shit that’s Racist”
(Buddy Holly by Weezer)
“All of the Violations”
(All of the Lights by Kanye West)
“Paint it, Gold”
(Paint it, Black by The Rolling Stones)
“We’re All Locked In The Classroom Together”
(We’re All In This Together from High School Musical)
“Any Referendum You Want”
(Any Way You Want It by Journey)
“You deserve a Holiday”
(Holiday by Green Day)
High Quality Photo via Snapchat