Tensions flared up on campus today after Columbia University administrators informed the Board of Columbia University Marching Band (CUMB) that they would not be allowed to carry out their best-known tradition: storming Butler 209 on the night before the Organic Chemistry (Orgo) final for a night of music and jokes to give students a much-needed break from the stress of final exams. "Orgo Night" dates back to 1975 and the marching band is outraged that administrators are preventing them from carrying out their beloved tradition.
The band has released a statement on the matter:
On Wednesday, December 7th, we, the leadership of the Columbia University Marching Band, the Cleverest Band in the World™, received an “invitation” to meet with Provost John Coatsworth and Vice Provost and Head Librarian Ann Thornton. The original correspondence cited a desire to discuss “the band’s usage of Butler library,” with no further details provided.
The meeting was held on Friday, December 9th—less than a week prior to Orgo Night.
In the meeting, Vice Provost Ann Thornton immediately informed us that Orgo Night could no longer take place in Butler, where it has been held for the last forty years. When we asked why our event, only six days away, was suddenly under fire, Vice Provost Thornton cited that Orgo Night was “a disruption of a crucial study space during an already stressful time of year,” as if kicking us out will make finals week in Butler any less stressful. After a long and contentious meeting, the Provost and Vice Provost offered that the band and the administration take the weekend to consider their positions, formulate possible compromises, and reconvene on the following Monday, December 12th.
Read the full Orgo Night Statement right here.