Head Librarian, Ann Thornton, made her decision today that Orgo Night has no value and that the sanctity of Butler 209 cannot tolerate the presence of the Band for a half hour twice per year. Why? No reason. It's just the way she feels. Forty years of tradition be damned. It's her library, and she does not want the band to be there. Other stress reducers, including bringing in cookies, and puppies and frisbees, are permitted. Why? Because Ann Thornton says so.
What are the consequences? A large number of otherwise engaged and active alumni are now angry, disappointed, and will make no donations to the University. Reunion classes in May will spend their time talking about Orgo Night and how the University has killed off the tradition for no reason and has taken away one more connection we had to Columbia.
Students will understand that the University is all about stress and the no-fun mentality of this administration.
It is sad. Despite the outcry, the University administration, and particularly President Bollinger and Dean Valentini, have given Ms. Thornton permission to run roughshod over students, alumni, and University Tradition.
The administration should expect that this issue will continue to be a source of discussion among alumni and will be a black mark on Columbia for years to come.
And for what? We really don’t know. And that is, indeed, sad.