War on Fun
The War on Fun is a term used by students to refer to the recent perceived crack-down by the administration on campus events, particularly those involving alcohol. This includes a campaign by the administration to prevent students from going to any parties except the co-opted, regulated, lame "events" sanctioned by the aforementioned administration, as well as an increase in breaking-up of parties in the dorms, more and more of which are resulting in judicial consequences for the hosts. The administration began its campaign around 2006.
While there is no acknowledged official campaign by the administration, the state of war is inferred by students from administrative actions overt and covert. Of the latter, the most often cited example is the administration's refusal to place an extra security guard on duty on weekend nights at East Campus, when long lines of students waiting to swipe in stretch out onto Ancel Plaza (a phenomenon that has given the building its weekend nickname, "Club EC"). As the complex consists largely of suites with large living rooms, EC has traditionally been a popular location to host parties. Students have interpreted the administrative indifference to the logistical nightmare of getting into EC on Friday and Saturday night as a passive attempt to discourage parties by making it such a hassle to get in the building.
Other acts include the co-option and over-regulation of underground or popular activities, such as the old "40s on 40" tradition which was converted into a watered-down fenced-off event that eventually became so expensive (thanks to red tape) and unpopular that it was cancelled. Similarly, Bacchanal is no longer allowed to hold parties off campus, i.e., at establishments serving beverages of the ethanol persuasion.
Perhaps the most egregious overt crack-down on a campus cultural fixture was the administrations inexplicable decision to suddenly drown the nearly half-century-old Postcrypt Coffeehouse folk concert venue in a flood of bureaucratic obfuscation of biblical proportions on the basis of an unsubstantiated and hyperbolic anonymous Bwog comment.
Additionally, the ongoing NYPD crackdown on loose restrictions on IDs in local bars is often lumped in with the War on Fun but is actually merely an unfortunate coincidence that happens to exacerbate the situation and add to the sense that The Man is conspiring to short-circuit your fun.
One ironic consequence of the War on Fun has been a dramatic increase in membership of Columbia's fraternities and sororities, which traditionally played a peripheral role in the campus social scene. The greek organizations have benefited from the administrations willingness to allow them to self-police, even as it effectively shuts down other venues by demanding that they spend unreasonable amounts of money on unnecessary security measures.
Part of the War includes a suddenly stringent enforcement of "Noise Policies" and other dormitory regulations by RAs, such as the enforcement of an apparent ban on consumption of alcohol in suite common rooms (on the basis that they were "public spaces"). In effect this meant that a senior of legal drinking age living in a Hogan suite with 3 other drinking age classmates was forbidden from consuming a beer in his own living room while watching TV. Rather, said senior would have to take the beer to his room first, where he or she could then proceed to consume it unimpeded by this asinine policy.
When CCSC undertook a campaign to reach a compromise solution with the administration on these rules, the administrators expressed their bizarrely Victorian view that the alcohol issue was no more than a blight on a "purely academic institution." That was February. One month later CCSC announced that their efforts at working with the administration had progressed to being "ignored" by Dean Scully Kromm of residential life. A few weeks later the administration decided to reach out to the councils: after finally meeting with council members and expressing a desire to move forward, Scully Kromm also informed them that the administration was already working on a new policy, and the students weren't going to be shown it.
- http://www.bwog.net/index.php?article_id=4843 (Currently broken)
- Columbia BWOG Talks About The War On Fun - Repost of extensive Blue & White piece on the "War"
- Postcrypt Coffeehouse Faces The War on Fun, Bwog, 18 December 2009
- Postcrypt Update: The End of Free Popcorn, Bwog, 28 January 2010
- Don't let the Crypt die, Columbia Spectator, 31 January 2010
- Postcrypt? Priceless., Columbia Spectator, 7 February 2010
- Mag Preview: Subterranean Homesick Blues, Bwog, 2 May 2010
- Alcohol to Be Allowed in Common Areas?, Bwog, 12 April 2009
- CCSC: A Night of Dildos and Booze, Bwog, 15 February 2009
- CCSC In A Lightning Storm, Bwog, 30 March 2009
- CCSC: We Have A New Policy, But You Can’t See It, Bwog, 13 April 2009