If anything, Columbia’s cancellation of Bacchanal is just another form of sweeping the issue of sexual assault under the rug.
— Daniel Brovman (@dbrovman) August 12, 2014
The administrative heroes over at Columbia decided that the best way to solve the university’s major sexual assault crisis and amend for their general mishandling of assault cases is to cancel a school-wide concert. Most publicly-reacting students have recognized this as yet another misguided move, and likely part of the school’s continuing War on Fun. The concert was supposed to be held this fall and artists were already secured; now the school has to pay the unnamed artists $55,000 for nothing.
but like what good would cancelling bacchanal do please tell me, i don’t think it will solve literally a single problem that this campus has
— caleb (@keshubert) August 12, 2014
After this year’s spring concert, Katie Best-Richmond, C ’16, wrote an op-ed in Spec about sexual harassment at the concert. While she wrote that there was a rash of harassment at the concert, she acknowledged that Columbia students still “deserve” Bacchanal. Like a rational human, Best-Richmond understood it wasn’t the concert that caused the actions, but the culture in general.
Result of canceling @CUBacchanal: Students associate sexual assault prevention with killing fun. That’s enough of an uphill battle already.
— Ben Cotton (@benjaminrcotton) August 12, 2014
We received an anonymous tip from a C ’17 student, published here in full:
“This past spring, Columbia University was featured on several media outlets (CNN, Huff Post, NYTimes, and Jezebel, among others about how the university has mistreated victims and mishandled the issue of sexual assault on campus.
Tonight, Bwog, a campus publication, published a post that includes a press release for the Bacchanal committee stating that the administration (4 undergraduate deans) has decided to cancel a proposed fall concert and has put the annual spring concert, Bacchanal, under administrative review.
They say that ‘safety concerns associated with drinking and sexual harassment’ is why they are doing this.
The Bacchanal Committee has responded saying ‘canceling Bacchanal was a misguided way to fight sexual assault, because it simply distracted from and disguised the underlying causes of sexual violence, rather than creating a campus culture in which students could safely participate in schoolwide, community events.’
The Coalition Against Social Violence has also responded (full post included in Bwog post) — ‘We feel strongly that this is a band-aid, not a solution, in the fight against sexual assault on Columbia’s campus.’
My fellow students and I are disappointed with the administration’s actions. It’s almost as if we are being punished for speaking out on the sexual assault on campus and how the university has dealt with it.
Canceling concerts that bring joy and a sense of community to the campus (which can, at times, feel disconnected, especially considering that the university is located in New York City) does absolutely nothing to fix the issue at hand and address the underlying issues.
As one of the commentators on the Bwog post stated, ‘NONE of the activism pushing for sexual violence prevention on campus has had ANYTHING to do with bacchanal — it’s about disciplinary processes, support for survivors, improved access to resources, and training/education. is the administration seriously so bone-headed that instead of addressing the ACTUAL CONCERNS of students, they’re attacking a completely unrelated and well-loved campus tradition under the guise of “caring”?’”