Columbia University students have been locked in a battle with the administration over allegations that the latter has been mishandling sexual assaults on campus. But even the darkest topics aren't always safe from comedic treatment, and last night a group of students addressed the assaults and their surrounding debates as part of a semiannual comedy show.
The show, Orgo Night, is held by the Columbia University Marching Band each semester as a distraction from finals. This year, the group satirized a number of issues plaguing campus, including student finances, campus drug dealer Michael Getzler, and the cancellation of the school's Fall Bacchanal.
But they also mocked the administration’s handling of sexual assault cases, poking fun at the campus-wide protests and media centering on activist group No Red Tape and on the case of Emma Sulkowicz, a senior who will carrying a mattress around with her until the school expels her rapist, as well as at Columbia's new "Sexual Respect" education program, which mandates students do things like make art about sexual respect.
One CUMB member wrote a "haiku" from the perspective of an alleged rapist: "I am so sorry/Rape is very very bad/Let me graduate." She also noted that No Red Tape criticized the Sexual Respect program's art option, "Unless it involves a mattress," an obvious reference to Sulkowicz.
Sulkowicz told the Times she didn't appreciate the jokes. "I guess they don’t really know anything about how a survivor would feel, to get totally made fun of in front of the entire school," she told the paper.