Top Columbia Traditions That Every Freshman Should Know About


LOW STEPS—Welcome to Columbia, baby lions! With roughly a month left until virtual NSOP, we’re sure you’ve been thinking ahead about how you’ll decorate your single dorm, what cute N95 will match your back-to-school outfits, and who you’ll be hanging out with in groups of five or less. Today we’re turning back the clock with some of Columbia’s best traditions, explained. 

Orgo Night: Formally known as Orgasm Night, Orgo Night takes place in Butler the night before finals. At midnight, all students are invited to retreat to a private corner of campus and seek (or give themselves) a life-altering climax. After all, frequent orgasms are clinically proven to relieve stress—it’s science. This fabled tradition involves students cumming simultaneously at midnight before the first day of final exams.

Primal Scream: Orgo Night is referred to as Primal Scream by Columbia students who are vision-impaired. 

Tree Lighting: The annual Tree Lighting Ceremony was recently spearheaded by the Columbia Council on Marijuana Legalization in an effort to protest the University’s stringent ban on the use of marijuana in residence halls. On the first Friday of December at 4:20 PM, students occupy College Walk toting bongs, bowls, and brownies, and light up some of the dankest tree the Upper West Side has to offer. The Hacky-Sack Club, Delta Sigma Phi fraternity, and Writers House often garner record representation at this event. 

Big Sub: A Barnard tradition in which every student takes a tour of an abnormally large submarine which docks right next to the Intrepid in the Hudson River every fall. These tours are administered by the School of General Studies in order to inflate the military-industrial complex.

Bacchanal: In honor of Roman tradition, all Columbia students are encouraged to come together under their hatred of Greek life to pillage the brownstones on 113th and 114th Streets.

Meatless Mondays: Also known as “the day the dick died.” Every Monday, all Columbia students take an oath of abstinence for the day. 

Surf and Turf: In this tradition, Columbia pronounces its fight against veganism by delivering steak, lobster, and ice cream en masse via frisbee to all undergraduates.

SSOL Crashing: Once every pandemic, Columbia decides to open the gates of the virtual gladiatorial colosseum that is the SSOL registration page, allowing students to fight over precious Zoom spots in Sunil Gulati’s Principles of Economics class. This modern-day tragedy of the commons leaves students helpless after the registrar’s servers overheat.

Midnight Breakfast: Midnight Breakfast is an extension of the famed Orgasm (Orgo) Night. A few minutes after midnight, you will link arms with your one-night-stand (who you embraced in desperation on Orgo Night) and venture together to the Diana Center for some post-orgo tater tots, bagels, and breakfast sandwiches. Midnight Breakfast is known to churn out the cutest Columbia couples! 

Looting PrezBo’s Mansion: Every year in the spirit of Robin Hood students have the opportunity to prank PrezBo for April fools by taking one or more items (for free) from his mansion located at 60 Morningside Drive. The University promises not to hold any students accountable for their actions on this day.

The Varsity Show: This tradition is when the football team flexes its theatrical muscle by opening up a textbook in ButCafe. Students gather, watch, and point fingers, laughing as the players pretend to concentrate. Betting also takes place some years over how long it will take the players to read a single page.

Battle of the Bands: It’s when the bands battle.