What is the “War on Fun” at Columbia? What does it mean for students?

  • Illustration by Christina Tang
  • From the editor:

    Only the alumni have seen the end of the war.

    WikiCU refers to the War on Fun as “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.” Disinterested students might shorten the definition of the War further, to just “lame.”

    In recent years, furor over the War (read: snarking and op-eds) has died down—largely a result of our goldfish-like institutional memory. But, with Bacchafall, the loss of $50,000, and the cancellation of a whole lot of potential fun, that discussion has come up again.  

    Addressing the War on Fun has never been easy. Like other wars on common nouns, the War on Fun is a rather nebulous concept that attempts to describe a whole host of large and small bureaucratic decisions that have the intent of stifling “fun” at Columbia.

    And perhaps that is the power intrinsically vested in this sort of … thing. It exists in the peripheral; it must be named before it can even be realized as a concept.

    But perhaps this “realization” is not quite the malicious administrative manifesto we make it out to be. Perhaps Furnald itself is not an incarnation of the administration’s dream to drive fun into oblivion. Perhaps the War on Fun is an ineffectual measure in a city of a thousand dive bars and ten thousand more less-than-admissions-pamphlet-worthy adventures.  

    However you define the War on Fun, have fun fighting it—that’s the only surefire way to win.


    Dan Garisto
    Editorial Page Editor

    Zumba is fun, too

    The “War on Fun” is a farce, and for proof we need look no further than Student Affairs’ Zumba Fitness Sundays.


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