Columbia University Marching Band Protests, Raises Funds to March On

After the Columbia University Marching Band was banned from all athletic events on September 25th, they have protested, attended several away games, and have even raised over $7,000 from a GoFundMe campaign, The Columbia Spectator reports.

What incited the initial ban was the continuation of their “org night” tradition. This consisted of playing outside of Butler Library at midnight on the evening before the Organic Chemistry final. The tradition was shut down in 2015 after student complaints. However, the Columbia University Marching Band decided to continue with the disruptive performance in 2018.

Several days after the ban was announced, the band played at the Low Steps during the football home opener. The name of the protest performance was “The Second CUMBing”. After this performance, they returned their instruments and continued to protest at Baker Field.

The Staten Island Technical High School Marching Band was hired to perform at the game, but according to The Columbia Spectator, their performance was overpowered by cheers from the stands and chants by the CUMB (Columbia University Marching Band).

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The CUMB has had a long-term feud with Columbia’s administration. And a long-term reputation for being controversial (depending on how you look at it).

A few notable incidents involving CUMB:

  • A brawl with Harvard’s marching band in 1973.
  • Make phallic-shaped marching formations.
  • Sometimes cheering the opposing team at games.
  • Using non-traditional ‘instruments’ including toilet seat, empty buckets, and wet floor caution signs.
  • Playing CeeLo Green’s “F**ck You” outside Trump Tower in 2016.

For a closer look at the wild antics of CUMB, check out their Youtube channel (and their playlist with the most videos, entitled “CUMBshots“.

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Mike Mishkin

Mike Mishkin

Founder, Editor & Owner
Mike is a native Upper West Sider. He's lived in the Lincoln Center area, Morningside Heights, and pretty much everywhere in between. You can frequently find him eating through the many great restaurants on the Upper West Side or awkwardly taking photos with his iPhone.  

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