The Remnants of Glass House Rocks

Annual Dance Showcase Boycotted by Student Groups, But Draws Crowds.

On Thursday, February 23rd , the remnants of Glass House Rocks, an annual student-run event featuring performances from student groups, took place in Alfred Lerner Hall at Columbia. Although many dance groups were set to perform, the showcases were canceled after student groups Ijoya, Onyx, Raw Elementz, and Sabor canceled their performances “in firm solidarity with the Palestinian Liberation Movement.” 

In the dance groups’ joint statement, they emphasize that “this decision results not only from our commitment to CUAD’s call to boycott all Columbia-Barnard events but also from our teams’ roles as student-led dance groups who are impacted by acts against Palestine and Columbia-Barnard’s integral role in them.” 

In a similar spirit, a statement published by Columbia undergraduate committees (Columbia College Student Council, Engineering Student Council, General Studies Student Council, and Barnard’s Student Government Association), announced the event’s cancellation on Instagram, crediting students’ central role in both their representative duties and in organizing Glass House Rocks. The decision came as “a reflection of our commitment to standing with student values – our sole purpose is to represent students.” Acknowledging that “freedom of speech has been repeatedly threatened on campus this year,” the four groups stated “there is frustratingly only so much we can do at the larger, university level.” Their statement clarified food and merchandise would still be available, which drew in a number of students. 

Students lined up just before 8pm, anticipating food and merchandise on the University’s dime. CU student Anais ‘24, like many attendees, said they went “for the free stuff, especially free food.” A Glass House Rocks themed Stanley cup was of particular interest. Gillian BC ‘24 described how “people go crazy over this, it’s a legit water bottle.” Myriad students cited the Stanley cup as their main reason attending the event.

This is not the first time Columbia and Barnard students have boycotted a university-funded event. Many Barnard students boycotted the Day of Dialogue, which took place the first week of the Spring semester. Beyond boycotts, President Rosebury’s inauguration saw protests both within and outside the event. Boycotting university events is becoming more common on our campus, and the CUAD call to boycott Glass House Rocks reflects a commonly held sentiment: “No Business as Usual.”

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