Manifest celebration gets back to its roots

By Editorial Board

For as long as Columbia has been an accredited institution, the one thing that has, and still does, set it apart from other colleges is its unconventional forms of school spirit.

Without any mascot or school colors (though we do boast the “Create Change” half-dot), much of Columbia’s appeal has been its unique student experience and events that have the ability to not only draw a college crowd, but one from all across the city.

Manifest, the end-of-the-year urban arts festival that draws thousands of people from both inside and outside of the Columbia community, has been the one event in recent years to show off the college’s unique flavor.

Though the event is intended to be a showcase for graduating seniors to display their work, in past years, it has also been a free concert event, featuring the performances of artists like OK Go and Lupe Fiasco.

This year, however, due to funding issues, there will be no headlining band performing at Manifest, allowing students to place a stronger emphasis on what the event is originally intended for: showing off artwork and projects after years of hard work.

While some students and Chicagoans have attended Manifest in past years solely for the live performance, it seems as if the cancellation has been a blessing in disguise. The concert aspect of Manifest has undoubtedly been a big draw for the college, but even without it, you can’t deny that something wonderful has been happening.

This year, as opposed to others, it seems as if more students than ever are getting involved with making Manifest a success, even those who aren’t graduating. There have been entire courses throughout various departments, devoted to planning and organizing Manifest festivities, giving students the hands-on experience in putting together a huge event.

This surge in student involvement is proof that with a little hard work and a lot of teamwork, other events at Columbia also have potential to be successful if the college takes cues from Manifest.

Many people could agree that student involvement at Columbia hasn’t always been sky high. While this success can be attributed to a number of different factors, it’s important for the college to step back and take a look at the collaboration and participation in this year’s Manifest as a sign of good things to come for Columbia and its student body—a true sign of creating change.

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