At the conclusion of their first week of orientation, more than 400 of Columbia Business School’s incoming students drenched themselves with buckets of ice water at the school’s Morningside Heights campus, Friday evening. But this wasn’t some kind of ritual to break the August heat. Rather, Columbia’s students were participating in the national ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
ALS, a fatal neurological disorder also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, affects more than 30,000 people in the United States, and 5,600 new cases are diagnosed every year. The viral Ice Bucket Challenge is just one part of the fight against the disease.
Participants in the Ice Bucket Challenge dump a bucket of ice water on themselves and then post a video online challenging three friends to do the same. Those failing to dump a bucket of ice water on themselves must donate $100.
As a result of the Ice Bucket Challenge, the ALS Association has currently received more than $31 million in donations from July 29 to August 20, up from just $1.9 million for the same time period the year before.
Students at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania challenged Columbia Business School on Sunday and gave the students a week to complete the challenge. In turn, Columbia Business School has now challenged Harvard Business School, Stanford Business School, and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. The business schools have one week to respond.
“The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is just one example of how our students are constantly striving to make a positive impact on the world,” Associate Dean for the MBA Program Michael Malone said. “Columbia Business School’s students and graduates are always up for a challenge, and following an energetic and exciting first week of orientation, this activity could not have come at a better time.”
For more information on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, visit www.alsa.org/fight-als/ice-bucket-challenge.html and follow the hashtag #ALSicebucketchallenge on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Google+.