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On September 16th, an assortment of quirky performers and talented souls gathered in the JYC for Emmanuel College’s Coffee House. This event was planned under the hard work of Kevin Farrell, his employees, and the students willing to give their time to perform. I went to the performance as a reporter for The Hub, and decided to share some poetry. As I watched the program continue, there were several things I noticed.
There was an wonderful amount of unarguably brilliant talent. Many of the artists who performed provided clever interpretations of popular songs we regularly bop to on the radio. Jessica Strout was the first musician to perform. Students listened in admiration as she sang “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons with the company of her acoustic guitar. Likewise, Ben Perdue played some of the songs he wrote which will be releasing soon on his EP. Other musicians included Alison Smith, Jordan Cindley, Ryan Slobig, Starr Ripley, and Mikaela Niemasz-Cavanagh. The Coffee House also featured several compelling poets such as Dakota Roundtree-Swain and Andy Compere who tapped into topics as powerful as life and love.
The next thing that caught my attention was the number of folks who failed to show up. Many students signed up to perform, and simply did not show. Whatever their reasons may be, their lack of presence served as somewhat of an eye-opener to the fact that very little of Emmanuel’s students seem to participate in the on-campus events. Think of how many times you’ve heard someone say, “nothing goes on at Emmanuel”. Just because most of the events don’t involve red solo cups and mediocre radio music, is it really fair to claim that nothing happens here?
There seem to be several factors contributing to poor attendance at on-campus events. After interviewing a fellow freshman about why she didn’t attend she replied, “I just couldn’t make it because of all the work. Had it been on a weekend, I might have gone.” Another student informed me that they had no clue that this event was even occurring. This still doesn’t answer my previous question. Are students truly unaware and uninformed of all that goes on? Would students be more likely to attend on-campus events during the weekend while classes are not going on?
These are the questions I pondered in the back of the Coffee House. Notably, however, many students did come out to support their friends performances. With nearly every one of the performers, I noticed one or two additional guests simply there to be present for their friends. The “community feeling” was pleasantly overwhelming. Another great aspect of the program was the feeling of acceptance. Students were invited to head up bravely to the microphone and share their art, however personal or deep it may be. The event definitely aligned with Emmanuel’s status as a “judge-free” campus.
If you’re a student who thinks you would have enjoyed this program, there’s no need to worry. There are many upcoming events and opportunities to get yourself involved in the myriad of campus programs, and to meet people with similar interests. I recommend taking advantage of of the many clubs, intramural sports, and organizations which meet. It’s practically a scientific fact that somewhere, some how, you will find your niche. So, don’t freak out freshman. There’s plenty more to come. Special thanks to all who performed. Ya’ll rocked.