The Hostel Commons was filled with chairs and couches to accommodate a crowd for the Coffee Bar on Sunday, August 5. Within the first hour, it was full of students collecting their orders of food and sitting down, while many took to the mic to sing songs.
A new vibe was felt during this Coffee Bar, contrasting the typical motivation of solely collecting food from KFC or McDonald’s.
“It is different from last year,” said Pankhuri Poddar, Class of 2019. “This year we have the open mic.”
Poddar was one of the student leaders responsible for setting up the coffee bar. “This definitely went beyond my expectations ‘cause so many people showed up to perform and I did not expect some of these people would,” she said.
It was absolutely packed with people. Seniors, the Class of 2019, were singing at the mic; many were spectating; some were playing foosball and some just busy on their phones. Some boys even set up a projector in a different area to watch a soccer match!
“I think this event is good for people to bond and interact with each other,” Tashi Selden, Class of 2020, said. “I think that people can express their talents at the open mic, which I think is a good thing.”
Unlike the previous Coffee Bars, after people finished their meals, they started grabbing seats to watch the performances, which varied from seniors singing beloved, nostalgic songs to K-pop dance numbers.
One by one, people started lining up to perform while their friends aggressively cheered them on.
The last performance was by a group of seniors: they dedicated their song to the owner of Mussoorie Kathi Roll, who unfortunately passed away recently due to a car accident.
Their tribute commenced the open mic performances before grades 9-11 had to go back to their respective dorms. Immediately swarms of people got into their personal groups and gradually left. T
The Commons almost emptied out as people grabbed their umbrellas and began their journey to dorms.
Eventually, it was just the seniors in the now open space. While most people left to retire for the night, music could be heard echoing through Hostel.
Overall the event was seen as a huge success by STUCO and by Mr. Jeff Doerfler, Dean of Student Life, since the overall reviews from the students were positive and a minimal amount of trash was left behind after it ended.
The open mic was deemed as the highlight by many, considering that it attracted one of the largest crowds that Coffee Bars had seen in a while. It made the occasion more suitable for socialization: people feeling comfortable to express themselves and entertain each other.
Photos by Mikko Aoki