Campus Conversations

What better way to celebrate the last day of Interterm than gorging on s’mores around the Campus Center fireplace, indulging in snow angels and performing karaoke to Madonna song? The Social Council and Program Board jointly sponsored an assortment of festivities at the Campus Center on Friday night. According to Chris Palacios ’04, who assisted Campus Center Coordinator Kim Morris organizing the event, everything including subs and ice cream sundaes was free.

Keefe took on a carnival-like set-up, as every room had something different to behold. Mini-photos for key chains were taken in McCaffrey, a ping-pong tournament ensued in the gameroom and FLICS sponsored a showing of “Meet the Parents” in the theater.

The Frontroom hosted Mr. Gad’s Improv at eight, and Decifunk, a funk band out of Boston, took the stage at 10. At Schwemm’s, karaoke competition was fierce.

Jillian Brewster ’03 emerged victorious from the contest that she cited as the best part of the evening. “It was a good turn-out and people were pretty enthusiastic about getting up there to make fools of themselves,” she said.

She and friend Tiana McLean ’04 warmed up with “I Touch Myself” by the Divinyls. But it was Brewster’s rendition of Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” that earned her the title of Karaoke Queen. Her triumph was dimmed, however, when her gift certificate to Hastings was given away when she stepped out of the room for a moment. “I was so looking forward to buying pens and notebooks for school with that gift,” said Brewster.

Palacios was pleased at the social bonding that occurred during the evening. “A lot of people were meeting people for the first time.” The caricature artist was a topic in many conversations. “He was totally making people look like somebody else,” Palacios said. “If a couple went together, he’d draw some obscene gesture.”

According to Palacios, about 350 to 400 people attended. He encourages all students to attend more social events. “You need to bring this [event] back when everybody’s here,” several students suggested to him.

But it’s not Christmas

On Monday afternoon, anyone within listening range could pinpoint the sounds of “Amazing Grace” coming from the Stearns steeple. What they didn’t know was that the famous hymn was being played by Melody Ko ’04. Ko, who was introduced to the bells through the Interstitial Amherst class offered over Interterm, will hopefully be giving repeat performances. “I just thought it would be cool and [Physical Plant Project Manager Aaron Hayden] said to play ‘whenever the mood strikes,'” said Ko.

Laurel Kilgour ’03 is also a student bell-ringer. “It was really fun to go on the tour,” she said. “I think the experience is just beginning. We’ll see what happens from here.”

Hayden is happy to re-instate student ringers, which the College had until the late ’50s. “It’s great; it’s our campus-your campus-and the bells are certainly an interesting feature,” Hayden said.

More than just an historical monument, the bells of Stearns steeple were part of an Amherst tradition. “There is anecdotal evidence that the bells were rung sometimes to celebrate football victories, for instance,” he said. “The other side of that story is ‘I was a student then and boy were those bells loud.'” Hayden, of course, is well aware of the concerns of James and Stearns residents and is currently working on an arrangement with them.