Mícheál Æsír Staff Writer
I was sitting in the Prescott gazebo a few nights back, and realized a strong, surging feeling within me,the urge to party.
While that could be the beginning of a bad poem, song, or Div III, for me it was a craving that almost approached a spiritual yearning. All semester long I had been anticipating Hampshire Halloween, after being told on my orientation tour that it’s one of the greatest campus parties in Massachusetts . It wasn’t, and I left feeling profoundly dissatisfied. That weekend I lumbered through my homework in a deep malaise, feeling like I had been deprived of a fundamental right: the right to be a college student.
You may be reading this thinking that I’m melodramatic and writing for effect. Instead, I’d argue that the need to socialize is a basic need of human beings. Considering the Divisional hum-drum that is life at Hampshire, those opportunities can be difficult to find. Now, I’ve become great friends with my mod-mates, because yes, they are wonderful people, but also due to our continued proximity. When people congregate at parties something magical happens. The focus is now not homework, nor envisioning what sort of future you should have, nor just unfocused stress. Instead, the focus is yes, getting drunk, but also to understand, learn, and grow with other human beings.
Throwing a party isn’t hard. It really isn’t. Step One, music. There is always someone willing to DJ, and most people won’t enjoy Jamiroquai or some esoteric band (mood dependent). While I prefer blues at quiet gatherings, for a proper party you need modern music. Someone you know will want to DJ.
Step Two, you’ll have to accommodate both the introverts, and extroverts. Booze will help with socializing, but you’ll need a couple of activities, ideally one that can bring groups together. Cards Against Humanity, as an example, is a great side activity for people who aren’t finding it easy to socialize to participate. As are movies, computer games, be imaginative. Theme parties rock. Extroverts will mingle with each other, and with time andalcohol both groups will fuze. Sober parties really work, unless you get the environment *just* right, which is nigh impossible.
Step Three, snacks. You don’t need many, just a few things you’ve found in the cupboard. This is namely for the people who like to smoke up. The snack table is also a great place to congregate.
Step Four: Sadly, this step doesn’t really exist at Hampshire, with Campus police shutting down parties left and right. At other schools this is where you’d crank the music and get a little crazy. This is where you let that anxiety and exhaustion out, where the stresses of the week fall away. We all need a release valve and a chance to connect, but this is denied to us. Serious questions need to be asked of the Hampshire College administration when they deny, and regulate our right to pursue the human need for connection.