Coffeehouse, Poetry Slam take steps in right direction
September 10, 2007 —
This is a positive review.
Beginning this week with Program Board's latest Coffeehouse show in the Cardinal Cage, and ending with the Cardinal Sins Slamoramaglamajama in the Multi-Purpose Room, this week proved that we are finally beginning to see the groundwork laid for a stronger campus community here at SVSU.
Wednesday's Coffeehouse was possibly the best thing Program Board has ever done - at least in the three years I've been at SVSU. It was extremely well-attended by a diverse crop of students, the atmosphere was fantastic, and everyone seemed to really enjoy the music. DS and the Flat Five, a jazz outfit made up of SVSU students, seemed to have built a bit of an on-campus cult following. The cheering I heard after a drum solo was louder than the cheering I've heard at some basketball games.
Program Board deserves some serious praise for instituting this series. It is something they seem committed to bringing back each semester, and it is something more and more students are getting word of. Each date has seen increased attendance, and the quality of performers - both those who come scheduled, and those who step up to the open mic - have also seen dramatic improvement since the inaugural show. It is very seldom that this school sees an event or series of events that truly begins to change the campus culture, but the Program Board's Coffeehouse series is definitely doing more than its part to help.
The latest Coffeehouse was also the University's first opportunity to test the revamped Cardinal Cage. Despite being swathed in controversy ever since the initial press release came out nearly seven months ago, the reception to the new layout was overtly positive. The performers seemed to enjoy it, saying how the new layout seems more focused and forces the attention of the audience to the performance. The audience seemed to enjoy the atmosphere, brought on in part from the tighter seating arrangment and dim lighting.
The Cardinal Sins poetry slam, a fall and winter semester standby, has received a major shot in the arm since they decided to add live music, and convert it to the Slamoramaglamjama.
The poetry slam has always been a great event during each semester, as it draws both faculty and students together, but the addition of live music (and free food) has begun to popularize the event around campus, even with those who wouldn't normally attend a poetry slam.
It is a shame there is only one poetry slam per semester. There is definitely room for this event to become something of a monthly series, much like the Coffeehouse. That would give it a chance to really get established as something that the student body looks forward to.
An event like a poetry slam is always a good thing for students because it gives them the opportunity to share some very personal work with their peers, and allows them to get to know one another on a more intimatet level. There are many students on this campus looking for an outlet such as this, and Cardinal Sins should be lauded for their effort in bringing something like Slamoramaglamajama to campus.
Valley Nights, who brings a number of programs and events to campus, also deserves some credit for the work they do, as they footed the bill for the poetry slam.
Positive events like these are something this campus needs. The rising numbers in the on-campus student population isn't really telling of the number of students who spend the majority of their time on and around campus. And those students need more than just passing time in between classes to help build relationships with their peers. As events like these become more established, they'll draw bigger crowds, and help build a stronger community here at SVSU.
Unfortunately, the talk of the need to build a strong campus community is mostly just that. It's nice to finally see a few organizations doing what they can to leave SVSU better than they found it.