By Julia Waldow
Darkness falls on Gambier as students swarm the Village Inn , whose interior buzzes with conversation and music. Making their way to the back of the room and greeting friends along the way, they journey to the stage to watch and listen to their peers sing together.
The Archon Society, a community service-oriented Greek organization, hosted the VI’s first karaoke event to raise money for New Directions, a women’s shelter, on Saturday, Nov. 9.
Besides the appeal of karaoke, the event also gave members the chance to work together. Members of the Archon Society must complete 18 hours of community service per semester.
“A lot of people in [the] Archon Society had wanted to do karaoke night for a long time,” Archon Katie Knowlton ’16 said. “So when we were trying to figure out what service event we wanted to do all together, karaoke flew around a bit, and everyone agreed that it would be a fun thing to do, especially because no one’s ever done it before.”
“As of late, we really wanted to mobilize our numbers ﾅ and do something huge,” Archon Co-President Kristen Prevost ’15 said. “By having an event like this, we wanted to not only foster a sense of community on campus, but also with each other, because in such a huge society, sometimes you don’t always know everybody. Working on an event like this brings us together and gives us the opportunity to bring the campus together in a new way and raise money at the same time.”
To raise money for the shelter, the Archons charged students $1 per song. Additionally, $1 from each purple drink sold at the VI was given to the cause. The Archon Society raised $99.61 from non-drink donations. The amount of money raised by drink sales was not available as of press time.
Knowlton, who spearheaded the project, began planning for the event three to four weeks in advance. First, she reserved the VI and the karaoke machine. Next, she contacted New Directions and calculated how much money to charge for songs. Then, she spoke with VI employees about giving a portion of the restaurant’s revenue to the cause.
“Katie’s been really good with taking the lead on it and pushing herself to do more than people expected her to do,” Archon Katherine Adams ’16 said. “It’s hard to do an all-group event when you really need a leader to be a coordinator, and she’s really taken on a lot and been the person to make it happen.”
As the event began, Archons circulated through the crowd, collecting donations and song orders. Students could sign up either individually or as a group to sing any selection from the “Teen Pack” or “System” set of songs, which together included hits by popular artists such as the Spice Girls, Chris Brown, Beyonc?, Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry, as well classics such as the Eagles, Elton John, David Bowie and Neil Diamond.
Archon Co-President Mia Barnett ’15 considered the night a success and looks forward to planning a similar event in the future.
“I think it went really well, and we had a great turnout,” she said. “There was always someone singing the entire night and from what I could tell, people were enjoying themselves.”
Still, Barnett noted some challenges the group should address for future events.
“I think we could have had a better system for getting people to sign up and pick their song,” she said. “We were new to using this karaoke machine, and we were learning how to use it while we were putting on the event. I think if we were to do this again, hopefully we could streamline the whole process.”
Despite these organizational problems, Prevost praised the event for showcasing the Archon Society’s leadership abilities.
“Everyone puts in a lot of work, but not everyone sees that,” Prevost said. “We have so many members with such great leadership skills. Everybody has proved themselves in so many ways, and this [was] an opportunity for everyone to take a role and really see the product of their efforts.”
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