Features: A relaxing cup of joe

It’s Friday night and a long week of classes just ended. A stressful week, hundreds of pages need to be read and a professor just announced that a paper is due. Friends are rushing to go clubbing, but the only thing that sounds nice is a relaxing night.

Students can listen to live music, drink coffee and mingle at the Coffeehouse Series. The program, started four years ago by the Mount Vernon Programming Council, is a student-run activity that takes place four times in the fall semester on the Mount Vernon campus. Shane Juntunen, student activities coordinator at Mount Vernon, helps put it together.

“The artists are picked by the students through the Coffeehouse Chair freshman Travis Geraci, who puts together the series and is a student himself,” Juntunen said.

The series brings various artists to Mount Vernon to perform for students. A favorite artist, Beth Wood, opened this year’s series Sept. 7. Don Ray followed with a performance on Sept. 21.

“I love playing here,” Wood said. “People are so responsive and excited. It is a great audience to play for.”

As the name suggests, the Coffeehouse Series provides free coffee and deserts to students.

“Coffee mugs are given to students as they come in,” Juntunen said. “We also have a company come and cater the event. It offers espresso and deserts.”

The series takes place in the Hand Chapel, which is decorated majestically with Christmas lights to add flair. Tables, draped in white table cloths with candles placed in the middle, are set up in front of the stage.

Freshman Alicia Warren, who lives on at Mount Vernon, heard about the series through word of mouth and decided to come and experience it for herself.

“It is a nice environment for talking with friends,” Warren said. “The music is really good, and it is a good place to meet people. It is relaxing and just nice.”

The Coffeehouse series was originally established to provide entertainment to the Mount Vernon community. The series has also become popular among Foggy Bottom students.

Former Coffeehouse Chair sophomore Jaeda Pang said the Program Board advertised heavily this year so that students from both campuses would participate.

“The Coffeehouse provides free entertainment and a mellow scene,” Pang said. “It is a chance to join the Foggy Bottom campus and the Mount Vernon campus. Today, about three-fourths of the participants are Mount Vernon students and a quarter are from Foggy Bottom.”

Junior Jennie Roloff, who lives on the Foggy Bottom campus, first heard about the series when she was a freshman living on Mount Vernon. Starting her freshman year with Beth Wood, Roloff has since attended all Coffeehouse Series events and has become a favorite pastime for her and her friends.

“There is good music,” Roloff said. “I love the atmosphere. It is a nice and relaxing environment and just a lot of fun. Plus, there is free food and a mug.”

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