Springtime means the academic year is almost over. The weather is warmer, flowers are blooming and at Kalamazoo College spring events are popping up all over campus. In the fall, all the student organizations are acquiring new members and making plans for the rest of the year. Then winter term hits and everyone retreats indoors to the comfort of a fireplace. But then, the frost melts, the sunshine peaks down, and students flood the quad for some much needed fresh air. Spring is an explosion of events, both on K’s campus and in the broader Kalamazoo Community. Check out some of the highlights!
- World Night
One of the annual spring events is hosted by the International Student Organization (ISO). World Night is an avenue for students to express their culture for the K community to celebrate. A mixture of song, dance, poetry, food, games, and much more, World Night is always a big event on campus and one that everyone looks forward to in the spring.
Frelon is a student-run dance company that is one of the largest and most popular spring events on K’s campus, and their annual show is in, you guessed it, spring quarter! Student choreographers and their selected dancers prepare for weeks during winter quarter to be able to perform for the campus community during spring quarter. There is a mixture of experience levels and anyone who wants to can be a part of a dance. Frelon is such a fun way to get involved with a student organization and try out dance in a supportive environment. As a veteran Frelon attendee, I can vouch that it is a terrific show every time!
During winter quarter getting out of your pajamas and trudging through the cold to go to a campus event can sometimes feel like an insurmountable task (especially when the sun sets at five o’clock sharp). But in the springtime, going to late night campus events feels like a fun way to burn off some spring fever. And there’s nothing that burns spring fever (or calories) like going to Monkapult – the campus improv group. It’s always fun to see your friends (or strangers, for that matter) make fools of themselves for comedic purposes, and Monkapult always delivers on that front!
Fun fact: Steven Yeun K’05 (Actor on AMC’s horror drama television series The Walking Dead) and Jordan Klepper K’01 (correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart) both got their acting start at K through Monkapult!
- SIP Symposiums
On a slightly more academic (but still fun!) note, the springtime means something a little different for seniors – it’s SIP Season, baby. The Senior Individualized Project (or SIP, as the kids call it) is a graduation requirement for every K student that can range from writing an original play or conducting your own lab experiment. Then, throughout spring quarter seniors present their final products at various departmental SIP Symposiums. This is an awesome way to see what kind of work your fellow students are doing and if you’re an underclassman, it’s a great way to get some inspiration for your own SIP. Plus, there are usually always snacks and who doesn’t love free food?!
- Burgers and Blues
Nothing says springtime like barbecued food, music, and sunshine. Every tenth week of spring quarter the Kalamazoo College Jazz Band plays some tunes out on the quad while students, faculty, and staff grab food off the grill. This event is a great place for everyone to enjoy the outdoors, some music, classic barbecue food, and of course, the quarter almost being over!
- Farmers Market
The Kalamazoo Farmers Market hosts dozens of farmers and local vendors at a weekly market starting in May and going through October. The market is a twenty-minute walk from campus, or a ten-minute bike ride, and boasts a lively scene with food trucks, live music, picnic tables, and of course, beautiful locally grown produce!
- Pride Ball
Every spring the Kaleidoscope student organization hosts Pride Ball, an event designed for attendees to dress and express themselves however they please! Kaleidoscope is one of the LGBTQIA+ groups on campus, and Pride Ball is their largest annual event. Complete with food, dancing, photo booths, contests, and performances, Pride Ball is always a fun time for all.
Every school has its traditions. Day of Gracious Living, or DOGL, is one of K’s oldest and most cherished. The night before DOGL an email is sent out by the president of the college announcing that classes will be canceled for the following day. What ensues is NOGL (Night of Gracious Living), a night of food and fun on the quad to kick off the festivities. The following day the school sends shuttles out to South Haven for K students to enjoy a day at the beach! The speculation leading up to DOGL about which day it will be is surely a pain in all professors’ necks but for students is practically half the fun.
- Cultural Awareness Troupe
The Black Student Organization (BSO) puts on one of its largest annual spring events, Cultural Awareness Troupe or CAT. This event gives students of color a stage (literally) to express themselves through poetry, song, dance, and even film. There’s also a dance competition and local food vendors during intermission! Some of the most stunning and powerful performances that I’ve witnessed during my time at K were during CAT performances – this is definitely a springtime favorite!
If this hasn’t convinced you that springtime at K is loaded with fun events, I don’t know what will! You can rest assured that every weekend will have at least one entertaining ongoing for you to attend. And with a few weeks left of the quarter, I’ll be sure to take advantage of all the fun!
Savannah Kinchen ‘18