The rain pounded, the wind blew and the lightning struck. On September 17, what would have been the first ever outdoor coffeehouse at Eastern University was forced to move indoors.
“It is unfortunate, but I think that everyone is still having a good time,” said SAB adviser Shannon Hartsock at the event.
The SAB has been trying to have one of their coffeehouses outside for quite some time now, but each time it has been rained out.
Seniors Dan Smith and Lauren Brown, regular performers at Eastern’s coffeehouses, felt privileged when they were specifically asked to play for this one. They have a ministry and often play at venues like this.
This was Mark Porter’s first appearance playing guitar at an Eastern coffeehouse. Porter, a first-year, said he liked the atmosphere, calling it “thought-provoking,” suggesting that maybe it was due to the dim lights.
“I like coffee too,” Porter said.
The storm did not seem to hinder students from attending the event, though.
First-year Jennifer Zych said she wanted to “enjoy some free entertainment.”
Kristen Briggs, also a first-year, compared this coffeehouse to similar events she has attended, and said that this one had more variety. Zych agreed that the entertainment at such events is usually the same.
“I’ve never been to [a coffeehouse], but this one makes me want to go to other ones,” first-year James Whitely said.
This past coffeehouse had an assortment of performances, from guitar to singing to dance. Hartsock said that the SAB is always looking for diverse acts to play at the coffee house.
In addition to entertainment, SAB provided free coffee and snacks such as chips, danishes and candy. For those who do not drink coffee, other hot drinks were also offered. The tables were topped with brown paper and crayons for doodling.
SAB usually hosts two coffeehouses per semester, and they have been doing so for over a decade.
According to Hartsock, the coffeehouses used to meet where the bookstore currently is. There was a stage with lamps and people would pack into the lounge.
When they outgrew that area, the coffeehouse was moved to the Gough Great Room.
“It became a fire hazard,” Brown said, which is why the coffeehouse was moved to the Dining Commons last spring.
Smith likes this setup better because now everyone faces the front, instead of sitting at round tables.
As for the future of the coffee houses, the SAB hopes to continue to partner with other clubs on campus. They also plan on trying to have an outdoor coffeehouse again in the spring.
Maybe it won’t get rained out next time.