Students Leave the Hill and Get Up Downtown
Walking into Jorgensen's Café on Main Street, I was surprised at the number of guests that filled the small restaurant. Colby students filled almost all of the seats, and my friends and I had to search for an empty table to sit at. The room was filled with my peers, whether they were providing entertainment or enjoying the show, in an effort to support downtown businesses and the Waterville community in general.
The College has been stressing the importance of establishing a strong connection with the town of Waterville for several years now. The goal of the Get Up Downtown events is to promote positive interactions between the area colleges (Colby, Thomas, Unity and KVCC) and the town of Waterville.
"The aim [of Get Up Downtown] is twofold," Isaac Opper '10, an organizer of the Get Up Downtown program, said.
"First, its aim is to provide Colby students with a way to relax downtown. The other goal is to introduce Colby students to area businesses they might not be aware of and to let us all interact with the Waterville community, something that we often do not get to do on campus.
"It was held at Jorgensen's this semester because it is the ideal place to have an open mic; they have great food, good coffee, a good atmosphere and it is one of those places where almost everyone who goes there loves it."
Anyone who has ever been in Jorgensen's cannot help but to agree wholly with Opper. The small setting gives the café an at-home feeling, and the warm drinks and setting provide visitors with a great escape during the cold Maine winters. And even on the coldest of days, visitors cannot help but sample Jorgensen's delicious gelatos.
Many students from the Hill took the opportunity to perform at the open mic, including familiar faces Zach Ezor '10 and Danny Hoshino '11. Ezor claims the decision to perform for his peers was an easy one, especially since it helps to tighten the bond between Colby and Waterville.
"I'm living off campus this year, and I am realizing for the first time that Colby has a very imposing presence," Ezor said. "At night, Miller, all lit up, looks like an ivory tower of sorts, which may inadvertently create a tension between on-the-hill and off-the-hill. I know that the Colby Waterville Alliance works to combat stereotypes, and has found that most Watervillians actually like Colby students. The geographic location of the college, however, makes it feel separate, even more than it actually is."
Several other students performed at the event, impressing the crowd with their musical abilities. James Lemonias '11 played several songs on the guitar, and had quite a fan base with several other members of the hockey team attending. Another student played the violin, and a few showcased some impressive juggling abilities.
The highlight of the evening came from a performance from the Megalomaniacs (the Megs), the College's only co-ed a cappella group.
"We decided to perform because we thought that it would be nice for us to do something that helped connect Colby to the greater Waterville community,"
Stan Abrams '12, member of the Megs, said. "The opportunity for us to do this arose one night when Danny Garin '13 and I were at a Goldfarb Center Student Advisory Board meeting and we (the board) wanted to provide some entertainment for the event."
"For the groups, it's a chance to perform in front of a broader audience," Ezor added. "For students, it's a chance to 'burst the bubble,' and get off campus, something students don't do nearly enough."
The Goldfarb Center, along with Waterville Main Street, sponsor three Get Up Downtowns each semester, as well as one during JanPlan. The next Get Up Downtown is going to be on December 3, from 6-9 at Barrels Community Market on Main Street. There will be live music, as well as food tasting and discussions about local food.