By Kevin Hong
Harris this semester has been packed full of events—from all-campus parties for students to this weekend’s bridal show. Last semester, traditional parties such as Fetish, Red Light Green Light and ’80s were hits, introducing first years to the Harris culture and reminding upperclassmen of what they missed over summer break. Some upcoming parties at Harris this semester include ’90s Harris, to be held tomorrow night, ABC Harris, Mary B. James and Disco Harris.
After helping to host the ’90s Harris last year, Andrew Frerick ’14 decided to do it again, but this time he will be organizing the party.
“My brother was the ACE chair last year, and that was my first Harris experience in terms of organizing it,” Frerick said. “I’m really excited to do it on my own this year. So far, I’ve been working on decorations and I’m picking posters now. I’m also ordering a lot of ’90s candies, Baby Bottle pops, Push Pops and the like.”
Frerick will DJ along with Joy Sales ’13; they plan to show a three-hour long music video to accompany their playlist.
“Joy has DJ’ed many Harris parties before and seem to be well-liked. So now we are working together to make a 3 hour long playlist,” Frerick said. “Our music tastes are a little bit different, so it’s going to be a good mixture of all ’90s stuff.”
Having grown up in the ’90s, Frerick is looking forward to hearing his favorite elementary school tunes at Harris.
“As the song is changing, all of a sudden there is a click in your head; it might be a song that you haven’t heard in 10 years but in your head, you know the words. And this is what happened to me last year; a song that I’ve never heard since I was 12, but I still know every single word,” Frerick said.
The Harris following ’90s is a bit more modern and much less clothed. ABC Harris, which stands for “anything but clothes,” was organized as a team effort with Shelby Carroll ’13 as the main organizer.
“I have heard of the party idea before coming to Grinnell, but I think a couple people on the volleyball team and some of my friends came up with this idea together,” Carroll said.
Though the name is a little provocative, Carroll thinks it should be understood in a more positive way.
“It’s not supposed to be anything inappropriate, but a kind of creative event where people come up with funny ideas [about] how to cover themselves without clothes, so it’s like Halloween all over again, but you have to use something that’s new,” Carroll said.
Overall, there seems to be a lot more original Harris parties than previous semesters.
“This semester there was an overwhelming response of people wanting to throw non-traditional Harris parties,” said Chloe Griffen ’14, SGA All Campus Events Coordinator. “And there’s still people who want to throw non-traditional Harris parties. There’s not even enough room on the calendar to put them all on there.”
Organizing Harris parties is simple and straightforward.
“ACE has been really making it easy for us and many other people who are hosting Harris,” Shelby said. “Some of the things that we need to do include hiring or finding some servers for the alcohol, letting security know the dates and times and talking to Michael Sims about lighting and platforms.”
Whoever is hosting the party meets with Michael Sims, Director of Campus Center Operations and Student Activities, prior to having the party.
“We sit down and go through a checklist of things. If they are doing decorations, then I go through the do’s and don’ts, but the students themselves who are hosting the party are responsible for putting decorations up and making sure that they are down at the end of the party,” Sims said. “Our goal is to oversee and help students follow the policies and procedures that are set up.”
If Grinnellians have creative ideas for new Harris themes or campus parties, ACE welcomes applications.
“Last semester, myself and my committee wanted people to get involved and realize that they have control over Harris,” Griffen said. “You can basically throw any kind of Harris party that you want to.”