submission from student Bryce Dow-Williamson
Most parties at Warren Wilson suck. They suck because people are treating themselves badly through excessive drinking, a lack of consent-based interaction and top-forty materialistic fuck music. I thought I would come to this school and find gatherings in the woods and pastures with musicians who are all about jamming together, swapping instruments and songs. Instead I find twisted versions of frat parties with gender roles switched and the conscious/sustainable/socially aware mind tossed out the window for a chance to let loose all over everybody’s space. Some say college is the time for this; some want to be able to blame whatever they do on being drunk and laugh it off uncomfortably through a hazy memory the next day.
Friday night was different. I went to a party at Schafer B and had a great time. It was funky, it was dance-y and people were respectful of themselves and others. Maybe it was just the lack of an ambulance that brightened my heart or hearing James howl with the heavy bass of planet Funkatron. Truthfully, I’m a bit of a curmudgeon and I want to dance in my own space without feeling the threat of a booty attack. I love a good party; more than that I love a good dance party, and more than that I love good music that can jumble up my soul and put some boogie in my shoes. I also care about people; they’re generally alright.
Well, most of them suck and you can’t trust them for anything; but individuals can be endlessly elegant. You can’t have a good party without good people, and we have them here in our little bubble box community. These individuals would hug you if you needed it and discuss hopes, loneliness or the future. Some of these same ones might be bent over a railing releasing their guts or learning limits, boundaries and drinking vs. getting drunk. But it seems that when you work hard, you play hard, and Warren Wilson is always working.
The same night Jazz took over the village, and I have been repeatedly told that “it was one of the best parties here.” Live music is an untapped resource in our community. The fire invites it and we have the occasional open mic, but there is so much space that could be used. Why not have a music swap in the gazebo? Why not attend weekly jams in these often empty common rooms? Let us hear the musicians and singers before the end of semester shows. Let us use these lovely resources of space, performers and a willing audience.
Sage has great events and has been showcasing student talent in a refreshing way, but there is not enough space in there to move and breathe. The city of Asheville has great shows every night, but bars are inaccessible to most of the college, and cars can be hard to come by. We can invite Asheville in as performers and audience and create events that will connect our little space with the next level of larger community.
They say we live in a bubble, but I see it as more of a force field keeping us in and the larger community out. Music brings people together in a way that only food can compare to, and in our community we have an abundance of skill in both areas. I hear students who are not satisfied with what is here. At points I have agreed, but lamenting does nothing but build resentment, so students leave because they have not found what they are looking for. I want to create what I’m looking for and support you in the same. This place has the space and support to assist us in whatever we want, so why not?
I plan to have another live jazz show with some more live dance-able music, maybe with communal cooking or a potluck of some sort before and, hell, why not an after-party of soul music and more student DJs giving us something other than the top forty?