Clubhouse attracts 400 community members

by Eileen Brady | 4/19/18 1:04pm

by Michael J Yacavone and Michael J Yacavone / The Dartmouth

“Do you miss BarHop?” asked a campus-wide email on Apr. 13. The invitation urged students to come to “Clubhouse,” a social event being hosted that night by the house system to replace BarHop, a program which has been on hiatus since May 2017. The roughly 400 students who attended the event enjoyed free food, student performances and activities like coloring and board games. Alcohol was also available for attendees aged 21 and over.

Christine Dong ’19, who attended Clubhouse, noted that one of the event’s strengths is its similarity to BarHop. Clubhouse, like BarHop, is a place where students can interact socially outside of the Greek system, Dong said.

“Anyone who enjoys food and being with friends would like Clubhouse,” Dong said. “It’s not like a certain type of student would enjoy it. It’s pretty open — anyone would like it.”

She added that her favorite parts of the second Clubhouse were the sushi, dumplings and student performances.

Kathryn Fuhs ’18 said that she valued the diversity of the Clubhouse participants.

“The coolest part of the event for me as a student and a[n] [undergraduate advisor] is that I could see people from all aspects of Dartmouth,” Fuhs said.

She said she saw classmates, teammates from her sports team and friends she had met through her involvement in Greek life.

“The fact that I could see all these people in one central area was really nice,” Fuhs said.

The Apr. 13 Clubhouse, which took place at House Center B, followed a pilot event that took place on Feb. 16. The first Clubhouse event was attended by roughly 200 students and featured arts and crafts and a disc jockey, according to South House professor Kathryn Lively.

Since the event was first hosted at House Center A, East Wheelock House, North Park House and South House took the lead on much of the planning process, Lively said. She added that Allen House, School House and West House played a larger role in planning the more recent Clubhouse.

The idea for Clubhouse came from students, according to associate dean of residential life and director of residential education Mike Wooten.

In fall 2017, the house communities were approached by Student Assembly with the idea to host a BarHop-style social event open to campus. Student Assembly went on to co-host the first event, while senior society Palaeopitus co-hosted the second.

One of the best parts of Clubhouse is the unique opportunity for community building among different sectors of campus, Wooten said.

“It was great to look around at the students,” Wooten said. “They were from all across campus and all different ages. We had graduate students at both events, and staff and faculty at both events.”

Wooten added that the house communities hope to build “cross-pollinated” communities on campus that encompass “the entirety of our campus culture.”

Despite the program’s publicity tactics, Wooten said that Clubhouse is not an effort to replace the BarHop program.

“There’s no doubt that BarHop was a successful program, and students spoke highly of it and really liked it,” Wooten said. “[Clubhouse] is not an attempt to replace BarHop, but it certainly was a reflection of a certain model that BarHop did very well.”

Both Lively and School House assistant director of residential education Erica Casacci said that although no official plans have been made for the future of the initiative, Clubhouse has been successful so far and will likely continue in the future.