This Saturday, Sept. 21, the first Washington Street block party will take place in the Buddhist House yard. La Casa, Farm House, Buddhist House, Music House, Art House, Light House, Full House, and Writing House will all participate. The event is a student initiative and an opportunity for the University community to learn about the resources and programming available at these houses, as well as a chance for residents of the Washington Street program houses to get to know one another.
Dean and Vice President of Student Affairs Michael Whaley clarified the purpose of the party.
“[This event] is a collaborative effort between all of the program houses on Washington Street and is envisioned as a music/poetry/BBQ-type of event to build community among the residents of those houses and to invite other students across Washington Street to learn more about the houses,” Whaley wrote in an email to The Argus.
Farm House Manager Alexandria Williams ’15 is working along with the other house managers of Washington Street to host the block party.
“We started planning the block party about a month ago, and the idea [was presented] during house manager training,” Williams said. “We thought that this kind of event will be pretty cool and fun.”
Williams said there was small debate on the location of the block party. The two choices were the Buddhist House yard or the yard between Full/Writing House and Lighthouse. Ultimately, the decision came about through a voting process. The goal is not to promote any one program house, but rather to call attention to this particular area of campus housing.
“[One of the reasons] we want to do this is so that freshmen can come and learn about our resources,” Williams said. “Many people don’t know about these program houses until their second term on campus.”
Buddhist House Manager Nikki Dodd ’15 also expressed her excitement about Saturday’s festivities. She hopes to set a precedent with this year’s event and make the block party an annual occurrence.
“This event is not an annual thing,” Dodd said. “I really wanted an event like this to happen last year, but it didn’t. I’m super excited that we are throwing it this year.”
Evelyn Kim ’16, a resident of La Casa, added that she hopes that the block party can also foster a sense of community among students who live in these program houses.
“I think this block party is also a good way to get the residents of Washington Street to bond,” Kim said. “There are many program houses on this street that I still haven’t visited.”
There will be a wide range of activities for students to enjoy, such as music performances from student bands, poetry readings, mandala art, and henna. These activities, along with the party’s food, will be funded by the participating houses’ budgets from Residential Life; the vegetables will be provided from the University’s Long Lane Farm at a subsidized cost.
“I’m excited about…making food with my housemates and eating the [food at the block party],” Kim said.
Oscar Parajon ’16, a resident of Music House, expressed his excitement for what his house will bring to the event.
“I’m glad to be a part of this and I’m happy to contribute to the music scene at the block party,” Parajon said. “Music House hasn’t really been involved in events yet, and it’s cool that we will be starting off the year with this.”
Buddhist House is located at 365 Washington Street, and the event will begin at 1 p.m. and end at 5 p.m.