With magnolia trees blooming on campus amid patches of sunshine, Vassar students took advantage of the warm weather to relax and spend time with their friends outside, attending a variety of outdoor events that were put on for “spring break.”
Confined to campus during the five-day recess, students were compelled to find alternative, COVID-safe activities to occupy their time. One of the biggest student events during Spring break was “Quadchella,” a socially-distanced festival of sorts on Saturday, April 3, hosted by Vassar College DJs (VCDJ). With a theme of “Celestial Hotties,” the series of DJ performances on the Quad was the latest in a string of socially distanced Roller Discos that are normally held every weekend outside the Athletics and Fitness Center for the past two semesters. Lucy Posner ’21, co-chair of VCDJ, emphasised the importance of these events in the restoration of campus morale whilst still adhering to the guidelines: “Campus Activities and VCDJ wanted to have a fun, outdoor, masked and distanced event during spring break. We both have been working hard to make campus feel more ‘normal’ this semester.”
VCDJ works closely with Assistant Director of Campus Activities Will Rush , campus security and the Student Activities Office to organize these events. Posner stressed that they adapted their usual stage layout to foster social distancing, eliminating the stage because it encourages crowding towards the front, and placing speakers in a way that ensures the people can spread out as far as possible. Claire Pfister ’23 enthused, “It was just really nice to have a large group of students gather outside together, whilst still being safe.” She added, “I’d love to go to another outdoor concert featuring some of the student bands and musicians.”
Over on the Vassar Ecological Preserve at the same time, yarn, Vassar’s indie-soul-pop/ cat-rock band, had organized a small concert with The Morning Moon, Vassar’s three piece folk band. Nestled in between the co-operative buildings to create a natural theatre space, the area was pretty much full of people social distancing. “Way more people turned up than I expected, I guess people need somewhere to be these days,” admitted Claire Furtwangler ’21, a member of The Morning Moon. Furtwangler and her fellow band members Lily Moriarty ’21 and Max Elliot ’21, relished the opportunity to perform together during their final semester at Vassar. “I was just euphoric the whole time, it was so sunny and I hadn’t gotten to do something like that for a long time,” Furtwangler continued. When asked about plans for another concert experience, Furtwangler replied that The Morning Moon just wanted to get a chance to perform together again, citing the TH lawn as a potential next venue.
The “Career Development Office” (a name that is still being trialed by Adam Buchmueller ’22 and his band members Clarke Hallum, Jack Leddy, Jaime Aguayo and Wyatt Carey, all ’21) had the same idea for their Saturday night. After a two year hiatus, due to semesters abroad and COVID-19, the “CDO” decided to have a chill, lowkey jam session outside one of the members’ TA. However, the live music drew more people than they had anticipated, and the event was shut down by campus security after a few songs.
Looking toward upcoming outdoor events, the Vassar Outing Club has organized a folk festival for April 23 on Graduation Hill from 2 to 8 pm, and this weekend VCDJ are hosting another event on Graduation Hill as well.