Glass House Ruckus

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In which Bwog daily editor Alexandra Muhler examines whether enormous infusions of the administration’s money can make a Thursday night on campus enjoyable.

The crowds were thick at Lerner tonight for an event excessively fond of wink-wink references to wink-wink cultural icons (event t-shirts had “Glass House Rocks” on the front and “Best Thursday Ever” on the back). Stepping into the packed building, I fretted over whether the awkwardness of running into half the people I know would be worth campus clubs’ booths, snacks, and performances.

A number of the club-dedicated tables and rooms were terrific. Alongside inappropriately sober community service clubs playing videos of starving children in Third World nations were spicier groups like Conversio Virium, which distributed a connect-the-dots worksheet inappropriate for publication on a family-oriented blog. Also notable was the Chinese Student Club’s tea-pong room, and the noticeably diminished skill of all its abstemious (2 IDs to drink) players.

The snack tables were many but had been torn through within an hour of doors’ opening. Still, Hershey’s kisses, and occasionally the finer bite-size candies, were plentiful on group tables. The Society of Undergraduate Chemists (who knew such a thing existed?) ingeniously prepared a mixed-berry ice cream, which tasted so mysterious that neither I nor any of the people I ate it with can describe it.

The performances were of mixed quality, though some were exhilarating.  The three northern walkways of Lerner made a bizarre stage. Larger groups used the space to great effect, working every level of the building and asserting their raunchiness all over the audience from every direction. Smaller groups seemed still more shrunken by the scale of their stage, and the detail of their movement was lost in the haphazard lighting. Sabor’s bunny-tailed spandex exertions were a veritable dance-extravaganza. Among the periodic performances in the smaller rooms, CU Belly Dance elicited real audience enthusiasm, culminating in a belly dance breakdown with the lights out.

But none of these small delights could match the miraculous transformation of drab Roone Arledge Auditorium into an inflatable wonderland. The blow-up realms of fun were out of bounds for wristbanded over-21s, and amply compensated for the enforced sobriety of us minors. Inflatable twister was unexpectedly challenging. American Gladiator-style combat and excessively-large-gloved boxing were a perfect way to blow off steam at the end of the week. Best of all was a game in which two competitors run as fast as they can down a lane while attached to a bungee-corded vest. Technically, the one who makes it furthest along the lane (marked by a Velcro bobbin attached to the median) wins, but the pleasure of jumping back at the furthest point of one’s run makes it a neck-spraining good time for all. Glass House Rocks, surprisingly, was a blast. But would it be too much to make a request for next year? Because a bouncy castle would be terrific.


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  1. Leonard

    Were we at the same event? Student groups passing around sign-up sheets and a few snacks with some oddly placed colored lights and limited access to the ramps hardly qualifies as a blast. Unless, I suppose, this was your first time at such an event.

    It continues to be a drain on student life fees that would be much better spent in other areas.

    The "Glass House" did not rock.

  2. obviously  

    didn't stay till the end.

  3. omg  

    where was cu bhangra?!? they're so amazing! why didn't they perform?

    • GHR  

      They're starting to restrict the numbrer of dance teams that perform, so they weren't allowed to perform. It really sucks that next year they're also not allowing other groups. Let's be real the only thing that really Rocks about Glass House are the performances... the building is pretty much empty the rest of the time!

  4. but why  

    do the performances have to be so raunchy??? I'm not a prude, but I was quite offended by some of the stuff last night...

  5. what  

    you guys forgot about the karaoke on the 5th floor!

  6. less dance  

    more strippers.

  7. Glass House

    Sucks. This year experienced a significant decrease in attendance as compared to the past few years. Yet again the administration had its head up its vag and shot down all the bands that were going to play and then as expected they ran out of beer early as fuck because "free beer" at CU means "we will have beer that will be given out for free but hopefully we have too little to allow the event to go on long enough for anyone to have a good time." Columbia sucks and will never get a dime from me in alumni donations.

  8. Alfred Lerner  

    (that was in response to 10, not 12)

  9. Anonymous  

    that less people showed up this year is that last year's Glass House sucked. They need to go back to the old way of running GHR with dance teams performing every half hour for ten minutes. Honestly, the dance performances are the main reason people go to GHR and the people that run it were even able to make THAT lame by cutting down on the time groups get to perform and lumping them all together in one "half time" show. Whaaaack. I heard that they made groups try out this year and that they aren't going to let the same groups perform two years in a row. WTF? Seriously, there are not even that many dance teams to begin with so why can't they all perform? If this is supposed to be an inclusive event for all students on campus then why are they being exclusive about who performs at GHR? Honestly, as long as Sabor and CUBhangra can perform every year, I'll be happy.

  10. big mistake  

    not letting any of the scheduled bands play. that was the only reason i would have gone in the first place. the bands probably would have gotten a hundred more people in the door at least. there are a lot of people doing really cool stuff outside of campus-sanctioned organizations, and GHR and other events would probably would be a lot more fun and a lot better-attended if these individuals and groups were able to perform, have booths, whatever.

  11. free beer  

    it's true, i drank all night. perhaps you missed the wealth of beer in ferris booth until 1?

  12. chandler society  

    =society for undergraduate chemistry =rocks

  13. barnard  

    sabor and cu bhangra should perform every year. they're the only reason i go to ghr.

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