Commentary: AfterHOURS good, free entertainment

I don’t get it. Why does the entire campus seem to scoff at the mere mention of the word “afterHOURS?” Our friendly campus club is home to plenty of great events, yet no one seems to take advantage of our homegrown venue. AfterHOURS hosts concerts with popular acts as well as local bands and musicians, comedy shows, drag shows, movies, date auctions, lectures and basically any other form of entertainment students can dream up. And yet, the venue is usually sparsely populated.

Upperclassmen have told me that afterHOURS obtained its bad rep some years ago when it was known primarily for its lame dance parties. But times have changed.

After the renovations this summer, afterHOURS now boasts a full-on Starbucks. The coffeshop/club atmosphere lends to Northeastern’s little venue an environment that few, if any, Boston hangouts can rival. Maybe it is a little strange. There are nights where a dozen kids sing emo lyrics at the top of their lungs. Meanwhile an unsuspecting student aiming to study plods in, devastated that she won’t be able to study for tomorrow’s Beethoven test while taking in the ambience of Starbucks. It’s admittedly bizzare, but also a unique and unparalled environment that should be experienced.

Even if you haven’t heard of the bands playing or don’t have friends to support at student comedy nights, it is still free entertainment.

I’m not saying the events are fantastic every time (there are a lot of events to experience; they can’t all be fabulous), but just because an event is dismal doesn’t mean it isn’t entertaining. Suppose the performers are awful, I’m sure there’s a Rachel McAdams “mean girl” in every one of you that will enjoy the hilarious post-event conversation and criticism. You know you’ve had those discussions before. Pure entertainment.

Did I mention all the events are free? AfterHOURS events are covered by the Student Activity Fee. So I guess it’s not technically free, but you get the point. You’re paying for the shows whether you go or not, so you might as well take advantage of the chance to experience potentially exciting opportunities and become a more cultured individual.

In short, afterHOURS is worth visiting. If I haven’t convinced you of the merits of attending a show or 10 every semester, then request an act or event yourself. You can fill out an event proposal form on the afterHOURS website, It’s not difficult, just show up. AfterHOURS is different, fun and free, so try something new for a change – how bad could it really be?

– Lauren Horn is a freshman journalism major and a member of the Council for University Programming’s Springfest committee.

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