By Faith Zamblé Located in the basement of Burgh Hall, Java Haus is known for being a place of late night movie watching and even later night snacks. However, between its hosting of Battle of the Bands and open-mic nights, it appears that Java Haus is seeking to supersede its reputation of being simply a room with a TV and couches. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to speak with Rachel Boge, a member of the Java Haus management team, and find out just what changes are in store for us.
Faith Zamblé Tell me a little bit about your role as the Java Haus coordinator.
Rachel Boge I am the events manager; we also have a manager and assistant manager. My role is pretty much to manage the space. I'm in charge of putting on any of our events as well as helping to facilitate any event that a North Park organization or student wants to put on. Next weekend, we're having a band play––none of of them go to North Park––but a friend of theirs goes here, so I will facilitate that and help them have a place to share their music.
FZ Do you see Java Haus potentially becoming a bridge between students from other campuses or students that don't necessarily attend North Park?
RB I don't know how much North Park as an institution wants to see that happen, but I would personally love to see Java Haus be a place that is a venue, not only for North Park students but connections that North Park students have and be a way to branch music to our campus and be a place that can foster art, whether you want to come for open mic night and do any sort of poetry, music...I would like to see it be a place where non-North Parkers can come.
FZ Speaking of branching out, it sounds like you have some new ideas for the direction of Java Haus. You've said that you wanted music to be a part of that, as well as poetry; are there any other directional changes you have in store?
RB There are some more ideas. Just today, we were talking about having a Catan tournament. Also, now there's a North Park improv club, and maybe having them do night ... I want it to be a place that isn't just restricted to "Oh, we're going to have musical events." Whether you aren't involved in anything at North Park, whether you're in UMin or sports, Java Haus can be a place where you can bring your interests. FZ How do you think this year is going to go compared to the way things went last year?
RB I wasn't involved in Java Haus last year, but I think it's already grown a lot and I see it continuing to grow with our staff and the things we've talked about doing. There are some events that we had last year that we're continuing this year, and Java is taking more ownership of, like Battle of the Bands. What I really want to see is some of these events carry on into future years. Like with Battle of the Bands or a Catan tournament, having a wall of winners, and that way, these things will build throughout the years and be traditions. We want Java be a place that isn't different year to year, regardless of who's managing it. Everyone can take ownership each year but having consistency is incredibly important.
FZ How would a student go about having an event at Java Haus?
RB If you simply want to reserve the space, you would fill out a form on OrgSync. If you want to have a band for example, you would just contact me, email me, or stop me on the street and just talk to me and I'll help you plan it. So really, it's kind of all through me, but anything you want to do, you can do, as long as the space is open.
FZ It seems like, a lot of what I'm hearing is that you'd like North Parkers to take more ownership of their space.
RB Yeah, definitely––they can and they should. I want to help people do that. Any event that someone wants to do, I want to help them put it on because that's what I enjoy doing and that's what my job is. But mostly, I like to see people enjoy North Park and enjoy what we have to offer and share what they love to do.