BY WILL NORRIS
To many, West Hall is known for being the dimly lit concrete prism sinking into the ground. However, once a year, the men of West turn on their lights, decorate with specific themes and transform their dorm into a three-story coffee house. West Hall’s campus wide event has proven to be popular but will face certain inevitable changes in the years to come.
Coffee House began one year before the current West Hall RD, Corey Kundert, was employed. The old tradition of an all-hall dance party had endured for a long time, so the previous West Resident Director decided to change the dorm’s event to Coffee House.
“They did it one time, and he handed it to me. Guys seemed to like it, and it was well received, so we kept doing it,” Kundert said.
After Kundert took the reigns of Coffee House, he was given the duty of refining the way it was run. The transition process to Coffee House has taken three years with various changes from year to year. The most changes have taken place with the way the coffee has been made and distributed during the event.
“Preparing coffee with our means and equipment is daunting,” Kundert said. “We have done a good job being efficient while still maintaining quality. We have gone from students making coffee in their rooms to buying raw green coffee beans and roasting them ourselves.”
Using their gifts and talents, the men of West have wanted Coffee House event to create a space in which people can come with their friends and spend quality time together.
The campus response to Coffee House from campus has been one of great involvement and interest. Annually, NW students flood into West Hall on the night of Coffee House. This year, West provided approximately 300 students with fresh dark Hunduran roast pour-over coffee in a mere three hours — a feat not easily reached by even a professionally equipped coffee shop.
“It’s a little overwhelming,” Kundert said.
Refining Coffee House over the years has been a process, but the largest obstacle is still to come. With the transition to Hospers Hall next year, Coffee House will surely take on a new face.
“Coffee House has always been in January and February,” Kundert said. “This year, because of theatre and campus events, it ended up being about a month later. This gave us a glimpse of next year.”
Although Hospers is not set up to have three floors of space to hang out in like in West, it offers many other community conducive opportunities.
“It is a blessing in itself that people show up to sweat and drink coffee,” Kundert said. “But instead of sitting in a hotbox of a room drinking coffee and listening to music, maybe we can utilize the outdoor space, people sitting by a fire with free roam, listening to music where everyone can find a seat.”
West RA Brad Smith has been a part of West Hall Coffee House for all its years of existence. Smith is also optimistic about the new location for Coffee House.
“I want to see it continued because it is an awesome event. There are tons of opportunities that building offers that this one doesn’t,” Smith said. “Coffee House is a different dorm event, it isn’t just walking through a hallway, it is a ‘come and hang out with us.’ I appreciate the nature of it.”