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Theme House Corner: Java House

Photo Courtesy of Natalie Pontikes
Written by Natalie Pontikes

Java. The word means something different to every St. Lawrence student: most consider it a place to go out, some call it a radical venue to listen locally, and I’ve even heard some refer to it as a palace of partying. It is an ongoing supply of free chips, salsa, and live music. It oozes happy vibes and is centered around a loving community of music appreciators. What more could you ask for?

Each weekend, the Java Barn hosts a band to play a free show, open to anyone and everyone who could possibly want to attend. The inclusive nature draws in locals from Potsdam and Canton, in addition to eager college students ready to dance the night away. Many St. Lawrence students will tell you that the Java Barn is a special and lively place on campus that allows them be to be themselves and to dress, dance, and act how they want.

To the residents of the Java Theme House at 5 University, Java is more than just a fun place to go out on the weekends. It is a job and a responsibility. As members of the Java House, the 13 of us work together to make sure each weekly show runs smoothly. The “Boss” of the show registers the event and ensures that order is maintained during the shows, and “Guest” tends to the band’s wishes all night long, including ordering their food and welcoming them to the venue. “Promo” creates social media events and covers the campus in posters, while “Food” prepares for the ravenous show attendees by venturing to P-chops or Walmart to buy massive amounts of snacks for the night. The ever-coveted job of “Clean-up” tackles the mess in the venue the next day with a thorough mop, after they sort through the mounds of refuse collecting cans to be recycled.

We all do our best to keep attendees and the band safe and happy by staying attentive and vigilant during shows; you may have seen your favorite tender, loving Java beans bundled up outside the doors handing out countless cups or boppin’ around in the barrier, surveying the show between the stage and dancefloor. Additionally, our wonderful sound technicians Elliot Boyd ’18 and Bjarne Nielsen ’19 put in countless extra hours of work to make sure the band sounds great to the crowd, while Will Havens ’18 handles all of the booking and scheduling that makes Java possible. If you see a Java bean at a show repping that stylish staff shirt, give ‘em a high five or perhaps even a hug. They’re working hard!

You may have heard the term “Java Love” thrown around during your time at St. Lawrence. What is Java Love, you may ask? At the end of the day, Java Love is what drew the 13 of us into our humble home on University Street. It means something different to us all: the feeling you get when you lock eyes with lead singer Hayley Jane from Hayley Jane and the Primates, as she belts out the lyrics to a Dylan cover; the sheer joy you feel as you twirl under the bright blue and green lights with a cute dance partner; the self-induced neck pains you feel after a Vundabar show which reminds you of the enthusiastic and blissful head banging you took part in the night before; the supportive aura that allows even the most nervous of students to play music at Java open mics; or the immeasurable love and appreciation you feel for the friends you get to enjoy Java shows with. We are all bound by the endless Java Love that fosters such great times and friendships.

If you are interested in learning more about Java, come find any of us kind, celebrated, amiable, and attractive house members at the next show!



About the author

Natalie Pontikes