Where can you find slam poets, singers, comedians and more displaying their talents on a Friday evening on Eagle Row? College senior and Editor-in-Chief of The Pulse Dana Sokolowski and College senior Oliver Paprin, organized the Symposium at 12 Eagle Row this past Friday to showcase just that.
While The Pulse, one of Emory’s literary magazines, is always working to keep the school’s art beat alive, Paprin, an Alpha Tau Omega (ATO) brother, took his fraternity house, a space some students have said they associate with “a crazy, good ole time,” and reinvented it with The Pulse to create the Symposium.
The event consisted of 20 live acts, from spoken word and freestyle to standup comedy and contemporary dance. Additionally, the improv comedy group Rathskellar made an appearance, alongside guitar melodies and rap performances.
As Sokolowski put it, “people are passionate about art, but don’t always have a space to share it.”
That’s where Paprin and ATO stepped in.
They provided their house as an intimate setting, where more than 200 students crammed together to take part in watching the Symposium. So many students flocked to the event that at least 100 more were turned away for safety issues, according to Sokolowski.
“At one point, when the audience got on its feet to sing along with College sophomore Matt De Lereaux,” Paprin explained, “we were nervous the floor was going to fall through.”
The Symposium brought together people from all parts of campus, College sophomore and The Pulse Events Coordinator Juliana Bonovich explained.
“Our goal was to bring in new faces,” Bonovich said. “People came who had never stepped into a fraternity house, but they’re very involved in the arts.”
While Paprin originally thought the Symposium would just be a small event with a few acts, it turned into a two hour and 20 minute spectacular, he said.
“We used the space we have to open the bubbles, and something really magical happened,” Paprin said. “We’ve always heard that Emory is diverse in numbers, but that there’s not a lot of interaction between different interests and backgrounds.”
Paprin said that having the Interfraternity Council, C.O.R.E Culture Group, WMRE, Emory’s student radio station, the Emory Media Council and the Black Student Alliance as sponsors played a large part in cultivating the interactions.
College senior and Rathskellar member Neel Ghosh agreed, saying that “it was so cool to see students so receptive of this kind of event.”
At one moment the audience was listening to poems about love and race and the next, they were laughing at jokes about grinding.
Sokolowski was impressed with the crowd.
“No one was talking,” she said “[The audience] was so respectful and absorbed in the performaces.”
Paprin and Sokolowski agreed that it was a team effort involving all 300 people who came.
“People sometimes forget that all mediums of art can actually be engaging and fun,” Sokolowski said.
Once the live acts ended, WMRE played music, and guests were able to dance and enjoy Emory’s best visual art as sculptures, paintings, photographs and illustrations hung all around the house.
Additionally, The Pulse, Alloy and Lullwater Review, Emory’s three literary magazines, were all on display.
“Symposium was so amazing because in one event it encompassed a lot of the amazing talent Emory has to offer,” College junior Megan Santoro said.
Paprin expressed a lot of thanks to his ATO brothers and everyone else who helped put on the event.
Sokolowski said that students should keep an eye out for another Symposium in the future and that the partnership is looking to do more events in the coming semesters.
Sokolowski added, “Whatever it’s gonna be, it’s not gonna be the same.”
â€” By Samantha Goodman, Contributing Writer
This article was updated on Oct. 3, 2014 to reflect that Sokolowski, not College senior Ben Sinvany, provided the information about at least 100 students being turned away from the event.