Goshen College’s annual International Student Club (ISC) Coffeehouse will be this Saturday, March 24. As is tradition, the Coffeehouse will begin with a meal prepared by ISC members as well as additional volunteers.
The meal will be prepared over the course of three days and will feature over 10 different dishes from various countries representing the nationalities of Goshen College students.
The meal will take place at 5:15 p.m. in the College Mennonite Church Fellowship Hall.
The College Mennonite Church community is a large part of what will make feeding over 400 people possible this Saturday.
According to Skip Barnett, International Student Club faculty advisor, the price for the meal would have been much higher if not for their generous support.
Following the meal will be the Coffeehouse student performances in Sauder Concert Hall at 7:30 p.m.
While tickets to the meal are already sold out, there are still plenty of tickets left for those who want to see the show. Tickets to the performance will be available at the door at $6 for students and children, and $14 for adults. Students also receive convocation credit. For faraway relatives and friends who might want to watch the performance, it will be livestreamed on the web at gcmusiccenter.org/live.
Profits from ticket sales go toward funding ISC events for the following year. ISC donates any additional profits to various humanitarian causes.
This year, ISC will be donating ticket profits to support DACA recipients. Last year, ISC was able to donate $2,000 to causes spanning earthquake relief in Mexico, hurricane relief in Puerto Rico and refugee support in Syria.
“There are so many valid things to give to, and we try to focus our donations on causes that are weighing on people’s hearts and minds at the time,” said Barnett.
Students began preparation for acts as early as the beginning of fall semester, including dance numbers, vocal performances and more.
“We are all really excited to show off the results of all our hard work,” said Hajin Kim, a junior, who will be appearing in three acts. “One is a sweet, soft Korean love song. The second one is an instrumental cover of a famous song from a famed Studio Ghibli movie.”
To find out which song he will be performing, and from which movie, Kim said that you’ll have to buy a ticket.
The final act Kim is a part of is a B-Boy performance, an art form that has become a staple of Goshen talent shows over the last several years.
The performance will be choreographed by Nimoy Vaidya, a junior, and Phil Chan, a senior.
“[The choreography] is one the college has never seen before,” said Kim. “It is sensational.”
The aforementioned three acts are only a small sample of what will be featured at Saturday’s performance.
In Coffeehouse, there are no winners or losers.
“I’m not against an American Idle atmosphere—it definitely causes some people to come and step up their games,” Barnett said.
“For Coffeehouse, I prefer the idea of ‘Let’s all come together and make it the best that it can be.’ It’s a student thing, but it’s for the community and it’s a family event. You can bring your kids, your grandkids, and they’ll love it.”
Saturday’s show will feature many seniors for whom this will be their last show. Yazan Meqbil and Lien Nguyen, both seniors, are among those performing in their last Coffeehouse.
Saturday’s Coffeehouse will also be Barnett’s last, at least in his current role.
“Skip Barnett is truly a wonderful man who has been a father figure for international students for nearly 30 years,” said Kim.
Kim urges students and community members alike to come out on Saturday to celebrate what Barnett has done for the international community at Goshen.
Over 100 students will be involved in Coffeehouse between cooks, cleaners, ushers, publicity, event organizers and performers. These students represent a variety of ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds. Barnett says that Coffeehouse is unique as it is not only entertaining, but also an educational opportunity for Goshen College students and the broader Goshen community.