Illustration by Amanda Chugg
The MOBROC Barn is one of the more memorable buildings at Conn. The small red building sits on the north side of campus, overlooking the Sprout Garden. Occasionally, passerby can hear the music of a student band as they practice. Barn shows have always been a fun and welcoming environment for students, but MOBROC has had an up-and-down relationship with the College’s administration. Recently, MOBROC was stripped of its privilege to perform after an improperly organized show. The show was over capacity, and there were open containers found in the barn that night. However, many students feel that the punishment did not fit the crime.
SGA President Ramzi Kaiss ’17 commented: “No, I don’t think [the decision] was warranted. I think in the future the Barn should continue to serve as a space for students to socialize, make music, and have a good time. Given the limited amount of available spaces on campus, it is imperative to keep the Barn open and operating.”
While this may be the opinion of many students, many have wondered if barn shows could return this semester. When asked, Membership Director Rose Montera ’19 simply replied, “No, there won’t be any more shows this year.” Montera assured me that she did everything in her power to get barn shows back, but there was no room for negotiation with the College. Dean of Students Victor Arcelus did not respond to a request for comment.
As a senior, I have to say that it’s sad to think I’ve seen my last Barn show. Barn shows have been some of my best Conn memories. Barn shows mean a lot to the students here, and Kaiss feels it would diminish the Conn experience to lose them. He elaborated: “For me Barn shows have illustrated the sheer talent found on this campus, and the sense of community that we are capable of building. There is no space on campus like it, and to lose it would do great harm to the student experience at Conn.”
Connor Gowland ‘17, co-president of MOBROC, commented: “The Barn gave me a sense of community immediately upon transferring to Conn my junior year. Being able to start a band with likeminded musicians and also having the privilege of using such an amazing performance space known as the Barn has shaped my extracurricular life and social life here at Conn. I see MOBROC remaining as an organization with the key mission of bringing musicians together and giving them a space to perfect their craft.” The Barn is a unique space for students to be creative, and it is a shame to see a sudden, swift punishment from the College.
Moving forward, only time will tell when Barn shows will return to Conn. However, it seems as though my fellow seniors and I have attended our final Barn show as students.