Most Friday nights, the quiet Coffeehouse on the third floor of the Student Center undergoes a transformation. The first week back at school was no exception; the SaveTFP student group threw a karaoke night to start off the year on a musical note.
Around 9 p.m., a few students began setting up for the weekly "Friday Nights @ the Coffeehouse" event, which quickly filled up with about 40 students. The three-hour event offered pizza, a new karaoke machine, a large screen with lyrics projected onto it, and monetary prizes for best singer. Even the price--all SaveTFP events are free--helped to draw a large crowd.
SaveTFP was founded approximately two years ago, at a time when MIT began a campaign to raise awareness of dangerous drinking among the student body. One or two students attending the initial discussions suggested that a student group be formed to attack the problem. The group's web site says: "We are not an official student group, nor are we a part of any other campus organization or office. There are various groups at MIT with specific agendas--preserving dorm rush, promoting specific hobbies, providing support to students. Our goal is simple--preserving and enhancing the good things about MIT."
The current group of eight students now plans and organizes stress-free, alcohol-free events on campus.
Well, maybe not completely stress-free for the performers.
"It was quite intimidating to sing, but also a lot of fun," said freshman Debashish Sircar after his duet with freshman Jonathan Sue-Ho. The two sang Train's "Drops of Jupiter."
Katelyn Giovannucci, a sophomore in linguistics and philosophy, performed several numbers, including Madonna's "Frozen." "I didn't really know much about SaveTFP prior to the karaoke event, but some friends decided to go and I tagged along and had such a great time!" said Giovannucci. "I wish more people knew about fun stuff like this. It's a great way to spend a Friday night."
The numerous performances (between 30 and 40 songs) and large crowd that remained until 1 a.m. were proof the students were enjoying themselves.
The singers ranged from love-struck individuals singing serenades to large, coed groups belting out such popular favorites as, "Build Me Up Buttercup" and "Lady Marmalade." There were many freshmen in the audience, but every class, including graduate students, participated. The student members of SaveTFP performed a passionate rendition of "Livin' La Vida Loca."
SaveTFP, which stands for Save This F***ing Place, seeks to distance itself from the MIT administration by making it clear that it is a group of independent students who like to have fun by throwing large annual, alcohol-free events, as well as comfortable Friday evenings at the Coffeehouse. The big events include the Halloween, Thanksgiving and Valentine's skates; Mr. and Miss MIT Talent Contest; Fall Festival; and Spring Weekend.
This year's Valentine's Skate is Friday, Feb. 11 from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Johnson Ice Rink. Like all SaveTFP events, it's free of admission and alcohol.