By Ashley Miller ‘18
The Gravity House, a non-profit, event planning organization, launched its anticipated first event on Friday, Sept. 16. The organization’s mission is “to encourage a new type of university social culture by planning and creating the highest quality parties and entertainment that ultimately forms a strong community of participants from a multitude of collegiate campuses.” The parties hosted by Gravity House are sober, in hopes to dismiss peer pressure felt towards consumption–which is generally associated with campus parties across the country.
Founder and president of Gravity House, Richard Teunis ‘17, speaks about the issue in a promotional video published on the organization’s official website; he said, “Campuses across the country struggle with the party culture: D.U.I.’s, drug addictions, sexual assaults, hazing— so many other negative aspects to this culture arise year after year, creating a lot of hurt, regret, perhaps even worse, in the lives of students across this nation.” Teunis goes on to emphasize the importance of working towards changing this culture: “We don’t see this reality as a failure in our society, we see it as an opportunity.”
The “Launch Event” was hosted at the Sterling YMCA in Beverly, MA, from 9:00pm to 1:30am. It featured a neon dance, two 15 inch screens displaying both Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros., a self-service photo booth, face painting, an inflatable velcro wall, jousting ring, gift card giveaways, and snacks.
The YMCA’s environment proved to have all the necessary ingredients for the kick-off, yet attendance somehow fell shorter than originally expected considering the amount of advertising the House did on social media and campus email. Gravity House hopes to draw more students future events. The second scheduled event is “Hubble” on Oct. 8 at 8:30pm. The location of the event has yet to be announced.
A list of board members and/or volunteers at the “Launch” Event include: Richard Teunis ‘17 (Founder and President), Kathryn Willeman ‘18 (Secretary), Elizabeth Lyon (Chairman), Andrew Crossman ‘17 (Treasurer), Jenna Dawson ‘18, Carleigh Petersen ‘17, and Emily Beu.