Butterfield’s Koffee Haus: A Revival

For as long as it has been around, the Central Residential Area has been home to many of the most creative and artistic students at UMass. Van Meter and Butterfield are two of the biggest residential halls that are focused on housing students interested in the Humanities and Fine Arts subjects, and they provide a number of ways for students to express their skills. In an attempt to encourage students to create a lively community where they can share their talents with others, Butterfield Hall has organized Koffee Haus- a café night of creative expressions.

Inspired by the original energy that this residential hall was founded on, Alex Phillips, a faculty-in- residence in Butterfield, created Koffee Haus as a way of reviving the social and creative environment  that Butterfield once had. According to Phillips, Butterfield was the quintessential home for all liberal arts students in the early 1970s. The residential hall was a community in which acoustic guitars echoed throughout the halls and everyone shared their visual and musical talents with one another.Butterfield in the 70s

This was also a period with a lot of drug experimenting, and students began taking hallucinogens in their dorms and tripping inside the residential halls. Phillips claimed that, “students were lighting clipboards on fire and destroying the boards in the hallways.” After these incidents, Butterfield began cracking down and getting more serious about community guidelines. For while after this, Butterfield lost its artistic flair and students no longer had this same kind of open environment to share their talents in.

However, Phillips decided to change this by putting together Butterfield’s Koffee Haus nights. Run by residents in Van Meter in Butterfield, Koffee Haus is an open mic night where students are free to perform songs, poems, stand-up comedy, or present artwork or written pieces of any sort. All talents are welcome. In the two years that it has been established, Phillips has seen the success of this event grow exponentially. In the first Koffee Haus of this semester, over 100 students attended and the entire night was filled with entertainment of every kind. Koffee Haus will host 2-3 events on selected Thursdays each semester, and all are encouraged to attend. Whether you have a song waiting to be performed or you simply have a love for coffee and snacks, Koffee Haus welcomes you with open arms.

-Sabrina Taylor


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