Café Nights offer a chance for students to enjoy fellowship and entertainment, and Open Mic Night, the second Café Night of the semester, was a special mix of camaraderie, laughter and talent. Sixteen vibrant performances and hilarious mini-games, together with the warm and festive ambiance created by string lights, resulted in a memorable time for all who participated.

“Our goal for the Café Nights is for community to happen,” says Phillip Box, associate director of Student Life, who helped organize the Oct. 14 event. “We want to give the students a chance to step away from classes and come to fellowship among other students and professors. This one is very special because it allows students, professors and anyone on campus to come and perform their talent.”

One of the highlights of the evening was Sophie Meintjes’ performance, in which she played the guitar and sang a song that she had composed over the past year at Southwestern. A Bachelor of Arts student, Meintjes sang of her personal search for truth and hope, coming to the conclusion that Christ is the only true hope. The heartfelt lyrics resonated with many in the audience.

“All of us have been gifted with talents and abilities,” Box says, “and our Open Mic Night provides students with the opportunity to showcase their talents to the student body.”

Other performers were also able to show off a wide range of talents, including poetry, stand-up comedy, songs, skits, playing instruments, and book-reading. Bachelor of Arts student Matthew Wilbanks sent the audience howling with laughter with a comical rewording of the song “Friday” by Rebecca Black, while another Bachelor of Arts student, Marthen Lilite, touched the hearts of many with an inspirational rap song that he had composed. Master of Theological Studies student Robert Burgess and Master of Music student Naomi Barrett also performed a duet on the clarinet.

Between performances, emcees Collin Hain and Courtney Klein enlivened the atmosphere by offering entertaining mini-games for the audience. In one instance, Hain and Klein asked members of the audience to come up on stage and perform a spontaneous skit in which they had to act out random emotions that the emcees called out. These amusing performances by the makeshift actors sent the audience into fits of laughter.

“The games in between performances were a huge hit,” Box says. “Adding the games allowed students to have an enjoyable night, and there was no dead time between performances. It was great to see the different mix of students getting up and performing. The student body really enjoyed it.”

Trivia Night, the final Café Night of the semester, is scheduled for Nov. 11 at the Student Center. It will be held as a competition between students and professors.