Open mic nights at Haskell: An Outlet for Students to Express Themselves

By Mark Morales

Talent among students at Haskell is not hard to find but unfortunately finding proper venues to display
those talents can be. This will hopefully not be the case in the future.
On February 8, 2017 the Haskell Two Spirit/ lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) +
Grant Committee hosted a slam poetry/ open mic night at Tommaney Hall (library) as part of Haskell’s
Two Spirit Celebration Month. “The event had such a remarkable turnout” According to Carrie Cornelius.
Talks are now in place to make Haskell open mic night a routine event.
Considerations for hosting a monthly open mic night being discussed revolve around concerns of
distance and student safety at current open mic venues in Lawrence. Open mic events in Lawrence are
typically held at bars that cater to patrons who tend to be intoxicated and can encourage alcohol
consumption which is prohibited at Haskell campus. Students like Rashad Squalls have vocalized their
concerns about this as well as the distance they must currently travel in order “display their talents at
open mic nights”. Also, a majority of students do not have access to vehicles that can get them to and
from venues in Lawrence. Unruly Kansas weather can also play a significant role in safe student
For reasons like this, it seems to make sense that Haskell regularly host events like Haskell Open Mic
night on campus that students can conveniently and safely travel to as well as be among their peers.
While at these events students get a chance to associate with one another and showcase their talents
which can be a great ice breaking mechanism for students who are not as verbal. Besides being great
entertainment, these events can also lead to lifelong skills in communication.
As far as Entertainment goes, with a little bit of encouragement and healthy environment for
expression, “Haskell Open Mic Night” could be a catalyst to breaking the next big Hollywood star!
According to librarian Carrie Cornelius, The next proposed open Mic night is being purposed for early