During a brief discussion of oxymorons, one of my professors said, “It’s like asking, ‘Did you have fun in Binghamton last night?'” The class laughed. I agreed. I think most students who hail from either New York City or other metropolitan areas can agree on the notion that Binghamton isn’t quite synonymous with fun, excitement or adventure.
Coming to Binghamton as a freshman from the city, I was prepared — not necessarily willing — to adjust to a more sedentary, dull way of life.
Off-campus fraternity and sorority parties certainly do the trick in turning a dull weekend into a memorable one, or a forgettable one, depending upon how one likes to party. I in particular quickly learned that eventually, all parties start to mimic each other.
Each dance floor or frat house contains the same people wearing strikingly similar outfits, drinking their usual drinks and fraternizing with the same people, with the same music drowning out the sound of slurred conversations. When parties no longer give you the high needed to survive the bleakness of Binghamton, where does one turn?
There’s always the bowling alley, ping pong tables and billiards to get away from the Binghamton blues. However, with everyone searching for the same relief from boredom in the same places, it would take somewhere between a few minutes to an hour before any fun can be had.
Late Nite Binghamton is also an option, but when the activities provided leave one underwhelmed and in search of something more satisfying, what does one do? One does what mostly everyone on campus did on Saturday — attend The Dollar Show.
I went to The Dollar Show my sophomore year and within the first few minutes, I understood why it was one of the most highly anticipated events of the school year. The Dollar Show had all the components of a great time: music, comedy, wacky costumes and a grand space to accommodate friends, suitemates and lovers of a cappella alike.
It was with a guarantee the best time I have had anywhere for only $1. The Dollar Show did not disappoint this year.
The Dollar Show separates itself from other events on or off campus because it unifies all of Binghamton University’s students through music performed by their peers. It’s an event that fosters love, excitement and an appreciation for genuine talent, as well as the people who possess that talent. The show demonstrates that students have passions that exist outside of their majors and have skills beyond those which are used for exams and papers.
The Dollar Show gives students the opportunity to celebrate individuality and diversity, as well as community. Each a cappella group not only has its own genre of music it chooses to perform, but also has its own style. It is more than the music sung which reflects each group, but fashion and unity as well.
The Binghamtonics with their wacky costumes (one guy dressed as “The Situation” from “Jersey Shore” this year), the Treblemakers with their white tube socks and The Crosbys with their signature blazers all echo personal taste that only adds flare to the collective smooth voices of those groups.
With a cappella groups singing everything from Hebrew music to Smash Mouth, there is something one is guaranteed to enjoy, but more things for which one is certain to develop an appreciation. The exposure to different cultures and time periods sheds light on the diverse groups of people who attend our university, and how they help to enrich campus culture with a bit of their own.
The Dollar Show remains the event of the fall semester because it exemplifies everything that college life should be: educational, inspirational and above all, fun.
Did I have fun in Binghamton on Saturday night? Yes, I did.