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Co-op members and independent students hosted Yardparties, an outdoor celebration with homemade food and live music, on Saturday, May 5.

“It brings people from so many different sections of campus together,” said Alex Gottlieb ’18, a member of Real Food Co-op, who organized the event.  “We just wanted to create these open and inclusive spaces on campus as the ideal way to wrap up the end of classes.”

Members of the Two Dickinson Street Co-op, Brown Co-op, International Food Co-op, Real Food Co-op, and Scully Co-op cooked and provided the food for the event. Pink House food share also helped with preparations.

“We have people who are really passionate about cooking, and we like to share that knowledge,” said Remi Shaull-Thompson ’19, a member of Pink House, who made key lime pies with some friends for the event. “The element of food is bringing people together.”

Claire Thornton

According to Sonia Howlett ’18, a member of Real Food Co-op, the co-ops divided the task of making food. Club members prepared the food in their respective residencies the morning before coming together for the main event in the afternoon.

“I feel a real sense of community here,” said Zaynab Zaman ’18, an independent student. “They’ve made an effort to have a really nice environment.”

All the live music was performed by students as well, with performances by the groups Sensemaya and MrE.

Claire Thornton

Although the event was hosted primarily by students in co-ops and other independent students, the event was open to all and was attended by nearly 300 students, including many underclassmen.

“I think it’s marketed as a great way for upperclassmen to come together, which I think is really exciting and there’s not enough of,” said Howlett. “I also really love how many sophomores and freshmen are here and seeing what it might be like to be an independent or in a co-op.”

Gottlieb and others present made a clear distinction between Yardparties and Lawnparties; they described Yardparties as a less hectic affair. Many attendants said they also planned on attending Lawnparties, as well as eating club formals and semi-formals.

“This feels more like a barbecue than like a concert where you have to clamor to the front,” said Shaull-Thompson. “It feels less hectic; it feels like the job is just to hang out, instead of having to run around from yard to yard.”

The first Yardparties took place two years ago. However, according to Gottlieb, independents and co-op members were unable to get funding for Yardparties last year. This year, with the help of funding from USG, they were able to hold the event for a second time.

“So much of the value of being in a co-op is about providing for your community,” said Gottlieb. “Most of us find something really fulfilling about that, which is why we’re in co-ops or why we’re independent; to be able to share that with a broader segment of the population than normal is special, even if it’s only this one day.”

Yardparties took place on Saturday, May 5, 1–5 p.m. on the lawn of 2 Dickinson St., the home of the 2D Co-op.

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