Global Scholars Hall Government hosts Silent Disco

Global Scholars’ Great Room looked like a rave on Tuesday night with laser lights and students jumping up and down to the beat — except that the entire room was silent. The room was so quiet that someone walking by wouldn’t have even known there was a party inside if the door hadn’t been open.

On Tuesday, Global Scholars Hall Government hosted its first silent disco as a community bonding event. At a silent disco, participants bring their own device and headphones and listen to a playlist that the DJ broadcasts through a certain medium (YouTube in this case).

The silent disco’s origins go back to a 1969 Finnish sci-fi film “Ruusujen Aika,” (“A Time of Roses”), in which the first silent disco was depicted at a house party, according to United Kingdom newspaper The Telegraph. During the ‘90s, silent discos became popular at outdoor parties because they provided a way to avoid noise complaints.

The silent disco has since shown up at music festivals such as the Glastonbury Festival, Bonnaroo Music Festival and Coachella. In 2005, the term “silent disco” was properly established according to The Telegraph, and in 2011, it was added to the Oxford Dictionary.

Stephanie Schofield is the GSH government programming coordinator. She said she was inspired to host a silent disco after seeing videos on YouTube of Coachella hosting their own. Schofield had also learned that ASUO put on a silent disco last year.

During the days leading up to the event, there were posters put up throughout GSH with a barcode that a QR app could scan so students could put together playlists of songs they would like to hear at the disco.

Schofield said that she had originally put together two and a half hours of music for the three-hour event, leaving the other half hour for participant’s suggested songs; however, after a surge in suggestions, she had to cut 45 minutes of music out of the original playlist.

“It was so fulfilling to see everyone around me having a good time,” said Schofield.

Students enjoy GSH’s first silent disco. (Mel McCalla)

Majoring in computer science and her drive towards building a community led to the excitement Schofield had about putting this event together. “I love making a community,” she said.

Schofield said that Mel McCalla, a GSH government senator, helped her get the technical side of the event together, including the YouTube livestream. Kayden Kendrick and Maggie Thompson, who both participate in the Residence Hall Association and GSH Government, helped with the decorations.

An estimated 50 students participated in the silent disco, according to Schofield. “I think it was really successful,” she said.

Schofield explained that she suspects the reason the turnout wasn’t in the hundreds was that it was a Tuesday night during dead week. She explained that there was also the possibility that since it was silent, there was no music to draw in people walking by like at a normal party.

GSH government is looking into hosting another silent disco spring term, according to Schofield. She said that they’re always looking for ways to make the event better next time and mentioned the possibility of involving the game “Just Dance” in the next silent disco.

“Just Dance” is a videogame in which players choose songs and must follow their avatars coordinating dance moves. At a silent disco, the game would be projected on a screen and participants would take turns playing, while listening to the song with their headphones. People not playing in a certain round of the game could still dance along by watching the projector.

Nikki Sandoval is a sophomore at the University of Oregon who lived in GSH last year and went to the silent disco this year. Sandoval suggested that maybe next time it would be easier to use Spotify instead of YouTube because occasionally her and her friends’ music was not in sync.

“Overall, I think it was pretty fun, and I would go and check it out again,” said Sandoval.

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Rylee Kahan

Rylee Kahan

Rylee Kahan is a News Reporter for The Daily Emerald. She is a sophomore majoring in Journalism and loves late-night coffee runs.