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A Euro-LABA Night to Remember

By Martín Kielmanowicz ('14)
On September 15, 2013

  • Cluster X13 @ pre-HH

Darkness. Are my eyes open right now? As I begin to come to, I reach to find my bearings. Am I in my bed? Is this even a bed? Why is the musk of Saracho hanging over me like a mosquito net? Let's think back. If I start from the beginning maybe I'll be able to piece everything together.

In May the European Society and Latin American Business Association selected their new boards, and our first major deliverable would be the classic September Euro-LABA party. The bar was quite high; prior years' parties had set the right tone for our school, we'd have to do the same. Would we be able to come through? Looking over the list of Club VPs I'd be working with, I knew it was a roll of the dice. Man, what a CBS rat pack this was. Sancassani with his fireball tattoos and love of Four Square check-ins; Saracho, who I knew only had a beard to cover the scars on his face given to him by women he'd offended. Guillaume would be helpful, I knew, but would I lose him if he thought he found love on the way? And Samir, of course, who's only task in life, it would seem, was maneuvering for more reggaeton on the playlists.

What had I gotten myself into? No point in whining. Had to push forward.

Alas, through the summer the event came together. Lovers become Drivers; Slackers into Strategists. Working across multiple time-zones and summer internships, the event venue was booked and the DJ signed. We were on our way.

Hurdle one. The Jews. Wait! Was I still in the JBSA? As an event organizer I had signed-off, if not chosen, the date of the Euro-LABA party to be. Did I really overlook my 10 years of Jewish private schooling and sign a contract to hold the event on the night of a high holiday? Erev Yom Kippur! oy gevaldt!

I jump out of my bed and run to my laptop: groups.gsb.columbia.edu. Whew. The JBSA hasn't expelled me from its ranks.

As my Yom Kippur debacle had come to light in August, I knew I'd be facing challenges from both sides. Firstly, the J-mafia of the Upper West Side might now be after me. Would I ever feel safe again? Secondly, I had already signed a contract and put down my own credit card guaranteeing a sizable bar tab. Would I be washing plates? Please no... My hands are too soft for that type of work.

Day one of ticket sales was a bust. Was the JBSA running a stealth campaign against me?! I could already see my credit score going down the drain - a night of me and four dudes dancing at the Maritime Hotel. What were we to do?

Alas, Brazilians to the rescue. Somehow or another, that Neymar-loving mob sold some 150 tickets, with Sancassani likely robbing old ladies pensions just to make one more sale. Regardless, critical mass had been reached and the ball was rolling. 250 turned into 350. 350 turned into 400, surpassing the amount we had aimed to sell. At 415 we closed sales, though Lucas kept on selling, of course. Common amigos!

The event had come together nicely, right? People danced on furniture. Shirts had flown off and deep Vs had been sported - Jesus there was a lot of chest hair out last night. Did I remember a conga line? Yes, yes I did.

The 450+ guests began to whittle away after 3:30 AM. I remember a pizza break with Saracho. One more beer. One more dance circle. What's that line? Dance like no one's watching? Check.

The evening ended with a nightcap with some of the other organizers in my Hell's Kitchen apartment. A toast to our hard work somehow turned into something akin the red pill in The Matrix.

But yes. This was my bed. I was home. I was laying there sideways, sure, and Saracho had definitely napped here recently... (note to self, today is a laundry day). If that Spanish musk was my biggest problem, I knew I'd be fine, though.

The Euro and LABA teams had come together nicely. The end product had been a blast. We exceeded the bar tab required by several thousand dollars and my credit score was saved. I'd danced to that damned Nossa, nossa song. Yes, we'd done OK for ourselves. Now the question remained, when should we do this again?

(Note: a special thank you to the souls who put in time during their summer internships and early weeks this semester to make Friday's event go off so smoothly: Vanessa, Nachi, Selim, Samir, Alvaro, Francois-Nicolas, Lucas and Guillaume. My sincere gracias.)


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