Little Italy deemed successful by class of 2015


Sara Yang



Friday afternoon, a little over an hour after the end of seventh period, the campus had mostly emptied itself of students. But the freshman class officers scurried through the rally court, moving tables, setting up the speaker system and running to catch the stack of boxed salads before the packages toppled to the ground.

The class of 2015 held a joint fundraiser and class bonding event in the rally court on April 6 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Freshman class officers served dinners of pasta, salad and bread from Buca di Beppo at the beginning of the night, and arranged a line-up of nine dance and musical performances. Performers included freshman students and the Bollywood dance team.

According to freshman class officers Neil Gupta and Carmelia Muljadi, the turnout for the event far exceeded their expectations. Though geared towards the class of 2015, Little Italy was held open to all grades; by the end of the night, Gupta and Muljadi estimated a crowd of 60 to 70 students.

“We thought it was going to be awkward, silent, [like] no one’s talking. But this is like, everyone has separated from their tables, they’ve all gone to the front, bunched together sitting with people they’re not even friends with,” Muljadi said. “And it’s nice … They’re not even with their own ‘cliques,’ as they say.”

Muljadi mentioned that most of the planning occurred the week of the event, and the officers had been concerned for its success. Yet both Muljadi and Gupta believe the final product came together exceptionally well.

“I think it was just, the people who came here were willing to compromise with us and work with us because they knew it was our first time [doing an event like this],” Gupta said. “And they were like really nice about it, no one was like, ‘Oh, why isn’t this going well?’”

There was one minor obstacle with an hour left on the clock, when the scheduled performances ended earlier than planned. The officers made the impromptu decision to open up the stage for open mic — which led to a succession of performances, from freshman Rosalind Ball’s cover of “The Way I Am” by Ingrid Michaelson to a rendition of Chris Brown’s “Look At Me Now” by freshmen Ajay Nair, Nish Ullagaddi, Sachan Ganesh and Joseph Kompella.

Freshman Rahul Iyer noted that because of Little Italy, he feels closer to some classmates he had not known before. Freshman Archana Kikla expressed a similar sentiment. She initially attended Little Italy to support friends who were performing, but said she came to realize how surprisingly musically talented some of her classmates were. As Muljadi put it, the event boiled down to “friends supporting friends.”

“The thing is, yeah, we thought it was going to be a fundraiser. We thought this was going to be the big push for money,” Muljadi said. “But now that we think about it … it’s definitely class bonding.”