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The Meaning of C-Haus

The paintings: beer bottles, egg plants, a Tralfamadorian from Kurt Vonnegut novels. The objects: a stage, a bar, a drum set, an organ. A pool table sits in the middle of the room beneath a hanging stained glass lamp, the kind you might see in your grandmother’s house. This is the inside of Coughy House. 

No one is allowed in.

Coughy House, better known around the college as “C-Haus”, was the campus bar. It closed in the spring of 2020 due to Covid, and has yet to open again, leaving a certain emptiness in the student body. Two students who experienced the bar when it was open gave their thoughts on what the space means to them and the campus. 

For Shruthi Chandrasekar’23, C-Haus was a place where everyone was welcome. There was live music and bands, dancing, an arcade room, pool competitions, and a porch for people to escape to if they needed to “get away from the craziness of it all.”

At C-Haus, Chandrasekar was able to meet up with people she knew, and form relationships with mutual friends. They could all meet up and realize their connections to one another, and create a bigger group out of that. 

“I’m not saying that it wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for C-Haus, but I don’t know that it would have been that fluid to create that kind of memory.” 

Chandrasekar was only able to experience C-Haus for the first semester of her freshman year due to the pandemic, but she was able to realize that C-Haus was a place that was for current students, just as much as it was for students of the past. 

“We have our own memories, but there’s so much history to C-Haus.” The graffiti and writing on the walls, the old menus and posters; these things all make C-Haus the community centered place it is. 

“C-Haus is a literal embodiment of Beloit College because it holds so many physical memories. It’s like an archive of Beloit.” Chandrasekar compared this to the Powerhouse, a space that students haven’t yet been able to make their own. 

“Beloit isn’t the place where we have a lot of avenues for people to just like, dance around,” she said. “There were a lot of things at Beloit that felt like you could only get at Beloit, and C-Haus was one of those places”

“I feel like I’m a part of something bigger,” she said. “There’s no other place that could be like C-Haus.” 

“It was a blast.” Cora-Jane Aubert’23 is another student whose time at C-Haus was cut short by the pandemic, but the time she spent there will always be in her memory. She recalled a time when she and a friend got up to sing karaoke, and halfway through their duet they realized one had been singing “Party in the USA” while the other was belting “This Girl is On Fire”. It is a memory she could envision telling at her friend’s wedding in the future. 

Aubert wanted her time at college to be about collecting experiences. 

“I want to seek out lifelong memories, and I think C-Hause is an opportunity for that,” she said. “It’s an opportunity for community, it’s an opportunity for growth.” 

There are so many different things that C-Haus could be, and for Aubert, she wants it to be a creative space where she can have her own college experience and find people who are like her.

“I’m kind of at this place where I’m finding people who I think vibe with me and work with me, and I think sometimes I wish I could do everything that I want to, or make my life a movie.” 

She wants to be able to have a hang out, a study space, conducive to her. A place where her creative outlets can be appreciated. She sees the value of the space not just as a campus bar, but as another place on campus to exist in. 

“When I study in the Powerhouse, I do not feel aesthetic.” She wants more than blank, white industrial walls, and sees that potential in C-Haus, and the value bringing it back to life. 

“Creativity. I crave it.” 

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