BC Blaze—a breath of fresh air among otherwise lukewarm Student Life events

4 weeks ago Triangle 0

Written by: Mathäus Schwarzen, staff writer

By all rights, BC Blaze should have been a mediocre escape from the drudgery of college life. Instead, it was downright fun.

The school broke out the same cornhole, ladder toss, spikeball and kanjam sets that populate every Student Life event. That combination of games along with music is a staple for Bryan College events, but it can get old quickly. 

The Office of Student Life managed to breathe new life into the old formula of Spotify playlists and yard games with BC Blaze. Having a giant bonfire on a college campus seems like a recipe for disaster, but somehow Student Life managed to pull off a massive one without a catastrophe. The huge fire sat in the middle of the quad, halfway between Woodlee-Ewing and Arnold dorms, along with tables for s’mores, hot chocolate, and the strange addition of lemonade. 

OSL held the first BC Blaze event November 1

BC Blaze was originally planned for October 4, but a burn ban kept the fires from lighting until November 1. That ended up being a good thing, because no one in their right mind would want to go to a bonfire when the high was 91 degrees. When the burn ban lifted and the fire went up, the evening temperature was 48 degrees. 

I was surprised by the sheer number of students who came to the quad even before the event was supposed to begin—mostly because my expectations were low. I had forgotten that Bryan College was in the midst of its scholarship weekend, which brings high school students with high test scores to the school to compete for scholarships. 

OSL had advertised a big fire. They delivered a massive one. The fire, set on a metal tray atop concrete blocks, was hot enough to create a ring of empty space six feet wide. It was even enough to distract students from using their phones. 

Making s’mores—one of the biggest draws for the event—was clearly impossible with a fire that big, which makes me wonder what the purpose of the massive fire was to begin with. OSL set up two smaller fires on either side of the bonfire for that purpose, and that was where the students really congregated. 

The supply of chocolate bars didn’t last long, but students and guests alike continued to roast marshmallows until only embers remained. The circles of young people sputtered healthily with the inevitable debates of “charred versus healthy golden color.” 

Despite the lackluster nature of previous student life events, I can’t escape the fact that I left twice and came back both times. There is something magical about a giant tray of burning wood that you can’t get close to—something that added spice to the formula. The average Student Life event might be lukewarm, but they did something right with BC Blaze. 

*Note: this article expresses the ideas and opinions of the author and are not a reflection of the views of the Triangle or Bryan College as a whole.

Mathäus Schwarzen is a staff writer for the Bryan Triangle specializing in campus news, and a sophomore at Bryan College, majoring in creative writing. He spends his free time writing, drawing and listening to music.