‘We all have music in common’: MAFia is a unique community for relaxation and music appreciation

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Every week, MAFia chooses an album of the week for members to listen to. Photo taken pre-COVID-19. (Photo courtesy of MAFia website)

Music Appreciation Floor (is awesome), or MAFia, is more than just a living space for its residents.

“I love that it really feels like a family… I love that we’re such a diverse group as far as majors and interests… but we all have music in common,” said Emma Hartman ‘23, events coordinator for MAFia.

“MAFia creates a space in which we can share why we love music and celebrate it together,” said MAFia resident Katie Rice ’21.

Located on the third floor of Ramer Hall, MAFia is both a club with a general body and a living community with 20 residents.

The club runs many music-themed events, but its two big fundraisers are the Lip Sync Contest and Laf’s Got Talent, which are held to raise money for arts programs in elementary and middle schools. Laf’s Got Talent could not be held this year due to the pandemic.

In addition to community outreach, MAFia holds regular events for its club members, including music-themed scavenger hunts, music trivia nights and an album of the week tradition where a rotating “album master” shares an album for the rest of the group to listen to over the course of the week. Every Sunday at 3 p.m., the club gets together in the Ramer common room to listen to snippets and discuss that week’s album.

Hartman explained that event sizes can range anywhere from 10 to 30 people, as people aren’t pressured to attend everything, but events like Lip Sync usually have many participants. This semester in particular, the club has been growing a lot. However, Hartman said that MAFia initially struggled with recruitment at the beginning of the school year due to COVID-19.

Hartman described MAFia as simply a relaxing way to enjoy music.

“Not everyone has to do formal music to be here. We have a couple people who are just here because they really like listening to music and talking about it, so it’s kind of an eclectic group. We only have one music major on the floor,” said Hartman, who is an International Affairs and English double major herself.

“It’s a lot less pressure than doing one of the ensembles or being in Arts Society,” she added.

To live on the floor, students must go through an application process that is open to sophomores, juniors and seniors. Current MAFia residents then vote on who to accept based on the applications. The floor takes as many students as it has rooms for.

“Our goal is to eventually possibly take over a second floor, because we really hate having to deny applications. I don’t know if that’s going to happen, but we’re trying to get Student Government to push for that for us,” said Hartman.

Other members of the floor echo Hartman’s positive sentiments toward MAFia.

“MAFia is such a great organization to be in. I love being involved in a group of great people who have such a great appreciation for music of all genres,” Michala Dennis ’24 said.

“MAFia for me is about coming together as a group with a shared love of music, sharing that love with the community around us, and having some fun along the way,” Frank Grabowski ’24 said.

“It’s just a very comforting place to be, so it’s really important to me that I have this space. These are my people. I love them,” Hartman said.