August 18, 2019 | 81° F

Modern Love Open Mic swoons Rutgers students at Hidden Grounds

Modern Love Open Mic

Modern Love is a popular Sunday column featured in The New York Times that has stories about love in different forms. Whether it be romantic or familial, about a dog or a friend, the stories are concise easy reads that leave your eyes watery and heart soft. 

Hidden Grounds Coffee hosted Rutgers’ very first “Modern Love Open Mic” this past Saturday. Chris Roney, a representative for The New York Times and a School of Arts and Sciences senior, hosted the open mic. 

Through the clatter of coffee mugs and the expresso machine, Roney said the purpose of hosting the open mic was not only to promote love and artistic expression but to start a conversation with students on campus on the importance of being informed.

“As a rep for The New York Times, we want to see Rutgers play a bigger role. After launching the new initiative and establishing a section in the Times called The Edit, which is dedicated to college students, we wanted to get the word out that The New York Times wants to hear your voice,” Roney said.

Roney said that The Edit, much like the Modern Love column, accepts submissions from students. 

“We want college students to be well-informed and reading the newspaper well before they are out in the real world with a career,” Roney said. “The Times is a dollar a week for students after a free four-week trial. We did this so students are more open to subscribing and learning about the world. The New York Times is essentially saying to students, ‘Let us grow with you.’” 

When asked how the “Modern Love Open Mic” got started, Roney said he was always a big fan of open mic and how because this event received overwhelmingly positive feedback on other campuses, he had to give it a shot at Rutgers. 

The gathering at Hidden Grounds Coffee was small and intimate, with dainty yellow chairs lined up and a vintage rug in front of the mic and hot seat where performers sat. People signed up to read their own poems and writings about love, others read popular stories from the Modern Love column, one, in particular being “You May Want To Marry My Husband” by recently passed children books author Amy Krouse Rosenthal. 

People snapped and drank the free coffee. Renee Rizza, a Mason Gross School of the Arts senior, showcased her new book titled "Snow White and The Mirror," which presents the classic fairytale story in a new light. The newly told tale sends positive messages about healthy body image and self-acceptance to children.

Comic books and records were on sale in the back of the coffee shop. Near the end of the event, there was live music and a last call for anyone in the audience itching to share their work. 

Much like The New York Times, The Daily Targum is accepting love story submissions of any kind for the new section Inside (Heart) Beat. You can email your story to 

Claudia Lee

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