BSA’s sixth annual Open Mic Night draws crowds

The Black Student Association’s sixth annual Open Mic Night allowed students to perform their talents before a packed house in the atrium of the Schwitzer Student Center. Singers, guitarists and poets performed for a panel of judges on Dec. 2 at 9 p.m.

Performers did not have to audition to participate in the event. All they needed to do was  attend a mandatory callout meeting and sign up.  The meeting was meant to inform the performers that they were not allowed to perform anything with improper content and for performers to inform the BSA what they would be presenting. Performers were allowed to change their minds about what they would present  after the meeting, provided they informed the BSA about the change and it did not have improper content.

A student performs at Open Mic Night, hosted by the Black Student Association. The performances occurred on Wednesday, Dec. 2 at 9 p.m. Photo by Kaley Gatto
A student performs at Open Mic Night, hosted by the Black Student Association. The performances occurred on Wednesday, Dec. 2 at 9 p.m. Photo by Kaley Gatto

Open Mic Night’s purpose is to connect entertainment and advertising, and bring together the entire campus. BSA promotes inclusivity of all talents, races and genres.  Senior political science major and Vice President of BSA Treasure Jones was in charge of Open Mic Night this year.

“We want to make sure that everyone has a safe place where they feel that they can express those [talents],” Jones said. “We’re trying to build a community on campus.”

Open Mic Night was not only a chance for students to perform their talents, but it’s also a competition. There was a panel of invited judges consisting of President Robert Manuel, Vice President for Student & Campus Affairs and Dean of Students Kory Vitangeli, Chaplain and Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religion Lang Brownlee, Associate Dean of Students Kristin Weeden, Senior Residence Director Timeshia Keys and Residence Director Carrington Clodius. The host for the night was senior mathematics major Kyra Monroe.

Performers were announced and invited to the stage to perform. After they finished, they would exit the stage and Monroe would come to the stage to announce the next performer. Some of the performers included senior exercise science major Lauren Carniello, who performed Katy Perry’s “Firework” as a poem and junior human biology major  Jonny Valdez, who performed “Budapest,” by George Ezra. A duo played guitar and sang an acoustic mash-up of Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” and Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud.” There also was a special performer who was not a student. Terri Epps, or Sounds of Shar’e, who works at The Perk performed two of her songs.

Open Mic Night had three winners: first, second and third place. Third place went to senior social work major Felicia Ridle who performed two poems she had written. Second place went to senior German and international relations major  Siglinde Ferguson, who sang “Make You Feel My Love” by Adele and first place went to sophomore communication major Vencent Hill who sang Ariana Grande’s “Almost Is Never Enough.”

Jones said the turnout this year was one of the best BSA has ever had.

“It’s always been huge,” Jones said. “We didn’t have enough chairs for people, even with the extra seating around the atrium. There were people in Streets watching and then way on the sides of the hallways. It was awesome.”