Performing to Peers

By Austin Moehn, Travis Leiterman, Dylan Schmidt, and Caleb Miller


Open Mic Night was started years ago, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was put on pause. Now in its second year back on UW-Green Bay’s campus, Student Engagement at UW-Green Bay is looking forward to increasing attendance for the upcoming Open Mic Night.

Open Mic Night is held at Common Grounds Coffeehouse in the University Union on UW-Green Bay’s campus. Put on by the Student Engagement Center, Open Mic Night allowed performers with diverse skill sets to show off their talents. From hip hop to playing the ukulele to singing shanties, the Open Mic Night was not lacking in creativity. Ben Dresdow, the Events Programmer for Student Engagement, says that Open Mic Night “Is a great way to support your friends and or put yourself out there.” Dresdow and his team encourage students to attend the event by running a series of posters and hosting information booths.

A recent change has been made to Open Mic Night. Student Engagement has begun to give out prizes as a way of saying thanks to the performers and incentivizing observers to perform. “We have started giving up keychains and little goodies to people who perform. It is a nice way to do something small that gets them out of their shell,” said Dresdow. This change was made for the last Open Mic Night on February 7th.

The atmosphere for Open Mic Night on February 7th was engaging. Performers were supporting each other as the crowd cheered for their friends performing. Going into Open Mic Night, the tone was laid back, as there was no judgment from anyone. There was a sign-up sheet for whoever wanted to participate, and participants would sign their names up to play one song each per set. While some students worked on their homework during the Open Mic Night, others were engaged in the performances. At the last Open Mic Night, Dresdow highlighted some of the great performances.“We had some students from the pep band come and play guitar! That was super cool,” said Dresdow.

A UW-Green Bay student performs a song while playing the ukulele.

Andrew Braley, a performer at the Open Mic Night, talked about his take on the other performers on Open Mic Night. “I was pleasantly surprised with how many people sang their hearts out in many different ways,” said Braley. Dresdow said that a performer that stands out to him was Jake Chairin, who graduated in 2020. Chairin often performed Disney musical songs such as ‘A whole new world.’ “He had an amazing voice and a charisma that lit up the room,” said Dresdow.

Open Mic Night happens monthly. The next one is Tuesday, March 7th. Open Mic Night gives UW- Green Bay students an opportunity to show their talents in front of their peers. Events at UW-Green Bay allow students to meet each other in fun settings. The lesson from this event is that you will be heard at Open Mic Night no matter who you are.

A group of friends receiving their beverages from a barista.

Students can take a break from their studies in a laid-back environment at Open Mic Night. They can either perform or watch their peers perform while enjoying a warm beverage. Ben Dresdow’s final message on Open Mic Night is to “Bring your friends! We have fun around here.”

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