By Emmy Wolfe, Caelyn Jischke & Hailey Oskey
With finals week approaching, students can de-stress from this busy time of the semester by attending ‘Open Mic-Night.’
Student Engagement hosted their frequent event, ‘Open Mic-Night’ on April 6th, 2022; this event provides students with the opportunity to showcase their talents to their peers. Open Mic-Night is hosted on a semi-regular basis which allows more students to have the ability to participate in the event. Interested students can sign-up for a spot at the beginning of each event. Stephanie Kaponya, Student Engagement Program Coordinator, initially started this event, “to offer an opportunity for students to showcase their talents as well give an experience of being on a stage with sound in front of a live audience with no pressures.”
This event on April 6th had five participants and 30 attendees. The participants’ performance types ranged from poetry reading to piano playing and singing. Andy Weigel, who participated in the event, shared, “It has been a while since I have performed in front of a crowd. This was an opportunity to get back into performing again.” Weigel performed 3 different songs, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Country Roads by John Denver, and Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond. Sweet Caroline is Weigel’s signature song. Kaponya expresses, “I am hoping to offer an opportunity for students to shine, get experience and find those hidden talents. There could always be an opportunity to do a show or performance on campus with an advertised event.”
While Wolfe did not participate in the event, Wolfe still wanted to cheer on their peers by attending the event. Wolfe shared, “It was amazing watching students get on stage and show their talents. Even if people were nervous, the support from friends and others in the coffee shop was fantastic.” Regarding marketing techniques to increase student participation, Kaponya considers, “We have been toying with the idea of having a sign up beforehand and making it more of a show/production. We have thought about offering refreshments. It all depends on the feel and atmosphere that is being set. Right now, it is a no-pressure event offering students an opportunity to experience a stage and feel their presence. If we created it to be more like a show, it would limit the number of performances and add a little more pressure on the students. It may be a great show, however, so that is something we are thinking about. If we created a show, we would have to be more diligent on time and give time slots to fit in the performances.”
Events like this are an escape for students, especially during stressful times with finals approaching. Weigel commented, “It is important to attend school events because it is an escape from the classroom. It is something free and cheap to do with friends as well. Plus, then you can connect with other people you know and meet new people from the University. Also, at the same time, you’re paying to go to school, so heck, why not go.”
Open-Mic Night is a great event for students to take a break from their studies and relax while participating in the event that is not only fun to watch or perform in but also gives students a chance to meet new students on campus as well!