The spice of life

The spice of life

By Stephanie Shore

The mood was festive as students gathered in the Snell Library Quad for Northeastern’s first ever variety show.

Customized caution tape, which decorated the quad, read, “This is NU: Huskies Gone Wild,” and the message rang loud and clear as the event began. Students danced to the hip-hop music spun by DJ Alex Diaz, a senior engineering major, while snatching up free food and T-shirts from the evening’s promoters.

“[The goal] was to bring students together on a different level and show that when you come together you can accomplish great things,” said Sergio Marrero, a senior industrial engineering major and the architect behind the night’s activities.

The three-hour show, a Welcome Week event hosted by the Latin American Student Organization (LASO), featured performances from various student musicians and groups.

“It wouldn’t have been a success without each group that participated in it,” Marrero said. “And I think that’s also what made it more interesting.”

Between acts, DJ Alex Diaz blasted music through the speakers and emcees senior African American studies and music industry major Devin Phillip and middler chemical engineering major Tushar Patel warmed up the crowd.

Preparation for the show has been ongoing since March, Marrero said. A committee headed by Marrero and Garrett Marques, a middler political science major and a member of LASO, planned the event. The major aim was to increase student awareness and participation in organizations on campus.

“We wanted this to be part of Welcome Week in saying, ‘This is Northeastern student groups, this is what they’re capable of,'” Marques said. “[Our committee] was about 15 people, made up of all presidents or vice presidents of student groups on campus. It was like a powerhouse of student units.”

The show’s entertainers consisted of Northeastern-affiliated groups, as well as bands and solo performers brought together by Northeastern’s Music and Entertainment Industry Student Association (MEISA).

Jessie Goldbas, the show’s program director and MEISA’s president, said everyone she contacted was enthusiastic and eager to be involved.

“I got an e-mail [from Jessie] saying, ‘Do you want to play in front of 3,000 freshmen?'” said Sunish Oturkar, a middler electrical engineering major who played a three-song piano and vocals set. “Obviously, when I hear that, I’m gonna want to.”

A highlight of the evening was a dance-off, in which Phillip randomly picked four students from the audience to battle it out to songs like “Tootsie Roll” and “The Thong Song.”

The winner received a two-night stay in New York City courtesy of STA Travel, and a chance to dance with Phillip.

The show concluded with an enthusiastically received dance number from LASO, during which the audience crowded up to the stage and danced along.

“I really liked LASO,” said middler behavioral neuroscience major Amanda Kautzman. “We stayed for them.”

Organizers and attendees alike agreed the show was a success. Marques noted several of the organizations he is involved in have already seen a jump in participation numbers compared to last year.

According to Marrero, roughly 2,200 to 2,500 students attended throughout the duration of the event.

Carolyn Sherlock, a freshman undecided major, came to the show with her friends, attracted to the music.

“The show had a good variety of music,” Sherlock said.

This is the first year Northeastern has held a show on this scale for Welcome Week. Organizers and students both hope it will become a yearly tradition.

“There seemed to be a lot of people there and everyone seemed to be enjoying it,” said Alex Gaynor, middler music industry and lead singer of Geno, one of the rock bands who performed.

“It’s a great opportunity for bands to get exposure, and to show all the incoming freshmen the kind of people out there,” he said.

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