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Engineering students, faculty participate in karaoke event

Students and faculty alike gathered together on Thursday evening for "Singing with the Staff," a karaoke event held in The Cove at the Busch Student Center.

The event was organized by the Engineering Affairs Committee, said Riya Ram, a School of Engineering sophomore. It featured both students and faculty singing along to music from various artists and genres, and was planned as an alternative to a formal coffee house event.

“Every year, we normally have a coffeehouse event with the deans, but the committee noticed that the event was too professional," she said. "We believed [Singing with the Staff] would be the perfect way to get students and deans to break the awkward barrier and allow students to talk to their professors in a casual setting."

Students may be intimidated by the deans, she said. This event was planned to make students more comfortable with talking to their deans. This allows for better communication by building a bridge between faculty and students.

The EAC, a part of the Engineering Governing Council, hosted the event, she said. While Ram and Christina Parry, a School of Engineering sophomore, headed the committee, every member helped plan it.

Members contacted the administrative staff, distributed invitations, publicized the event and set up the actual karaoke night, she said.

Guests at the event sang various songs ranging from Disney to current pop hits. People were allowed to pick their own songs, and their participation was important, Ram said.

“Everyone was super involved and we loved how everyone was super supportive and actually got people to do karaoke," she said. "It was our biggest fear that no one would go and do karaoke, but we were happily surprised.”

Trevor Alston, a School of Engineering sophomore, said he liked the animated atmosphere at the event.

Students were very spirited, he said.

Vetri Velan, a School of Engineering senior, sang multiple tunes and said he was enthusiastic about the event.

"The atmosphere was really upbeat and enthusiastic, although people were a bit nervous to start singing [at first], by the end everyone ended up participating and having a good time," he said.

The event attracted attention from students as well as faculty, with a performance from Ilene Rosen, associate dean for the School of Engineering’s Office of Student Development. Candiece White, assistant dean for the Undergradute Education/Student Services, was also in attendance.

The deans performed Beyoncé's 'Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)' for the audience.

Ram said she expected more students to attend, given the event's purpose to network students with School of Engineering staff. Those who did attend gave positive feedback to the EAC.

The environment helped attendees relax while attending a scholarly function, she said.

"I think it's really important to have faculty involvement, and indeed, that was the purpose of the event –– for students to meet faculty and get to know them on a more personal level, rather than just as a lecturer," Velan said.

Tande Mungwa is a School of Engineering sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering. He is a contributing writer for The Daily Targum. Follow him on Twitter @MungwaT_RU for more stories.

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