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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Homecoming court candidates bring on the diversity

True to its title, “The Creative Explosion” event that took place on Oct. 3rd electrified the SAC auditorium to higher levels of excitement than in recent years. To choose one word that best epitomized the central theme of the night, it would be just that: creative.

Roushdy depicted  Wolfie in a portrait using toothbrushes. (JESUS PICHARDO/ THE STATESMAN)
Roushdy depicted Wolfie in a portrait using toothbrushes. (JESUS PICHARDO/ THE STATESMAN)

This year, there were no clichéd singing acts or dance rituals. Instead, there were remixes, rap songs, clever covers and skits that spoke to both individualized cultures as well as to the Stony Brook community at large.

But while each skit was diverse in its attempt to stimulate the crowd and show off each candidate’s talents, there were in fact similarities in the dedication, planning and, of course, SBU pride among all 10 performances.

“They’ve been practicing here for at least a week. They’re really committed to what they’re doing,” Chris Weber, first year master student of Computer Science and member of the homecoming planning committee this year, said. “This is all about who has the most school spirit.”

Nominees were determined to show just how much Stony Brook spirit he or she had in their years of being at the university. “Every year has been so different from the last, and every year I’ve joined something so different from before, and I wanted to embody that in some way,” nominee Iris Barre, a senior economics and sociology major, said. But Barre was not alone in her incorporating her personal Stony Brook experience into her talent. Gennaro Aliperti, a senior French major, found a way to bring in his experience of studying abroad in France to the table, literally. His skit took the setting of what appeared to be a large Sunday night dinner, where his main goal was to explain to his Uncle Vinny what a Seawolf was. After seeking advice from his own conscience and a trip down memory lane, Aliperti found a way to answer his uncle’s question of “What’s a Seawolf?” through his own hilarious experiences both at Stony Brook and abroad, finishing the skit with the traditional Stony Brook answer of “I’m a Seawolf.”

Perhaps the most intimate of performances of the night came from nominee Adam Alas, a senior sociology major. Sitting on a red bar stool, Alas began spitting the rhythm of the song he wrote slowly, making eye contact with the audience, engaging with both his song and his large number of fans in the crowd. Halfway through he stood up in a more upbeat rap that he wrote himself the day he received his Stony Brook acceptance letter. “I wrote that in the summer of 2011, the summer I actually got accepted into Stony Brook,” said Alas. “It was a time of celebration, of self-reflecting, and I just wrote it and recorded it in my house.”

The audience also got a taste of different movie genres throughout the night, from senior psychology major Meghan Paquette’s “Grease” reenactment, which replaced the Pink Ladies with the SBU “Red Ladies,” to senior engineering science major Harshdeep Banwait’s “The Seawolf King,” embodying the central theme of Disney’s “The Lion King” to none other than Wolfie the Seawolf, played by Banwait himself. Joy Pawirosetiko, a senior biology major, revised the renowned “Cups” song from the movie “Pitch Perfect” with her own specialized Stony Brook lyrics.

Pawirosetiko wasn’t the only one to perform a song cover with Stony Brook lyrics. Olivia Cheng, a senior pharmacology and cinema cultural studies double major, took songs like “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” by KT Tunstall and replaced it with lyrics such as “Wolfie Is the One For Me,” while Chris Lombardo, a senior business major, had his band take songs like “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and relate it to the experience of getting a burrito all the way across campus at 2 a.m.

But the night wasn’t just dedicated to music and movies. Kareema Roushdy, a senior biology major, drew an upside down painting of Wolfie with just two toothbrushes (yes, you read that correctly) in less than four minutes. Mario Ferone found a clever way to show that while he may not have a definitive talent of singing or dancing, he would nonetheless try to discover a hidden talent and document it on film. He tested out stack lining, belly dancing, the piano, soccer and even learning how to dougie, capturing his attempts to do all these things while poking fun at himself along the way.

The diversity of this years act was evident amongst those who’ve been to past Creative Explosion events. “You saw a lot of the same stuff last year, and it was good things,” said Alas after the event was over. “But this year, people got caught off guard on multiple fronts. There was a lot of catching people off guard, whereas last year a lot of it was expected.”

Nominees for next year’s court will undoubtedly have high standards to work towards, given the creativity and diversity of this year’s court. With the school getting larger, Barre expects to see the event continue to be successful in its drawing in different talent and a large audience. “It’s cool to see it grow every year, and it’s only going to go up from here.”

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