From singing to guitar, and stand-up to spoken word, the Student Union Building filled with laughter and entertainment at the Open Mic Night on Oct. 25, as part of Uni Night at the University of New Mexico.
Monthly Uni Night events are funded by student fees, inviting all students to take a small break from their studies to participate in social gatherings. This month was the first Open Mic Night for Uni Nights.
There was no competition between each performance. Instead, anyone wanting to share a talent was encouraged to do so.
"We thought it would be really cool to show off students' individuality," Projects Coordinator and graduate student Anders Flagstad said. "It’s their time to shine and show other students what they can do."
Everyone who attended the event was given a free water bottle, and the students who went on stage were all given a free T-shirt.
"Students don’t always know that all that we do is free," Flagstad said. "We always have giveaways, raffles and food."
About 40 students attended Open Mic Night, and nine people signed up to perform. As the night went on, people got more comfortable and started to share their talent.
The first act was a karaoke song, "My Two Lovely Uncles" sung by mechanical engineering student Ian Alsobrook.
"We figured it would be easier to get people up if someone makes a fool of themselves first," Alsobrook said. "Whether or not you have a talent, it’s worth it to get on stage and just say anything. It’s important that you don’t think about what other people are thinking about you because at the end of the day, it doesn't matter."
One of the other students to go on stage was psychology student Dasie Kent, who was encouraged by her friend to talk about her mom on stage. Kent said she originally expected the event to be a lot more serious, but she was happy to see how accepting everyone was.
"If they had this again, I would come every semester — this was really fun," Kent said.
Freshmen Natalie Le said she was just planning to watch everyone else perform, but through seeing the positive reactions of each person perform, she found the courage to share some positive spoken word from her writing notebook.
"There was a lot of inspiration for people to speak powerful words," Le said. "Especially seeing everyone’s courage and bravery because it’s really hard to go up there, but I also like hearing other people’s stories or seeing their talent."
The last Uni Night event of this semester is a Speed Friending Night on Nov. 15 in the SUB Ballroom. More information can be found on the social media platforms for the SUB or on flyers around campus.
Daniel Ward is a freelance reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @DanielW92517035