Students filed into the C-Shop Wednesday evening for free pizza and $1 milkshakes, and for the poetry, music, and dancing at the Poetry and Performance Night hosted by 2 Much Music and UChicago Hype.
The event was one installment in a series of Caras de Americas events offered by the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs and Latino RSOs to celebrate Latino Heritage Month.
Wednesday evening’s celebration began with a Mexican traditional folklore dance by Rhythmic Bodies in Motion, a student dance and choreography organization.
As the dancers cleared the C-Shop stage, poets took over the open mic. Rosa Newman, a third-year, wrote poetry for years but had never performed until Wednesday night.
“I consider myself an artist, not an entertainer,” Newman said.
Yet both Newman and first-year Omariz Zamora entertained the enthusiastic crowd, which included a mix of regular patrons and audience members specifically attending the event.
Local reggaeton group Tommylyon took the stage next, explaining their genre of music before performing as a combination of the dancehall, salsa, and hip-hop musical genres.
Next, DJ Nurotic blasted Kanye West, Soulja Boy, and other mainstream rap hits. Some students danced, and others there to study were pleasantly surprised by the welcome diversion.
According to 2 Much Music founder and president Emale Gray, the RSO is interested in “bringing new mainstream music to campus because a lot of people listen to underground music.”
The RSO hopes to continue organizing listening parties, and sometimes offers posters, promotion materials, and CDs for popular groups. Last year, the group hosted a listening party for Maroon 5’s new album and a party featuring Daddy Yankee.
Upcoming events include a Carrie Underwood listening party and a “loungerie party” for Nicole Scherzinger of The Pussycat Dolls.
Hype, a social RSO best known for its annual Yacht Party, hopes this event will serve as a springboard for efforts later in the year, including a return of the Lascivious Ball.