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Thursday March 29, 2001

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RHA's Mock Rock still a go despite low turnout

By Adam Pugh

Lip-synch contest returns after seven years to indifferent student body

When the Residence Hall Association decided to resurrect Mock Rock - its annual lip-synch contest - after a seven-year hiatus, it expected the large student turnout garnered in previous years.

But when auditions rolled around last week, RHA had a small problem on its hands - only one student showed up, and it was RHA's president Melissa Zilm.

Still, the show must go on.

Arnold Lopez, RHA vice president of programming, said he thought that this year would be a good time to bring the long-running tradition back to campus. But even though he said he was not expecting a high attendance the first year back, he was less than thrilled with the turnout.

"I was hoping more students would show up, so right now I am trying to make it as big as I can with what I have," Lopez said.

Mock Rock shut down in the early '90s due to a lack of interest among the student body. For many years, the competition had attracted audiences as large as 4,000 people. But that was about 20 or 30 years ago, Lopez said.

Lopez faults poor publicity and advertising with the low attendance at the auditions.

"Our publicity officer, Michael Miller, was really busy promoting other events," Lopez said. "We just did not have enough time to get word spread quickly enough."

Mock Rock co-chair Becky Lewark agreed, saying the low turnout was a result of an ineffective publicity campaign.

"The publicity fell through the cracks," she said. "We need people to come to the event, but we are going with what we have for now."

With the performance less than a day away, RHA is scrambling to get the word out about the contest any way it can. Lewark said as of yesterday RHA posted announcements in all of the residence halls. Lopez said he is further hoping to entice some more students into performing by giving away a DVD player as the grand prize.

Zilm, an elementary education junior, will perform Britney Spears' "Oops, I Did it Again." While she said she has no problems performing solo, Zilm said she had hoped there would have been a higher turnout.

"I think it is kind of sad that no one showed up, but this is our first year back," she said. "We hope to get people's attention from this one and then next year have a better turnout."

Zilm said she hopes the eleventh-hour publicity encourages more people to attend.

"Even if just to watch me make a fool of myself," she added.

Lewark said this year's show will provide good lessons for how to improve for future events.

"For next year, my advice would be to get the promotions started much earlier," she said.

Lopez agreed, saying, "We will be on top of the promotions next year."

"I want it to be a fun time for all of the students that attend," he added.

Mock Rock is still set to go for 5 p.m. tomorrow at the Park Student Union with the single act in hand, but Lopez said there is still time for interested students to sign up.

"We are hoping people just show up," he said. "If they just want to come and get up on stage with their CD, they can come talk to me."

Arnold Lopez can be reached at 695-3308.