As part of the MU College of Engineering Engineer’s Week celebrations, royal candidates hosted Skits & BBQ at Willie’s in Columbia on Wednesday night. The five pairs of candidates for king and queen performed various skits, all related to the E-Week theme “Pat to the Future”. The audience, mostly dressed in green, ate shamrock cookies and BBQ, laughed and sang “St. Patrick was an Engineer” again and again.
John Cooke, the head of the Skits & BBQ committee, announced the skits and ensured the evening ran smoothly. Cooke, a civil engineer major, said one of his goals for the event is for people to come together and enjoy the camaraderie.
“Every single year that I’ve been here at Mizzou – this is my fourth year now – we’ve had this event,” Cooke said. “It’s my favorite event, the one I look forward to the most simply because everyone is laughing; everyone is having a great time. And it’s also about the food. Everyone loves food.”
To up the ante, five faculty judges judged the skits. Cooke said the skits’ scores were based on the creativity of the performers and how they incorporated specific themes such as Erin go Bragh and St. Patrick.
Roger Fales, Associate Dean of Student Services and Academic Programs at the MU College of Engineering, was one of the judges. He said the students came up with funny skits and he enjoyed their singing. While he liked Skits & BBQ, Fales said his favorite part of E-Week was the hot dog banquet, which took place on Monday.
Although audience reaction may not have been an official factor, the royal contestants did their best to elicit laughter and strong reactions from the crowd, creating their own sound effects and chasing each other around the room. Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Major Matt Cira sat near the stage behind the judges to watch the skits. For Cira, his favorite part of E-Week is meeting all the “great engineers” that he doesn’t usually meet. He said he enjoyed the first skit the most, which poked fun at the business majors and featured Queen nominee Jordan Hayes as MU Associate Professor Emeritus Dr. Steve Borgelt presented.
“We can exchange ideas outside of the classroom. We can do all these fun events, see loads of people and have fun,” Cira said. “We are in the classroom 12 hours a day. It’s nice to finally let go and have fun.”
Along with members of the audience, royal candidates also found humor in the skits and cheered each other on. Tyler Schuster, one of the King contestants, played Fred Jones in a Scooby Doo/Mystery Inc. skit. He said he enjoys attending the various events, helping out and making sure everyone is enjoying themselves.
“(I hope) everyone is having a good time, we’re making a few people laugh and we’ve got good stories to tell when our kids hopefully get to MU,” Schuster said.
At the end of the evening, E-Week Chairs Lane Atchison and Kate Sherard announced the winners. There was a three-way tie for third place. Trenton Foster and Natalie Camilleri secured second place, with Alex Boren and Katie Bagley taking first place.
“I think it’s just being a part of something bigger,” Foster said. “Obviously I’m part of my organization (the National Society of Black Engineers) but I see my area at university as my majors and my people involved in my organization – and I meet a few other people of course, but that feels looks bigger. It feels like it’s on a larger scale. And it was just a lot of fun getting to know the community better.”
E-Week events, including tomorrow’s Lab Exhibits at Lafferre Hall at 9:00 am, continue through Saturday. The highlight of the celebrations will be the St. Patrick’s Ball on March 18 at 6:30 p.m. in the ballroom of the Reynolds Alumni Center.