Open Mic night has traditionally been a favorite monthly activity for everyone on campus, even after it migrated from the open, vibrant floor of the U.C. to the sheltered stage of the MPR in light of COVID-19. On March 6th, Pacific’s ACE Board hosted their first hybrid online and in-person Open Mic Night since November.

The stage was set with a camera and sound equipment picking up the acts from the back of the room while in-person participants sat in the socially-distanced desks. ACE Board Open Mic Chair Lily McIlvenna along with Marketing Chair Rylee Skidmore were both in attendance and ran the show, making sure that all participants were checked in on the online registration program IMLeagues prior to the start of the event.

The use of the app was a new addition to the event planning process for ACE Board last term in light of COVID-19, and came with a bit of a learning curve for McIlvenna and Skidmore.

 “It’s been since November,” McIlvenna said, “so we were kind of rusty. After getting into the swing of things it became pretty smooth again.” 

Both ACE Board members said that the requirement of IMLeagues, while inconvenient, was entirely necessary for the safety of all in attendance. 

“It’s another barrier, but it’s for contract tracing purposes,” said Skidmore, adding that the precautions ACE Board took with Open Mic Night were not only about limiting audience size and ensuring social distancing.

However, the abnormality of Open Mic Night in comparison to those in the past did not put a damper on the four live performances. One of the performers, Maggie Trettin, described her elation in being able to participate despite the somewhat serious tone that the COVID restrictions and hybrid model cast over the event. 

“I don’t think I’ve done one of these since my freshman year, so I’m excited,” said Trettin. 

Although the event ended up hosting a larger amount of students tuned in via Zoom, the performances and sense of community shined over Open Mic Night. — Isabelle Williams

Photo: Maggie Trettin sings “betty” by Taylor Swift (Isabelle Williams)

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Isabelle Williams is a sophomore at Pacific University who is majoring in Journalism and minoring in Theatre. She is from Astoria, Oregon, and enjoys writing political opinion pieces.

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