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Students Bring Change Through Performance

Fifteen student performers, from singers to spoken word artists, took part in the open mic fundraiser “Change for Change: An Open Mic Night for Many Causes” at The Hub last Thursday, providing funds to over a dozen organizations.

Each performer selected a charity group or fund of their choice and audience members were encouraged to donate to their favorite performer’s charity of choice — which included everything from Philippine Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund to the National Eating Disorders Association. At the end of the night, the performers with the largest number of donations received extra money from Residential and Community Living to go towards their respective causes.

By the end of the night, it appeared that the event was a success, and based on how much loose change audience members donated, UCSB students Megan Foronda and Sam Dacanay received an additional $100 to give to the Philippine Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund for their interactive mash-up that included Beyoncé’s “Drunk in Love.”

Students Dalia Juarez and Rod Gomez received an additional $50 to give to the National Eating Disorders Association for their acoustic version of “Give Me Love” by Ed Sheeran and Morgan Vinson received an additional $25 to give to Keep A Child Alive for her performance of her original song, “The Grass Is Always Greener.”

Andrew Soriano, President of the Residence Halls Association and third-year political science and economics double major, said he enjoyed the event’s wide range of musical and theatrical offerings.

“I really liked the diversity of the open mic night performers,” Soriano said. “There were folks that did the spoken word, there were folks that sang, and there were folks that danced.”

Julia Anderson, fourth-year sociology major and residential assistant in Manzanita Village, said the event was partially inspired by the Make-A-Wish Fund’s effort to transform San Francisco into a miniature Gotham for a five-year-old whose leukemia went into remission.

“We started planning the event around the time Bat Kid was being honored by the City of San Francisco,” Anderson said. “One of the things we focused on was bridging the gap between the greater UCSB community and the UCSB students that lived in residence halls. We thought we’d make it an event open to everybody.”

As for the overall turnout, Anderson said the event saw a high number of audience members, even if there may not have been as many performers as expected.

“We were hoping there would be a larger turnout of performers because there were so many organizations that were represented at the event, but we had 200 people come, with a good representation from both the general community and the residence hall population,” Anderson said.

The event was organized by Anderson and three other RAs, including Angela Trinh — a residential assistant in Manzanita Village and third-year economics and psychology double major. Trinh said because Change for Change was such a large-scale RA program, it required a significant amount of planning.

“I personally thought of the event in November while doing the Turkey Trot, the 5K and 10K run that Rec Sports hosts every year,” Trinh said. “I’ve always done open mic nights as an RA, so I wanted to do something bigger this time.”

Anderson said that while she is not sure whether she and her three co-planners will plan any more events like this before the end of the year, she hopes the Change for Change Open Mic Night will become an annual event.

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