Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Showtime: Seniors Vie for Crown

It’s Tuesday and long after dark, and GUSA President MikeMeaney (SFS ’12) is dancing in the Intercultural Center.

Meaney pulls up the bottom of his mesh shorts, slides to the left and strikes a pose. He is trying to stay in sync with the track, LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem,” but he looks a little discombobulated. His dance instructor, Groove Theory’s Hannah Conn (COL ’12), nods her approval.

“I think you’re starting to get it,” she says encouragingly.

This isn’t just a casual dance lesson for Meaney; he has a performance in Gaston Hall scheduled for tonight. As Mr. GUSA, Meaney has to be ready to strut his stuff at the Mr. Georgetown Pageant, a Homecoming tradition that lets a handful of senior men duke it out to see who is the most talented, the most accomplished and, of course, the most glamorous.

As The Hoya reported in 2005, the pageant made its debut during Homecoming weekend of that year with 10 contestants, who paraded around in thongs and eveningwear.

The brainchild of the Georgetown Program Board, the event served as a charity fundraiser, with the winner deciding where to donate the proceeds. It was a huge hit — students loved the absurdity of seeing their classmates try their hand at modeling and performing talents like rhythmic gymnastics, as performed by Adam Arguelles (SFS ’06).

Since then, the show has continued to be a highlight of Homecoming weekend, especially for seniors.

This year’s pageant has 13 entrants hailing from clubs all across campus, including the South Asian Society, Pep Band and the Georgetown Improv Association. For the last week, they have been practicing the collective dance routine, which opens the show and introduces the audience to the candidates. According to the instructors, it’s a sensual dance, with plenty of gyrating and belt grabbing to go around.

The actual contest itself looks like a combination of “American Idol” and “America’s Next Top Model.” Three judges determine the winner based on four categories: an interview, a formalwear display, a swimwear display and a talent portion. It’s a marathon event, broken up by performances by the Phantoms, Groove Theory and rapper Tate Tucker (COL ’14).

Behind all the dancing and revelry, sophomore Eunice Chin (MSB ’14) has been hard at work to put the show on stage. Chin is the special events chair for the Georgetown Program Board and was tasked last year with planning the 2011 Mr. Georgetown Pageant. Her work began in the summer, when she put together an initial proposal outlining requirements and costs.

With the guidance of her adviser, Tanesha Stewart, she booked Gaston Hall for the event, scheduled a sound team, ordered sashes and even recruited GUTV to film.

Even though she has been immersed in the logistics, Chin says that she is fairly hands-off when it comes to regulations for the actual participants.

“I want it to be really fun for everyone,” she said. “I told them that they can wear whatever swimsuit they want and to yell out to the crowd if they want to do that, too.”

For the participants, Chin’s lax approach has translated into confusion over what they are actually doing onstage. Sitting around a table in the ICC after a dance rehearsal, the men laugh about how little they can tell me about the pageant.

“They don’t really tell us much, they just keep us in the dark,” Nathan Epstein (COL ’12), Mr. Pep Band, says.

“We actually don’t know the rules,” adds Zeeshan Feerasta (MSB ’12), Mr. South Asian Society.

To the contestants, that’s not a bad thing at all. The fun for them is in the clowning and tomfoolery in front of their peers.

“It’s probably going to be a big crowd of mostly seniors, and just a fun night of seeing a couple of your peers doing some dorky stuff onstage, going out in a suit, going out in a swimsuit, doing some talent,” Chris Butterfield (MSB ’12), Mr. Senior Class Committee, explains.

The group gets along swimmingly, playing off each other and garnering laughs for the entire conversation. The only outlier is Jed Feiman (COL ’12), Mr. Improv, who insists that the pageant is about far more than giggles.

“Behind this, we are all competitors here, and we all want it,” Feiman says. For him, he says, it has been a life ambition.

“When I got nominated, I cried. I was so excited. I have always wanted to do this,” he says, sending the other contestants into hysterics.

“This is what Georgetown is about, what men and women for others means.”

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