Staying on beat: IUS holds SingAPoolooza


Autumn Hockenbury

JaQuay Vermillion, business freshman, keeps the event going while Sam Ullrich, informatics junior, freestyles.

Autumn Hockenbury, Staff Reporter

Students recently laughed, danced and sang karaoke to various songs in The Commons.

The SingAPoolooza event took place on Tuesday, Feb. 16 in The Commons. The Dining Hall held the event and students sang karaoke. The event was part of IU Southeast Homecoming Week.

SingAPoolooza was  scheduled to end at 2 p.m., but students kept the event going until 3 p.m.

Lindsay Payne, psychology freshman, sang karaoke to Sara Evans’s “A Little Bit Stronger” at  SingAPoolooza. Payne said  “A Little Bit Stronger” hit home for her because she was diagnosed with leukemia when she was 2 years old.

Payne said the song reminds her she becomes a little bit stronger every day, even when she has to deal with side effects from her treatment.

Kristina Foster, elementary education sophomore and founding member of TDH, set up SingAPoolooza.

Foster said she was nervous no one showed up at the beginning of the event. She said she played music from her phone, and people came up to her to see what the karaoke machine was for.

Foster sang karaoke to Bruno Mars’s “The Lazy Song” with Payne. Foster said they wanted to do something silly for fun. She also said she was nervous, but she just laughed it off.

“I could feel my face get hot,” Foster said.

Foster said she encourages students to look past their nervousness and focus on the fun when it comes to karaoke, and she said students shouldn’t worry if someone judges them.

Christopher Warner, journalism freshman and member of TDH, volunteered to help work the event. He sang karaoke to iHeart Memphis’s “Hit the Quan.”

Warner said he would definitely sing karaoke again and it was a freeing experience.

“I felt free,” he said. “I felt amazing. I felt swagged out.”

Warner encouraged students to get up and sing karaoke.

“In the words of Nike,” Warner said. “Just do it.”

Tanzania Thomas, communication studies junior, sang karaoke to Backstreet Boys’s “I Want It That Way,” which she described as a classic. Thomas sang the song with Sarah Allen, music junior and member of TDH.

“It’s the perfect song to do karaoke to,” Thomas said.

Allen said she picked “I Want It That Way” because she said she believes it puts everyone in a good mood.

“It’s the anthem of the ‘90s,” Allen said.

Thomas said it is important for people to really know the song they are singing karaoke to, so they can get into it.

“Pick a song you like and go with it,” Thomas said.

Allen said she suggests singing karaoke with a friend, and she said karaoke is more fun in a group.

JaQuay Vermillion, business freshman, is also a member of TDH. Vermillion volunteered at the event, and he sang karaoke to Drake’s “Best I Ever Had.”

Vermillion said he picked that song because Drake is his favorite musician. He also said it was the first time he had ever sung karaoke.

Also, Sam Ullrich, informatics junior, freestyled with Vermillion.

Ullrich said performing gives him an adrenaline rush and boosts his confidence. He said he encourages anyone who is interested in performing to come to events like SingAPoolooza.

Ullrich said he had a moment in middle school where he choked on stage. He said every performer will have that moment, but they need to get past it.

“If you love it keep doing it,” Ullrich said.

Desiree Paris, pre-nursing freshman, said she did not know Dakota Wetzel, undecided freshman, before SingAPoolooza, but they met by singing karaoke to R. Kelly’s “Ignition.”

Paris said “Ignition” was the only song she and Wetzel both knew. She said she was nervous when she was in front of the crowd, but her newfound friend kept her motivated, and she felt accomplished after singing.

Wetzel said he saw the event while he was eating lunch, and it was still going on when he came back. He also said he was reluctant to step up to the microphone, but Paris talked him into it.

J.T. Douglas, director of alumni engagement and annual giving, said he was in charge of putting together the Homecoming Week events. Douglas said he put together the Homecoming website.

Douglas said the Homecoming Week events are held to encourage students to get more involved in Homecoming and to come out and support the Grenadiers on Saturday, Feb. 20. He also said students really seem to like karaoke, and some students attended the entire event.

Allen said TDH is a philanthropy group. She said the organization holds events during Homecoming Week and does volunteer work.

Foster said she is proud of TDH and what it does on campus, and she said the organization is one of the fastest growing organizations on campus.

Also, Foster said she encourages students to come up to any of the members if they are interested in joining TDH. She said TDH meets every Monday. For more information, check out the organization’s Grenadier Central webpage.