Feminists United Hosts first Open Mic Night


Breanna McDonald, Staff Writer

Elizabeth Rhaney and Leena Ali play during Feminist United’s first open mic night event. Bree McDonald, October 25th, 2017. 

Talent emerged Tuesday, Oct. 25, at Feminists United’s first Open Mic Night of the semester. Students gathered in the ballroom for the free pizza and drinks but most stayed after witnessing the opening act.

Drummer Liz Rhaney, a graduate and former board member of Feminists United and guitar player Leena Ali, a senior gender studies major and current board member of the student group, performed three different songs.

Open Mic Night’s mission is to allow students a voice in a world where it may not be heard. When asked why the organization thought an Open Mic Night was suitable for them, Leena explained that, “It creates a space where students can freely express themselves without feeling pressured by the status quo.”

This Open Mic was not limited to sharing feelings on feminist issues but rather a place where students were encouraged to express themselves however they felt was needed.

Many students were willing to stand up and sing, recite poetry, or speak about issues.

Freshman psychology major and singer-songwriter Kara Ireland performed at the event. Kara has been singing since she was eight years old. Accompanied by her guitar, she sang two songs: “About A Girl” by The Summer Set, in addition to an original that she wrote a few years ago. As well as singing and songwriting, Ireland has also written and published her own book.

“My original [song] was based off a story in a book I was working on to basically fit the situation of the characters in the book,” Ireland explained.

Kara was not the only one that impressed the student audience. Freshman public health major Regina Ghanem sang an original song she wrote when she was going through heartbreak.

“I sing this in the shower all the time,” Ghanem told the audience before her performance.  Regina has enjoyed singing for longer than she can remember, and turns to her family for support.

Performances were not limited to musical talent.

Anthony Scott was the first volunteer to jump on stage when the stage was opened to everyone. Anthony presented the audience with rhythmic poetry about a strong woman in his life. Anthony has shown an interest in poetry and public speaking since he was  seven years old.

“I grew up in a bad area, so poetry and acting got me out,” he said.

Feminists United hopes for a bigger and better turnout for next semester’s Open Mic. Stop by their next meeting Wednesday, November 2, in Gamble Hall 118 at 6 p.m.