By Vanessa Willis, Staff Writer—
Due to COVID-19 regulations, the Homecoming Student Steering Committee at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga had to get creative this year, and moved the “Lip Sync” experience that mocs know and love online.
Normally, homecoming week at UTC would include a variety of boisterous in-person attractions, but 2020 has proved to be anything but normal. One of the most highly anticipated events of homecoming week is the annual lip sync battle, which has traditionally been a fun, musically themed competition between campus organizations at McKenzie Arena.
The Homecoming Student Steering Committee faced many challenges this year, but according to the committee’s advisor, Taylor Asgard, the decision to go virtual for this event was easy.
“When we realized we could not hold Lip Sync in its traditional format, we realized we had to shift gears quickly,” Asgard said. “When we saw that the College Agency offered a Virtual Lip Sync, it seemed like a natural fit for our Homecoming programs this year.”
Virtual Lip Sync was held Wednesday evening through Zoom. DJ Lip Sync and DJ Just Dance played a range of music requested by attendees, including everything from Queen to Justin Bieber. Several students tuned in from their homes to dance, hangout, and lip sync together. One student even put on a dramatic COVID-19 themed solo performance of “All By Myself” by Celine Dion. At the end of the event, Lizzie Whittenburg was awarded the Golden Microphone for being the most hype and creative attendee.
Jenna Yates, Lip Sync Coordinator on the Homecoming Student Steering Committee, says that lip sync is her favorite event every year and was disappointed when it couldn’t be held in its regular format. However, she believes the Virtual Lip Sync event still held the same spirit that is important to the homecoming week experience.
“Lip Sync is a time when the whole campus comes together to let loose and have some fun,” Yates said “It gets the performers and attendees hyped up. It brings out that community feeling which is what homecoming is all about!”
Despite the unprecedented challenges everyone has faced this semester, the Homecoming Student Steering Committee has worked hard to make sure students still get a memorable homecoming experience through events like Virtual Lip Sync. According to Yates, the challenges they’ve faced have been worth it.
“It’s been stressful, but I’m thankful I still get to be a part of this experience and keep our Moc spirit alive.” she said.
For more information about the rest of the homecoming events taking place on campus and online, visit @utchomecoming on Instagram or see their official schedule.