Month: June 2018


Spotlight of the Month

School: University of South Florida Region: SAACURH
Nominee: Twerking 101 Nominator: Gia Rivellini

On-Campus Population: 5400 Chapter Size: 54

Please explain the outstanding contributions of the nominee during the month of nomination

Roses are red; violets aren’t blue; we all can twerk; but now you can too!

When you think about floor bonding, your go-to ideas are sort of basic, right? Movie nights are overdone. Game nights get too chaotic and can’t accommodate the mass of players. Cooking nights are a fire hazard waiting to happen, so “what’s left?” you ask: a floor wide Twerking 101 class.

Now, I know this sounds kind of crazy but the second floor of Poplar Hall had this ingenious idea as a way to enjoy a Friday night inside the residence hall instead of a night out partying with their peers. When some of the girls discovered their floormates couldn’t twerk, they immediately came to the rescue and put together a PJ party with a twist.

Before I go into details of Twerking 101, let’s talk some demographics. The second floor of Poplar Hall houses a special co-ed population of students who are enrolled in the Student Support Services Program (SSS). SSS is designed to significantly increase the retention and graduation rates of its participants through effective academic and personal support for a diverse student population. The residents that are part of the SSS program are under the guidance of three live-in mentors (one for each pod on the floor) and three Resident Assistants (RA’s).

SSS residents spend nearly every waking moment with one another which has allowed them to tightly bond since day one of their Summer-B semester (June 17th). They have spent late nights completing required modules together, helping each other with their classes, and doing some of the “typical” bonding I listed above into the wee hours of the night. Their latest form of bonding, however, is something their RA’s and mentors should be proud of.

Twerking 101 was primarily for the females on the floor (who make up nearly two of the three pods) but males were welcomed to join in on the fun if they were around. The impromptu dance night was organized by the residents who knew how to twerk and was instructed by one of the SSS mentors, Khalil Wilson who took it upon himself to educate the girls who needed help in this advanced form of dance.

The night kicked off with the basic fundamentals of twerking and eventually escalated to the girls forming small groups and performing competition-styled numbers they all helped to choreograph. There were three judges (which consisted of two RA’s and Khalil) who ranked the performances and awarded one group the “winners” for best choreography. As the night continued to unfold, more and more girls joined in and you could really see their confidence blossom and their friendships growing even tighter.

Now, I know twerking might not be the most conventional form of residential bonding but from an outside perspective it was inspiring to see these residents taking their experiences into their own hands for the good.

Women supporting women is always something to be celebrated and Twerking 101 allowed the women of the SSS program to wholeheartedly support one another. When the more experienced girls noticed their inexperienced sisters struggling, they rushed over to help them with an encouraging attitude and words of praise when they got the hang of it. Nobody felt excluded based on their experience level and you could see some of the residents coming out of their shell as they realized they were surrounded by love. Over the month of June the SSS residents have truly formed unbreakable bonds and Twerking 101 highlights the culmination of their efforts which is why it deserves to be the Spotlight OTM.

Word Count: 600

Date of entry into database: 2018-06-30 18:48:18

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