From 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8, the Women’s Student Union (WSU) held its annual fall variety show fundraiser, “She’s Aloud,” in the Undergrounds.
Attendees paid an entry fee of $3, and food and drinks, catered from Wegmans, were served as everyone filed in. Raffle prizes — a scarf, socks, a candle and an oil diffuser — were announced, and attendees were invited to buy raffle tickets at a dollar each. After a few minutes of eating and socializing, attendees settled into their seats for a lineup of music, comedy, poetry and dance.
The show featured 13 acts, with performances from groups and individuals. Student groups Hoop Troop and Masti performed, as well as several members of Bing Stand-Up. Each fall, WSU reaches out to student organizations for performers, some of which are brought to their attention by general body members. Other acts were performed by WSU E-Board members and friends and acquaintances of people in the club.
Erica Prush, president of WSU and a senior majoring in English, said that while “She’s Aloud” features a wide variety of performers, the event is always fun and relaxed due to a sense of camaraderie among performers and attendees.
“A lot of the performers are our friends, or friends of friends, so it’s a good place to have a friendly atmosphere where everyone gets along,” she said.
The proceeds from “She’s Aloud” are donated to a different charity each year. This year, the money went to Rise, a local organization that provides shelter, counseling and other services to domestic violence victims in the greater Binghamton area. In past years, the club has donated to the hurricane survivors of Puerto Rico and the protestors at Standing Rock. This year, the general body voted to support Rise.
Prush said that WSU has some connections to the group from doing outreach in the area, so they decided to keep the money local this year.
”We partner with the Crime Victims Assistance Center and they refer a lot of clients to Rise, so while we’ve never worked with them directly, they were really happy to be a recipient of this,” she said.
While the event featured performances from people of all genders, WSU tried to ensure that the event would showcase the talent of women on campus. For example, WSU reached out to Bing Stand-Up specifically looking for women comedians, four of whom took the stage and garnered enthusiastic reception from the audience.
Bailey Bravin, a member of Bing Stand-Up and a junior majoring in nursing, performed for her first real audience at last year’s “She’s Aloud,” and she said she was eager to return.
“This is such an amazing event because everyone’s so welcoming,” she said. “It’s a great place for people who might feel nervous to feel comfortable.”
Molly Moran, another member of Bing Stand-Up and a junior majoring in biology, agreed that the audience and WSU E-Board fostered a welcoming atmosphere.
“This was my first time performing for a crowd where I didn’t know anyone in the crowd, and it was way easier than I thought it would be,” she said. “Everyone was really responsive and it was great.”
Prush said that every year, WSU strives to maintain a friendly atmosphere and make the event as comfortable as possible for performers.
“That same mindset goes into our spring event, ‘Take Back the Night’,” she said. “In all the spaces that WSU puts on, there’s this element of making it safe and inclusive for everyone.”