By: Olivia Wile
Another successful University of Findlay Comedy Jam has come and gone – the 17thannual one to be exact.
Students, community members, faculty and staff all packed into the Marathon Center for Performing Arts on Saturday Jan. 26 to watch three headliners come together for one night. A night former City of Findlay Mayor Lydia Mihalik proclaimed is the “Funniest Night in Findlay” as of last year.
Taking the stage this year were comediansNate Jackson, Warren B. Hall and Lucan Bohn. Director of Student Activities Commuter Services and Leadership Development and Advisor of Student Activities Board Sherinda Welton explains that talent is selected by her students each year.
“They’re auditioning for the students when the students go and pitch this to them,” stated Welton. “[Students] also get a sense of: are they easy to work with, will they eat with us, will they take directions from us, or are they just going to treat us like they know everything?”
She says the students first discovered Jackson, Hall and Bohn at the Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities (APCA) conference last year. The annual conference will be held in Orlando, Fl. this year.
“They’re all headliners,” said Welton. “For us to ask them to come in and MC and be a feature, is actually, if it’s not handled well, an insult since they don’t do that anymore. You work your way up to headline.”
Welton says the outcome was very positive, however.
“These three were great and very humble and were like ‘yeah, because it’s a concert, it’s a good show, we’re willing to do it,’ and as a lot of people saw, it was an awesome blend of talent.”
Organizing Comedy Jam every year is just one of the many tasks of the Student Activities Board. The group is the sister organization to the UF Student Government Association. While SGA does the governing, Student Activities Board handles programming on campus.
“A percentage of Student Activities dollars is provided to the Student Activities Board to then be charged with choosing talent,” said Welton. “Talent falls under the tag line of edutainment.”
When it comes to choosing events and talent to bring to campus, Welton says her students aim to accommodate the entire UF population.
“With anything that they’re booking, they’re taking into consideration all the vast diversity of our campus as well as the fact that we’re a liberal arts school,” she said.
After being involved in the Comedy Jam organization process for 17 years, Welton is excited about another large turn out.
“We had three seats that needed to be sold when the box office opened, so that’s a huge success,” said Welton. “It sold out last year also.”
Now cosponsored by Marathon, Welton recalls the first ever Comedy Jam and reflects on its growth since then.
“We took the Multipurpose Room and, 17 years ago, put black plastic up on all the windows, we took in round tables, we set up a little stage, brought in stage lighting, gave them a mic and served pizza, nachos, popcorn and root beer,” said Welton. “Basically the staples you order when you go to comedy clubs.”
From Comedy Jam and beyond, Welton encourages students to give these events a try.
“For any of the programing that Student Activities Board does, anyone can ask if it’s going to be lame, but give it a try because they’re sinking in a lot of money, time, effort and energy,” said Welton.
“They’re not sitting around a table saying, ‘I want to bring this in because I like it,’ they’re actually saying, ‘is this something that could be beneficial’. They really take it serious.”
If you are interested in getting involved with Student Activities Board, attend the next meeting on Monday, Feb. 11 at 5:30 p.m. in the AMU.