March 21 was UAA’s last Open Mic Night of the semester.
Raquel Williams, a freshman in the nursing program played guitar and sang at the event in front of the largest crowd of people she had ever performed in front of.
“A lot of my friends are in the crowd… and I wasn’t planning on playing [guitar]… but since there was a guitar I thought, ‘Well, I guess I can,’” Williams said. “These open forum events allow students a level of self expression… and I’m really glad that the university has these.”
Munkh-Urguu Enkhbold, a senior graduating this spring with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in management, used the event as an opportunity to discuss the importance of students speaking out when they feel a professor is not performing adequately as an educator.
“Last year I had an experience that left me thinking… maybe professors are one of the factors of why students choose to go to other schools,” Enkhbold said. “We have beautiful Alaskan nature and we can offer anything, but in order to do that we must hire the right professors… whoever is most qualified needs to get the job.”
Ankhbayar Batkhurel, a freshman in his first semester of college, spoke about the importance of raising awareness about suicide. He emphasized the need to be compassionate and for students and faculty to look out for each other.
“The first [open mic] event I went to had a lot less people but we still had a great time… I was glad to see a lot more people at this one,” Batkhurel said. “Everybody is really considerate and understanding you know, nobody is judging out here and it’s a great way to get whatever you want to say out there.”
Open Mic Night is hosted at the UAA Student Union. More information on future events is available through the Student Life and Leadership Facebook.