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Mock Rock exclusivity hurts community

The light-hearted Biola competition should be more open to new members joining groups. | Marika Adamopoulos/THE CHIMES [file photo]

 

Updated: March 16, 2016 at 9:02 p.m.

The yearly lip-synching tradition of Mock Rock purposes to bring Biola's community together. But is this really the case?

bringing all Biolans together

This year, seven different groups auditioned, but only six groups were accepted. How can an inclusive university turn away groups wanting to build a Christ-fearing and fun atmosphere? Mock Rock is not a collegiate level dance competition but is advertised as an event bringing all Biolans together for a night of laughter.

The audition process is tedious. Not only do many of the groups meet two to three times per week, but they also stay late nights to show how their team is a Mock Rock performance that will entertain.

Requiring an audition puts more competition in Mock Rock which takes away from the enjoyment of performing. Yes, Mock Rock is a competition, but it occurs in an environment meant to promote friendships, not bring people shame for not being accepted to compete despite hours of practice.

gauging the ability

Auditions are helpful for gauging the ability of dancers but should not cut people from a competition where they are on par with previous groups. Biola’s mission statement promotes equality and a chance to do what they believe. It does not make room for exclusivity. Biola tries to become a more inclusive community, so it should start with something small but influential like Mock Rock.

One Mock Rock group, It’s Complicated, allowed any Biola student admission into their group promoting camaraderie but were cut as a credible team, but other Mock Rock groups were more exclusive with who they admitted into the group. This creates a hypocritical stance on the standard for “collegiate level” dancing.

“A good performance doesn't have to be at a professional standard. To me, the judges chose groups they knew well. We were a group of new people really excited to participate in such a big event on campus and now students can't experience performing in it because we didn't meet a requirement that can't really be measured at audition time,” said Amanda Beshay, sophomore business major and member of It's Complicated.

all-inclusive

Mock Rock affects Biola’s reputation regarding community and what is or is not acceptable. A simple performance may not seem like enough to ruin a reputation, but community is what provokes many Biolans to attend. Biola should carry this in regards to its events and decision-making.

“Mock Rock should be all-inclusive for those who prepared a fun and energetic performance. Biola students want to be involved and want to be a part of community events like this on campus. However, students aren't given this opportunity unless they're in a group with the "popular" kids, but even then, students can't get on a popular Mock Rock team unless they have connections. My team was one of the few that allowed anyone to join, and that's what made it so fun,” Beshay said.

Unfair exclusions

Biola is known for its people. But if students who are not deeply involved in the Biola community made time to practice with a Mock Rock group, they should not be cut, especially when connections to people inside the group play a role in who joins. It makes community less accessible to students wanting to be a part of Mock Rock’s tradition.

Mock Rock should be passed to generations of students to come. Unfair exclusions create an undesirable reputation for any university, especially a Christian-based private college where students pay for, but do not always reap the benefits of the campus community.

 

Your Turn.  Post a Comment

  1. The Ronge

    I can say from experience that relatively ragtag groups with almost no prior dancing experience can win it all. If you want to be in Mock Rock, there will be a group that will take you no matter your level of experience or ability.

    Maybe it's changed in the last four years, but when I was involved the primary purpose for the auditions was to make sure that there was no objectionable content in the performances and that each group would probably be able to have a well put together routine by the night of the performance. There may also be cases some years where not all applicants will be accepted because of time limitations in the format of the show. April 22, 2016

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