Hamline’s lip sync thrived virtually

Homecoming is a time of celebration and engagement. Hamline’s Lip Sync has been a popular event among students and alumni alike. This year the entire event had to be reformatted.


Courtesy of Sophie Warrick
Senior Sophie Warrick placed in first with her performance of “Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice. Submissions for the Hamline Homecoming lip sync battle were prerecorded from student’s homes instead of performed live.

Sarah Sawyer, Reporter

In the past, the Homecoming lip sync event was done on a stage with a live audience.  This year’s contestants submitted videos of their performance to be played at the live event.  Students were able to choose their background, their props and edit their videos. The opportunity provided students with a unique version of the lip sync challenge to test their creativity and tech skills.


Student submissions were low this year, much to the concern of the event coordinators, and the deadline was extended to encourage participation. The coordinators of the event, including the office of Student Activities & Leadership Development and the Hamline University Programming Board, were unsure how successful a virtual lip sync was going to be. However, with an optimistic spirit, the event started at 7 p.m. on Oct. 3rd.


Senior Sophie Warrick took home (from home) first place. She had never attended, let alone performed, in a lip sync before. Warrick mentioned that she never would have done the lip sync had it not been virtual. 


Her performance of “Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice was shot in her home. She used multiple backgrounds and props, from a drum set to a bathtub to backgrounds of art. Warrick had learned the song in preparation for a rap battle with her high school English teacher. While the rap battle never happened, it was clear from Warrick’s cool and collected performance that the song was ingrained in her memory. 


“Have fun, be yourself, make a fool of yourself!,” Warrick said. 


Gaith Hijazan, Cultural Studies instructor and Manor/Sorin Area Coordinator, and Patti Kersten, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students, were the lip sync’s hosts. 


“How do we do this in a way people will enjoy it? Creating more opportunities and not limitations,” Kersten said.


 Kerston acknowledged that the quality wasn’t always as great or as clear as she would have liked. She felt that there should have been a test run to fix those technical difficulties; more scripting. Despite the challenges, the event was a success. Roughly 120 people tuned in to the Lip Sync, some even from different campuses. 


“Student performances were fantastic!” Kersten said. 


The hosts were grateful for all the amazing staff putting this together, including HUPB Special Events Programmer Olivia Austin, Graduate Assistant Maddy Clark, and Conference and Event Management staff Brian Johnson.


Kersten and Hijazan have been inspired by the opportunities the transition to virtual events has provided. Not only is it more accessible to students off-campus, but there will be future opportunities to put in videos from past Lip Syncs to appeal to alumni and any current video submissions. Kersten emphasized how we should all be looking at what we can do rather than what we cannot do.


“Thriving and not just surviving COVID[-19],” Hijazan said. 


The third place winner, after TreVon McClellan, was Emma Hahn, Senior and President of Delta Tau, who got the email for the extended submission deadline and decided to take advantage. Her sorority has not been able to fundraise as much as usual and money is tight. Hahn mentioned that she likely would not have performed if she had to go on stage. She performed MC Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This” with her friend.The video was filmed and edited the night before it was due. 


“Do something you’ll have fun with,” Hahn said.

Putting on the Lip Sync Competition was definitely a challenge. Yet the students and staff took advantage of the creative opportunities and advantages it provided. People who may never have performed in this event, had it been in person, thrived in the competition. The lip sync performance is still available online to be watched at each student’s leisure at tinyurl.com/HULipSyncLive.