Students can look forward to sharing in some of the celebrity treatment at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 24, as the Media and Society Department captures a little Hollywood magic with its fourth annual Oscar night party. The event, spearheaded by Assistant Professor of Media and Society Leah Shafer, allows students to celebrate the big night in style with refreshments, great company-and yes-even a red carpet.
“The first Oscar party was held in 2010,” recalls Shafer. “At the time, we hosted the event in the Geneva Room where about 80 people showed up.” In addition to screening the ceremony on the big screen, Shafer ensured a second screen was available to broadcast a live feed of tweets coming from students in the room. The interactivity and spectacle of the event set a standard for the years that would follow.
In 2011, Shafer and the Media and Society Department would begin a trend of escalation, adding to the mix a red carpet interview area where students would have the opportunity to be interviewed by a student-run web television program. Then, in 2012, attendance swelled to more than 120 as the event shifted to the Vandervort Room of the Scandling Campus Center, where it will be held this year. The larger venue allowed for the ceremony to be projected onto three separate screens, while refreshments and prizes added to the allure of the inflating spectacle.
This year, the Oscar event is once again expected to grow in size. “We are expecting between 150 and 175 attendees,” says Shafer in regard to Sunday’s ceremony. In addition to the usual Oscar party staples, the Media and Society Department is bringing back the Oscar ballot contest, a fixture of the event, which Shafer introduced the previous year. While the ceremony itself is sure to be a hit, Shafer stresses the importance of the event for the Department as a whole and for the greater campus community.
“The event provides students studying television an opportunity to watch a major television event together live,” says Shafer. “Not to mention it creates some great buzz for the Media and Society program.” Students from both sections of Shafer’s “History of Television” course will be in attendance where they will continue the event’s tradition of interactivity by tweeting with the hashtag #mdsc203.
“Media and Society majors from previous years have stated that it was consistently one of their favorite events,” Shafer says. “Each year I am contacted by alums who wish they could be at the party and this year through Twitter, we can bring part of the experience to them.”
The event is open to all students. Attendees are encouraged to dress to impress. After all, it’s the Oscars.