Grizzlies croon the night away Japan-style


Mary Mitchell

On Tuesday, Feb. 28 the Student Program Board hosted “Japanese Karaoke” where students performed songs by Eminem and High School Musical and enjoyed Japanese-themed refreshments.

Student Program Board held a Japanese Karaoke event. The event took place from 6-9 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 28 in the Oakland Center Banquet Rooms.

The event included an a cappella group and Japanese-themed refreshments. The aim was to recreate a karaoke bar similar to the ones in Japan.

“I was trying to create programs that highlight the diversity of Oakland University’s campus,” said Sean Foe, diversity director of SPB. “I was thinking of looking into certain Asian cultures. A couple proposals I came up with were Chinese New Year and also Japanese karaoke. I thought karaoke was a really fun activity that a lot of students could enjoy.”

Foe said the event wasn’t originally focused on overall Japanese culture, but Japanese karaoke.

“I started researching different Japanese karaoke bars,” Foe said. “What I found was a lot of these places had really cool lighting and different vibes that you get from the atmosphere of the karaoke lounges and bars.”

After the event was approved, Foe reached out to the Japan Club. President Sarah Benson helped Foe research how to recreate the look, lighting and atmosphere of a karaoke bar one might see in Japan.

“From there, I got in contact with an a cappella group,” Foe said. “I contacted a karaoke company, and it all fell together from there.”

Foe said the event was an incredible success. Students seemed to have fun and turnout was high.

“We actually ran out of spaces for students to perform because the event had to wrap up,” Foe said. “If I were to do it again, I would definitely make it a little bit longer. That way, we could include all the students who want to sing karaoke. The attendance was really good. Everyone said the food was great. We were really excited [hearing] that.”

Stephanie Sharpy, an information security and computer science double major, is familiar with Japanese culture and hopes similar events will be held in the future.

“I didn’t make it to the event, but I heard about it from a few of my friends who went,” she said. “I’ve been learning Japanese for fun since last spring. I see karaoke bars all the time in anime and video games, and they look like flashy night clubs. I think it would be fun to go to something like that if they ever held an event like this again.”

Future SPB events include OU Has Talent Auditions March 6-9 and a Niagara Falls trip on March 10. For information on upcoming events, visit SPB’s GrizzOrgs page, Facebook page, call (248) 370-4295 or visit its office, located in the basement of the Oakland Center.