On Nov. 8, the Oakland University Student Congress hosted ‘Your Voice Heard Live!’ The event began with a letter writing campaign in which several student organizations wrote to members of OU administration and local, state and national leaders to have their voices and opinions heard. Over 200 people attended.
Although the first portion of the event was dedicated to all OU students, the second half was devoted to 12 different acts that seized the opportunity to have their voices heard. These are three of their stories.
Started by four students in the Fall of 2009, Gold Vibrations is an a cappela singing organization at OU.
Now a group of 18, the members of Gold Vibrations consider themselves a family of sorts.
The organization enjoys performing, so auditioning for Your Voice Heard Live! seemed natural, said founder of the group, Elyse Foster.
Gold Vibrations is also hoping increase their presence at OU. Many larger colleges have a cappella groups and the ensemble hopes to become a large part of OU.
“We’d really like (Gold Vibrations) to be a thing that everybody knows about around campus, and everybody’s excited about, so that we’re a source of pride for the university,” Foster said.
The group performed the song “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers.
On Nov. 11, Gold Vibrations will be performing a free concert in the Varner recital hall at 7 p.m. The theme is “Make-A-Wish” and the ensemble hopes to take donations for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Pianist, vocalist and physics major Rob Jozefiak has been making music since he started piano lessons at age five.
Due to his involvement with OUSC’s “Rock for Rights” earlier this semester, Jozefiak was asked to audition for Your Voice Heard Live!
Jozefiak performed Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine” at Tuesday’s event.
Although there is no overt political meaning to the song, Jozefiak said that if he had to tie one to it, the message would be to start thinking about what’s best for the country instead of dwelling on partisan politics.
Jozefiak has also started an open-mic night event called Word of Mouth, which takes place Thursdays at 10 p.m. in the Vandenberg Lounge.
He said he enjoys having this opportunity to hear people express themselves.
“I feel like people don’t express themselves in an artful way,” Jozefiak said. “I want people of our generation to revive the arts and find a way to bring something new to it.”
Poet and English major Robbie Williford has been performing poetry since his junior year in high school when he was the runner-up in a poetry slam competition.
Williford decided to audition for Your Voice Heard Live! because the title of the event and the opportunity it brought for him was appealing.
“I was like ‘oh well here’s a chance to let people hear what I have to say, to let people feel how I’m feeling or let people relate to me,’” Williford said.
Williford chose his piece “A Penny For Your Thoughts” because it allowed him to express his thoughts on respect and human rights.
He enjoys poetry because it is an outlet to express himself. Before performing poetry, Williford considered himself a shy person.
In addition to writing, Williford enjoys attending sporting events, spending time with his family and becoming involved with organizations that make a difference in the community.