Ever since the 1980’s, Wheaton students have gathered together for Air Jam. In its early years, the event consisted solely of lip-syncing. Now it includes music, intricate choreography, intense flips, extravagant costumes and props. Resident halls, student organizations, floors and groups of friends come together to organize and choreograph acts for a fun night.
Air Jam 2015 took place on the night of Feb. 6 in Coray Alumni Gymnasium, featuring two packed performances at 8 and 10 p.m. College Union began hosting two performances in 2009 to accommodate increasing audience sizes.
Sophomore Jeremy Vischer said, “This year’s Air Jam was pretty great because I knew more people up there on stage. I definitely thought the crowd was more into it this year, and the acts got more extravagant and were more prepared as well.”
During the event, Coray Gym was dimly lit, music pumped and students packed into the venue. Word quickly spread that Air Jam 2015 was not going to be the same show as last year. College Union events coordinator junior Tyler Hansen said, “This year, our groups covered a wide range of students that participated in the event. All the RAs participated, as well as groups such as the Dekes and Honduras Project, in addition to groups of friends that wanted to have a fun time, such as three sophomores from T6 and some senior girls. This event had a wide range of participants and encouraged many people from all over campus to attend.”
The 2015 Air Jam cast touched on a variety of themes: from “Napoleon Dynamite” to “Cheetah Girls” to the 80’s. Perhaps the crowd was more into the event this year because of the wide range of groups that College Union picked to represent. With a wider range of groups representing the campus, the audience could recognize more students participating.
The event took much work and preparation from College Union. As events coordinator for College Union, Hansen is responsible for overseeing the upcoming President’s Ball and Class Films as well as assisting College Union with other events. When asked about the process of preparing for Air Jam, Hansen said, “We recruited people to prepare their acts, and we did a lot of advertising and personal invites to groups to encourage them to apply. Then we had auditions and selected the acts for the event. Lastly, we put together the order of the night and worked through all the logistics. Also, (sophomore) Caris Chun did an amazing job planning the event, and (junior) Kei Takazawa was brilliant at managing all the technological stuff for the event.”
Overall, Air Jam was a success. Not only was it popular among students, but small groups of families, professors and staff attended as well.
Seniors Emilee Wenz and Ben Nussbaum emceed the event. They entertained the crowd by critiquing the odd costumes and overplayed ’90s jams. Nussbaum also performed with the upperclass hall RAs.
Air Jam was only the first thing College Union has planned for the rest of the year. Upcoming events include President’s Ball on Monday at Union Station and the Roller Disco on Friday, March 20.