Mr. Canisius is progressive

By Justin Smith

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Residence Hall Association announced Monday the contestants for this year’s Mr. Canisius Pageant. This year, Mr. Canisius represents not only the showmanship and bravado that the College has come to adore, but also the progressive ideals that lie at the core of the Jesuit tradition. For the first time in RHA history, the title of Mr. Canisius could be taken home by a woman.

Paula Uruborok, Chair of Diversity Board, joins Jacob Ducoli, Michael Haar, Lee Locklear, Conor Shea, Rashawnn Pope, and Andrew Scibilia as this year’s contestants. The cast was whittled down from a pool of 11 applicants to seven by the RHA E-Board and Mr. Canisius co-chairs via application submitted last fall, followed by a round of interviews.

The questions were reportedly simple, such as “What is your talent?” or “What is your favorite thing about Canisius?” forcing candidates to think outside the box.

While all candidates are certainly qualified, the star of the show from Canisius’ historical perspective is Uruborok, whose presence subverts the very “mister” in Mr. Canisius.

“She just put her application in,” said Jenna Cochrane, Student Life Coordinator and RHA advisor. “She said she heard it was a fun time, that everyone’s able to have fun together. She loves Canisius, so she wanted to represent Canisius, and to be honest, there was never anything on the application process that said you had to be male.”

Cochrane elaborated, going on to say Uruborok’s application was treated just like anyone else’s. The same standards were applied to her as to everyone else, and she simply made the cut.

“I think Mr. Canisius as a whole is going to start transforming,” said Cochrane, referencing the selection of a female candidate.

However, this isn’t to say that the other contestants aren’t in it to win it.

Last year, I was in Mr. Canisius as Mr. Sing It and Bring It,” said Shea, whose title this year is Mr. Showstopper. “While last year I came in third, I am looking for the crown this year and plan on going into every rehearsal guns ablaze.”

For those uninitiated, Mr. Canisius, taking place on April 9, is an annual campus tradition. On that night, students will gather as faculty judge a talent show-esque competition involving things ranging from dancing to question-and-answer.

“Mr. Canisius has always been a fun, traditional event that has taken place,” said Cochrane.

As far as Jesuit values go, Mr. Canisius certainly represents the diversity component for which Canisius strives.

“I think that the contestants that were chosen have a very widespread diversity,” said Cochrane. “Gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation: I think that the contestants that were chosen are a really good representation of what Canisius is and definitely what we’re becoming.”

The mood among the contestants remains upbeat, but competitive, suggesting that this year’s events will uphold the legacy while improving the tradition.

  “Of course, I love all the competitors,” said Shea, “but that only means that I have to work nearly twice as hard to not only outdo myself, but all of these talented competitors. I expect nothing less than an absolutely amazing show!”

This year, the historical significance behind the event is further reason to show support, as Canisius continues striving to meet its own ideals.


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