RYAN MORGAN — Managing Editor
Senior Jason Rizk has two coveted grand champ titles under his belt—from different organizations. Rizk dressed up as Mrs. Potts and took home his first win with Beta Mu Sigma fraternity. The organization performed an act from Beauty and the Beast in the 2009 Fairytale Homecoming. Last week, Rizk used his experience to work with Wilkinson Hall residents and director, Mark Parrott, to grab the title from the Greeks and put Residence Life on the map in this year’s Haunted Homecoming theme.
(RM) So tell me what was your idea? Where did it come from?
(JR) We did a combination of Nightmare on Elm Street and Ghostbusters. We turned it into Nightmare on Wintergreen and Wilkbusters. It really came from a bunch of people shouting out ideas. We took everyone’s input and made one great idea.
(RM) How did you go about executing it?
(JR) Well for the float, Mark [Parrott] and I sat down last Friday and planned out exactly what we would need. One of my fraternity brothers is a great carpenter and helped us build it. As for the skit, Mark and the girls looked on YouTube for different dances and combined it to make it look awesome.
(RM) What was the greatest challenge?
(JR) Nothing. We weren’t challenged. A lot of people who participate in homecoming take it so seriously and would call it work but we just had a good time being creative together. We had 40 people in Wilkinson working and playing Just Dance. We even ordered pizza. As a residence hall it was more about being a community than winning. Don’t get me wrong everyone wants to win but we also focused on just having fun.
(RM) Were you expecting the win? Could you explain how it felt to be grand champs?
(JR) Did we expect to win? We expected to at least place. We knew we were creative and we just had so much fun and it paid off in the end. We were up late Friday night working on it until 5 or 6 Saturday morning. I don’t even know if Mark slept. I was proud and surprised to hear we won because I figured a big organization [Greek organization] would win. I don’t even know when the last time a residence hall won grand champs, if ever.
(RM) Do you foresee Wilkinson participating and defending their title next year?
(JR) Wherever Mark is, he will be part of homecoming. He is the type of hall director that likes getting residents involved and giving them a reason to work together and have fun. I’d call him the best hall director on campus and if he is in Wilkinson next year they’ll absolutely participate.
(RM) Is there a plan on how Wilkinson will spend the money they won as grand champs?
(JR) Not yet but I know it will be something focused on residents and will be something everyone will benefit from because that is the type of hall director Mark is.