Plans for Annual Mr. CUA Competition

Program Board members prepare the stage for "Late Night" Mr. CUA event in the Great Rooms of the Edward J. Pryzbyla Center.
Program Board members prepare the stage for “Late Night” Mr. CUA event in the Great Rooms of the Edward J. Pryzbyla Center.

By Christopher Motola

Program Board’s annual Mr. CUA competition will be held this Friday, February 19th in the Edward J. Pryzbyla Center in the Great Rooms at 7 pm. There will also be a cocktail hour beforehand at 6 pm.

The Mr. CUA contest has become somewhat of a staple of The Catholic University of America’s student culture. Mr. CUA has been a tradition at Catholic University since 1996, and is intended to entertain students and enhance school spirit. Every year, the pageant is a widely attended event, always preceded by a great amount of hype over who will take home the crown.

“I’m super excited to go to Mr. CUA because I want to support my fellow students and have a really awesome time! Last year I went for the first time, and it was a great experience. I knew right away that I would be coming back this year,” said Jackie Mullen, a junior Politics major.

Hong Kong exchange student Lu Tsz Fung thinks that “the Late Night show theme sounds awesome, and [he] really wants to know who will be the next Mr. CUA!”

This year’s competition will host a variety of student contestants both under and upperclassmen who are eager to get on stage and take home the win. This year’s contestants are James Carroll, Kevin Motylinski, Jamie Ascenzo, Liam McDonough, Evan Wescott, Zack Beckman, Peter Duval, and Tom Scalfaro. These students will compete in several different categories, including games of skill, trivia, and performance of a unique talent. They will then be evaluated by the student audience, as well as celebrity guest judges. Despite the pressure and anxiety that comes with competing in Mr. CUA, some candidates are keeping their sense of humor.

Senior contestant Evan Wescott said he is “very honored to have been chosen personally by President Garvey to represent the interests of this school. My act will be a reprise of my poetry performance from my sophomore bid, albeit a more somber affair given my impending departure from this school. If I win, I will spend my winnings on a residence hall to be named in my honor, right across the street from Chipotle.”

The theme for 2016’s Mr. CUA competition is “Late Night.” The event is taking inspiration from late night television shows such as Jimmy Fallon. In order to preserve the event’s history, Program Board Chair, Rania Abousleiman, said that great care has been taken “to keep the tradition” in this year’s Mr. CUA contest. That being said, this year’s theme is sure to bring the event into the 21st Century and provide some new and exciting twists, including new games and other surprises. Interactivity was a critical theme for Program Board throughout the planning and organizing of this event.

“Our goal for this year was to make the show more interactive… so we have incorporated some interactive activities that I hope the audience will enjoy,” Abousleiman said, without revealing the surprises this year’s event will have in store.

In keeping with the Late Night theme, a live jazz band will be performing at the event. Program Board expects the jazz band to be a draw for many students this year.

As in year’s past, a large crowd is expected to attend the event to watch the contestants compete in challenges and solo talent performances. Students who plan to attend can join the crowd on Friday night.

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