Cancelled Mr. Augustana event aimed for online engagement

Santiago Cuevas

Editor’s Note: The story was pulled after layout finished late Tuesday night because the event was cancelled due to low participation. We decided to still publish the story online to provide context on what Mr. Augustana was aiming to do this year.
The Chi Alpha Pi (CAP) sorority will still be hosting its annual fundraiser event, Mr. Augustana, on April 30. The event is hosted to help raise funds for the American Cancer Society and as the CAP main philanthropy event. This year, the event will be held virtually to follow the school’s COVID-19 guidelines. 
To be able to host the event, CAP members had to do a lot of planning to figure out how the event will run.
Junior Lexie Brinker, who is one of the chairs for Mr. Augustana, has done a lot of the event planning. She spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to make it work.
“There has been lots of planning. It’s been a lot of trial and error. We were going to try and do something somewhat in person and then we just figured it’d be easier just with everything changing so much just to do an online format,” Brinker said.
The event will be hosted via a website format. Nominees will send in videos of their performances and people will be able to vote on whose performance was the best. The website will also serve as a place for people to find information about the event and archives of past events.
Sophomore Maggie Talbott, one of the chairs for Mr. Augustana, helped create the concept for the website and figure out it’s long term use.
“We hope that it will create an area for Mr. Augustana even when Mr. Augustana isn’t necessarily being advertised,” Talbott said.
Other than having students watch the Mr. Augustana performances on the website, students will also be able to participate by helping choose who will win the title of Mr. Popularity from the amount of donations and votes they receive. Mr. Popularity is the person who received the most amount of votes and donations.
“Students will be able to donate throughout the week leading up to Mr. Augustana. We will have a table in the brew where people can vote for Mr. Popularity, where you donate a quarter, a dollar, however much you want. Whatever guy has the most money in their bag by the end of the week will be Mr. Popularity,” Brinker said.
Although the event this year is going to be run a bit differently, the purpose of it hasn’t changed and student participation is strongly encouraged.
“Any participation, any donations are encouraged because it’s not going to us, it’s not going to Augustana, it’s going to help those in need who have cancer and their families,” Allison Benschneider, senior and CAP president, said.
The Mr. Augustana event is especially important this year because it helps bring some sense of normalcy into the unusual year everyone has had due to the ongoing pandemic. 
“I would say it’s important just to keep some normalcy and some fun. With everything going on in the world, a lot of things can just be really heavy. So just bringing something a little more lighthearted, but for a good cause, is important,” Brinker said.
Mr. Augustana is only a few weeks away and students should expect the same type of laughs as they have in previous years.
“Mr. Augustana is still going to have that same feel that students are expecting when they come to the event. Usually, people come expecting to laugh and expecting to have a good time and to be entertained. And I think they’ll still get that this year, even though it is virtual,” Benschneider said.