‘Open Mic Night’ returns to showcase UTEP student talent


Roman P. Carr

UTEP’s Student Engagement and Leadership Center hosted Open Mic Night April 13 at the Union Plaza where students could watch poetry readings and live rock music.

Elisha Nuñez, Contributor

From poetry reading to live rock music, UTEP’s ‘Open Mic Night’ hosted by the Student Engagement and Leadership Center (SELC) provided fun and entertainment for students April 13 at the Union Plaza.

Students gathered around the stage to watch, listen, and feel the various acts by different performers. ‘Open Mic Night’ showcased the different types of talent the UTEP community has to offer.

“We felt there was a great opportunity to have students show their talents, like singing or poetry, or performing,” said SELC intern Lourdes Jimenez. “This is the fourth one we hosted (and) I think we are making this event for them to have a space where they feel they can share their ideas and connect to the community.”

The event was free and students enjoyed free pastries and drinks, while watching the live performances. The stage was open to everyone, and many students took advantage of the event to show their talents.

“I feel like every time we have one of these, people come more and more often because they feel like they have somewhere they belong,” Jimenez said. “There’s also a lot of people within (the) El Paso community that come just to enjoy what the students are presenting.”

Multiple people attended the event and witnessed the great performances. From rap to stand-up comedy, everyone appeared to have a great time with laughs and live music.

Numerous performers sang, played instruments, or even both at times. Cover songs and originals that made their debut at the Union Plaza echoed throughout the area. Some performers who sang their hearts out were Lauren Rincon, a UTEP student in the music department, and her band, Federal Offense.

“We had a really good time at the last event that was at the amphi-theater, and we thought it would be a really good idea to (perform) again. This is probably going to be the fifth or sixth time we’ve played our originals in public, and hopefully, we’re going to record (an EP) in the summer,” Rincon said. “I’m actually in the music department, so (I) have to perform a lot (for that) too. (Our music is different), we play in a classic rock style so kind of like a mix between Foo Fighters and Billy Idol, or No Doubt.”

There were a diverse set of acts for the night that drew many people into the acts. The crowd grew as the night progressed, with friends and family members sitting in the audience to watch students perform. One audience member was Mary Lou Cebollero, who attended with her daughter, Christy Rincon, to see Federal Offense’s performance.

“I was invited by my granddaughter, and she’s going to be singing with her band. We like to support anybody and everybody, especially people from UTEP or people that are from community college, or anything with students, but that’s why we came here. We were invited and we enjoy this all the time,” Cebollero said.

Elisha Nunez is a contributor and may be reached at email [email protected]