Twenty years after airing its first episode, MTV Cribs has continued to influence memories of audiences through a familiar ringing of the phrase, “Hey MTV, welcome to my crib!” Capturing rare moments of celebrities touring the large-scale interiors of their homes, the show’s iconic documentary style has become known to some as a cultural reset. The University of Connecticut’s Student Union Board of Governors may not act as a competing cable channel, but its satirical take on reality television proved to bring enough incentive to students who are struggling to seek entertainment during yet another virtual semester.
On Jan. 21, the organization publicized their contest through an Instagram post, emphasizing its snappy title, “SUBOG Cribs.” According to the post, students could enter by submitting a video touring their crib, which in this case, could be anything from a dorm to an apartment. Clips were required to be 60 seconds or less in length, and only cribs following proper ResLife rules were to be considered. Voting was said to take place the following week, with the top two winners receiving a gift card of their choice.
Due to a rather low number of submissions, as of Feb. 4, the contest opened to all UConn students, especially those who felt obligated to utilize their creativity to the best of their ability. Olivia Thomas, a seventh-semester allied health major and SUBOG’s vice president of programming, was particularly excited about viewing submissions, as this was the first time the group has hosted such an event.
“We originally got the idea during our summer brainstorm last year,” Thomas said. “We brought it up as a fun way to introduce students to campus and inspire students to create a home away from home. Plus, as someone always looking for cute ways to decorate, I was interested in seeing some of this creativity from students!”
Clearly, the onset of a pandemic has caused complications for people worldwide, including the UConn student body. Although the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have not completely prevented campus organizations from pursuing opportunities for students, they have certainly brought on much difficulty for clubs adapting to a virtual format. Acknowledging the subsequent hardships that have occurred, Thomas hopes SUBOG’s events will serve as a source of stress-relief.
“Students who have had a difficult year definitely aren’t alone.” Thomas said. “With the virtual nature of programming this year, our board has been working hard to come up with events that we typically wouldn’t think of. We’ve made an active effort to maintain both the quality and quantity of events for students both on and off campus. I would say that it has been harder for us to program compared to past years, but our board is beyond determined to plan events that are accessible for all students. As with all of our events this year, one of the goals for SUBOG Cribs is to help alleviate the burden of a virtual semester. We were really interested in inspiring creativity to help students feel more comfortable in their living environments, and thus to help with the strain of virtual classes.”
Following a brief period of government-issued lockdowns and months spent in quarantine, some have ultimately mastered the art of staying home, whether that be with family or a room on-campus. As a way to distract yourself from the repetitive nature of online classes, there’s surely no harm in showing off a bit of the crib. And while the contest has now ended, there’s no doubt SUBOG has much in store for UConn this semester.