Chris Stansbury

Chris Stansbury, Associate Vice Chancellor, participates in ECOops! with other members of the ECU community.

East Carolina University’s Student Activity Board (SAB) and Student Activity and Organization (SAO) hosted its third annual EC Oops! event yesterday at 5:30 p.m. in Black Box Theatre to showcase different ECU pirate experiences.

For the last few years, Stanford University has hosted a project called Stanford, I Screwed Up! and as part of East Carolina University’s resiliency program, ECU has adopted its own version of it titled EC Oops!. The event is aimed to show stories of resilience to fellow pirates according to Lauren Thorn, associate dean of students in charge of programming and initiatives.

EC Oops! is a performance-based program that shares stories of resiliency, overcoming adversity and working through obstacles. Students are encouraged to share their own experiences through music, spoken word or dance performances, according to Thorn.

“In the past two years, we’ve had musicians, comedians, poets and dancers that have all performed and talked about how their love for music or performing has helped them through difficult times,” Thorn said.

Yesterday was the third year for EC Oops, which is usually held in the spring, but this year they moved it to the fall to “attract a different audience,” according to Thorn. The Office of the Dean of Students has worked with SAB and SAO to put on this event and even expand the performers to faculty this year.

“We have a great collaborative relationship with SAB/SAO, which allows us to tap into their list of student performers and participants of previous “open mic” nights. We also work to market and share information about the event so that as many students as possible can enjoy the program” Thorn said.

Thorn also commented that this year's performance included faculty and staff members who shared their own personal “oops” moments and how they learned to grow from their mistakes.

Senior environmental health science major, Kierra Garrett, shared her poems at the event. Garrett said the platform seemed like a good opportunity to share her original works.

“I’m performing at EC Oops! because it seems like a great cause and I love to share my art with whoever is willing to listen,” Garrett said.

Thorn even chimed in, saying that students should know that the struggle of an obstacle is just as important as the success of getting over it. She describes that EC Oops! is a way to share these stories in a way that showcases their talents.

“Too often, students don’t hear about the “struggle” and only focus on the “success” but anyone who has worked through a difficult situation can tell you that the struggle is just as important as the resulting success,” Thorn said. “Even though we focus so much on academics, many students have musical or writing talents that they can share and allow for a creative outlet.”

Coordinator for Student Programming, Emily Reynolds, further explained the point of EC Oops! and the benefits that the show encompasses. She said the event helps students realize that they aren't alone in the struggles that college brings them.

“Balancing classes, personal lives, internships, work study, clubs and organizations, and so much more can be very challenging as a college student,” Reynolds said. “I think one of the benefits of EC Oops! is showcasing the way performance can aid in resilience, but also normalizing the struggles that we all face.”

More information on EC Oops and other upcoming events hosted by SOA and SAB can be found on ECU’s events calendar.

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