The Southern Utah University Student Programming Board sponsored a PowerPoint event on April 13. Students were encouraged to submit a presentation about whatever topic they wanted — serious or otherwise.
“The event was 100% based on a TikTok video I saw,” SPB Assistant Event Director Rachel Belnap said. “I saw a video of a group of friends making ridiculous PowerPoints to show each other, and I just knew we had to do it.”
TikTok is a popular social media app that features short, yet entertaining, content that users can share, like and comment on. For many college students, however, viral TikTok videos become “trends” that influence their real lives. On-campus events are no exception.
20 students submitted presentations for the event about a variety of topics, ranging from best types of cereals — HoneyNut Cheerios — to most dateable brand mascots — Tony the Tiger. Two students, Jacob Erickson and Ethan Bird, presented a PowerPoint entitled “Gwen Stefani: The Rise and Fall Of ‘Hollaback Girls.’”
“One Saturday morning, Jake and I were lounging in our living room when we entered a semi-heated discussion over a song we both know and love, ‘Hollaback Girl’ by Gwen Stefani,” Bird said. “This led into a deep discussion about the meaning of the phrase, which then turned into several hours of strenuous powerpointing.”
Erickson and Bird’s hard work resulted in a 10-minute presentation complete with graphs, tables and Google search analytics. As they presented their findings, the crowd laughed after each slide.
“In conclusion,” Erickson said as the pair wrapped up their presentation, “We must each ask ourselves this one question: am I a ‘Hollaback Girl?’”
At the end of the night, their PowerPoint was crowned “Best Presentation,” and Erickson and Bird took home an assortment of pens, notebooks and other office supplies as their prize.
“Winning was probably the most exhilarating event of my year,” Erickson said. “Ethan and I both even called our parents in celebration.”
Story and photos by: Aspen English