Campus Shakes to YouTube Trend

By Aascot Holt, News Writer

“Harlem Shake” videos inspire campus departments and students

Students and EWU departments have been creating wacky YouTube videos all over campus featuring Swoop, an economics professor, and many partially-nude dancers.

The first EWU department to jump on the bandwagon was the athletics department, but they put their own spin on things. Swoop made his first “Harlem Shake” appearance. Second, all of the students who participated in the video donated one dollar to victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy. In comparison to the other “Harlem Shake” videos on campus, the athletics department’s video has by far the most participants. See the EWU athletic department’s Harlem Shake video here:

EWU’s bookstore has made the only other EWU-sanctioned video on March 1. It is estimated that about 30-40 students took part. Lynn Grytdal, Marketing Coordinator for the EWU bookstore said, “It was a huge turnout. I’m impressed.” Dining Services donated sandwiches and punch for the event.

Noelan Schafer, a senior studying biology, said, “I think [Harlem Shake videos] are awesome. They’re funny. It can definitely be one of those things that gets old quick, but I think it’s a good amusing couple [of] weeks watching videos.” He said that he wanted to participate in the bookstore’s video because he and his friends wanted something to look back on. Schafer and his friends wanted to remember  being silly in college. Schafer said that he is not too embarrassed to have something like a Harlem Shake video on the internet for future employers to see because he already has a job lined up.

Kimber McLaughlin, a 3-D animation freshman, said she thought that a lot of people think they are really annoying videos, but said that, “I love the humor of randomness.” She said that she wanted to be a part of the bookstore’s Harlem Shake video because she had such a great time being a part of the student-made EWU library video. McLaughlin said, “When I heard they were doing this, I thought, ‘Oh, this is going to be even crazier, there’s going to be even more people.’ So, I thought it’d be a memorable moment.” McLaughlin said she is not embarrassed at all about the video going online. “You can’t get embarrassed for having fun,” she said. See the EWU bookstore’s Harlem Shake video here:

One of the student videos, as McLaughlin mentioned, was set in the EWU library. Though there are not very many participants, they make up for it in their silliness and total bravery by filming it in a public place. Mclaughlin said that the guys invited her into the video at the last minute to play a librarian. She said, “I thought it was so much fun, being in that video [as a] spur-of-the-moment thing.” This video is the only one known to include an EWU professor: Grant Forsyth, Ph.D., wears a hat and sunglasses in a vain attempt to stay anonymous. See the students’ EWU library Harlem Shake video here:

Another student-made video was set in a ninth floor Pearce Hall dorm room. Dylan Farrell, a freshman studying computer science, filmed, edited and posted the video online. Courtland Sparacino, another EWU student, had the idea and got his friends together, including Farrell. There is some foul language and men in underpants, so keep that in mind before you watch this. See the students’ Pearce Hall Harlem Shake video here: