What Success Looks Like
“Mob” from all walks of Buckeye life celebrate new Ohio Union
May 7, 2010
If a picture is worth a thousand words, this YouTube video is worth a million, as students and staff performed a flash mob on May 3 in a creative way to celebrate the new Ohio Union.
In late 2009, Jordan Davis, vice president of USG, approached Tracy Stuck with the innovative idea of the flash mob. A flash mob is a large group of people who assemble suddenly to perform. Stuck, assistant vice president for student life and director of the Ohio Union, loved the idea, and the work began.
Davis choreographed the performance in “Glee” style, and the dance included a large cross section of student groups and staff. After months of work on the music and choreography, in February, Davis brought together the initial group to start weekly rehearsals. Three more groups were added over time.
The team practiced in secret all around campus for two and a half months, including in the RPAC and in the Ohio Union before it opened in April. To keep the surprise, the team even had a nickname – Team Schuester, after the character in the television show Glee, said Billy Ashley, an information associate in the Office of the president who joined the “mob” at the beginning.
“We used the team nickname to make sure the person in the room was part of the group,” said Ashley. “If they told us they were here to see Mr. Schuester, then we knew they were part of the flash mob!”
President Gee and Brutus made guest appearances in the final production.
When asked to join the group, Ashley said he jumped at the chance to participate.
“The only way I know to be, especially at Ohio State, is to be involved,” said Ashley. “That’s one of the great things about Ohio State – the energy, creativity and collaboration means there are so many unique ways to get involved.”
The video quickly went viral and landed on YouTube’s front page as the most popular entertainment video; by the morning of May 7, it was viewed more than 750,000 times by viewers around the world – even as far away as Iran and India. Also, by that time, nearly 400 TV stations around the country had featured the flash mob in news segments.