For the past six years, Scott Eyre, lead Residence Director, has been an integral part of Student Life’s Big Game parties. While Eyre denied the event is in any way his brainchild, Residence Director Carissa Luginbill said, “Don’t let him.”
An email prior to the party detailed what to expect: a 14- by 10-foot screen projecting the game in high-definition, tiered seating with lofted couches, Amazon gift card prizes, and “a whole van load of food.”
According to Eyre, the event has evolved since he and Residence Director Sarah Defnall first had the idea in 2012. “What I love is that the evolution of this [event] isn’t really my brainchild,” Eyre said. “What you see today is the evolution of [Community Advisors] and other students going, ‘Hey, have you thought of this?’”
Take the stadium seating for example. The idea came a few years ago from a couple of Community Advisors (CAs) who borrowed bed frames from empty rooms, lofted couches on top, and spread the mattresses on the floor. Last year’s party was the first to use risers borrowed from Facilities Management, which Eyre realized they had access to all along. “It’s like, oh that’s so much safer and easier, why wouldn’t we do it that way?”
Luginbill has been to all six of the Big Game parties, beginning her first year as a resident, which was the same year Eyre started working at EMU. “He makes it happen. He keeps everything organized,” Luginbill said. “He’s always the first one here, setting up a lot of the tech stuff.”
“He’s just kind of like the visionary of the whole thing,” said senior Elizabeth Eutsler, who worked two years for Eyre as a CA.
The only thing Eyre admits to being his brainchild is projecting the game. Over the years, he has worked with Information Technology and Information Systems to run a hardwired internet line through the ceiling in the Great Lounge to the projector.
“I don’t understand anything tech, but apparently whatever’s showing on the TV isn’t good enough, so he hooks up the — honestly I don’t even know,” Luginbill said, laughing. “Something better.”
Eyre said his job is to make the technology as easy as possible, and every year gets easier. “This is pretty dialed in,” he said. “This year was the easiest set up I’ve ever had. Next year will probably be easier because we’ll hopefully have some stuff mounted in the ceiling. It’ll just be zip zip and go.”
After six years of recycling a muslin sheet for the projection, Eyre hopes to install a 12-foot wide drop-down projection screen in the Great Lounge. The screen should help make programming easier for CAs in general, non-exclusive to Big Game Sunday. “So there’s an evolution coming there too,” Eyre said. “I’m really psyched about that.”
Eutsler cited Eyre’s positivity as a motivating factor for the success of the event each year. “His enthusiasm about it makes everything work a little better,” Eutsler said. “When Scott sets his mind to something, it’s going to happen.”
Eyre’s favorite aspect of the Big Game event is the wide range of students who show up and mingle. The event was well-attended, as in previous years, serving a quarter of the residential campus throughout the night.
As the university diversifies, Eyre emphasizes inclusive activities. “Sports and football identify with both sides of a political, religious, racial, [or] pretty much any background, right? So it’s something that we can all do together and enjoy together.”
“He just wants people to be together, and hosts that space,” Luginbill said. “I can say this for Scott, but I can also say it for myself: This creating a space for people to be together [is important].”
“Look at that out there. Everyone out there are not friends. Everyone out there don’t hang out at the same table in the cafeteria,” Eyre said. “There’s just something really cool about bringing community together that maybe don’t agree on everything or aren’t here for the same reasons, or whatever it is. But they’re all here tonight,” he said. “So that counts.”