By Michael Wunder, News Editor
A flash mob of female students stretched across the Milo Bail Student Center Plaza Tuesday at 11:55 a.m. to raise alcohol-related death awareness.
Every member of the chain wore a matching T-shirt reading, “There are 75,000 alcohol-related deaths per year. That’s 6,250 a month, 208 a day and 52 before noon.”
The flash mob was organized by the University of Nebraska Omaha Pan-Hellenic Council.
Erica Boyd, community service chair for the council, said the group was hoping to get the attention of anyone passing through the plaza. Though the amount of foot-traffic was not as high as hoped, Boyd said the mob was successful.
“There was enough [traffic],” Boyd, a senior pre-dental major, said. “Definitely everyone that walked by noticed it.”
The approximately 25 women gathered for the mob were also promoting the 2011 Fashion Victim Fashion show, a injury-prevention-meets-fashion-show event which began in 2009, according to the event’s website.
After losing her best friend Morgan to a drunk driver in 2007, UNO student and model Amy Wieczorek combined her love for fashion with her community health education major to create Fashion Victim to spread awareness and raise money. In the past, the event has raised nearly $15,000 for Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
This year’s Fashion Victim event on Oct. 14 will also address domestic abuse issues, Boyd said.
Flash mobs have been appearing more regularly in the press—more often focused on violent demonstrations. Recently, a flash mob robbing of a Dallas, Texas convenience store lead to the beating of a clerk. Similar incidents have occurred in Philadelphia, Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Milwaukee.
The events are “random and seemingly pointless, organized simply because people can get away with them,” according to an article from the International Business Times.
Flash mobs, however, aren’t all violent—though some are pointlessly fun, like a flash mob performing Beyonce’s dance from her music video for her song “Single Ladies” in a bustling London square.
A large number of flash mobs are also peaceful protests or consciousness-raising events, such as the Pan-Hellenic Council’s mob Tuesday, or a recent flash mob performance of Michael Jackson’s elaborate “Thriller” choreography in Chile by students before the presidential palace to protest the country’s education system.