Everyone knows the saying, "Men are from Mars and women are from Venus..." Monday, Dec. 4, in the Little Theater of the Miron Student Center (MSC), Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), Women of Excellence (WoE) and Men of Excellence (MoE) put that saying to the test. The event Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus, was a panel discussion made up of selected members of PRSSA, WoE, and MoE.
The panelists were split by gender and placed on opposite sides of the stage. The female panelists consisted of Asia Shaw, Annabelle Mazagwu, Asa Dugger, Joy Humphrey, and Tori Brown. The male panelists consisted of Owen Igori, Kanayochi Ibe, Damion Wilson, Francisco Reyes, Stephon Fields. The event was co-hosted by Evan Hewitt and Oluwakemi Alade.
Before the doors to the Little Theater were opened, members of the panel rehearsed their entrance onto the stage and made time to answer some questions about the event. Annabelle Mazagwu, a senior majoring in communication public relations and also a member of PRSSA and WoE, was definitely excited and looking forward to this event. "I'm really looking forward to the exchange of ideas. I feel like we're all educated on everything we should be, but I'm looking for the exchange of opinions."
When the clock struck 8 p.m., the doors of the Little Theater where opened to Kean students who flooded in the auditorium, finding seats as close as possible to the stage. The audience members were asked by the hosts to register with a specific pin number with Kahoot!, a free game-based learning program used in classrooms to promote interaction.
The panel discussion started off with the first name introduction of all the panelists. When asked before the event, about the selection process of the panelists, Oluwakemi Alade, a senior majoring in communication studies and member of WoE, had this to say. "I wasn't in charge of picking the panelists, but looking at the flyer, I knew them all separately and they have such different perspectives to make this interesting. So I felt like this would bring out a big crowd full of different people."
Once there was a good amount of audience members registered on Kahoot!, co-host Evan Hewitt started off with asking the panel the first question: "Who should pay for the first date?" The panelists had 30-seconds to think of an answer and were then asked to give their opinions.
The responses ranged from men paying for the date or both parties splitting the bill. Panelist Asia Shaw commented, "I have my own money, and I hope he wouldn't get mad if I wanted to pay."
After each panelist was able to give their opinions, co-host Oluwakemi Alade brought attention to the opinions of the audience, which were projected on a screen for all to see. She then went into the audience and asked several attendees their justification for their answers. Just like the panelists, the audience members had different perspectives and answers.
Another question given to the panel was,"Can your significant other have a best friend or friend of the opposite sex?" Out of the 22 participating audience members, 16 voted yes and 6 voted no. From the male panelists side, Damion Wilson explained that his significant other can have a male best friend, but only if they were best friends before they started dating. Agreeing with Wilson was Kanayochi Ibe, as he stated, "Yeah she can have a best friend, but it is going to be me!"As the night went on, the questions asked incited debates between the panelists and the audience members.
The event came to an end at 10 p.m. and the hosts graciously thanked the panelists and the audience with a round of applause for both. When asked about the effectiveness of the event, Tori Brown junior majoring in communications-public relations and member of Woe, Joy Humphrey alumni of Kean University and member of WoE and Owen Igori, senior majoring in business management and member of MoE all gave their opinion about the event.
Tori Brown: I think the event was very successful. I feel like we got a lot of opinions. Everybody was respected and people could be honest with themselves.
Joy Humphrey: It was definitely great. We all got to give our perspectives on things. It was a great event.
Owen Igori: This event went really well, exactly how I expected it to be. For the people in the crowd who were speaking, there were two different sides to every topic. A lot of people have these conversations over social media, but to have them in person really changes perspective.
This event was made to bring men and women together. MoE and WoE wanted this event to be a safe space for everyone to voice their opinions in a respectful way. Stephon Fields, senior majoring in business management, had this to say about the importance of the panel, "Conversations like these are essential and needed especially at a time like this! It is essential for a problem to be solved by means of dialogue."
When asked about her favorite part of the event, Asa Dugger, a senior majoring in communication studies and member of WoE, had this to say, "My favorite part of the event was answering the questions and listening to the other panelists answer. Everyone's answers exemplified who they are as a person and their integrity. I would do this event again. However, I would like the men and women to be seated next to each other so we can be more interactive with each other while speaking. I would also like the audience to ask us random questions."
Mars and Venus definitely collided in a professional and interesting way thanks to PRSSA, Women of Excellence and Men of Excellence.