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Students bring dead ‘Bernie’ to life in flash mob for food bank

Brittany Schock / Asst. photo editor

About 20 Ohio State students gathered on the Oval on the Ohio State campus Tuesday afternoon to “Bernie” and benefit the Mid-Ohio Food bank.

The OSU Residence Halls Advisory Council organized the event to collect canned goods for the food bank while hosting the “world’s largest” flash mob of the dance craze from the 1989 film, “Weekend at Bernie’s.”

“I can’t quite recall exactly how it came up, but I think a few people started talking about having the ‘Bernie’ last year, and we sort of just put it all together,” said Robert Peterson, RHAC’s executive vice president of recognition and a second-year in biology. “We thought it’d be a great idea if we had one on the Oval and made it a charitable event.”

During the 11:18 a.m. and 12 p.m. class change , the RHAC had red carts where students were allowed to place nonperishable food items. All were invited to stay for the dancing, and participants performed the “Bernie” dance, both in a circle and across the Oval.

“I ‘Bernie-d’ the heck out of my back,” said Ajla Karalic, a first-year in environmental policy. “But I’m feeling good actually. It was quite a workout.”

The event was promoted through Facebook, and a little more than 850 people confirmed the invitation as of Monday night, Peterson said. However, due to technical difficulties, only a handful participated while many others watched the flash mob.

“Our speakers broke, so we (were) improvising a little bit with our ‘Bernie,'” said James DeGraw, president of RHAC and a second-year in international studies.

RHAC plans to expand the event and host a larger dance in the spring.

“Hopefully Spring Quarter, we can organize a big one (group of ‘Bernie’ dancers) and get everybody on the Oval,” DeGraw said.

Abby Grable, a first-year in international business, said she appreciated the event’s goal.

“I love to ‘Bernie,'” Grable said. “We donated some canned goods and I think it’s a good cause since it’s next to Thanksgiving and the holiday.”

Although the event might not have been the world’s largest flash mob of the “Bernie,” participants agreed that it was a unique way to serve and unite the community.

“It’s fun, and we wanted it to be one of those college experiences where a random, spontaneous thing happens,” Peterson said.

“It’s just a college moment where people randomly do the ‘Bernie’ on the Oval.”

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