Daniel Chi / Asst. photo editor
Brutus Buckeye did his best imitation of Korean pop star PSY Tuesday as the Ohio State mascot showed off his “Gangnam Style” moves in front of the entire nation in an effort to raise school spirit.
NBC’s “Today” show broadcast four live segments in its fourth hour, from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Tuesday from the Great Hall of the Ohio Union as part of a competition to see which college in the United States has the most school spirit.
Brutus was joined by OSU band members, cheerleaders, students, faculty and staff at the Union’s three open levels for the “Today” show coverage.
OSU made it past the first round of the competition, making it one of six remaining schools in the competition. The other schools are Syracuse University, University of Tennessee, University of South Florida, Creighton University in Nebraska and Brandeis University in Massachusetts.
The competition, “Kathie Lee and Hoda’s College Challenge,” began Sept. 5 and is scheduled to end Monday.
In round one of the competition, which was judged based on creativity, originality and evidence of most school spirit, students could campaign for their schools through Twitter by submitting a statement that “includes (their) college’s name and a description of why (their) college has the most school spirit,” according to the show’s website. Participants also needed to include the hashtag “#KLGandHodaU.”
The winning school will receive a visit from fourth-hour co-hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, who will broadcast their portion of the “Today” show live on campus. This segment is slated to air the first week of October, according to the “Today” show’s website.
Votes for the most spirited school can be cast on the “Today” show’s website.
Some students weighed in on the possibility of OSU winning the competition.
“It’s really exciting because I watch the ‘Today’ show, so being on it would be awesome, and seeing the people actually here with the cameras makes it more real,” said Stephanie Demos, a first-year in business administration.
Sara Haines, a contributing correspondent for “Today,” was actively involved with the OSU crowd, cheering and dancing with students and pretending to play a sousaphone around her neck.
During one broadcast, Haines also cheered from the shoulders of Pete Papas, an OSU cheerleader.
“It was a really cool experience,” said Papas, a fourth-year in biomedical engineering. “She’s actually really light too so it made it really easy for me.”
For some students, having the “Today” show come to OSU means more than possibly being able to win a competition. Katie Howard, a fourth-year in journalism and theater, said it’s a dream to watch the “Today” show live because someday she wants to work for it.
“To me, it’s more than just a competition,” Howard said. “It’s seeing what I want to do here on campus. Even if Ohio State doesn’t end up winning, just to have the opportunity to get to see them and to see how they operate and just to meet them is enough.”
Howard said she began watching the “Today” show every morning in middle school, and once she came to college, she made sure to schedule classes around the show so she could at least watch a little bit in the morning.