Singing their way to official status

Story by Briana Gruenewald

Girls Night Out has had a presence on campus for about 13 or 14 years, said current member and music director senior Deanna Schlies. However, on April 4, Student Senate recognized the all-female a cappella group as an official student organization.

The recognition means Girls Night Out is formally affiliated with the university and has special privileges, such as access to on-campus facilities, a campus account and printing services discounts, Schlies said.

Because she had previous leadership experience from other campus organizations, senior Caroline Schwedler wrote the constitution Student Senate needed to approve. This semester will be Schwedler’s last with Girls Night Out, as she is graduating in May. Having had a major role in the group becoming official, Schwedler expects to see Girls Night Out thrive because of it.

“For girls that will be in (Girls Night Out) … in future years, they have the opportunity to have more privileges,” she said. “If this can help someone else in any way, I think that’s great.”

Schwedler said the group has had problems with publicity and scheduling in the past, which she hopes will be lessened or eliminated because of the now-official status.
Senior Laura Petricka said the process of drafting the constitution was difficult because the girls’ winter break schedules were so diverse. But now that they are approved, she says it will benefit the group greatly.

“It will save us a lot of money,” she said, “and hopefully get us more well-known throughout the campus.”

Schlies said that since Girls Night Out has started, the group has continuously strengthened, which she said can be seen in YouTube videos throughout the years.
“It’s just been growth; it’s never been anything that’s deteriorating,” Schlies said. “It’s always growing stronger.”

Senior at UW-Madison Maddie Smith is a member of an all-female a cappella group called Pitches and Notes. She and her group were in Eau Claire for the March A Cappella Extravaganza and had the opportunity to get to know the members of Girls Night Out, both personally and through their performance.

“I was really impressed that they’re such a small group, doing what they love and doing it well,” Smith said.

“I really liked their stage presence because I could tell they have the passion for what they’re doing.”

Pitches and Notes recently became an official organization in September 2010 and Smith said it has been helpful in regard to using on-campus resources, but also gives the group more credibility, which she foresees happening with Girls Night Out.

“It puts more responsibility on them as a group,” Smith said, “which could be good because it will force them to keep up a certain level.”

Schlies said responsibility is always on her mind, especially whenever she is wearing anything affiliated with Girls Night Out. The girls said they hope in the near future to establish a stronger presence on campus and gain a wider fan base.

Girls Night Out will perform at the Viennese Ball this weekend. Their spring concert is tentatively set for May 7 at 7:45 p.m. in Haas Fine Arts Center.