Contestants prepare for the annual Mr. Bison pageant

By Allison Jarboe, Features Editor

Each year, as a Blitz Week event that raises funds for charity, a number of OBU men are nominated to participate in a pageant called “Mr. Bison.” This event has previously involved twitter roasting, (#roachroast) the Millenium Falcon, celebrity look-alikes and a daring high jump into a pudding cup.

This year’s contestants are geared up getting ready for Monday, April 17, at 7:00 p.m. in the Craig Dorland Theatre of Shawnee Hall, where they will compete for the title of Mr. Bison.

Sophomore history major Jonathan Frank is in the Mr. Bison pageant because it’s an opportunity to use his “goofy essential” for charity.

“I was asked to participate my freshman year, and had a great time with the guys, so I’m back for round two,” Frank said.

Frank, as an education major, would “love to work as a professor,” and hopes to one day live in Colorado “whether it be while I’m in grad school or when I’m teaching full-time,” he said.

“The audience members should vote for me because this is a charity event and I will need some seriously charitable voting to avoid embarrassment,” Frank said.

Freshman social studies education major Braden Gammon, discussed his reasoning behind participation, stating that “involvement is the key to success.”

Gammon has dreams of eventually creating a clothing company, but is also pursuing his education degree because “a history classroom is most likely the place for me.”

Interesting fact: Braden Gammon loves nothing more than his beard and Vineyard Vines.

Misael Gonzalez, freshman pastoral ministry major, did not know what Mr. Bison was or how to participate in it until he received an email saying he had been nominated.

“I love being involved on campus and I thought it would be a fun experience to participate in,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez encouraged the audience to vote for him “depending on how well I perform in the event itself,” he said. “I do not think I could persuade anyone to vote for me with words. Although, if the audience votes for me, ‘all of their wildest dreams will come true.’”

Gonzalez said that he has no plans set in stone for the future, “but no matter what I do I want to serve the Lord and do what he has called me to do—love people and share with them the love of Christ.”

Gonzalez stated that his “end goal” is to attain a Ph.D and teach at a university. “I would love to work with college students and invest in their lives.”

Jacob Schutter is a freshman elementary education major, planning on teaching and coaching first graders.

“I figured I would give it my best,” he said.

In addition, he hinted at his specific role in the pageant, saying “it involves a little bit of vocals.”

Schutter also said that the audience should vote for him, because he is outgoing, kind, and has a heart for Jesus.

Interesting fact: Schutter has 10 brothers and sisters, with none of them being half or step siblings.

Jordan Anderson, junior secondary science education major, explained that Mr. Bison has “always been a blast, and is an opportunity to hang out with guys I’ve never had the chance to hang out with.”

“It is great to bond with these guys over jokes that we share along with stupid things that we do behind the scenes,” he said. “The audience should only vote for me because the fro is the way to go.”

Anderson is will use his degree to make a change in the public school setting, “by being a godly influence to America’s youth while teaching the subject that I love.”

Interesting fact: Jordan Anderson’s family is better than cable, “and so prove it, ask me to share a couple stories,” Anderson said.

Jake Valdez, senior student ministry major, was first inspired by the Mr. Bison his freshman year. “I loved watching it every year,” he said.  “I told myself that if I have the opportunity, I would jump on it, and it is a lot of fun.”

Valdez plans on being a youth pastor “for as long as the Lord allows me to,” he said.

Valdez also mentioned his part in the show.

“Last year I was my alter ego, Jake from State Farm,” he said. “He might just make another appearance this year.”

Valdez stated that the viewers can be motivated to vote for him because “this would be a great send off, it being my senior year.

Interesting fact: Jake Valdez can play the trumpet, bass guitar, and ukulele.

Another contestant in the pageant is none other than freshman psychology pre-counseling major, Braedin Mastin.

“Honestly, I really love being involved in an event and making a new memory,” he said.

“I also am just trying to get my first hug from a girl.”

Upon request to share a clue about his plans for the show, he simply said, “I would share, but I don’t want too many people swooning already over me.”

On reason the audience can be encouraged to vote for Mastin is because “I am a proud freshman and I’ve got a lot of spunk and represent my class and school proudly,” he said.

Mastin has plans of using his education at OBU to help others who deal with depression and other mental health issues.

Interesting fact: “I’ve had over 1,000 allergy shots injected into my sensitive body,” Mastin said.

Heath McClure, sophomore natural science major, sees the event as “a great opportunity to be crazy and support a great cause.”

McClure plans to become a pastor in the future.

McClure alluded to his role in the pageant, stating that his inspiration was taken from the Hulk.

Interesting fact: Heath McClure can say all of the U.S. Presidents forwards and backwards.

Braden Hobbs, freshman physics major and Mr. Bison contestant, decided to enter the event because “it sounds like fun.”

“I plan on singing a song,” Hobbs said.

Hobbs also plans on using his physics degree to become a mechanical engineer.

Another freshman competing for the title of Mr. Bison is Caleb Starr, a pastoral ministry major.

Starr plans on working in a church after attending seminary.

“Mr. Bison seems like a really fun event,” Starr said.  “And the fact that the proceeds will go to help end human trafficking was really the selling point for me.”

Starr said that viewers should vote for him “because I have dreamed of being Mr. Bison since before I was born.”

Interesting fact: Caleb Starr lives on a farm with mini ponies, llamas, horses and cows.

Landon Rowlett, freshman criminal justice major Landon Rowlett is looking forward to the event.

“I feel that It would be cool and funny to compete in a fashion show with my friends,” Rowlett said.

Rowlett also disclosed that one of his outfits will be a ghillie suit.

He encouraged voters to vote for him because of his 3.2 GPA, and because “I enjoy engaging in long complex conversation and enjoy short walks on the beach.”

Rowlett has plans of using his degree to become a game warden.

Interesting fact: Landon Rowlett loves to sing and dance.

Other Mr. Bison contestants include Cameron Veal and Hayden Ashley.

Past years have never failed to entertain audiences, and the 2017 Mr. Bison pageant will be no different. Students are encouraged to come and enjoy themselves while also donating to support a worthy cause.

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