The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 79.0°F | Overcast

Sparvero Claims 1994 UMOC Title

By Shang-Lin Chuang
Staff Reporter

After a week of dressing up in costumes and performing in Lobby 10, Stephanie A. Sparvero '96 was declared the Ugliest Manifestation on Campus by the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, which sponsors the annual event.

In the five days that the UMOC booth was set up in Lobby 10, a total of $765.60 was collected. All of the money will go to Sparvero's chosen charity, the Massachusetts Association for the Blind. Sparvero raised $376.55, about $260 more than the second place contestant, Omri Schwarz '97.

"I have been interested in helping the blind since high school. I think the blind are overlooked by many people," Sparvero said.

This is the second year that Sparvero entered the UMOC contest. "I had such a good time last year that I entered again," Sparvero said. Sparvero came in third place last year.

Showcasing her talent in the competition boosted her to first place, Sparvero said.

On Thursday, Sparvero sang show tunes in her Ethel Merman voice and gargled the national anthem. And on Friday, she played the violin and hummed on a kazoo.

"Lots of people laughed at me and thought I was funny and enthused. And that was my goal. A couple of people thought I was totally strange and couldn't believe that I dressed up like that," Sparvero said.

During the week, Sparvero dressed up in various hats, nerdy glasses, a metallic silver and navy atari jacket, plaid skirt, tie-dyed stockings, and unmatching shoes. To top off her costume, she had a third eye suctioned on her forehead.

"Although one person came up to me and commented that I had a really courageous outfit, I think it was the talent that really did it," Sparvero said.

Schwarz agreed, saying that it takes "more than appearance to prove ugliness."

"My friends were really supportive, and I was impressed. Without my friends out there laughing and harassing people to give money, the contest wouldn't have gone that smoothly," Sparvero said.

Contestants enjoyed UMOC

After Schwarz figured that he should let the campus acknowledge his appearance, he entered the UMOC contest, Schwarz said. "I was very aggressive and I did everything that I could to enhance my natural ugliness."

Schwarz's costume included taped-up glasses, a pillow stuffed in the back of his shirt to make it seem like a hunchback, and a trench coat with a stapled pocket protector.

Schwarz said that he also sang annoying songs repetitively until he was paid.

"I know that I am going to enter again next year because it is the most preposterous thing that the campus would think that there is somebody uglier than me," Schwarz said.

Unlike Sparvero and Schwarz, Scott D. Centurino G, the third place contestant, chose to run an electronic-mail campaign because of a lack of time.

"I sent annoying e-mail messages to everyone I knew telling them to vote for me. And it seems that it worked pretty well," Centurino said.

"I think that the best thing about UMOC is that you can't ever take yourself too seriously. I feel sorry for anyone who ever tries to set me up on a blind date because all they can say is that I have a good personality," Sparvero said.

"The most fun that I had was hanging out at the booth watching Stephanie do her skits. She really captured the spirit of UMOC," Centurino said.

"It was a fun week. It is five extra days of Halloween a year," said Matthew N. Condell '95, the fifth place UMOC winner.