by Christian McCarville
The art of drag is something that is frequently celebrated at Rider University in a variety of ways. There have been several events on campus that have celebrated drag culture, including many popular drag queen appearances.
The Student Entertainment Council (SEC) hosts its drag race each year, which typically draws a large crowd and makes for some incredible performances. The money raised from the show is donated to Rider’s Relay for Life, benefiting the American Cancer Society. A drag bingo event was also included among last semester’s family weekend activities, featuring drag queen Alyssa Edwards.
On Feb. 5, a new virtual drag-themed event was introduced to Rider students via the Zoom platform, kicking off the spring semester. This event starred a very prominent figure in the drag community: Monique Heart.
Heart is most commonly known for her appearances on the tenth season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and the fourth season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race: All-Stars.” In these appearances, she has developed a strong following and a powerful presence in the world of drag.
Associate Dean of Campus Life Nick Barbati explained how the previous drag bingo influenced this brand new event.
“We were able to be connected with Monique Heart through our previous work with Alyssa Edwards,” said Barbati. “We wanted a new event since we had already had a super successful drag bingo.”
Heart was brought to campus virtually to provide students with a live makeup tutorial. Makeup plays a large part in the drag experience, as it assists the individual in transforming into their drag queen appearance. Heart was able to share her makeup process with the Rider community, providing helpful tips and assistance to the audience.
Coordinator of Campus Life Lucia White commented on the positive interactions that she witnessed during the event.
“Throughout the event [Heart] was helping students individually with make-up directions, offering advice for specific students that asked for her assistance and ‘hyping them up,’” said White. “It was awesome being able to watch the students interact with Monique in such a personal and individualized way.”
The majority of the audience likely left the event with helpful makeup tips and tricks along with some insight into the drag preparation process.
“We thought the makeup tutorial would be a fun way for students to interact with Monique while learning some new tricks to be the most fabulous versions of themselves,” said Barbati.
Heart also took time during the event to talk about her experiences as a drag queen, sharing various stories from her endeavors.
“Monique was very fun and charismatic, making it the most enjoyable evening but also down to earth and humble,” said White. “I was surprised she was able to paint her face so quickly while making it look effortless and even threw on a wig and dress to show us a completed look.”
Overall, Heart’s unique personality and talent for makeup made for both an informative and entertaining event.
Published in the 2/10/21 edition of The Rider News