Amid cheers from the crowd gathered at the Rat Tuesday night, senior Gilbertson Cuffy was crowned Mr. UM after he impressed judges and spectators with his performance during the competition.
Cuffy represented United Black Students [UBS] and competed with other contestants in several rounds of competition including an introductory exercise, talent competition and formal wear round.
“I decided to compete because I like competition,” he said. “That, and UBS kind of forced me into it.”
In addition to his involvement in UBS, Cuffy is also active in KAOS hip-hop dance group, the Inspirational Concert Choir and Brothers Overcoming Negative Destruction.
According to Cuffy, the experience he had gained at previous Mr. UM events helped him win the title.
“I didn’t really go through much preparation,” he said. “I competed in the Mr. UM event my freshman and sophomore years, so I knew what to expect from this year’s competition.”
Cuffy said he enjoyed the talent portion of the competition most because he was able to perform a dance with a friend, Ntiense Inokon. The dance was a mix of songs by Usher, Justin Timberlake, B2K and other artists.
“I enjoyed all aspects of the competition, but the talent portion was definitely the most competitive,” he said. “Being involved in KAOS helped me prepare for the talent portion.”
“I sang in the last competitions, so I decided to try dancing this year,” he said.
He has also danced for the Miami Sol basketball team.
Cuffy commented on the camaraderie displayed throughout the event.
“Everyone in the competition was friendly. We were all encouraging one another backstage,” he said. “Overall, it was a friendly environment. I’m not so sure I could say that about the Miss UM event.”
During the question session, Cuffy randomly drew the question:
“What is the most memorable experience of being at UM?”
He mentioned his involvement in the President’s 100 organization and how he gives tours to prospective students who come to campus.
“For me, I feel privileged just to come to college and get an education,” he said. “There are kids out there who don’t have that opportunity.”
Currently Cuffy majors in Marketing and Finance, and he hopes to attend graduate school to obtain his MBA.
“I’d eventually like to set up my own marketing firm,” he said. “That, and I’d also like to own one Grammy, one Tony, one Oscar and one Emmy – at least one of each.”
Cuffy also has plans for his new position as Mr. UM.
“My responsibilities as Mr. UM are to just be like any other ‘Cane, but more spirited,” Cuffy said. “I just want people to know that I’m a friendly person, but that I’m also real.”