By Brent Bigelow
Youngstown State University is trying to break a Guinness World Record by having the largest gathering of people dressed as penguins.
YSU is celebrating 50 years as a state university, and before the homecoming game on Oct. 28, the students and YSU faculty will try to break the record.
The previous record of 624 was set by Richard House Children’s Hospice in 2015 in London, England. The goal for YSU is to attract 1,000 people to the YSU Watson and Tressel Training Site from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Those who participated in the world record are invited to march in the homecoming parade afterward.
Rayann Atway, President of YSU’s Student Government Association, said, “There has been a lot of planning going into this, as well as advertising and marketing, in order to get as many people involved as we can. This will be a fun event to kick off the homecoming football game, so I expect the crowds to be full.”
YSU President Jim Tressel said, “Homecoming is the perfect time, as this is the weekend that many Alums come back to campus, and the entire campus has a week full of activities … and we are all Penguins!”
University involvement for the student body is something Tressel has been working on, but he thinks this event will bring students together.
“This collaborative, fun effort to break the penguin record is definitely a wholesome demonstration of good people working together for a fun activity … obviously because it has to do with penguins, it is even more meaningful to us,” Tressel said.
Being the competitive person he is, Tressel believes we can beat the record and he doesn’t want it to be close.
Tressel said “We can definitely break the record … in fact, I hope we shatter it so that no one will consider trying to beat our record.”
Registration is $10 and includes a penguin costume participants can keep and wear at other YSU activities.
“This is a perfect event for students to get involved with. It is right before the homecoming parade, so after we hopefully break the world record, students can head over to watch the parade and then attend the football game. It is a great way to show our YSU pride,” Atway said.
Brianna Ondrey, a student at YSU, said she heard about the penguin gathering a few days before registration opened and couldn’t wait to get her costume.
“For $10, heck yeah, I want a penguin costume … I think this is gonna be a blast. I hope we break the record. Youngstown deserves to hold some type of positive record,” Ondrey said.
The registration deadline is Oct. 21. Participants can register at www.ysu.edu/alumni/guinness.