“Big Brother” stars set to determine Rider’s most dynamic duo

By Christian McCarville

Continuing to think outside the box for virtual campus events, Rider is hosting an upcoming competition that focuses on teamwork and collaboration. This event, titled Dynamic Duos, will also feature two stars, Kaysar Ridha and Janelle Pierzina, from the hit television series Big Brother.

Dynamic Duos follows the format of several other virtual events that took place this semester — a Q & A with the special guests followed by the event involving the participating Rider students.

Associate Dean of Campus Life Nick Barbati commented on how this event came to fruition.

“The Dynamic Duos event is one that we’ve been planning on introducing for a few years as an in-person obstacle course based event that just never was fully developed,” said Barbati. “As we were looking for new ways to bond our community this year, Dynamic Duos was reimagined for the virtual format to stress the sense of friendship that exists at Rider University.”

Participating students are asked to complete a Google form indicating who their partner will be for the event. Students will be putting their friendships to the test, completing several partner activities that will reveal who Rider’s most dynamic duo is.

“The challenges that the students will be competing in right now are a secret, but will be similar in nature to some of the types of challenges that take place on Big Brother,” said Barbati. “We promise, though, that there won’t be a crazy endurance competition.”

The guests for the event, Ridha and Pierzina, are highly respected in the Big Brother community. The two have been known for their teamwork and strong alliance on the show, making them great candidates for the event.

Ridha has appeared on Big Brother seasons 6, 7 and 22 and set many records from his time on the show. Pierzina, also holding many notable records on show, was featured on Big Brother seasons 6, 7,14 and 22. She also won the “America’s Favorite Houseguest” award for her impressive success in the show’s seventh season. These two commonly worked together throughout their respective seasons, forging a strong alliance that became a highlight in the show’s long-running series.

“There is perhaps no other duo on television that best exemplifies friendship, particularly the bond that can be created with others who have a different life experience, than Kaysar and Janelle,” said Barbati. “I was able to reach out to an agent that we have worked with to connect us, and the program was created quickly.”

Junior finance major Sam Poehlmann is a recent fan of the Big Brother series. He provided some insight regarding the role that teamwork plays in the show.

“Alliances and the social aspect of Big Brother is just as important as the competitions in my opinion,” said Poehlmann. “You can see from the first episode of the season that contestants immediately seek out others that they want to work with and form alliances.”

Students who would like to attend the event have the opportunity to ask a question to Ridha and Pierzina. The Google form sent out to active students’ Rider email includes a text box where a question may be submitted.

Barbati explained that the goal of this event is to showcase the many strong alliances within the Rider community.

“The inspiration for Dynamic Duos was about showing some of the strong bonds that exist at Rider University and celebrating the friendships that make up our larger Community while also introducing our students to some well-known individuals that embody what true friendship is about — overcoming adversity, appreciating each other’s differences, and working together for a common cause,” said Barbati.

For those interested in watching the event or competing alongside other pairs of Rider students, Dynamic Duos will take place via Zoom on Oct. 13 at 8 p.m.

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