WKU chosen as YouTube Music Awards viewing party site

Kayla Boyd

Shelby Rice has a different title from every other WKU student.

Rice, a Louisville junior, is a Google Student Ambassador, which makes her responsible for expanding knowledge of Google products on campus, helping Google understand WKU’s culture and planning and hosting events on campus.

Her latest project as a Google Ambassador is bigger than most.


Rice is hosting a viewing party for the first YouTube Music Awards. Not only that, but WKU’s viewing party is one of only 10 to stream live. During the pre-show, students will be able to watch what’s going on at other viewing parties around the world.

Rice applied with Google for the rights to host a viewing party. She said the first 75 ambassadors who replied would be able to host one. She told Google she planned to hold the viewing party in an auditorium with a large crowd.

Google emailed Rice privately about streaming to WKU.

“It would be awesome for YouTube to see a full house,” Rice said. “That would make WKU look so good.”

The free event is set to begin at 4 p.m. in the Downing Student Union Auditorium on Sunday, Nov. 3 for those who want to be part of the pre-show festivities. The awards will begin at 5 p.m.

Rice expects students to wear plenty of red spirit wear and hopes Big Red will make an appearance.

“I’m expecting 200 to 300 [people],” Rice said. “But the auditorium can accommodate up to 600.”

She is also equipped with handouts and prizes.

The top prize will be a Google Nexus 7 tablet. To win, students must have a Google+ account. Then they can post videos and pictures to their Google+ account to be eligible to win the tablet.

There will also be dance contests and most school spirit challenges. Other prizes range from YouTube headphones, t-shirts, Google cups and track pads.

“I’m really not sure what to expect,” Rice said.

Nominations for the awards were based on videos watched and shared by YouTube viewers during the past year. The winners will be decided by the number of views and social shares.

YouTube creative director Spike Jonze hopes the awards ceremony boosts creativity and spurs new content itself.

“We’re setting out to create a night that’s all about making things and creativity in the spirit of everyone that uses YouTube,” Jonze said. “As well as giving out awards, we’ll be making live music videos. The whole night should feel like a YouTube video itself.”