UCF: Metal head preaches his own form of gospel

Computer science major shares his love of music

By Shannon Scheidell

In the fields of green that connect the UCF Arena with the Memory Mall, 20-somethings are playing Frisbee, they’re chatting and they’re laying about on a breezy Fall day in Florida.

This is a common sight if you walking within the circumference of the campus often enough. What you may be surprised to see would be a 21-year old computer science major rocking out to heavy metal.

“I’m doing this because I can,” Greg Degenhart said. “It’s like an experiment at the same time. I want to see how people react to it.”

Computer science major Greg Degenhart plays heavy metal music Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at Memory Mall on the UCF campus.

Degenhart connects his MP3 into his portable boom box, which he then plugs into the bench in the same spot once or twice a week between the Psychology and Public Affairs buildings.

“On the upcoming breakdown or bass drop, I laugh or gauge people’s reactions. Most of the time I find a friend,” he said.

“Some people walk by. They pretend they can’t hear it, but I know they can hear it,” he said.

He shares his love for music and in return he receives long awkward glances or he’s ignored completely. Monday, he was approached by a group of students who introduced themselves as sisters of the Mormon religion.

“If he’s not disturbing anyone or trying to sell or market something, if he’s exercising his free speech rights, we’re not gonna shut him down,” Officer Peter Stephens said. He’s UCF’s Community Relations supervisor.

Stephens quoted the university’s Golden Rules, stating if no statutes are broken and there are no complaints, there’s no harm in his playing music.

“We theoretically could, if he were loud enough, but if you read the rules and regulations under student conduct on the school’s website, he’s not technically doing anything wrong.” he said.

Degenhart plays music from bands like Metallica, Yashin, Born of Osiris, Children of Bodom and Under Oath to name a few.

He has also played a Taylor Swift cover song by Punk Goes Pop.

“When I first heard it, I thought he was playing this poppy-sounding music, then there was a shift and it turned into metal and I was like, ‘Yeah!’ It was awesome,” Christopher Bow, a mechanical engineering student going on his fourth year at UCF, said.

“I usually take out my headphones when I walk by, so I can listen to it. It’s interesting, at least it’s good music,” Bow said.

Bow said he’s often seen Degenhart around the Mall, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays when he walks to Garage F after class.

Degenhart said he wishes he were in a band, but currently DJs for UCF club Heavy Metal Knights. He has been a member of the club for almost a year.

Meet up with him Wednesday nights at 8:30 p.m. in room 220 of the Student Union or listen for the frequent double-kicks and roaring guitar solos the next time you’re walking through Memory Mall. You might just find your next favorite rock band.

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