‘People I Meet’ Author Keys Contributes to Campus with Multifaceted Skills

by Gary Deaton
Guest Columnist

New rapper M.C. Haptics dropped the world premiere of his video “High Reward Other” in my Nonverbal Communication class last week. I know, really cool, right? What’s even cooler? I know Haptics personally. Better still, you know him, too; he’s the guy who usually writes this column. Yes, friends, Haptics is better known as senior Alexander Theodore Keys, and he is one of the most active and interesting people you can meet on Transylvania’s campus.

If you ask Keys where he’s from, he’ll tell you he hails “from a little town in Texas known as Houston.” During the autumn of his senior year at Cyprus Falls High School, Keys literally led the football team into the state championship game (in a state where football is the primary religion) as a golden eagle, the school’s mascot.
Keys auditioned for this role for a very noble reason.

“I wanted to go to the football games, but I didn’t want to pay for a ticket,” said Keys.

He brought his mascot career to a premature end for an even nobler cause.

“Being the mascot for basketball interfered with choir practice,” Keys said.

Fortunately for Transylvania, Keys chose to matriculate in a state where we know that it makes no sense to turn football into a spiritual experience. More importantly, he brought his entire package of talents, and the energy and desire required to share those talents with the entire campus through writing for The Rambler and taking on the role of general manager for WTLX, the campus radio station.

Transy has also benefited from Keys’ decision to trade mascotting for singing. Keys has been an active member of TBA (Transy Boys A cappella). His recruiting efforts led to the group’s name change to Formerly Known As

“TBA had almost become TBC, Transy Baritone Choir,” Keys said. “We especially needed that rarest of singers, tenor one. In my efforts to fill this need I suggested that perhaps some altos might be interested.”

Keys is much more than a performer, however. He is a person of principle and puts effort into programs in which he believes. He is a member of the Transylvania Environmental Rights and Responsibilities Alliance and is traveling to the Power Shift conference the weekend before finals.

He has also been active in TUnity.

“It brings out my gender studies (and) queer theory side,” Keys said.

As part of his participation in TUnity, he traveled to a conference about integrating the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning community with the Greek community.

After graduating in May with his philosophy major and his minors in music and writing, rhetoric and communication, Keys will take his energy, his empathy and his education to Indianapolis where he has an AmeriCorps assignment working for School on Wheels. Keys will be responsible for resource development, assisting the organization in its efforts to bring quality education to children touched by homelessness.

When I first met Keys, I would not have predicted that I would ask him to let me write this article. That was before he became the person and contributor to campus culture that he is now, before his informative speech made me a fan of the band Fugazzi, before he directed and co-starred in a brilliant silent film about mass communication for my Introduction to Communication class, before he authored the aforementioned world premiere video. Now? “High Reward Other” indeed!

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