Programs’ "Miss and Mister" 2019

Programs’ "Miss and Mister" 2019

Annually, from the middle of February till the beginning of March HSE SPb becomes the space of creativity, celebration and faculties’ identities as each of them host local Miss and Mister. The general concept of the show and what is usually understood by the title “Miss and Mister” is highly debatable not only in the university community, but worldwide as well. Majority of people associate this competition with beauty challenges and appearance related things, meaning that the winners are considered to be the most beautiful, attractive, good-looking – chose whatever adjective you prefer.

However, HSE SPb is densely diverse with spirit of freedom and rights protection in a good way: nobody’s dignity is violated.  So in HSE SPb universe such competition like Miss and Mister is never the question of beauty, but the talent show, choosing the best representatives for the big university Miss and Mister.

You probably noticed that the title HSE was always specified with the city and there is a purpose behind concentration on defining Miss and Mister as a talent show, not the beauty competition. However, HSE Moscow’s the “Miss HSE” competition of last year became the center of intense debates.

This competition was a clear analogy of common worldwide Misses competitions: every stage of the competition was concentrated around contestants’ appearance. This fact, of course, could not leave the feminists behind as they found such concept to be offensive. And they gained support from other university community members, not feminists, who just believed that it was inappropriate to host university-based event that included bikini defile for participants, and especially that such event got financial support from university budget.

However, the support group of Miss HSE was equally massive, their main point of protection the concept lied in idea that no one forced contestants to participate, they were well aware of competition’s program and it was totally their choice whether participate or not. Both groups in the end placed the petitions in support and forbiddance of Miss HSE. (The scandal was greatly covered by HSE journal The Vyshka). By the way, this year Miss HSE in Moscow campus is deleted from event calendar.

All information above is the key to understand the logic behind Miss and Mister in Saint-Petersburg. And it all starts on local level. Faculties’ Miss and Mister are organized by current first-year students’ curators. No matter the scope of the event, all event management basics are covered: they lead VK groups for participants and viewers to keep them updated, invite photographers and videographers, make partnerships, chose the juries and the main theme. This year most of them were inspired by cinematography.

It is always hard and pressuring to be the first, this year Asian and African studies program was the first to lead the way. They chose celebrity couples as the topic so all participants were supposed to recreate the well-known couple. As the result this event was attended by Alla Pugachova and Philipp Kirkorov, Nickolay Petrovich and Galina Ivanovna from Russian sitcom “Voroniny”, Beyonce and Jay Z, Gomez and Morticia Addams from the Addams Family, Jasmine and Aladdin, Cleopatra and Marc Anthony, teenagers’ dream couple Mariana Ro and Vanya Face – pretty sure no event ever was lucky enough to meet them all at the same time! Participants were to take photos in their characters, create a video presentation and show their best in the performance.

Then black and white show from History department chose their winners. The theme while being unclear and mysterious, gave participants great opportunities to provide their own definitions of black & white world. The tasks were the same – photo, video presentation and performance.

Sociology and Social Informatics is known for their uncommon views on the world and creativity – this time is no different, their theme was much distant from others. Participants acted as islanders of uninhabited island who fight for survival. Moreover, this Miss and Mister was the first in history to include both male couple to the contest. And though they did not win, many considered that as an important step. (By the way, the rules of the main Miss and Mister do not proscribe the gender of participants).

Philology – the faculty of brides as they joke – put viewers in the atmosphere of Russian 80-s inspired by hyped movie “Leto” about rock-n-roll culture, rage and protest. They truly succeeded in implementation – music, hosts, costumes – everything screamed 80-s. They managed to travel viewers through time and space, back to ours parents youth. 

Up next was Logistics who decided to recreate the famous Oscar ceremony in HSE. Participants were contesting for the main prize that included Oscar statue and opportunity to represent the program on big stage of Kolizey arena. There contestant also performed solely, and so the couple was created from the separate winners.

Public policy and analytics Miss and Mister was the first ever in the history of the program. Previously, contestants skipped the local level and went straight to the main event. Usually, the reason for that was the lack of motivated people to make the local stage. However this year six couples wished to fight for the opportunity and so the local Miss and Mister finally took place. Curators’ team put a lot of energy, time and strength to organize the event on a good level, and they definitely managed not only to do their best, but implemented some uncommon and innovative features like inviting 14 juries from different years, programs and HSE administrative stuff, and alongside with their votes take into account viewers opinion.

Miss and Mister on Economics department was dedicated to celebrity and movie couples as well. But the specific of this event was in the fact, that it was the only program where contestants from the first to third year of study participated. Usually, there are mainly freshmen and second year students, but Economics shows such variety second year in a row. Last year the program was represented by third year students on the main Miss and Mister. This year, actually, is no different: M&M winners due to certain circumstances refused to take part in the main Miss and Mister, so instead of them the vice Miss and Mister from third year will represent the program.

Law department concentrated their Miss and Mister theme around musicals and managed to create a truly great show filled with jokes, dancing, singing and spirit of joy. The juries were only law department members, so the event was surely local, however great.

International business and Management studies attempted to recreate another red carpet Oscar ceremony. However this time participants were supposed to act as a movie couple from the Oscar nominees films of all time. No doubt, the variety of cinema characters was fascinating: from Bonnie and Clyde to main characters of “Nemo” cartoon.

The last but certainly not least was Political Science and World Politics to choose the winners. That was the first time in the history of the program M&M where contestants participated in duets. They recreated characters from cartoon movies, but the challenge was to be from different ones. This resulted in surprising and shocking couples of Freckenbok and Luntic, Cruella De Vil and Hades. Lots of jokes and unexpected plots made that event truly exciting.

As you know, HSE opened Design program this year. Although they are still adapting to non-academic university life, the main Miss and Mister would not be completed without them. So as an experiment for the first time Design will be presented on big M&M by a couple that volunteered.


By now, all participants with SDS team are intensely working on a bid Miss and Mister HSE SPb show. There is only one month left, but much of work must be done. The show will take place on the 9th of April in Kolizey arena. Make sure not to skip the greatest show and come support the couple you enjoy!

Text by
Angelina Silaeva