‘Real World’s’ Randy talks at U about traveling, show

by Molly Moker

Approximately 200 giddy girls armed with cameras, and a handful of guys, crowded into Willey Hall on Thursday night to catch a glimpse of MTV’s “The Real World” cast member Randy Barry.

Barry, from the San Diego cast of the reality show in which seven strangers live together for four months, encouraged students to be adventurous.

STA Travel brought Barry to the University for “Europe Night.” The event gave students advice on how to see Europe on a budget and a chance to win roundtrip airfare to a European destination.

But many students said the chance to go to Europe paled in comparison to the opportunity of seeing Barry.

“I’d like to win a free trip, but yeah, he’s the main reason I came. Randy’s hot,” first-year student Alyssa Lonergan said.

A group of sorority members who attended the event said they watch every “Real World” episode together and came to invite Barry to their formal dance.

“He’s awesome; his personality just seems so cool,” said sophomore and sorority member Emily Kirsch. “My friend wanted me to drive to Madison last night so I could see him twice.”

Barry appeared at the University of Wisconsin-Madison last night as part of the STA Travel national tour.

At the Minnesota presentation, Barry discussed his backpacking trip through Europe and his “Real World” vacation in Greece.

The cast travels to Greece in its April 27 and May 4 episodes. STA Travel sponsored the trip.

“Greece is definitely a turning point in the show,” Barry said in an interview. “A lot of things came out while we were there. It’s going to be crazy to watch.”

After graduating from the Art Institute of Boston in 2001, Barry and a high school friend traveled and worked in Rome and the Czech Republic for four months.

Barry said traveling has been one of his life’s most rewarding experiences.

“Traveling is extremely valuable,” Barry said. “It gave me responsibility and career goals.”

Before setting out on an adventure, students should research their destination, he said.

Barry said he does not regret spending four months on “The Real World,” even though it was stressful at times.

“It was like my trip to Europe,” he said. “You’re away from home, you have a new job, new friends.”

This is the first time the University’s STA Travel branch hosted a “Real World” cast member, said Taylor Thomas, the University branch manager.