ASG president Sales-Griffin roasted Friday

Mina Shankar

Neal Sales-Griffin has been called a “model student” and “the face of Northwestern.”

As president of the Associated Student Government, the SESP senior is so well known there is a Facebook group, “I know Neal Sales-Griffin.” However, Sales-Griffin’s friends and colleagues took the opportunity to take their leader down a peg Friday at McCormick Tribune Center during the first-ever roast of an ASG president.

The roast was originally intended to poke fun at ASG in general, but ASG members later decided to focus on Sales-Griffin given his name recognition on campus, said former ASG Clerk Paul David Shrader, who served as roastmaster.

“The roast was a kind of social event to bring together different groups of people across campus, have a good time and celebrate the end of the ASG term,” the Weinberg senior said. “Neal has known about it from its conception. Everyone knew this was a roast in good fun.”

Fifteen roasters spoke individually before an audience of about 50 that included ASG members, students and even Sales-Griffin’s mother. Roasters included Sales-Griffin’s roommate of four years, friends, fellow ASG board members and economics Prof. Mark Witte.

Jokes throughout the night targeted Sales-Griffin’s “alleged affair” with SESP sophomore and ASB Treasurer Claire Lew, his fame on the now-defunct Web site JuicyCampus and his work ethic.

“Some people were a little bit surprised about the raciness of some of the roasts,” Shrader said. “It was definitely not rated G.”

During the roast, Sales-Griffin kept a light-hearted attitude, laughing with the audience over memories and mouthing “No!” to his mother over inappropriate jokes, such as when Witte joked about Sales-Griffin’s love life.

“Want to sit on Neal’s lap? (No girl) has ever sat there before!” Witte asked his fidgety daughter, tucked under his arm.

Communication senior Chris Wickman called Sales-Griffin a “master of self-promotion” who “took credit for other people’s hard work.”

Shrader referenced Neal’s presidential campaign in his speech.

“Only Neal can run a flawless campaign against a minority vote candidate, a drunken frat boy and a joke candidate and still have to go to a run-off,” he said.

But the night also had moments of sincerity, with roasters thanking Sales-Griffin for being a great friend despite his hectic schedule.

“Some of the speeches were pretty out there, and they really pushed the envelope,” said McCormick freshman and ASG Clerk Brooke Stanislawski. “But I thought they did a good job of letting him know that they love him.”

Sales-Griffin was given the last word. He looked surprised to be given the chance to speak, and used his time to make short jabs at his roasters, say hello to his mom and offer serious insight on his time as ASG president.

“My Northwestern experience has definitely been made by some of the people in this room and some of the people that aren’t,” he said. “Sometimes I get a little choked up when I think about all the work that you all have done with me – and I guess for me. But it’s all about one important thing that we all share, and that’s love for Northwestern.”

Video from the Roast. Mallory Jackson/The Daily Northwestern

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