If you’ve been on campus at all in the past two years, there is a good chance you’ve seen Luke Zalubniak. Do tight pants, bright tie, and a head of blonde locks topped off with a fedora ring a bell? Did I mention he is also the one singing and dancing between classes?
Luke met with me in a library study room, tucked away in the basement. He crossed his matchstick legs in the plastic chair across from me, and together we tried to figure out why more people aren’t dancing through campus.
A second-year student at UVic, Zalubniak came from the small town lifestyle, courtesy of Pitt Meadows, B.C. He has now set his sights as high as his optimism. He is finishing off a minor in Applied and Theoretical Ethics, with a likely major in Sociology. “On top of that, I’m planning on going to law school,” said Zalubniak. “I’m not sure about my masters or my PhD, but those are something in the future.”
A more pertinent question is: what is he dancing to? A current bug in Zalubniak’s ear is “Just Haven’t Met You Yet” by Micheal Bublé. “It’s just good energy, and you can really belt it, and that’s enjoyable,” said Zalubniak. He feels one of the bands he best emulates is Maroon 5, with “She Will Be Loved” being a current favorite. “I’m a bit of a hopeless romantic, so I enjoy some of that,” he added. Luke feels that when singing in public, he would much rather be emulating the vocals.
“You don’t want to be just totally off key, but I don’t know if I’m not. I got my headphones in most of the time,” Zalubniak said, smiling and chuckling to himself.
In his free time, Zalubniak enjoys playing tabletop games, like Dungeons and Dragons, and hip-hop and ballroom dancing. When he can, he donates his sleek blonde hair to Locks for Love, a public non-profit making wigs for those under the age of 18 suffering from medical related hair loss.
Post-graduation, Zalubniak sees himself working as an ethicist for various governments around the world, looking into, as he puts it, “What is justice? What is fairness? And that and so forth. Applying that to not only a sociological perspective but a psychological perspective.” If not that, Zalubniak also sees himself as a crown prosecutor. In his words, he wishes to help some people “recognize the individual still as an individual, but they need to recognize their purpose in a community.” Why some people are not happy, or why they are pessimistic is a mystifying subject for Zalubniak.
“Why?” asked Zalubniak. “Why do you need to be so downtrodden? You’re alive. You woke up this morning. You’re still breathing. You still have the capacity to go out and do unimaginable things, wonderful things, with your life. And yet you’re not, ‘cause you think everything is in such a state of disrepair and everything is so negative. But that’s just ‘cause that’s how you’re perceiving it now. Go out and do stuff. Make a change. That’s what I do. I go out and I sing and dance around campus. I may not change anything directly, but indirectly: smiles and all that stuff.”
The ever optimist and ever extraverted Luke Zalubniak will always shoot back a smile to anyone he sees, so don’t be afraid to say hello. If you’d like to learn more about him, he says he “never says no to tea and good old fashion walk.” As the last sands of our interview fell, he shared with me a bit of life advice. “Go out and find what makes you happy,” said Zalubniak, “because no one is going to enjoy today for you.”