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Male pageant raises minority awareness

Special to The Battalion

Published: Friday, October 5, 2012

Updated: Friday, October 5, 2012 00:10

Scholarship pageant

Aaron Cranford

Among the student body at Texas A&M University are developing role models and leaders within their respective organizations who emphasize academic success and applied skills. Within these diverse organizations are underrepresented students who demonstrate a commitment to serving their university and becoming men and women who others want to follow.

The Xi Psi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., has been on the A&M campus since 1985, and has served the community through countless projects from providing free childcare services to single parents in Bryan-College Station to hosting a scholarship pageant for underrepresented men at Texas A&M.

On Oct. 6 the Xi Psi Chapter will be hosting their fourth annual “Mr. Ivy League Scholarship Pageant” at 6:08 p.m. in the Memorial Student Center’s Bethancourt Ballroom. The pageant is themed “Havana Nights.”

“This pageant serves as a way to highlight the underrepresented leaders and role models on campus who can easily be overshadowed at a predominantly white institution,” said Lucretia Stanfield, senior accounting major and president of Alpha Kappa Alpha. “The contestants are able to serve as role models for other minority males on campus and are able to prove that they can stand out in the crowd as well.”

The six candidates were selected after being considered men of high morals with ethical standards. They were also required to be in good academic standing with the University and must have demonstrated an active approach in the community and various organizations.

“I feel it’s a great way to foster awareness of the diverse community at Texas A&M,” said Lauren Jackson, junior accounting major and pageant co-chair. “Through the pageant we want to show students that racial barriers in education no longer exist.”

The pageant will consist of contestants modeling one style of clothing as well as formal evening wear, a five to six minute talent performance, and a debate where contestants will have six to eight minutes to present their standpoint on a current event or political issue of their choice.

“A lot of what we work on is personal development. As an African-American or Hispanic, the community here is small, so you see a lot of support from each other,” said Alana Frailey, senior sociology major and pageant chair. “Most of them have never been on stage, but when the lights hit they’ll also have the support of their friends and family and their personality will truly shine.”

Jomo McDuff, senior technology management major and pageant contestant, said he believes the purpose of the pageant is positive for the unrepresented community and thinks everyone should get involved.

“I feel everyone should do this because this is an opportunity to showcase what you can contribute to the community,” McDuff said. “This is also a great way to knock off stereotypes others may have of Hispanic and black men in college.”

The top three contestants will be awarded book scholarships — $1,000 for first place, $500 for second and $250 for third.

Stanfield said the pageant gives students the opportunity to witness the diversity firsthand at Texas A&M.

“I feel like this is a great pageant that we will continue each year because it shows the true quality of minority students that Texas A&M possesses,” Stanfield said.

 

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