Stepping with Pride

By Areli Gutierrez

Boots and heels will stomp the floor at 8 pm on October 19 in the Bishops Lounge, where Friday Night Live will present the second-ever Southwestern Step and Stroll exhibition. The event is meant to showcase the choreography and performance of various organizations.

“This is a way of building bridges across campuses and cultures,” senior Kadidiatou Magassa said. “We will cross racial barriers and lines of different groups to show people that the event is about more than just race.”

Co-sponsoring the event are Kappa Delta Chi, the Diversity Enrichment Committee (DEC), and the University Programming Council. Magassa is organizing the event as a DEC representative from Ebony, along with Lizette Villarreal. These groups also sponsored the very first SU Step and Stroll exhibition last year.

“Last year’s competition only had two groups,” Magassa said. “This year, there are two main parts to the event: first, outside sororities and fraternities that have competed in Stepping contests before will be invited to show SU groups how it’s done. Then, we will hold a competition solely for SU Greek groups that have been working with step and stroll advisors to create something unique to those groups.”

Stepping originated with largely African-American fraternities and sororities but has expanded beyond racial groups and is now a hallmark among organizations as a way to bond and show off their pride.

“The Stepping and Strolling exhibition is a way to show that anyone can take something that is usually associated with one group and make it their own to show their organization’s values and what it means to be a part of that group,” Magassa said.

The exhibition, titled “Steppin’ to the Beat” will follow the “Deconstructing the Inner You” conference held earlier in the day, which will examine issues like race, ethnicity and inclusion with a community forum and workshops.

“The event will be a part of the diversity conference throughout the day,” Magassa said. “The theme lies in how campuses handle diversity, and how to embrace it. Lizette and I did a lot of this because it’s a way for us to address these issues and take traditional Stepping and Strolling to make it diverse in a safe way. We are opening it up to [all] fraternities and sororities, and to groups of all races and religions and both genders, to handle issues and deconstruct them by analyzing our backgrounds and encouraging dialogue between one another in a positive way.”

Various different Greek organizations from both on campus and from outside universities will present at the step show, including Omega Delta Phi, Delta Epsilon Psi, and Alpha Kappa Alpha.

“Dancing and throwing up my letters is one of my favorite things to do when showing off my KDChi pride,” senior Jessica Enyioha said.

There is also a competitive portion of the show, limited to only SU Greek life. This will include Alpha Delta Pi, Zeta Tau Alpha, Kappa Delta Chi, Delta Delta Delta, and the fraternity Pi Kappa Alpha.
There will be five judges: one from each of the outside fraternities and sororities, and one student judge. These organizations will compete for cash prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place to win $200, $150, and $100 respectively.

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