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CSA beauty pageant is all inclusive

by Breonnah Colon - Copy Desk Chief
Tue, Apr 11th 2017 10:00 pm
Photos taken by Emma Misiaszek/PHOTO EDITOR 

Julian Moody (above) lost himself in the music as he played the trumpet for the talent portion of CSA's The Class Act beauty pageant.
Photos taken by Emma Misiaszek/PHOTO EDITOR Julian Moody (above) lost himself in the music as he played the trumpet for the talent portion of CSA's The Class Act beauty pageant.
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 One of the most prominent differences students tend to face when attending college is the culture. Diversity on campus tends to differ from what students are used to back home, sometimes campus is more diverse than the one they are used to and sometimes it's diverse in a different way, with cultures students are not so familiar with. Regardless of the kind of diversity, college comes with a great array of culture and that's exactly what the Caribbean Student Association touched on during its Class Act beauty pageant.

The pageant took place on Saturday, April 8 in the Liberal Arts Building's McCue Auditorium. 

Originally set to begin at 6:30 p.m., the pageant was moved back two hours until 8 p.m. so that students participating in the Educational Opportunity Program's annual banquet would also be able to attend the show. The pageant's theme was school-based, complete with composition notebook inspired show cards, uniform attire worn by the CSA executive board and even a lunch room themed dinner which took place after the pageant in the Seymour College Union Gallery. With so much effort put into the decor and costumes it was clear CSA was looking to teach those in attendance a thing or two about the Caribbean culture and teach they did.

Following a unique introduction during which the "Black national anthem" was sung and members of the e-board held flags representing different Caribbean islands and countries as well as the American flag and a flag honoring the Black Lives Matter movement.

President Camisha Parkins explained it was important for CSA to express support for and represent each culture, emphasizing the impact the Black Lives Matter movement has on all people of color. 

"Being that we are a cultural club, I feel it's important to recognize people of color," Parkins said. 

The pageant followed the discourse of most other beauty pageants. The four contestants were introduced to the audience and a behind-the-scenes short film was played where the audience got to see the work put in during rehearsals by the participants. Footage of practices, rehearsals and random moments of fun were all aspects that made up the close-knit relationship between the participants and their escorts. 

After a dance performance carried out to a mix of Caribbean music ranging from soca music, to reggae and even touching on salsa; the hosts were introduced giving attendants a rundown of what to expect. 

Each contestant was then brought to stage to give a performance in honor of the country or island they were representing. Dance was used to represent Grenada, Barbados and Jamaica, while a poem was delivered on behalf of Puerto Rico. 

Afterward the hosts were back on stage giving attendees a chance to represent their own culture by calling out what their background was and playing music based on their culture. Afterward contestants were brought back to the stage for a chance to show off a talent they had. 

Following the talent aspect came the swimsuit section. Each contestant strutted across the stage in a swimsuit to their fitting showing the confidence and pride of both themselves and the culture they represented. 

The last aspect of the show prior to the judgement of who won was a question-and-answer session where contestants were given the chance to show their knowledge about the history and impact of CSA as an organization on campus. Judges were then given a chance to deliberate who would be Mr. and Mrs. CSA, sophomore Bridgette Babb and senior Julian Moody were crowned at the conclusion of the show. 

Moody, who took the title of Mr. CSA, was pleasantly surprised with his victory.

"It was a surprise because I saw what [the other male contestant] did and it was pretty good," Moody said. "When they said I won I was like wow, I must've done something right."

While Moody basked in the feeling of winning the pageant he was also thankful for the opportunity to learn something new. Representing the country Grenada allowed him to acquire knowledge about the country he didn't have prior to participating in the pageant.

The Class Act pageant was certainly a learning experience for many. 

Whether it was the opportunity for students to be part of an environment where they got to experience diversity and culture firsthand, learning their own potential at being part of an event or putting together an event itself, CSA managed to stay true to its intended theme and provide those in attendance with a fun and entertaining way to learn something new. 


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Taken by Vincent Croce:
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