Thirteen women will strut their stuff 7 p.m. Saturday in the CUB Senior Ballroom for the chance of winning a scholarship and to benefit Toys 4 Tots.
The WSU chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. will be hosting the 2011 Ms. Black & Gold Scholarship Pageant.
“We are hosting the event because it’s Alpha week,” said Abel Yemane, a junior psychology major and the treasurer of Alpha Phi Alpha. “Our fraternity hosts a week (of) events that leads up to December 4, which is the day we were founded.”
The events each year stand for scholarship, manly deeds and love for all mankind, which is what the Alphas believe in, he said.
“Ms. Black & Gold … is actually a national program,” Yemane said. “All chapters and all colleges (that) our organization is at have this program.”
The winners from each Ms. Black & Gold competition will move on to west coast regionals, he said. This year the regional competition will be in Las Vegas and the winners from the colleges on the west coast will compete there for a chance at Nationals in Miami, he said.
“Hopefully one of these girls will have the chance to earn scholarships at each of those pageants and take the title for Ms. Black & Gold,” Yemane said.
The pageant this Saturday will consist of 13 women competing against each other in their display of beauty, talents, confidence and intelligence on stage.
“My plan (as Ms. Black & Gold) is to help the younger generations realize how important it is to attend a university and become successful,” said Tia Sonesouphab, a sophomore pre-nursing major and pageant contestant. “The number of minority students dropping out of high school is increasing.”
Sonesouphab said she wanted to get involved in the Ms. Black & Gold Scholarship Pageant because she holds the same beliefs as the Alphas. The belief of being a leader in the community is important to her and her pageant platform, she said.
“Practice (for the pageant was) not easy,” said Drew Smith, a freshman English major and pageant contestant. “I just thought oh I would put on a dress and walk out and look cute but there’s a lot of stuff that goes into it.”
Pageant contestants need to be professional, need to know what they’re talking about and they need to be a good representation of Alpha Phi Alpha, she said. All the time that has been put into preparing for the event has been the hardest part, she said.
“You can’t be a fool on stage,” Smith said. “You really need to speak eloquently and be graceful and, you know, have poise.”
Tickets are available at a table in the CUB Spine or from any pageant contestant and brother of Alpha Phi Alpha. Ticket prices are $3 with the donation of a toy and $5 without.