Tuesday, December 11, 2012

To Thy Own Self Be True

November Event Coverage: To Thy Own Self Be True
By Ashley Mariah

Frostburg State University held the ASA Annual Mr. and Miss. ASA Pageant: To Thy Own Self Be True November 30th, 2012 in the Lane Center hosted by the African Student Alliance. Following the Pageant was the Annual ASA Ball where students, dressed to the nines in club attire and traditional African- inspired outfits, shook what their mamas gave them to popular hip hop music and hits from their hometowns. The evening was both educational and eventful as students at FSU were educated about Africa and its culture while laughing out loud and having a good time. The dimly lit, colorful Manicur Hall in Lane was packed with around 150 students and teachers observing a display of well- practiced lines and routines as members of the ASA acted as contestants in an African themed Pageant Style.
The African Student Association or ASA is a Student Organization at FSU that brings awareness to Africa and problems its people have overcome. Awareness of Africa is maintained by students through educational and social events such as Pageants, Dances or Balls, Showcases, and Fashion Shows. In addition, money is raised throughout the year and sent to Africa in efforts to aid its people and preserve the land.
The Mr. and Miss ASA Pageant works as a typical pageant with showcases from participants in three segments: Introduction segment, Talent Segment, Quiz segment. Contestants then win points in each category from appointed judges and the guy and gal with the highest tallies win Mr. and Miss ASA for the year, which comes with its fair share of responsibilities and notoriety of the Association.
The Introduction segment went smoothly as contestants introduced themselves and showcased something unique about themselves along with their “Shoeboxes” in which they are told to decorate in ways that describe themselves. Although difficult for the audience to see, the boxes were elaborately decorated and explained. Contestants were dressed in colorful African clothing and the audience “OOhhh-ed and AAhhh-ed” as they model walked the stage and showcased themselves.
The talent portion of the Pageant got an incredible rise out of the audience as there were performances not only from the contestants but also by a couple fraternities. Sophmore at FSU, Beverly Ndubueze, noted her favorite performance “It was fun. This boy Hassan killed it!” For his talent portion, Hassan recited a poem to a girl that he pulled up from the audience. “Is he really singing that to her? I wonder if they are together, that’s sweet” exclaimed Junior at FSU, Jackie Bishop. The poem was about him seeing her and instantly being attracted to her beauty. From the audiences point of view it seemed so real, later we found out it was for show. Nonetheless, the audience loved it. Another notable performance came from Justin Shields and a group of his friends. The boys did this really funny dance segment where they took people over the world through dance. The first stop in his routine was PG county, so he and some friends danced to go-go (which is the type of music that is listened to mostly in DC and PG counties). He then took the audience to his hometown of Baltimore where he danced to Baltimore Club Music (which is also very unique). The last stop was Africa where he danced to Nigerian music (which is laden in smooth drum beats and heavy rhythms). The audience thought his performance was hilarious and erupted with laughter and applause!

The Quiz segment was the conclusion of the Pageant asking questions to see how contestants would solve different day to day issues (poverty, hunger). Contestants promptly answered as they had been answering pageant questions for years and the evening concluded with the crowning of Mr. and Miss ASA followed by the packed Ball that jammed on into the next morning. “I have never seen that many students packed together before! Who knew FSU had poppin’ events to go to? And I learned a lot about Africa!” concluded Sophomore at Frostburg State University Conor Burns while walking out drained and culture shocked from the evening. 

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