The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Step show highlights conference


As more than 600 students gathered on campus for the Southwestern Black Student Leadership Conference (SBSLC) this weekend to participate in workshops and listen to speakers, Jumoke Babaloa said her favorite part of the conference is the variety show performance, which she attends every year.
This year, Babaloa, a junior elementary education major, said she was there to support a friend who was performing.
The show on Friday featured performances by representatives from three sororities and one fraternity, as well as poet Amanda Diva, Step Afrika and a hip hop freestyle contest.
Performers from the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, Delta Sigma Theta sorority and Sigma Gamma Ro sorority performed step routines.
“I’m here to support the Delta undergrads stepping tonight,” said Daphne Watkins, a Texas A&M Ph.D. student.
Each group included information about its organization and what it represented during its performance.
Poet Amanda Diva portrayed her liberal views in creative rhymes and enlightened the audience on her opinions about various controversial topics.
Step Afrika, the internationally known dance ensemble, put on several step performances and informed the audience about the links the art form of stepping has to its origin in the mines of South Africa.
One of the dance team members taught the basics of stepping to audience members who were invited on stage to show off their newly-learned moves.
The last presentation of the evening entertainment was the hip hop freestyle contest. After a little coaxing from the contest host, volunteers from the audience appeared on stage and the first place winner received a prize of $100.
“It was great to see a variety of talent in one show,” said Christina Joykutty, a junior mathematics major.
The conference also included keynote speakers talking on topics of diversity.
Poet Nikki Giovanni spoke at Rudder Theater Saturday night on topics ranging from why blacks can relate to uncertainties of space exploration and mistrusting President George W. Bush.
Dr. Kimberly Brown, an associate professor of English, said she encouraged her students in her African American Literature class to attend because it was rare to see a black poet on the Texas A&M campus.
“I told them they could see someone living and that is an important thing,” she said. “It was an honor to see her in person.”

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