Shippensburg University’s Sigma Gamma Rho sorority celebrated its 10th anniversary with the annual Miss Diversity Pageant on Saturday night in the Ceddia Union Building’s Multipurpose Room.
Sigma Gamma Rho has put on this production since it first came to Shippensburg University in 2006, and continues to bring attention to the importance of diversity on campus through powerful performances by its chapter members.
The pageant is the finale to its week-long celebration leading up to the day of its 10-year anniversary at SU.
This year the sorority decided upon the theme “Don’t Forget Our Roots” in honor of each contestant’s heritage and the prominence of their families’ histories. The four contestants were Angel Bennett-Money as Miss Egypt, Amriah Bolling as Miss Brazil, Diamond Watson as Miss India and Iesha Bullard as Miss Trinidad.
The show kicked off with a unique mash-up dance that had derivatives from traditional music of each contestant’s country, while displaying the flags on a backdrop screen.
The crowd went wild for the intricate choreography as the performers danced on stage under flashing lights.
Later, the contestants were found on stage describing the great impact diversity has in everyone’s life and how people should revel in their uniqueness. The contestants reminded the audience that they should learn from each other’s differences.
The contestants gave multiple performances throughout the night, not only for the audience’s sake, but also the judges who were present to evaluate their routines. Some of the judges included alumni and professors, such as Jose Ricardo-Osorio, who is the chair of the modern languages department and a former salsa dancing instructor in Colombia.
Briana Green, the head of SU’s Sigma Gamma Rho chapter, said the pageant is meant to educate SU’s campus about other races and cultures in an enjoyable way.
“I would like to spread appreciation for each other and each other’s cultures, while honoring the women from each culture,” Green said.
According to Green, Sigma Gamma Rho emphasizes serving the community and bringing everyone together to empower women. They participate in various community service projects throughout the year such as Project Reassurance, which focuses on healthy living, as well as activities for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The sorority holds “Study with Poodles” every Sunday, at which they provide a study time filled with help and encouragement throughout the academic year.