Photos by Amy Rose.
Last Friday, students flocked to Dewberry Hall to attend the annual Step Expo where members of the Mason community performed a historic and culturally-rich art form known as “stepping.”
Currently, Mason is home to eight of the nine Black fraternities and sororities that make up the National Pan-Hellenic Council, also referred to as “The Divine Nine.” A majority of these organizations present on campus took part in the Step Expo.
“It is important to have these events on campus because it shows students an outlet of positive energy within a strong brotherhood or sisterhood,” said senior A’Darien Johnson, a communication major and president of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
Many traditional aspects of stepping, including chanting, were present at the Expo. The event kicked off with a roll call, giving each organization an opportunity to excite the audience with a brief taste of what was soon to come.
The goals of these organizations, however, are not just to entertain the student body. Each of the fraternities and sororities has its own history and values. At the beginning of each performance, one member would take the opportunity to chant about where and when their organization was founded and their history.
“Being part of this organization goes along with the principles that our founders positioned: brotherhood, scholarship and service,” Johnson said. “I do my best to uphold each principle by representing our organization in that manner, that means a strong brotherhood among our own and those around us. Striving for excellence through academics and performance and doing our part in the community.”
Members of the Pan-Hellenic Council, graduate students and faculty also came out to enjoy the show. The DJ played 90’s R&B, Hip Hop, Pop and African tunes during transition periods.
At the end of the show, many students agreed that the Step Expo was one of their favorite parts of Welcome Week.
“These events allow our organizations to showcase ourselves and provide students an opportunity to see and learn a little about each org,” Johnson said. “They are essential to each organization because they help with recruitment and potential members.”
The next Step Expo will be at the Center of the Arts in spring 2015.