The Big XII Fashion Show, held last night in the K-State Student Union Room 212, had its fifth annual event for Black History Month preparations for the Big 12 Conference. The show was organized by the Kappa Pi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.
Tatiana Romo, vice president of the chapter and senior in entrepreneurship, said the purpose was to teach students who are attending the conference how they should dress. At the conference, which will be held in Austin, Texas from Feb. 25 to 28, black students will talk about issues faced on their respective college campuses.
“The Big 12 Conference is for black student leadership,” said Zelia Wiley, graduate adviser for Kappa Pi Chapter and assistant dean for diversity for the College of Agriculture. “Those attending represent themselves and K-State, and we don’t want them showing up saying they didn’t know they couldn’t wear their booty shorts or something.”
Hosted by K-State 10 years ago, the conference plays an important role in helping black students prepare for the future. Speakers like Bill Cosby have given inspirational speeches during luncheons, dinners and workshops. The importance of what is appropriate and inappropriate at this educational conference is crucial.
Wiley is honored to be with her people. She said she wishes everyone going to the conference have a good time in her home state, but she always wants them to remember why they are there.
“I believe you will still bring your cute jeans, baggy pants or sweats, but wear them at the right times,” she said. “You are here to get a job; please keep that in mind.”
Wiley said her hope is that all who watched truly enjoyed the fashion show and gained perspective on what one should wear.
Matthew Myers, sophomore in mechanical engineering, said they got their point across. He said he believes it was good and entertaining
“It was a good waste of my time, without being sarcastic,” he said.
Stephen Taylor, freshman in English and business administration, agreed with Myers in liking the show. He was unsure if he will attend the conference, but if he does, he will know what to wear. He said the fashion show was a good experience for him.
Although one must be a member of the Black Student Union to attend the conference, Romo said, the goal is for all students know the difference between what is OK and what isn’t for future reference.
Starting with the BSU crowded in and singing the Black National Anthem, the lights eventually were turned off except for a spotlight. Romo gave an opening announcement about the how they wanted to provide suggestions for outfits in leadership and business situation.
Six female models began their catwalks to upbeat tunes. Eight gentlemen followed with a number of comical poses.
Ashley Cavazos, freshman in agricultural communication and journalism, said she was nervous at first to model, but once people cheered, she got more into it.
Cassandra Smith, sophomore in pre-medicine and biology and treasurer and corresponding secretary of Alpha Kappa Alpha, asked the crowd at the end to educate the audience on the correct attire for the conference on Black Student Government.
Smith had models walk down the runaway and wait for a “Yes, OK’ or ‘No, not OK” from viewers.
Cavazos wore a light blue ruffled button-up shirt under a darker blue suit jacket and slacks. For the boys, suits, vests with slacks, ties or bowties and nice dress shoes are desired clothes to wear to the various activities held at the conference.
“I like the idea of how it showed people what and what not to wear. Everyone did a great job modeling their outfits,” said Nick Wiggins, freshman in open option.
The show displayed a diverse selection of proper and improper clothing.Dr. Wiley, who said she does not wantto retire and get old until this generation is ready, will pass the baton on to these black men and women.
“Just because we have a black president does not mean everything has changed,” she said. “One can come to my office time. I want to be a good example.”
Next time, Cavazos said, hopefully more people come and experience the fun. The event’s turnout was about 50 people.