First annual Mr. Multicultural pageant celebrates diversity of K-State men

The Mr. Multicultural pageant contestants line up in front of their home countries' flags as the show comes to an end. Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Inc hosted the first annual Mr. Multicultural pageant Saturday at Forum Hall in the K-State Student Union. (Alanud Alanazi | Collegian Media Group)

The Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Inc sorority sponsored its first annual Mr. Multicultural pageant Saturday in Forum Hall to both showcase Kansas State’s diversity and promote individuality. From Cuba to Taiwan, contestants represented a variety of home countries.

“When you meet [the guys], they’re very energetic and outgoing,” said Evelyn Lucio, pageant coordinator and senior in American ethnic studies. “They wanted to display their culture and talk about their organization and have everyone see the diversity of men at K-State.”

In the past three years, K-State has seen a large increase in its Latino student population. Lucio said she is very proud of the community she has been able to build at K-State, and she wanted the student body to observe and appreciate the different nationalities within the campus.

A common goal between the contestants was to raise awareness regarding cultural diversity and celebrate their heritage. When asked what they would accomplish upon receiving the title of Mr. Multicultural, many contestants agreed they would promote K-State’s diverse student body.

“My platform is for the people, as they were with me throughout the pageant,” Daniel Garcia, freshman in business administration, said.

Garcia was later awarded the title of Mr. Talent for his artistic number. He created a painting of the late actress Marilyn Monroe using only glitter and glue.

“We wanted to do something that was going to be able to bring people from all different types of culture and give them a platform for them to show their similarities and differences,” said Ingrid Silva, senior in feed science management and Kappa Delta Chi president.

An introductory video showcased the men and their home countries’ flags, offering the audience a connection to the contestants and the countries being represented.

The dance number at the beginning of the pageant featured choreography that blended different cultural dances to showcase the contestants’ unity and harmony. Silva said this helped achieve the pageant’s goal of inclusivity.

The pageant also showcased the heritage of each contestant in unexpected ways. During the talent portion, Leonardo Garrido, junior in electrical engineering, shared how practicing sly magic tricks influenced his upbringing in Cuba. Garrido was awarded the title of fan favorite at the end of the show.

The crowd cheered as Juan Hernandez, junior in mechanical engineering, took home the title of Mr. Multicultural at the end of the pageant. Hernandez also won $1,000 in scholarship money.

Hernadez said he hopes he can use his platform to raise awareness regarding mental illness. The issue is “close to home” for him, and he said he would like to reach out and help those who are struggling with anxiety and depression.

Editor’s Note: In a previous version of this article, Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Inc was referred to as Delta Chi. That error has been corrected.