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Mr. Black MSU pageant seeks role models, not beauty

November 28, 2000

The application deadline to become a contestant in the 2001 Mr. Black MSU pageant is approaching.

This is the second year that the Black Student Alliance will hold the event. Although the pageant won’t take place until March 17, applications must be turned in by 5 p.m. Thursday to BSA’s office in the Multicultural Center, located in the Union basement.

BSA President Tonya Upthegrove said the early deadline allows the selection of Mr. Black MSU to be a process rather than a one-time event.

“We want to give the candidates time to interact with one another through program planning and attending events, so this isn’t just a one-time experience,” the communication senior said. “We want the candidates to interact in numerous occasions in numerous settings, so that it becomes a process throughout January and February leading up to March 17.”

The Mr. Black MSU program focuses on black male undergraduates who stand out academically or through their student leadership on and off campus.

Some of the duties that come with the title include attending BSA meetings and major BSA functions, as well as actively supporting other black organizations on campus.

Marketing senior DeAndre Carter was named the first Mr. Black MSU earlier this year.

Upthegrove said the program was created to give recognition to the “unsung heroes” of the university’s black community.

Upthegrove emphasized the importance of distinguishing the pageant as a “leadership recognition title” rather than a beauty contest.

“We want more of the people that are trying to make a difference running for the title than the people who are just running for the bragging rights,” she said.

Men hoping to run for the title will have some high standards to meet, such as leadership experience, commitment to the black community and role modeling skills.

But Upthegrove said any student who thinks he’s qualified should apply for the title.

“This gives people the opportunity to showcase their talents, as well as their contributions to the black community and society,” she said.

For more information, contact John Johnson or Ebony Gladney at 432-7153.

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