Spring Ball recognizes members of UNT’s black community

Spring Ball recognizes members of UNT’s black community

April 12
22:51 2015

Iyana Edouard / Staff Writer

UNT’s black student community gathered together Friday night in gowns and tuxedos for a night of awards, live music, dancing, and an unplanned but powerful moment of spiritual praise.

The Black Student Union held their 2nd annual Spring Ball at the Gateway Center. Doors opened at 6:30 p.m. and ticket holders were welcomed by a red carpet, photographers, food and drinks, and a live band.

“This is my first year coming to Spring Ball and I’m really enjoying it,” music education junior Gabrielle Hopkins said. “It definitely depicts black excellence.”

The award ceremony was the main purpose of the event. Co-coordinators Trevon Smith, an applied technology and performance improvement senior, and Imani Waweru, a philosophy senior, had the idea for the event because they noticed the black student body did not have a night of recognition.

“Imani and his team put together something I haven’t seen [at UNT] before,” integrated studies senior Benny Misikir said. “It really showcases black excellence which is something I admire and really push for”.

Students voted for each award category through Orgsync. The categories were best male and female smile, male and female rookie of the year, best photographer, best videographer, best DJ, best program, best organization, male and female beautiful soul, male and female impact award, and male and female people’s choice.

There were three additional awards students could not vote for: leadership qualities, positive attitudes, and impact in the community.

Current SGA president Kam Willard received a presidential tribute,for his dedication to UNT and positive representation of the black student body. Director of the UNT Multicultural Center and advisor for over 10 student organizations, Cheylon Brown, received the honor of Advisor of the Year.

“I was so surprised about the award,” Brown said. “I get such great joy for working with our students and to receive an award from the general students literally blew my mind. The Spring Ball gave me an opportunity to reconnect with students that utilized the Multicultural Center. It was just an exciting evening overall.”

Journalism senior, NT40 member and Delta Sigma Theta president Kimbra Young shared her story of almost committing suicide early in her college career and led everyone in a spontaneous moment of prayer, song, and praise after she received the legacy award.

Between every two award categories were various performances of poetry, hip hop, and song, all done by black student artists. Smith and Waweru performed a spoken word slam poetry piece together, including points about the #blacklivesmatter movement and other current black social issues. Their performance, along with the others, received a standing ovation and even some tears.

“Happy is an understatement,” Waweru said. “I’m ecstatic. I’m blessed. I can’t find the words to give to show how I feel right now.”

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