BAC highlighting Black Excellence with Mr. and Miss BAC and the upcoming Ebony Ball

January 26, 2023

Black Affairs Council (BAC) is recognizing Black students with its second annual Mr. and Miss BAC and the Ebony Ball. First-year and fourth-year students are allowed to apply for Mr. and Miss BAC. Contestants are also a part of BAC’s annual Ebony Ball. 

Mackenzie Gaines, the finance coordinator and the organizer of Mr. and Miss BAC, said BAC’s main goal is to encourage Black students on campus to get involved.

“We try our hardest to continuously reach out to the students. We make sure that we’re talking to admin, making sure that our Black student’s needs are getting met and we just try our best to talk to every student we see to make sure they feel welcome,” Gaines said.


Gaines said BAC not only works to make sure Black students are thriving academically and socially but makes sure their accomplishments are highlighted with events like Mr. and Miss BAC and the Ebony Ball.

The Ebony Ball and Mr. & Miss BAC, although fairly new events, have a great meaning to SIU’s Black student population, she said.

“Well, so originally the Ebony ball was created for SIU alumni and students to get together […] [because] a lot of people didn’t have prom, so it’s so that we could have prom and then a big end to Black History Month,” Gaines said. […] “We wanted a way to showcase our Black students like those who are trying their best in school and that are excelling that may not get the same light or attention as their peers. So that’s why we started Mr. and Miss BAC.”

Daniel Killins, a first-year graduate student who was on the Mr. BAC court last year, said his experience was good and felt he got a chance to meet new people and get his face out there.

“My running mates, [..] we’ve all known each other since we came here. So there was no beef. So that probably was a big part of it, […] what also was good, it was just nice to pass around candies. It was nice for people to know me,” Killins said.

If you are a Black student, whether you are a part of BAC or not, being involved in this event is a great way to show people who you are and promote Black excellence, he said.

Killins said last year no freshman signed up for BAC and the reason for that could be because they were possibly nervous.


“It’s, like, everyone’s going to know me. Like from this night to the day I graduated from Carbondale SIU, Carbondale people are going to know me and it’s hard to put yourself out there. But you should do it anyway because, just because you’re a freshman doesn’t mean you’re a loser. [..] You have something to offer. We all do,” Killins said.

If you are a fourth-year student or, especially a first-year, you should get involved in this event because it is a great way to get your face out there and be recognized for all the hard work you do, he said.

“I’m excited to really see what the BAC is going to be cooking up for us this year. I think each new ball should be an evolution of getting better and better,” Killins said.

Staff reporter Janiyah Gaston can be reached at [email protected] or on Instagram @janiyah_reports. To stay up to date with all your Southern Illinois News follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.


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