Akapollo just one of many events sponsored by sorority this week

By Gus Bode

Akapollo just one of many events sponsored by sorority this week

From Easter egg hunts, to poetry and gospel Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority has a lot to offer during their week of events

Most events encourage attendants to respond to performers with only mild applause and keep negative reactions to themselves. However, Paul Hardes, host of Akapollo show that took place Wednesday, made several reminders to students throughout the show to cheer loudly for the acts they enjoyed and not be afraid to loudly boo those they do not.


The largely interactive event, was just one of several events sponsored by Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority during a week of events celebrating the history of the sorority. Akapollo was inspired by the Apollo, a popular showcase of talent that has appeared on television for several years. The show relies on audience participation not only to decide the winner, but also in order to decide who gets to continue performing.

Enough extensive and loud ‘booing’ from the crowd prompted the appearance of the Sandman, an oddly dressed individual who ventured to the stage to escort and often sweep away contestants the audience was not enjoying. Originally, the large crowd seemed timid about showing disapproval for the acts, but quickly caught on, booing several of the contestants who displayed their talents.

The event, which took place for the second year, consisted of four rounds of four contestants. The audience, who used applause to show support for their favorite contestant, selected the best from each round. The show consisted entirely of performances from students who displayed their vocal, rap and poetic skills. From intense poetry performed by the winner, Alexis Maston, to fast-paced rap performances, the acts greatly varied their intensity, but were all seemed to equally entertain the capacity crowd.

“I’m not in school this semester so I’m kind of out of touch,” said Joanna Scott, a graduate student in English from Ypsilanti, Mich, who was encouraged by friends to attend.

“I came to the event because I think it’s great to learn about different minorities. It definitely brings an understanding and I’m glad to see other minorities here. It’s kind of disappointing that there are so few though.”

On Tuesday, the organization took the time to celebrate an important figure in their lives, as well as the lives of many SIUC students. With the help of guest speaker Pastor James A. Turner Jr., praise dancers, one choir and music group, the organization held the Alpha Kappa Alpha Gospel Celebration Tuesday evening in the Student Center Auditorium.

“It was a joint idea that the sorority had last semester and wanted to do last spring,” said Vernessa Streater, a senior in health care management from East St. Louis. “We wanted to do something that would be a social event as well as spiritual to incorporate the values our sorority was founded on.”


Sorority members were satisfied with the turnout, which drew a crowd of both students and community members ready to take time out to worship.

“I want to commend the AKAs for their insight and for providing such a tremendous opportunity for students,” said Turner, a pastor at the Ninth Street Tabernacle in Paducah, Ky. “It gives us a chance to reach out and embrace students who don’t normally attend church services.”

The organization sponsored several events throughout the week, including the talent show, gospel celebration, a group discussion and Easter egg hunt, displaying to students at SIUC that the sorority is certainly a group worth commending.

Reporter Jessica Yorama can be reached at [email protected]