REB7RTH: Upsilon Beta's Seventh Annual Stroll to the Polls

It’s no surprise that every year, the Upsilon Beta chapter of the undisputed Alpha Phi Alpha incorporated fraternity hosts Stroll to the Polls and fills the Ferg, but their seventh annual show rocked the Ferg. 

The Alphas are affectionately known on campus for their jaw dropping stroll routines, and as a way to engage with the campus, they have been hosting Stroll to the Polls on campus for the past seven years. This year, the show was focused mainly on rebirth and the renaissance to showcase the evolution of dance through time, especially in the black community. This event, however, is more than just a dance competition. 

Keynote speaker Nupol Kiazolu spoke to the audience about her experience as President of the Black Lives Matter movement in Greater New York, her experience as the CEO of the Vote2000 campaign, and Miss Liberia USA all at the age of 19. It’s fair to say that she is an incredible role model, and demonstrated fully the vision behind Stroll. The Alphas work really hard on campus to promote voter engagement and advocacy, and Nupol was able to eloquently convey the importance of voting, especially in today’s tumultuous society. Trying to emulate the depth and complexity of Nupol’s statements would be embarrassing, so here is where I link you to her social media and website so that you can hear it polished straight through her! 

Aside from the social/political background of the event comes a dance competition hosted by the alphas for organizations on campus to compete in. The lineup of competitors included six of the seven on campus Panhellenic organizations, and there were several exhibitions as well. 

The exhibition teams featured in Stroll to the Polls were dancers from the Beautiful Kids Organization, the Latino Student Association, Prxject Woah, Alpha Phi Alpha, our Korean Pop Club, and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority representing the NPHC. The Beautiful Kids Organization and Prxject Woah represented children from the Hampton Roads area and gave them a platform to demonstrate their talent and commitment to dance on stage. The Latino Student Association, Korean Pop Club, and Zeta Phi Beta all represented on campus organizations with a large amount of diversity between them and their styles of dance. Each organization was refreshing to watch, with their style differing so greatly from one organization to the other. 

Alpha Phi Alpha contributed as an exhibition team, setting the standard for stroll through the crowd. The brothers of the Upsilon Beta chapter demonstrated their hard work and dedication on stage through the extensive routine they memorized and performed, seemingly flawlessly. The brothers stuck strictly to the renaissance theme, with an easel on the side of the stage to demonstrate the arts of the renaissance period and songs and dances chosen accordingly. Among the highlights of their performance was their routine to Panini that had me laughing crying in the beginning, and in awe by the end of the performance! 

The competition teams included Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Sigma Alpha, Gamma Phi Beta, Delta Gamma, Alpha Phi, and Phi Mu. Each organization varied in theme and style; awarded the best costume was Alpha Phi, and the winner of social media preference was Gamma Phi Beta with the glamorous Mona Keisha. Speaking of our beloved Mona Keisha, her sisters danced right alongside her to take the first place trophy off of their renaissance themed dance. Following behind GPhi were the sisters of Alpha Phi dressed to the nines in their devil-themed outfits and extremely synchronized choreography. In third place came Delta Gamma, their theme also based off the renaissance and stroll infused style pushing them into the top three. 

Overall, the event was amazing, and the power behind every performance and every speaker was a driving force for the community. By explaining the meaning behind the event and inviting a keynote speaker as fantastic as Nupol Kiazolu to contribute, the Alphas truly made an impact on the Christopher Newport community for the seventh consecutive year. As Stroll to the Polls wraps up, it’s important to keep in mind the importance of voting (and registering for an absentee ballot, if needed) and supporting the fight for increased voter turnout this and every election season!