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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Brew City Stomp Down leaves its mark on the Riverside

Marquette University’s Greek life is small compared to other campuses around the nation. Even smaller is the amount of students involved in African-American sororities and fraternities. Though few in number, members of these organizations have been able to create traditions on campus that live on today.

Marquette's National Pan-Hellenic Council. Photo courtesy of Quentin Menal.

This Saturday, Feb. 4, Marquette’s National Pan-Hellenic Council will host one of its biggest events of the year — Brew City Stomp Down — at the Riverside Theater.

In previous years, the event was held on campus at the Varsity Theater, but with the growing popularity of the show, it was moved to a larger venue.

The show began in 1997 on Marquette’s campus and has become something the community looks forward to every year.

“Initially, it started as a way to showcase the Divine Nine,” said Quentin Menal, a senior in the College of Business and the Vice President of Marquette’s National Pan-Hellenic Council. Menal is also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.

The Divine Nine refers to the nine historically African American international Greek lettered fraternities and sororities. They include Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Zeta Phi Beta, Alpha Phi Alpha, Phi Beta Sigma, Sigma Gamma Rho and Iota Phi Theta.

At Brew City Stomp Down, members of these organizations from all over the Midwest come to compete in a step competition. Since it originated 15 years ago, Brew City Stomp Down has become the biggest step show in Wisconsin.

Stepping is a form of dance in which individuals and groups alike use their bodies to create rhythms and sounds. Examples of stepping can be seen in movies like “Stomp the Yard” and “School Daze.”

At historically black colleges and universities in the South, black Greek life plays a bigger role in campus culture. For the Midwest, Brew City Stomp Down gives members of black Greek organizations a chance to perform on a larger scale.

The event’s growing popularity has given Brew City Stomp Down the opportunity to highlight more than just the talent of its participants. It has become entertainment with purpose.

“When people think of black Greek life, they see stepping and partying,” Menal said. “One of the biggest things we hope to do is prompt the idea of unity.”

Right now, Marquette’s National Pan-Hellenic Council uses Brew City Stomp Down to also reward deserving students with book scholarships.

“We would like for the show to give back to the community,” said Ivy Awino, a senior in the College of Communication and a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. Awino will also be spinning at the event as DJ Poizon Ivy.

Awino and others involved with Marquette’s Pan-Hellenic chapter hope that in the future more companies can sponsor the event in order to provide even more scholarships to students.

“I think the traditions behind Greek life are strong,” Awino said. “Our goal is to better the community. This is a reflection of us.”

With the move to the Riverside Theater, the standards for this year’s show have been raised to participants’ highest expectations. They have always put dedication and hard work into their performances, but the Riverside adds an extra hint of professionalism to the atmosphere.

Audience members will be coming in from all parts of the Midwest to join in the event’s fellowship. Brew City Stomp Down is an event where people young, old, Greek-affiliated or not can come and enjoy a positive and vibrant environment.

Menal agreed that the choice to have the event at the Riverside Theater was to not only accommodate increased ticket sales, but also to open the event up to the entire city of Milwaukee.

With local branches of community groups like City Year, Enrolls and Big Brothers Big Sisters also involved in the event, it only makes sense to branch out beyond the Marquette bubble.

“At Marquette, we’re taught to reach out to the greater Milwaukee community,” Awino said.

Moving Brew City Stomp Down to a more central venue was the first step of many that will continue to improve and enhance the show.

“Brew City Stomp Down is recognized as a well put together show,” Awino said. “It’s an honor to be a part of. It’s an event I can say down the line I was a part of.”

2012 Brew City Stomp Down, hosted by TV/Radio Personality ‘Free,’ featuring a special appearance by V100.7’s Reggie Brown and with music by DJ Poizon Ivy, will be held Feb. 4 at the Riverside Theater from 6-10 p.m.. Doors open at 5 p.m.. Tickets can be purchased online and at the Riverside box office for $20. Tickets can also be purchased at the door on Feb. 4 for $25.

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