By: RYAN LOHMAN
The Student Government Association senate voted Friday, Feb. 13 to pay for the Apollo Night talent showcase. The decision comes after a hearing on the funding request submitted by the Black Student Union’s president and secretary.
BSU president Jasmine Allen requested $415.10 to pay for prizes to be awarded to the winners of the competitive talent show, scheduled from 7 to 9:30 p.m., Feb. 22 in the University Grill.
Apollo Night, planned to coincide with the end of Black History Month, is intended to highlight the history of black performers, Allen said.
“In 1934, when [The Apollo Theater] reopened, it was the only place to allow blacks in the audience and to hire black entertainers,” she said. “We want to share that aspect of our culture with other students at IUSB.”
Broadcast from the late ‘80s until the early 2000s, “Showtime at the Apollo” was a popular, syndicated television show filmed in the Apollo Theater, featuring a talent contest during which the contestants were judged by the audience.
The same rules apply to IU South Bend’s Apollo Night. Contestants will have to please the crowd enough to win their approval or be swept off the stage by the master of ceremonies. The winner is decided by how loudly the audience applauds.
Prizes will be awarded to first, second and third place contestants. The prizes have yet to be announced.
Senator Rachel Santos made a motion to allocate up to $415.10 for the show.
“I love the history of it,” she said. “I think it’s a great event.”
All senators present voted in favor.
The event has become an annual tradition since it first took place in 2013 in conjunction with Saint Mary’s College. BSU now partners only with Titan Productions in putting on the event.
Auditions will be held from 4 to 6 p.m., Feb. 18 in the Fireside rooms of the University Grill.
Allen said in past years, performers have included singers, poets and even tap dancers, but performers of any kind are encouraged to audition.
“It’s just a great, very clean, family event,” she said. “It’s open to the public and completely free.”
In other business, the senate voted to divert up to $1,331.24 to the Criminal Justice Club. The money will help offset the club’s cost of attending the American Criminal Justice Association national conference in Nashville.
Senator Corey Sheets made a motion to fund the trip.
“I think this is a great opportunity,” he said. “Getting to hear people from a national level is important.”