CSUSM hosts male pageant for domestic violence awareness

Alpha Chi Omega raises money for their philanthropy


Regina Norval

Alan Brown is crowned at the 12th annual Mr. Alpha Chi pageant.

Andrea Martinez, Assistant Copy Editor


Steve Urkel often asks, “Did I do that?” And this time, he did. Alan Brown, who imitated Urkel in the Mr. Alpha Chi pageant was crowned the 2015 winner.

Alpha Chi Omega held the 12th annual Mr. Alpha Chi pageant on Oct. 15 at the USU Ballroom to raise awareness of domestic violence. The pageant is the sorority’s biggest fundraising event of the year and, with the help of ticket purchases and donations, they raised $15,000 and counting for the cause.

The sorority also celebrated 130 years of sisterhood with a history of serving others. All of the proceeds went towards Center for Community Solutions, a nonprofit organization in San Diego that helps over 10,000 men, women and children every year to recover from and prevent domestic violence.

Before announcing the winner, the sorority presented an oversized check to a representative from the organization.

“It means so much more when you [meet] the person that you’re giving it to and when they’re telling you what they’re using it for and when you see how grateful they are. It really just shows you why you’re doing stuff [like this],” said Casey Middleton, the sorority’s Vice President of Philanthropy. “Domestic violence is a hard thing to talk about…The purpose was to have a fun gathering to talk about a serious problem.”

Eight different organizations were represented by the contestants. They included Va’a Wong of Alpha Psi Rho, Alex Caratti of ASI, Grady Mitchell of the German Club, Luke Hoerer of the men’s lacrosse team, Ulises Reyes of Nu Alpha Kappa, Luigi Bunyi of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Alan Brown of Sigma Chi and Stephen Rawding of the Surf Team.
The men each took part in the contest by imitating different pop culture characters and personalities, including Caratti as Justin Bieber, Hoerer as Luke Skywalker, Bunyi as Leonardo Dicaprio and Rawding as Trey Songz.

The judges narrowed it down to three contestants: Wong (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), Reyes (James Bond) and Brown (Steve Urkel). After a deliberation by the judges, the 2014 Mr. Alpha Chi winner, Josh Foronda, crowned Brown as the new champion.

Brown incorporated a light show into his animated, dynamic dance performance that seemed to be executed by Steve Urkel’s suave alter ego, Stefan Urquelle.

The event reiterated the fact that while women are more often victims of domestic violence than men, anyone can be affected, and having male contestants brought attention to a different perspective on the issue.

“I think it’s great that they had men as contestants…because it’s great to have more reinforcement for the cause,” Sarah Jacot, audience member and CSUSM senior, said.

Middleton said that domestic violence is a delicate topic but people need to be aware of the resources and support available.

“It is a sensitive subject, so you have to bring it up in a kind of light-hearted way…but people are affected by it – men and women – and we can help them, there is help,” she said.

Alpha Chi Omega holds several fundraising events each year. Another fundraising event to support domestic violence awareness is the Lyre Bowl, which the sorority hosts every spring. As they did in this year’s pageant with male contestants, this event also challenges gender-normative roles.

“[The Lyre Bowl] is a large flag football tournament involving different organizations on campus. Girls normally play in the tournament and guys coach and cheer,” said Middleton.

Find out more about the sorority’s philanthropy at www.facebook.com/csusmaxo.