Today: Apr 14, 2024

Southern ‘dudes’ compete in sorority fundraiser

Sisters of Delta Phi Epsilon pose with the winner of “Deepher Dude,” Stefan Keller.

Olivia Richman, General Assignment Reporter:
Twelve “dudes” energetically swing their heads back and forth to Willow Smith’s “Whip My Hair,” whipping imaginary locks of hair in front of a full crowd in one of Engleman’s lecture halls, room C112, at Southern. It was the opening number to Delta Phi Epsilon’s annual “Deepher Dude,” a mock male beauty pageant.
“At the beginning during the dancing scene I was a little bit nervous, but at some point you just say ‘that’s it’ to yourself and you let go of the nervousness and just do what you need to do,” said Stefan Keller, winner of this year’s pageant. “So, for each of the other scenes I really enjoyed coming on stage. Everyone in the audience is so loud and supportive that it makes you feel like no matter what you do, even if you mess up, everyone is still there for you.”
After the opening dance number, the two hosts of the night came on stage to introduce the dudes individually.
“We prepared for the event by doing many fundraisers throughout the year to raise money,” said Daniella Diaz, a member of the Delta Phi Epsilon sorority. “We held tryouts to pick the dudes, tried to get donations from around the community and all together we worked very hard to make this event a success.”
According to one of the judges, Michael Galbicsek, it showed.
“It absolutely was a success,” said Galbicsek. “A lot of money was raised and the participants had a lot of fun. What is better than that?”
The event raised over $2,664 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
“We had an amazing group of dudes who did so much to raise money,” said Diaz, a history major at SCSU who said she knew someone who died of cystic fibrosis. She said the event was very close to the heart for her, and was glad she was chosen as one of the hosts of Deepher Dude. “We were really able to spread awareness on cystic fibrosis.”
During the event, there were different portions of the pageant show that the dudes had to participate in. The judges rated the dudes mostly based on talent and creativity, according to Galbicsek.
The first portion was sportswear, where the dudes came out in everything from soccer wear and golf attire to basketball gear and an Eagle Scout uniform. Members of one fraternity began to chant “Eagle” as the contestant strutted around on stage.
“The entire show (was) great but I have to say that the spirit wear was my favorite segment of the show this year,” said Diaz. “The costumes that the dudes came up with were hysterical. And you could tell they put so much thought into everything. It was really great.”

Marylou Cirivello, president of Delta Phi Epsilon, announces the grand total of money raised.

Andrell Hoyte brought gold and purple swimwear and his “pet unicorn” and sat on stage on a beach towel for the spirit portion. There was definitely a unicorn theme, along with the gold and purple for the spirit wear portion of the pageant. One contestant, Evan Bieber, even came on stage dressed as Black Beauty, with a horrifying mask and tail ensemble.
For the talent portion, Ray Nardella read a poem about cystic fibrosis, Rick Dematties talked about love, even bringing an older, married woman onstage with him on a mock-date, where he asked to marry her. Bieber transformed into Justin Bieber for the night, singing “Baby” in Justin Bieber attire. Matt Earl became a mime with a narrator as he went about daily SCSU activities, such as waiting in line at Dunkin’ Donuts.
“I really liked all of the sections, but if I had to pick a favorite I guess it would be the talent portion,” said Keller. “The talent portion allowed everyone to show off a little piece of themselves, even if it was just for laughs. Everyone’s personality
and style came through a little bit.”
For the question and answer section, each dude was asked a question. Matt Earl was asked what was the most important life lesson he was ever taught.
“Try your hardest,” said Earl, “and do your best.”
Keller was asked what he would want to change about the world.
“For everyone to get along better,” Keller said. “It shouldn’t take a disaster to bring us together.
We can all help each other out.”
By the end of the night, several dudes walked away with trophies. Collecting more than $250 before the show, Jason Rizk won “Top Fundraiser.” Bieber was awarded “Audience’s Choice” for raising $91 during the pageant.
Galbicsek said the judges added up all the total scores and Keller came up with the highest amount of points, winning Deepher Dude.
“Congrats to Stefan!” said Galbicsek. Keller said there were two prizes for winning.
“One of the prizes was the ability to wear the crown and the robe and to have the title of ‘Deepher Dude,’” said Keller. “However, I think that the greatest prize is knowing that me and everyone else in the competition tried really hard to put on a great show and raise a lot of money for cystic fibrosis. I was the most happy to see how much money we raised.”
Diaz said that she felt he was the right choice.
“Stefan really embodies the type of dude Delta Phi Epsilon was looking for to represent us and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation,” she said. “He is very involved on campus and he always tries his hardest to help the world out every chance he gets. He said it all in the question and answer segment and with his final speech he delivered as a winner. I’m so proud of him.”

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