Luther College Chips

A Night of Queen Bey

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Wyatt Anians (‘19) and Harleigh Boldridge (‘18) lip sync to Beyonce’s “Daddy Lessons.”

Wyatt Anians (‘19) and Harleigh Boldridge (‘18) lip sync to Beyonce’s “Daddy Lessons.”

Emma Busch (‘20) | Chips

Emma Busch (‘20) | Chips

Wyatt Anians (‘19) and Harleigh Boldridge (‘18) lip sync to Beyonce’s “Daddy Lessons.”

Emma Busch, Staff Writer

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The Luther College Black Student Union (BSU) and People for Rights and Inclusion of Diversity and Expression (PRIDE) partnered to bring Beyoncé Appreciation Evening (B.A.E.) to Marty’s on Saturday Oct. 28.

50 Attendees gained admission to the event by purchasing a $3 button inspired by the Pride flag design. It features a black and brown stripe to highlight inclusivity in the LGBTQ+ community. All proceeds went toward hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico and Houston.

According to PRIDE secretary and host of the event Wyatt Anians (‘19), the concept for B.A.E. came about in light of current dialogue regarding the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality. Both groups believe that one way to address these discussions is through collaborative events like B.A.E.
“Discussions have come out in the past couple years about inclusivity and civil rights activists have made a lot of points about how Black Lives Matter is Gay Lives Matter and Transgender Lives Matter,” Anians said. “All of these things are a similar fight for equality, so we’re thinking of how the two organizations can bridge the gap and encourage inclusivity.”

Boldridge says that the event was also inspired by a memorable BSU meeting that revolved around Beyoncé’s music.

“A group of us in BSU were brainstorming ideas for fun programming and we remembered [a meeting] last year where we just jammed to Beyoncé,” Boldridge said. “It was an awesome meeting and we thought that more students would enjoy a similar gathering.”

While other artists like Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, and Shakira were considered as the central focus of the event, Beyoncé was chosen for her commitment to activism and popularity amongst members of the LGBTQ+ community.

“In parts of the gay community, Beyoncé is a queen and an icon to so many,” Anians said. “She’s also a prominent black woman in the world that has spoken out about equality for black folks and a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, so we honed in on her in the end.”

During the event, performers could sing, lip sync, or dance to any Beyoncé song they wanted, ranging from her time in Destiny’s Child to her most recent album, “Lemonade.” Member of both BSU and PRIDE Diamond Jenkins (‘20) and Anians hosted the event, playing Beyoncé trivia or leading impromptu dance parties between performances.

The Eklipse Hip Hop Dance Team kicked off the night with a performance to a medley of Beyoncé’s music, followed by Teboho Nteso’s (‘20) solo dance performance to J. Balvin and Willy William’s remix of “Mi Gente.” Beautiful Mess, Luther’s all-female a capella group, continued the night with their rendition of “Love on Top.” Throughout the evening, attendees were encouraged to perform in addition to those who signed up to participate. Attendee and performer Corinn Schmieg (‘18) said that the event’s casual atmosphere made her feel more comfortable with performing “If I Were a Boy” last minute.

“I wasn’t planning on performing when I came here tonight, but it seemed like a lot of fun so I just went for it,” Schmieg said. “I’m a member of PRIDE and know a lot of the people that put this night together, so it was easy to let go and have fun singing and dancing with my friends.”

BSU secretary and Beautiful Mess member Tamar Tedla (‘20) praised the event’s atmosphere and was pleased to see all the success after the work that both groups put into planning it.

“I’m really glad that everyone here seemed to have a lot of fun,” Tedla said. “I was involved with planning for the event, setting up decorations, and performing. It’s exciting that people responded well because we put a lot of time towards making this possible.”

BSU and PRIDE look forward to collaborating again, but do not have any specific plans to replicate B.A.E. in the future.

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