The Decaturian is Millikin's student-run newspaper. The opinions reflected may not be those of Millikin as an institution.

The Decaturian

The Decaturian is Millikin's student-run newspaper. The opinions reflected may not be those of Millikin as an institution.

The Decaturian

The Decaturian is Millikin's student-run newspaper. The opinions reflected may not be those of Millikin as an institution.

The Decaturian

Yard Show and Unity Festival


This weekend Saturday May 4, 2024, Millikin will be having 2 big events hosted by a few outstanding student organizations, both of which are open to Millikin Students as well as the Public. 

This gives them a chance to learn, observe and appreciate ALL cultures. We are coming up on finals as well as it being the end of the school year, so what better way to end your semester with some nice festivities, which will include music, games, food, shows and much more! 

For starters, the Unity Festival will be from 10:00am to 4:00pm and will be located on the quad. If the weather isn’t up to par, then the Center for Dance and Theater Patio will be the alternate location. The International Student Organization, Long-Vanderburg Scholars), and the Latin American Student Organization. As well as the Asian Student Association and the African Student Organization are the hosts of this event. These organizations have been very active on campus and are surely ready to be even more active by making an impact such as this Festival for many to experience and enjoy. While speaking to LASO President Diana Hernandez previously, she mentioned that they in fact have things throughout the year like La fiesta and other events. However, this is even more special because of the other organizations and activities involved in it.  

These events are a way that these cultures are able to branch out to more students on campus and show they’re here too. This is a time for learning, getting hands on experiences, and asking questions, as well as talking to new people and understanding their forms of dance, what the main dishes are in their cultures, seeing and possibly buying different clothing and not failing to play any games. 

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The Unity Festival is FREE for ALL STUDENTS and will have a wide variety of Special activities. Some things everyone should expect to see are food venues, Booths, Live Performances, Bungee Run, and many more things you, your friends and family can enjoy together. So, you should expect to get some great food, hear some nice music, win some prizes, and dance the day away. 

For the Yard Show/Block Party celebration, it will be from 12:00pm to 6:00pm and located between Oakland and Main Street and Oakland and West Wood Street of Decatur, right by Sky City Grill. 

The Step Show specifically will begin at 2:00pm. One of the Divine Nine organizations hosting it is Millikin’s very own Theta Omicron’s Chapter Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Not only will they be performing but Millikin’s Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., also known as the Lady Reds and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. will be joining them as well. While talking to two members of the Omicron Chapter, they both mentioned how excited they were to be having this event. These two members were Morwin Coney, a Junior Theater Performance and Studies Major, and Nate Straughter, a Sophomore Business Management Major here at Millikin. 

Nathan (left), Morwin (right)

Morwin and Nate are looking forward to the overall experience. They mentioned that this is their first-year pledging Alphas and feel it will be a wonderful way for them to network, build more community with Millikin, connect with the public, and get closer together with their Alpha Phi Alpha Alumni Brothers. 

“The Yard Show is a cultural thing especially within the Divine 9 orgs,” Morwin said. These are usually done at HBCU’s and are similar to a Step Show but with all the trimmings. This is something that has never been done here at Millikin.

It is not the exact same thing as a Traditional Yard Show compared to the intensity and detailing usually happening. Nonetheless, it is planned to be the closest thing to it. Coney mentions that in general a lot is done to shine light on Black culture here at Millikin and at times, it is hard to bring awareness of the three D9 organizations here on campus. This event is one that will get these organization’s names out there. Giving the crowd a piece of Black culture as well as D9 culture. 

 Since the Yard Show is similar to Step Show, it will have a set theme and concept.

“We branch off, bringing steps, strolls, dances, skits, and gimmicks to put on a show,” Coney said.

Being that Millikin University has never had something like this, Nate hopes that the people will learn to understand and get more familiar with the 3 D9 orgs here on campus. Since there are only 3, this a chance for people, especially Millikin, to see the background history of who these orgs are, besides the other Greek Life orgs on campus. 

“It’s a way to introduce Millikin students themselves to a culture that hasn’t been here that long” Straughter said.

Morwin says that there will be some Yard Games at the Yard Show, as well as some food trucks and a DJ. Sky City Grill and Sloans will be staying open during that time just in case people want to get some food or drinks. 

Again, the part of the Yard Show/Step Show will start promptly at 2:00pm. 

“It is the best time for it because we’ve never had a Yard Show and we most definitely have never had a Yard Show and Block Party at the same time,” Morwin said. 

There’s a lot of firsts happening on this day. Many may be wondering why May 4th, and why is this the day chosen to have such an event.

On May 4th, 1973, The Theta Omicron Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc, was brought and established on Millikin Campus by 7 African American men looking to make a change. One could see why this is not just any Yard Show, but the 51st Charter Day of the Alpha Phi Alphas being on Millikin’s campus. It will also be Morwin and Nate’s 1st Charter Day celebration along with the 1st Yard Show hosted at Millikin University, which they hope will be an annual thing.

A Step Show is already its own Big thing and is usually done during homecoming week. It is also done leading up to cold weather days. Additionally, Yard Shows consist of a bit more than a Step Show which allows you to get the full on experience. 

The Yard Show from what these two members stated was already in effect before they joined their Theta Omicron Chapter. They just so happen to be able to be a part of it and help host it. 

“This event is more promotional for the organization in general because it is a celebration of the Alpha Chapter,” Nate said. 

The Alphas themselves are not charging anyone to be there unless you are buying from Sky City or Sloans. Nate encourages people to come out to the event even if they’re not a part of any Greek life or Divine 9 Orgs and even if they’re altogether unfamiliar with them. He feels that this is the best way for people, especially Millikin Students to learn and understand. 

“It’s perfectly fine if you don’t do anything about it, it’ll be like walking into a show you’ve never seen before,” Straughter said. 

They hope those coming will be able to gain some knowledge of who the three D9 organizations here are about from the show and if not just come to have a good time. 

These events are just the beginning of change made here at Millikin University and what it needs. They’re ways of introducing different people, of different cultures and backgrounds to other different people, cultures and backgrounds, like the foods they eat, the games they play, clothes, music, and all the things that make each culture so unique yet so wonderful in their own way. 

Since Millikin University is a big part of Decatur, what better way to showcase its support to the town by having these events. Both the Yard Show and the Unity Festival are not just to get Millikin University’s name out there but the City of Decatur as well. By way of reaching out to the community and making an impact on those who are not familiar with Millikin. 

There are a lot of great activities that these organizations have right here on campus during the week, but a lot of students miss out on them due to not knowing about it, or having classes during those times. The Unity Festival and the Yard Show will allow Millikin Students as well as the Public to enjoy a warm early summer treat.

In addition to learning experiences, meeting new people, making new friends, meeting the student organizations, talking to alumni, and overall having a good time. Hopefully you all will take the time out of your day to stop by Millikin University to see what all it has to offer. Not only on this day but in the future as well. Stay tuned and watch out for more upcoming Millikin University events. 

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About the Contributor
AC Carson
AC Carson, News Editor
News Editor '24

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