Beyond the runway

VANESSA STAUBLIN | Staff Reporter fashionshow

The Butler Collegian sat down with Butler University senior Arnetta Shade after the Black Student Union fashion show to talk about BSU and the fashion show itself.


What is your role in BSU, and what are some of your responsibilities/duties?

I am the co-president of Black Student Union, and I am responsible for keeping the organization running and promoting diversity awareness by creating programs and volunteer opportunities with my executive board.


What was the purpose of the BSU fashion show?

To raise awareness of Sickle Cell Disease and to spread the word of local boutiques in the area. This fashion show was to promote the fact that beauty comes in many shades.


How many years has the fashion show happened?

The fashion show has been an annual for many years at BSU. This is its first year back since spring of 2011.


What steps did you take to organize the event?

We sent out business letters for sponsors, designers and newspaper coverage. From those responses, we were able to ask for volunteer models from the campus and have private fittings with our designers. We worked with Clowes Hall on how to go about renting the space, and everything else just fell into place.


What were some goals you hoped to achieve from the fashion show?

We hope to achieve a nice donation for Sickle Cell Disease. But also that enough people city-wide would turn up to see the fashion styles available to them from small businesses in Indy. We wanted to encourage more community support, and I feel that was achieved.


How much money was raised? What does the money go toward?

We do not have a final count yet since our donation link is still open until March 1. We are also still selling our BSU 50 Shades of Black T-shirt in the Diversity Center for $10. A portion of our proceeds will go towards Sickle Cell Disease and funding more BSU events such as “50 Shades of Unity,” the Annual Unity Ball of BSU that promotes unity and community amongst Butler and Indy communities.


Give me a brief description of how the evening went and what happened during the night.

The evening went wonderfully with vendors arriving, as well as our models, to Clowes Hall. We had some hiccups, but they were easily taken care of due to our awesome executive board and models, who were able to step up and help us out. Each modeling set was beautiful and I am so proud of how much fun all our audience members had.


What other events does the BSU do throughout the year?

Our Unity Ball, “50 Shades of Unity,” is March 29 in the Reilly Room. This event is open to everyone on campus to dress up nicely and enjoy a nice dinner together.


How many members does BSU have? What do you do as a group? How can students join?

We have a membership of 20-plus but are indeed looking for more growth. We have general meetings Wednesday nights at 7 p.m. in the Diversity Center in Atherton 004. We volunteer and put on social, educational and political events to spread diversity and awareness on campus. We are a group on campus that is a support system for each other  to talk about issues we may have in classes and get advice from others who have already taken that course. Anyone can join and become a member. Dues are $5 a semester.


Is there anything else you would like to add?

Black Student Union would like to encourage anyone interested in what we do to stop by the Diversity Center and get to know us. Also, if any organization would like to work with us in the production of our Unity Ball, to please contact our VP of Campus Events Camille Cousins at