January 12, 2007

Purdue Greeks to screen, discuss ‘Stomp the Yard’

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A small group of Greek leaders at Purdue University will join with staff from the Office of the Dean of Students on Friday (Jan. 12) to view and then discuss a new movie, "Stomp the Yard," that centers on members of an African-American fraternity.

Pablo Malavenda, the associate dean of students, said he hopes the new movie will help elicit discussion with students about the positive role fraternities can play in students' lives.

He said "Stomp the Yard" is set at a historically black university in the south where stepping, a dance with African roots popular with fraternities and sororities, is serious business. It follows the experience of a troubled youth from Los Angeles who finds solace and brotherhood after he joins a fraternity and the group then competes for a national step show championship.

Malavenda, who works with student activities and organizations at Purdue, said the film and its portrayal of Greek organizations have generated a lot of interest both from students and advisers.

"In this movie, the rich tradition of African-American college fraternities is emphasized as the main character is transformed for the better after he joins a Greek organization," he said. "Historically, many movies have portrayed the Greek system in a negative light, but that is just a stereotype that has been reinforced by unrealistic storylines and characters."

Malavenda said he hopes the students will be able to take both the positive and negative aspects of the movie and balance that with their own experiences as members of Greek organizations.

"I hope they will come away with an appreciation for the power they have to help one another and their community," he said. "Being a member of a fraternity or sorority is much more than wearing letters or going to parties. Students involved in Greek organizations at Purdue make a commitment to the ideals of scholarship, leadership, service and philanthropy. They also make friendships that will last a lifetime."

Writer: Christy Jones, (765) 494-1089, christyjones@purdue.edu

Source: Pablo Malavenda, (765) 494-1232, pablo@purdue.edu

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu

Note to Journalists: The Greek students and Purdue staff members will meet at 12:30 p.m. at Wabash Landing to screen the movie and will then gather afterward to discuss the film at Puccini's, 300 Brown St. Journalists are welcome to attend. For information, contact Pablo Malavenda, (765) 494-1232, pablo@purdue.edu.


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