Each fall, the sisters of Delta Phi Epsilon at NJIT organize an event called “Deepher Dude”, an all-male beauty pageant held to raise money and awareness for the life-threatening disease Cystic Fibrosis. Cystic Fibrosis, most common in children and young adults, is caused by a defective gene; affecting the lungs and digestive track, among other parts of the body. The disease is impossible to prevent and there is no known cure. With that in mind, Jessica Romero, the vice president of programming for the Beta Eta chapter, decided a superhero-themed event would be appropriate because those donating and participating are essentially heroes.
The pageant consisted of three different categories: formal wear, talent and costume. Once the event was ready to start, one of the sisters, Jinisha Patel, called up the contestants one by one in their formal wear and told the audience some background information about them. The contestants were Darian Capellan (Alpha Phi Omega), Joseph Randazza (Tau Delta Phi), Andrew Izquierdo (Phi Sigma Kappa) Joseph Greiner (Sigma Pi), Connor King (Tau Delta Phi), Andrew Guadelupe (Alpha Sigma Phi) and Ryan Taylor (SAC).
Next was the most anticipated category, talents. All the talents were diverse. There was piano playing, singing, rapping and even a martial arts board breaking talent. Right after was a quick Delta Phi Epsilon Trivia round where the contestants were asked specific questions about the chapter. When commenting on how he prepared for this segment, Andrew stated, “I know all 29 girls now. Roster number, nickname, major, I know it. I spent hours studying all this information. It was like another midterm.”
Closing up the show was the costume category. In this round, contestants chose a costume to represent a superhero. Darian went as Quailman from the hit children’s show, Doug. Andrew Izquierdo went as the notorious Nacho Libre and Connor went as Wolverine. Joe Randazza went as far as going shirtless and painting himself as Superman. The other contestants took a different interpretation of the category and showed up dressed up as a doctor (Ryan), firefighter (Joseph G.) and father figure (Andrew G.). Each contestant received an individualized question relating to the sorority. They ranged from “Why should you be Deepher Dude?” to “Where would you take a Deepher on a date?” All had unique answers.
At the end of the night, Darian Capellan was crowned Deepher Dude. There was also a bake sale at the event that was used to help raise more money. Many students came to support, along with some alumni and even a few sisters from Kean. Together, Delta Phi Epsilon raised hundreds of dollars that they’re all donating to Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Though the night took months of planning, the sisters agreed that it was worth it, especially because it brought attention to a little known but nevertheless common and terrible disease.