2017 Hatitude Tea Party

March 27, 2017
Prairie View A&M University

Yesterday, the Women’s Council and Leadership Service Committee hosted the Hatitude Tea Party. Attended by 300 people, guests engaged in conversation, an etiquette lesson and entertainment. Elma Gonzales, director of multicultural affairs, spearheads the event said, “It was a total success and we had a wonderful time!”

During the tea party, there were eight students and two “seasoned” alumnae to a table. “We usually have a list of questions that carry dialogue amongst the women,” said Gonzales. This allowed students to see the past, present and talk about the future. “We had those conversations and at the end we report on our commonality points, similarities and differences.” Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, Incorporated and Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity performed the Salsa, Bachata and Merengue at this year’s Hatitude Tea Party. “In the years before we’ve had Dance Ensemble and the Black Foxes to do dances for us,” said Gonzales. The Honorable Judge Clarissa Yates hosted an etiquette class during the tea party and served as the speaker.

In the spring of 2008, the Women’s Council and Leadership Service Committee decided to host an event to attract the female student population. They looked at the campus climate and culture, and decided they wanted to see a change. The Council felt the women of Prairie View A&M University would be the ones to start the transformation.  With this information and goal in mind, they started the annual Hatitude Tea Party.

Students were required to register online for the tea party. Post registration, they were automatically registered to make a hat. Event participants are provided with various items like ribbon and flowers to decorate and personalize their hat. These materials are provided and funded by the Office of Institutional Relations and University Advancement.

The target audience is females, males are also encouraged to attend the event. Those who attend typically serve as escorts. To make the young men feel included, around 2013, the council introduced “Bowties and Brims”. Suitmart donated 25 bowties for this year’s tea.  Similar to the women, male attendees have the opportunity to pick out a straw hat and bowtie to wear to the Tea Party.

Since PVAMU has started Hatitude, Gonzales said she has noticed other schools in the area, like Rice University and Texas Southern, begin hosting Tea Parties. In 2016, Tea Party participants were given a gift of a pearl necklaces upon their departure. The participants’ at this year’s Tea Party received two gifts upon departure from Versace. Gloves were provided to the first 100 attendants.