Brannon Cahela, Staff Writer
On Wednesday October 11, JSU’s annual Homecoming festivities kicked off with the Homecoming Showcase. A large crowd gathered in Leon Cole auditorium to attend the event and learn who this year’s candidates for JSU Homecoming King and Queen would be.
Homecoming Showcase allows candidates to display not only their appearance and personality, but also their philanthropic platform. This year’s showcase is the second year in which a philanthropic platform has been incorporated into the showcase, allowing students to raise awareness for a cause they are passionate about.
After a parade of contestants, the candidates introduced themselves and shared information about their philanthropic platform. After their introduction, students were given an interview question to answer.
A panel of five judges, all notable JSU alumni, scored contestants based on extracurricular involvement, academic achievement, interview response, philanthropy, appearance and personality. After all 30 of the contestants were given an introduction and interview response, there was a brief intermission for the judges to select the final candidates.
The nine candidates for 2017 JSU Homecoming King are: Patrick Yim, a broadcast and digital journalism major supporting The Trevor Project and sponsored by Zeta Phi Eta; Max Gallegos, a marketing major supporting St. Jude’s Research Hospital and sponsored by Kappa Sigma; Patrick Hubbard, a nursing major supporting The National Down Syndrome Society and sponsored by Gamecock Orientation; George Meehan, an applied engineering major supporting Pediatric Cancer Research; Skylar Fontaine, an occupational safety and health management major supporting The “V” Foundation and sponsored by Gamecock Orientation; Corey Deerman, a political science major supporting Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and sponsored by Pi Kappa Phi; Kyle Burt, a finance and accounting major supporting Volunteer Firefighters and sponsored by Kappa Alpha Order; Jack Gherdes, a political science major supporting Mission 22 and sponsored by Kappa Sigma; and Paris Coleman, a psychology and Spanish double major supporting Active Minds and sponsored by Alpha Kappa Psi.
Of the 21 candidates, the top ten candidates for 2017 JSU Homecoming Queen are: Brooklyn Wright, a nursing major supporting JSUnity and sponsored by Alpha Omicron Pi; Delena Harris, a broadcast journalism major supporting ALS Association and sponsored by Gamecock Orientation; Rebekah Beasley, a pre-health biology major supporting Be Con-Fi-Dental and sponsored by JSU Ambassadors; Taylor West, a pre-health major supporting literacy and sponsored by Alpha Omicron Pi; Carlee Waits, a nursing major supporting A League of Our Own and sponsored by Zeta Tau Alpha; Brooke Bennefield, a special education major supporting Disabled Children’s Partnership and sponsored by JSU Ambassadors; Jalia Wilkins, a criminal justice and forensics major supporting Music for Memory and sponsored by Gamecock Orientation; Leah Strain, a nursing major supporting Immunizations for Children and sponsored by Alpha Omicron Pi; Shea O’Donnell an elementary education major supporting Music and Arts in Early Education and sponsored by Alpha Xi Delta; and Bailee Bryant, a public relations major promoting United Cerebral Palsy and sponsored by Zeta Tau Alpha.
“The title of JSU Homecoming King or Queen is really what you make of it,” said SGA President Ranger Rumrill. “Some students use their title more inwardly to make a difference on campus, while others reach out, with fundraising for charitable organizations and philanthropy.”
Rumrill himself was JSU’s Homecoming King in 2015.
The top ten candidates will host a meet and greet on October 23 at 6 p.m. in the TMB Auditorium. Elections for Homecoming King and Queen will take place from 12:01 a.m. to 4 p.m. at jsu.edu/elections.
The 2017 Homecoming King and Queen winners will be announced on October 26 during the Homecoming Pep Rally at Burgess-Snow Field at 8 p.m. The Homecoming Parade will take place on Saturday, October 28 at 10:30 a.m. followed by the Homecoming game against Southeast Missouri State at 3 p.m. at Burgess Snow Field.