By Rinamay Lopez
The backdrop of the Grande Ballroom with a glamorous red carpet and a shiny chandelier set the stage for this year’s Miss UVU Scholarship Pageant on Oct. 19. Eleven girls came out from behind a curtain wearing white dresses, dancing with energy and elegance, and introduced themselves.
Each girl prepared for months for this night, buying her own props for the pageant. The winner of Miss UVU 2013 was announced as Chelsi Richards, who was in tears when her name was called.
Prior to the announcement, Alisha Lee, former Miss UVU and one of the night’s hosts, asked Richards, “How can you make your platform—illegal substance abuse—relative to our campus and how do you plan to get students engaged?”
Richards responded, “It’s estimated that over 100 people die every single day from a drug overdose, many of them being from college-age. So I would like to raise awareness of just how harmful these substances can be to a human body and I would like to get them more engaged in all of the student living that we have here on campus and all the activities that our lovely student body puts on for us, so that we can be more of a combined university and less likely to get into those things.”
Richards, who is on the UVU Dance Team, performed a dance number as her talent. Richards is the third woman from the Dance Team to win Miss UVU in recent years.
“I feel like I didn’t really get to know Chelsi,” said MayKela Cox, who was named Spirit of the Pageant, also known as Miss Congeniality. “I hardly saw her at the workshops.”
Spirit of the Pageant is voted on by all the contestants and is typically someone who stands out.
“Obviously any girl that doesn’t win, it’s going to be like ‘I spend all this time energy and money on nothing’ but I think overall, if you go into the pageant with that mentality, you end up losing in the long run,” Cox said. “So if you go in expecting nothing except to learn about yourself, then you’ll always walk away from the pageant with something.”
All the contestants, including former Miss UVU Alisha Lee, performed a 90-second talent. After the talent portion of the show, each girl had to answer a question in front of the audience.
The night’s hosts were students Tyler Brklacich, Mr. UVU, and Lee.
The night wasn’t perfect, though, according to Brklacich.
“At times, it was a little nerve-racking. The teleprompter broke, and that’s why we were winging it a lot of the time, but it was good,” Brklacich said.
Despite the little details of the night, the oldest tradition of UVU carried on and the Wolverines now have a new queen.