The University Program Council Spirit Committee hosted its annual Miss University of Louisiana at Lafayette pageant in Angelle Hall on March 15.
Photos by: Cameron Davis
Karli Sherman, assistant director of Student Activities, UPC adviser and pageant director, crowned Taja’ White as this year’s Miss UL.
The event is a preliminary to Miss Louisiana USA. All students at UL Lafayette can apply to compete in this contest online. The event was free and filled with a full house to cheer on the 12 contestants, who are equally judged on interview, swimsuit and evening gown by four judges.
The night kicked off as each contestant gave an introduction and, as a special touch, wore sparkly iridescent wings. Sherman welcomed everyone and mentioned this year’s theme “Power. Strength. Beauty.” Sherman referred to the stage as a fantasyland and the inspiration behind the night was RuPaul from “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”
Lauren “LoLo” Carlos, the Master of Ceremonies of the evening, joined Sherman at the podium. She had been competing in the pageant world for more than two decades and continues today. She mentioned the creativity and the personality shown by the girls.
As words of encouragement Carlos said confidence is key and she wears the gown, the gown does not wear her.
Coordinator Hannah Bertrand from UPC was one of the many visiting queens invited to the stage to say a few words about their hometown.
Later on, members of the Spirit Committee went on stage to be recognized for a successful night.
“Seeing the team come together and build everything together (was my highlight of the week),” said Kierstin Rachal from UPC.
UL Lafayette students from Infinity Dance Group entertained the audience with a hip-hop routine. IDG gives students a platform to express themselves freely through dance.
Since Catherine Miller, Miss UL 2018-2019 was unable to come, a video played of her speaking about her favorite moments of the past year. She told the girls to enjoy the experience and to not take anything for granted. She also touched on how much the university means to her.
Miller spoke highly of Sherman and wanted her to crown the next winner in her honor.
“The week was stressful, but worth it. They didn’t let me fall too hard; they lifted me up,” White said about her fellow contestants.
The judges gave out other awards at the end of the night. Josie Stevens, a junior majoring in chemical engineering, won Most Photogenic. White, a graduate student in speech pathology, won Miss Congeniality, and Endonezia Spears, a senior majoring in sociology, won People’s Choice Award.