Candidates compete for the crown

AMELIA DUAX, Staff Writer

UNI’s Homecoming festivities officially began with the Homecoming Royalty Competition, sponsored by the Campus Activities Board (CAB), which was held in the Maucker Union Ballroom at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 28.

The candidates for kings and queens on the royalty court were introduced at the event and even engaged in some friendly competition, as well as participated in a talent show. Each member of the court had the opportunity to show off a unique skill or hidden talent to the audience.

To start off the event, each royalty court candidate was introduced by announcers Mallorie Huebner, a sophomore education major at UNI, and Stephen Ward, a sophomore leisure, youth and human services major.

The queen candidates, each dressed in UNI apparel, were announced first, with a court consisting of Jennifer Zehner, Emily Huntington, Katelyn Melcher, Meghan Busswitz and Kay Switzer. As for the kings, the candidates were Jamal White, Blair Hines, Kyton Rehder, Chad Schafer and Eric Pimental.

The formal introductions were followed by a questionnaire related to this year’s Homecoming theme: Star Wars.

Afterwards, there was a “minute-to-win-it” style competition where each candidate had to try to knock over three water bottles by swinging a tennis ball from their heads. The two winners were queen candidate Katelyn Melcher and king candidate Blair Hines.

The candidates also participated in a talent show. Each contestant individually presented their talent, which ranged from singing, dancing and a violin performance to a poetry slam, creative story-telling and a comedy act.

One student in attendance at the Homecoming royalty competition was Sami Davis, a freshman at UNI. According to Davis, the event was an enjoyable and a fun experience.

“I thought that they had a lot of diversity in the competition, which I liked,” Davis said. “I thought it was very entertaining. I showed up there not really knowing what to expect, and I left satisfied. I’m excited for Homecoming!”

Jayda Baumhover, a junior majoring in communication at UNI, also attended last Thursday’s royalty competition.

“I am so proud of all of our contestants who have been running for king and queen,” Baumhover said.

Baumhover also stated that she was excited for the Homecoming festivities to start and was eagerly anticipating the results from the royalty competition.

Baumhover said she intends to be at tonight’s Kick-Off event, which will mark the official start to UNI’s Homecoming week.

This year’s Kick-Off event is scheduled for tonight at 5:30 p.m.

Throughout the rest of this week, Homecoming activities and events will take place on campus and will be open to all UNI students, culminating in Saturday’s Homecoming football game at the UNI-Dome.