COVID-19 and Pageant Queens

Today marks a year since Miss Southeastern 2020, Janine Hatcher, was crowned as the current University Titleholder. The year hasn’t looked like previous reigning years, but Hatcher has done her best with holding her own in the unknowns of COVID-19. One unknown, was the ability to have the Miss Southeastern 2021 pageant, hosted by the Columbia theatre in downtown Hammond. After some consideration, the pageant was postponed until January 22, 2021.

Along with preliminary competitions being postponed in the Miss America Organization, both Miss America and Miss Louisiana competitions are being held later in 2021. Both Miss Southeastern 2020 and Miss Southeastern 2021 will compete for the first time in Southeastern History together on the Miss Louisiana stage in Munroe in June of 2021.

The Office of Student Engagement and Hatcher hosted virtual interest meetings for potential contestants and held their first mandatory meeting last Wednesday. One first time contestant, a Junior Accounting major from Mandeville, Hannah Tribou said this about the upcoming pageant:” I just decided to do it, because why not? Just check it off the bucket list, plus it’s fun. What’s not fun about wearing a pretty dress and being able to talk about something you’re passionate about?”

In a previous interview with the Lion’s Roar, Hatcher said,” To the ladies that are competing, I would say: be yourself, be true to who you are, enjoy being in each actual moment during different phases of competition and even the weeks of preparation beforehand.”

” I’ve been preparing for a few weeks now. I’ve got my Social Impact Initiative all figured out and I’m really excited about it. My talent is a little different than most girls’ but I’m honestly ready to show it off. I’ve never done it before, but it’s for fun, so I am expecting it to be super fun.” Said Tribou.

There are 17 contestants this year, including five returners from the last year’s pageant. One of them being Omaira Romero who won talent last year. Romero said, ” I decided to compete again because I enjoyed it so much the last time, it was an amazing time making new friends and also have the chance to hopefully represent Southeastern for the amazing school it is!”

Miss Southeastern also hands out scholarships to winners of evening gown, Runners up, talent and many other awards. ” I also competed again for the scholarship opportunities as well!” Romero said,” So my talent this year represents who I am as a person. It showcases my love for dance and showcases my love for dance as well. So my talent is going to be doing Tik Tok dances again! I had so much fun doing it and the crowd loved it.”

The 60th Miss Southeastern pageant will be held on January 22, 2021 at seven pm at the Columbia Theatre in Downtown Hammond.

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