Meet Your 2015 Alabama Homecoming Queen Candidates

Meet Your 2015 Alabama Homecoming Queen Candidates

One of these ladies will be crowned Alabama's Homecoming Queen this Saturday.
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It is that time of year again, when you hear of pomping, dozens of activities throughout the week, and most of all, signs plastered throughout campus in support of the homecoming queen candidates.

This year, it’s about more than just what organization is sponsoring them—each candidate is required to have a philanthropy or charitable cause they are supporting, i.e. their “platform.”

Below is all of the information you need to know about this year’s outstanding candidates!

Kinsey Blake Haynes


Hometown: Demopolis, Alabama

Major: Journalism

Sponsored by: WVUA-FM (90.7 The Capstone)

Platform/Charitable Cause: Autism Society of Alabama

Reason for choosing this cause: "In June, I met a curly-haired, 8-year-old boy named Milo. Upon meeting him, I realized he reminded me a lot of myself at that age. I even had the same head of curly hair when I was young. It helped open my eyes that kids with autism spectrum disorder are no different than anyone else. That moment was a beautiful realization for me, and I carry it with me everyday. My motivation in running for Homecoming Queen is to be the friendly face of the university; a trustworthy person students feel comfortable around and can approach with ease. Another motivator in running is to show outsiders that not every girl at this school dresses the same. We are classy individuals that sometimes gets lost in the shadow of stereotypes. I would love to be the person to change that perception."



Katie Baggett

Hometown: Brewton, AL

Major: Chemical Engineering

Sponsored by: Theta Tau Professional Engineering Fraternity

Platform/Charitable Cause: The LiveLovely Foundation

Reason for choosing this cause: "The LiveLovely Foundation was started by Charlie Lovely, a 16 year old with leukemia from Alabama. Its purpose is to raise awareness and funds to combat adolescent and young adult cancer as well as help childhood cancer patients with medical bills. This group has not seen any improvement in survival rates in over thirty years, which is why the funding that The LivelyLovely Foundation has begun to put toward research is so important. I feel particularly close to this cause because I have lost many family members to cancer. I also would really love to support this organization because it is not well known and does so much great work. I am prepared to set up multiple fundraising events for this charity such as 5k runs, galas, and auctions. I want to help the student body realize that no one is safe from cancer, and no charity is too small to make a difference."



Halle Lindsay

Hometown: Erie, Pennsylvania

Major: Psychology, Biology - Pre-Medicine

Sponsored by: BLEND

Platform/Charitable cause - Cancer Awareness - UADM and UA for St. Jude

Reason for choosing this cause: "Homecoming Queen is the ambassador of unity and progress for the University of Alabama. I would be honored to be the woman to represent who we are today. Being involved across campus has allowed me to give back to our campus community, mediate diversity issues on campus and establish meaningful relationships. As president of XXXI, Greek Programming Board, and BLEND; A-Team; UA Student Recruitment, University Steward; and Alpha Gamma Delta Executive Council, I have grown to cherish my time at the university. My love for this campus has empowered me to not only change this institution, but also encourage others to do the same.

As Homecoming Queen, I will continue my campus efforts and encourage students to join the global fight against cancer. We all know someone who has been impacted by this disease and it is our responsibility to raise awareness. UA Dance Marathon and UA for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital are lighting up life. As your Homecoming Queen, I would promote these and other cancer-awareness organizations throughout the year and ask you to join us. Together we will raise money for research funds and spread the message that no one fights alone."



Chayni Farmer

Hometown: Mobile, Alabama

Major: Criminal Justice

Sponsored by: Phi Sigma Theta

Platform/Charitable cause: Arts'nAutisim

Reason for choosing this cause: "The reason I support this cause is because this is a great program that helps children with limited language abilities and social skills engage in enriching art activities that promote communication and socialization."



Jasmine Davis

Hometown: Atlanta, GA

Major: Business Management

Sponsored by: National Pan-Hellenic Council

Platform/Charitable cause: Domestic Violence

Reason for choosing this cause: "Domestic Violence is a serious issue not only for women, but men and children as well. According to the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center out of the 22,000 violent crimes reported in 2013 16 percent of them were domestic violence incidents. Many times women feel as though they do not have a support system or cannot console in anyone their problems as to why I partnered with the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ACADV). ACADV provides financial literacy, housing, financial assistance, job placement, etc. for women and their children who are suffering from domestic violence. I personally have a stake in this cause because last November my aunt was murdered by her partner leaving four children and her family grieving in her absence. I hope to bring more awareness to the issue of domestic violence by encouraging people to speak up for those who are unable or not yet ready to face their perpetrators. If I win Homecoming Queen I hope to organize a walk or dance marathon in order to raise funds to assist both the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Tuscaloosa’s Turning Point Women’s Shelter."


Katelyn Katsafanas

Hometown: Naperville, IL (Suburb of Chicago)

Major: Finance, specializing in Professional Sales

Sponsored by: Phi Mu

Platform/Charitable cause: Alabama Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Reason for choosing this cause: "The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is a national organization that hosts walks across the country in order to raise money for research towards suicide prevention, as well as educational programs for students and adults. They help get the conversation started about mental health awareness. Each state has its own chapter, and the Alabama Chapter has done some big things. The Tuscaloosa Community Out of the Darkness Walk was Sunday, October 4th, and we raised over $57,000 before the walk even started! Over 1,400 people participated, which I think is a testimony to how these events affect those who participate. Mental health awareness is something that means so much to me, and I'd be striving for more programs on campus relating to it even without this campaign. Last spring, three other students and I coordinated the UA Awareness Walk with the Counseling Center to share with students the resources available to them for their mental well-being. While we did not raise money with this walk, we raised awareness. I think educating people on various mental health issues as well as how to cope with them is extremely important. I hope to work with organizations on campus this year to implement more programs that will educate our students on the importance of their mental well-being. And, I hope to create an environment that will allow students to support each other through anything they may be going through. I am so excited to be working with such a wonderful organization, and I can’t thank them enough for their support!"



Khortlan Patterson

Hometown: Houston, Texas

Major: Religious Studies and African American Studies

Sponsored by: The Honors College Assembly

Platform/Charitable cause: I am representing 57 Miles, an Honors College volunteer organization that collaborates on various partnerships with community members in Perry County.

Reason for supporting this cause: I support 57 Miles because my experience teaching classes to middle school students at Francis Marion Middle School transformed my life. I believe 57 Miles embodies the Honors College creed: Knowledge changes you. You change the world. The organization provides a wonderful way for students to engage with Alabama communities in a mutually empowering manner.

Lauren Beers

Hometown: Warren Center, PA

Major: Masters in Sport Business Management

Platform/Charitable cause: ReadBAMARead; I want to promote childhood literacy by supporting ReadBAMARead and the donation of books to local schools.

Reason for supporting this cause: I support this cause because I feel that it is very important to encourage children to start reading early. The earlier they start to read, generally, the more successful they are in academics. Reading provides further learning opportunities and will help the children be successful throughout the rest of their life. Although this doesn't directly affect our campus, I feel that by educating our younger students in Alabama, we can help increase the numbers that pursue higher education.




There you have it, your 2015 Homecoming Queen Candidates. One of these lovely ladies will be crowned on Saturday during halftime of the Alabama vs. Arkansas football game.

Don't forget to cast your vote Tuesday, October 6, on myBama and Happy Homecoming!

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The Negative Effects Of Working As A CNA

You know you are a CNA if you are undermined, understaffed, and emotionally and physically drained.
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I write this not as a way to deter people from wanting to be a CNA or to demean the job, but in order to outline the negatives, since some only outline the positives. With a job comes responsibility, and it is like that in any area or field. We have the good and we also have the bad. I am in a field where not many people like their job and they don't care who knows it. Others enjoy it and make the best of it. It is like that with any career. There are always both sides.

I write this after coming home from a meeting that we have to attend every week for 13 weeks straight. These meetings are preparing us for a new unit in our building, and they offer education so that we have the knowledge to communicate and take care of our residents. I like these meetings because I enjoy learning more in my field, however, others see it as a burden and a waste of their time. There are people who will bring in workplace drama, those that will do the bare minimum, and those that just don't care and will call in when they know their shift is short.

As a Certified Nurse Assistant, you help your residents, and you try to give them the best care that you can provide. That is the number one rule. If anything, that is the golden rule in nursing. When you step in on that floor, you are expected to give your full effort in giving the residents the care they need. Meanwhile, others step in and couldn't give a damn.

What upset me the most after the meeting was that we had to talk about abuse. We had to discuss what abuse was and why we need to treat our patients with dignity, respect, and kindness. As a CNA that is my work. I was saddened that something like this occurred, and that someone would demean a resident in a way that no one should be treated.

I'm furious, upset, and confused. The people that work in this field are there because they care, and they want to help those that cannot help themselves. So, why would they do such a thing?

It made me think of all the other negatives that I encounter in my field. The lack of appreciation from other staff and the constant undermining is tough. Nurses telling you that you are not doing your job right, or management becoming picky when you cannot chart between your residents is difficult. There is always something that you are doing wrong in someone else's eyes, and there is never a thank you when you leave your shift and everyone is clean and taken care of. There is no one to pat your back other than yourself, and you have to be your own cheerleader for a place that only looks at you as the lowest of the totem pole.

There are never enough of you. I say that because there is always a demand for CNAs, and no matter how many you have in a facility, there will never be enough. You will be short one shift or another, and you will have to scramble to reach everyone to make sure they are taken care of properly.

You come home and you have to go right back to bed because you took extra shifts. You are exhausted, and yet you still come in and put all your energy into work because you think of the residents. You consider what it would be like to not have anyone to care for you. You put them before yourself.

No one tells you any negatives as you are getting trained and go through clinicals. They only tell you that you are going into a profession that will help those that cannot help themselves, and that you should be proud of your job. It is not incorrect, but it is not fully true.

You will get called names, cursed at, abused, and you will get over-worked. No one will tell you thank you, and no one will baby you through your shift. You are a CNA. You take care of those that cannot take care of themselves. You are there to help and give care. Yes, there are negatives and you will want to quit like I've wanted to do multiple times. I will admit it. You will get upset and frustrated. This is not an easy job, and it was not intended to be, but you will get through it if you keep your heart open and honest. Do your work diligently, and do what you can to make others' lives better. That is the only reward you need to overcome the negatives.

Cover Image Credit: TravelNursesSource.com

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5 Reasons I'd Rather Stay In On A Friday Night

It's okay to not want to party over the weekend.

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In college, so many people look forward to the weekend all week long. And by so many people, I mean probably almost everyone. The weekend is a time to catch up on some much-needed rest, relaxation, homework, and you time. The weekend in college also means going out for a lot of people. While yes, going out can be a really good time, I also think that it's important to note that you don't have to go out if you don't want to. There are a ton of good reasons why you should stay home for the weekend instead of partying all night long. I have compiled a list of five solid reasons why staying in is so much better than going out, especially in the middle of winter.

1. My room is so much warmer than it is outside 

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Let's face it, in the dead of winter, no one wants to go outside in a mini skirt and crop top. I'll take my pillow and blanket any day over freezing outside.

2. I can go to sleep at a reasonable hour 

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After a long week of class, the last thing I want to do is stay up until 2 am partying. I would so much rather be wrapped up reading a book at 10 pm.

3. I'm always available if a friend needs saving 

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Staying home, sober, I'm always available to rescue a friend in need if they drink a little too much. This is so important to me to be keeping my friends safe and getting them back home at the end of the night.

4. It's the perfect time to binge watch Netflix 

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Staying home on a Friday night gives me uninterrupted hours of binge-watching my favorite shows. There's no better feeling than finally catching up on a new season of Netflix.

5. Self-care is more important than getting drunk 

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Staying home, relaxing, doing a face mask or even reading a book allows for much needed relaxation. No one wants to stress about their hair and makeup on a Friday after you've finished 5 days of classes.

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