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
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."
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."
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."
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."
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."
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!"
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.
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!