The role of Miss Auburn involves serving as a War Eagle Girl as well as representing the student body externally to faculty, administrators and the entire community.
Laura Davenport, junior in biomedical sciences and newly elected Miss Auburn, is ready to embrace this role and execute it to the best of her ability.
“I want to be someone that can be approached by the students, as one of the students, and can effectively communicate their needs to other places,” she said.
Davenport said her platform is interaction based, which she believes is applicable for Auburn students because they interact with so many different people every day on and off campus.
“I think it is something we can all be very aware of in our daily conversations to treat people with respect because they are worthy of your respect,” Davenport said. “Even if we have different opinions or don’t have the same system of beliefs, we still need to treat people at the other end of the conversation like their opinion is just as worthy as ours is.”
She hopes that with her platform, students will see that many stigmatized issues are just a part of being human.
“Everybody is in the same boat; it’s not something we always talk about, but I think that mental health is tied into that,” she said. “We call ourselves the Auburn Family, and you’re supposed to be honest and truthful with your family. They are supposed to take you as you are for what you are and for nothing more than just that.”
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Davenport believes that her platform was inspired by common experiences that every student faces in college. She wants to let students know that college is not always a smooth transition.
“I feel like there is so much pressure outside to act like it’s all OK constantly,” Davenport said. “But sometimes, there are good days, and there are bad days. But basically, it’s OK to not be OK.”
When she was a Camp War Eagle counselor, Davenport saw how terrified all of the freshman were of the journey they were about to embark on. She kept in touch with the new students during their freshman years and watched them grow.
Davenport was able to be a mentor to many of her campers and tell them how some of their experiences were similar to that of her own. She believes that it is essential for people who are in leadership positions to also be vulnerable with the people around them, which is why she made it a part of her campaign.
“Honesty and truthfulness, which is the part of the Auburn Creed that I chose, is so important in every relationship you have,” Davenport said. “It is the core of healthy relationships. It’s not these false pretenses like, ‘I’m great. I have everything figured out.’ Because none of us do.”
As a second-generation Auburn student, Davenport chose Auburn because it was a place that she and her family loved. Her dad always took her to Auburn games. It just felt right to come to Auburn. It’s the only place she applied.
In addition to being the newly elected Miss Auburn, Davenport is highly involved with other organizations on and off campus. She has served on the executive board and as the philanthropy chair for her sorority and was a Camp War Eagle counselor last summer.
She also is the Lambda Sigma Junior advisor, works with Campus Kitchens and is currently looking to volunteer with the Boys and Girls Club.
Davenport is currently doing 20–25 hours of research on treatments for type two diabetes through the Harrison School of Pharmacy in the Drug Discovery and Development Department.
After graduating, Davenport hopes to go to dental school. She said she just recently decided she wanted to be a dentist over Christmas break this year when she was shadowing a professional.
When she first came to Auburn, Davenport was on a pre-med track, but when she got the first C of her life, she decided to change her track to pre-physician’s assistant.
Davenport added that she switched for her mental health and well being.
“That’s kind of been the story of my college experience,” she said. “Just holding myself to perfection that doesn’t exist and getting frustrated when I don’t attain that and then, again, forgiving myself for being human. I believe that I am capable of dental school. It will definitely take a lot of studying and the Lord’s help.”
With a college career that has already included a wide variety of experiences, Davenport is excited to be Auburn University’s next Miss Auburn.
“It’s kind of surreal still,” she said. “It’s starting to feel more real now, but I am so humbled and honored to even be considered for this position. I hope to fulfill this position the best way that I can.”
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