Tuesday marked the official kickoff of the Miss Homecoming campaign period in which the candidates will begin promoting their platforms on campus.
Voting opens Friday, Sep. 23 at 7 a.m. and closes at 7 p.m. Miss Homecoming will be announced during halftime of the Missouri at Auburn game on Saturday, Sep. 24.
The Top 5 Miss Homecoming Candidates are:
- Kai Jones, senior in psychology
- Grace McNairy, senior in political science
- Emmy Beason, senior in public relations
- SueEllen Broussard, senior in hospitality management
- Jenna Codner, senior in public relations
Kai Jones’s campaign is centered around the slogan “Soar High With Kai,” in which soar stands for support, outreach, action and retention. The campaign is geared towards support and mentorship for underrepresented communities on campus.
Jones is advocating for students to have more opportunities like the Tiger Retreat she experienced her freshman year. Tiger Retreat is a two-day retreat that introduces incoming multicultural, diverse and first-generation college students to the Auburn community.
“Having those role models be the counselors for you, and just help get you plugged in and get connected with the community of Auburn is something that is super, super important,” Jones said. “I'm glad that I had that, but I know not everybody does.”
A major focus of the campaign is to continue to work and support incoming freshmen long after homecoming has come and gone. Jones will be hosting an impact day for high school juniors and seniors on Oct. 22. The event will be all about educating them on what the physical, mental and emotional aspects of freshman year can look like, and how to better handle them.
“I love helping, mentoring and just being that support and being that person for people,” Jones said.
Grace McNairy’s is a proud part of the Army ROTC on campus, which is celebrating 150 years at Auburn this year. McNairy's campaign is centered around the slogan “Make it with McNairy,” and places a heavy emphasis on supporting student veterans and students who have military connections and making them feel welcome and at home at Auburn.
“I really think that the Auburn family needs to know that we have these people,” McNairy said. “We need to thank them, and really just make it more comfortable for them because they have done so much for us.”
Emmy Beason’s campaign is focused on student connectivity and looks to help foster freshman connections early, and help people get connected to campus when they arrive.
“I've seen so much through my involvement with Camp War Eagle and through meeting so many first-year students,” Beason said. “ I hear so many of them who have said ‘I feel really alone, and I'm in a room full of people.’”
The platform is all about the Auburn family and how we can better welcome its newest members by placing more emphasis on programs like the First 56.
“I just saw the need that they had for upperclassmen to share their stories and kind of just help them get plugged into the community,” Beason said. “So I just, I saw that lack, and that's really where my heart is behind doing this platform.”
SueEllen Broussard wants the Auburn community to "Step up with Sue" and focuses on the amplification of underrepresented student groups' voices while also encouraging all students to further their growth and diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.
“I do not know every student's experience here on campus, but I want to learn,” Broussard said. “I want to have these tough conversations.”
Her campaign focuses on the utilization of services like DEI on campus and having organizations reflect on their DEI efforts and make every person feel included within that organization.
“I think it should be everyone's personal prerogative to speak up and to become an ally for every student because every student of the Auburn Family is appreciated,” Broussard said.
Jenna Codner’s campaign slogan is “Jump in with Jenna,” and her platform is about jumping into the Auburn family and jumping into wellness. The campaign is heavily focused on combating mental struggles such as anxiety and depression, something that Codner herself struggles with as well.
“Vulnerability is not weakness, it makes us stronger by allowing ourselves to be fully seen,” Codner said. “This process, for me, has definitely made me even stronger and more courageous to really be able to share my story about mental health, and be able to reach so many people and be an advocate for students to let them know that they're not alone.”
Codner’s wishes to emphasize connection within the community above all else, and encourages others to share their stories as she has.
“It's been really scary, to be honest,” Codner said. “My platform, although it's talking about mental health and about my diagnosis of anxiety and depression last year, it's no easier to talk about every day. So it's really pushed me in such a way to be able to know what those feelings feel like every day, and to grow and be able to really be an advocate for students.”
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Ethan Stamper, journalism major, is the campus reporter for The Auburn Plainsman.