The glitter and pageantry normally reserved for Miss USA, and Toddlers and Tiaras will spill onto the McCain Auditorium stage tonight for the second annual Miss K-State Competition, sponsored by Delta Upsilon and Union Program Council.
“It is a great event to see women from all over campus show off what is great about campus, their personality and what makes great leaders. It is a great show,” said Connor Hunt, junior in public relations and public relations coordinator for the event.
This year’s pageant will consist of four rounds and 20 competitors — up from 16 at the first event last year. The rounds will consist of the “Wildcat round,” where women can “show off their K-State pride” how they see fit, and the “Talent round,” where competitors can show off their talents from “singing to performing color guard,” is second, Hunt said.
After the second round, the pool of contestants will be cut down to 10.
The third round is different this year, however; it will require the women to express their future career choice, but with a twist. They can’t talk.
“The trick here is to be creative,” Hunt said. “They have to do something on stage or wear something that represents what they want to do.”
The final round will consist of K-State-related, open-ended questions.
“What’s really cool about this competition is no one is judged on looks,” Hunt said. “It’s all about talent, creativity, confidence and intelligence.”
The 20 competitors represent different organizations on campus, from sororities to clubs.
“One thing we’re really excited about is it’s not just for one part of campus,” Hunt said. “It’s for anyone who is part of an organization on campus. We have women from across campus, women’s rugby, to Boyd hall – women from all across the board.”
Participants must have a grade point average higher than the all-woman average (3.1) and the backing of the organization’s adviser.
Madeline Sipes will represent her sorority, Kappa Delta Theta, in the Miss K-State competition tonight. A Wichita native, she is a self-proclaimed “Spider-Man and Chipotle” lover.
It will be her first time participating in the Miss K-State pageant, or in any pageant for that matter.
“I was nominated,” Sipes, sophomore in families studies and human services, said. “I was like, ‘I should give it a shot. What have I got to lose?'”
To prepare, she talked to her designated “pageant coach” from Delta Upsilon, asked for wardrobe advice and honed her talent — a rifle routine. Sipes will be “spinning and tossing” a wooden rifle, a skill she learned in the days in her high school’s color guard.
“I am so nervous,” Sipes said. “First and foremost about my talent. Just making sure I don’t stumble over my words, or fall, stumble in general.”
The $5 cover charge for the event will go toward a Delta Upsilon philanthropy, the nonprofit organization Global Service Initiative. Through the organization, chapter members travel to Jamaica and help build schools in underprivileged areas, Hunt said.
Last year, the men of Delta Upsiolon raised almost $3,400 at the pageant. They also over-sold tickets for the K-State Student Union Ballroom (last year’s location), prompting this year’s venue change to McCain Auditorium.
Kaitlyn Dewell, senior in mass communications, was crowned 2013 Miss K-State last year. Kristen Eck, spring 2013 graduate, received first runner-up, followed by Lauren Dunkak, junior in political science, and Yessica Prato, second-year student in veterinary medicine, as third runner-up. Sarah Beth Kirchgessner, sophomore in architecture, was selected as the “crowd favorite” in the competition.
Brings students together
Overall, it is rewarding to bring together different groups of people for one event, Hunt said.
“The best part about this competition is it brings all areas of campus together for a great cause, as well as seeing all the wonderful talents the women have,” Hunt said.
Tickets are available at McCain tonight, starting at 6:30 p.m. The auditorium doors will open at 7:30 p.m. for the 8 p.m. show.