Students vying for the crown of Miss Alcorn State University take their campaigns online
The closing weeks of Alcorn State University’s spring semester is a pivotal time for aspiring student body leaders. Students vying for the support of their peers are usually out posting campaign signs on the campus green, handing out promotional flyers, and planning events to gain favor and votes to claim a Student Government Association (SGA) title.
Things are different this year due to the new normal that is social distancing, so students are using their technological resources to voice their candidacy via virtual campaigns.
Five candidates, Destyni Bowie, Taea Jackson, Alexandria Johnson, Trinity Jones, and Ayanna Lombard, are all pursuing the coveted 94th Miss Alcorn State University title, the highest student body position on campus.
Even during this pandemic and the restrictions it has placed on society, the students never lost their motivation to participate. Bowie, a mass communication major from McComb, Mississippi, credits her loved ones for keeping her focused during this time.
“My support system drives me during this time,” said Bowie. “I was looking forward to campaign week on campus with my fellow Braves, but things will not always go as we plan. Being allowed to campaign virtually has allowed me to utilize my creativity to engage with my peers. I truly believe my efforts and ideas would help improve my university.”
Jackson, a chemistry major from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, echoes Bowie’s sentiments on continuing her campaign journey. She decided long before COVID-19 reached its peak that nothing would stop her from reaching her goal.
“Alcorn, along with other HBCUs, have significant historical importance,” said Jackson. “To be the face of my university would be a huge honor, so I always knew that I would pursue this position, no matter what. I believe that once you start something, you should finish it. I’m not going to let this pandemic stop me from chasing my goals.”
Lobbying for votes online positions the students to think outside of the box and find innovative ways to use their voice. Johnson, a biology/pre-medicine major from Lexington, Mississippi, is up for the challenge that this time presents.
“Virtual campaigning has allowed me to become creative,” said Johnson. “I was sad that we couldn’t campaign the traditional way, but then I looked at the situation in a positive way. I knew that I had to think of what I could do differently to execute my plan. My goal is to make things feel personable for the student body.”
Staying connected is a concern for Jones, a social sciences education major from Stonewall, Louisiana. Her goal is to make things normal as possible for her peers during her campaign.
“During this unprecedented time, we want to be updated with pertinent information, so communication is essential,” said Jones. “As a student leader, I know that we have to adjust to this new way of life. I want to help my peers who are having a harder time adapting by providing a sense of normalcy.”
Most of this year’s candidates aren’t strangers to leadership positions. Lombard, a biology/pre-medicine major from Gulfport, Mississippi, feels prepared to take on the role of Miss Alcorn and further enhance her leadership abilities.
“Alcorn has provided me many opportunities to build leadership skills via organizations such as First-Year Experience, ASU HEROS, and Alcorn Student Ambassadors,” said Lombard. “This position would help me to expand my current skills by working with other young, gifted leaders. I know that just as iron sharpens iron, this experience would sharpen my leadership skills. My communication skills, problem-solving skills, and interpersonal skills will all be held to a higher standard, and I know that I can rise to meet those standards.”
Election Day will take place online Tuesday, April 28, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about online voting, contact Devina Hogan, director of Student Engagement, at [email protected].