Students compete for Homecoming crowns

Students representing several organizations competed Monday, Nov. 5. to earn a spot on the 2019 Homecoming Court. While the Association of Commuter Students, Federacion de Estudiantes Cubanos and Council of International Students and Organizations were expected to show up in numbers, the overwhelming majority of the audience members chanted “UBS” for the United Black Students. However, FEC and ACS tied for number of contestants entered

Homecoming King Mike Huzior holds up the FEC flag with his fellow FEC members and pageant contestants Kelly McLoughlin and Giselle De La Rue. Photo source: Instagram, @fecyeah

As students entered the Shalala Ballroom, Homecoming team members handed out t-shirts and Sebastian the Ibis gave high-fives. Students were then directed to a big “U” wall where they were asked to write about why they chose the University of Miami. Sebastian, along with Landon Coles, Emma Lam and Gabriela Nahous, the members of the King and Queen Committee, welcomed the audience, introduced the three-judge panel of UM faculty and started the show.

The 12 contestants each showcased a talent and performed a spirit skit in pairs. Each spirit skit featured a notable UM figure and a nod to the homecoming theme, “Ready to Launch.”

Contestant Sara St. Juste, representing United Black Students, performed a modern dance routine to “This is Me” from “The Greatest Showman,” receiving roars from UBS members in the audience. In a fan favorite performance, Wanlong He, a contestant representing COISO, rapped “Welcome to the Gang” in both English and Mandarin, bringing the audience members to their feet.

Complete with a crop-top and a skirt, contestant Mike Huzior, representing FEC exhibited his take on Tom Holland’s infamous Lip Sync Battle performance of “Umbrella” by Rihanna. After each skit and talent was showcased, the eight finalists were announced and the evening moved on to the question round. Chelsea Lovell, representing the Sunsations, was asked which UM alumni she would choose to have dinner with and why. She responded saying she would dine with one of the first black UM students, whom she credited for paving the way for her opportunity on campus today.

Sunsations dancer Chelsea Lovell smiles big with her crown and sash. Photo source: Instagram, @um_sunsations

Glen Howard, a contestant representing UBS, was asked where his favorite spot on campus is. He credited the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs as his safe space on campus, proudly promoting the office and saying it helped him deal with imposter syndrome as a transfer student.

After questions, the audience was given an opportunity to electronically vote for their choice of king and queen. Finally, after the judges conferred, the winners were announced to an anxious audience.

To an overjoyed UBS, Howard and St. Juste won Prince and Princess. Huzior and Lovell were crowned this year’s king and queen.