Homecoming events, voting to take place on campus this week
Published: Monday, October 29, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 29, 2012 11:10
On Saturday, UCF will announce this year’s new Homecoming king and queen during the halftime show at the Homecoming Game against the SMU Mustangs. Students will be able to vote for this year’s candidates Wednesday through Friday using their myUCF accounts.
Candidates must be nominated by an organization before they qualify to be on court. Once nominated, they must fill out an application and be interviewed. The winner is decided based on points they receive in the following categories: Fifteen percent is based on their application answers, 25 percent is based on their interviews and 60 percent is based on the student-body vote.
“We look for well-rounded students who are very involved at UCF. This is not a popularity contest, just a selection of students we think really represent the university and what it means to be a Knight,” said Leanza Altenderfer, this year’s Homecoming king and queen director. “There’s no tangible prize for winning; the prize is the respect and the experience of getting to be on the court and holding that title for the following school year.”
The Central Florida Future spoke with this year’s 10 contestants — five king nominees and five queen nominees — about the organizations they’re involved in and why they’re running for Homecoming Court.
Ashley Jaramillo: “I’m a first-generation college student. I originally thought I wouldn’t be able to come to UCF for financial reasons, but I pushed through it and applied for different scholarships and I made it work. I really want to help other students pursue a college degree. I’ve had an interesting journey at UCF and I’ve truly poured my heart into everything I’ve done. I want other students to be able to have that, too.”
Fun fact: “I’m currently training for a half marathon that’s in December at the Rec and Wellness Center. I was in crutches during Homecoming Week last year because I tore my ACL, so it’s really exciting after all of that physical therapy to not only be walking on the Homecoming Court this year, but to also be looking forward to the race in a few weeks.”
LaShaunda Hayes: “I decided to run for Homecoming Court this year because I wanted the chance to be further involved in UCF, as well as represent my organization, SGA, in a positive way, so I thought ‘Why not?’ I feel like the court is a way to give back. I also interned at the Honors College through their HERO Program and found out about volunteering at a food pantry in Oviedo, which I still do. I really feel like I found my place at UCF by giving back, so being on court this year is really exciting.”
Fun fact: “I absolutely love to sing karaoke. But only if the other person can’t sing.”
Mikyba Cooper: “I’m a student who really loves UCF, so this was just another opportunity for me to be able to show how much I love being a Knight and representing UCF in a positive manner. There’s nothing in my life right now I can compare to being an involved student at this university. I feel like I’m part of a family, and I think it would be an honor to be this year’s Homecoming queen.”
Fun fact: “I have seven siblings. I am very close to my siblings; it’s like having my own personal cheerleading team. I believe I am the person I am today because I have the confidence of seven people always cheering me on.”
Dalya Bordman: “I don’t usually like being in the limelight, but after some urging by my sorority sisters, they convinced me I needed to do something that showcases me, and I think being on the court is a great opportunity to show younger students where you can be at UCF. I didn’t have the easiest transition at UCF, I’m from New Jersey and I didn’t know a lot of people when I moved down here. It was really tough at times. But you can find your place here at UCF, and you can be successful.”
Fun fact: “At every Senate meeting, I give a little dance move to start things off. I’m an awful dancer, so one time I decided to do the dougie and did something completely different by mistake. I’m always doing goofy things like that.”
Arielle Bardzell: “I think I really embodied the opportunities here at UCF. I’m from out of state, and I’ve gotten involved in so many different aspects of UCF and really excelled in school. I’m now applying to law school as well. I’ve been able to not only network through UCF, but also be the best student that I can. I really want to inspire others to pursue their dreams and get involved as well.”