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Reigning Supreme

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The reign of a new Miss Southeastern has begun. The second time was the charm for junior kinesiology major Crystal Gonzalez. On Saturday Nov. 2, Gonzalez was crowned Miss Southeastern 2014.
She was inspired to compete for the title of Miss Southeastern by her special connection to the university as a Hammond native. Gonzalez attended Southeastern’s Laboratory School for nine years and the university has been a part of her life since she was five years old. Her family history at Southeastern also contributed to her quest for the crown. The platform Gonzalez chose was of a sensitive issue, “Taking the Wheel: Driving under the Influence Awareness and Prevention.”
“I would love to promote Southeastern to our community, to our high schools, around the state,” said Gonzalez. “I’m from Hammond, and I want to tell our locals to stay in Hammond for college because the experience they’re looking for is here. Everything they want is right here at Southeastern.”
There were several stages of competition including lifestyle and fitness, talent, on-stage questions and evening wear. Prior to the pageant, all contestants participated in personal interviews by the judging panel beginning at 9 a.m. Gonzalez performed “I Dreamed a Dream” from “Les Miserables” during the talent competition.
“I was extremely anxious because this meant a lot to me but it was worth it,” said Gonzalez, explaining how she felt throughout the pageant.
After participating in the 2013 pageant and earning 2nd Runner-Up, she decided to participate again in hopes of earning the crown. When her name was called, Gonzalez was crowned by her Alpha Omicron Pi sister and Miss Southeastern 2013 Renee Picou. The emotions were clear on her face as the audience stood and clapped for the newly crowned Miss Southeastern 2014.
In addition to winning the title of Miss Southeastern, Gonzalez also won the People’s Choice Award, Interview Award and Lifestyle and Fitness Award. Along with the title, Gonzalez will receive a full year of tuition, a local Miss America Crown, a $1,000 clothing allowance provided by the Campus Activities Board, recognition at many Southeastern and community events and an all expense paid trip to Monroe, La. to compete in the Miss Louisiana Pageant.
First runner up was Erin St. Pierre, a senior kinesiology major, followed by second runner up Hailee Weber, a sophomore special education major, Lionette and Phi Mu member, and third runner up Jasmine Tate, a junior communication major, Campus Life Editor at the Lion’s Roar and a founding president of the Public Relation Student Society of America.
“There are just no words to explain my feelings: relief, pride, love, just everything that I loved about Southeastern ran through my head. It’s an amazing feeling,” said Gonzalez.

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