Mr. Southeastern pageant returns


File Photo/The Lion's Roar

Late in October 2007 Jordan Beard, Michael Kyles, Skler Stroup and Corey Brown were among the first contestants to vie for the title of Mr. Southeastern. Back then, Kyles won over the audience and the judges to be the first to hold the title. This year the pageant returns for both fun and a good cause.

2019 Miss Southeastern Louisiana University Chelsey Blank will host a new event to raise money for her platform.

Blank explained why she was encouraged to start the Mr. Southeastern pageant.

“I co-hosted the Special Olympics Queens Booth in May of this year,” said Blank. “Since that was not specifically for Down Syndrome Awareness, I decided to start the Mr. SLU pageant to raise money for my platform. All proceeds will go to the Down Syndrome Association of Greater New Orleans along with the money I’ve raised over my reign.”

In the past years after each pageant, Miss Southeastern did not have a specific event to promote their platform on campus. Blank wishes to change this by creating the Mr. Southeastern pageant as a tradition for the future Miss Southeastern.

Blank hopes the future Miss Southeastern will continue the Mr. SLU pageant to continue to raise awareness and fund for the platform of their choice to gain more support and awareness on campus.

Mr. SLU pageant will be very similar to the Miss Southeastern pageant. On the day of the event, the contestants will compete by introducing themselves, answering the on-stage question, showcasing talent, and presenting formal wear/social impact statement. To help the judges get to know the contestants prior to the pageant, the participants will turn in a one-page biography that they can glance at.

The pageant will be judged Dr. Gabe Willis, the dean of students; James Winter, the artistic director of the Colombia Theatre for the Performing Arts; Jeremy Jackson, and Nancy Whann Down, Syndrome Association of Greater New Orleans Board Member.

Blank has mixed emotions about the upcoming event.

“I’m most excited to see these men show off their talents,” said Blank. “I think talent is the way people truly express themselves, and I can’t wait to see them have fun with it. I’m nervous only because it is the day before fall break. I’m hoping this will not severely impact the attendance.”

Johnathan Zeringue, a junior nursing major is one of the contestants who will be participating in the Mr. SLU pageant and has similar feelings.

“I am most nervous about the talent competition because I will be going up against a great group of guys who each want to display their skills with the audience, and I will have to showcase my talent to the best of my ability in order to compete against them,” said Zeringue.

Zeringue explained why he was interested in competing in the competition.

“Southeastern is like my home away from home,” expressed Zeringue. “I want to represent my university to the best of my ability, and I feel if I was chosen as Mr. Southeastern, it would give me the opportunity to show school pride and raise awareness about my social platform that I choose.”

Blank is hoping to have bookstore gift cards for the runner ups and a scholarship for the winner of the pageant. The crowned Mr. SLU will also be invited to ride in the Homecoming parade with Miss SLU.

Zeringue is excited to see what he will take away from the experience.

“I hope to build on my confidence by competing in the competition. I also hope to use this as an opportunity to show my devotion for both Southeastern and my social platform.”

Any male students currently enrolled or will be enrolling in the upcoming spring semester can compete in the pageant. Applications are due on Sept. 16 and can be found on the university website under Campus Activities Board section.

The pageant will be held on Oct. 2 in the Student Union Theatre.


*Quote attribution edited on 09/10/19 for clarity