Due to undisclosed circumstances, Miss Southeastern winner Olivia Ruby will no longer hold the title of Miss Southeastern 2012, effective immediately. The title will pass to second runner-up Jennifer Jarreau, a sophomore middle school education major, of Denham Springs, LA.
Ruby, a freshman, was awarded the title of Miss Southeastern during the annual pageant sponsored by the Campus Activities Board (CAB) on Oct. 15, 2011, while Bethany Putnam, also a freshman, and Jarreau won first and second runners-up respectively.
When asked why the crown had passed to Jarreau instead of Putnam, CAB Coordinator Todd McElroy explained that the decision was made through a predetermined set of rules used for the competition.
“The previous Miss Southeastern was not able to fulfill all the obligations of the title,” said McElroy. “There are procedures in place so it was just a matter of following the procedures that were already in place. We went to the next eligible contestant.”
Jarreau is the 19-year-old daughter of Gene and Bridget Jarreau and is a Resident Assistant for Hammond Hall. During the competition, Jarreau performed a jazz dance to the song “Wonderful” by Annie Lennox.
On receiving the title of Miss Southeastern 2012, Jarreau expressed excitement for her opportunity to represent the university. She is confident that her new responsibilities will not interfere with her life as a college student.
“I definitely feel inspired and privileged to serve my school,” said Jarreau.
As Miss Southeastern, Jarreau will take up all the duties and responsibilities as well as the rewards that come with the crown.
“Miss Southeastern is awarded the clothing allowance [and] the scholarship. The rewards come with the title,” said McElroy.
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Jim McHodgkins elaborated on that point by saying that no scholarship money or awards had been given yet.
“No scholarships or anything is awarded until after,” McHodgkins said. “It’s not automatic. The clothing allowance is given for that year because it helps them prepare for Miss Louisiana.”
All contestants participating in the Miss Southeastern pageant are required to sign a contract that indicates the requirements for being Miss Southeastern. Contestants are required to maintain a minimum 2.5 grade point average and must be free of any disciplinary probation.
Jarreau will be officially crowned Miss Southeastern on Friday, Jan. 27 at 10 a.m. during a small ceremony held in the Student Union Theatre.