Meet your Homecoming Royalty candidates

Rachel Roeder, Pre-nursing

Why are you running for Homecoming Royalty?
I want to make a difference in the community and this is kind of a public speaking figure and more of a public figure, so there’s a lot that you can do with it.

What do you plan on doing if you win?
I do a lot of community service work through my sorority, Alpha Sigma Alpha, and so I’d do a lot more of that with more advertising through the community and Mankato. Just have a bigger voice [for them].

Are there any causes in particular that you are advocating for?
Through my sorority, we do special Olympics, the S. June Smith Center, Girls on the Run, and then the Alpha Sigma Alpha Foundation.

Whitney Williams, Elementary Education

Why are you running for Homecoming Royalty?
I think it’s just a great opportunity to show the community and campus how awesome our students are and how anybody can get involved and that anyone can run. I wasn’t involved as a freshman and I’m a community advisor so I work with a lot of incoming students. I just want them to know that even if they don’t get involved this year, there’s still something that they can get involved in and become a representative of the university later.

What do you plan on doing if you win?
I would use it just to make a positive image of the university and to just show all of the opportunities to get involved and have fun on campus, because this is truly a great university to be a part of.

Are there any causes in particular that you are advocating for?
I really have a passion for the community service stuff, so working with Campus Kitchen and going out in the community and volunteering at nursing homes. I was a volunteer at Cottage Wood Senior Community, which is a home for Alzheimer’s patients, and so, you go in and volunteer for them. Also, Student Events Team because they do so much for us and the events they put on are just outstanding.

Dustin Slaughter, Elementary Education

Why are you running for Homecoming Royalty?
I chose to run because I feel like I best represent this university in a variety of ways. I’m super, super involved, whether that is with the Student Events Team, as an Orientation Peer Assistant, or really just running around supporting the campus as a whole. I just feel like I best represent the university and I want a chance to show that off to others.

What do you plan on doing if you win?
I mean, go to Disney World, of course! But, really, I would just continue to celebrate my Maverick pride, because I think that’s really important and I think that’s really made me a confident leader here at the university. And I want others to celebrate that as well.

Are there any causes in particular that you are advocating for?
I want everyone to feel like this campus is theirs, like it’s home, because it’s definitely mine. So I would definitely support anything that they need in order to make this feel like home.

Abby Streetar, Psychology

Why are you running for Homecoming Royalty?
I’m running for Alpha Chi Omega, which is my sorority. We are competing in Homecoming and I’m just really honored to be elected as Homecoming Royalty. My team elected me because I’m really involved, I’m on the Cheer Team, and I am an Orientation Peer Assistant, so I kind of already represent the school in some ways.

What do you plan on doing if you win?
I think it would be a big deal that this is royalty, it’s not king and queen. So, I’d take a lot of pride in the fact that it’s more gender inclusive this year.

Are there any causes in particular that you are advocating for?
For our sorority, our philanthropy is violence awareness and I’m the philanthropy chair, so I’m going to use that to my advantage.

Brett Marshall, Marketing and Mass Media

Why are you running for Homecoming Royalty?
I guess the biggest and easiest reason that I can give is that my fraternity voted me to do it. We try to send a candidate every year to represent our campus and so I was chosen this year. Also, when I first joined my fraternity, Phi Delta Theta, my mentor through my education process was a Homecoming candidate, so I’m kind of following in his footsteps. If he can do, I can do it. I also really love the campus. The opportunities it has given me have been amazing and I feel like this is a great way to kind of show appreciation for the communities this campus represents in a really positive light.

What do you plan on doing if you win?
I would just embrace it, be happy about it. Make sure I sit in the car in the parade and wave and interact with not only the campus but also the community and make sure I really embrace the Mavericks United idea that they have for Homecoming this year. Be the person that I was elected to be.

Are there any causes in particular that you are advocating for?
Not in particular, no.

Charlotte Pfingsten, Accounting and Finance

Why are you running for Homecoming Royalty?
I was voted in by my sorority, Gamma Phi Beta, and I actually take it really seriously. I have parents who work on this campus and I’ve grown up here and have lived here my whole life. Being on the Homecoming Court is awesome because then I not only get to represent my family and friends, but my sorority too and the whole campus as well.

What do you plan on doing if you win?
I know for my chapter, our philanthropy is Girls on the Run, through the YWCA, and I would make sure that everyone knows the events for the YWCA, because I’m going to be a Girls on the Run coach next year. It’s super cool and a fun volunteer opportunity. Another chapter on our campus deals with Girls on the Run, as well, so it will get the word out there about that for everyone to know about.

Are there any causes in particular that you are advocating for?
I could advocate for the Leukemia Foundation, because I have been through it all, seen it all and done all that, so I would definitely be advocating for that, too.

Olivia Phillips, Recreation, Parks and Leisure Services

Why are you running for Homecoming Royalty?
When I first decided to run for Homecoming, it was for my supporting group, Rec Club. Rec Club is my home; I finally found it after changing my major from Aviation, to Education, and finally into Recreation, Parks and Leisure Services. I really just want to support them and in a way thank them all, and say, “You know, you guys are all a part of why I am here.” I really think that it’s important to give them that credit. I also know that there’s a potential of $200 prize, and that would mean getting more people to our professional development, MRPA Conference, which is our Minnesota Recreation Parks Association.
I was also a part of a lot of different clubs on campus. it was a huge variety and dealing with a wide variety of different people and populations. I did SPARK, which was Strengthening Pride and Reinforcing Kindness, which is basically all about showing your love for the people in your life, your community and school. We do different things here on campus and then out in the community, like making catnip and dog toys for the shelter, or putting up Post-It notes around campus that say, “You’re worthy,” and all that kind of fun stuff. And then I did intermurals and I’ve done a lot of different things in the residential halls, and I was an Orientation Peer Assistant, and student coordinator for the past three years. So, all of the new students I’ve basically seen at some point in my career here. I feel like that puts me in a really good position to represent the school.

What do you plan on doing if you win?
In my actuary phase, in the moment, I’m going to be completely shocked, but once I do win, I’m just going to take all of my people out for like a good dinner, and we’re just going to be like, this isn’t even about me. It’s about representing my roommates, representing the people around me, and representing everyone. I think I will be excited to tell all the RPLS Department, especially because they have that parental connection almost. They feel like they are my parents, so I feel like when I tell them, I will get emotional and they will be like, “Oh my gosh!” So that’s going to be really fun to share that with them and everyone in my life.

Are there any causes in particular that you are advocating for?
Not only do I want to support every group that I’ve been involved in, from all the way down to being in the residential halls to being in Rec Club, every part of my involvement I want to included. I think it’s important to just get Rec Club’s name and the major of RPLS out there. I feel like we are the hidden gem that’s not talked about as much. For incoming students, just having that in their heads would be helpful. Also, as a personal part of my life, I am a plus-sized woman, and I think it is important to show that group of individuals who think that this would not be in their cards. I want to show them that it is and that you can love yourself and be confident that this is a possibility, if you want this. So do it, and try it, and see where it takes you.

Kate Schmit, Political Science and Gender and Women’s Studies

Why are you running for Homecoming Royalty?
I was nominated through my sorority, Sigma Sigma Sigma, and I’m running with our team and Sigma Nu’s team. I’ve also been pretty involved on campus. This is my second year on campus in Julia Sears, and I’m also on Senate and MSSA my first year, and I’m on it again, as a residential life senator for both years. Last year, I was Vice President of Leadership for NRHH, National Residentail Hall Honorary, the Maverick Chapter. I was also the Vice President and Philanthropy Chair for a conference that we hosted here last year, called MACURH Regional Business Conference. Throughout all of that experience, I’ve had the chance to meet a lot of different people and I’ve really developed a passion for helping people have a positive experience here. I love this school.

What do you plan on doing if you win?
I would want to represent the university and get to know more people and share my Maverick Pride with everyone else.

Are there any causes in particular that you are advocating for?
I think it is important to be inclusive on our campus. I really like our theme this year, Mavericks United, and so I really hope that we can all come together throughout Homecoming and the traditions that our university has.

Melanie Bengtson, Special Education

Why are you running for Homecoming Royalty?
I have been a Maverick ever since I was a child and I am very excited for the opportunity to represent this school. I grew up in Mankato, and I have always felt at home on this campus and I love the sense of pride I feel when I get to say that I’m a Maverick. This campus and community have given me so many wonderful opportunities, friendships, and learning experiences that have helped me grow into the person that I am today. Having this once in a lifetime opportunity to be able to represent this amazing community is so humbling and I am very grateful!

What do you plan on doing if you win?
I will use the Homecoming royalty title to represent the school in a positive and impactful way. I love getting to know people and I want to spend more time getting to know different cultures and communities around campus and how I could potentially use my title to help them feel better represented. I also hope to represent the school through volunteering for different organizations and being able to directly display what it means to be a Maverick. Volunteering has always been a passion of mine and I will continue that passion while positively representing the campus as Homecoming Royalty. Not only am I involved on campus, but I volunteer in the Mankato area as well, which helps me to get to know more people and share about how wonderful our campus is. Overall, I just really hope to be able to continue doing what I love for the communities that I love in a way that represents our school positively.

Are there any causes in particular that you are advocating for?
I hope to be able to advocate for the Maverick community as a whole. I have the wonderful opportunity of being a Community Advisor this year, where I get to learn about the incoming freshman as they begin their journey as a Maverick. I also hope to be able to represent all current students, faculty, and alumni as well. We are all Mavericks, and that is why I love how the theme is “Mavericks United” this year–it’s very fitting.

Alissa Thielges

Alissa is a sophomore majoring in mass media at MSU. When she doesn't have her nose stuck in a book, she enjoys eating pie and fangirling over various fictional characters. You can get in touch with her at her email alissa.thielges@mnsu.edu.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: