Election day was on Tuesday for the University of Mississippi 2021 Homecoming Court. Campaigning in front of the Student Union for their individual platforms, here is what candidates had to say.
Homecoming Queen Candidates:
Brianna Berry is a biology major on the pre-dental track from Brandon, MS. Berry is running for Homecoming Queen on the platform of “Becoming Your Berry Best.”
“This platform talks about how Ole Miss gives us the resources, opportunities and friendships to become our best versions,” she said.
Berry said this campaign has been a great experience so far. She mentioned that people have been so kind throughout the week sharing lots of love and energy.
Tiffany Nguyen is a biochemistry major on the pre-dental track from Indianola. Nguyen is running for Homecoming Queen, encouraging her peers to “do what makes you happy.”
Nguyen said she felt she was never able to express herself in high school, so she wanted to try something new in her last year of college. Nguyen said this has been a great opportunity to try something different because she has never done something like this before.
“I want to have fun with my campaign,” Nguyen said. “It’s a little different from everyone’s, but it’s just because that is kind of my personality.”
Sarah Grace Prestwood is a banking and finance major from Shreveport, LA. Prestwood is running for Homecoming Queen because Ole Miss lifts up every student.
“Ole Miss gives us so many opportunities, so many memories, so much love and laughter,” Prestwood said. “The greatest thing Ole Miss does though, is it lifts every single student up together to fly.”
Tori Starks is a biology major from Paris, TN running for Homecoming Queen. After a year and a half of being shut down due to the pandemic, Starks says she lost touch with important people in her life. This election has been a great opportunity to bring together people she loves for a common cause.
“It’s made me love this campus even more, like, getting to gain that support and get this normal feeling back again,” Starks said.
Bradford Stewart is an integrated marketing and communications major from Birmingham. Stewart said she’s enjoyed her campaign so far in running for Homecoming Queen.
“I have made so many amazing friendships, relationships, and memories here and I am so thankful for the opportunity to run to be your next Homecoming Queen,” Stewart said.
Stewart is running for all the amazing people that she has met at Ole Miss. She says that she is so thankful to be a part of this community that has given her so much support.
Homecoming King Candidates:
Kenzee Blount is a general business major from Independence, MS. Blount is running for Homecoming King on a platform that encourages students to “Be Authentically You.”
“I want to let others know that it’s okay to be authentically themselves and that no matter who you are or what you do, you should feel accepted here at the university,” Blount said.
Blount encourages everyone to embrace who they are and bring their unique stories to the community. He says his goal is for members of this community to help one another make this place a welcoming environment for everyone.
Jay Lee is a social work major from Jackson. He is running for Homecoming King promoting a platform of “self love and living your truth.”
“Ole Miss embraces so many different cultures and backgrounds,” Lee said.
Lee loves the Ole Miss community and all the opportunities the campus has to offer. Lee says he would love to help push the university even further on a diverse and inclusive path.
Miss Ole Miss Candidates:
Madison Gordon is a public policy leadership major on the pre-medical track from Meridian. Gordon is running for Miss Ole Miss and welcoming the student body to join her campaign, “Growing with Gordon.”
Gordon sought out the position because of the requirements needed for the position, specifically service. Gordon says it’s important to acknowledge all of the things we can as individuals to give back to the university and community.
“I think recognizing how we can grow during our time here at the university and in college is what it’s about,” she said. “Having those opportunities and meeting new people is definitely something, I would say, that has captivated my experience here.”
Olivia Maurer is a public policy leadership major with minors in international studies and Spanish from Hammond, LA. Maurer is running for Miss Ole Miss on the platform “Forward Rebels.”
Maurer’s campaign is all about acts of service by taking part in the Pay It Forward Challenge, collecting food, professional clothing and school supplies at her campaign sign on the plaza.
Maurer said her platform encourages individuals to look forward to the little things that students have missed in the past year due to COVID-19. It also aims to inspire individuals to take part in opportunities to become a better and stronger community for every student.
“This campaign has been about taking a step back, recognizing how we can support each other best and celebrating getting back to somewhat normal soon,” Maurer said.
Hayden Wiggs is a journalism major with an emphasis in social justice and political reporting from Atlanta running for Miss Ole Miss.
“As a Journalism major, I have been able to connect with so many diverse and interesting people and have noticed that there are so many stories that go unheard and to me, that is unacceptable,” Wiggs said. “Every person in the Oxford-Lafayette County community deserves to have a voice.”
Wiggs would use her platform to bring unheard stories to light. She said she would also center her philanthropy around mental health, local COVID-19 relief and inclusion initiatives. Wiggs says this election is the perfect opportunity to give back to the community she loves.
Mr. Ole Miss Candidates:
Harrison Carmichael is an allied health major from Birmingham. He is running for Mr. Ole Miss and encouraging the student body to “Share a Smile.”
Carmichael’s platform is structured around mental health and self care. He wants everyone to know that it is okay to not be okay and take time for yourself. Carmichael says it is easy to get absorbed into all the opportunities in college, but sometimes it is necessary to take a step back and do what is necessary for your personal wellbeing.
“What I have been telling people is to share a smile,” Carmichael said. “You never know what someone is going through or experiencing at the time, so make someone smile.”
Ian Pigg is a public policy and leadership major from Clifton, TN. He is running for Mr. Ole Miss on his platform, “At the Table.”
“I found a really awesome community on Ole Miss’s campus that has pushed me and shaped me into who I am today,” said Pigg. “I like to say that I found a seat at the longest table I’ve ever experienced.”
Pigg said he comes from a small town and is a first generation student who found a community at Ole Miss. His campaign is about celebrating the stories of every part of this community and working to make sure that every student feels they have a seat at the table. He says that if he were elected he would strive to give back to the community through a book scholarship for first generation students and raise awareness for groups like the First Generation Student Network.
The 2021 Homecoming Court elections will be held on Sept. 21 and can be accessed through MyOleMiss. Voting will take place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Results will be announced in the Student Union Ballroom around 7:30 p.m.