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Meet the 2017 homecoming court

On Nov. 1, 10 VSU students were nominated to serve on the 2017 homecoming court. This Saturday, two of these students will be named homecoming king and queen. Though we contacted all of the members on the court, we could not reach everyone.

The Spectator presented each homecoming court member with a set of questions to answer about being a representative for the 2017 homecoming court. These questions have been edited and condensed for clarity.

Jacquelin Marrero

Homecoming nominee Jacquelin Marrero.
Photo courtesy of Jacquelin Marrero.

Q: What inspired you to run for Homecoming?

A: I wasn’t necessarily inspired to run. The sisters of Chi Omega voted on who they believed would represent VSU, and our chapter thought that I was the best. I feel honored they chose me to be their representative!

Q: What makes you stand out above the rest?

A: I feel I stand out because I’ve been very involved at VSU since my freshman year. I was the Vice President of Patterson Hall and moved up to being the President of the Residence Hall association for two years. I also rushed Chi Omega my sophomore year and became Campus Activities Chair. Along with being involved in various other organizations, I spoke at several freshman orientations and was a part of many VSU committees. Finally, my best friend and I created the Fire Pit together during our senior year! I’ve always been passionate about helping others, and I’m happy I’ve been able to do that here at VSU, and help the university look toward the future.

Q: What’s your best memory at VSU?

A: My best memories here at VSU have always been homecoming and sorority recruitment. NO LIE! They’re definitely the most stressful times of the year for Greek Life, but the way my sisters come together to make something amazing happen is incredible. Those high stress times always bring us closer together, and I’m so thankful for that.

Q: How are you involved at VSU?

A: I could put my whole resume on here, but if I just looked at this year I’m an active member of Chi Omega, I’m a Building Manager at the Student Union, I’m a member of the Latin American Student Association, I’m the Co-Founder of the Fire Pit, and I’ve been working a lot with Student Life to make sure this year’s homecoming is one to remember!

Q: What are you going to do if you win?

A: If I win homecoming queen, I might just fall on the field and start crying. I know that’s really embarrassing, but I would be so overwhelmed and appreciative because having the student body believe in me means so much! I couldn’t ask for anything more than that.

Jordan Surat-Jones

Q: What inspired you to run for homecoming?

Homecoming court nominee Jordan Surat-Jones.
Photo courtesy of Jordan Surat-Jones.

A: I’ve never been one to run for something like homecoming king. However, this time last year I was given the nickname “Mr. VSU”. Everyone told me I should run for homecoming king, but I had missed the deadline. So, over the past year, I debated whether or not I should run for this year. After months of people asking if I would run, I was actually leaning towards not running at all. However, a good friend of mine, Kayla Robles, called me one night, and she talked me into it. Plus, I figured, “why not?” It would be kind of cool if I did win the whole thing.

Q: What makes you stand out above the rest?

A: The reason I believe I stand above the rest is that I am more involved than anyone on this campus. And that’s not just me saying that. Over the course of last year, I was nicknamed “Mr. VSU”, nominated for various awards for on-campus involvement, I was the MC of the 2017 Blacklight Pep Rally, I helped revive the Mayhem Music Festival, gave Dr. Carvajal his campus tour and planned his investiture, and I have spoken at every Blazer orientation since the summer of 2015. And, most importantly, I have befriended every Blazer I’ve met. I have done things in the last three years that many college students never get to experience in their lives.

Q: What’s your best memory at VSU?

A: I’ve been asked this question a lot recently now that I’m close to graduating. I’ve made great memories during my collegiate career here. If I had to pick one, my best memory would have to be at the VSU vs. West Georgia basketball game in the PE Complex last spring. I had been pestering West Georgia’s Captain Steph Branch the entire game. Finally, he had enough and yelled back at me. Instantly, the whole complex exploded in cheers as Steph walked off the court and was benched for the rest of the game. My fraternity brothers and I started a “We want Steph” chant and suddenly it echoed throughout the PE Complex. We ended up winning that game. Later that night, I found out that this was the first time in Steph’s basketball career that he scored zero points in a game. I’ll never forget what it was like listening to everyone chant “We want Steph” as the Blazers dominated West Georgia.

Q: How are you involved at VSU?

A: Aside from working on campus as a tour guide and student assistant in the Admissions Office, I am a brother and serve on the executive board of the Delta Chi Fraternity, I am the Pit Leader in the Fire Pit, I served and currently serve on multiple committees to better VSU, I am a University Ambassador, and also a proud supporter of every VSU athletic team. You can find me at almost every athletic event as long as I don’t have class or work.

Q: What are you going to do if you win?

A: If I win homecoming king, I will continue to do everything I do now, which is work hard every day to make VSU a place students want to attend. I want to make it a place where non-VSU students say, “dang I wish I went there” and a place where it doesn’t matter if you’re a freshman or a sixth year senior because you can still enjoy your time and still be involved. The best part about this though is that even if I do not win or even after this people stop knowing my name, I won’t stop until I’ve made VSU as great as it can possibly be.

Austin Smith

Homecoming court nominee Austin Smith.
Photo courtesy of Austin Smith.

Q: What inspired you to run for homecoming?

A: What inspired me to run for homecoming queen was a letter I received from my younger self of things I should do and accomplish. One of those things was to run for homecoming queen, so I’m doing this for you, my little self.

Q: What makes you stand out above the rest?

A: What makes me stand out from the rest of the candidates is my friendly vibes. I love to make everyone my family, and this has been my goal for my campaign. I think I have truly met some awesome individuals during my race to win the crown.

Q: What’s your best memory at VSU?

A: My best/favorite event at VSU would probably be participating and helping put on a Breast Cancer Awareness Fashion with my organization Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity.

Q: How are you involved at VSU?

A: How I am involved here at VSU is doing tons of community and campus service work.

Q: What are you going to do if you win?

A: The main goal of mine, if I win, is to start the production of a Cotillion Ball, so that we as a campus can mentor and teach the children of our community, many various things.

Jesus Ramos

Q: What inspired you to run for Homecoming?

Homecoming nominee Jesus Ramos.
Photo courtesy of Jesus Ramos.

A: Running for homecoming king was something I never gave thought about, but when my organization, Relay For Life, nominated me I never thought to receive this amount of support. I really want to say my friends inspired me to run.

Q: What makes you stand out above the rest?

A: The quality that makes me stand out above the rest would have to be my ability to make others laugh. Isn’t laughter the best kind of medicine?

Q: What’s your best memory at VSU?

A: My best memory of VSU would have to be the 2015 homecoming tailgate.

Q: How are you involved at VSU?

A: I am involved in a few organizations including Relay For Life, Dance Marathon, Out Of The Darkness, and College Republicans.

Q: What are you going to do if you win?

A: If I win, I’m probably going to cry and call my mom. Afterwards, I’m wiping the tears off of my face and celebrating with my friends at the game.

Miranda Hamilton

Q: What inspired you to run for Homecoming?

Homecoming nominee Miranda Hamilton.
Photo courtesy Miranda Hamilton.

A: My sorority sisters nominated me, but I was honored because homecoming is my favorite time of the year. I even served as our homecoming chair my sophomore year!

Q: What makes you stand out above the rest?

A: Probably my love for the Valdosta community. VSU has become my home, and I am so proud to be a Blazer.

Q: What’s your best memory at VSU?

A: My best memory at VSU has to be anything I’ve done with my friends. I know that’s broad, but we do everything together from tailgating before football games to going on road trips; if it wasn’t for VSU, I would have never been lucky enough to meet them.

Q: How are you involved at VSU?

A: I have served on my sorority’s program council and the executive board, I have served on Greek Ambassadors as well as the College Panhellenic Council.

Q: What are you going to do if you win?

A: That’s a great question, I haven’t given it much thought because I honestly didn’t think I would make homecoming court, but I would definitely encourage other Blazers to get out in the community. The Valdosta/Lowndes community is so supportive of VSU and its students, so I think it’s only fair that we give back!

Story by Darla Dunning, Content Editor. Photo Courtesy of VSU. 

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