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Student Life

Former RA is Miss USF Runner-Up

When she registered for the pageant the day before applications were due, Lauren Marshall, a former Resident Assistant at the University of South Florida, did not expect to be runner-up for Miss USF 2011.

Marshall had never heard of the contest until her friend, a member of the USF Student Government, suggested she apply.

Marshall had to fill out a written application as well as go through an interview process where she was asked ‘what-if’ scenario questions and questions regarding her life experiences before she was announced as one of the six finalists.

The pageant was held April 7 at 7 p.m. in the Oval Theatre of the USF Marshall Center. A total of 12 contestants competed – six men and six women. The pageant consisted of four competition parts: casual wear, talent, swimsuit and evening wear. Contestants were also judged on poise, school spirit, originality and one interview question.

Marshall was adamant about looking natural; she didn’t wear hairspray, fake eyelashes or heavy makeup like some of the other female contestants. “I wanted to go in being myself,” said Marshall. “I’m not the stereotypical ‘pageant girl,’ and I didn’t want to try to be one just to win.”

The most stressful part about the contest was waiting, said Marshall. Whether she was waiting while other contestants performed or waiting during wardrobe changes, the nerves were unavoidable.

Fortunately, there was a large support group of friends there for her, said Marshall. She created a Facebook event prior to pageant to encourage all of her friends attend the event and support her. She got the idea from another contestant who also made an event on Facebook.

“When they called me for first runner up, I was excited because I didn’t think I would place at all,” said Marshall. “I think I might have come off a little too edgy for the traditional judges.”

Marshall was first runner-up to Miss USF 2011 Samantha Stratton.


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