JaCorey Patterson and Isabella Beltri may revel in their respective roles as Mr. and Ms. UTSA for now, but come Oct. 21 new royalty will succeed the previous winners.

The finalists’ efforts to get the vote out is underway. From catchy hashtags to cringey YouTube videos, each pair has undergone different routes to capture student attention. Students may view their colleagues’ attempts and wonder how they would fare with their own hat in the ring–voter turnout is low; how hard could it be? But it’s not that easy.

Six finalists were nominated by the UTSA Alumni Association: Mr. Moshood Adams and Ms. Asia Marshall, Mr. Joseph Delrosario and Ms. Jennifer Trevino and Mr. Jeffrey Hooks and Ms. Taylor Waits.

The finalists’ nomination is determined by their UTSA spirit, academic achievement, campus involvement and community service. The academic criteria aren’t daunting–the minimum GPA is 2.75–but many are deterred by the community engagement and public speaking components paired with the nomination.

Following a traditional application process (application, resume, cover letter, letter of recommendation and criminal background check) candidates are required to give a “TEDx style” presentation on a possible platform implemented in the spring semester, using the tenets of the Roadrunner Creed. The presentation is scored by a panel of judges and, in case of a tie, used as a tiebreaker.

Patterson’s presentation was coined “Involvement Mania”. He advocated student involvement by implementing a system that tracks and rewards participation by swiping student IDs at football games, university events and organization’s meetings.

The presentations and public speaking don’t end with the application process. Mr. and Ms. UTSA must represent UTSA in a range of places. UTSA departments, student organizations and non-UTSA entities may apply for an appearance from Mr. and Ms. UTSA and are asked to provide a script for the royalty. The faint of heart may flop under this sort of pressure. Students squirm during in-class presentations, imagine addressing an entire student organzation–Mr. and Ms. UTSA need to be on their ‘A’ game.

The speaking platform is the power of the Mr. and Ms. UTSA’s role. When on-campus news breaks The Paisano seeks out our university representatives–President Taylor Eighmy, SGA President Marcus Thomas, organization leaders and Mr. and Ms. UTSA.

It is up to Mr. and Ms. UTSA to use their best judgment when speaking on behalf of the students. The Paisano has seen their fair share of vocal, as well as, reclusive royalty. What Mr. and Ms. UTSA mustn’t forget is that the Alumni Association’s criterion for selection has a purpose, UTSA entrusted them to represent our school and inspire our colleagues–The Paisano doesn’t want a “no comment” from these entrusted members; we want UTSA’s voice to be heard.

The Paisano wishes all the candidates the best of luck. We are excited to engage with the 2017-2018 Mr. and Ms. UTSA.

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