The Miss Kansas Pageant is coming up this summer, and contestants are preparing to step on the stage showing off sashes ranging from: “Miss Dodge City” to “Miss Barton County.” For the first time, one of those sashes will say “Miss Fort Hays State University.” FHSU has had students competing before, but not officially under the name Miss FHSU; one special woman has the honor of doing so this year.
Sierra Archer, junior, majoring in Speech-Language Pathology, was elected 2015 Homecoming Queen at Fort Hays State University. A few months later, she was informed that by being a university’s homecoming queen this qualified her to represent Fort Hays State at the Miss Kansas Pageant.
For the first time this school year, FHSU used a new method to elect homecoming royalty. First, students interested in running had to submit an application, and then the review committee considered which candidates were most qualified. The next step was interviewing the selected finalists, who then moved on to the campaign to students of FHSU. Archer was partnered with a running mate, and the candidates were given about a week to reach out to students, in hopes of winning the title. Archer was crowned alongside FHSU’s Homecoming King, SGA President Ulises Gonzalez, at the homecoming football game on October 3rd.
This new style of electing Homecoming King and Queen is what qualifies Archer to compete at Miss Kansas. Typically to compete women must qualify through local pageants, but a university Homecoming Queen title will suffice because it was determined by a panel of judges, not just student votes. So while there have technically been Miss FHSUs before, until this year they were not eligible to compete.
When Archer was invited to compete at Miss Kansas, she originally planned on not doing it, but said she later realized that “this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, how many people can say that they competed at Miss Kansas?” Archer, who grew up in Valley Center, Kansas has never competed in pageants before, however, that hasn’t discouraged anyone in regards of her representing FHSU well. She is one of the most involved students on campus, participating in National Student Speech Language Hearing Association, Delta Zeta Sorority, Panhellenic Council, Order of Omega (Greek Honor Society), as well as Society of Leadership and Achievement (which she helped found on the FHSU campus). Her favorite hobby is Crossfit. “My job is a special education para-educator [at a local school in Hays], I love my kiddos!” Archer says of her part-time employment.
Despite being extremely busy with school, work, organizations and clubs, and having some fun on the side, Archer cannot wait to represent FHSU and show the world the amazing opportunities that being a Tiger brings. She is currently prepping for the pageant, and her platform will be equal education opportunity.
Although the pageant is still a few months away, Sierra is already making the Tiger family proud as she begins the legacy of Miss Fort Hays State University!