The Pine Needle
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Women Compete for Crown, Title

Women Compete for Crown, TitlePhi Beta Sigma

By Janae Curtian, Around the Campus Editor

Christina Jean-Francois, senior, was crowned as Miss Phi Beta Sigma 2015 on March 26 at the 4th annual Miss Phi Beta Sigma Pageant.

The Nu Iota Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. held the pageant at 7:00 p.m. in the Givens Performing Arts Center (GPAC).

Lamar Courman, a member of the fraternity, hosted the pageant and had introduced the “Electric Ladies” that participated in the pageant.

The participants included Alexis Benson-Wilson, Tangie Harris, Nayka McNair, Merveille Mapuku, Deionja Johnson, Robyn Rivers, Christina Jean-Francois, Simone Lott and Madison Ricks. 

Benson-Wilson won the title Miss Nu Iota with over 500 votes from the audience. 

She also received the highest number in monetary donation, which got her the title Miss Blue and White. 

Miss 1914, also known as “Miss Congeniality,” was awarded to Tangie Harris.                        

“Because of her beautiful spirit and because she brought so much life to the pageant, we had to give her this award,” Courman said.

he Electric Ladies participated in four different categories: lifestyle and fitness, artistic expression, presence and poise and the extemporaneous response portion.

There were also performances by the UNCP Hip Hop Dance Team, the newest organization on campus, a singing performance by Denesha McAllister and Caleb Sasser from the music department and a  performance from Miss Southeastern Region Phi Beta Sigma 2015-2017, Cydni Walker.

The judges of the pageant were Leonard Jones, ZaSheyana Nicholson, Jamal Quick, Emily Ashley and David Green. 

During one of the intermissions, Courman asked a member of each organization from the National Pan-Hellenic Council to come up and speak about their particular organization and how they serve the community.

The Nu Iota Chapter’s mission is to not only to bring awareness to campus about brotherhood, scholarship and service, but to become united with one another for a common goal.

“This right here is beautiful.  Having a member from each organization come up, just shows how united we can be,” he said.

The chapter also presented Dr. John R. Jones III,  vice chancellor for student affairs, with an award for all of his hard work, involvement on campus,and dedication to creating a campus that focuses on student success.

Bessie Barnes, Miss Phi Beta Sigma 2014 and the recently crowned Miss UNCP 2015, gave her farewell on stage as her daughter London Faith joined her.

“I am truly honored to have served as your Miss Phi Beta Sigma 2014.  Being a part of the pageant last year became a platform and inspired me to do so much more and also become Miss UNCP 2015,” she said.

Barnes, along with Miss Fayetteville Comfort Johnson, presented sashes to all of the winning contestants.

Jean-Francois said she plans to use her experience in entrepreneurship and work with youth in the community.

She said she was honored to have won and she would not trade this experience for anything.

“If I could describe the impact that this pageant has had on me, I would definitely say empowering.  I really enjoyed bonding with the other contestants.  These girls made every moment that much more special,” Jean-Francois said.

Photo by Sara Owen. Christina Jean-Francois, left, receives her crown and sash as Miss Phi Beta Sigma 2015 from Miss UNCP 2015 Bessie Barnes, center, and Miss Fayetteville Comfort Johnson.