Wed. Jan 26th, 2022

When you hear the words “beauty pageant contestant” what do you think of? Stuck up? Snobby? Drama queen? High maintenance? This may be how some pageant contestants are, but West Chester’s own Liz Seymour is nothing close to those descriptions. Seymour, who recently won Miss. WCU, a community service pageant started in 1998, is as nice as they come. She is in her junior year and is majoring in elementary education with a minor in music.

Her platform is smoking rights and education, which means Seymour works to make WCU a better environment for both smokers and nonsmokers. She will also take her platform to the community to talk about the risks of smoking as part of the education campaign that WCU has underway.

Upon asking Seymour why she chose this as her platform she replied, “My grandmother died of cancer. The cancer started in her nose from secondhand smoke and spread from there.” It is clear that this is a topic very dear to her heart and something she works passionately on.

Seymour says she wants to educate people on the dangers of smoking and what people inhale when they smoke. She said, though, that she understands some people are going to continue to smoke anyway, and because of this she would like to see the places designated for smokers away from areas where nonsmokers will have to pass through, such as entries and exits. She also told me that smokers should, however, have somewhere to go that is covered so they are protected from rain or snow when outside. “Ultimately,” Seymour said, “I want to unite smokers and nonsmokers to help make a nice environment for both parties on campus.”

Also on her agenda are the various appearances that are required of Miss. WCU. Recently, Seymour went with the dance department’s Traveling Troupe to the White Horse Retirement Village to perform. She said that seeing the people at the retirement home react to the performance was the best part of the show. “It was such a joy to see how happy the performance made them. It filled me with so much joy as well. Those are some of the greatest rewards…to be able to represent WCU in that kind of light is an amazing experience.”

In addition to being a member of the Dance Production Workshop Seymour also belongs to the University Theater and Cantori Donni Women’s Choral Ensemble. She also works as an RA and is the editor of the Sanderson Street Journal. Off campus, she works at the Young Peoples Theatre Workshop, and at the Strath Haven Middle School on their annual spring musical.

When asked why she feels she won over all the other contestants, Seymour modestly replied “A lot of that comes from luck.” She said any number of factors could have changed the outcome that night. If there had been a different judge, if she sang a different song, wore a different outfit, any of it could have changed the outcome.

She did say this was something she had been working on for a while. “After last year, I knew this was something I wanted to do,” she said. She witnessed what Miss WCU 2002 and 2003 were able to do for their platforms on campus. Once she found a platform she was passionate about she knew that she wanted to compete for the title.

The other factor Seymour said helped her to win was all the help she received from friends and experts. “I never could have done it alone,” Seymour said. They helped her in choosing songs, clothes, and quizzing her for the offstage interview portion of the event.

Her advice for anyone who wants to run in the Miss. WCU pageant next year is to first find a topic that really speaks to you. “If you are motivated with that topic, it will show.” And second, get help and do your research. Seymour researched her platformfor months prior to the pagent. She said even though she was already rather knowledgeable about the topic ,she wanted to make sure she knew absolutely everything she could.

She also wanted to thank her sponsors, Blink, a clothing store in West Chester that gave her a casual wear outfit, Sanderson Hall, where she is an RA and has resided for the past two years, and Young Peoples Theatre Workshop.

While Seymour received various prizes for winning the title including a sash, pin, crown, massage at Texxtures, dinner at Ryan’s Pub and ballroom dance lessons, just to name a few, she says that the biggest prize she won for being named Miss. WCU was “feeling the sense of accomplishment that came with the honor.” She says the best part of getting to all this is “being able to make a difference, meet people, and share my love for WCU with others.” Seymour’s enthusiasm for WCU and all that she does is contagious and it is no surprise after speaking with her that she was chosen to represent our university as Miss. WCU.

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