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Trojan spirit reaches high during Homecoming win

Submitted by Jennifer Ellis on March 1, 2012 – 10:35 pmNo Comment

Pi Kappa Alpha members Chris Kupferle, sophomore finance major, and James Lloyd, junior history major, cheer on the Trojans during the Homecoming game at the Jack Stephens Center Feb. 25. Pi Kappa Alpha took home the trophy for the most spirited student organization. Photo by Chelsey McNiel

In the packed student section of the Jack Stephens Center spirits were high as the Trojans won the Homecoming game 62-60 in the last second of play against the Arkansas State Red Wolves on Feb. 25 .

The nail-biting game and crowning of the 2012 Homecoming queen Melani Birusingh, senior speech pathology major and Student Government Association secretary, ended UALR’s week of Homecoming festivities.

Standing on the court and hearing her name announced as queen, Birusingh said she thought — “Oh my goodness is that me?”

After spending two days campaigning for the crown, with the help of her friends and fellow SGA members, Birusingh said the hard work really paid off.

Her escort chosen by the SGA was Sen. Ed Hernandez, sophomore business major, who said, “She’s a great person and she deserves the crown. I’m excited for her; I think everyone is.”

Student Government Association Secretary Melani Birusingh is crowned 2012 Homecoming queen by the prior year’s queen Reyna Sanchez, senior Spanish and criminal justice major, at the Jack Stephens Center on Feb. 25. Photo by Chelsey McNiel

Students voted for Homecoming queen at a polling booth in the Donaghey Student Center Feb. 22-23.

The other nominees included Virginia Chambers, sophomore speech pathology major; Natalie Clark, junior construction management major; Kimberly Gulley, junior social work major; Andrea Moore, sophomore speech pathology major; Ashley Morris, sophomore computer science major; Kasharie Sanders, sophomore nursing major; Meredith Shipp, sophomore journalism major; Alexandria Taylor, senior music education major; and Katie Waller, senior speech pathology major.

Also recognized for outstanding Trojan pride and taking home the trophy for the most spirited student organization, for the second consecutive year, was Pi Kappa Alpha also known as Pikes.

Ben Vlahos, junior mechanical engineering major, said he thinks his fraternity’s continuous support of Trojan athletics combined with their enthusiasm at the Homecoming game is what clinched the title for them.

“It’s not one time — it’s every game. We go to baseball games, we go to the basketball games, we go to the volleyball games; we’re everywhere,” Vlahos said.
The winner of the most spirited individual fan award and a $300 prize from the Office of Campus Life went to Pi Kappa Alpha member Richard Tatum, senior biology and psychology major.

For Danny Jimenez, freshman dance major, Homecoming was the first Trojan basketball game he had been to, but he said it wasn’t hard to catch the spirit.

“I didn’t expect it to be this hyped; I got so excited over this game. And it was so close because we were trailing behind, for most of the game you know, and we just came back at the end here. … Everyone around me was going crazy,” Jimenez said.

Echoing that sentiment Julius Johnson, sophomore journalism major, said, “Who needs a football team when you’ve got a basketball team like this!”

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