Raven Leverett
Assistant Features Editor

Normally when people think of a pageant they think of young, spray-tanned women up on a stage showing off their dresses, but Zeta Tau Alpha has a different outlook on pageants.

This year marked Zeta Tau Alpha’s 16th annual fundraising event, Mr. Southern.

Organizations on campus nominate a male to compete in a pageant.

Once in the competition, the male dresses up in causal wear, swimwear, formal wear, perform a talent and answer a series of questions about the sorority.

Each year, a new Mr. Southern is crowned. The ladies of ZTA raised more than $5,000 for their foundation last year.

Mr. Southern took place in Branscomb Auditorium on March 27.

There were ten organizations that competed, which included the women’s softball team, Pi Kappa Alpha, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Alpha Delta Pi, Sigma Chi, Alpha Chi Omega, Theta Chi, Lambda Chi, Kappa Delta and Pi Kappa Phi.

“(The atmosphere) was very exciting,” sophomore Lauren Dill said. “The host (Hilary Lipham) was funny, and all of the contestants were talented. Everyone did really well answering the questions about Zeta.”

Last year, Stephen Ellrod was crowned the winner, representing Theta Chi. However, a new prince was crowned this year.

Senior Matt Gardner, representing Alpha Chi Omega, beat out the competition.

Gardner wore a dress on stage to show his appreciation for Alpha Chi Omega, and played the trumpet to Andrea Bocelli’s “Italia” to showcase his talent.

“I worked hard, for about a month, I practiced my trumpet, got the song ready,” Gardner said. “I practiced my walk up and down my room to look as good as I could. I love performing and making people laugh.”

The funds raised support the Zeta Tau Alpha Foundation, and raises awareness about breast cancer.

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women.

One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.

The women of ZTA enjoy hosting this pageant to raise awareness and spread the word.

“It is a great way to get the campus involved…I feel a lot of students get into it, and it is a great way to raise money in a really fun way,” Ashley Arsenault, ZTA member, said.

Mr. Southern is open to all organizations, so it is not a requirement to be Greek in order to participate.

ZTA looks forward to the surprises that next year’s competition will bring.

From men in dresses to back flips, the men of FSC showed off their talents and appreciation for their represented organization, and there was room for all of them to shine on stage.