Miss UWO is more than a beauty pageant

Marcella Brown

The second annual Miss UWO: Professional Dress and Persona event hosted by the men of the Zeta Zeta chapter of Beta Theta Pi is aimed at increasing awareness of domestic abuse, raising money to support the local Christine Ann Center and highlighting positive role models within the Oshkosh community. Donald Bantle, a member of the Zeta Zeta chapter of Beta Theta Pi at UW Oshkosh, has a big hand in the event. Bantle said women participating in the event can expect to compete in four categories: professional dress, spirit wear, talent, and domestic abuse question and answer. Bantle said the men of Zeta Zeta decided to start the Miss UWO event in response to the Mr. UWO event focused on Autism Speaks, hosted by Alpha Xi Delta. “We thought it would be a great way to add a balance to their event by having a female version,” Bantle said. “Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent all domestic abuse. However, we can do our part to reduce the horrendous rate of domestic abuse occurrences by providing support and care for those who are able to reach out.” In order to participate in the event, contestants will be required to raise $50 to go towards the Christine Ann Center. Bantle said the event raises money for the center in numerous other ways, including a donation basket, 50/50 raffle and door prizes. “Local businesses have been contacting me and wanting to sponsor this cause and event,” Bantle said. “100 percent of the proceeds go to the Christine Ann Center.” Dana Hall, member of Alpha Xi Delta at UWO, was the winner of last year’s Miss UWO event. “Last year I participated in Miss UWO because I thought it would be a good way to get out of my comfort zone,” Hall said. “It was a great way to support another Greek organization.” Zachary Dunton, one of the MCs for this year’s event, said it is important to be informed about domestic violence, especially when supporting institutions that help domestic violence victims. “For women interested in participating in the event, I make it clear that this is not a beauty pageant; it is an awareness pageant,” Dunton said. “The spirit portion and talent portion of the event are fun opportunities for the contestants to express themselves, while the knowledge portion ties the crowd back to the purpose of the event.” Bantle said applications for the event can be picked up by any UWO student who identifies as female at the Student Leadership and Involvement Center in Reeve Memorial Union. The pageant will take place on Oct. 29 in the Reeve Memorial Union Ballroom.