Crowing Miss Independence 2017: Theta Chi fraternity partners with sororities to raise money for soldiers

By Tanvi Hathiramani

Pies being thrown, ribbons being stolen, and a new Miss Independence being crowned. FIU’s Greek life is famous for its pageants and this past Friday, October 27, Theta Chi Fraternity hosted their annual Miss Independence pageant, benefiting the United Service Organization. Throughout the week, five women of different affiliations on campus raised money while representing their organization, as well as Theta Chi’s organization.

In the end, Sigma Kappa’s Amanda Alfaro was crowned the new 2017 Miss Independence.

The pageant consisted of several rounds, which in one way or another, showcased the philanthropy. Instead of a swimsuit portion, like in typical pageants, contestants were asked to dress as a branch of the army and explain to the audience why that branch resonated with them.

Both men and women run for pageants for an abundance of reasons, but Alfaro’s resonated with many.

“I ran for Theta Chi’s Miss Independence Pageant to be able to fulfill a lifelong dream of mine. Since I was 11 years old, I wanted to join the Air Force. But unfortunately, due to familial circumstances, I realized that joining the Air Force wasn’t the most viable option for me,” she said.

Even though Alfaro couldn’t physically enroll in the Air Force, she made it a point to still support our troops.

“The USO has been a philanthropy I’ve been giving towards my entire life. Not only do I think it’s the right thing to do morally, but as citizens it is our duty to give back to those who are serving us. That’s what I’ve strived to do,” she said.

For those who think participating in a pageant means merely walking across a stage, FIU’s Greek Life has made these pageants so much more than that. Contestants fundraise not only within the FIU community, but are expected to branch out around Miami and step out of their comfort zone.

For Theta Chi, it went a little like this:

“It was two days of fundraising. The first day was “Earn Your Stripes.” Those who had the most stripes at the end of the day was the winner… I ended the day with a little bit over 600 stripes. I had no idea that I had even earned that many, but I couldn’t have done it without the help of my sisters in Sigma Kappa,” said Alfaro.

Her results that day showed how the Greek community and these organizations come together to support one another. Throughout the week, the pressure of trying to become Miss Independence only became greater.

“The week was difficult for me as well as the other contestants. I never expected it to be easy. The pageant was another ball game in itself. The trivia round, the canning, the final question (why I want to be Miss Independence?),  it was the closest I got, the closest i’ll ever be able to get, to fighting for something that gives back to the soldiers serving us,” she said.

Alfaro’s resilience, determination and passion showed throughout the pageant, and it’s clear that the brothers of Theta Chi Fraternity saw the passion in her as well.

“The fact the the brothers of Theta Chi really see in me what I can do for them and USO has to be one of the most amazing feelings I’ve ever had. It was truly an honor to be standing on that stage and an honor to have given so much during the fundraising week,” she said.

Alfaro received an immense amount of support from the brothers, as well as her own sisters of Sigma Kappa, making the win so much more special.

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