Tennessee State University Queen Stripped Of Title
by Marcus Washington
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - They voted her as their queen, but now it looks like she will never be able to wear the coveted crown.
For this formerly shy student, winning the title of Miss Tennessee State University was a long shot.
"It was something I thought about, but for some reason I never thought it would be possible," said Terra Strong.
After encouragement from friends, Strong shot for the stars hoping to win the title.
She performed for the student body in the university's pageant and earned enough votes to win Miss Tennessee State University, or so she thought.
Weeks after being acknowledged by the university as Miss TSU, Strong was approached by a university administrator to join others in the president's office.
"They sat me down and said, 'Terra it's over. You can't be Miss TSU. You're disqualified,'" Strong said she was told.
The senior said this was shocking because days earlier she was acknowledged by the university as their ambassador and queen.
"I was asked to sing at the commencement and I was put in the program as Miss Tennessee State University 2012 -2013 and I was announced as Miss Tennessee State, not elect," said Strong.
The reason comes down to credit hours earned during the spring 2012 school year and according to Rick DelayHaya, university spokesperson, the student handbook is very clear on this situation.
"It says that during that semester, the student has to have earned 12 semester hours in order to hold that office or title," said DelayHaya.
Terra said she was enrolled in 14 hours, but only earned 11 of those hours when she opted to take an "incomplete" in a course because she and the teacher felt she could make a better grade.
"I never had a clue that being advised by my faculty member, my teacher, that taking an incomplete in a class would disqualify me from being Miss TSU," said Strong.
She said she wants her supporters to know she was not failing the course. In fact, she had a "B" during the mid-term, but she and her teacher agreed she would do better.
She said pushing for an A is what she felt the university's ambassador and queen should strive for, but that is not what she was told in a meeting.
"I should have just taken a lower grade and I would have gotten those credits and I would have been Miss TSU. But why would Miss TSU just take a D?" she questioned.
Strong can only imagine wearing the crown her student body wanted her to have.
"I would love if the administration would just come back and think about the students," she continued.
Strong and her attorney appealed the university's decision; she said their appeal was denied.
Danicia Hayes, who received first runner up in the race, will serve as Miss Tennessee State University 2012-2013.
This was not the only Student Government Association, SGA, shakeup on the campus. The university's recently elected SGA president was also removed from his position because of post- certification issues.
Wednesday, June 19 2013 2:24 PM EDT2013-06-19 18:24:42 GMT
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