Every year, the Department of Multicultural Affairs hosts the Hispanic Rey y Reina contest during Hispanic heritage month.
“El Rey” translates to the king and “La Reina” translates to the queen in Spanish.
Only students of Hispanic descent can run for Rey or Reina. Prospective contestants must fill out an application describing their Hispanic background and turn it in to the office of Hispanic Affairs. Once the application is filled out and turned in, contestants are required to attend an informational meeting describing the regulations of the contest, according to the application.
The contest consists of creating a photo collage that shows the contestants’ Hispanic heritage and campaigning on social media before the day of the contest, according to the application. On the day of the contest, contestants set up their photo collage in the Camus Union Building lobby for faculty and students to see. For one hour, contestants speak with faculty and students about their collage and why they believe they should be voted as the next Rey or Reina.
The Rey and Reina are expected to reign for an entire year, from September 2015-16.
Contestants must be able to attend as many multicultural events as possible throughout their reign. Some of the events that they are required to attend are banquets, presentations, and homecoming events. The Rey and Reina are also considered to be the public face of the Hispanic Affairs office. They will receive a sash, crown/tiara and a $100 scholarship that will be divided for the fall 2015 and spring 2016 semesters as long as they can fulfill their duties.
Fifteen contestants competed in this year’s Rey y Reina contest on Thursday, September 24. Four male contestants ran for El Rey and 11 female contestants ran for La Reina.
“I want to represent my culture,” Marisol Saldivar, La Reina contestant and ENMU junior said. “This is kind of my boost to get out there.”
“I really want to help the Hispanic community with my social work in the future,” Saldivar said.
“Whether I win or lose, I’m really proud to be Hispanic,” Saldivar said. “Plus, who doesn’t want to wear the crown?”
Saldivar was not the only contestant who was proud to be competing in the contest.
“I’m not scared to let people know that I’m Hispanic,” sophomore Joel Villanueva said. “I want to show people where I come from.”
“I want to tell everybody at Eastern a little piece of my story so that in return they can tell me a little piece of their story,” Villanueva said.
Annabel Jauregui, an office assistant for Hispanic Affairs, said that she always feels sad at the end of the contest. She said that she feels heartbroken because she knows there can only be one winner for Rey and one winner for Reina.
“Seeing the look on the other contestants faces [after announcing the winner] just breaks my heart”, said Jauregui.
While awaiting the results, the contestants danced and finished their treats to pass the time.
Joshua Alvarez, a sophomore, and Adilene Adame, junior, were selected as 2015-2016 Rey and Reina.
“I didn’t do it for myself, I did it for my family and to represent the Hispanic culture,” Alvarez said.
Alvarez’ photo collage consisted of multiple photos of his family and a piñata sitting in front of his display.
Adame’s photo collage had various pictures of her family on it.
Adame said winning the competition was unexpected
“I feel really excited,” Adame said. “I’m really glad I get the opportunity to represent Hispanic Reina for the next year.”