Mr. ULV will not be making it to the runway this year and will have to wait until next fall to compete in the men’s Miss America-style pageant.
“I had no idea that the Mr. ULV pageant was cancelled until last minute,” sophomore contestant Will Hawkins said.
Events like “Dunk a Hunk,” Dinner with the Candidates and Spot Light that would have preceded the Mr. ULV competition were cancelled also due to some challenges in putting the event together.
“The support was not in place to run a quality program that students would be proud of,” Associated Student Federation Forum President Dana McJunkin said
Also, in the process of creating the Mr. ULV pageant, ASF Senator Nicole Caceras, who was on last year’s committee and creator of the Mr. ULV pageant, was impeached from ASF for tardiness and absence from meetings.
Caceras said that ASF attendance rules were never enforced until two weeks prior to the Mr. ULV event.
“I was late for a couple of ASF meetings doing work for Mr. ULV such as printing stuff out, making calls, running around for facility; but ASF had me impeached,” Caceras said.
The ASF bylaws state that if anyone is late for a meeting it counts as an absence and therefore can be impeached.
“Even though the current president also had some mishaps with her attendance in her years serving in ASF she was excused,” Caceras said. “I just don’t think this is fair.”
McJunkin said that she announced at the beginning of the semester that the attendance rules would be strictly enforced at the beginning of the semester and under no circumstances would there be exceptions to the policy.
“With regards to me having attendance problems,” McJunkin said, “I have never been late nor absent to a meeting, especially since it is I who run them.”
ASF wanted to create and sponsor an event that had the potential of being one of the most talked about and well-liked events on campus, but the process of creating Mr. ULV was not becoming a reality soon enough.
“I wanted to make Mr. ULV very big for all ULV students to enjoy and participate, but without the head and founder there was no way the event could still go on,” Caceras said.
Last year, ASF had two co-chairs for the Mr. ULV event; therefore, Caceras was not solely in charge of the event last spring, according to ASF.
“I did most of the work on Mr. ULV and even though I was no longer part of the Forum, ASF still asked me to help after dropping me,” Caceras said. “Why should I give out my work that I worked so hard on especially when I would receive no credit for it?”
The former senator was asked to return the organization’s materials after removal from her position.
“In other words, there were no tasks that were assigned after the removal from the position,” McJunkin said. “Any tasks or work for the event was asked to be completed before the removal from her position on the forum as senator.”
Senator Lisandra Gonzalez is also no longer with ASF and is said to have resigned.
Both senators quit their job duties on the Mr. ULV pageant.
ASF also said in confirming the final details before the event, four candidates withdrew from the contest with no reason. But ASF has reasons to believe that it was because of lack of preparation.
“All but two candidates dropped out because they felt that ASF was very much disorganized and unfair to me,” Caceras said.
ASF Adviser Brian Armstrong had no comment on why Caceras and Gonzalez were no longer part of ASF but said he supports its members’ decision in pulling a campus wide event at the last minute.
“We also had two service vendors contracts fall through since the appropriate procedure was not followed on our end,” Armstrong said.
“Given disappearing candidates and the substance to run the event, it would not be a quality event.”
“Mr. ULV was cancelled because ASF could not handle the work load,” Caceras said. “In putting the event together I had no support from E-Board and all they wanted to do is give it to CAB so they would not have to deal with it.”
“ASF is confident in their decision in canceling the Mr. ULV pageant and its importance in having a successful event that met the requirement and expectations of ASF and the student body rather having an event that was hastily put together,” McJunkin said.
Students who were going to compete in Mr. ULV said that they will have no time next fall to compete.
Additionally, many of the seniors who were looking forward to the competition this year will not have the opportunity to compete.
“I am very disappointed that the contest was cancelled because I am a senior and will not be able to compete in the fall,” Mr. ULV contestant Donte Witherspoon said. “I was going to be Napoleon Dynamite, performing a skit from the movie where he is dancing in honor for his best friend Pedro.”
However ASF plans to hold the next Mr. ULV this fall complete with swimwear, eveningwear and talent competitions.
“Even though the Mr. ULV contest was cancelled I hope it will happen next year because I still would like to compete,” freshmen Sammy Villanueva said.
“As president, my role is to maintain my responsibility to the students and not put together a program that students are ashamed to see and represent what the University of La Verne is and has to offer,” McJunkin said.
“It is my job to make sure that this event goes on in the fall and goes well,” she added.
While ASF members agree that many people found it disappointing for the event not to proceed, they said they are looking forward to a well-planned and well-prepared Mr. ULV this fall to kick-off a new semester.
Jennifer Kitzmann can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.