Inclusive New Flare to a Classic Crowd Pleaser
Mr. Westminster was created in 2008 by the Residence Hall Association (RHA) as a light-hearted way to get students involved in the V-Day campaign, which aims to raise awareness of issues surrounding sexual assault and violence—and to raise funds for the Rape Recovery Center. Students are nominated by their peers to participate in Mr. Westminster and the top 12 fundraisers are chosen to compete on stage at a pageant-style event. Until 2016, the pageant had only included men, but when Vanessa Vega was nominated and earned a spot in the top 12, the RHA reconsidered how they determined contestant eligibility.
RHA body officer, Nate McDonald, began looking for a new name for the event that could be more inclusive, welcoming those who identify as male, female, or neither, but are just as dedicated to the cause and want to compete. The gender neutral prefix, Mx. (pronounced mix) was prosed by Nicole Tyler, a junior and former member of the Student Diversity and Inclusion staff. The new name was unanimously adopted.
The shift from Mr. to Mx. Westminster is one small example of the proactive efforts Westminster is taking to improve diversity and inclusion initiatives on campus. First-year theatre major, Nathaniel Woolley, was crowned the first Mx. Westminster at this year's event on January 31. Nathaniel will pass the crown to next year’s winner as this new legacy continues.
About the Westminster Review
The Westminster Review is Westminster College’s bi-annual alumni magazine that is distributed to alumni and community members. Each issue aims to keep alumni updated on campus current events and highlights the accomplishments of current students, professors, and Westminster alum.