The Miss UCF Scholarship Program will no longer be hosting a swimsuit competition as part of their annual pageant according to Heather Smith, the Assistant Director for UCF Media Relations.
The decision comes hot on the heels of a groundbreaking announcement from the Miss America beauty pageant, stating that they will no longer be hosting a swimsuit portion of the competition in an effort to promote “progressiveness, inclusiveness, and empowerment.” Gretchen Carlson, the sitting chairwoman for the organization’s board of directors, stated that Miss America is “no longer a pageant, but a competition…we will no longer judge our candidates on their outward physical appearance.” The announcement came from Carlson Tuesday morning on ABC’s Good Morning America.
Smith stated similar reasoning in UCF’s decision.
“The change in the Miss America Organization is a welcomed opportunity to continue to expand on inclusion within our tradition at UCF,” she said. “We are looking forward to exploring how to incorporate this change into how we plan and showcase our participants in a way that highlights who they are as individuals.”
The Mr. and Miss UCF Scholarship Program first started in 1984, crowning their 34th annual winners earlier this year. The competition allows students the opportunity to travel the state of Florida promoting their platforms and building school spirit, as well as the chance to win some money.