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The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star


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Candidates for homecoming court reflect on their time at Texas State

Homecoming week has been a long-standing tradition at Texas State and has been a big week for students for years. Over the years, Homecoming Court has been a way for Texas State students to show their love for their community. Several students applied to be on this year’s Homecoming Court. Although there are currently a total of 20 candidates, with four kings, four queens and 12 Gaillardians, four candidates chose to speak about their Texas State experience.

Johnny Dao – Candidate for Homecoming King

Originally, Johnny Dao, an English and biology senior, came to Texas State in 2020 because his partner at the time also attended. Over the course of his four years here, Dao has learned to embrace Texas State for what it is and appreciate the opportunities he has been given.

Johnny Dao (Photo Courtesy of Preethi Mangadu)

Soon after getting a job at Bobcat Welcome, then called Bobcat Preview, Dao started as a consultant at the University Writing Center during his sophomore year and has been there ever since. He also served as the cochair for public relations during his second summer and a director for extended orientation.

Dao is now running for Homecoming King to represent and motivate students to step outside of their comfort zone and get involved on campus.

“It’s not all about popularity… I could care less about how many followers [I get] after the fact,” Dao said. “The point is, having an Asian on Homecoming Court is a huge step for the university.”






Ka’Vorick Williams – Candidate for Homecoming King

Ka’Vorick Williams, a business management senior, came to Texas State looking for a home away from home. Williams said he remembers coming here for the first time and absolutely loving the atmosphere and the community.

Ka’Vorick Williams (Photo Courtesy of Tesia Jackson)

“I liked all the resources and stuff we have and how I can maximize my potential as a student,” Williams said. “It was a perfect choice for me.”

Like a lot of other freshman students in 2020, Williams came in during COVID-19 and didn’t get a chance to branch out or explore everything that Texas State had to offer. By his sophomore year to now he has had a great experience and is now running for Homecoming King.

“That’s also something that pushed me [to] get out of my shell, branch out and do something that I never would have thought of myself to do,” Williams said. “Being able to get out there and represent the university in a positive way.”






KJ Jones – Candidate for Homecoming Queen

KJ Jones, a psychology senior, also came to TXST during 2020 and came here with the intent of going out into the world, venturing out independently and starting fresh.

KJ Jones (Photo Courtesy of Asanti Wiley)

Since enrolling at TXST, Jones said she has been able to find her people and make a voice not only for herself but also others.

“I never imagined myself being close with administrators from Texas State,” Jones said. “I’ve loved all four years here. It’s been an experience. It’s crazy that it’s about to be over.”

While being here Jones has served as an event coordinator for Black Student Alliance as well as the internal event coordinator for Black Women United.

In Jones’ last year here, she decided to run for Homecoming Queen in order to give a voice to those who can’t speak up.

“I’m willing to connect with everyone on campus, just so that I can be a voice for the people,” Jones said. “Not everybody has that motivation to step up for others or even themselves. I’ve accomplished a lot and I genuinely just want the best [life] for people that I meet at Texas State.”




Zaria Brownlee – Candidate for Homecoming Queen

Zaria Brownlee, a theatrical production senior, was intrigued to attend Texas State after hearing of the highly reputable theatre program the university had to offer.

Zaria Brownlee (Photo Courtesy of McKayla Thomas)

“I came for Bobcat Day and I completely fell in love with the campus and people,” Brownlee said. “I’ve never felt more welcomed anywhere else.”

Now, Brownlee is a University Ambassador, with the role of conducting campus tours and hosting Bobcat Day. Brownlee is also the Vice President for Alpha Kappa Alpha, the first Black sorority.

With her love for Texas State and the experience the university has supplied her, Brownlee is running for Homecoming Queen.

“Even if I don’t win, it’s just a positive outlook, because they look at Texas State and they look at you and they’re like ‘That’s a reflection of the type of people that they produce,'” Brownlee said. “I genuinely have a love and passion for Texas State and I wanted a way to broadcast that.”

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