by Hayley McQuade
Layla Cypher, a senior mass communication major, serves as Rochester University’s student body president, and she wants to make sure students’ opinions and voices are heard throughout the campus community.
“To me, this means that I am serving the student body. Throughout the year, I want to make sure that everyone feels welcomed, heard, and like they have a part in our community that we are building together,” she said.
Cypher was elected to the position at the end of the spring 2022 semester, and she has been making plans and enacting her goals ever since.
“One of my biggest priorities this year is increasing campus safety and security. Part of this was getting the blue light emergency phone on campus, and it has already been installed,” she said.
Cypher communicates regularly with Scott Samuels, vice president of admissions, marketing, student life, and interim dean of students, to express student concerns, discuss plans, offer feedback, and accomplish goals they have planned for RU.
Cypher has attended RU since she was a sophomore in high school, as part of the Oxford Schools Early College program. She is involved in several organizations on campus, including serving as president of Omicron Omega Zeta and as a staff member of Shield Media.
“I like to connect with the student body by meeting everyone in person!” she said. “I love going to all of the events we host on campus to get to know everyone.”
Cypher said she enjoys communication and found the right major when she chose mass communication. “It is a degree that I can apply to any career that I want to go into,” she said.
Outside of her campus involvements, Layla competes in beauty pageants, and this past summer, she won the Miss Oakland County pageant. She will go on to compete for the state title in June 2023. The Miss America Organization coordinates the pageants, and the competition includes an interview, on-stage questions, a talent event, an evening gown presentation, and a social impact pitch.
In the social impact pitch, the women discuss their social impact initiative. Cypher’s initiative is called, “Your vote is your voice,” which encourages young adults to register to vote and use their voice within their community.
She said one of her best memories from participating in pageants was two years ago at Miss Michigan where she lived with 27 other women for a week. She said she formed great bonds and many deep friendships.