Oct. 9 through the 15 is a special week for students and faculty alike: homecoming week.
Certain changes are being implemented this year in order to appeal closely to the more hardworking, involved students here on campus. Jessica Frogge, advisor to the homecoming committee, could not be more enthusiastic about the plans.
“The theme this year is ‘Olympics,’” Frogge said. “Funded completely by the student government. The idea this year round is to make all students feel included.”
Instead of the normal tradition of king and queen, however, there is going to be a whole new system derived to specifically target the minority of students who wouldn’t normally get elected for homecoming court despite being involved everywhere. Any organization that wants to nominate a person can submit forms. If you want to self nominate, 25 supporting signatures are required.
“We bring in 3 judges from the community, and I am pushing my staff to find these leaders within the community to vote for 10 deserving students for homecoming court, which is how we always did it,” Frogge said. “The change comes in narrowing it down to a 3 top students, which the student body will decide on. This is instead of the normal king and queen tradition, which in my opinion will make the whole thing more meaningful. On one hand, it fits in the the whole Olympics theme, but on the other hand, a lot more students get their chance to be recognized for their hard work in their community, instead of the popularity contest homecoming can sometimes be viewed as.”
Despite the overwhelming support the homecoming staff has gotten, many students aren’t on the same boat. Many don’t want to give up that tradition that homecoming has become. In fact, junior PJ Kelly considered writing to the VP of Student Affairs in order to give students a year to adjust to or alter the decision.
“It wasn’t really a petition, just more of a letter that I was going to send to the higher-ups explaining my frustrations with the changes,” Kelly said. “But I never ended up going through with it. What they’ve done, change a tradition that’s been around since 1969, without asking the students, is ridiculous. This is a student-driven school, and they took out one of the oldest traditions we have to please the few.”
Ultimately it can be said that the idea to suggest change was a tough one. Kelly, among others like Chuck Mosley, junior on the homecoming committee, still stand in favor of tradition, but do seem at ease with working out solutions for the future.
“In the letter I asked to put off the change of king and queen to next year to give time to talk to the students about the changes being made and take it to a student vote,” Kelly said. “When I was telling friends what I was doing, they wanted to sign the letter too. They also felt it should come to a student vote. Students should have a voice in the change.”
It can be said that the argument against change is respectable. It all comes down to student opinion, and each side grants superb examples about whether or not these actions to remove king and queen should be carried out come Oct. 9.
“After it’s all over, we’ll start some talks with student government and the alumni organization,” Frogge said. “We’ll gather some alumni input, and make sure they understand we’re trying not to take away from them. I really hope we do continue with the change. I would be more proud to get an award for something I do than because someone knows my name.”
Of course, Frogge outlined that despite uneasy feelings toward change, no one has come to discuss it with her. Mosley did sit down and talk, as he on the committee wanted to come down to a solid decision, and at least ease up the the idea. If the idea of getting rid of tradition doesn’t sit well with anyone, she did encourage anyone to stop by and explain the problems. It isn’t a fight between right and wrong, it’s a genuine concern between tradition and creating new opportunities. Regardless of decision, though, the school strongly encourages everyone to come down and enjoy themselves at homecoming.
“Instead of making a popularity contest, we want more inclusion,” said Adam McGowan, Title IX coordinator. “Anytime we can include more voices to anything, we will end up with a better product.”