COLUMN: Homecoming King and Queen… in College?

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Last week was Homecoming Week at Siena Heights University where alumni, students, staff and friends of the university came together to celebrate another year of the operation. There are several activities going on: one of them is the crowning of the Homecoming King and Queen. This ritual is the highlight of many high school homecoming ceremonies, but is a little less common on college campuses. Should we hang up the crowns after we graduate from high school?

High school crowning ceremonies are so special because girls get to see their friends in their beautiful dresses stand in front of their hometown, and the boys get to cheer on their friends as they stand in their tuxedos. A crowning ceremony in college is a little different.

Unlike the high school ceremonies, college crowning ceremonies are not in front of the candidates’ hometowns. In fact, I would be willing to guess that the candidates barely know anyone at all other than their friends and family in the crowd.

Then, there is the problem of participation among students. In high school, representatives from the senior class would come around and give out ballots to all students one day during Homecoming Week during classes. In college, it is entirely up to the students to cast their votes. It isn’t hard to believe that many students do not vote at all because of several reasons. Maybe they don’t know the candidates, maybe they do not care, maybe they didn’t know about the vote, etc.

On the other hand, because we are in college, people are able to create groups and activities as they please. Just because someone creates a group or an activity does not mean that all students must participate. You do not see students flocking by the hundreds to math club.

Who are we to say that students can’t do something on campus because it is a high school thing? The great thing that many people enjoy about college is that they have the freedom to be and express themselves as they please. So, why should we care that a group of students wants to have fun with homecoming royalty?

I will say that although we should not discontinue the ceremony, as long as people are still interested, event organizers and candidates should not expect participation from students. Students who want to participate, will. Those who don’t, won’t. Don’t be disappointed if people do not want to vote for you or vote at all. Some people just want to leave the ritual in high school.

Go enjoy celebrating your university, your way, whether that includes the crowning ceremony, or it doesn’t.

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