We have a queen, but where’s the king?
Olivia Melton, a junior mathematics and economics major from Orange Beach, shared the answer as to why we don’t have a yearly Homecoming king on our court.
“In recent events, the last time we had a Homecoming king we had an incident where he did something that was deemed kind of inappropriate,” Melton said. She is a part of our Student Government Association and helps coordinate Homecoming activities.
“I think that the university didn’t feel that Homecoming king was really necessary, and that’s why we have done away with it,” she said.
Since then, Homecoming court’s main focus is to represent the organizations that nominated for the election and to create a personal connection with students, as the women who run relate themselves to subjects they are passionate about.
“Last year we added the platform aspect, and we’re really amping that up this year,” Melton said. “We want to give these young women a voice about what they’re really passionate about and caring about and give them the opportunity to share that.”
The interest in having another Homecoming king has not been too prominent. Last year, Freshman Forum created the idea of having a “Hoopcoming,” a similar idea to Homecoming, but for a basketball game.
There is a “Hoopcoming king” for this event.
“Hoopcoming king kind of raised questions, but nobody really pushed to have one,” said Patrick Rodgers, a junior global business major from Dothan, and who is also a part of SGA.
“Personally, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the system we have now,” Rodgers said. “I don’t think there’s really that spark to have a king on campus.”
Sarah Rose Reynolds, a freshman English and Spanish major from Athens, was supportive of having a Homecoming king.
“I think it would be cool to have a Homecoming king,” she said. Reynolds also compared it to her high school years.
“I don’t see why not,” she said. “In high school we have a king and queen.”
Reynolds suggested a campaigning process that involved both male and female candidates. She was in support of the male candidate being just as much a part of the Homecoming process as the woman.
“It’s usually more emphasis on the girl,” Reynolds said. “I think it should be equal.”
In my opinion, unless a lot of interest arises to have a Homecoming king next year, the system we have currently does not need to be changed. It is unnecessary for someone to do a lot of campaigning if the topic is not one of high interest.
However, I do not think that the university needed to dispose of the idea due to one student’s actions.
If the Homecoming king did something publicly inappropriate, he should be the only one punished for the action, not future men wanting to run for Homecoming king.
If a student shows interest in promoting an organization he is passionate about, we should not prohibit him from doing so, as long as he campaigns and act responsibly.
The future of having a Homecoming king is questionable, according to Melton.
“If we were to consider having a Homecoming king, there would have to be a lot of restrictions,” she said. “I feel like the university would need to be on our side, and I’m not sure what state they’re at right now.”