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Before prospective Homecoming queen and junior court candidates plan to see their name on the ballot, they must be familiar with the new Homecoming election law changes.
This year, before candidates can advance to compete for the popular vote, a panel of judges will “screen the candidates,” according to an email sent by Taylor Holt, a sophomore social science major from Huntsville and the director of representation of the Student Government Association (SGA).
“The screen will measure academic pursuits, leadership skills, Trojan pride, involvement, and community service,” Holt’s email read.
According to the SGA’s Code of Laws, the governing document of the organization, “the panel (of judges) will be chosen by the Director of Representation and Director of Elections, (and) the names of those on the Panel will be released one week following panel selection.”
The screening will take place the first week of October, and the top 15 candidates selected for both Queen and Junior Court will be announced on Friday, Oct.6.
The Queen finalists will then proceed to a vote, which accounts for 60 percent and an interview which accounts for 40 percent.
“The top five candidates from the vote and interview will serve as the Queen Court, and the candidate with the highest overall score will be selected as the Queen,” according to the code of laws.
The top 15 Junior candidates will proceed to a vote, which will determine the three Junior Court members.
“This is the first year they (election laws) are being implemented,” Holt said in an interview. “They were put into effect at the end of last (school) year to take place this year.”
While some aspects of the homecoming election have changed, the qualifications the women must meet are the same as previous years.
For a woman to be nominated as a queen candidate, she must have completed 90 credit hours, and for a Junior Court nominee, she must have completed at least 60 credit hours.
In addition, candidates must submit an application due on Thursday, Sept. 28, at 4 p.m.
The application must include a headshot, a resume detailing community service experience, GPA, leadership positions and honors/achievements and a letter of recommendation from the nominating organization’s advisor.
“We think this is a good thing to ensure a well-rounded candidate,” Holt said. “Our biggest thing was just to make sure that everything was fair and that we are transparent to the student body.”
Ardashia Williams, a freshman athletic training major from Birmingham, said she believes the criteria that the panel judges are considering is important.
“The homecoming queen, once elected, will be representing the university,” Williams said. “I am glad to know that any of the choices on the ballot will be girls that will positively represent this university since they have to meet these new law requirements.”
The application for homecoming queen and courts opens Thursday, Sept. 7, at 8 a.m. through Trojan Connection.
Holt “highly encourages” candidates to attend a meeting on Thursday, Sept. 21, at 6 p.m. in Trojan Center room 224.
Votes for the 2017 Homecoming queen and junior court will be cast on Tuesday, Oct. 10.