First Homecoming court in 47 years
Juniors Brandon Tracey and Jackie Cronin were crowned king and queen during the Homecoming pep rally Friday night.
This is the first year since 1965 that Chapman has had a Homecoming court. Chapman’s Homecoming committee was composed of a group of students selected by University Program Board (UPB). The Homecoming committee sent out an email survey to undergraduates before the event asking students to nominate people in each class level. Jordan Olson, a member of the Homecoming committee, then emailed nominees asking them whether or not they wanted to accept.
Members of the board believed the Homecoming court would be a fun way for Chapman to reconnect with the successful practices of its past while generating more school spirit, said UPB president Tess Pocock, a senior creative producing and philosophy major.
“Royalty ceremonies take place at renowned universities across the country,” Pocock said. “Chapman’s history is so important and we believe this is a fantastic and interactive way for students to celebrate our traditions as a university.”
Schools across the country like Illinois University and Michigan State University still hold Homecoming courts annually.
The court, made up of Tracey, Cronin, sophomore Paige Katz, freshman Vaughn Ryan, sophomore Nicole Goehring, freshman Suzie Quakenbush, freshman Tiffany Dills, sophomore Delaney Gay, junior Erin Wainwright and senior Sami Deacon, participated in events during Homecoming week to rack up points in hopes of being crowned Chapman royalty at the Homecoming game Oct. 6. Court members participated in activities ranging from laser tag to spirit wear competitions.
Traditions aside, some students like sophomore business and economics major Scott Garfinkle are complaining that the event itself is too similar to events in high school.
“It’s a waste of time, money and effort,” Garfinkle said. “It was lame in high school and it’s lame now. It’s just going to be another popularity contest no one cares about.”
UPB has budgeted $8,000 to go toward programming royalty activities and promotional materials for this year’s Homecoming week, such as a “dive-in” movie at the dorm pool and a pep rally, said UPB board member and senior political science and communications major Hannah Torrance.
Sophomore political science major Wendy Acquazzino said she was hesitant to support the event at first because homecoming courts are usually associated with a superficial process based off looks and popularity.
“I am hoping Chapman can turn around the superficial image and make homecoming court a more inclusive event for all students,” she said. “Maybe this will bring more students out to participate in events and show up to the game itself.”
Senior political science major Doug McDaniel said the new event is not a bad idea, but he doubts it will bring more school spirit.
“Most students see it as a joke, like a lot of things at Chapman,” he said. “There are a lot of organizations here that have good intentions. They just don’t translate to the student body.”