Homecoming Court 2021 | Photo by Christian Peters | The Wright State Guardian
Wright State University’s (WSU) Homecoming took place the week of Sept. 27, and students debated whether or not the homecoming court was diverse enough.
Student opinions on homecoming court and events
Some students said the court was diverse.
The homecoming court included freshmen Annie McWilliams and Bella Schenck, sophomores Alaina Collins and Kaci Lovejoy, juniors Allie Bischoff and Faith Prince. It was rounded out by seniors Connor Algren, Logan Rex, Anna VanDeWiele and Paige Wilms.
“I think this Court was diverse, especially in life experiences. I think a lot of us are from so many places and we’ve had so many different journeys,” Wilms said.
Algren agreed, pointing out the different organizations on court. There were representatives from Greek life, Student Government Association, Residence Life and Housing and WWSU 106.9 FM.
Other students disagreed, saying there was not enough representation for minorities.
“It felt like every single person was in a sorority/fraternity or sponsored by the business school. No one with a sports background or disability was picked to my knowledge,” Sports Club Council president Molly Foster said.
In total, there were eight nominees for homecoming court. Five were sponsored or involved with Greek life and three were a part of WSU’s business college. One was sponsored by Club Cheerleading and one by Women’s Club Volleyball.
“I don’t think the court was diverse at all. I love the people who I was on court with but it was not diverse. Even if you look at it in terms of student organizations, majority of the court including myself was Greek life. It was awkward to be the only minority,” Prince said.
Some students were also disappointed with the homecoming court winners.
“I was disappointed. They mentioned gender not being a factor, but it felt very heteronormative. I noticed there were more girls and we still ended up at homecoming king and queen,” Fencing Club president Tisha Sharma said.
Homecoming court and its choosing process
Part of the disagreements about homecoming’s lack of diversity may come from the lack of knowledge about the choosing process.
To apply, students filled out an Engage form and were then contacted with their results. According to Debbie Lamp, Associate Director for Student Involvement and Leadership (SIL), winners were chosen through vote.
This is different from previous years. In 2013, WSU alumni interviewed and selected the finalists that students voted for.
While many students had opinions on homecoming court, others were concerned with its events.
Student Abi Bond felt there was not enough advertising. One event, Operation International, had less than five clubs and few attendees.
“I was really excited to be involved. And it was really disappointing because Operation International was not what I was expecting. We had so many available tables because there were only like three or four [clubs],” Bond said.
Homecoming events were posted to Engage and SIL social media made three posts about homecoming on their Instagram, starting Sept. 17.
Despite this, some students were unaware of homecoming court and some events.
“I didn’t know homecoming was even a thing until what, Friday before? I would ask my friends and they’re like, ‘Oh, we have homecoming here?’,” student Christina Brown said.