Next year’s Homecoming king, queen axed

Staci Hupp

Homecoming royalty might be a tradition of the past at Iowa State.

A steering committee has decided to eliminate the custom for at least a year to determine its significance and to consider future improvement of the Homecoming court.

Andrea Horst, an evaluation committee member and general co-chair of Homecoming 1997, said the issue caused a stir as a result of routine evaluation early this semester.

She said the evaluation committee, made up mainly of faculty, alumni and student representatives, agreed that royalty doesn’t embody enough diversity among the university and the Ames community.

“It doesn’t encompass the student body well,” she said. “The greeks have been represented well, but the rest of the student body hasn’t been.”

Horst said the royalty positions were eliminated about eight years ago, but reinstated a year later.

Horst added that alumni have not been sufficiently recognized in the past during Homecoming festivities.

“Royalty doesn’t address alumni involvement. One of our major goals with Homecoming is to reach alumni,” she said. “It seems to only involve the university, and it doesn’t need to be that way.”

Tony Thrasher, another Homecoming 1997 general co-chair, said the committee is tossing around the idea of new awards to replace royalty.

He said the committee is considering an Outstanding Alumni Award, which would honor those who have used their education at ISU to give back to their communities. “It’s still up in the air, but if it works into the plan, the new award would concentrate on how the alumni have contributed to Iowa State,” he said.

1996 Homecoming King Troy Blizzard said he was content with the tradition, but he will support the judgment because it seems beneficial.

“It’s too bad, but if they can figure out a better way to make Homecoming a significant thing, more power to them,” he said.

Blizzard said the purpose of the new alumni awards sounds similar to that of the Homecoming king and queen.

“It would serve the same purpose,” he said. “A lot of questions were asked concerning how we served Iowa State while we were here and how we will serve it in the future.”

Thrasher said although the news should be well-received, he expects a controversy.

“I’m definitely anticipating some negative feedback,” he said. “Change is never an easy thing to take. This was not a unanimous decision, and I just hope everyone realizes this is best.”

Morgan Azer, a junior in elementary education, said she doesn’t think it is a big deal if they eliminate the Homecoming court.

“I couldn’t tell you who has won the last few years,” she said. She said Homecoming courts are usually associated with high school activities and college students “are all over that phase.”

“The court is a tradition and it’s good in that sense,” she said.

But Ryan Wilson, a freshman in speech communication, said he thinks the court is a good idea because it is a competition and makes Homecoming more exciting.

“It’s a chance to show off yourself, and I think many students should be awarded for their efforts at Iowa State University,” he said.