Updating Old Traditions

Working towards better diversity on the Homecoming court

Eleanor Peterson

Homecoming court is an annual tradition where two to three girls from each class get to be princesses for a night. This long standing tradition has mostly been seen as a popularity contest, but this year, senior Izzy Harwood was trying to change the meaning of homecoming royalty.

     “The stereotype about homecoming court is that it is mostly made up of small, primarily white females,” Harwood said. “Homecoming should be [about] people who are hard workers, who care about our school, and who represent our class.”

     Harwood had noticed a growing unrest amongst certain parts of the student body and became tired of watching their peers suffer silently. Many students of color as well as members of the LGBTQ+ community felt as if they weren’t being represented. 

     Harwood decided to make the issue public, and made an instagram post stating how they wanted to diversify this year’s homecoming court along with suggesting a number of students who they believed deserved the chance to run for homecoming princess.

     Harwood received a variety of responses from their peers, most encouraging and thanking them for bringing this issue into the light. 

     “They were happy about someone who made it a public issue instead of just a private one that was talked about in the hallways but never pointed out,” Harwood said. 

     While the majority of responses were positive, some students felt as if they were turning a fun tradition into something it’s not. Those who disagreed with Harwood chose not to comment.

     “The conversation about race and ethnicity in our school culture and in our courts, it had to be discussed,” Harwood said. “Even though that isn’t the main focus of [homecoming], it is a side effect of these things. Anything that has to do with students voting for students does have to do with race and ethnicity because we are choosing who we want to represent us as a school.”

     Harwood believes that the solution to these issues is to talk about them and really emphasized the importance of bringing these issues into the light. “Having conversation is really key,” Harwood said. “It helps us relate and get on the level together instead of just arguing from one pedestal to another.”

     While Harwood was unsuccessful in getting their suggested peers on homecoming court, the idea has been planted and they hope that future generations will try to follow in our footsteps.

     “I think that addressing issues is really important and really exciting,” Harwood said, “especially as seniors bringing all these things up, although it may be really tumultuous in our year here, it’s going to create conversation for the rest of our peers and bring us some really cool change.”