Right Intent. Wrong Outcome. Lack of diversity angers student body.

On Sep. 14, Leadership announced that this year’s homecoming would be different than other years’. They said that the homecoming court winners this year would be homecoming royalty instead of the traditional homecoming king and queen. The idea of homecoming royalty would allow a possible two kings or two queens to win. It also allows for the top 20 to be anyone, not just the combination of the top 10 boys and the top 10 girls. This decision was supposed to allow a greater variety of people to get on the court.
“It is a good idea. It is called progression; trying to push the students to accept one another as who they are. Sure, none of the court were gender neutral or gender fluid and that is why some students were angry, but they chose to change the name so students who may be gender-neutral or gender fluid feel safe and comfortable to be who they actually are,” said Ethan Mejia, senior.
Leadership also brought in the idea of having teachers recommend students for the court. This way, they could have a wider range of people in the court. It was also a way to make the voting have less of a negative connotation with the competition thought of as less of a popularity contest.
According to Andie Pillsbury, a junior in Leadership who organized the homecoming court, only 15 of the 74 teachers at Leigh nominated a student. For this add-on to have been successful, there would of had to have been more teacher participation.
When top 20 were announced, it was found that 13 boys and seven girls had been nominated. Moreover, when top 10 was announced, the results were seven boys and three girls. The week concluded when Pano Roumeliotis and Megan Ryder were crowned Homecoming Royalty on Oct. 6.
Lots of students were frustrated with the imbalance within the court. Many saw it as unfair, which is completely true. The decision made the vote unbalanced and more towards being a popularity contest. By allowing any student get into the top 20 and not just the top 10 boys and girls, the girls had an unfortunate disadvantage. Many senior girls were justifyingly upset with these results. ———– They argued that they were not being equally represented.
As said before, the reason the idea of homecoming royalty came about was due to the lack of variety of people in the court. Most of those who were nominated have been referenced as “the popular kids or people in leadership.” The two winners are considered popular. Roumeliotis was said to have the whole band voting for him and Ryder is in leadership and sports.
“I think everyone in top 10 are amazing individuals and an important part of our campus. However, the top 10 as a whole does not represent the diversity of our school in terms of background, areas of interest and involvement, personalities, etc. I would love to see homecoming court develop in order to recognize students that embody our school and community outside of the traditional popularity, outgoing personality, leadership characteristics and I think we’ve began this process with the teacher nominations,” said Muskaan Sandhu, senior in ASB.
This idea of homecoming royalty has been done at other schools. At Westmont High School, for example, ever since the decision for royalty was finalized, two boys have won the past couple of years.
A solution to this problem would have been to combine the two ideas. What they could have done,would be to keep the tradition of picking the top 20 by splitting the vote between top 10 guys and top 10 girls, while including the teacher recommendations. Then, have the top 10 be the people who get the highest vote, regardless of their gender.
Many students are frustrated by these results and would have liked to have seen a greater level of diversity. Several of them were also angered over the imbalance in the court. Overall students are looking for a change and leadership has made a step in the right direction but has some kinks to work out.