Student Activities officials may review traditional selection process
The process of selecting the Homecoming court for king and queen is under review by recommendation of the Council of Student Leaders.
“It was proposed that we look at other options, like a royalty court that other schools are moving toward. Do we even need king and queen?” said Alicia Marstall, the director of the DiGiorgio Student Center.
Marstall and Pam Varraso, the the administrative assistant for Student Activities, are looking at other colleges, like Appalachian State University, who are doing a royalty court. If Winthrop adopted a royalty court instead of a king-queen selection, the top five student representatives may be selected.
“I see the positives of a royalty court, so that it’s not necessarily narrowing down to one king and one queen. It may be the best five students, whether it’s all five men or all five women. Or, it could be a combination,” Marstall said.
Varraso recommended different categories for a royalty court, such as best student athlete.
“This is very traditional, but we are very open to change. You just can’t do it two weeks before. You have to start that process a year earlier,” Varraso said.
Marstall and Varraso encounterd problems with the Homecoming king and queen, such as defining responsibilities. Varraso called it “a work in progress.”
“I would like to expand it to include community outreach. That’s always been a dream of mine, but we have to bring it to the next king and queen and ask. We want to see what they want to do,” Varraso said.
While the Homecoming king and queen position is open to juniors and seniors, most of the kings and queens crowned are seniors. Usually they graduate in the following spring semester, leaving no activity for those positions in the following fall semester.
“They’re seniors, they’re busy. I don’t want to overburden them, but I think they should make a couple appearances in the spring” Varraso said. She said that last year’s Homecoming king and queen, Janay Reece and TyQuan Butler, were in the Rock Hill Christmas parade.
For students who wish to apply to be Homecoming king and queen next year, they are looking for presentation, communication, attitude and how it represents Winthrop, service, whether it’s on-campus or in the Rock Hill community, and GPA.
“We look for things that would aspire you to be a leader,” Varraso said. “You have to present yourself in that small paragraph, and we are looking for qualities that speak well about Winthrop and project Winthrop.”
Marstall and Varraso limits the applicants classifications to juniors and seniors, because “it gives them enough time to have really have a Winthrop experience.”
“We look for their personal experiences with the campus, because it comes out easily about how much they love Winthrop,” Marstall said. “They also need to be comfortable talking with prospective students, a reporter, and community members.”
The process begins with an online application with an essay topic that changes every year. Applicants must also submit their resume with their application.
“There are three people on the committee that review all the applications and resumes. They screened down to seven men and seven women this year,” Marstall said.
Varraso blacks out the names on the copies of applications and resumes to make the screening blind. Marstall and Varraso are not part of the screening or interview process.
“We have to stand back, because we love everyone,” Varraso said.
The interview and screening committees are from different and diverse areas of the community, both on-campus and off-campus. It keeps the process as unbiased as possible, according to Varraso.
The amount of applicants decided for the court depends on how many applications are received each year.
“There are usually more queen applications than kings,” Marstall said. “I believe that the committees did a good job selecting the court. They are all well-rounded and are good selections.”