Task force considers adding committee vote to homecoming queen selection


Courtesy of The University of Alabama

Olivia Rush, 2019 homecoming queen, stands with the 2021 homecoming court and UA President Stuart Bell on the steps of Gorgas Library.

Kayla Solino | @kaylasolino, Contributing Writer

The homecoming task force is considering alternative models for selecting homecoming queens, including the introduction of a committee that would participate in the homecoming queen selection process. 

In an email sent to the student body on Oct. 30, Vice President for Student Life Myron Pope announced the creation of a “diverse task force” to draft clearer rules for homecoming queen elections in the future. 

Pope developed the group after last semester’s homecoming election, which revealed inaccuracies with the election timeline and discrepancies with the rules.

The task force has met twice. At the first meeting, student chair John Richardson assigned each member an SEC or state school. After researching that school’s homecoming selection process, they reported on it at the next meeting. 

Richardson said that no decisions have been made. Evaluating how the homecoming queen is selected, he said, does not necessarily mean reevaluating the whole process. 

“We will always still have an election, but there might be some form or fashion where there’s an interview process or an essay process,” Richardson said.

Sarah Shield, who was previously left off of the task force due to an “oversight” from Pope, said there has been little discussion about creating a set of guidelines for homecoming elections. She said she feels like she holds the only dissenting opinion.  

The original stated purpose of the task force was to “draft clearer rules for homecoming queen elections in the future,” so Shield said she was surprised that they’re considering alternative options. 

Instead, the task force is exploring other modes of selection in which a committee vote would accompany a student body vote.  

One proposed selection process would require homecoming queen candidates to submit an application to a board of students, faculty and staff. In another scenario, the student vote would count for “25% or 30%.” 

The task force has not reached a decision. 

SGA adviser Angel Narvaez-Lugo told Pope in an email on Feb. 9 that most schools use a combination of selection by committee and a student vote. The task force, Narvaez-Lugo wrote, “seems to be in favor of a similar process here.” 

Pope said on Feb. 16 that he would not be in favor of any solution that would not allow the student body to vote on homecoming queen.

“If there’s anything that comes up along the lines of [alternative methods], it will not be accepted by me, and we will go a different direction because that’s the whole point. Homecoming queen, the selection process is about representation, someone who represents, who’s selected by the student body. That’s the whole point of it.”

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