STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Penn State is eliminating the titles of “Homecoming King and Queen” to help embrace diversity and gender equality on campus.
Beginning in 2018, Penn State’s Homecoming Executive Committee and Royalty Committee are rolling out changes to how Homecoming Courts are selected, the university announced Tuesday.
“Homecoming, as an organization, supports and strives to embody the aspirations of the ‘All-In’ initiative. To us, it’s less about what a student looks like on paper and more about embracing the whole person and the unique experiences and backgrounds of each Penn Stater,” said Ally Berdan, Executive Director for Homecoming 2018.
In the past, the top two members of the Student Court, who were once known as “King and Queen,” were crowned during the annual Homecoming Football game. In an effort to embrace change, the committee will begin to acknowledge the top two recognized students with the Guide State Forward Award.
Student Court members will now be selected based on the whole-person concept, not just on academic grades and leadership.
Reviewers will consider how students represent the six Penn State core values of: respect, integrity, responsibility, discovery, excellence and community.
“These changes are exciting for the Penn State community and showcase the commitment that our student leaders have in making sure all Penn State students connect to the larger traditions and histories that make us Penn State” said Brian Patchcoski, Director of the LGBTQA Student Resource Center.
“We can’t say ‘We Are’ and exclude part of our community. The decision of the Homecoming Committee to insure Homecoming is open and welcoming to all is commendable, a true ‘We Are’ event,” said Paul Clifford, CEO of the Penn State Alumni Association.