“A great disservice has been done…”
I would like to first state that the opinions expressed here are mine alone. While they are supported by individual members of our SGA and student body as a whole, they are ultimately my own and should not be misconstrued as an office policy or statement by the Student Government Association. I am deeply troubled by the decision the homecoming committee made this past Wednesday to reopen the application process for the homecoming court competition. A great disservice has been done to the many students who showed the initiative to file on time for candidacy for homecoming king, queen, prince, and princess, of which each already had at least one candidate running. The justification given by the committee for this action was that it would foster a greater level of competition in the categories of king and prince, both of which had one candidate each. This, regrettably, expresses the opinion from the committee that these two gentlemen were somehow inadequate choices or that the title inherently meant less since these two students showed the initiative, responsibility, and dedication to meet every established deadline set forth by the homecoming committee. It is not as if the campus community did not have adequate notice or an acceptable period of time to complete the regular application process. A total of nine students were able to apply for homecoming king and queen alone during the seven day application window from September 18 through September 25. The decision to extend the deadline was ethically flawed, serving the express purpose of a few, with the pretense of better serving the campus community. As a result of this reopening period, the Black Student Alliance, one of the members of the homecoming committee that made this decision, exploited the opportunity to sponsor a candidate for queen. This was an extreme conflict of interest and was completely unethical to use this controversial opportunity for personal gain for your organization. While some may say that it is the individual that filed for candidacy for BSA, I would argue that it requires the consent of the organization for an endorsement. I believe this has mortally wounded the integrity of this body, and fear the repercussions it could bring.
At this point, the damage has been done. There is nothing that can be done to fix this decision now. I hope that this does not undermine the mission of homecoming itself, to bring our campus community together to support the charities our candidates are fundraising for and to spread Bobcat pride. I am steadfast in my support for that mission, but I also believe that this requires us to look with much scrutiny as to how we are fulfilling that mission and the structure of this body in the future.
Student Affairs Chair
Student Government Association