Not what it’s ‘crowned’ up to be

With Homecoming weekend on the horizon, a variety of activities are taking place on campus in hopes of raising school spirit. Following the week’s events, SHSU will take part in the two biggest traditions associated with Homecoming, the big game and the crowning of the Homecoming King and Queen. On Saturday, the 19 candidates vying for the 2002 Homecoming King and Queen titles will take the field at halftime in hopes of hearing their name announced as a representative of the SHSU student population.Some may expect being crowned will lead to appearances at on campus functions or opportunities to represent SHSU at events in the local community. One former queen said such was not the case.Charvett Brooks, 2001 SHSU Homecoming Queen, said she was surprised being crowned led to no royal duties whatsoever.Brooks, senior political science major, won the title after being sponsored by several campus organizations including the NAACP, Black Student Alliance and National Panhellenic Council. Following difficulties with requiring all Homecoming candidates to be sponsored by an organization, the Student Government Association altered the procedure this year. Under the new SGA procedure, all students could apply to run for Homecoming titles following a screening process and payment of a $25 application fee.Brooks said after being crowned last year, she expected her role as Homecoming Queen would allow her the chance to represent the university. “I was extremely disappointed,” Brooks said. “I wasn’t asked to attend any campus events, even just to sit there as a representative of the students-nothing.”The most exciting part of being named Homecoming Queen happened on the day of the game when my name was announced and I was given the crown,” she said. “I thought that was just the beginning, but that was it; there was nothing else.”Brooks said she expected the title would allow her a chance to be more than merely a figurehead.”We did nothing at all,” Brooks said. “I haven’t even heard from anyone at the school about when or if I need to be there on Saturday to pass the title on to the new Queen.”Carlton Green, interim director of Student Activities, said the practice of electing a Homecoming King and Queen for SHSU is held in keeping with tradition and following crowning, the winners are not expected to perform any special duties.”They aren’t asked to do anything; we’ve never asked them to,” Green said. “We hold the election because it is Homecoming and the winners get the honor of being chosen. We don’t ask them to attend certain campus functions as King and Queen.”SGA President Helena Banks agreed Homecoming royalty are rarely asked to take part in campus functions, but added that is something the organization would like to see changed in the future.”We don’t really call on the King and Queen for anything; right now being elected is just a fun thing for them,” Banks said. “SGA would like to see them more involved at campus activities, but at this point, there is the question of what to have them do there.” Banks said although not officially invited to campus events as royal representatives, the Homecoming King and Queen are always welcome to make themselves known.”Another thing is for them to say they would like to help out,” Banks said. “They would be more than welcome to be a part of any campus activity.”Brooks said while being crowned Queen was an honor, she thinks it is a common misconception among students and nominees that the role of Homecoming King and Queen will not end with the Homecoming festivities.”It was a great honor to be elected as Homecoming Queen for Sam Houston State University,” Brooks said. “I just didn’t feel like I got to do anything. This year’s nominees need to be prepared for that.”

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