Voting for homecoming royalty at Sam Houston State University is a tradition that dates back to the1940s, when the Esquires, the first men’s fraternity on campus, sponsored a queen at various games throughout the year.
This year the tradition continues as 13 nominees fight for the king and queen status during this week’s homecoming festivities. Leah Lankford, Christina Gunkel, Cari Taylor, Shelley Allen, Kim Sanders, Courtney Howard, Amanda Richie, Heather Hardee and Melissa Robey are among the nominees for Homecoming Queen. Nominees for Homecoming King include Willie Dean, Kyle Anderson, Justin Garza and Ed Jackson.
The candidates for Homecoming King and Queen are responsible for making several appearances at events during homecoming week and if chosen, they would represent the school at the football game this weekend against Nicholls State.
Senior Heather Hardee, a candidate for Homecoming Queen, believes that the woman chosen for the crown should exhibit a few fundamental characteristics.
“I think that it is very important for the Homecoming Queen/King to have Sam Houston School spirit, be involved in the community and with campus organizations,” she said. “She should also be a good leader, outgoing, have a good reputation and most importantly be respected by her peers and faculty/staff.”
Willie Dean believes that the prospective Homecoming King should, “be relatable to his public and realize that he is nothing more than a representative of the quintessential Sam Houston State University student.”
Students have the deciding vote in the election, which will take place online Tuesday and Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the SHSU homepage. The official Homecoming Court (the top six male and female finalists) will be announced at the SamJam Carnival Wednesday night at 8 p.m. in the Bowers Stadium parking lot. The carnival will also feature free rides, games, food, drinks and prizes. The respective Homecoming King and Queen will be revealed and crowned at the game on Saturday.
The race for the coveted royal status started last week with applications for candidateship. Applications were accepted from general student body, but several organizations nominated candidates to represent them in the race.
The Bearkats that applied were first introduced at the kick-off celebration and pep rally yesterday in the LSC mall area. Pizza was served and music was played as the candidates presented themselves to the public from the balcony of the Frels-Wilson complex.
The nominees also made an appearance at Damien the Hypnotist event held in the LSC Ballroom last night at 8 p.m. They were introduced again before Damien hypnotized members of the student audience.
The homecoming celebration will continue well into the week until the final game on Saturday. There will be a parade on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. and a Homecoming Bearkat Alley Pre-Game Party at Bowers Stadium parking lot from 12:00 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.