Are gender-neutral homecomings here to stay? Students want kings, queens for this tradition.
More universities are forgoing Homecoming Kings and Queens, with some using gender-neutral terms and headwear.
'Campus Reform' has reported on individual gender-neutral homecoming courts and recently spoke with students who are uncomfortable or opposed to ditching the traditional titles.
A columnist for The Pitt News, the online outlet for the University of Pittsburgh, argued Wednesday for making college homecoming ceremonies across the U.S. "gender neutral," a policy the Pennsylvania school has already implemented.
“Homecoming court needs to be ungendered in order to give all students an opportunity to be royal and to feel properly represented by their school," Nina Santucci wrote.
In 2020, University of Pittsburgh’s Alumni Association replaced the honor of "Homecoming King" and "Homecoming Queen" with two gender-inclusive "Spirit of Pitt" winners.
Campus Reform spoke with Breanna King, a freshman at the University of Pittsburgh, who expressed mixed viewpoints about the school’s decision to get rid of the original tradition.
“I think having King and Queen isn’t ‘offensive’ per say, but there could be two girls or two guys that deserve the title," King said.
“I don’t think saying it’s ‘offensive’ is the correct terminology, but I think that saying it’s more ‘inclusive’ is a better understanding of the general purpose," she added.
As Santucci's column advocates for sustaining gender-neutral homecoming courts, the national trend has not been confined to the University of Pittsburgh.
In 2017, Northwestern University replaced its Homecoming King and Queen with one "Homecoming Wildcat" that can choose to wear "a crown, tiara or a 'non-gendered' option," as The Daily Northwestern reported at the time.
One year later, the Chicago Tribune reported that Purdue University's homecoming court had "no gender prescriptions for the winning pair."
Spencer Schriner, a graduate student at Purdue University, told Campus Reform that "any attempt to modify [homecoming courts] is woke nonsense."
“There are only two genders and therefore there should be a King and Queen," Schriner added.
Homecoming court is not the only aspect of college sports, however, that are being adapted to woke ideologies. Individuals sports themselves have recently come under scrutiny.
Campus Reform reported Friday that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan criticized Central Michigan University for creating a golf program shortly after eliminating track and field, a result of COVID-19.
Central Michigan Life reported that the ACLU chapter characterized golf as "among the whitest of sports."
Abbey Conway, a student at CMU, told Campus Reform that she views the golf program's implementation “not as a race issue but more so a strategy to have a successful team” on campus.
When asked if CMU might adopt gender-neutral homecoming courts, Conway expressed some doubt, explaining that the university already has a gender-neutral Homecoming Ambassadors program.
“CMU also has Gold Ambassadors which goes alongside the Kings and Queens and anyone is eligible for that. I would say CMU would consider the change [to remove Homecoming King and Queen], but also with ambassadors already being implemented they may not.”
Campus Reform reached out to Central Michigan University but did not receive a response.
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