Homecoming Court: Is it a Popularity Contest?

Osaivbie Uhunmwuangho, ENN Saff

Every school year, students gather at the homecoming football game to celebrate their school. Mum and garter making, pep rallies, and spirit week are all common traditions that people participate in. Although there is no dance for this celebration this year, a pair of nominated students will be crowned the royalty title of “Homecoming King” and “Homecoming Queen.” Can this annual school-year ritual affect how some students view themselves?

Voting for the king and queen of the event can be biased, based on how well-known someone is. Freshman Bryce Charles says the students choose who they want using a system of favoritism.

“Essentially, I think it is a popularity contest because it’s kind of like who has the most friends, you can assume they will be voted for the most. Although, at the end of day the person with the majority vote will win. I don’t think that’s a bad thing,” said Charles.

When voting, students typically like to be familiar with the people on the ballot. It is easier for them to choose because the nominees are recognizable. Sophomore, Kennedi Hogg, believes that as a new-comer to the school, she would be less likely to be voted for due to her being new the the school’s surroundings and it’s people.

“I think it could be considered a popularity contest because the people selected, most people probably know them. If I were to run, I’m a new student to Lake Ridge, no one would really know me. They’d be like ‘oh, I don’t know this girl,'” said Hogg.

The homecoming king and queen tradition can also affect how a student perceives themselves in a positive or negative way. Psychology teacher Heather Willson explains that because of the hormones in the body, students will release certain emotions depending on the type of attention they are receiving.

“When you feel good, you release Seratonin Dopamine. When you do anything election wise, you’re getting recogntion and your happy hormones are at an all-time peak,” said Willson.

Students who already have low-self esteem problems can become more unhappy. There are different ways that they choose to let the idea of a king and queen affect them.

“There is a difference. If a kid wants to be on it [the ballot], and they don’t get it, that failure feeling and that lack of recognition is going to hurt them and drop them a little bit,” said Willson. “Some kids will internalize and use it as motivation to do bigger and better.”

The crowning of king and queen during this event is a tradition which will continue for years to come. Despite some students’ beliefs that the event might be just another popularity contest, the crown and tiara are a justification that this ritual is a unique way to celebrate and honor the students at Lake Ridge.