Before Student Council announced the members of the homecoming court yesterday, the organization had puzzled over ways to change the selection process of the homecoming queen. In addition to the customary homecoming week activities involving the court, Student Council had considered adding a fundraising element but decided to make no changes to homecoming.
Traditionally homecoming queen elections begin when the senior class nominates girls for the court, Student Council President senior Jack Schimpf said. Of the 10 girls who garner the most votes from their classmates, one is named homecoming queen after the whole student body has a chance to vote.
Last month Student Council discussed asking the homecoming court to raise money for the Food Bank, representative senior Megan Kelly said. She said the group talked about creating a plaque with the name of the nominee who raised the most money. Kelly also said in this scenario, the student body would still vote to select the girl who would receive the title of homecoming queen.
“I think that everyone is for a change,” Kelly said. “Student Council just isn’t sure what change to make.”
StuCo could not reach a consensus, so no major change will affect this year’s election process, Schimpf said.
“We [didn’t] have a solid plan,” Schimpf said. “We want to make sure homecoming week is as good as it possibly can be. We didn’t want to put it in jeopardy by making a change so late.”
The changes would have been similar to what occurs at Hickman High School. HHS allows clubs to pick candidates who they believe show leadership qualities and are active in the club, HHS Student Government Vice President Carly Kempf. After this selection, the entire school votes for the top 10 to form a court. Court members raise money for a charity of their choice as a way to campaign for the title, Kempf said. Ultimately the senior class votes to choose who takes the tiara.
HHS Student Government Sponsor and teacher Jeffrey Devero said most students at HHS like the election process, but there have been complaints that the fundraising should decide who wins, not a popular vote. However, the fundraising process has a few problems of its own, he said.
“We…don’t know how to address issues of students being able to raise more due to more disposable income in their family,” Devero said. “For [that] reason, and more, we stick with a student voting process as the sole means of determining our homecoming queen.”
But Devero said largely the system HHS uses is positive.
“Everybody wins in this situation,” Devero said. “The charities win because they receive money they wouldn’t have had otherwise. The queens win because they become a part of something so special and memorable.”
One addition to the festivities at RBHS is the addition of a program called “Celebrate My Drive,” an event sponsored by State Farm Insurance. “Celebrate My Drive” is intended to promote safe driving by asking students to rid themselves of distractions while behind the steering wheel. Schools have the potential of winning up to $100,000 from State Farm. Students and community members may vote daily from Oct. 18-26.
“We would set up computers all around the school,” Kelly said, “and students would vote…basically just saying that they would be a safe driver and not text or do other stuff when driving.”
State Farm officials hope “Celebrate My Drive” will encourage teenagers to drive safely and that the money portion will motivate students to participate. The only stipulation is that the winning school must use 10 percent of the prize money to start a safe driving campaign sponsored by State Farm.
“We know how powerful money is,” Schimpf said. “It can really enhance everything here at Rock Bridge. It would be awesome if we could win it.”
By Abby Kempf
Would you like homecoming candidates to raise money for charities?