Homecoming court represents school spirit but not diversity — and that’s okay


Ilena Peng

I have a confession to make — I, as a senior, have never bothered to even click on the Homecoming Court emails for the past three years. I had no friend in particular that wanted to be on the court, and even if I had wanted to vote, I probably would’ve just scrolled through the list of people and selected all the nicest people I knew.

This year’s vote was the first one I had ever cast, and I’d only cast the vote because a friend had asked me to. For the past three years, I had simply heard about the people on the court through people around me.

And none of those people were ever unexpected. I hesitate to call it an element of predictability in homecoming court because I don’t think many of us could guess all of the court nominees with certainty. Yet when I hear the names, I am never surprised.

That lack of surprise probably accounts for the people who say that homecoming court is biased — and in a way, it is. Those of us who do not care will not vote, so of course the few whose numerous friends rally around them end up on the court.

hc court

Homecoming court does not equally represent our student population — at times it leaves out people from certain ethnicities or certain groups on campus. That seeming exclusion is our own doing — or for people like me that don’t vote, our lack of doing. But the thing we fail to realize is that perhaps it doesn’t matter if it seems rigged, or doesn’t seem to represent our school. Homecoming is more about our school’s collective energy than the individual factions that MVHS is subdivided into,and getting fed up by the lack of representation defeats the very intention of homecoming.

It’s the same way that many of us believe that rallies are rigged — it is customary for freshman to place last and for seniors to place first. Yet it doesn’t seem to cause the spirit of each class to falter. I distinctly remember laughing as I cheered during my freshman year, because back then, I didn’t quite understand why we were cheering for our last place victory. Even at our Welcome Back rally, I didn’t quite understand why we cheered for our first place victory — it was an expected win. But I suppose we cheer because rallies are intended to capture our school’s spirit, not to be a legitimate competition. It doesn’t matter if the win is expected, in the same way that it doesn’t matter if the people on the homecoming court were expected.

The experience of homecoming week — the football game, the dance, the rally — is what really defines homecoming. The court is just another piece of that experience, an experience that epitomizes our school’s spirit. Even though the homecoming court may not represent every single person in our school, it captures every bit of MVHS’ energy.