NICOLE HASEK, TRUMPET NEWS WRITER
The long-time tradition of crowning two Wartburg seniors as homecoming king and queen will be replaced with more inclusive events in fall 2021.
In past years, the king and queen have been chosen from a homecoming court, a group of 10 nominated seniors of five men and five women. For the students on this court, there was not much responsibility, said Samantha Pfab, Wartburg’s 2019 and last Homecoming queen.
“Homecoming and Family Weekend exists for the whole Wartburg community and this tradition solely included 10 people. So, in truth, no, it did not benefit students,” Pfab said. “Though I had fun being on court, I honestly did not reap any legitimate benefits from the experience.”
Since only a small group of people are involved, the Alumni Office decided it was time to end this tradition, according to Renee Voves, Associate Director of Institutional Advancement. Instead of uplifting the college together, only a few students were acknowledged while others may have been overlooked. This is not how the Alumni Office wanted Wartburg to be represented.
“We had a lot of conversations with a lot of different people across campus: student life, focus groups with students, and homecoming committee,” Voves, said. “We came to realize that it just wasn’t an uplifting event that withheld the Wartburg mission in a way that we wanted. To lift up 10 people and maybe make the other 300 [seniors] not feel as good.”
This was brought to the attention of the Alumni Office by students who felt that a king and queen was not a way to bring the school together and increase positivity on campus. Voves said she felt this was something students would worry about and be excluded from.
Removing coronation will allow for new traditions with more student involvement, and ones that recognize students for their hard work and accomplishments. This includes giving more attention to the St. Elizabeth Awards for Service and Leadership and Service Awards.
“I think that refocusing our energy on service awards will absolutely benefit students more fully than coronation did,” Pfab said. “These awards are merit-based and recognize the remarkable things that students are doing, which upholds our pillars of leadership, service, faith, and learning.”
According to Jared Feigenbaum, homecoming committee co-director and fourth-year student, events from 2020’s nontraditional homecoming week will be reused, along with new and fun activities that will be created by the committee. Some events from 2020 that may be reused include Mensa Knight, Kastle Kapers Unplugged, and more activities that include all students.
Without a coronation, this school year’s homecoming gave every student a chance to be involved. This success is why the school is confident that this decision will best benefit everyone on campus in future years, according to Feigenbaum.
If students have feedback, they are able to share their thoughts by contacting the Alumni Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.