ASB restructured Homecoming Court’s nomination and voting process this year to emphasize individuals’ on-campus contributions, and.to avoid the gender binary combined with the glorification of students put in place by the titles of “King” and “Queen.”
The new court consists of the top 20 seniors, regardless of gender, picked by the senior class. ASB will divide court members into groups of five, each group representing an organization on campus or having the groups mixed randomly. These changes are intended to emphasize seniors’ on-campus involvement, and to provide students with an opportunity to decide who best serves as the face of Los Altos.
“We like the idea of groups because you stray away from this whole ‘celebrating the individual,’” Zach said. “You’re focusing on, ‘Let’s recognize these groups on campus.’”
The name “court” will also be changed to lessen the glorification of those who have been nominated. Instead, ASB is considering renaming it “Homecoming Seniors.”
In the past few years, ASB has considered altering Homecoming’s format. Last year, they shifted the court’s structure by creating an 18-person court divided into groups of three, a move they say the community received positively.
“Every year, we get criticism about homecoming,” ASB President senior Zach Murphy said. “Last year was the one time where there wasn’t a lot of criticism. It was like, ‘You’re very close.’”
Because last year’s modifications only changed the structure of the Homecoming groups and not the nomination system, this year’s changes focused on increasing the diversity of the court and finally removing the royal titles.
“We’re going to mess up, but we just have to roll with the punches and say, ‘Look, this is the year we finally decided to change it,’” Zach said. “My past three years in ASB, we were always like, ‘Should we do it?’ ‘No, let’s let next year’s seniors do it.’”
However, not everyone agrees that these changes are necessary.
“There was a push for just having the traditional court system,” Zach said. “We expected that there might be some backlash from seniors who like the idea of getting the chance to be glorified. We just thought it makes more sense to make homecoming revolve around an inclusive celebration of what the senior class has done, so we wanted to market it as, ‘This is what the senior class does every year.’”
ASB plans to keep this new Homecoming structure for a few years into the future in order to give it time to settle, Zach said. By that point, incoming students will have only seen this court format.“At that point you’re going to have new freshmen coming in, and they’re really going to have no idea what the traditional homecoming court system is,” Zach said.