NewsApr 13, 2018 by Alyssa Duvall
In favor of a more inclusive approach, Penn State University has eliminated the titles of "Homecoming Queen" and "Homecoming King". Instead, the Penn State 2018 Homecoming Executive Committee and Royalty Committee announced that two students will receive a "Guide State Forward" award at homecoming.
The committees explained in a press release that the new policy seeks to eliminate "gendered" titles and "rid the number ratio of male to female representation within the court." This policy change is an "effort to embrace diversity and gender inclusivity within our community," the statement adds.
"Penn State Homecoming acknowledges where the ideals of diversity and inclusion may not have been clearly prioritized in the choosing of Student Courts in the past," the release continues. "With this realization, Homecoming seeks to embrace this change as a permanent precedence within it's selection process."
Penn State's next homecoming game is Oct. 13 against Michigan State. 10 student candidates will be nominated for homecoming court by faculty to represent the senior class "regardless of their gender, gender identity, and/or gender expression."
"We're striving to open up homecoming so that all Penn State students can feel like they are welcome and able to participate," said Ally Berdan, executive director of Penn State Homecoming 2018. "Our goal is to identify the best students to represent Penn State without regard to their gender, gender identity or gender expression."
Damon Sims, vice president of Student Affairs, said that the changes "exemplify the ideals of the homecoming committee and the university's commitment to building a welcoming and inclusive environment for all."
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