"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."