Many Concordia College students work hard to give back to the Cobber community through on-campus organizations and leadership positions, but rarely are they recognized publicly for all of their effort. This year, the Homecoming Court is made up of five men and five women being recognized for their work.
“Homecoming Court is a way to symbolize who Concordia students are and what we are doing and what we are capable,” senior and homecoming executive assistant Estelle Richard said. “We want to celebrate what these people are doing both on campus and in the world with their Concordia education.”
Seniors Elise Tweten and Skyler Vilt were crowned Homecoming King and Queen Tuesday night at coronation, the first event of Homecoming Week.
“This is a great tradition in which students’ lives represent the ideals of the college,” President William Craft said at the opening of the event. “Your work as leaders, leaders who are willing to serve the world, represents this college with outstanding distinction.”
In previous years, the Homecoming Court has been a smattering of students from across campus, consisting of athletes, music prodigies, student government members, campus organization leaders and others who are seen as genuinely nice by students. This year, the group is more concentrated to student organization leaders, with not one athlete on the Court.
This year’s Homecoming Court consists of a group of students that call each other friends.
“I know every single person on the court, and I’m confident I’ll be happy with whoever wins, because I think every one of them deserves it,” said Shane Yager, one of the men on Homecoming Court.
Yager said that in previous years, he hasn’t paid much attention to the Homecoming Court partially due to the fact that he didn’t know who they were. This year, all of the students nominated either hold or have currently held a visible leadership position on campus, making them more well-known to the campus community.
Junior Kelsey Kava, the coronation co-chair of Homecoming Committee, wasn’t surprised to see many of the students chosen for the Court.
“They really are all friends because of their involvement on campus,” Kava said. “They were all selected by their peers because they stand out and are the face of Concordia.”
To be elected to Homecoming Court, first one must be nominated by the senior class. Seniors each vote for five men and five women, and then the people with the most votes are put onto the Court. Then, all-student voting opens to determine king and queen.
Kava said that because seniors do the preliminary voting to decide the Homecoming Court, the students choose who best represents Concordia, which explains why so many campus event leaders are on the Court.
“With my involvement, I tend to be in positions that are more easily seen by many, because I consider myself a person of the people,” said Anna ‘AJ’ Johnson, who is involved with Campus Entertainment Commission, is an ambassador for the office of admissions and was a member of the orientation committee.
Between Yager, Johnson, Jordan Lutz, Emily Lichte, Elise Tweten, LaCresia King, Britt VanderEyk, Skyler Vilt, Ryan McAdam and Graham Sibley, the group represents a wide variety of on-campus involvement.
“In the college setting, Homecoming Court is not a popularity contest anymore,” Kava said. “It’s more of who emulates the Concordia message and what Concordia stands for.”
However, being elected to Homecoming Court was still a surprise for each of them. Lichte said that she immediately thought, “No way, Jose,” and then sat down inside the echo circle in front of Ivers Science Building.
Lutz said that he wasn’t expecting to be nominated because he spent a semester abroad in Norway last year.
“I didn’t think I was broadly known on campus to that extent,” Lutz said. “I figured a semester away from campus would detract from that, considering I wasn’t able to make connections in that time. I felt, and continue to feel, honored in the nomination.”
Freshmen often have a more difficult time deciding who to vote for, being newer to campus and less experienced with the student body.
Freshman Anna Fiedler said that the only Homecoming Court members she was familiar with were those involved in orientation.
“I think a lot of freshmen don’t vote or don’t know who to vote for because they don’t know who they are,” Fiedler said.
Sibley, Johnson, McAdam and King were all members of the Orientation Committee this fall, and Lutz, Tweten, Lichte and Vilt were orientation leaders.
“Except for the freshmen, I think this year’s court is very well known on campus,” sophomore Matt Dymoke said. “They are all super involved in a wide range of activities, which helps to reach out to the majority of students here on campus.”
Position at the Concordian: PULSE writer; Year in School: Sophomore; Hometown: West Fargo, North Dakota; Favorite Newspaper: The Washington Times; Favorite Magazine: Vanity Fair; Favorite Writer: Jodi Picoult