To some high school students, the homecoming dance is nothing more than an overpriced Student Government Association fundraiser or an attempt to substitute prom for underclassmen. However, to others, the homecoming festivities hold a more substantial meaning.
Homecoming has been a tradition in schools for years, originating in colleges as a way to boost school spirit and encourage the school’s alumni to return for a football game. Most colleges still have large celebrations today, Florida State University (FSU) being one of them.
FSU hosts an annual homecoming parade with floats made by the school’s major organizations, like sororities and fraternities, with a competitive application process to become a member of the Homecoming court. The school later throws a concert, and “Pow Wow” featuring popular performers. The event acts as a final pep rally before the big game.
At the high school level, things are completely different. Some students find mass amounts of joy partaking in their school’s homecoming festivities while others do not see the point.
“It would be more fun to just relax with your friends,” sophomore Carla Luna said. “Homecoming is expensive, you spend an absurd amount of money on the tickets and on your outfit only to be in the cafeteria of our school for a few hours.”
Homecoming may have started as a way to bring people together, but over time has morphed into a popularity contest that further divides the student body over who wins the crown and who is asked to the dance in the most extravagant manner.
It can not be denied that schools have prominent social hierarchies, especially high schools. School is a diverse place where everyone can find their own cliques and subdivide themselves based on shared interests. One’s ranking is determined by the activities one participates in, how they dress, act and who they hang out with.
Attending the homecoming game and dance is actually an effective way to somewhat unify a group of teenagers, as well as good fundraiser for SGA. However, the tradition of the homecoming court is outdated and unnecessary.
The homecoming court is the group of students, voted in by their peers, who make up the candidate pool for the homecoming king and queen. Advertising this concept to the student bod reinforces a social hierarchy among its students, who are already so detached from one another.
It may be a tradition to elect a court with the most popular kids in school, but those days have passed. Including the court in the homecoming tradition serves no purpose, and only feeds the growing divide among the student body on an occasion that strives so hard to achieve school-wide unity.
Photo by The Lariat photography