I scream, you scream, we all scream for Homecoming Queen

Today marks the final day for UA’s Homecoming Queen election. Did you vote?

No?

Of course you didn’t. And not because you think the Homecoming Queen elections are a relic of a pre-feminist, chauvinistic culture that desires to see women promenading like future cake-bakers before the throngs of thousands of beer guzzling apes.

Heavens to Betsy, no.

If the numbers of last year’s ASG presidential election are any indication, then you simply didn’t care or just had your head stuck in your anatomical nether region.

This is all conjecture, of course.

The election of this year’s prom queen is a new one for the UA. Since the dawn of time, the queen and her court had been elected by the senior football team. By all rumors and account, the players don’t give two yards about the election. They name the first girl in line as the queen and the next four as the court.

The same “rigorous” selection process ensures only the best are in the top 10, but now the decision has been left to the students.

So our illustrious homecoming hottie’s fate lies in hands of the students.

God help us all.

For some reason, elections just ain’t our thing. Last year’s ASG presidential election attracted only 20 percent of the student body. And this was for the ultimate representative of the students. If students are this apathetic about their own governing body, how active are they going to be when picking the next beauty queen?

This is the stuff that keeps me tossing and turning at night, and I’m haunted with a barrage of other questions that will probably remain unanswered.

When I first heard about the homecoming election, I could already see the Traveler headline – “Queengate: Homecoming Nominee Found Guilty of Fraud.”

The problem with an election is that it opens up the possibility of misconduct by candidates who might do anything to win.

And whadda ‘ya know, two weeks before the election, hard rumors spread that one of the finalists had done some slight of hand to get herself nominated, despite her lack of popularity with the group that supposedly nominated her.

The ASG executive board also foresaw the potential problem of election fraud and decided to subtract votes from those candidates that are found guilty of violating certain rules and regulations. But everybody knows how long and tedious a bureaucratic system is and any girl will probably be halfway to Mexico before the homecoming committee divvies out its punishment.

So in the present election or in future elections, what’s going to stop a knavish, prom queen hopeful from breaking the knee caps of her opponents?

It definitely won’t qualify as a campaign violation and, from the looks of things, neither the football team nor the student population will give the incident more than a fleeting shrug.

So what’s the point of having a Homecoming Queen anyway?

I’ve heard ugly people repeat, time and time again, that the whole process is nothing more than a popularity contest. We’re a generation of critics, so it’s only to be expected some ogres debate the very essence of the Homecoming Queen.

But this is a university of almost 18,000 people. It would be ridiculous and insulting to assume there is one “popular” person or group on campus. Our demographics are too varied for that freshman response.

The statement is also illogical when you consider that a popularity contest requires a populis, and I would hardly call a projected participation of 20 percent (a generous estimate) a fair average.

The selection of the Homecoming Queen is as meaningful as devouring chocolate and hunting Easter eggs to celebrate the crucifixion of Jesus. Even if it is laughably inane at times, it’s also just as harmless.

I’ve read the beauty pageant crap these girls were forced to write about.

“What makes you unique and why do you deserve to receive this honor?”

“What does the University of Arkansas mean to you?”

“How do you display school spirit?”

These girls, despite the objections of others, do have one thing in common. They have invested a lot of their time and effort into the university.

The Homecoming Queen court is a way to honor girls from a variety of backgrounds with a couple of flowers and an excuse to get a dress.

If they want to be recognized for their dedication to this great institution, so be it.

What we have here is a tradition that, unlike other touted “traditions,” doesn’t hurt anybody. There’s no harm or foul in what these girls want to do, so let’s allow them have their fun.

Whether our upcoming queen and her court become world saviors or trophy cake-bakers, it doesn’t matter.

For most of us, no doubt, the homecoming game and girls will be as meaningful and memorable as our last bowel movement.

The Homecoming Queen tradition, you see, is good for the school’s constitution.

[Original piece available here.]

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