It’s that time of year again.
As you walk across the Drillfield, past Squires or even if you’re trying to get some food on campus, get ready to be bombarded by shouts, flyers, candy — you name it.
Why? It’s homecoming of course.
Every October a special week is dedicated to making Hokies feel right-at-home in Blacksburg. Festivities range from the Homecoming football game to spirit rallies and concerts.
The most visible parts of this tradition, however, are the homecoming King and Queen candidates that vie for the student body’s attention at every turn. These students are chosen to “represent” Virginia Tech in the upcoming festivities, and are supposed to embody “what it means to be a Hokie.”
At the Homecoming game, the lucky King and Queen will find out that the majority of the student votes believed in them, an impressive feat.
But how much of this is just a popularity contest?
The winners get nothing tangible besides a crown and a sash. They participate in events with the rest of the court all week long, and then are presented on the field as King and Queen.
These winners also get to meet a few important people at the game, and then attend events all year long where they can tout their titles.
So the craze is somewhat understandable. Who wouldn’t want to represent the Hokies and all of our awesome traditions? However, from what has already been seen from the Homecoming candidates this year, King and Queen aren’t going to be picked for their personal qualities or achievements — they will win because they have the biggest social backing.
Luckily, this year the candidates are more diverse and are from a pool of organizations around campus that aren’t just Greek, such as the LGBTQ, West AJ, Black Student Alliance, etc.
So while it’s not just a fraternity and sorority popularity contest, it still remains a contest of who knows and influences the most people. My only qualm is that the student body doesn’t see the candidates for who they are — they vote for them because they’ve had the best publicity.
The Homecoming King and Queen shouldn’t be picked just because of good marketing skills. If you care enough about this tradition, however silly it may be, vote for someone because you think they represent our school, not because they gave you a lollipop on the Drillfield.