Homecoming Court videos create inter-school tension

Homecoming+Queen+hopefuls+fight+for+the+crown+to+introduce+senior+Gabby+Accardi%27s+application+video.

Credit: Gabby Accardi

Homecoming Queen hopefuls fight for the crown to introduce senior Gabby Accardi’s application video.

Audrey Cooper, Senior Staff Writer

Since the inception of the coveted Homecoming celebration, which the NCAA accredits to the University of Missouri circa 1911, the custom of inviting high school and college alumni back to their respective alma maters has infected a vast majority of institutions in the United States. At the high school level, Homecoming can be summarized in two events: the game and the dance. Further digression of the tradition includes the practice of selecting a Homecoming Court from an application-pool of hopeful nominees to represent the school. At the Academy of the Holy Names, girls are allowed the opportunity to apply for Jesuit High School’s Homecoming Court by means of what has recently become a lengthier, more in-depth process.

The 2015 Jesuit Homecoming Queen application was released to AHN seniors within the second week of the school year. In addition to completing a general application and providing a teacher letter of recommendation, the girls were asked to elaborate on their extracurricular activities, briefly describe their involvement with Jesuit and explain why they want to be chosen as Queen in short answer form. These requirements have remained consistent for several years, until a video supplement was added to the list of materials vital to completing the application.

Jesuit seeks a Homecoming Queen who has been involved in their community. Clearly, senior Hadley Chillura meets this requirement.
Credit: Hadley Chillura
Jesuit seeks a Homecoming Queen who has been involved in their community. Clearly, senior Hadley Chillura meets this requirement.

The minute-long video was implemented so that the candidates could present their case to Jesuit students as to why they would be the best pick for Queen. Before voting, Jesuit students previewed the videos in order that they could make an informed decision. Senior and Top 5 finalist Isabella Alfonso admits, “The video made me very anxious at first. I was nervous that if I tried to be too funny it wouldn’t be funny or if I was too serious people would shrug it off and not vote for me.” Alfonso’s concern was rational, as the varying reactions that arose from the Jesuit student body challenged the necessity of the videos to the application process.

Homecoming Court member Isabella Alfonso explains that one of her favorite Jesuit memories is "coming together as a team and beating TC, together, for 15 years, as one."
Credit: Isabella Alfonso
Homecoming Court member Isabella Alfonso explains that one of her favorite Jesuit memories is “coming together as a team and beating TC, together, for fifteen years, as one.”

Initially, the videos received ridicule via Twitter, where Jesuit senior Danny Peek conveyed his personal judgement. Peek wrote, “General consensus after watching AHN homecoming queen videos: girls…. still not funny.” The comment has since been deleted, but not before it reached Academy. Applicants and the general population alike began to question whether the video was imperative or nonessential.

Some students, such as senior Court members Lily Oliva and Camille Yodzis, suggested alternatives that might avoid such discrepancy in the future. Yodzis acknowledges the benefits of the video, but wishes, “there would have been more specific guidelines for the video, like questions we could have answered instead of just going for it since the video was a new addition to the application.” Conversely, Oliva thinks the video should be entirely replaced by a different format. “Anything that could have given the same information in a different form, like a speech given at Jesuit, would be better so that we could see their reactions,” Oliva proposes.

Senior Top 10 candidate Jayne McLaughlin defends fellow Academy Homecoming Queen applicants on Twitter.
Credit: Jayne McLaughlin
Senior Top 10 candidate Jayne McLaughlin defends fellow Academy Homecoming Queen applicants on Twitter. #ExposeTheseBros

Since the immediate outburst on social media, other Jesuit students have come forward and expressed mixed opinions in regards to the addition of the video. Some side with Peek, such as his classmate Nico Baldor, who asserts, “I don’t think there are really any benefits [to the video]. I think it hurts the chances unless it’s funny or you’re really hot. The two things that stand out to guys are looks and the funniness of the video.” However, there is a collection of boys that venture to disagree. Jesuit junior Danny Boon believes the videos have a positive effect because they, “allow us to see who we’re voting for instead of just looking at pictures of them and voting, which helps us narrow it down. Plus, we enjoy seeing the personalities of those running.” The schism among students from both schools makes it difficult to conclude where the majority stands on the issue. Regardless of the direction of video’s future, senior JJ Zambito reminds future applicants that, “you only get out what you put in. If a girl spends time and creates a well-thought out video then it can only help her.” Perhaps the matter will resolve itself. Until then, the videos will likely continue to be an element of the Jesuit Homecoming Court Application.

 

View this year’s Top 5 application videos below to help establish an opinion:

Gabby Accardi

Isabella Alfonso

Hadley Chillura

Lily Oliva

Camille Yodzis