Homecoming tradition re-instated
Published: Monday, October 22, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 22, 2013 19:04
Seniors Sam Katz and Jenny Lowe were crowned in front of thousands on the football field Saturday as the first Homecoming king and queen in nearly two decades.
Lowe said she works at the Office of Undergraduate Admissions as a Blue Hen Ambassador, but the best part about campaigning was how it pushed her to get more involved in the social aspect of the university.
“Being on the court just got me to events that I maybe wouldn’t have heard about or considered going to,” Lowe said. “It helped me jumpstart getting involved with things I normally wouldn’t have been involved with. I just had so much fun doing it.”
The main attraction to Homecoming court for Lowe was how it took her out of her comfort zone. She said her entire time at the university she has held positions in the admissions office dealing with prospective students but, as a senior, wanted to spend more time dealing with the students already here.
Lowe said on Oct. 12 she participated in an ice cream eating contest on The Green sponsored by UDairy Creamery. She said she normally would never compete in an eating contest but, as Homecoming queen candidate, she found the courage to try something new.
Cindy Campanella, assistant vice president of the Office of Alumni Relations, said the application process for potential candidates was competitive. Students were required to have a minimum 2.5 GPA, be involved in at least one club or organization on campus, obtain 100 student signatures with 25 from each class and submit a two-minute video and brief essay.
Campanella said a committee of students and faculty reviewed the applications and cut 19 prospective candidates who they felt did not embody the university spirit.
According to Katz, getting the required student signatures was a difficult part of the courting process. However, he said he thought of different ways to gain access to students from all four classes. He said finding members of some classes to sign the petition was easier than others.
“The hardest [part] was finding sophomores because there aren’t really any sophomore-only organizations or clubs,” Katz said.
When making the video, Lowe said she kept a few questions in mind concerning her involvement and accomplishments at the university. She said she wanted to set herself apart from other candidates who would speak into the camera, so instead she made an animated video in which she was depicted as a stick figure.
Both Lowe and Katz said they did little to campaign, other than the required two-minute video. However, Katz said he used Facebook and handed out flyers around campus to advertise his candidacy.
He said his favorite part of running for Homecoming king was getting to know the other candidates.
“After I met everyone, I realized that we had a lot in common,” Katz said. “It was such a weird coincidence. All of the candidates were really well-connected and well-known. I think any of them could have won.”
Campanella said more than 8,000 people voted for all the candidates, which she said is almost half of the undergraduate population. She also said the polls were open to the general public, but the Office of Alumni Relations heavily-marketed the process to students.
According to Campanella, the voting was conducted online and was limited to one vote per email address. This was in order to limit the number of multiple voters, which is nearly impossible in an online setting, she said.