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Homecoming court goes gender-neutral

Maria Del Carmen Huerta, Staff Writer

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San Diego State will not recognize a homecoming king or queen this year. Instead, the honorees will be referred to as “royals,” a gender-neutral term.

During the application process, candidates were allowed to select gender-neutral pronouns to identify themselves.

These gender-inclusive pronouns aim to dispel the common gender binary of categorizing people as solely masculine or feminine.

“I think homecoming is a great setting to have meaningful conversations and understanding about gender equality and ensure events on campus are welcoming and inclusive for all students,” said Christy Nierva Quiogue, director of the Center for Intercultural Relations.

Nierva Quiogue said SDSU takes pride in creating a welcoming and educational environment that provides learning opportunities to increase students’ awareness of campus diversity and inclusion.

SDSU has provided resources to inform, educate and empower its students to embrace diversity and inclusion with events such as the One SDSU Community Receptions.

This event brings together people from different communities to discuss the similarities that allow them to find common ground.

Nierva Quiogue said the change in homecoming’s protocol is another example of raising awareness while also recognizing Aztecs’ achievements.

Gender neutrality in the homecoming application is a step in the right direction, SDSU Women’s Resource Center Coordinator Jessica Nare said.

“We are lucky to be on a campus that is really diverse, and so I think having systems in place that reflect the students on campus is a really positive thing,” Nare said. “The reality is we don’t live in a gender-binary system and so really recognizing that in a public way is really important and exciting.”

She said the gender-neutral option is another step toward creating safe and brave spaces on campus where everyone will feel welcome.

This progressive shift can be seen on other campuses across the nation, including Harvard University and University of Vermont, where gender-neutral pronouns are offered in the general admission process.

Out of all the submitted Homecoming Court applications, only 10 students were selected as part of the 2015 Homecoming Court.

Each honoree was chosen by a committee of SDSU faculty, including Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Patricia Lozada-Santone and Dean of Students Randy Timm.

At this year’s Homecoming Court announcement party, finalists were announced while the SDSU Marching Aztecs and Color Guard performed at the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union.

The 2015 Homecoming Court honorees are advertising major Andrea Byrd, political science major Brenna Culliton, kinesiology major Brian Levett, interdisciplinary studies major Dezmon Monroe Robinson, finance major Emmanuel Uwakwe, health science major Jennifer Reyes, English and psychology major Angela Risi, English and speech, language and hearing sciences major Samantha Olivas, psychology major Keaujahn’e Polk and psychology major Shaan McGhie.

“It feels amazing just to have so many supporters and to be able to represent the student body as a leader,” Reyes said.

The 2015 homecoming game, themed the “San Diego State of Mind,” takes place on Nov. 14. at Qualcomm Stadium, where the Aztec football team will play the University of Wyoming Cowbows.

The game is free for students who get a ticket in advance and show their Red ID at the stadium.

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10 Comments

10 Responses to “Homecoming court goes gender-neutral”

  1. DJR on November 10th, 2015 8:02 pm

    As I was reading this article, I noticed on the right hand side, under the box for “Recent Sports Scores,” the following information:

    Sunday, November 8 Men’s Soccer SDSU 1 – Oregon State 3.

    Why does it say MEN’S soccer? Is gender neutrality only for homecoming? Is soccer owned only by men?

    Shouldn’t it just say “soccer”? Why is the term “men’s” used?

    Further, why is the title of this “the Daily Aztec”? My family is descended from Native Americans. That title is offensive to my family.

    You should be ashamed of yourselves and practice what you preach.

    [Reply]

    Trevor Hubbard Reply:

    Because, men’s/women’s soccer is necessarily gender specific (men-on-men sports v. women-on-women sports).

    Another rational reason why being gender-neutral is important (beyond being just logical) is that SDSU is aligning itself with the new supreme court ruling Obergefell v. Hodges (also known as “gay marriage”). Since gay marriage is a constitutionally-protected right, why couldn’t there be a “king and a king” or “queen and a queen”?

    [Reply]

    Bob Reply:

    Gender Neutrality would include all genders – meaning people who don’t identify as male or female. This actually had nothing to do with that supreme court case, which would have no bearing on how any educational institute runs its own homecoming court.

    [Reply]

  2. Thomas Woods on November 12th, 2015 7:44 am

    I am offended that in this day and age you would use the term “Royals”. This obscene, class war term implies that the people who will be representing the students at SDSU are somehow a “class above” (royal) and part of the anti-equality structure called “The Feudal System”.

    Also, I notice in the picture of the “court” than one can distinguish the males from the females. How is that fair?

    You should be ashamed of yourselves!

    [Reply]

    Olibtard Reply:

    I’m appalled at this University and their hatred towards drag Queens!! Those Queens have every right to be there and more than that they need a “safe zone”! We need to demand the University deans resignation NOW !!!!!

    [Reply]

    Tits Mcgee Reply:

    Thomas Woods. Sounds like a fake name if ive ever heard one! Coward

    [Reply]

    Thomas Woods Reply:

    Because “Tits Mcgee” is obviously a real and genuine name, and gender neutral too! LOL

    [Reply]

  3. Mike on November 12th, 2015 9:36 am

    Protecting minorities is one thing. Changing your entire society based on “rights” manufactured by a minute fraction of the population is another.

    The upside to all this nonsense is that for the rest of us, when these special snowflakes hit the real world, we won’t have to compete with them, because they won’t be able to hack it, and will go back to the protection of their tribe.

    [Reply]

  4. Dr. Necessitor on November 12th, 2015 7:09 pm

    Got to agree with DJR, if there is no gender binary, then there’s no reason to field both men’s and women’s sports teams. Sports should be gender-neutral too!

    [Reply]

  5. Thomas Woods on November 13th, 2015 6:43 pm

    When are Americans going to realize that while we are discussing gender issues and micro-agression, while we have students rioting over “safe zones” and “white male privilege” there are people who are planning to kill each and every one of us and are taking steps to do it. Today’s attack in Paris isn’t just the beginning, and it’s certainly not the end of the violent and militant gang of thugs who are screaming “Death to America!” and plotting to put an end to Western Civilization, Judaism, Christianity, the idea of Democracy and Freedom and impose a dictatorial and brutal regime on anyone who survives the slaughter. These people intend to make Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin look like choir boys.

    [Reply]

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