Modern homecoming strays from tradition

Miyoki Walker, Entertainment Editor

While students may think of Homecoming as a modern concept, this simply isn’t the case.

“It is an age old high school tradition to celebrate Homecoming,” says director of Student Activities, Nicole Boyd. “It’s an event that the whole community gets involved in.”

The football team will unite on Sept. 30 to defeat Niles West, and the community will unite to cheer them on. This is a chance to don orange and blue, and represent the school.

Homecoming was first introduced in 1911 as a college sporting event. There is an ongoing debate over where the event originated. Homecoming has been linked to many midwestern states including Kansas, Missouri and even Illinois.

Though Homecoming’s place of origin is controversial, it is an annual spectacle celebrated nationwide. There are many traditions associated with the spirited event including parades, an evening dance and Homecoming court.

Traditions are meant to be upheld, but many do not stand the test of time. Although the values are the same, the overall event has changed to suit the entire student body.

“Before the 90s, it was a semi-formal affair. Now it’s a very casual, thematic dance,”   Boyd says. “Student Council is adaptable and always responds to student desires.”

There are many Homecoming policies that have changed over the years along with nontraditional themes like “Neon Nights,” and “Safari.” Homecoming is now listed as non formal event, which deviates from traditional dances.

Homecoming court is one tradition that hasn’t changed in the last century. Students campaign for the title of king or queen and the student body ultimately decides on a winner by voting on myETHS.

“It’s an honor to be selected by your peers,” says Boyd “It’s a fair, democratic process, and we always have awesome representatives.”

Although electing a king and queen is a light-hearted tradition, some think the activity has no value and excludes other students.

“Homecoming court is more of a popularity contest,”  says sophomore Grace Tabet . “It doesn’t serve any purpose and takes away from the event.”

Others believe that, although Homecoming court has good intentions, student opinion should come first.

“It’s fun to vote and choose a king and queen, but it can offend people who feel excluded,” freshman Seth Shimelfarb-Wells says.

Two people are crowned at the dance, but all events are open for anyone. Events and clubs that are accessible to all are an integral part in maintaining the inclusivity that ETHS is unique for.

“At a diverse school like ours, students feel comfortable being themselves,”  Tabet says.

Homecoming is an event that anyone is welcome to attend, without fear of judgement or discrimination. Once the clock starts counting down at the game, nothing else matters.

“It’s always fun for the school to come together,” says freshman Seth Shimelfarb-Wells “and Homecoming is a way to get the community involved too.”

The school has undergone many changes, and Homecoming is no exception. The game, the dance, and the fun is open to all, so don’t forget your orange and blue!