Editor pines for change in Homecoming results

On Monday morning, my Facebook erupted with three requests to vote for three separate pairs for Gannon University’s 2011 Homecoming title.

Two out of the three asked for my support of Greek Life candidates, and while I commend the campus’ sororities and fraternities in their undeniable talent for promoting each other, I’m positive that no candidate belonging to a sorority or fraternity will be receiving my 2011 Homecoming vote.

Every year, the results of the vote are as predictable as the year before. A fraternity brother wins king and a sorority sister wins queen. The only unpredictability from year to year depends on which organizations sew enough popularity to win the contest that year.

Let’s examine that. Each member of a sorority or fraternity endorses the candidate for his or her respective club. We’ll assume their home-team support translates into votes for the candidates the partnered groups nominated.

So that leaves the middle-of-the-road voters. Neither conservative nor liberal, these independents include all those people who are not involved in Gannon’s Greek Life. These students are then bombarded with advertisements to vote for people they don’t know too well, and their votes are a toss-up. But the point is, what do they gain in this? The competing Greeks need them for a single week out of the other 52 of the year, just to have a chance of winning the popularity contest.

You might be thinking that’s all that homecoming titles are – popularity contests – and you’re right. But consider how the deck is stacked against any club not claiming to be a Greek organization.

The Honors Program, Tri-Beta, 90.5 WERG, etc., all have huge odds to overcome if they ever hope to bring home the crown. But with sorority and fraternity dominance almost guaranteed every year, what keeps these groups fielding candidates like lambs for slaughter? To me, it doesn’t make sense. It sounds like a waste of time, in fact.

In my senior year of high school, an “unpopular” guy made the Homecoming court. Brett Ireland was bigger, loud, and played in the school band (a recipe for a social death sentence). That year, he was named Homecoming King, paired with the prettiest girl in school. Why? Because the underclassmen voters – who weren’t in the social cliques of the upperclassmen and didn’t really care who won – understood that Homecoming voting was a popularity game, whose victory was coveted by the popular kids. So they overturned the system. And it was one of the best Homecomings I ever experienced.

So please, think for a minute before you vote. Are you voting for a specific candidate only because you feel pressured to?

I’m not sure whom I’m voting for yet. Most likely, it will be someone not tied to Greek Life. No disrespect, Greeks, but I just want to see another group claim the throne this year. It’s like my mom’s reasoning when she fills out an absentee ballot: “If I don’t know either candidate, I vote for the woman. Most likely, she’s never gotten a chance.”

DAN KUBACKI

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