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Penn State University will no longer crown Homecoming Kings or Queens in the name of being diverse and inclusive, but, according to a new poll, it appears that most people aren't really on board with the change.
What are the details?
The Penn State 2018 Homecoming Executive Committee and Royalty Committee revealed on Tuesday that the committees will strike all "gendered" references to the Homecoming Court's "King" and "Queen" titles.
Instead of honoring the traditional King and Queen, the committees will award two students — not necessarily one male and one female, either — the "Guide State Forward Award."
As for the court itself, 10 representatives will be chosen — gender notwithstanding — in what the committees say is "an effort to embrace more diversity and gender inclusivity."
According to a memo, those nominated to the court will "capture the essence of the values we hold true as a University."
What are others saying about this?
Penn State's Collegian reports that a poll doesn't seem to reflect a primarily positive reception to the change.
At this time, the poll has received 1,352 votes. Of those 1,352 votes, just 329 respondents voted that they agreed with the change, while 1,023 respondents disagreed.
Damon Sims, vice president for Student Affairs, lauded the change as "positive."
"The student-led changes to this year’s Homecoming are positive and exemplify the ideals of the Homecoming Committee and the University’s commitment to building a welcoming and inclusive environment for all," Sims said, according to a release.
Ally Berdan, executive director for Homecoming 2018, added, "Homecoming, as an organization, supports and strives to embody the aspirations of the ‘All-In’ initiative. To us, it’s less about what a student looks like on paper and more about embracing the whole person and the unique experiences and backgrounds of each Penn Stater."
Paul Clifford, CEO of the Penn State Alumni Association, said, "We can’t say 'We Are and exclude part of our community. The decision of the Homecoming Committee to insure Homecoming is open and welcoming to all is commendable, a true 'We Are' event."
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