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Ohio State Homecoming Court selection: more than a popularity contest

The Homecoming Parade progression walks near Tuttle Park. Credit: Lantern file photo

In high school, homecoming king and queen are typically thought to be the most popular person in school, but at Ohio State, the candidates are chosen mostly by the Alumni Association based on their academic accolades and campus involvements.

Those interested in Homecoming Court apply online first, followed by a review on criteria including leadership qualities, spirit, integrity and achievement at Ohio State. Homecoming Court coordinator Janki Patel said 60 students interview for the court, which is comprised of 12 men and 12 women.

To become Homecoming King or Queen, the selection committee considers a student’s interview and GPA more so than the votes they receive, Patel said.

“Some people think that it’s all votes, but it’s not,” Patel said, adding: “It is a process to get onto court and to make sure that it doesn’t become a popularity contest; we take into consideration the interview and the GPA very heavily.”

It might seem like a long process, but homecoming representative Pavin Peketi, a fourth-year in neuroscience, said it was worth it to become an example for younger students.

“I really wanted to serve as a representative of the school and show freshman and show underclassmen that were in my position freshman year that weren’t involved that OSU has so many opportunities to get involved,” Peketi said.

For Austin Schoeffler, another one of this year’s homecoming representative and a fourth-year in neuroscience, applying for homecoming court was a way to look back on his memories at Ohio State.

“Even just reading the questions [on the application], I thought it was just kind of like a moment to reflect on everything you’ve done the last three years… all the people you’ve met, all the experiences you’ve had,” Schoeffler said.

The Homecoming Queen and King will be announced at the Homecoming Game Oct. 7.

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