Correction appended: Sept. 15, 2012.
On Thursday, ten Penn State students were surprised in their classes, during their lunches and on stops to the HUB by the Homecoming committee with the news that they have been appointed to the 2012 Homecoming Court.
The students appointed to the Court include five men and five women, including Julianne Robbins, Vincenzo Lizza, Josephine Farinelli, Graham Zimmerman, Kathryn Kozak, Ryan Brown, Tracey Edouard, Shane McGregor, Courtney Moskios, and Stephen Huber.
Executive Director of Homecoming Bridgette Carrier said that the surprises were going to be continuos all day, and consist in a variety of places from classrooms to restaurants.
“All of the people that applied were required to include their class schedules. So, once the Court was decided, we picked classes to go surprise them in,” Carrier (senior-kinesiology) said. “We gave them a crown and a sash in the middle of their classes. In some cases, we took to more diverse places such as the HUB, or Chipotle to really catch them off guard.”
Carrier said her favorite part of the day was seeing the student’s surprised sometimes-embarrassed expressions as their normal daily actions were interrupted by the news.
“My favorite part of the event is getting the students caught off-guard,” Carrier said. “It’s fun to see them get excited and to see all of the social media that follows, such as all of them getting posted on Twitter.”
President of the Panhellenic Council Julianne Robbins said that she was surprised and overwhelmed by the news she received today that she was on the court.
“I feel like I’m still on cloud 9, this is incredible,” Robbins (senior-biology) said. “I feel like so many exciting things have happened to me this week between this and recruitment, and I am so overwhelmed.”
Robbins also said she is excited to participate in all of the Homecoming events both on and off campus.
“I remember walking out of class last year and seeing members of the court walking the streets with members of the Blue Band,” Robbins said. “I can’t wait to participate in on-campus things like that, as well as in all of the Homecoming activities.”
Another member of the 2012 Court, President of the Penn State Student Black Caucus Ryan Brown said that he is excited to see Homecoming in a way he never has before.
“I’m excited for the parade and all of the events and the football games,” Brown (senior-integrative arts) said. “I’m especially looking forward to seeing Homecoming from a new perspective.”
The Homecoming Court also has responsibilities to go along with their new titles, and Carrier said that there would be help for them along the way.
“People on Homecoming Court will be required to attend all events during Homecoming,” Carrier said. “They will also take part in court workshops where they get to hang out and get to know each other. They will also be given a survival guide to ensure that they are aware of all of the rules.”
Royalty Director Malik Richardson said that the process begins with one of two nomination weeks, the first one occurring the first week in the fall semester. People nominated include seniors graduating in fall 20212, spring 2013, or summer 2013.
“During the following weeks, the applications are reviewed by my advisors, the executive director and myself” Richardson said. “In the applicants, we look for community service, leadership, academic honors, and internship or work experience.”
Malik said that the next part of the process includes selecting the highest graded applicants to be the 20 semi-finalists, consisting of ten men and ten women. The semi-finalists are then interviewed, and from the interviews, the court is decided and consists of five men and five women.
“I want to make sure that the court is more diverse,” Richardson said. “The court consists of well-known students on campus, the core student leaders, and I’m proud of that.”
An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the name of an organization one of the Homecoming Court members leads. Ryan Brown is the president of the Penn State Student Black Caucus. The above article reflects the correct information. The Daily Collegian apologizes for this error.