Campus Reform | UPitt scraps ‘gendered’ language from homecoming titles

UPitt scraps ‘gendered’ language from homecoming titles

One administrator called the titles “antiquated” language.

UPitt has announced homecoming "king" and "queen" will not be used at homecoming events anymore in order to be a more gender-inclusive campus.

The University of Pittsburgh announced that it will no longer use the traditional titles of  “homecoming king” and “homecoming queen” in order to provide a more “inclusive” environment.  Instead, the school will bestow on homecoming royalty the "Spirt of Pitt" award.

The push to no longer use the phrases "king "or "queen" comes from UPitt’s Alumni Association, which called for the policy change. 

Vice Chancellor for Alumni Relations Nancy Merritt said that homecoming king and queen are forms of “antiquated” language and need to be changed for a more representative notion. 

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"Traditions are valuable in alumni relations in that they create a shared experience across generations and they also tend to reflect the values of an organization. But this concept of homecoming king and queen, I think has become antiquated and was overshadowing what we were actually trying to recognize as part of this process,” Meritt told The Pitt News.

She also said that “by taking out binary gender we’re more inclusive."

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Along with the change to titles, Pitt’s homecoming court, which originally would have a group of 10 students each having to be sponsored by a student organization, would no longer be required to have such a sponsorship. Under the new rules, anyone who gets a group of 10 students or faculty to sponsor them can run.

Pitt’s homecoming event this year will take place virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

University of Pittsburgh freshman Rich Ferris told Campus Reform that he is not surprised by this. 

“I am not surprised that this move was made in an effort to further exemplify the Pitt student body. I think it can help increase the feeling of inclusiveness at Pitt too.” he said. 

The University of Pittsburgh declined to comment.

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