Education

Penn State Trashes Homecoming ‘King’ And ‘Queen’ Titles For Gender-Neutral Awards

Pennsylvania State University announced Monday it is trashing its “king” and “queen” homecoming titles, opting for two gender-neutral awards.

The school became the third school in the Big Ten league to implement the change, according to Onward State. Penn State rationalized its decision to honor, in the future, two students with the title “Guide State Forward” by appealing to gender inclusivity and diversity.

“We’re striving to open up Homecoming so that all Penn State students can feel like they are welcome and able to participate. Our goal is to identify the best students to represent Penn State without regard to their gender, gender identity or gender expression,” Penn State Homecoming 2018’s executive director Ally Berdan said. “This change is not only in line with our organization’s desire to be accepting of all students, but also the University’s values of diversity and inclusion, as reflected in the All In initiative.”

“Above all, we want everyone to feel like they have a place here at Penn State,” she said.

Penn State’s homecoming executive committee partnered with the school’s LGBTQA resource center and gender equity center to establish the new award.

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“We’re always benchmarking with other universities to see how we can continuously evolve and be more inclusive in our practices,” program adviser at Penn State’s office of student activities Sarah Monteleone, who serves as an adviser for homecoming. “It’s been very exciting to see the students take the lead on this change to shape how they want Penn State to be known for years to come.”

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