The Homecoming Queen Movement; Student Body Takes Charge


Photo 3: Courtesy of Senior class advisor The Google Form that was released for the Senior students to vote on the Homecoming Queen for 2020

Stephanie Yu

At John F. Kennedy Memorial High School, crowning a Homecoming Queen has been a tradition for over 30 years. Under the pandemic of COVID 19, however, the nominations of Homecoming Queen worked a little differently compared to previous years. After school on Monday, Nov. 16, the students received a Google Form unexpectedly, instructed to vote for one of the eight candidates. Immediately, students started publicly addressing their disappointment regarding the absence of representation of Asian girls on the ballot.

Unfortunately, the coronavirus has prevented any school functions from happening, let alone attend the school building normally. Therefore, the club advisors and sport coaches were the first to nominate the senior girls, compared to previous years in which the students nominated their classmates in the first round. This year, the students were not part of the process until the final eight candidates were released. 

The ballot upset a lot of students, leading them to take action by voicing their opinions on social media outlets.

 “As a candidate for the Homecoming Queen, I feel like everyone on the ballot list deserved to be on there and represent what our school symbolizes,” Senior Melisa Bilgili stated. “I was just shocked and upset that although the ballot did hold girls with different ethnicities, races, and religions, there was not one Asian person on it when 40 percent of our student body are Asian.” 

Bilgili, along with other students, show they respect the candidate chosen, but also believe there are several Asian girls who have the qualities- good grades, extra curriculars, and exceptional character- to be nominated as well.

Seniors Ria Majhu, Mansi Patel, Madhura Raval, and Khushi Patel collabortly created a petition to express the students’ concerns on this issue. Majhu mentions that the motivation behind organizing the petition was due to her astonishment of how no hardworking Asian students appeared on the list that supposedly model students of JFK. As of Nov. 23, 279 people have signed the petition. 

Continuing this trend, Senior Class President, Michael Hein, acknowledged and understood his classmates’ opinions about the situation, asserting his voice by emailing Mr.Postorino.

Hein stated, “I think that young women who were already nominated are all very well deserving of the honor, but the student body would like to see more Asian nominees be added to the ballot to accurately represent our population.” 

On Wednesday, Nov. 18, Mr.Postorino commended those students who reached out and addressed their opinions. In his letter to the senior class, a solution has taken place in which “faculty advisors, student government, and class officers will work to review Homecoming measures through the lens of equity.” His response channeled through the student body positively and brings hope to the future.

“I feel proud of us as a student body speaking up on our opinion and this issue because it demonstrates how powerful our voices can be and that we can make a change in our school and community,” Bilgili stated. “Particularly in this case, I am happy to see the administration taking our concerns into consideration.”

Despite the feelings toward the ballot, congratulations are due to the eight candidates originally nominated! Beyond that, it’s exciting to see how the mature cooperation between the unity of students and administrators can go so far. The communication and voices of the students can potentially be the start to better John F. Kennedy Memorial High School, our community, and the future of this country.