Former homecoming royalty offers advice


File Photo/The Lion’s Roar

President John L. Crain stands with the 2018 Homecoming King Cedrick Dent, Jr., and Queen Da Jon Beard after they were crowned during the halftime show of the Homecoming football game. Beard represented Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., as a junior maid and Dent represented Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., as a senior beau court member. Mattie Hawkins, Homecoming Queen 2017 was on hand to crown the winners.

Students running for the 2019 Homecoming Court have started campaigning for a position on the court.

Candidates began campaigning for Homecoming Court at 8 a.m. on Sept. 9 and will continue through Thursday, Sept. 20, with voting ending at 4:30 p.m. The ballots will be tallied and the court will be announced shortly after the conclusion of elections at the Student Union Breezeway. Homecoming Week will take place Oct. 7-12, and the two students selected as Homecoming king and queen will be announced during halftime of the football game against the University of the Incarnate Word.

For the students who are elected to the court, the 2018 Homecoming king and queen have shared their experiences about their time on the court.

Da Jon Beard, 2018 Homecoming Queen, and a senior early childhood education major explained that she also participated in her high school’s Homecoming Court.

After being elected as the candidate to represent Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Beard was overwhelmed at first by how much larger the university’s population was compared to her high school.

“At first, I was scared – I’m not going to lie,” explained Beard. “But my chapter, we vote on who runs for Homecoming Court, and I was voted on to run for Homecoming Court. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh.’ This was a bigger student body, and I know everybody in high school. Here, I don’t know everybody, but I did it to get myself out there and meet new faces and new people.”

Once elected to the court, student organizations will have the chance to form teams to compete in competitions held throughout Homecoming Week.

Beard recalled parts of her experience with last year’s court.

“Our theme was ‘Touchdown for Beard and Brown,’ of course, a football theme,” said Beard. “So, we did each day as a quarter leading up to the touchdown. So basically, one day I had a kickball game, and we got here. I gave away nachos and stuff, and it was really fun. I really enjoyed it. We had a jingle. One of my line sisters came up with it, and we challenged other people to do it and post it for us on our social media accounts.”

Cedric L. Dent, Jr., 2018 Homecoming King and a senior social work major, shared that one of his favorite aspects of the week was the support from family and friends.

“At the game when I was on the field and they were about to announce the Homecoming King, my family wore shirts with my name on it,” discussed Dent. “It was just a lot of love that day, and I still remember it.”

For those elected to the Homecoming Court, Dent advised them to be as sociable as they can leading up to Oct. 12.

“Stay creative – it’s really an endeavor to step out of your comfort zone because running for anything in general, you have to be able to talk to people,” explained Dent. “That’s the biggest thing, being able to put yourself out there to do events, talk to people.”

Regardless if a candidate is elected to the court or elected to become king or queen, Dent, now in his final semester of college, shared that the most important lesson to take from the experience is to enjoy the process while it lasts.

Dent shared, “You take those lessons that you learned throughout the process and you apply it to your job, your career, your classes, your college life experience, and your personal life experience as well.”