Homecoming Kickoff, Court announcement
Homecoming Week 2021 kicked off on Monday with the announcement of the Homecoming Court at the Kickoff Pep Rally.
Those who are on the court are now up for the title of Homecoming King and Queen, which will be announced at the football game on Saturday.
Back to normal
The Residence Halls Association Kick-off Pep Rally hosted a myriad of booths filled with activities set up by various student organizations and was open to all students.
Students were able to hear from the Spirit of Houston as well as meet and take pictures with the school mascots, Sasha and Shasta.
Free food, T-shirts and live music all contributed to the electric atmosphere of the night.
“It’s a really nice event,” said psychology freshman Anthony Bermudez. “It’s nice to be socializing, meeting new people and seeing old friends.”
Communications freshman Steven Troy Viera echoed similar sentiments and said the event was exciting and different, especially being a first-year student.
“It’s welcoming,” Viera said. “It shows school spirit.”
Homecoming Court 2021
Abel Williams, a graduate student in the pharmacy school, wanted to give his nomination credit back to the school.
“I just really wanted to represent so much of the University and all the people that have helped me,” Williams said. “Winning would mean that all my hard work has paid off the growth that I’ve done what high school would want me to do.”
Kinesiology junior Kenneth Davis ran because he wanted to represent people who look like him.
“I wanted to leave a legacy of representing the student body and advocating for those needs and also amplifying underrepresented narrative,” Davis said. “Representation for the years to come, and knowing that anybody else that looks like me can be on Homecoming Court.”
Lyrik Walker, broadcast journalism senior and member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority chapter said running for the court was important for her to continue the UH tradition. This inspiration was partly due to Alpha Kappa Alpha member Lynn Eusan becoming the first Black UH Homecoming queen, according to Walker.
“This is the first major goal and the next would obviously be to win,” Walker said.
Jayce Ball, a computer information systems senior and member of the Zeta Phi Beta sorority said running for Court was all about making a difference. Ball mentioned how she wanted the Homecoming Queen to look different, and she wanted to be the one to do the job.
“I want to make a difference at UH, bring the spirit of Houston back,” said Ball. “I’m really excited [to be nominated] and congratulations to everyone else that made it and everyone else that participated.”
Political science senior Jeremiah Sowell ran because he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his brother who ran for Homecoming Court before him.
“It’s something I’m looking forward to,” Sowell said. “I’m very confident about it, and it’ll be a big accomplishment for my undergraduate career.”
Jordan Booker, technology leadership and innovation management senior, ran because he initially felt lost on campus during his freshman year. Soon, he started meditating and having others join him, helping build his confidence.
Booker said he had a great track season, which really helped to motivate him.
“I feel like this will be great for the experience, letting people know that I came from being unconfident and not knowing what I want to do to eventually running for Homecoming King,” Booker said. “University of Houston has helped me a lot in gaining my confidence. I want to give back.”
Supply chain management and marketing senior Minnae Bellard is an Alpha Kappa Psi member and wanted to run to share her experiences of what it means to be a student at UH personally and professionally.
“I just wanted to share how UH has created me as the great person I am today,” Bellard said. “I feel happy to be able to continue to share my story and continue to motivate others to find their purpose here at UH and find themselves.”
Ogechi Ngwakwe, a biochemistry senior and Metropolitan Volunteer Program assistant director of membership said after a long week of campaigning, being nominated by the students was a satisfying feeling.
“I felt like it would just be a beautiful way to end off my time at UH to just run for Homecoming Court knowing that it represents a major tradition at UH and that I’d be able to hold the position and title in a very graceful manner,” Ngwakwe said.
Marketing senior Ricardo Lara didn’t expect to run for Homecoming Court since it was out of his comfort zone. But, one of his friends convinced him to run.
“I wanted to be a good representation for other students who may have been in a similar situation as I was,” Lara said. “Where they didn’t necessarily feel like they found their place on campus, whether that be through friends, organizations or what they wanted to do with their career path. And (I) really just let people know like, it gets better, and you’ll eventually find your place here.”
Victoria White, political science senior and UH Student Government Association executive assistant wanted to represent the University that welcomed her as an international student.
“I really wanted to represent the University that’s given so much to me and provided so many opportunities to me,” said White. “It was a tough competition this year and I’m just glad that I’ve gotten this far.”