Eight candidates find themselves in the final countdown and ready to win.
“Running for Homecoming Royalty is an acknowledgment of leadership, campus involvement and connections with the Ferris State community,” Ferris criminal justice senior and Student Homecoming Committee royalty chair Ashley Harmison said. “It highlights students who exhibit the university’s core values and the spirit of being a Bulldog.”
In her first year as the homecoming committee royalty chair, Harmison has learned not only how students can run for candidacy, but what happens after Royalty is chosen.
The process begins every spring semester when students can fill out an application to run for Homecoming Royalty. After the application process is complete, all applicants are interviewed by members of the Student Homecoming Committee.
“Only the top 10 Bulldogs that best represent the university’s core values and spirit become a royalty candidate,” Harmison said. Once fall begins, so does campaign season. Along with this, candidates participate in various events the week of homecoming including the comedian, bonfire and Big Rapids parade.
“This has been a learning experience on a personal level to be more confident in myself and gained communication skills,” Ferris hospitality management senior and royalty candidate Maria Rogers said.
Going through the campaigning process has been a new experience for Rogers, unlike Ferris applied speech communication senior Tyrell Austin, who was crowned homecoming king in high school.
“I decided to run because since I have been at Ferris, I never see much diversity in colored people running. I figured it would be great to be that guy,” Austin said.
Though the candidacy planning has been stressful, Austin has enjoyed meeting new people while improving his marketing skills.
Ferris hospitality management junior Taya Treiber has found her experience as a homecoming royalty candidate to be a rewarding one.
“I wanted to have a chance to represent the Ferris community,” Treiber said.
Like Treiber, Ferris political science senior Samantha Miller is proud to be representing Ferris. Miller also made homecoming court at her high school.
“I always wanted to be a candidate since my freshman year. It always seemed like a blast,” Miller said.
Though she missed the final vote in high school, Ferris graphic media management senior Morgan Dodson is given a second chance for the crown at her soon-to-be alma mater, learning that Ferris pride is a must when it comes to running for royalty.
Enjoying the campaigning process doesn’t come without its stressful moments. Ferris pharmacy P1 Miranda Blaine finds herself balancing between pharmacy school, running for royalty and her other responsibilities. Thankfully, stressful moments come with lessons learned.
“I learned that Ferris has a lot of amazing students and alumni who are devoted to their alma mater,” Blaine said.
Though the campaigning process can be stressful, many still find joy in the idea.
“I love creative themes, and it has been a lot of fun to have my organizations, Alpha Xi Delta and Lambda Chi Alpha, get involved,” Ferris business senior Quinn Cross said.
Cross’s favorite part of running for royalty has been the button-making and car art during this time.
As the race comes to an end, many of these individuals, including Ferris hospitality management senior Allison Jackson, hope that students can take away what many of these candidates find essential: why they decided to run.
“I’ve been very active on campus and wanted the chance to encourage others to be involved,” Jackson said.
With anyone’s guess as to who will be crowned Homecoming Royalty, the royal candidates are eager to represent Ferris and look forward to what lies ahead.
“The winner will be responsible for fulfilling numerous duties throughout the academic year and be a positive representative of the Ferris State community,” Harmison said.
Voting for royalty began 8 a.m. Monday, Sept. 24, and ends 11:59 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27. The winner will be crowned during halftime of the homecoming football game Saturday, Sept. 29. To vote, visit OrgSync on MyFSU.