BSU crowns first Homecoming Courts

By Farah Bassyouni Oct 9, 2023

Illinois Wesleyan’s Black Student Union held its first-ever Homecoming Court on Thursday, October 4. After collecting nominations and sending out a campus-wide vote, BSU presented two Homecoming Royalties to the senior class of 2024 and six Homecoming Courts. 

The winners are Jabari Thurman and Lauryn Moore for the class of 2027, Kiera Henderson and Jordan Colin for the class of 2026, Kayla Ellis and Tyrin Sykes for the class of 2025, and Tylah Allen and Tati Sykes for the class of 2024. 

The announcement was held on the quad and IWU’s Deja Vu Dance Team performed for the attendees. The Office of Student Involvement helped assist with the event and ensured it happened during Homecoming week. 

“It’s important to show up for students and their organizations,” Dean of Students Kevin Carey said. Carey and other attendees brought their dogs along to the celebration, where there was music playing and a gathering of community members. “We value BSU for representing their culture and identity, we’re a better IWU when we’re able to celebrate our BIPOC communities.”

Many appreciated that the Homecoming festivities started early in the week. “It really adds to the excitement, and it is important to add spaces where everyone can feel celebrated,” Student Senate President Zach Burhans said. 

Students had about a week to vote, and the nominees’ friends showed up to support them. “I voted for my sorority sister, of course,” Student Senate Vice President Nora Robinson said. Robinson did some research and found out Homecoming used to be based on residence buildings and Greek Life. Now, Homecoming is decided through applications that are assessed by administrators, and then the students vote. 

BSU decided to leave the whole process to the students. Students could send in their nominations, and then the most nominated in each grade would make it to the voting stage. BSU didn’t just have Homecoming Royalty for the senior class, but also two students for each grade. 

“I knew representation through this homecoming court was crucial because we don’t get a lot of that in our general homecoming, it’s only focused on the seniors,” BSU President Tyrin Sykes said. “I wanted Black students of all graduating classes to have an opportunity to represent their classes, to make everyone feel special in their own way.”

BSU held a crowning ceremony on Friday, October 6 for all the winners. 

“I feel amazing, we don’t have a lot of opportunities to showcase our Black excellence throughout the school year,” Sykes said. “I’m happy I got to be a part of history being the first ever BSU Homecoming Royalty.”

“It’s about time,” Allen said. “It’s upsetting we had to do it ourselves, we deserve to get acknowledged for all the hard work we put into this campus.” Allen’s family flew in for Homecoming weekend to celebrate her and join the Homecoming activities. 

BSU said they plan to make this an annual event, for many more years to come. “Each year it’ll just get bigger and better,” Sykes said. “I just hope people are ready because we’re ready to take over.” 

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