Rough start doesn’t rattle new pep rally, coronation

Valentina Vargas, Staff Reporter

Greek and student organizations gathered around to cheer for their coronation nominee at the Homecoming Coronation Pep Rally Friday night in McAfee Gym.

When the time came to announce Eastern’s homecoming royalty court, the coronation winners list was missing.

Student Body President Rebecca Cash was one of the MCs at the event and had to improvise by announcing which of the prince/princess candidates the audience thought would win by having the audience cheer for a particular individual.

Cash then asked the nominees trivia questions about Eastern’s history until the University Board personnel found the winners list.

This year’s Homecoming coronation winners were for Prince Dakota Peterson representing Black Student Union and Princess Samira Abdoulaye, also representing BSU.

Homecoming King winner Donovan Gatling from Couture Models was not present, so runner-up Pleasant Singleton took his place in the parade but was not crowned as king during the ceremony.

Cara Soucie, a coronation committee co-chair, said this was her first time planning the whole event with Paige Philpott, the other coronation committee co-chair, and that she helped get the candidates ready for the main event.

“There was a few bumps, one of them had a concert, so came a little late and one didn’t show up as you can tell,” Soucie said. “So, we had the runner up, but it all went smoothly.”

The Homecoming Queen winner Tiffany Jones represented the National Association of Colored Women’s Club incorporated.

Jones said she could not put into words how she was feeling, but said she was full of emotions and humbled.

“It feels amazing, I have the best organization in the world,” Jones said. “It does not get any better than this group of ladies right here. All the hard work, all the service that they do, they are just so amazing, I couldn’t have done it without them.”

Carl Winston, last year’s Homecoming King, said he felt proud that the BSU still won this year and that their voice is still being heard.

“I was happy, I was pleased to (present the coronation) especially since the prince and princess both came from my student organization, Black Student Union,” Winston said.

Performances before announcing the royalties included the Pink Panthers Dance Team, activities and games for students to participate to win a prize.

Students sat by their decorated spirit banners that were hung around the gymnasium, which was also a separate competition.   

This year the co-chair coordinators said they decided not to go with their annual Yell Like Hell pep rally like they had in the previous homecoming years.

Philpott said the lack of involvement made the change happen, since last year only nine teams participated.

“That wasn’t what the (Yell Like Hell) event was supposed to be, so just involvement,” Philpott said.

Philpott said the turnout of the event this year was better than she had expected.

“Since we got rid of Yell Like Hell, the turnout was going to be a little less than most years, but I think it was still pretty good,” Philpott said.

Valentina Vargas can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].