Meet Eastern’s 2020 Homecoming Court

Elizabeth Taylor, Associate News Editor

Coronation for the 2020 Homecoming Court was different than any previous year’s coronation at Eastern.

To follow social distancing guidelines and stay safe, the Homecoming committee decided to make the event virtual by putting together a video announcement of all the members of the court.

The video, which is still available on Facebook, includes a Tiktok video from each new member of the court. In the videos, they begin in a “normal” outfit, before they receive their new crown from off camera and change into a fancier Homecoming dress or suit.

Even though Homecoming did not include public events like usual, this still gave the court a chance in the spotlight.

Olivia Crank, a senior math major, is this year’s Homecoming Queen. She said she was excited to be the face of Eastern in some way.

“I’ve never thought about being Queen before. I was actually Prom Queen in high school though, so that was kind of full circle,” Crank said. “It’s always cool to represent EIU.”

She said that it was important to her to promote a message of love on campus.

“To EIU students I would say, remember to love each other in this difficult time and to give yourself grace if you’re not as productive as normal with homework,” Crank said. “We’re in a health-related pandemic as well as a division and hatred pandemic, so just remember to love each other.”

Jeremy Billy, senior kinesiology major and this year’s Homecoming King, said he wants to share a similar message of strength during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I want to tell everyone to stay strong, we’re going to get through this,” Billy said.

He said he was excited about his new role despite the differences in this school year.

“During high school I wasn’t super involved, so once I started coming here, I wanted to turn that around,” Billy said. “This sort of seems like the culmination to all of that. I didn’t want to be here just for a degree. I know it’s different this year, but it doesn’t make me any less honored to receive this title.”

Michael Barth, sophomore finance major, is this year’s Homecoming Prince. He said he was happy to receive the title, despite short notice from his fraternity that he would be nominated, and ready to spread positivity on campus.

“I was nominated last minute so I was not really expecting it, but it is very exciting,” Barth said. “I just want to have a positive impact in all aspects of life and tell everyone to be kind.”

Kaitlin Santiago, a sophomore English major, is the Homecoming Princess this year.

She wants to use her newfound platform to promote messages about mental health awareness.

“I wanted to run because there is just a silence in the mental health community and I feel like it is being brought more to light,” Santiago said. “For one who has struggled with mental health in the past, I feel like it was a great opportunity to run and bring awareness to that and show people that your down is not your permanent place, that you can rise above it. I was able to kind of show myself I can do more, I can be more, and going for this and actually winning kind of shows that.”

Santiago is also excited about her new position because she said that she feels she is a stereotype breaker as someone who used to be involved in cheerleading.

“You see cheerleaders as the preppy, make up all the time girls, but I’m somebody who doesn’t necessarily do my make up, and I’m a nerd who watches anime,” Santiago said.

Elizabeth Taylor can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]