The student senate has long been charged with planning Homecoming and with organizing the voting for the Homecoming court. Last year, to contribute to City High’s leadership in welcoming individuals of all gender identities, the senate considered the issue of Homecoming court’s lack of inclusion for transgender students. It decided on a system that created a third category for non-binary students and also allowed students to switch between the lists of candidates if they were listed under a different gender than the one as which they identified. However, multiple problems have been recognized within that system. For example, its third category isolates individuals who identify as non-binary from the rest of the senior class. In addition, the system of having students switch lists places an additional burden on transgender students relative to others.
This year, the senate considered whether to remedy these issues by abolishing gender categories in the Homecoming voting. It discussed this issue in two meetings, during which there was robust discussion on all sides. During these discussions, it was also brought to the attention of the senate that both of the other high schools in the district who have Homecoming courts use a gender-neutral system. After the second discussion, the senate voted by a two-thirds majority to make the change and abolish the categories for this year, with the understanding that we would try this system for a year and then make any necessary changes. This system does not limit student choice in any way. Students may elect any combination of students to Homecoming court that they see fit.
Over the last couple of days, there has been a great deal of conversation about this issue. I appreciate the feedback I’ve received. The senate will meet at 8:15 on Wednesday morning in Ms. Gibbens’ room for its regular weekly meeting, where we will discuss the issue further. As always, the meeting is open to all students, and I encourage everyone to come and contribute to a respectful dialogue on this issue.