Homecoming Top 26: Harmless tradition or social hierarchy?

Stephanie Salas, Staff Writer

As one of the customs leading up to Homecoming, Lancers were asked to vote for who they believed to be deserving of a place in the Top 26 Homecoming Court. But that leaves an important question: what qualifies one student to be voted onto the court? Beauty? Charisma? Popularity? The answer: all of the above.

While some students used this as an opportunity to nominate the most conscientious Lancer they know, it was evident that most based their vote on who they thought deserved superficial praise. Considering the demographics of those who did vote, the 52 male and female students on the stage were not a surprise. Now the issue shifts to the effects this type of “Top 26” behavior has on the rest of the student body.

Labeling it as “Top 26” begs for trouble as it refers to the rest of the 668 seniors as inferior to this group of extroverted individuals. The fact that the group nominated is considered superior because of their physical attributes speaks ill of the values Lancers share. It creates and promotes a social hierarchy -as if there weren’t enough of that already- within La Serna.

The practice of such voting is natural as La Serna isn’t the first school to use this as a way to create excitement for Homecoming. Regardless, we shouldn’t settle for following the norm; we should lead a new path, one that highlights more important assets than those “Top 26” centers around. Voting for the girl in your AP Physics class who is too afraid to raise her hand, voting for the boy who gets made fun of for not hitting the gym, voting for the new student who has trouble pronouncing certain words; these are incredible alternatives that younger Lancers can choose to take in their future years at La
Serna. It’s not to say the Homecoming queen, Valerie Perez, did not deserve her win. Along with her obvious beauty, she’s a hardworking AP student who somehow balances her time as being Varsity Cheer Captain with having an active social life. Plus, she manages to show up to school in the cutest outfits every day. It’d simply be a pleasant change to see the underdog win for once.