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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Homecoming royalty elections start today

    Election week in Tucson isn’t over yet.

    Despite yesterday’s turnout at the polls, voting starts today for one more thing – Homecoming royalty.

    Today and tomorrow, students will continue the UA’s long-standing tradition of voting for a Homecoming king and queen, a pair of students whose responsibility will be to represent Wildcat pride and accomplishment.

    In addition to 15 minutes in the spotlight sitting and waving from the Homecoming Parade procession, the king and queen will represent all the students who know what it’s like to make the most of their time at the UA.

    “”You’ve been at a place for four years, and you try to make friends, get involved…this is a nice culmination to say, ‘Yeah, I was successful at meeting people and making a difference,'”” said nominee Aaron Ohms, a marketing and entrepreneurship senior.

    Nominee Kevin O’Donnell, a public administration senior, said he has a unique perspective on student interaction because he has lived on campus all four years and also works as a resident assistant at La Paz Residence Hall.

    “”A lot of times we don’t have all the opportunities presented out front to freshmen except Greek Life and that kind of thing, but out of 300 organizations, only a third of them are greek,”” O’Donnell said, adding that student involvement is integral to freshman retention.

    Ari Lerner, a senior majoring in theatre arts and computer science and the managing editor of the Arizona Daily Wildcat, said his experience at the Wildcat taught him about the inner workings of the UA, while Camp Wildcat and Semester at Sea showed him the impact he could have on the community.

    “”It really showed me that there’s no limit to what you can do,”” Lerner said.

    Jill Craven, a queen nominee and chemical engineering senior, said she shows her school spirit through her involvement as an engineering ambassador and participation in other programs, ranging from tutoring school children to helping in labs.

    “”I have school spirit,”” Craven said. “”It might not be in the raucous paint-your-face kind of way, but I love being involved.”” Nominees are selected by one of two senior honoraries.

    Bobcats, which also helps organize the parade and school spirit-related activities, organizes the selection of Homecoming queen.

    Mortar Board, a national honorary that focuses on promoting scholastic achievements in the community, is in charge of selecting the Homecoming king nominees.

    Potential nominees’ applications are supplied and reviewed for selection by one of the two honoraries.

    “”The qualification criteria were fairly vague,”” said king nominee Adam Ritter, a record-setting UA swimmer.

    Ritter, a mechanical engineering senior, said this was probably because each candidate is involved in different facets of university culture.

    Nominee Hilary Niccoli, a senior majoring in sociology and English, said the Homecoming queen is an icon who represents all the people who have made connections in their time at college.

    “”I have always been a big advocate of school spirit…so something like this when the alumni come back is really unifying, kind of closes the generation gap,”” Niccoli said.

    Homecoming has been a tradition for the UA since 1914, and only four other universities have held Homecoming celebrations longer. Students can vote through the UA Homecoming Web site at

    Name: Lauren Biskind
    Major: journalism
    Sponsor: Gamma Phi Beta

    Name: Jill Craven
    Major: chemical engineering
    Sponsor: Tau Beta Pi

    Name: Whitney Myers
    Major: biology and pre-pharmacy
    Sponsor: Arizona Athletics

    Name: Hilary Niccoli
    Major: English and sociology
    Sponsor: Chi Omega

    Name: Kara Zumbusch
    Major: marketing
    Sponsor: Pi Beta Phi

    Name: Garrett Johnson
    Major: mechanical engineering
    Sponsor: Tau Beta Pi

    Name: Ari Lerner
    Major: theatre arts and computer science
    Minor: math
    Sponsor: School of Theatre Arts

    Name: Kevin O’Donnell
    Major: public administration
    Sponsor: Alpha Epsilon Delta

    Name: Aaron Ohms
    Major: marketing/entrepreneurship
    Sponsor: Eller Board of H&I

    Name: Adam Ritter
    Major: mechanical engineering
    Sponsor: Arizona Athletics

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