Homecoming queen candidates look forward to representing WKU

Griffin Fletcher

WKU’s 2017 Homecoming Queen will be announced at halftime of WKU’s upcoming football game against Charlotte, which will be played at Smith Stadium Oct. 14. That’s what we know.

What many don’t know is that all 28 Homecoming Queen candidates, representing various sororities and student organizations around campus, are required to do much more than just walk across a football field Saturday afternoon.

Notwithstanding the academic and behavioral requirements demanded of each applicant prior to being chosen as a Homecoming Queen applicant, those who are chosen face a busy schedule.

Starting Monday, Oct. 9, the candidates will kick off Homecoming week with an evening mix and mingle social event, where they’ll be able to meet and spend time with each other. On Tuesday, Oct. 10, the candidates will undergo interviews conducted by a panel of six influential and involved people at WKU, which, along with results from a campus-wide poll, will ultimately decide who’s elected on Saturday.

Wednesday, Oct. 11, will be a day of community service and include an evening banquet for candidates and their parents, whereas Thursday, Oct. 12, will be a luncheon with alumni at local restaurant 643.

Friday, Oct. 13, called “Big Red’s Roar,” will be the day candidates ride through the Homecoming parade on the back of corvettes donated by the nearby National Corvette Museum. This will lead into Saturday, Oct. 14, crowning day for this year’s Homecoming Queen.

Although the week will be incredibly busy and require a legitimate time-commitment on behalf of all the candidates, many look forward to the opportunity to not only represent their organization but also their school.

Fort Thomas senior Laura Bunning will represent Phi Mu sorority and the Kappa Alpha Order fraternity at this year’s Homecoming. She said she is thankful for her experience at WKU and is excited to give back to the community as a Homecoming Queen candidate.

“I don’t know of many schools where you can do a major and a minor, change your major twice and graduate early,” Bunning said. “Going back and being able to represent a university that’s set me up for such success and given me such amazing experiences and memories is probably my favorite thing in what it means to me to be a candidate.”

Along with representing WKU, Louisville junior Andi Dahmer, who will be representing the Student Government Association, looks forward to Bowling Green’s involvement with the Homecoming festivities.

Belk, a clothing business in Bowling Green, is sponsoring this year’s candidates by providing the dresses they will wear on Saturday.

“Just what they’re [Belk’s] doing for the community is extremely generous,” Dahmer said. “I think it shows the coming together of the community.”

Hopkinsville senior Elizabeth Settle, representing Sigma Kappa sorority and fraternities Alpha Tau Omega, Farmhouse and Iota Phi Theta, believes she’ll enjoy meeting the women running alongside her.

“It’s an honor to be nominated. I’m excited to spend the week with a lot of really amazing ladies who are super accomplished in their own right,” Settle said. “It’s just going to be a really fun opportunity to get to meet some new women from new organizations.”

Though only one woman will be crowned WKU’s 2017 Homecoming Queen, candidates are happy to be involved in the process and realize the greater importance of Homecoming for themselves and WKU.

“It’s not who wins on Saturday that matters, it’s the experience of getting to know other really involved, really incredible women at WKU,” Bunning said. “One person’s going to end up with a crown on Saturday, but that is a very small part of what this experience means.”

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of this group,” Dahmer said. “Homecoming is a way for us to come together and celebrate what Western really is.”

Reporter Griffin Fletcher can be reached at 270-745-2655 and [email protected].