Correction: A previous version of this story misspelled Carolina Guillen's name. This mistake has been corrected. The Barometer regrets the error.
As students and staff return to a campus with falling leaves, football cheers and pumpkin-flavored drinks and baked goods, events are underway for this year’s Homecoming Court.
The 2019 Homecoming Court includes Oregon State University students Ayla Bussel, Dylan Young, Seth Thomas, Carolina Guillen, Allison Van Hoen and Trenton Joiner. Court members are responsible for attending and helping with university events throughout the school year, although most of their appearances occur in the fall. This year, Homecoming Court members are involved in speaking at the president’s pregame event, escorting honorees at award galas, judging the tailgating competition and attending the ASOSU Beaver Caucus celebration. According to Mamta Chowdhury, early engagement director for the OSU Alumni Association, the Homecoming Court has been an OSU tradition for at least the last 16-17 years.
“School spirit and traditions are an integral part of college life,” Chowdhury said. “The Homecoming Court is an essential part of that tradition. They are ambassadors of the OSU spirit not just during Homecoming, but throughout the year.”
When selecting members for Homecoming Court, committee members consider students’ academic success, campus involvement and community outreach. Chowdhury is the main point of contact between the Homecoming Court and the OSU staff, and is responsible for helping select court members, organize interviews and set timelines throughout the season.
According to Chowdhury, about 40 applications for Homecoming Court were received and six were selected by a committee of approximately 25 committee members representing OSU community as staff, faculty and alumni. The application required a resume and answers to three essay questions. The essay questions asked students about their passions, their involvement at OSU and how they want to contribute to the community after graduation. Each person selected for Homecoming Court also received a $500 scholarship from the OSU Alumni Association.
“Our Homecoming Court exists to honor individuals who embody the spirit of a true Oregon-Stater,” Chowdhury said.
Fourth-year political science major Bussel was selected for Homecoming Court this year. Bussel hopes the Homecoming celebration will remind new and returning students what being a Beaver means. To her, being a Beaver means supporting one another and working together.
“Homecoming is about coming together and celebrating all that OSU represents. Incredible faculty and staff, outstanding educational and professional opportunities, and amazing students,” Bussel said via email. “Homecoming is all about honoring and celebrating Beaver spirit, achievement and hard work.”
Fourth-year environmental science and biology major Thomas is also a member of the Homecoming Court for the 2019-2020 school year. He believes being a tour ambassador on campus had a big impact on his application being selected this year.
“The most important thing you can share as a student is your story,” Thomas said. Along with being a tour ambassador on campus, Thomas has been involved in the ASOSU House, Senate and judiciary branch. He is part of the honors community at OSU and currently serves as the president of the Honors College Student Association. Thomas said he is most looking forward to the tailgating competition on Oct. 12 and sitting in the skybox at the Homecoming game.
For fourth-year political science and chemistry major Young, being on Homecoming Court means sharing his experiences with the community. Young is involved with the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity, ASOSU, the Educational Opportunities Program, the Presidential Student Legislative Advocates Program, the Beavers Belong Support Network and the CAPS Advisory Board.
“I have the chance to speak to wonderful alumni that have been really blown away by the opportunities that are offered here, and to see their eyes light up as they speak about their time at Oregon State is heartwarming,” Young said via email.ayla