By Ariel Serafin
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, October 28, 2005
The weeks of work spent to select the Homecoming king and queen nominees will culminate with the announcement of the winners at the bonfire celebration Nov. 4.
This year's final Homecoming king nominees are Kirk Jacobson, Jon Jensen, Brandon Cohen, Matt Gugliuzza and Brian Chin. Homecoming queen nominees are Reynolds De Vries, Allison C. Lee, Cassi Sonn, Kim Chamberlain and Dania Molla Hosseini.
The UA Bobcats and Mortarboard senior honoraries were responsible for narrowing down dozens of applicants to the final 10.
Each club or organization on campus had the option of nominating up to two of their senior members with a grade point average of at least 3.5 to be homecoming royalty for a $25 fee. Nominees then submit applications and attend mixers and interviews with Mortarboard members, said Mortarboard President Jeff Berens.
Although Mortarboard chooses Homecoming king semifinalists based on criteria like campus involvement, charisma and sincerity, Berens said nominees also got a chance to showcase their originality and sense of humor.
"We asked them questions like 'If you could come up with a new UA tradition, what would it be?'" said Berens, an economics and interdisciplinary studies senior.
While determining the best candidates was difficult, the humor of the nominees and Mortarboard members made the selection process fun, said Gabriella Wolff, Homecoming king selection chairwoman.
"We made some of them serenade us," said Wolff, a senior majoring in French and molecular and cellular biology.
The application process for Homecoming queens begins with a nomination by an organization and continues with social mixers, as well as applications and interviews that are scored by Bobcats members, said Blake Buchanan, Bobcats president.
The original nominees were narrowed down to 14 semifinalists and then to five finalists, said Buchanan, a journalism senior.
(I thought) OK, I'm really assimilated in this culture, and I've really become an American college student.
- Dania Molla Hosseini, biochemistry and molecular biophysics senior
Some royalty finalists said they were thrilled and surprised by their nominations and how far along in the process they had come.
Homecoming queen finalist Dania Molla Hosseini said the honor has been especially meaningful to her because of her multicultural background.
Hosseini, who is French-born and of Middle Eastern descent, said the experience of being a Homecoming queen finalist helped remind her that she has become a part of America.
When she was chosen, her first thoughts were, "OK, I'm really assimilated in the culture, and I've really become an American college student," said Hosseini, a senior majoring in biochemistry and molecular biophysics.
Communication senior and Homecoming queen finalist Reynolds de Vries said although the process was a wonderful chance to meet new people and experience new things, she felt intimidated at times.
"Each time I would go to a mixer and meet all these beautiful women, I would think, 'There's no way they're going to pick me,'" de Vries said.
De Vries said although she wasn't sure of the exact reasons why her sorority chose to nominate her, she felt both honored and surprised when she found out.
"I was a little shocked," de Vries said.
Students who would like to vote for Homecoming royalty can do so Wednesday and Thursday. Votes can be cast online at www.uagrad.org/Homecoming, Berens said.
Winners will be announced at the Homecoming Kick-Off Celebration on Nov. 4, featuring a bonfire, fireworks and guest speakers from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the Alumni Plaza.