Ten Homecoming court participants awaited as former Homecoming king, Eric Cox, tauntingly hovered the crowns above each contestant’s heads during the lip sync battle, Thursday, Oct. 3.
With hands held tightly with each other, Cox finally crowned Ben Dorweiler representing Julia Sears as Homecoming king.
Sophia Hoiseth, who was also on the Homecoming court and a proud Community Advisor along with Ben for Julia Sears couldn’t contain her excitement as she immediately jumped and cheered for her friend.
When it came down to crowning Homecoming queen, little did she know that she would have a crown on her head too.
“Seeing Ben get crowned first, I was so excited,” Hoiseth said. “And you can watch the video back, I lose it and I have to pull myself together. And I was like whatever happens happens, as long as Ben won because he put so much work into Homecoming so it made me feel like we won in sears and then I feel the crown sinking onto my head and I was like ‘you’re kidding!’”
For the Homecoming royalty, winning the title means much more to them than a college tradition.
Both grew up out of the country with Dorweiler being born in Germany and growing up in the Netherlands, and Sophia born in America but growing up in Qatar in the Middle East.
“We appreciate MNSU from a perspective that most Americans don’t,” Hoiseth said. “I am an American, that’s complicated, but since I grew up abroad, we appreciate Homecoming that’s different. Everyone had Homecoming in high school and I didn’t.”
Dorweiler was initially inspired to join the Homecoming royalty to add a memory to his senior year and to celebrate his accomplishments.
“The truth is I ran last year for it, just to be part of the American culture,” Dorweiler said. “I am an international student, we don’t have Homecoming in my country period, so I saw an opportunity to be more part of American culture and the MNSU community so I participated last year.”
He continued, “I told myself that this was going to be my best year yet, I switched areas and now I’m in sears, I dedicated a lot of time and made sure the sears squad is represented with Homecoming stuff. I realized it’s ok to sometimes recognize myself, it’s ok to nominate myself for Homecoming royalty court. I want to show everybody that despite where you’re from you can end on the highest note.”
Dorweiler, who wanted Julia Sears to come out with a big win, convinced Hoiseth to also join the Homecoming court. She at first refused due to her misconception that she had to wear a dress, but after her hall director told her she didn’t have to, she was immediately on board.
“It was just a chance to showcase the things that I’ve done as a student here and to try to inspire other students to do that too and help out my team,” Hoiseth said.
To become Homecoming royalty, the contestant is judged on three things equating to 30% each of the competition: attendance to Homecoming events, the interview, and the student body vote.
Dorweiler and Hoiseth worked hard, with Dorweiler attending every single Homecoming event minus the blood drive.
All the hard work was worth it. As Homecoming royalty, from what is known from past winners, the two will have their own separate float in the parade, they will be able to start the bonfire in next year’s Homecoming, they get to walk halftime on the football field, and they also get to crown the next Homecoming royalty.
For Dorweiler and Hoiseth, being Homecoming royalty is a representation of all the hard work that they have done in their time here.
“It’s crazy to look back at all the things that I’ve done, and it’s a moment to be proud of it and to show that it’s not just for late nights and good grades and making a difference,” Hoiseth said. “It’s a chance to showcase the university and showcase the work that I’ve done here.”
“Having this title means, recognition and confirmation of me cemented in the culture, and having my life established here,” Dorweiler said. “It just shows that I found my family on this side of the world here, and it’s a foundation I hope to build on in the future.”
The two are both graduating soon and walking during the spring ceremony. They encourage all students to start getting involved on campus whether that be joining an RSO, doing volunteer work or something simple as joining the Homecoming court.
“Getting engaged, and getting involved is the best way to be a college student,” Hoiseth said.
Header photo by John Shrestha | MSU Reporter.