A “homecoming king” will potentially join the homecoming court this fall after the Associated Student Body passed a resolution to override a veto on a bill creating the title during the senate’s first formal meeting of the semester Tuesday night.
The legislation, first presented in spring 2018 and created by former senators Nekkita Beans, Chris Cross and Zacchaeus McEwen and current senator Gabi Wells, was initially vetoed by former ASB president Dion Kevin in April after the bill was accidentally published in the ASB constitution online before full approval.
“We proposed this piece of legislation as a way to provide an opportunity for more Ole Miss students who identify themselves as males to get more involved on campus and feel included,” Wells said. “Homecoming is a long time celebrated event that we want to make more accessible and inviting to all Ole Miss students.”
Wells said the reasoning behind the bill was driven by inclusivity.
“I think having the position of homecoming king will allow more students who are weary of running for Mr. Ole Miss a chance to put themselves out there,” she said. “I hope more camaraderie among the students results from this change as well as an open door to the possibility of more positions.”
According to ASB Public Relations Chair Jackie Kruljac, the bill was centered around representation on campus.
“It became pretty clear (the veto) was going to be overridden,” Kruljac said. “There was mostly worry of representation, both for and against it. You could argue that (the bill) misrepresented Ole Miss on both sides.”
After senators voiced their concerns, the resolution to override the veto passed with a 42-4 vote.
As per Senate rules, because the veto override was not voted on last year, it was set to be voted on at the first formal meeting of this year.
The homecoming king position will not be realized until Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Brandi Hephner LaBanc, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Melinda Sutton Noss and Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter sign the legislation, which, according to ASB President Elam Miller, is “going to have to happen quickly with (the petition process) starting on Friday.”
Miller said he was not made aware that the Senate was set to vote on this legislation at Tuesday’s meeting. ASB posted a list of which items would be coming to the floor to its Facebook page after the Tuesday night meeting had already begun.
“The reason for the last-minute formal meeting was to swear in (ASB Attorney General) Austin Fiala,” he said. “It wasn’t their intention this (bill) be voted on (at the) last minute.”
ASB Chief of Staff for the Vice President Brady Kies acknowledged miscommunication between branches on the night of the vote.