Homecoming candidates 2022 JPG.JPG

Candidates pose and share a laugh before their interviews with ESU's homecoming royalty judges. This year's judges include Darla Mallein, Seth Licktieg, Melissa Gerleman, Bridget Camien and Kaitlin Johnson.

Editor’s note: Ana Daniela Valdez Saravia is a Spanish translator for The Bulletin.


For the first time at Emporia State, 11 all-female candidates will be running for homecoming royalty. Until last year, royalty was traditionally held by one king and one queen. 

“I think it was kind of amazing,” said homecoming candidate and Associated Student Government (ASG) president Bella Price. “I think that, you know, it was very binary, it was going to be a king and a queen, which are very gendered terms. And I think that having it open to anyone makes it open to all students now, which I think is important.”

Homecoming royalty has been a standing tradition at Emporia State for 12 years. Each year, 10 candidates who are nominated by a recognized student organization and hold a 3.0 GPA or higher are chosen from the senior class to be crowned royalty at the homecoming football game. But judges have found themselves with a tie this year, according to homecoming coordinator and  assistant professor of elementary education, early childhood and special education Lendi Bland.

“I think generally it means it’s a pretty high-quality group,” Bland said.

Out of 21 applicants, this year’s homecoming royalty candidates are Claire Crawford, Hailey Kisner, Peyton Kitchens, Mary Grace Lassiter, Delaney LeCluyse, Trinity McMahon, Destinee O’Shea, Bella Price, Elizabeth Schwerdtfeger, Ana Daniela Valdez Saravia and Hailey Waltner.

Candidates were chosen by five ESU judges after they reviewed each candidate’s application. Elizabeth Schwerdtfeger was nominated as a candidate by her sorority Chi Omega and knows every candidate in the running.

“I am so proud of these women,” Schwerdtfeger said. “I could not ask for a better group to be nominated with and I cannot wait for Saturday.”

During the application process, candidates answered questions such as “What is your most memorable experience while at ESU?” In her application, candidate and ASG vice president Hailey Kisner shared a story from her time working as an RA when a student was planning to drop out and Kisner suggested applying for an emergency scholarship.

“We actually applied together,” Kisner said. “And I read her essay and everything. And then she got it like a couple days later, which she was able to stay that semester. So that was my like favorite memory.”

Price and Kisner both hold are looking forward to homecoming night. 

“We’re very honored to be homecoming candidates and we’d love to, you know, dress up, get all pretty,” Price said. “But like, I think what’s going to be most impactful is to see how many students are wearing ESU homecoming T shirts and having that pride and seeing some morale lifted that day.”

Royalty will be crowned on Saturday Oct. 29 at halftime of the football game. 

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