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Purdue has gender-neutral homecoming, in honor of royalty ” instead of king, queen

Lily Bishop and Grant Wood are honored as the Purdue University homecoming “royalty” after the West Lafayette, Ind., school demolished the titles of king and queen, Sept., 22, 2018.

(Associated Press)

Purdue University in Indiana held its first gender-neutral homecoming on Saturday in an attempt to provide equality to the campus.

The university of the student-led Spirit and Traditions of the committee decided to do away with the traditional “king” and “queen” labels for the ceremony of the respective male and female winners, instead anoint them with the title of “homecoming royalty.”

This year’s winners were crowned during halftime of the Purdue’s homecoming football game against Boston College. The Boilermakers went on to beat Boston College 30-13.

Seniors Grant Wood, a biology major from Indianapolis, and industrial engineering major Lily Bishop of Cincinnati, who were selected by a combination of online student voting, and formal interviews with a panel of faculty, staff, students, alumni, and leaders of the community, the University said in a press release.

Purdue is not the first university to break a homecoming tradition, and the removal of conventional gender labels.

Penn State University announced in April that the student-run homecoming committee elected to move in the direction of a gender-neutral court to promote diversity and inclusiveness.

“Our goal is to identify the best students to represent Penn State, regardless of their gender, gender identity or gender expression,” said Ally Berdan, the committee of the executive director.

Purdue made headlines earlier this year for writing the guide, who instructed students to avoid the use of words with “the man”, such as “mailman,” in favour of a more gender-neutral terms such as “postman,” said the Campus Reform.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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