Homecoming Royalty emulate what it means to be a Laker


GVL | Sydney Lim

Clemence Daniere, Staff Writer

Homecoming took place this past week at Grand Valley State University and was chock full of activities to celebrate school pride.

One of GVSU’s longstanding homecoming traditions is Homecoming Royalty Court nominations. One student out of eight nominees was crowned Homecoming Regent at the Saturday homecoming football game to represent GVSU’s community. 

These representative students were nominated by their fellow classmates, coworkers and faculty because of their involvement and subsequent impact on the GVSU community. Their dedication to GVSU has made them all standout students. All of them are heavily involved in clubs, extracurriculars and other responsibilities adjoined to GVSU. 

After a round of formal interviews with all students nominated by their peers, eight standout students were officially entered into the running competition. 

The students nominated were Kevin Estrella, Jesse Goodyear, Sierra Gulli, Faith Kidd, Steven Lawrence, Mekelle Pace, Evan Potter and Nieya Thompson. 

Their week was packed with activities that built a strong team bonding and connected them to the community even more. A lip sync battle was held on Sunday, Oct 16. where the nominees performed their favorite songs and heartily competed for a cash prize at the end of the night. 

In addition to the lip sync battle, other events such as pumpkin carving and window decorating brought the nominees together. Their participation in the homecoming events impacted their chances to be selected for Homecoming Royalty. 

Members of the community were also encouraged to vote for the nominee they believed would be the best fit to represent GVSU. Voting was closed in the middle of the week, a few days before the announcement was made on Oct. 22. 

“I love giving back to the campus and helping out any way I can, so to be nominated and hear that I am actually making a difference on campus means so much,” Lawrence said. “To get to say that I am nominated with other candidates who have committed so much to the Grand Valley community means a lot too.”

Goodyear, an international student from Australia who joined the GVSU community to compete on the Swim & Dive Team, fell in love with the campus community right away and his impact on the community earned him a spot on the court. 

“When I was nominated, I was thinking ‘oh my gosh this is so awesome to be a part of this true American cultural experience and I’m just so happy,’” Goodyear said. “It is so welcoming and so nice to know that even though I am from another country people still wanted me to be a part of it.”

Although the Homecoming Royalty winner is awarded $500 for their victory, the event means much more than that to the nominees. The community that is built around the event is of much greater importance.

“The other people that I am on court with are just fabulous people,” Kidd said. “I’ve interacted with some of them through extracurriculars or through mutual friends and truly, for me, it is not about winning at all. I would be so happy to see any of the people that have been nominated win. I think they all really emulate what a positive attitude and giving back to the larger community is.” 

Jesse Goodyear was announced as the winner at this past Saturday’s home game versus Northern Michigan University.