For years, SGA has reimbursed homecoming court members $50 for their dresses. This year, an almost entirely new SGA staff decided there are wiser ways to spend $500.
Student Body President Brandon Hull said this year’s SGA members were not even aware of this tradition until former homecoming court member and SGA Executive Secretary Tova Ray brought it up.
After looking at their funds and opportunities, SGA unanimously decided dress reimbursement is not the best use of that money.
Budget decisions need to reflect SGA’s purpose and values, Hull said. So, instead of putting that money toward attire for Homecoming, it could be put toward
sponsorship of other campus events or donation to worthy causes such as M2540, he explained.
SGA members are carefully monitoring where their money goes this year. “We want to be good stewards no matter what,” Hull said, but they are being especially careful after taking a hit from campus-wide budget cuts.
Senior homecoming attendant and video and radio broadcasting major Annabelle Harray said she understands SGA’s decision. “Where money is put definitely needs to be thought about twice – for all events,” she said. “If $500 is only going to benefit 10 girls, then it would be more appropriate to use elsewhere.”
Senior attendant and fine arts major Amorelle Jacox, on the other hand, said it was not made clear to her why SGA is not reimbursing the attendants for their dresses, “so I don’t have a reaction” to their reasoning. When asked if SGA’s decision will make getting a dress difficult or inconvenient, Jacox simply said, “I won’t be purchasing a new dress for it.”
Hull says SGA is not overly concerned about the girls being able to afford a dress for the event. “Homecoming is no longer the big pageant it used to be,” as it now consists of 20 minutes between the women’s and men’s games, he pointed out.
The ceremony is more about “celebrating their accomplishments” than a beauty pageant and fancy dress for attendants, Hull said.
Junior attendant and children’s ministry major Casey Sollars agreed and said she is glad SGA will not be reimbursing her for the cost of her dress.
“I feel like it is unnecessary to use that much money for the brief time the homecoming attendants are introduced,” she said.
Freshman attendant and pastoral ministry major Bailey Phillips said she doesn’t think it is necessary to reimburse the girls, but admits she probably would have bought a more expensive dress if she had received the money. Of course, “we aren’t forced to buy a new dress,” Phillips said.
By not giving away the $500 for dresses, SGA can be there for the court members and other students in different ways. SGA hosts a wide variety of events on campus each year, ranging from welcome week activities in the fall to block party in the spring. Other traditional favorites are the Halloween and Christmas parties and FNL.
“We don’t want to get to the end of the year and not have money for things like block party,” Hull said.