Posted on September 14, 2014 by Guest Blogger Jenee ChristensenMy college experience here at Purdue has been amazing. I've had some really talented professors over the past three years, I'm involved in a wide variety of organizations, and I've had the opportunity to study abroad four times. I love Purdue, and I have spent my time on campus trying to experience as much of Purdue as I can. So when I first heard about Homecoming Court during my sophomore year, when a friend of mine was running for Homecoming King, I made a mental note that I wanted to learn more about this potential opportunity, and possibly even consider running my senior year.
Fast-forward two years: I decided to go for it. I applied for Homecoming Court for a few different reasons. First off, as I mentioned before, I love Purdue, and I wanted the opportunity to represent the student body in such a unique capacity. I also love alumni - I firmly believe Purdue would not be the incredibly university is is today if it didn't have such incredible alumni support - so I wanted the opportunity to interact with and serve them through my role on Homecoming Court. And finally, I wanted the opportunity to represent women in engineering, women in ROTC, and women from other segments of the student body who do not always receive a lot of recognition.
A lot of people have asked me what the process is like. Last spring, I went on the Purdue Student Union Board's (PSUB) website and found the application online. I was evaluated based on my leadership involvement, scholarships, and an essay I wrote about why I am proud to be a Boilermaker. Around mid-May, I received an email from the PSUB Director of Homecoming that I would be on the Court - and everything moved very quickly from there! Part of my responsibilities as a Homecoming Court member included volunteering at several PSUB events (including the BGR UnionFest, Homecoming Kick-Off Cookout, Homecoming Carnival, and Homecoming Trivia Night), as well as working with my partner to fund and manage our campaign. I didn't know my partner, Tripper Carter, before Homecoming started (we were assigned to each other alphabetically; you don't have the opportunity to choose your partner), but he is an incredible guy and I'm so grateful I had the chance to get to know him and work with him.
The two weeks leading up to Homecoming were a blur - between campaigning and working at different PSUB events, I had almost no free time - but it was so cool to see all of our hard work culminate during Homecoming Weekend. Friday, all the candidates (seven women, seven men) rode in the Boilermaker Night Train Parade. This actually turned out to be my favorite event of the entire weekend - it was so much fun riding through Purdue's campus, enjoying the music and throwing candy to the crowd. Saturday was packed with breakfast, the crowning ceremony, and the Homecoming game itself: the entire Court was introduced during halftime. President Daniels came by to shake our hands, and it was cool to be able to share our experience with the entire student body.
Although I was not crowned Homecoming Queen, it was such a cool experience to be a part of the Homecoming Court. I met some incredible fellow Boilermakers, made some incredible memories, and fell in love with Purdue all over again. I feel incredibly blessed to have been chosen for the Homecoming Court, and to have received so much support throughout the process from my family and friends, both on and off campus. As always, I am ever grateful, ever true, and I am more proud than ever before to be a part of Purdue.