In the midst of homecoming festivities, there has been some discontent among students regarding the header picture on the LSU Homecoming webpage.
The University’s homecoming website originally displayed a picture of 2017 homecoming queen Camille Faircloth, who is white, rather than the most recent homecoming queen, Sarah Perkins. A Baton Rouge native, Perkins is the first Afro-Iranian queen in the University’s history, the third black queen and first queen not in Greek Life. Perkins and Daniel Wolf were crowned queen and king in the 2018 “Purple Reign” homecoming game against Mississippi State.
Several students, including political science senior Brooklen Farley, expressed their discontent on social media. Farley posted a screenshot of the Homecoming Court 2019 Selection Voting website on Twitter with the caption, “…Why is this pic on the hoco page to vote? The current hoco queen is a black woman…oof.”
Farley said the outdated picture had been brought to the attention of LSU Campus Life months ago. They said the department was busy and doesn’t frequently update the website. However, after the tweet circulated on social media, the website image was updated to a picture of the reigning homecoming king and queen the next day.
“This year, a photo from a previous homecoming was on the court page. It did get attention on social media, and we decided that it would be appropriate to update that header image to reflect last year’s king and queen,” LSU Media Relations Director Ernie Ballard said.
Many students questioned if the picture not being updated was intentional or simply an oversight. Farley doesn’t think the University acted intentionally but feels Perkins deserves more credit for her many accomplishments.
“But it was definitely a very large oversight on many different levels,” Farley said. “[Perkins] got this long laundry list of accomplishments that went unnoticed throughout her entire reign.”
Farley also recalled being a freshman on campus and seeing Faircloth, the previous queen, highlighted in marketing campaigns and many other homecoming platforms.
“I knew she was the homecoming queen even though I was just a freshman on campus, and I did not see that same promotion towards Sarah that I saw during the reign of Camille Faircloth,” Farley said. “I thought it was something we should talk about because we go to a university that does pride itself in having the largest and most diverse freshman class.”
Perkins, who is a student at the LSU Law Center, respectfully declined to speak on the situation.
“There isn’t much to be said on behalf of Daniel and I about the website, except that it has now been updated with pictures of us as King and Queen,” Perkins said.
Ballard said there was no intention in having an older photo as the header on the homecoming court webpage. He said that it was not meant to slight last year’s king and queen in any way, and that the University is proud to have Perkins represent the University as homecoming queen.
However, Farley believes the University still has more work to be done in rectifying the situation, particularly for minorities on campus.
“I think there is a larger conversation than them just not updating their website,” Farley said. “I think it’s detrimental to the minority community, specifically, the black community on LSU’s campus since we only make up about 13% of the campus. Whenever we do accomplish these things in these hyperwhite spaces, I think they should be praised. They should be highlighted.”