The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Student News Site of Shawnee Mission Northwest


The Price of a Dream

Homecoming court expenses aren’t feasible for some families
Ashley Broils
Sitting in a car, seniors Danie Eaves and Tad Lambert wave to the crowd Sept. 28 on Caenen Ave. Eaves and Lambert were voted into court by the senior class. “Getting on court was an incredible experience,” Eaves said. “It was great being able to experience the tradition and community brought along with it.”

Danie Eaves didn’t expect to be on homecoming court.

But she wanted to be, really wanted to be. So when her name was called over the intercom as one of the ten girls nominated for court, her eyes lit up. She jumped into the air, her classmate’s cheers and congratulations ringing in her ears. It felt like a dream come true.

And then, she heard about the cost. 

The dress, the shoes, the hair accessories and the convertible.  

It was a lot. A lot, a lot. And it weighed down on her as her friends and fellow court members sent pictures of their beautiful $500 dresses into their group chat.

Was her dress good enough? She couldn’t help but wonder.

It was $125. 

Only $125. 

Eaves loved her dress so much — the glittery navy blue fabric, the square neckline, the lace up back, and the mini train. She felt beautiful when she wore it, like a princess on her way to her coronation. But still, something in her heart whispered, “Is this enough?

Eaves’ situation isn’t unique. 

When you’re nominated onto court, you’re simply expected to pay for all that entails. For girls, this often includes three dresses — one for photos, one for the parade and one for the crowning — new shoes and getting their hair, nails and makeup done. On top of that, there’s pressure for court members to rent a convertible to ride in the parade. 

But this isn’t feasible for some families.

“It’s expensive,” court member Kayley Givner said. “It’s pretty expensive. It also comes with realizing that I have a privilege a lot of other people don’t have.”

Givner spoke with spirit club leaders and Dr. Gruman about making court more affordable for those less well off financially than her after being nominated for homecoming court. 

“Everyone have the experience, not just those who can afford it,” Givner said. 

Currently, Northwest is able to offer court candidates trucks to ride in for the parade, but students generally disapprove of it. 

“ is looked down upon,” Givner said. “No one wants to have to ride in the truck.” 

Northwest also has a clothing closet — which includes formal wear — that any Northwest student can use. Court members could also rewear their dress for all three occasions to cut costs, but that’s looked down upon, too. The Love Fund could potentially provide aid to cover costs of court as well, says spirit club sponsor Morgan Moberg. 

Northwest isn’t considering changing the amount of assistance they provide either, according to Moberg.

“The financial aspect of has nothing to do with what the school does,” Moberg says. “It’s in the candidate’s hands. I think the problem is, is that there’s a strong tradition — especially with homecoming — that there are several outfits. That’s a tradition at Northwest, but we have nothing to do with it.”

Despite the expenses, Eaves has loved the sense of community that has come along with being on homecoming court.

“I didn’t expect it to be this fun,” Eaves says. “Everyone’s super nice and super sweet. I don’t know, it’s just giving, like, girlhood, with all the girls sending their dresses and being like, ‘Oh my gosh you look so beautiful!’” 

But, moving forward, there’s a push to make the homecoming court experience more financially accessible to the entire student population. 

“I really hope there is a change in the future of Northwest through making it more inclusive for people who don’t have the money for ,” Givner says. “I don’t want homecoming court to turn into nothing more than a flash of wealth.”

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About the Contributor
Ashley Broils, Assistant Newspaper Photo Editor
Hi, my name is Ashley Broils and I am an Assistant Newspaper Photo Editor. I am a junior and this is my third year of photojournalism. My job is to help the newspaper photo editors with checking captions of photos and picking photos for the newspaper. When taking photos, I really enjoy being close to the action. I have two brothers, Justin and Alex, who are both in middle school. I also have a dog named Anna who is one year old and loves to play fetch with me. My favorite destination is Puerto Rico. I vacationed there this summer.

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