All hail

A behind-the-scenes look at the process of becoming FAU’s Homecoming king and queen


Left to right: 2012 Homecoming Queen Crystal Jozwocki, 2013 Homecoming Queen Sarah Suwak, 2013 Homecoming King Cedric Brazle and 2012 Homecoming King Dean Hasan. Max Jackson | Staff Photographer

Upon seeing the prestigious titles of king and queen, “Game of Thrones” immediately comes to mind. But at FAU, these monikers are more correlated with Homecoming week than with the Iron Throne.

This is the week all FAU students wait not-so-patiently for each and every year. With Homecoming on the horizon, the process of selecting the perfect Homecoming court is not far behind.

Enter FAU’s Homecoming Committee director Jason Twigger. His role is to interview all prospective homecoming king and queen candidates and pinpoint their “it” factors.

Twigger explains the requirements for being a homecoming king or queen as well as what goes into the process of competing.

Twigger has held his position since May 2014. With the help of advisor Katie Burke, he has been in charge of the selection of homecoming court.

The requirements for becoming a homecoming king or queen are extensive. First, the students (approximately 30) must apply. The applicants must have at least a 2.8 GPA, 60 credit hours that solidify them as either a junior or senior, a resume, a letter of recommendation from an organization’s president or an alumni and a written essay.

If they pass all of those requirements with flying colors, they get to move on to the first interviews. The questions are private, so none of the candidates can prepare answers in advance. They occur back-to-back, with 10-minute windows in between.

After all the girls have been interviewed, it’s the guys turn to do the same thing. There are eight questions in just 10 minutes. This process began on Wednesday, Oct. 8. The hopefuls were placed in front of a judging panel who picked their top four or five candidates. These four or five will be the princes and princesses of the court.

Another interview process will be held for the princes and princesses on Wednesday, Oct. 15. In those interviews, they will have 15 minutes for more questions. From Oct. 27-30, they will be campaigning across campus for your votes. The final selections for both king and queen will be announced at the Homecoming game, where they will be crowned.

These Homecoming kings and queens don’t just sit on parade floats all day and wave, however. They have some responsibilities to uphold. They have to attend certain Student Government-held events and other events requested of them. They also have to come back the next year to crown the new king and queen.

The perks outweigh the responsibilities tenfold, however. They get to represent FAU, they get a stipend and they receive other gifts as well.

Twigger has very specific standards that the candidates must meet to get his vote. “[They must be] very well-spoken, [have a] great FAU presence, [and have] leadership skills,” Twigger said.

He also recommends the experience to anyone and everyone interested. “[It is a] great opportunity for anybody who is interested. You should always look into it next year,” Twigger said.”up5homecoming

Sarah Suwak was crowned FAU’s queen at last year’s Homecoming game — a victory which, surprisingly, she owes to her job.

One day, while working the desk shift in the dorms as a resident assistant, she saw a flyer with information regarding homecoming court auditions. Unfamiliar with the process, especially the fact that homecoming court is usually associated with Greek life, she decided to go check it out.

Needless to say, she ended up reaping all the benefits. The most important of these perks, according to Suwak, was the fact that she was chosen by her peers to represent our university.

“It showed me that although I was the only one with the title of Homecoming queen, it was more than just my name that was put in the spotlight. I was representing God’s grace, friends and my family,” Suwak said. “I am thankful for the support and for the experience of being a part of the Homecoming court during the Homecoming 2013 events.”

As every person on the homecoming court must be nominated by an FAU organization, Suwak had the honor of working with the Resident Student Association. This organization plans all the events that go on around campus and promote an active, fun campus life. After having been nominated, the next part of the process for Suwak was to fill out paperwork and attend an interview. After the interview was complete and Suwak’s position solidified, she was given her campaigning guidelines, along with her sash, and, of course, her tiara.

Suwak’s favorite part of the homecoming process by far was being able to meet many of her fellow FAU students.

“It was my second [and last] Homecoming as a student at FAU since I was a transfer. Being able to attend the events — like the 5k, concert and comedy show — and meet different students that I hadn’t before was a unique experience,” Suwak said. “Even before the homecoming game, I had potential FAU students and parents ask me about my university. I got the opportunity to share why I believe the smaller campus has enabled me to feel a part of a community, see familiar faces day to day, and overall establish my own opinions in a diverse classroom setting.”

Suwak suggests that this year’s homecoming king and queen envelop themselves in everything FAU’s Homecoming week will have to offer them.

“There are specific events that you have to attend as a member of the court and also optional events,” Suwak said. “I chose to attend optional events as well and would proudly rock the tiara and sash. Whether or not I was given the title of Homecoming queen, I wanted to be an active [participant] in the events, even after the voting was closed. I chose to attend events as a proud member of the Homecoming court and that made the title of Homecoming queen all the sweeter.”

Suwak suggests running for Homecoming court to anyone who exudes school spirit or even those who are afraid to venture out of their comfort zone and try new and wonderful things.

As reigning queen of FAU, Suwak will be part of the Homecoming 2014 parade and will, on Nov. 1, crown the new king and queen along with her counterpart king, Cedric Brazle.

Brazle decided to run for the title of FAU’s Homecoming king out of sheer experimentation.

“Honestly, I decided to run because I wanted to do something different and I know a lot of people have tried to win, I just wanted to see if I not only tried but if I actually won it,” Brazle said. “Turns out that was a very good decision.”

Brazle, who gained the title of first black National Pan-Hellenic Council male to become Homecoming king upon winning, deemed the whole process both fun and exciting.

“The entire Homecoming court was very welcoming and the experiences were endless,” Brazle said. “I was able to be a part of so many things that I wasn’t aware of and it really opened my eyes to a lot about FAU and allowed me to meet some really important people who instilled knowledge in me and mentored me during and after winning the title. I was able to figure out what my place at the school could be.”

The process of being crowned was not exactly smooth sailing for Brazle, however. It’s not easy being king.

“The most difficult part was people telling me that I wasn’t going to win. That blew my mind. I heard so many people prepping me to lose than telling me good luck,” Brazle said. “But, it helped me though. Now, I don’t look for the approval of others as much and it was great proving people totally wrong. So, it was really a blessing in disguise.”

Brazle also got by with a little help from his friends, more specifically, his brothers in the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. He was also being sponsored by the Black Student Union. Both on-campus organizations pushed him to get out in the open about his running and encourage people to vote for him.

Brazle, not unlike Suwak, highly recommends the process of running for Homecoming court.  “I think it’s one of the best opportunities that FAU offers a lucky few,” Brazle said. “It makes you a part of FAU history and who doesn’t want to make history, right?”