Senate postpones the royalty amendment

The LOHS student Senate voted to postpone an official vote on an amendment to degender the Mayfete court. The amendment would remove the gender-based requirements and labels for the Mayfete court, and rename the court members as “Royalty” instead of princesses, princes, kings and queens. 

Two years ago, the school made similar changes to the Homecoming and Winter Formal courts, but the Mayfete court was intentionally left unchanged. Now, students and senators believe that it is time to bring Mayfete into alignment with the other courts. 

“The bill seeks to enforce the equal opportunity clauses codified in district and state legislation,” says Senator Selena Zhang, who proposed the most recent “Royalty” amendment. 

Chris Hill, the Leadership advisor, expressed similar thoughts, saying, “We want this to be a campus, school and community that is inclusive and not exclusive.” 

The Senate was scheduled to vote on the amendment on Tuesday, but the vote was postponed. ASB Activities Director Conor Mehaffey motioned to table the vote following widespread confusion about the proper method to vote on the proposed amendment. The Senate approved the motion. 

The Senate and ASB were unable to determine whether or not the amendment had to be voted on by the entire student body or just the Senate. Hill, Zhang and ASB President Alicia Lopez agreed to meet with Principal Rollin Dickinson to resolve the uncertainty. 

When the Homecoming and Winter Formal courts were changed two years ago, the entire student body was scheduled to vote on the proposal. Before the vote could take place, Dickinson declared that the change would happen regardless. At the time, Dickinson said that a school wide vote “has the potential to create an unhealthy and unsafe environment for our students and staff because it can become a discussion about whether or not we would prefer to be inclusive of all students.” 

It remains to be seen what process will be used to decide the fate of the Mayfete court. Lopez, who is the de facto chair of the Senate, promised to bring the amendment to a vote during the next Senate meeting, which is scheduled for Nov. 12. 

A small number of senators expressed skepticism about how soon the Senate would be able to vote on the issue, recalling how the amendment had been on the docket since last year. Lopez assured the Senate that the vote would stay on schedule for the next meeting. 

 Some observers have noted that while LOHS moves forward with “Royalty” courts, Lakeridge High School is not in the process of converting or updating its court system.