Nicky Damania, director of student activities for the office of student activities, said he anticipated that there would be a good turnout. “So I’m hoping for a good attendance tonight,” he said.
He also said a partnership with Thumbs Up Entertainment, which is an organization that helped coordinate the dance, with intentions of get more students to attend.
Damania said he encouraged students to attend because they would have fun. “It’s something that students should experience as an undergrad,” he said. It is an event for students to remember while they are in college, Damania said. Attending the royalty dance shows school spirit, he said.
“You’re supporting your other peers and you’re supporting, especially, the royalty court,” Damania said.
The crowns were awarded to Homecoming Queen Amy Stilson, 23, a sophomore majoring in exercise science and Homecoming King Adam Herrara, 20, a junior majoring in sociology and criminology.
Stilson said she got encouragement from friends, family and professors to run as a nominee and eventually was nominated. “I have a really supportive group of people in my life,” she said. “I really wanted to do it and represent the school.”
Herrara said he did not intend to become a nominee; however as a joke, he was nominated by a member in Kappa Sigma. Shortly thereafter, he said he was notified by e-mail that he was a nominee.
In order to get votes, Stilson said she participated in the homecoming events and talked to students. She said she gave out fake money on casino night with her face printed on them and candy attached to it as well as handed out cookies and crackers to students.
“I wanted to give out stuff because one of my friends suggested it,” she said.
Stilson said she used the event as an opportunity to meet students because she did not know many students who attended them.
Herrara said he worked with another nominee, Daisy Mendoza, a junior majoring in Spanish, to promote themselves for the election. He said they created posters and fliers for promotion since Mendoza wanted to use them.
Stilson said she earned the crown because she met new people, promoted herself and told a lot of her friends, family and co-workers about her nomination.
“I have a good line of friends and family that told people as well,” she said. “So it helps when you have a good support system because they help get your name out there.”
Herrara said he felt he earned the king’s title because he gets involved on campus. He said he is in the Kappa Sigma fraternity and the motorcycle club. “I like to be involved,” Herrara said. In turn, he said he wants to promote Greek Life on campus.
Stilson said she feels grateful for getting the opportunity to be a homecoming nominee. “With this experience, I feel more honored than anything,” Stilson said. As Homecoming Queen, she said, she aspires to be a role model to girls in the community. She also said she wants girls to realize they can reach their full potential. “I definitely want to be a good example,” Stilson said.
Herrara said he talked to a lot of students and thought it made the experience enjoyable. “I had a lot of fun,” Herrara said. Students should get involved on campus because “it makes your college career,” he said, and students will learn to enjoy their lives at the university.
When she earned the crown, Stilson said she was shocked, nervous and excited.
Herrara said, he did not expect to earn the Homecoming King crown, “it was actually really awesome,” he said.
As for the homecoming football game’s halftime crowning ceremony, Herrara said he liked the red robe and thought it was cool. “I wish I could have kept the robe because that was a really awesome robe,” he said.
Stilson said as a point of advice that future queen nominees should work hard, think positively and not give up, and remember that some things are out of their control. “And I always remember to not stress out about anything you can’t control,” she said. “Remember that no matter what, it was a good experience.”
Herrara said that future king nominees should be involved with activities and events on campus and meet new students. “The more people that know you, the easier it’s going to be for you to get elected,” he said.
The application process was easy to complete, Stilson said, because it required she answered questions about herself and her GPA. She also said that getting 50 signatures to petition in the royalty elections from students on campus was easy because she is sociable.
Herrara said filling out the application was easy as well. He said he is sociable and that it was easy to convince students to get students’ signatures. “For me it wasn’t too much of an issue,” Herrara said.
Stilson said some of her hobbies are exercising, which includes running, turbo kick and toning classes. Stilson said that turbo kick is a form of choreographed kickboxing. In addition, she said she instructs turbo kick classes on Mondays and Wednesdays at 8 p.m. in the recreation center on campus.
When he is not in class, Herrara said he enjoys playing paintball and drag racing on sports bikes and cars. “I love my toys and I love speed,” he said. He bragged that he has a car that can beat other cars in drag races, which is a Mazda Speed6 and it has been worked on to improve its speed, Herrara said.
Stilson said she can be shy at first when she meets new people but loses inhibitions after a while. “I love meeting new people but I’m shy at first,” she said. She also said she enjoys laughing and likes to have fun.
As for Herrara, he said he is active, outspoken and enjoys being outdoors. He said he does not mind if people like or dislike him. “People either love me or hate me,” Herrara said.
The dance between the newly-crowned Herrara and Stilson seemed normal until it took an unexpected turn. Herrara requested the disc jockey play a song that sounded upbeat. Then the song “Imma Be” by Black Eyed Peas played, and then the students continued to dance.