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Homecoming Lantern Walk adds new twists to honored tradition

October 22, 2012

Every year since 1917 the Arizona State University community has participated in the time honored tradition of walking up “A Mountain” carrying lanterns to light up the city of Tempe.

The ceremony will be upheld this year, but with a few twists that are sure to enhance the experience for all in attendance.

Sun Devils alike may participate in the Lantern Walk at 8 p.m., Oct. 26, by gathering at the base of “A" Mountain and making their way up the trail. In addition, attendees are also welcome to watch the event broadcasted live from inside Sun Devil Stadium. The new accommodations will ensure everyone has a clear view of the fireworks, beloved “A” and other surprises in store.

“The Lantern Walk has always been the passing of the school from the senior class to the junior class. This year we’ve kept the tradition, but revamped the ceremony to include access to the stadium for those who want to participate in another way,” said Natalie Sitter, Campus Activities.

For the first time in ASU history, the night will also feature the crowning of the Homecoming royalty – a selected court of individuals who best showcase what it means to have Sun Devil spirit, pride and tradition.

This year the student body decided to take a progressive step forward by changing the court’s title from “Homecoming King and Queen” to “Homecoming Royalty,” to remove gender formalities and become more inclusive of the ASU community.

“When selecting the candidates, we look for the two individuals from each campus who best represent what it means to be a Sun Devil. Gender isn’t really something that determines that,” said Sitter.

ASU was not the only university to forge a new path though. Northern Arizona University is reflecting a more diverse study body with their Homecoming royalty this year. For the first time a male was selected as Homecoming Queen and a female was chosen as Homecoming King.

“I believe that this reflects the progressive relationship between the NAU student body and the LGBTQA community. I also think that this is such a positive impact on the campus because (the winners) were voted Queen and King by the student body,” said Samantha Smart, president of the Associated Students at NAU.  

Students from all campuses are invited to take part in the night’s excitement. Parking and Transit will be extending shuttle hours to those not on the Tempe campus. The Metro Light Rail will be also be running.