Normally, the anxieties of homecoming revolve around picking out an outfit and finding a date. However, for many CHS students, the challenges faced were far larger this year. As September rolled into October, it was time for the reveal of the long-awaited homecoming theme. Crowds gathered around the band stage waiting excitedly for the announcement. ASB pulled back the paper, revealing the theme: “Destinations.” Whispers of shock could be heard through the cheers as each class was announced to be a different continent. With backlash and complaints of cultural insensitivity written to the school board, ASB decided to change the theme just a week later from “Destinations” to “Decades” to prevent the problem from developing further.
“I think the original homecoming theme was definitely something pointing towards cultural appropriation as it grouped different nationalities together in almost a ranking order,” junior Maya Garcia said.
This belief is due to the fact that the “best” homecoming themes are notoriously recognized for being assigned to the upperclassmen, while the lowerclassmen are stuck with the leftovers. Thus, as lowerclassmen were assigned Africa and South America, while upperclassmen were assigned Asia and Europe, it left some wondering what ASB was thinking. If students were to dress up or decorate their class floats based on their assigned destinations, they would automatically be walking a fine line between school spirit and cultural appropriation.
“While the theme had potential to be problematic, talking to others on campus made me realize the situation wasn’t that black and white, since I do not believe it was ASB’s intention to offend anyone,” sophomore Ella Kuriyama said.
Everyone knows ASB for the giant posters hung on the gym walls on rally days, however, there’s much more depth to CHS’s student government than meets the eye. Since homecoming is such a prevalent event for ASB, as well as the student body, picking a theme is something they do not take lightly.
“The goal of the ‘Destinations’ theme was to make homecoming more inclusive, memorable, and relatable to the diverse student body at CHS,” Tammi Ho, ASB president, said. “If we did ‘Decades,’ we would be taking the safer route — we wanted to try something new this year, but obviously it didn’t work out.”
While ASB told the Wolfpacket that they weighed the possible issues with the “Destination” theme, they thought rather than appropriating different cultures, it would be a way to include a diverse range of people.
“These kids — blood, sweat, and tears,” Mr. Hernandez, ASB advisor, said. “The next two weeks are going to be so tough for them, seeing as this was the absolute last possible moment they could have changed the theme.”
While picking out an outfit or getting a date may still be on the forefront of one’s mind, a possibly problematic homecoming theme is no longer something to worry about. From “Destinations” to “Decades,” Homecoming may be a bit more memorable this year.