‘Top of the Rock’ marks change for university


The Appalachian Online

Sydney Spann, Visual Managing Editor

App State announced on its homecoming page that they will be stripping away the title of Homecoming King and Queen and will be replacing it with “Top of the Rock.” Nine students who show the best of App State will be selected to be a part of “Homecoming Royalty” and out of those nine, one will be chosen as “Top of the Rock,”  in an effort to promote inclusiveness.

The way we identify human experience and the classification of gender roles and norms is constantly changing. People are starting to notice that gender is something that is seen on a spectrum; the idea of females being pink and males being blue is beginning to become muddled. We are starting to realize that everything can’t be separated into strict boxes. “Gender neutral” is a term that is integrating itself into household vernacular as the visibility of those who are non-conforming is becoming more apparent.

There could be a person sitting right beside you as you read this that doesn’t abide by the binary. They could be genderqueer, genderfluid, they/them, Ze/Zir, or whatever they want to be, and whatever they want to be may not conform to your idea of gender. There are still some groups that are out there that do not understand this concept, that actively speak out and rally against it, and it is harmful to those who identify as something outside the norm.

The norm is changing and we as a society need to understand that it is necessary to flow with it. That person may not want to be king or queen, but if they did, which would they choose? Why must they choose a title when they don’t identify with either?

App State’s number one policy, the one that every student has heard of a thousand times over, is sustainability. Sustainability of our campus, its environment, its people and its morals. Taking this step will create a more sustainable environment for each individual on campus, allowing them to feel safe, heard and validated.

Old Row, a fraternity-centered Twitter page, called us vaginas, which just gives more evidence for why the policy needed to be instituted in the first place. This policy is not weak, it is strong and brave. I’m proud of each and every tiny step this university is taking to create equality.

Stop being scared of change. Stop refusing to accept the fact that not everything runs on a binary. Stop assigning gender where gender does not need to be assigned. Instead, start noticing that people are not just male or female, king or queen, this or that. We are complex forms that need to be seen and validated, so start noticing.

Victoria Haynes is a junior English major from Lexington, North Carolina.

Sydney Spann is a sophomore advertising major from Greensboro, North Carolina.