Brayden Hartwig wears the first ever homecoming king crown

With a unique school year like this one, Winter Homecoming was a fresh new change for many. The addition of males on the court brought a new light to homecoming. According to senior Brayden Hartwig, he felt as if he was apart of changing history at Har-Ber

Brayden has had this idea for a few years now, but just now put it in action this past semester.

“I talked with Mrs. Davey personally because she’s the one in charge,” Hartwig said. “So I went to her directly and actually went up to her with an open letter from the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, I said, ‘Hey with legality you have to involve males.’ Otherwise, I’m getting the word out there with Instagram and Snapchat stories, social media has been a big one too.”

The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation letter states, “You’re being given this letter because your school or a school in your district has refused to let a student run for a position on prom or homecoming court because of their gender. Discrimination on this basis violates federal sex discrimination prohibitions. We urge your school to take immediate action to remedy this issue, and allow students to be considered as candidates for prom or homecoming court, regardless of their gender.”

This led to Hartwig realizing that something needs to be done about this issue.

“It started off more as a joke, if anything, but then I actually looked into the seriousness behind it and realized this is a movement I can get behind and can fight for,” Hartwig said. “So I was googling homecoming courtly equality stuff and came across this open letter and I was like, ‘Oh, this is actually relevant.’”

There was never a solid reason why they kept from including males on the court. Which is what encouraged Hartwig even more.

“If there was a clear issue then sure, of course, but there really wasn’t one and there really wasn’t an excuse to not be as inclusive so I went up to her with that in mind,” Hartwig said.

Head of Student Council, Natalie Davey, was in full support of this decision, along with the Student Council members.

“I’ve had the idea in mind for a while, but Brayden’s enthusiasm certainly encouraged me to pursue the matter even more,” Davey said. “If we can celebrate more students, I want to make that happen. They’ve [student council] been talking about this change for quite some time, and they were thrilled that we were finally able to implement it this year, especially given how much had been taken away with COVID.”

Of course, this change didn’t come just like that, a process had to be gone through before confirming the addition.

“The process that I went through in order to get men on the court was mainly discussing the possibility with our Administrators and researching what other schools in the area did to honor students during Homecoming,” Davey said. “Most schools have both males and females on court.”

Hartwig partly expected to be nominated for court based on how much he campaigned, but being crowned King was a whole new deal.

“That was crazy. It was pretty cool, I’m glad I got to represent the school in this manner, especially since I was the first King,” Hartwig said. “That was a big honor of itself, I’m glad I got to represent my school and all the values that I hold.”

Hartwig and Davey are both very excited to see how this will play in the following years.

“I think it’s humbling, it really is, I’m just excited to be a part of the process and help push for a more inclusive future within the future of Har-Ber,” Hartwig said.