The 2019 Homecoming Queen and King were crowned during halftime Saturday at the homecoming football game on the 50-yard line in Bernlohr Stadium.
The Homecoming court was introduced to stands full of viewers, supporters, and friends.
Ishan Thapa, music major and film and media production minor, and Dominique McIntyre, theatre and public relations major, are the university’s 2019 royalty, crowned, voted for, and chosen by fellow #CapFam.
For Homecoming Queen McIntyre, being nominated for homecoming court was something that was always hoped for, but not entirely expected.
“I got the email about homecoming court and I thought, ‘What? I missed [voting]? But it didn’t miss me,” McIntyre said.
“I didn’t exactly understand what it meant,” Ishan Thapa, homecoming king, said. “I had to ask Christa Serluco who is in the SCE office and ask her what it really meant, because not being from the U.S. — it’s an American tradition.”
Thapa, who is from Seria, Brunei, a small country in Southeast Asia, wasn’t accustomed to some American traditions, including homecoming.
McIntyre was glad she made it on the court and hoped to win, but thought that she wouldn’t end up being queen.
“Before they announced, I was in my head telling myself ‘don’t react, it’s not going to be you,’ because I knew that I would be crushed,” McIntyre said. “’It’s not going to be me; you have to make sure that you don’t show the sadness — you want this to be a happy day for whoever gets it.”
Even through both of their doubts, Thapa and McIntyre didn’t prepare for the possible news that they would be crowned.
“One factor in me applying was that I could represent international students and transfer students as well,” Thapa said. “Just being nominated was a big honor. When I got crowned I felt like ‘Wait … what’s happening?’ Thankfully Dominique was there.”
“The announcer said ‘Ms. Dominique — ’ and I blacked out,” McIntyre said. “I thought ‘That’s my name!’”
After receiving the video, McIntyre and Thapa both sent it out to friends and family not present at the game and were met with celebrations, congratulations, and a few questions.
Thapa’s parents, also not knowing American traditions, didn’t entirely understand what Thapa won.
“I think something got lost in translation,” Thapa said. “So when I sent the video and got to talk to them later they said ‘Could you explain this to us again?’”
“There was a first-year international student,” Thapa said. “He came running up and hugged me so hard, he almost knocked the crown off my head. It felt great to know that I made that much of an impact.”
Both McIntyre and Thapa share the sentiment that being crowned was a reminder that they are making the impact they hoped they were on campus.
“It feels wild,” McIntyre said. “I never feel like I deserve this, everybody on court deserves this. I see all of their impacts on campus and I know that I have an impact, but always feel like they’re doing so much better.”
After being crowned, both McIntyre and Thapa plan to represent the university by continuing to do the work and service that got them to where they are now.
“Service has been one of my core values, as well as understanding and respect,” Thapa said. “I’ve just been trying to help people, not thinking I’d be nominated. So winning and being nominated made me realize that maybe I’m starting to make that impact that I’d hoped to make, and that’s all that matters to me at the end of the day.”
When discussing the diversity of this year’s homecoming court, McIntyre and Thapa both shared the sentiment that diversity is an important part of campus, and seeing homecoming reflect that was a great sight.
“Since I’ve been at Capital, this is the most diverse [court] I’ve ever seen,” McIntyre said. “Even if we took away the diversity in religion, sexual orientation, backgrounds, and economic status, racially, the diversity was amazing. […] Then you take into account socioeconomic background, religion, sexual orientation and you see the diversity of those as well, it’s ridiculous, it’s not something that has always been showcased. To see those things pinpointed now is empowering.”