There will be no more homecoming Kings and Queens at the University of Minnesota.
To promote the "spirit of inclusion," the U's Student Unions and Activities has changed the titles of homecoming "King and Queen" to homecoming "Royals," it announced on Monday.
The move to a gender-neutral honorific was taken "in an effort toward gender inclusivity," the unions said in a press release. It allows the university to select the best student representatives based on their contributions to campus and community life regardless of gender, according to the group.
The university is now looking for "high-spirited, dedicated and enthusiastic Gophers" to become Royalty, with members acting as ambassadors and stewards for the U at various events, including the State Fair.
They will also compete in tournaments leading up to homecoming, which will see two of them crowned the winners of the Royalty Title – getting a scholarship in the process.
Those interested can apply here.
The U of M is not the first to take this step. Appalachian State University made the same move last year, USA Today reports.
This happened just weeks after the University of Wisconsin–Stout did the same, the newspaper notes.
A high school in Bethesda, Maryland, switched to "homecoming Royalty" last year, to make homecoming more inclusive to gender-neutral and transgender students, the Miami Herald reports.