FREDERICK, Md. – Hood College is reviewing its homecoming rules after a lesbian was crowned king, a college official said.
Jennifer Jones, the 21-year-old senior who beat out three men for the honor, said the crowning was a positive step for the private liberal arts college.
"It is cool that Hood allows people to be themselves," Jones told The Frederick News-Post. "If people didn't want me to be king, they wouldn't have nominated me and voted for me."
Jones, of Newark, Del., received 64 of 169 votes cast for king last month.
More than two weeks after Jones was crowned, criticism and praise were still rippling through the 2,100-student campus in western Maryland.
"She is not a man," said Singleton Newman, a 22-year-old senior who was nominated for queen. "It is a gender issue, and she is a woman."
Santo Provenzano, 21, who competed for king, said Jones' selection made the event seem like a joke. "It discourages guys from wanting to take part in the future," he said.
Donald Miller, Hood's student activities director, said all homecoming events will be reviewed and possibly changed. "We will look at what students want Hood's homecoming to be," he said.
It was only the second annual homecoming for the school. Men started attending Hood in 1971 but the school didn't become fully coeducational until 2003 when men were permitted to live on campus for the first time.
Jones tried to run for homecoming prince last year, but a student committee wouldn't let her on the ballot even though she had gathered the required number of signatures on nominating petitions.
Miller said a rule change this year abolished the petitions and required that candidates be nominated by student ballots.