Annechka Safronov and Marcus Thieu were crowned Roo Royalty last Saturday at UMKC’s Court Warming Coronation basketball game.
The game was the culmination of a series of Court Warming events hosted by the Union Programming Board (UPB) to generate school spirit and student engagement.
“Court Warming is UMKC’s way of showing our pride,” UPB President and business and management senior Eric Davis Jr. said. “We really want to bring out that school spirit and show that we got fight, that we are Roos and we are proud of everything our school has to offer.”
The week’s events included a magic show by magician Nash Fung, a salsa dance class, a bubble soccer tournament and the Yell Like Hell talent show.
Student organizations chose representatives to run as Court Warming candidates who would compete at the week’s events for students’ votes. The two candidates who earned the most votes received the title of Roo Royalty.
Safronov, a junior who represented Delta Zeta, and Thieu, a sophomore who represented Sigma Alpha Epsilon, won the crown for 2020.
The excitement and campaigning surrounding Roo Royalty’s candidates was a key factor in Court Warming’s success. Candidates were responsible for participating in and increasing turnout for the week’s events.
“A lot of us are in charge of coming to events and bringing people,” Thieu said. “[Turnout] has been pretty good; we had a full set of bleachers at the basketball game.”
Student turnout is a near-universal problem for many student organizations, as many UMKC students are commuters.
When asked how easy it is for commuting students to involve themselves in student organizations, junior and commuter Emma Hilboldt said, “It can be difficult. If I go home, then I don’t feel like going back to campus for an event.”
Court Warming may have found a way to break the low turnout pattern, however.
“We get a bunch of commuters to come to our events,” Davis said. “They just like to choose the events that fit their style.”