The Portland Mercury: Your #1 source for all Rose Princess gossip! Students at Cleveland High School are miffed at the Rose Festival Association, which they say created "unnecessary fiascos" in selection of the Rose Festival princess for the home of the warriors. Today's edition of the Cleveland student newspaper devotes three articles to the Rose Princess selection, including a student-penned editorial that says the Rose Festival Association "has got some 'splainin to do."
In previous years, schools chose their princesses via a student body vote. This year, citing class time wasted on hours-long assemblies and a "popularity contest" image, the Rose Festival shook things up so now the student body vote only counts for 1/7 of the final say on who's the school princess. A six-person panel of teachers, community members and student representatives make up the rest of the vote. Unfortunately, at Cleveland, this new process turned out to be crazy competitive.
The April edition of the Cleveland Clarion is a hot read: one potential princess was controversially eliminated in an early round of votes and set up a Facebook group claiming panel bias, saying one of the voters was the best friend of another candidate. The winner of the crown fought accusations of cheating after her mother sat in the front row during her speech, holding up flashcards. "I didn't realize my mother was going to do that, it was a surprise," defends Princess Sylvia Dady in the paper, "And even if I had wanted to look at them, because I need contacts to read and I couldn't see the cards from where I was standing." The vice principal eventually launched an investigation of the whole affair, but refused to comment on the results.
Will Arrowsmith, the Cleveland senior who wrote the editorial, says the school supports Dady (whom the paper describes as "poised" and "well-traveled" and also quotes dreaming about her win the night before), “But people are mad that the Cleveland community doesn’t have much of a say about who our own representatives are. Plus, we seem to be doing a good job of choosing the winners.” Two of Cleveland's princesses snagged the city-wide queen crown in the last three years.
Rich Jarvis, of the Rose Festival, responds, “When we’re setting up a scholarship program, there should be more involved than just someone’s ability to get popular.” Each of Portland's princesses gets a $3500 scholarship. Cleveland Vice Principal Leslie Butterfield also supports the new voting system, which the Rose Festival spent a year perfecting. "The old Rose Festival process took an inordinate amount of time away from instruction. And for what?" says Butterfield, saying the new process takes 35 minutes, max, away from class time. "It's a much more equitable and wholesome process."
How did we get the scoop on this Rose Princess exclusive? The mom of the Cleveland's eliminated candidate stopped by the office, waving a copy of the Clarion. "I think it's kind of cute in an archaic way," says mom Pascale Planix Steig (a big fan of Ann Romano's column) of the Festival, "but when I find all the gears and politics behind it, it seems like a sinister process."
That's all the Rose Festival Princess Gossip for this Tuesday. Also included in the Cleveland High Clarion: this hilarious photoshopped graphic of the Seattle PI BURNING IN HELL. Thanks, kids!