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Cornhuskin' 2023 Upset

Cornhuskin’ is a popular tradition among Meredith students, and fellow students

often explain the tradition along with the phrase “you just have to

experience it!” During the week, each class participates in several activities including Can Art, the Presidents Raid and the revealing of the tunnel painted by the senior class. All of these events gear up the Meredith student body for the main event in the outdoor McIver Amphitheater, where participating students share their work put into the performances with their fellow classmates. This year's event was a conversation starter when the juniors took home the overall win for Cornhuskin’ 2023. The Herald reached out to several members of the classes of 2025 (juniors) and 2024 (seniors).

Many seniors did not feel comfortable going on the record due to the online discourse that has already been occurring. One senior, Katie Mac Wright, shared her thoughts on Cornhuskin’ 2023. When asked what she knows about the process of how Cornhuskin’ is scored, she said that she “ know[s]there are very strict rules regarding [C]orn and what is and isn’t allowed.” She also shared that she knows that “generally speaking the skit has the most point value.” The confusion around the judging process seemed to be a constant thread between several participants and attendees.

Wright continued by saying, “Regarding the judging and scores it was kind of ridiculous how long it took for the scores to be announced then for them to only announce 1st.” Wright added that she “felt bad for the sopho-

more’s because they didn’t even know if they were 2nd in a category. This also took away from the unity aspect of Corn.” When asked how she felt about the outcome of Corn 2023, Wright said that she was “absolutely devastated.” She explained that she knows that it is said that “seniors should never expect to win,” however, Wright shared that “with the performance [now seniors] gave last year and this year it came as a complete

shock.” She continued on to say, “In some sense losing brought the seniors closer together but also had many of [the seniors] asking what could [they] have possibly done any better?” Wright concluded by acknowledging the hard work of the Class of 2027 and said that the freshman make her “so excited to see what the future of corn is going to be.” Wright shared that in her opinion, the freshmen “embodied the Cornhuskin’ spirit in every way” and that she could “truly tell they were so excited just to be there.”

The 2024 Cornhuskin’ Co-Chairs, Brionna Stewart and Michaela Rehbein shared a joint

statement regarding the outcome of this year’s Meredith tradition. They said, “The purpose of Cornhuskin’ is supposed to be to reflect on [a student's] time at Meredith College as a student body.” They continue on to say that they “feel that Meredith lost the meaning of Cornhuskin’ this year.” Rehbein and Stewart also share that “healthy competition is good, because it can bond classes by creating a goal for everyone to reach for.” They also say that “humility and compassion” is an important part of the tradition, and believe that they “cannot say [they] observed [these traits] from all of the classes.” Stewart and Rehbein conclude by saying they were “disappointed in the lack of unity and grace shown from some students participating in the beloved tradition. Hopefully when [they] come back next year as spectators, [they] will get to experience Cornhuskin’ for what it is truly meant to be.”

Ella Cannon, one of the Class of 2025 Cornhuskin’ Co-Chairs, shared her thoughts on this year's Cornhuskin’. When asked about her knowledge of the scoring process, she said, “The Corn manual has all the categories listed for each event, and it's on a 4-point scale.” Cannon gave her thoughts on the outcome of Cornhuskin this year by saying that she was “happy and surprised.” Cannon described it as “really amazing” when referencing being able to see the work Savannah, her Co-Chair, and the class of 2025 had put into everything and their achievements. Cannon added that it makes her “more excited for next year and

whatever comes next when planning Cornhuskin'.” She concluded by acknowledging the hard work of every class and believed that “every class did amazing this year and [she] really enjoyed watching everyone kill it.” Cannon described all of the themes as “great” and that she “really loved what everyone did for their skits and dances.”

Two members of the Class of 2025, Jordan Harrell and Rachel Heavlin, shared their appreciation for the tradition and gave their thoughts on the outcome. Harrell said that she loves Corn and that “It’s so much fun and all of the late night practicing pays off for a fun night of performances.” Harrell acknowledged the class of 2025 win while also recognizing the disappointment of the Class of 2024. Harrell describes being excited that the juniors won, but “did feel bad for [her] senior friends who were very disappointed, because [she] thought they did amazing and they worked so hard.” Harrell added that one thing she “wished was different was that when the scores were announced, they also said what place all of the classes came in rather than just announcing the winners of each category.”

Heavlin gave her thoughts on the outcome and shared, “To say the least, everyone was very shocked about the outcome of Corn 2023. In years past, the senior class was known to win Cornhuskin.” Heavlin shared the sentiment of the junior’s victory and being

“beyond excited and surprised.” Heavlin acknowledged the online discourse that occurred after Corn by several students in different classes. “Shortly after the results, some fellow Angels quickly turned to social media claiming the win was "rigged." Heavlin described it as hurtful to see “peers saying the Junior class didn't deserve to win.” Heavlin believes that “The Meredith community is supposed to be about lifting each other up and congratulating your friends on their successes.”

Overall, Cornhuskin’ is a tradition that provides Meredith students the ability to connect with their classmates and show their creativity in various ways. This year, the victory went to the juniors, but each class' hard work and dedication to the tradition will be what stays with students for years to come.

By Haileigh West, Associate Editor


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