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time tracks Animal Kingdom by Beth Ziesenis


Hector and Agnes

Animal Kingdom

Down the Corridor



Eight people were named to homecoming court Thursday night although an inhuman write-in campaign made the election hairy for Student Association voting officials.

Hector the Eagle Dog and Agnes the Squirrel were both among the top four vote-getters competing for homecoming king and queen, but they were disqualified for failing to meet SA candidate requirements.

"If they would have met the criteria, they would have made the court," said SA Rules and Elections officer Lisa Daugherty. "That decision was made a long time ago. That's my job to determine eligibility."

The eight students who did make the court are Brian Coolidge, Denton junior; Doug Daugherty, Bay City senior; Cliff Lewallen, Amarillo senior; Ron Skillens, Garland sophomore; Shana Hawkins, Denton senior; Julie Hollensed, Denton senior; Angie Monschke, Krum senior; and Lisa Watson, Port Arthur senior.

Vote totals for the homecoming candidates will be released after Homecoming in two weeks, election officials say.

SA's election code stipulates that homecoming candidates have a 2.5 NT grade-point average, a requirement that keeps non-human candidates from taking the crown.

SA representative Wade Duchene, Hector's self-appointed campaign manager, said SA might have violated its election code by not charging the animals before disqualifying them.

The election code states, "Any candidate subject to disqualification will be notified of the violation before any action is taken by the Election board."

Duchene said he was going to start a petition to try to get the couple reinstated into the court.

"They didn't notify Hector and Agnes in person, and Hector and Agnes were not given the chance to defend themselves," said the Denton junior. "We're not going to quit. Hector's very dogged about this.

"For these humans it's only one homecoming, but for Hector it's seven. I'm not sure how many years it is for Agnes, but I'm sure it's a lot. The student body has spoken for Hector and Agnes, but SA, through the election board, has ignored the students."

Daugherty said she was not going to bring the animals into court because she could not speak their language.

"You tell me how to notify a dog and a squirrel," Daugherty said. "I don't know how to bark."

The king and queen will be crowned during halftime at the homecoming football game against Stephen F. Austin Oct. 14.

Queen nominee Julie Hollensed, Denton senior, said she did not think Hector and Agnes could represent NT properly because the royal couple must attend several school functions during their reign.

"A dog and a squirrel are going to have a very hard time voicing their opinions," Hollensed said.

King candidate Brian Coolidge, Denton junior, said Agnes the squirrel came to him and said she and Hector were fighting. Coolidge and Agnes appeared together on several of Coolidge's fliers.

"I was hoping the person who nominated Agnes was trying to have fun with the election," Coolidge said. "That's all I was trying to do. Being homecoming king is a flattering thing, but people are taking this too seriously. I think people on campus want to have a little fun with it, too."

Coolidge also said he thought the animals' campaign had strengthened voter turnout at the election. He said when people voted for Hector and Agnes, they probably also voted for SA representatives.

Daugherty said she did not think voter turnout was affected by the novel candidates.

"I think in the long run, as far as getting the assembly and homecoming elected, the people who were going to vote before did vote," Daugherty said. "I think that it might have lifted a few spirits. I thought it was funny."

Staff writer Rogers Cadenhead and Daily reporter Joe McDaniel contributed to this story.



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