Ah, Mardi Gras, arguably the most important of all McNick events. While the event occurs in February, the nomination and voting process begins long before the event.
All McNick students will have the chance to nominate students from their class on Monday, Nov. 19. The nominations will then be validated by a Mardi Gras review committee. Voting for the Court and Honor Guards will be based on these nominees and will take place at a later date.
Mardi Gras began in 1952 by McNicholas’ founders, the Sisters of St. Joseph, as a way to honor those students who had supported and served the school. “The tradition started with a raffle, and the raffle was so well supported that the Sisters wanted to reward the students who had brought in the most…this turned into voting for students,” said Bill Losekamp, math teacher and Mardi Gras chair.
Each year students vote for four students of their grade, two women and two men. The top four women and men of the sophomore and junior classes make up the sophomore and junior honor guard. The Court is comprised of the top twenty men and women of the senior class who culminated the most points from votes over their four-year career at McNick. The male and female senior students who received the second most votes earn the titles of Captain of the Ball and Maid of Honor, a great honor for any student. The students who receive the most votes are revealed to be the King and Queen of Mardi Gras at the pageant.
In continuing the tradition, it is important to nominate and vote for students who have provided service to the school. “People should vote for students who have committed the most to the school,” Losekamp said. In order for a nomination to be valid and for the student to make it to the voting ballot, nominated students must qualify for at least three of the seven possible categories. These categories are Christian Leadership, Academics, Leadership, Club Membership, Athletics, Other Major Extra-Curricular involvement, and Other Representation of McNicholas High School.
With service in mind, students are reminded that it is not a time to vote for someone simply because she or he is a friend, but to vote for the students who have worked for the betterment of the school. “Many, many times over, you’ll have the opportunity to support your friends, and I think it’s good that you support your friends, but I also think it’s good to recognize the betterment of our school through the students,” Losekamp said. So when you vote for the Mardi Gras court and honor guard think about the students who have provided service to school “in an unsung way,” Losekamp added.