By Somi Jun
Print Managing Editor
Humans judge based on first impressions and appearances. The Tournament of Roses Royal Court is largely based on this tenet of human behavior, but in the process of gauging appearances, the Rose Court also provides scholarship opportunities for young women, promotes diversity, and empowers its participants by involving them in their local community.
In the past few years alone, the Rose Court has featured a remarkable amount of diversity. Judges clearly make an effort to have a racially diverse court, with women of color holding more than half of court positions from the past three years.
Whereas most prestigious positions are reserved for students with a high GPA, the Rose Court’s minimum GPA is 2.0. While this may initially seem like a devaluing of intelligence, it’s actually allowed the Court to honor women who are intelligent in areas other than academia. As a result, each Court has a diverse range of skills, from traditionally high-achieving scholars to excellent artists and performers to devoted athletes.
Similarly, the Court constituents come from both high schools and Pasadena City College, actively de-stigmatizing community colleges.
The Court elevates these diverse women to positions of influence and exposure. The young women attend as many as 100 media and community appearances during their time in Court.
This exposure is a two-way street: thousands of people will be able to view these diverse women as role models, while the Court will meet and network with professionals.
Ultimately, the Rose Court may have a conservative slant, but it is undoubtedly one of the best opportunities for self-advancement available to diverse women in the Pasadena area.